Showing posts with label gambling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gambling. Show all posts

Monday, April 1, 2024

Legislature mulls boat harbor dredging, redirection of affordable housing funds, Honolulu council advances resident-preference housing plan, missile test off Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

A bill advances in state House to pay for small boat harbor dredging. A bill to provide state funding for maintenance dredging at small boat harbors statewide has advanced to the Finance Committee in the House of Representatives. Maui Now.

Flow of affordable-housing funding faces redirection. A state agency that helps finance affordable-housing development in Hawaii faces having its funding award criteria dictated by the Legislature to favor state and county projects. Star-Advertiser.

Affordability still a challenge for Hawaii homebuyers. The annual income needed for major homeownership costs is $145,151 in Honolulu County, $118,454 in Hawaii County, and $208,806 in Maui County. But the average wage earner in Honolulu County makes $65,715, and the average is $54,561 in Hawaii County, and $58,201 in Maui County. Star-Advertiser.

Big rent-to-own housing push by Home Lands agency praised, pilloried. The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is pursuing its biggest homestead development initiative in history, but one expanding piece of the plan aimed at helping low-income beneficiaries is distressing some stakeholders. Star-Advertiser.

HTA emerges from legislative crosshairs in fight for funds. The Hawaii Tourism Authority is poised for a comeback in the state Legislature and in all likelihood will emerge this session with a recurring lump sum budget — that’s no small feat for an agency that endured cutbacks, organizational changes, and the threat of defunding over the last several sessions and returned this year with the looming threat of carryover bills calling for its repeal. Star-Advertiser.

Family caregivers tax credit moves through Legislature. Though the initial family caregiver tax credit bill fell through, House Bill 2404 remains alive in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. KHON2.

Legislators seek voters’ input from mailer survey. Some legislators have come to rely on surveying their constituents ahead of final votes on issues such as whether to legalize recreational cannabis for adults or dip into the state’s rainy day fund to help Maui recover from the Aug. 8 wildfires. Star-Advertiser.


‘Resident-preference’ housing measure advances. Under the campaign-like slogan “Keep Hawaii, Hawaii,” Honolulu City Council members Radiant Cordero and Tyler Dos Santos-Tam have introduced legislation that seeks to  ensure that any housing created by the city, or with city funds, be first offered to those who live and work on Oahu. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

A Dispute Between The AG And Honolulu Prosecutor Is Playing Out In The Senate. Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm quit taking minor criminal cases generated by state law enforcement last year. Civil Beat.

Bills to crack down on illegal game rooms finally get a hearing after mounting community pressure. Two bills aimed at cracking down on illegal game rooms will finally get a hearing before Honolulu’s City Council this week. In November, lawmakers proposed a package of legislation meant to address landlords who host illegal game rooms on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

‘1,000 Steps Backward’: Navy Says Its Vast Testing Of Pearl Harbor Water Has Been Flawed. For two years, the Navy said water test results indicated no problems. Civil Beat.

Water is safe at Hickam Elementary School, officials say. State and federal officials say that water tested at Hickam Elementary School for potential petroleum contamination is safe after an “unvalidated” test found high levels early this month. Star-Advertiser.

One Reason For Persistent Speeding? Roads Whose Designs Seem To Invite It. Following the deaths of two cyclists hit by a car along a main road in Ewa, some lawmakers and officials are reiterating their calls to tackle the issue of speeding not just through more law enforcement but also through changes in road design. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Longer County Council terms? A bill introduced by North Kona Councilman Holeka Inaba proposes a charter amendment that would double the length of council members’ terms in office from two to four years. Tribune-Herald.

Bees causing a buzz: County bill would change how beehives, apiaries are regulated
. The Big Island will be abuzz Tuesday about a proposal to allow bees to be kept on residential and other properties. Tribune-Herald.

Maunakea fence to protect wildlife from cats. The ‘ua‘u, or Hawaiian petrel, is a highly endangered species of bird that is primarily found on Maui but was rediscovered on Maunakea in 2021 for the first time in nearly 70 years. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

2 Hawaiʻi Island hospitals get federal funds to improve access to medical records. The $2.5 million will help Kona Community Hospital and Kohala Hospital continue to enhance their technological infrastructure, ensuring streamlined access to medical records. Hawaii Public Radio.


Maui producer named new County Film Commissioner. Brian Kohne, an award-winning music producer and filmmaker who grew up on Maui, has been named as the new County of Maui Film Commissioner, according to an announcement by the county’s Office of Economic Development today. Maui News.

Visitors to Maui down in February 2024 as wildfire recovery continues.
There were 181,301 visitors on Maui in February 2024, and visitor spending was $443.1 million, according to new data released by the state Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism. Maui Now.


American and Australian forces conduct a missile defense test off Kauai. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy and Australian forces, successfully conducted an intercept of a medium range ballistic missile test target on Thursday using a Standard Missile-6 — or SM-6 — with a special software upgrade. Star-Advertiser.

Non-native coral found multiple times in the water off Anini Beach. Since the original discovery back in 2021, the Reef Guardians have repeatedly found non-native coral at Anini Beach. Garden Island.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Legislature faces more lobbying disclosure measures, psychiatric hospital stabbing suspect has violent record, fed crack down on Oahu cockfighting, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Ethics Panel To Push For More Disclosure Of Lobbyists. Bills would expand definition of lobbying to include the executive branch and require legislators to reveal more financial relationships. Civil Beat.

Former Patient Indicted In Fatal Stabbing Of Nurse.
Tommy Kekoa Carvalho, 25, who was discharged from the Hawaii State Hospital in August and living in a transitional residential program, is accused of killing Justin Bautista, a 29-year-old licensed professional nurse who had worked at the hospital for four years.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Suspect in fatal nurse stabbing pleaded guilty last year to assaulting mental health worker. A former Hawaiʻi psychiatric hospital patient indicted Wednesday on a murder charge in the stabbing death of a nurse at the facility had pleaded guilty to a 2020 assault of a state mental health worker, court records show. Associated Press. Civil Beat.

Hawaii construction firm buys Grace Pacific.
One of Hawaii’s largest infrastructure companies engaged in road paving, rock quarrying and other things has been acquired by local construction firm Nan Inc. Star-Advertiser.


Illegal Oahu game rooms a hot topic at town hall meeting. In its effort to shut them down, the Honolulu Police Department has uncovered illegal game rooms all over Oahu. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Alleged ‘Westside’ gang leader pleads not guilty. Honolulu Residents Face Federal Charges Over Cockfighting Operation. Six Honolulu residents were arrested on federal charges for conspiracy and the operation of an illegal gambling business, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now.

HPD crackdown nets on West Oahu crime nets scores of arrests.
Deputy Chief Keith Horikawa told police commissioners Wednesday that homicides are up by 80% and weapons offenses are up by 42% in the district covering Ewa to Makaha. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu seeks ability to lower speed limits with fewer restrictions. By default, residential speed limits are 25 mph, but Honolulu City Council Vice Chair Esther Kiaʻāina wants it reduced to 15 mph. Hawaii Public Radio.

Three Gallons Of Fuel Leaked During Red Hill Draining Effort, Admiral Says. None of the fuel made contact with the environment, according to the leader of the defueling team. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Judge denies motion to modify bail for former assistant police chief. Deputy Attorney General Elyse Oyama filed a motion to modify bail conditions and prevent Mitchell Kanehailua from obtaining documents, audio and body camera evidence.  West Hawaii Today.

FEMA issues final EA for Puna road restoration project; construction could start early next year. A large-scale Hawaii County project to repair roads and water lines damaged and destroyed by the 2018 Kilauea eruption has been progressing to the beat of a federal drum, with the go-ahead for the work resting solely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is contributing 75% of the cost. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi County Council resolution urges protection, preservation of sacred Kumukahi. As a sign of commitment to lineal descendants and residents of Puna, the Hawai‘i County Council passed a resolution on Wednesday that reinforces its promise to protect and preserve one of the state’s most sacred sites, Kumukahi. Big Island Now.


Couch-Surfing Housing Program Promoted By Maui County Faces Hurdles. Potential tax liabilities for hosts and evolving housing options are obstacles to participation. Civil Beat.

EAH Housing to develop 303 affordable housing units as part of Kahului Civic Center. The project includes a transit hub, civic center component, and 303 affordable housing units. Maui Now.

EPA processing hundreds of thousands of lithium-ion batteries from Maui fires for recycling in Nevada. In a desolate area of Olowalu, at a temporary hazardous materials staging site set up by the US Environmental Protection Agency, workers wearing flame retardant clothing and respirators have been crushing hundreds of thousands of lithium-ion batteries with a drumroller. Maui Now.

Protecting water crucial to Lahaina’s recovery, panel says. Native Hawaiian Convention continues with focus on key community issues. Bringing back a canopy of trees that shaded Lahaina, using reclaimed water for irrigation and farming, and placing more of West Maui water resources into public hands are some of the goals that one Native Hawaiian community leader wants to see to improve the water situation on the island’s west side. Maui News.

Maui’s only domestic violence hotline sees calls for help double since wildfires. Calls to Women Helping Women Maui went up from 250 a month to more than 550. The agency said the numbers are stabilizing, but the cases are becoming more serious. Hawaii News Now.


Kaua‘i OED accepting proposals for FY24 Agriculture Farm Expansion Grants Program. The County of Kaua‘i’s Office of Economic Development has opened a request for proposals for its Agriculture Farm Expansion Grants Program for fiscal year 2024. This is the first year the Office of Economic Development has offered a competitive grant strictly for the support of agriculture expansion efforts. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Navy asks to allow more whale kills during Pacific training, $16B for Maui survives congressional negotiations, battle on against coconut rhinoceros beetle, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Navy seeks revision allowing for more whale deaths. The Navy is asking the National Marine Fisheries Service to “modify” its regulations to allow for more injuries to marine mammals during Pacific training. Star-Advertiser.

Lack Of Money And Staff Is Hindering Wildfire Code Enforcement In Hawaii. Regulation is heavily focused on buildings when counties must decide where to put dwindling resources. Civil Beat.

DHHL says $600M isn't enough to complete housing for waitlisted Native Hawaiians. DHHL currently has 20 projects in the pipeline and plans to acquire additional properties to provide housing to approximately 5,300 Native Hawaiian beneficiaries. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii To Battle Invasive Beetle By Restricting Plant Material Shipments.
The Department of Agriculture is issuing a second emergency interim rule to address the persistent threat of coconut rhinoceros beetle to Hawaii.  Civil Beat. KHON2.

As fentanyl deaths mount in Hawaii, law enforcement targets source of drug pipeline. First responders are being called to overdoses daily in Hawaii as fentanyl takes hold across the state. And stopping the drug pipeline won’t be easy, experts say. Hawaii News Now.


City Council to mull anti-gaming room measure. Bills 57 and 58 are meant to aid enforcement efforts to close the 100 gambling parlors that the Honolulu Police Department says operate somewhere on the island each day. Star-Advertiser.

Former CoreCivic Lobbyist Is Helping To Plan A New Oahu Jail
. The state executive now tasked with devising a plan to finance a $900 million jail on Oahu worked for years as a registered lobbyist for CoreCivic, which is a prison developer that lobbied for years to try to get the state to move forward with the Oahu jail project. Civil Beat.

Oahu air quality stations raise concerns over defueling. Residents who live near Pearl Harbor might receive a letter that says the Navy will monitor air quality in their area for six months. KHON2.

Mike Miske’s Attorneys Go On Attack Over FBI Search Warrants. Attorneys representing former Honolulu business owner Michael J. Miske Jr. are locked in a legal battle with federal prosecutors over the admissibility of a wide swath of evidence that could link Miske to the sudden disappearance and alleged murder of 21-year old Jonathan Fraser in 2016.  Civil Beat.

Golf course ‘water fight’; Military’s plan to stop using drinking water for irrigation halted by Dept. of Health. After years of pressure from environmental groups, the military wants to stop using drinking water to irrigate a golf course in Kaneohe. Hawaii News Now.

A Small Honolulu Restaurant Will Pay A Huge Fine For Sexual Harassment In The Workplace
. Mexico Restaurant, located at 1247 N. School St. in Kalihi, agreed to pay $227,500 to settle a lawsuit filed last year by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of the servers, the commission announced Monday.  Civil Beat.

Lights out at Sandy Beach Park to protect 6 honu nests. Honolulu officials have temporarily turned off some lights at Sandy Beach Park to help ensure the safe passage of green sea turtle hatchlings toward the sea. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Two Hilo attorneys under investigation by state office. The state Office of Disciplinary Counsel is investigating two Hilo attorneys being prosecuted in federal court for allegedly receiving Hawaii County affordable housing credits and land conveyances worth at least $10.98 million, with no intention of developing affordable housing. Tribune-Herald.

Renovations of Hilo’s Central Fire Station behind schedule. There has been a delay in the Hawaii Fire Department’s plans to move operations from its Central Fire Station in downtown Hilo to a midtown warehouse on Kilauea Avenue so the 90-year-old station can undergo long-overdue repairs. Tribune-Herald.


Budget compromise assures Maui wildfire relief funding. The $16 billion for disaster relief included in a stopgap plan to avoid a U.S. government shutdown is good news for Maui’s wildfire relief efforts. Star-Advertiser.

Maui residents advise visitor industry on Sunday’s reopening. Representatives from Maui told Hawaii’s visitor industry on Monday how to support them and educate visitors prior to the controversial phased return of tourism to West Maui on Sunday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Maui fire survivors remain in limbo as officials confront long-term housing challenges
. A spokesperson from the Red Cross said the organization is working with about 7,800 people displaced by the fire, which is well over half of the town’s pre-disaster population. Hawaii Public Radio.

Routine emergency siren tests resume on Maui.
Hawaii emergency warning sirens were tested Monday for the first time since the deadly Aug. 8 Lahaina fire, on the same day disaster relief and recovery program changes took place on Maui as well. Star-Advertiser.

When Kula needed water to stop wildfire, it got a trickle. Hours before devastating fires scorched the historic town of Lahaina on Maui, Kyle Ellison labored to save his rental house in Kula, a rural mountain town 24 miles away, from a different blaze. Associated Press.


U.S. Navy, State of Hawai’i sign cooperative agreement for West Kaua’i watershed restoration, more. The Department of the Navy has signed a $4.14 million Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit Cooperative Agreement award with the State of Hawai‘i to fund conservation programs around the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands on Kaua’i. Kauai Now.

Drones to drop beetle pesticide on Kauai golf course palms. Parts of Wailua Municipal Golf Course in Lihue will be closed next week while drones are used to apply a pesticide to the tops of coconut palms in an effort to eradicate an infestation of coconut rhinoceros beetles. Star-Advertiser. Kauai Now.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

$42M to improve Hawaii green space, state Senate committee investigating Lahaina insurance issues, HECO taps utility bankruptcy expert as CFO, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii's congressional delegation announces over $42M to improve state’s green spaces. U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $42,585,500 in grants to nine Hawaii organizations to plant and maintain existing trees, combat extreme heat and improve access to green spaces in communities throughout the state. Spectrum News.

The Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection announced that it will hold a field briefing in Lahaina to address questions and take testimony pertaining to wildfire-related insurance claims. The briefing will take place from 10:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m., Sept. 28. KITV4.

Chief Pelletier to Maui Police Commission: ‘We saved lives’. The Maui Police Department’s preliminary after-action report of its response to the deadly Aug. 8 wildfires will not be completed for a few more months, and the final report may take up to two years. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Bissen responsible for Lahaina evacuation per Hawaii Revised Statutes. The Hawaii Revised Statutes states under section 127A-13 (b)(4) that "under a local state of emergency," the Mayor has the power to "direct and control the mandatory evacuation of the civilian population." KITV4.

Hawaiian Electric Industries Hires Utility Bankruptcy Expert As CFO. Investment banker Scott DeGhetto will be paid about $1.5 million for a 15-month gig. Civil Beat.

HMSA says it resolved COVID-19 shot coverage confusion. Hawaii Medical Service Association is telling members it is covering the updated COVID-19 vaccine for the fall and winter after some people said they paid out of pocket for the shot, HMSA official said a technical issue on its end is being blamed for the confusion. KHON2.


Landlords Hosting Illegal Game Rooms Could Face Fines Of $1,000 Per Day. Draft Honolulu City Council legislation would raise the stakes for landlords who allow illegal gambling in their units. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

City in high-stakes talks with military over proposed new landfill site. Last year, the city went back to the drawing board on selecting a new site for a municipal landfill after the Board of Water of Supply said six potential locations identified to replace Waimanalo Gulch in Nanakuli were too close to Oahu’s aquifer. Hawaii News Now.

‘This has got to end’: Pipes leaking millions of gallons of water a month at Dillingham Airfield still not fixed. Leaky pipes at Dillingham Airfield on Oahu’s North Shore have been a problem for years, causing millions of gallons of water to be wasted monthly. Hawaii News Now.

City to close Moiliili Neighborhood Park for month-long maintenance and renovations. Moiliili Neighborhood Park is one of the city’s busiest. But when you look at its nearly three and a half acres, you can definitely tell its overdue for a refresh. Hawaii News Now.

2 Kailua schools earn 2023 National Blue Ribbon recognition. Ka‘elepulu and Maunawili Elementary schools in Kailua  received the National Blue Ribbon award from the U.S. Department of Education. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County Council works to identify legislative priorities for next year.
The Hawaii County Council wants the state Legislature to pursue bills to better regulate vaping and allow counties more control over dangerous roads. Tribune-Herald.

Critically Endangered, Nocturnal Seabird Found On Hawaiʻi Island. A Critically Endangered ‘akē‘akē, or band-rumped storm-petrel, was recently found nesting on Hawaiʻi island within the Mauna Loa Forest Reserve. Big Island Video News. Garden Island.


Maui County announces first residential reentry zone. Maui County late Wednesday announced reentry procedures for Lahaina residents to access properties in the restricted disaster zone that have been off-limits in the aftermath of the Aug. 8 firestorm, which killed at least 97 people and destroyed more than 2,200 properties. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

In wake of devastating wildfire, experts propose new sources of water for parched West Maui. The West Maui water shortage is part of the reason for the devastating wildfire in Lahaina — and has caused huge division in the community. Hawaii News Now.

DOE opens distance learning hub in Kahana for over 250 students. The state Department of Education opened a distance learning hub in Kahana on Tuesday that will host displaced Lahaina students while their campuses remain closed following the Aug. 8 wildfire.  Maui News.

Planned Lahaina visits divide survivors. Maui County plans to let some survivors back into the devastated historic Lahaina fire area Monday and Tuesday, but evacuees have mixed feelings about what they’ll see and how they’ll feel. Star-Advertiser.

One more victim identified by police six weeks after Lahaina wildfire. The Maui Police Department on Wednesday added Lahaina resident Kirk Carter, who died Aug. 15 at Straub Medical Center’s Burn Unit in Honolulu, to its official list of fatalities from the Aug. 8 Lahaina wildfire. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.


FFA students given scholarships to attend national convention. Four Kaua‘i High School students from the school’s Future Farmers of America will be joining a group of about 50 people from Hawai‘i at the national FFA convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, starting on Oct. 29 and wrapping up on Nov. 5. Garden Island.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

6-figure salary needed to survive in Hawaii, limited Honolulu rail service starting next month, drug, gambling, sex houses raided on Oahu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

It Now Takes A Six-Figure Salary For A Family Of 4 To Make Ends Meet in Hawaii. The minimum income needed to pay for basic essentials as a family of four in Hawaii has ballooned to $104,052 a year, according to a report released Wednesday by the nonprofit Aloha United Way. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i ranked worst state for saving money. Hawai‘i is the worst U.S. state to live in for saving money, according to a recent Forbes Advisor analysis. Garden Island.

Lawyers threaten suit over state of special education services in Hawaii public schools. Attorneys for special education students are threatening to sue the state, saying access to special education and mental health services has gotten worse since the pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Resolution calls for Native Hawaiian intellectual property working group.  HCR 108 was adopted in light of the increasing disputes over topics such as cultural misappropriation, ownership and control between Indigenous people and third-party users of Indigenous knowledge resource. Star-Advertiser.

New version of ag bill vetoed by Ige appears to have support from Green. A plan to save farms facing the expiration of their state land leases has once again made it to the governor’s desk. Tribune-Herald.

Marine leaders host Thai officials at Camp Smith. U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific hosted a delegation from the Royal Thai Marine Corps on Oahu on Monday and Tuesday for the first Marine-to-Marine Future Engagement Planning meetings between the United States and Thailand. Star-Advertiser.

Wespac Still Hasn’t Paid Back $837,000 It Misspent. Congressmen Want To Know Why. The federal fishery regulatory panel is nearly six months late on repaying taxpayer money that an audit found was not used appropriately. Members of Congress are demanding answers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on how it plans to hold the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council accountable for nearly $1 million in “misspent” federal funds. Civil Beat.

Hawaii COVID cases remain steady as federal emergency ends. The state Department of Health on Wednesday reported the state’s seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases at 105, down from 107 reported May 3. The state’s average positivity rate, at 8.0%, remained the same as the previous week. Star-Advertiser.


All Aboard ‘Skyline’: City Plans To Start Rail Service On 4th of July Weekend. The service along half of the route would see few daily riders, but officials say it's time to let the public experience rail. The nine stations along the 10.7-mile stretch from east Kapolei to Aloha Stadium are slated to officially start service 2 p.m. June 30, officials announced Wednesday. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.  KHON2.

HPD, federal agents raid drug, gambling, sex houses. A joint operation by Honolulu police and federal agents targeting Oahu’s sex trade, gambling and drug houses began before sunrise Wednesday and resulted in three arrests and the seizure of 38 electronic gambling devices and illegal narcotics. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Loud mufflers are a constant nuisance, but more fines could be on the way. Sound-detecting microphones meant to crack down on illegal noise on the roads are coming to Oahu. State lawmakers approved $2.5 million for the program, which the Department of Transportation will roll out. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiʻi Convention Center previews $64M roof repair, upcoming events. State lawmakers have solved a $64 million question when it comes to the future of the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. That's the cost of fixing the center's leaky roof, which has become an increasing problem as repairs were delayed for years. Hawaii Public Radio.

Study: Rising sea levels will have dramatic effect on one of Hawaii’s most popular beaches. Seven years from now, nearly 90% of Hanauma Bay’s sandy area could be underwater, according to a new University of Hawaii study on sea level rise. Hawaii News Now.

‘Forever chemicals’ found at Kaamilo Wells station. So-called “forever chemicals” have been detected in the Kaamilo Wells Pumping Station, although at rates lower than federal standards, the state Department of Health reported today. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Waikoloa Workforce Housing Project Goes Before Cultural Commission. The Hawaiʻi County Cultural Resources Commission on Wednesday reviewed the potential impacts on cultural, archaeological, or historic resources within the Hoʻomalu Workforce Housing Project in Waikoloa. Big Island Video News.

County officials, union work to solve dispatcher shortage. Representatives of the Hawaii Government Employees Association met Tuesday with Hawaii Fire Chief Kazuo Todd and other members of Mayor Mitch Roth’s administration to come up with a plan to rectify a severe shortage of fire dispatchers. Tribune-Herald.

Community input sought on master plan for old Hilo Memorial Hospital. The Hawaiʻi County Office of Housing and Community Development will host a community meeting on May 15 to gather input and recommendations for the development of a master plan for the old Hilo Memorial Hospital site at 34 Rainbow Drive. Big Island Now.


Maui Is Closing Part Of Hana Highway For Up To A Month Because Of Falling Rocks.
In a news release late Wednesday, the government announced it would be closing a section of the highway from Alelele Bridge to Lelekea Bridge, which will temporarily prevent drivers from traveling between Hana and Kaupo. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Public school nurses tallied 8,000 health room visits. Nurses working in public schools handled nearly 8,000 health room visits by students from August to March of the current school year, according to the University of Hawaii as it marks National School Nurse Day today.  Maui News.

Funds released for multipurpose covered facility at Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena Elementary. Senator Angus McKelvey (District 6 – West Maui, Mā’alaea, Waikapū, South Maui) today, announced the release of $600,000 in funding for a new multipurpose covered facility at Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena Elementary School. Maui Now.


Kauai May Buy The Blighted Coco Palms Hotel. Kauai County Council Chair Mel Rapozo suggested taking ownership through eminent domain. The owner says it's for sale anyway. Civil Beat. Garden Island.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Construction to begin on 24-unit project in ʻEleʻele for homeless.  The project will provide low-cost studio and one-bedroom units for people who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Kauai Now.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Scientists alert to coral disease, bill would legalize raw milk sales, Maui health workers reject contract proposal, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Cargo ships put Hawaiʻi's fragile marine ecosystem at risk of a deadly coral pathogen. Since its first identification in Florida in 2014, stony coral tissue loss disease has earned a reputation as perhaps the most devastating coral disease in history.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii abortion protection bill heads to governor. A measure protecting health care workers who perform abortions across the islands, including procedures on women traveling here from out of state, passed out of both chambers at the state Legislature Friday and now heads to Gov. Josh Green’s desk for his signature. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii may boost Medicaid payments to help patients access care. State lawmakers are considering boosting Medicaid reimbursement rates for health care providers in an effort to improve access to care for low-income residents who often struggle to find doctors willing to take their insurance. Star-Advertiser.

Why This Hawaii Lawmaker’s Job With A Major Construction Company Raises Concern. State Rep. Micah Aiu  works as an in-house lawyer for Nan Inc., a major construction company that competes aggressively for state jobs. Since last summer alone, Nan was awarded eight state contracts worth $325 million, according to state procurement records. Civil Beat.

Pilot program to return houseless people to the continent advances at the Legislature. A measure that would establish a three-year pilot program at the state Department of Human Services to help houseless individuals fly back to their families on the continental U.S. has progressed in the Legislature. Hawaii Public Radio.

HB521 seeks to legalize the sale of raw milk. HB521 HD1 was introduced by Representative Mark Nakashima(Hamakua, Hilo, Ka‘ūmana) who chairs the House Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee. Rep. Nakashima says the measure aims to create greater food security for small communities. Maui Now.

State lawmakers seek to bolster school lunch program. State Senate Bill 154 would require the Department of Education to develop and implement a School Meal Subsidy Program to provide lunches for students who do not qualify for the National School Lunch Program. Tribune-Herald.

Gambling bills go bust in Legislature.
The latest efforts to legalize gambling in Hawaii have once again folded, with a deck of bills failing to hit the jackpot in the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Bill Removes Power To Suspend Electronic Media During Emergency.  A House Bill that would remove the ability of the Hawaiʻi governor, or a county mayor, to suspend “electronic media transmission during a state of emergency”, advanced in the State Senate on Friday. Big Island Video News.

Gov. Green considers nominations for intermediate court of appeals. Five nominees for Associate Judge for the Intermediate Court of Appeals have been announced for consideration by the State Judicial Selection Committee to Governor Josh Green. Maui Now.

Hirono condemns proposed 50% cut in cost of living allowance for military families in Hawaiʻi. US Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, questioned a panel of Department of Defense officials about a proposed 50% cut to the cost of living allowance for military families in Hawaiʻi during a SASC Personnel Subcommittee Hearing.  Maui Now.

School Councils Are Supposed To Be The Local School Boards In Hawaii. But They’re Hit Or Miss. A key part of local school oversight and parent engagement is left largely up to individual schools, with wildly varied results. Civil Beat.

Kamehameha Schools quietly selecting new board trustee. Three finalists are being considered to join a board that oversees one of the world’s largest charitable trusts, with a net worth of $15.1 billion and holdings that include hundreds of thousands of acres and schools on three islands giving preference to Native Hawaiian children. Star-Advertiser.

Former Governor Ige Gets Another Lava Tube Award. The Big Island Press Club has awarded the annual Lava Tube dishonor, the meritorious Torch of Light, and - for the first time - a special Oʻo Award for journalism. Big Island Video News.

Hawaiian relics, including Queen Liliuokalani’s personal flag, to be returned. State Archivist Adam Jansen will be headed to New York later this month to bring Hawaii items from Bonham’s auction house home. One of the items is Queen Liliuokalani’s Royal Standard, her personal flag that flew over her Washington Place home on the day the Hawaiian Kingdom was overthrown. Hawaii News Now.


Plans for $300M emergency base move ahead. A state agency spearheading the First Responder Technology Campus finalized an environmental impact statement for the project earlier this month, and many Hawaii lawmakers appear poised to appropriate $100 million to begin building an initial phase. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i Convention Center needs more than $15M quick fix for leaks. Gov. Josh Green has released $15 million in general obligation bonds so the Hawai‘i Convention Center can shore up a leaky rooftop terrace deck — but it’s just a temporary fix and costs for permanent repairs are projected to escalate over the next three years by at least 35% to $88 million. Star-Advertiser.

HPD urged to use recruit incentives and create Waianae patrol district. County lawmakers are urging the city to create the long-planned Waianae patrol district by finishing a half-built police substation and paying recruiting bonuses to officers who help fill uniformed vacancies that numbered 374 as of March 5. Star-Advertiser.

Navy works to repair wastewater plant amid more issues. State and military officials say they are working together to make repairs and improvements to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-­Hickam’s leaky wastewater treatment plant. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

In limbo: Kona Community Hospital Pharmacy needs funds to stay operational. The pharmacy at Kona Community Hospital needs an additional $2.3 million from the state Legislature to comply with federal regulations or risk closure, potentially affecting over 500 chemotherapy patients.  West Hawaii Today.

Military dignitaries from around the world make stop at Pōhakuloa Training Area on Hawai‘i Island. Nearly 30 foreign military attachés and their spouses visited U.S. Army Garrison Pōhakuloa Training Area and Kawaihae Harbor as part of a Headquarters Department of the Army sponsored tour of O‘ahu and the island of Hawai‘i. Kauai Now.


Maui Health employees vote 'No' in latest contract offer, strike to continue. Nearly 500 Maui Health System employees rejected the latest three-year contract offer. Represented by the United Public Workers AFSCME, Local 646, AFL-CIO, the employees had three days to ratify the fourth contract agreement with Maui Health. KITV4.

State takes control of grounded boat near Maui cultural site. The state is taking control of a 56-foot motorboat, Kuuipo, that has been grounded on the north side of the Lahaina Boat Harbor channel since earlier this month to prevent it from damaging the culturally significant Hauola Stone. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. KHON2.


1 Hotel Hanalei Bay opens after $300M overhaul. 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, which opened in February on Kauai, aims to set new standards of sustainability for the luxury hotel market — an expensive quest that contributed to an investment approaching $2.1 million per room, among the expenditure highs for purchasing and transforming a resort in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Legislature mulls minimum wage, clean elections, gambling junket tax, other bills; state ponders Mauna Kea chemical spill, Maui school must build pedestrian overpass, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Bill for local minimum wages introduced in state Legislature. A bill that would allow counties in Hawaiʻi to set local minimum wages by ordinance, as long as those wages are higher than the state minimum wage, has been introduced at the state Legislature. Maui Now. KITV4.

‘Clean elections’ bill gains support.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday passed unanimously a bill to establish a comprehensive public financing system for political candidates running for state and county offices who agree to abide by campaign fundraising and expenditure guidelines. Tribune-Herald.

Love to gamble? Lawmakers want to tax those junkets to the 9th Island. That quick junket to the Ninth Island — or any other gambling location — could cost you a lot more under a proposal moving in the state Legislature. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

New bill proposes an outright ban to riding in truck beds.
Should the law prohibit people from riding in the back of pickup trucks? A new bill moving through the Legislature raises safety concerns around the issue, as traffic fatalities continue to rise. KHON2.

Blinding headlights to be regulated by new bill. To improve road safety, a bill to require proper headlight beam height is being proposed.  KHON2.

Hawaii Legislature Proposes More Aid For Kupuna Housing.
Lawmakers want to create a new rental subsidy program targeted at those 62 years and older. Civil Beat.

Various criminal acts would be subject to fines instead of arrests
. A bill aimed at curbing overcrowding in Hawaii’s jails has cleared its first legislative hurdle. Tribune-Herald.

Bill looks to install photovoltaic panels over school playgrounds. Not only would the move shield children from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, installing the solar arrays would also help offset electricity costs for the department, according to House Bill 896. West Hawaii Today.

Why Blind Students Struggle To Get Braille Textbooks On Time. Legislators are considering a bill that would force public schools to provide timely instructional material. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Is Short Medical Workers.
Are Interstate Compacts The Solution?. A string of bills allowing the state to join different industry compacts will be heard in the Senate on Friday, with lawmakers hoping that their passage will expand medical access. Civil Beat.


Council committee advances DPP director nominee. The Honolulu City Council’s Committee on Planning and the Economy voted unanimously Thursday to advance Dawn Takeuchi Apuna toward leading the city’s troubled Department of Planning and Permitting. Star-Advertiser.

Waiahole Valley residents on Oahu fear mass eviction. A rural Windward Oahu community where physical standoffs occurred five decades ago between a private landlord and tenants is once again the scene of intense discord over rent, though this time the landlord is the state. Star-Advertiser.

Application process opens for ‘affordable’ units in Kuilei Place. Situated on a 3.15-acre site currently occupied by low-rise rentals near the corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and Mahiai Street, the project will receive upward of $12.3 million in exemptions and waivers for city permitting, plan reviews, fire, storm drain and public works fees. Star-Advertiser.

Legislators take another run at lifting residential ban on Kakaʻako Makai. Lawmakers are considering a bill to allow the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to build housing units in Kakaʻako, makai of Ala Moana Boulevard. However, a 17-year-old ban on residential development in the area is still in place. Hawaii Public Radio.

Autopsy: South African rugby player killed by Honolulu police had CTE. A Black former professional rugby player from South Africa shot by police months after moving to Hawaii suffered from a degenerative brain disease often found in American football players and other athletes subjected to repeated head trauma, autopsy results show. Associated Press.

Sea Life Park Facelift Moves Ahead. The Honolulu City Council is moving toward approval of a major facelift and refurbishment of a popular marine life entertainment center on a spectacular land parcel on eastern Oahu. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

State mulls next steps following incident at Maunakea telescope. The scope and impact of a chemical leak last month at a Maunakea observatory remain unclear, according to University of Hawaii officials. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii preschool at center of contentious dispute with state closes its doors. An unlicensed preschool in Hilo ordered to close last fall, partly over lead concerns, is now shut down for good. Staff at Kalamapii Playschool are moving out after the facility’s lease was terminated. Hawaii News Now.

Final EA On Miloliʻi Beach Park Project Published. The Miloliʻi Beach Park Accessibility Improvement Project will bring the pavilion and other park amenities into ADA compliance. Big Island Video News.

Two Big Island resorts among top 15 in country by U.S. News & World Report. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island was ranked No. 6 on the latest “Best Hotels in the USA” list by U.S. News & World Report.  Big Island Now.


New Maui High School: Opening Date Uncertain After DOE Agrees To Build Overpass. The construction project will likely take years to complete, further delaying the school's opening. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

‘Welcome to Paia, Do Not Feed the Hippies’ sign doesn’t reflect the town, residents say
. While some got a laugh out of a new Pāʻia road sign that mocks hippies, longtime area residents said it’s derogatory and divisive during a time when the historic town needs help. Maui Now.


Affordable housing nonprofit buys Hoku Foods building in Kapa‘a.  The affordable housing nonprofit Permanently Affordable Living has bought the Hoku Building in Kapa‘a, which features 14 apartments and Hoku Foods Natural Market. Garden Island.

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay set to open Wednesday.  After nearly three years of renovations, the former St. Regis Princeville Resort is reopening under a new luxury hotel brand focused on sustainability and local ties. Garden Island.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Green pledges $100M to fight climate change, 'monster' surf expected tonight, Ellison traffic ticket shows lack of preferential treatment, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Gov. Josh Green pledges $100M to fight climate change. Gov. Josh Green kicked off Hawaii’s Climate Action Week on Monday pledging to dedicate $100 million of the state’s $1.9 billion budget surplus to address climate change. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Pair of Hawaii lawmakers push for poker and sports betting.
Reps. John Mizuno and Daniel Holt on Monday touted a plan to introduce a bill that would permit only two types of gambling, poker and sports betting, at one establishment on Oahu not at a hotel, under a state license regulated by a commission. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. KITV4.

Proposal would increase public funding for Hawaii campaigns. State Sen. Karl Rhoads plans to introduce legislation this year to help county, state and Office of Hawaiian Affairs candidates raise more campaign money through public funds to ease their reliance on lobbyists and private donors with the goal of promoting “clean elections.” Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

1st Native Hawaiian woman nominated to lead DLNR facing opposition. A petition has been started to oppose Gov. Josh Green's nominee, Dawn Chang, to head the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Chang is a former deputy attorney general for the department, and previously served on the state Land Use Commission. She also started a company called Ku’iwalu Consulting.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Agency Is Racing ‘Against The Clock’ To Build New Preschools. The School Facilities Authority says it needs help to meet a June 2024 deadline to build and renovate up to 200 preschool classrooms. Civil Beat.

‘Firework zones’ eyed following noisy, dangerous start to 2023. The state wants to work with the counties and first responders to establish “fireworks zones” in the wake of this year’s New Year’s celebrations, which resulted in a long list of injuries and one death. Hawaii News Now.


Eddie Aikau surf contest set to begin Wednesday on Oahu. More than 20,000 people are likely to descend upon Waimea Bay on Wednesday as a giant North Shore swell is expected to allow “The Eddie” big-wave surf contest to run for only the 10th time in some 40 years. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Real property tax assessment appeals deadline draws near. The deadline to dispute your real property tax assessment is this Sunday, Jan. 15, but some said they have had issues getting assistance from the city. KHON2.

Hawaii Kids ‘Connect These Dots’ To Understand Climate Change. From public schools on the Westside to private schools in Honolulu, teachers are finding creative ways to educate — and empower — students facing the effects of a warming planet. Civil Beat.

Iolani Palace Is Preparing For Hawaiian Royal Heiress Kawananakoa To Lie In State. The public memorial event is expected to be held later this month. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

$50K grant allows for upgrades to a tiny home community in Kapolei. Nareit Hawaii awarded a $50,000 grant to U.S. Vets to pay for a new kitchen, secure storage spaces, private mailboxes and air conditioners in the shared facilities. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

COVID hospitalizations rise: HMC sees ‘typical bump’ in infections after holiday season. Over the holidays, Hilo Medical Center saw a bump in COVID-19 hospitalizations, increasing from a daily average of between five and seven patients to 18 patients on Monday. Tribune-Herald.

BLNR to consider bag limit increases for feral pigs. New hunting regulations that would double the amount of feral pigs a hunter could take each day in certain Puna forest reserves will once again be considered by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources Friday. Tribune-Herald.

Annual Point-In-Time Count slated Jan. 23 to 27.  The annual Point-In-Time Count will take place later this month on the Big Island with volunteers and advocates working to provide a snapshot of all those experiencing homelessness in the community. West Hawaii Today.


Council member: Body cam video of Larry Ellison traffic stop shows no one ‘above the law’. Billionaire Larry Ellison was pulled over last year for a variety of traffic violations on Lanai, the island he owns. Hawaii News Now.

Pending lawsuit over vote counting protocols keeps major Maui County Council seat vacant. It has been one week since Maui County Council members took the oath of office. However, one seat remains vacant because of a pending lawsuit. Hawaii News Now.

The Doobie Brothers’ 50th Anniversary Tour makes Maui stop, May 2. The Maui Arts & Cultural Center presents The Doobie Brothers in concert Tuesday, May 2 in the A&B Amphitheater & Yokouchi Pavilion. Maui Now. Maui News.

MEO Head Start application period for 2023-24 opens Feb. 1.  Maui Economic Opportunity’s Head Start, a 100% subsidized preschool program for low income families, will begin accepting applications for the 2023-24 school year beginning Feb. 1. Maui Now.


Hawai‘i State Senator Mike Gabbard (D-20) will join the Kaua‘i Climate Action Form for its latest virtual monthly meeting, scheduled for this week. Gabbard, who is chairman of the Hawai‘i Senate Agriculture & Environmental Committee, will be joined by activist Maya van Rossum. Kauai Now.

Head of Ho‘ike Kaua‘i Community Television steps down after 22 years. After 22 years at the helm of Kaua‘i’s sole community TV station, J Robertson is stepping down as managing director of Ho‘ike Kaua‘i Community Television. Garden Island.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

EPA probe faults Navy on Red Hill, Kauai kids confront VP Harris on fuel leaks, sweepstakes machine distributor sues Honolulu police for gambling raid, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Navy water operators unprepared despite fuel leak risks, EPA reports. The Navy potentially violated numerous state and federal laws relating to safe drinking water in its operation and maintenance of its Joint Base Pearl Harbor- Hickam public water system, an investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

State Rep. Patrick Branco’s future uncertain following congressional loss. State Rep. Patrick Branco is supporting former rival state Sen. Jill Tokuda in her congressional campaign and serves as an unpaid volunteer in Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s run to become Hawaii’s next governor as Branco’s own political future is now uncertain after election commercials on his behalf linked Tokuda to the National Rifle Association while showing images of the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre. Star-Advertiser.

Schools Add Emotional Development To The Curriculum. Hawaii educators hope new initiatives and programs will help students recover from social and academic setbacks during the pandemic. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kaiser’s mental health shortage puts patient safety at risk, national agency finds. Kaiser hasn’t denied it has a shortage of mental health specialists, but has stressed that those shortages exist nationwide and were exacerbated by the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.


Distributor sues HPD over damage to dozens of sweepstakes machines. After a bitter, decade-long legal and political battle, the Hawaii distributor of sweepstakes gaming machines is suing the HPD for damaging his equipment. The lawsuit alleges that when Honolulu police seized PJY Enteprises LLC’s 77 sweepstakes machines in 2012, the machines were new and in working condition. Hawaii News Now.

Feds add more spy allegations against Kapolei couple. After backing off on some spy allegations against a Kapolei couple, federal prosecutors are stepping it up by releasing transcripts of the couple’s recorded conversations. KHON2. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Council to consider settling police brutality lawsuit: Puna mother claims excessive force, ADA violations against autistic son. A federal lawsuit claiming police brutality and failure to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act appears headed for settlement by the County Council. West Hawaii Today.

Kehena victim was musician, artist, ‘peacemaker’. “He was the quintessential Puerto Rican renaissance man.” That’s how Bub Pratt, entertainer and owner of Kukuau Studio in Hilo, described Gabriel DeSilva, a 72-year-old Pahoa man police said was the victim of a possible drowning Sunday morning at Kehena Beach in Puna. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi County Police K9, Rory, Retires. The springer spaniel has worked as a narcotics canine for the Area II (west Hawai‘i) Vice Section since 2015. Big Island Video News. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.


Wastewater Company At Center Of Bribery Scandal Won Big Maui Contracts. H2O Process Systems was awarded millions of dollars in sole source contracts for upgrades and replacement parts for Maui County’s wastewater system. Civil Beat.

Resident input sought for planning of 3.6 miles of Honoapiʻilani, Lahaina to Kāʻanapali.
The County of Maui has launched the West Maui Community Corridor Transit-Oriented Development Action Plan to advance strategies for a transit-oriented community in West Maui. Maui Now.

Open house planned for release of draft South Maui Community Plan Update. The Maui County Planning Department will host an open house for the release of the first draft of the updated South Maui Community Plan on from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, at the Kīhei Community Center. Maui Now.

Thousands on Maui without power early Tuesday morning. According to Hawaiian Electric, crews are currently working to restore power to parts of South Maui, West Maui, Kahului, Wailuku, Waihee and Waiehu, Upcountry and East Maui. KITV4. Hawaii News Now.


Kauai 8th graders confront Vice President Kamala Harris over Red Hill. Throughout Vice President Kamala Harris' vacation on the Garden Isle, groups like the Oahu Water Protectors have held up signs near her Kalihiwai Ridge vacation home, urging more action on the Red Hill water crisis. KITV4.

Jason Momoa TV series seeks Kaua‘i talent. A project spearheaded by actor Jason Momoa is filming on Kaua‘i this fall — and they need local talent. Garden Island.

Fall semester kicks off at Kaua‘i Community College. All Kaua‘i Community College students are welcomed to “E Komo Mai,” presented by the Associated Students of the University of Hawai‘i-Kaua‘i Community College, Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the area fronting the campus Learning Center. Garden Island.