Showing posts with label geothermal power. Show all posts
Showing posts with label geothermal power. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Green pledges to sign vacation rental bill; House, Senate reach budget agreement; Maui mayor seeks twice what lawmakers allotted for wildfire recovery, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Green pledges to sign short-term rentals bill. Gov. Josh Green on Tuesday pledged to sign a bill into law that would give each county clear authority over vacation rentals — including the possibility of banning them — if it arrives on his desk, as expected. Star-Advertiser.

Proposed State Budget Includes Money For Public School Raises, Geothermal Exploration. The budget would also provide millions of dollars in extra support to the Hawaii State Hospital. House and Senate negotiators reached agreement Tuesday evening on a $19.21 billion state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 that includes raises for public school vice principals and extra money for small and rural public schools. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Ambitious Renewable Energy Plan Is Threatened By HECO’s Uncertain Future. New projects are on hold as the electric company's credit rating sags. Hawaii’s renewable energy sector is stepping up support for policies aimed at financially bolstering Hawaiian Electric Co., which has been battered by accusations that the utility started the fire that killed 101 people and burned down much of Lahaina in August. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers consider a property damage compensation fund for future fires.
The measure would allow stakeholders to pay into a wildfire relief fund that would compensate property owners in the instance of another wildfire. That would include government entities like the state, large property owners with over 1,000 acres of land and share-holder utility companies such as Hawaiian Electric. Hawaii Public Radio.

Several invasive species measures are nearing the legislative finish line. A measure to fund the state Department of Agriculture with about $20 million for port inspectors, pest control workers and other biosecurity personnel around the state is still alive and could pass through conference hearings this week. Separate bills to support efforts against coconut rhinoceros beetles, little fire ants and other species are also set to move on. Hawaii Public Radio.

State looking at reducing parakeet population with one-year pilot program. The state wants to declare war on another invasive species — parakeets — that have been spreading disease, decimating native fruits, and stripping fruit trees on Kauai, among other harms. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Tourism Authority board chooses former Honolulu mayor as new leader. Tuesday, the state senate voted to approve former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hanneman as HTA’s board chair.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaiian Airlines boosts revenue but loses $137.6M in first quarter. Hawaiian Holdings Inc., the parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, improved revenue and continued investments during the first quarter, but deepened losses as it grappled with rising operating costs and other headwinds while pursuing a merger with Alaska Airlines. Star-Advertiser.


Nearly 3.6% pay hike adopted for mayor, Council. The Honolulu Salary Commission Tuesday adopted a nearly 3.6% pay boost for the mayor, managing director, the nine-member City Council and other appointed, high-level city officials for the city’s fiscal year 2025 salary schedule, which begins July 1. Star-Advertiser.

HPD applications increase after $25K bonus announcement. A $25,000 bonus for new Honolulu Police Department recruits is an unprecedented incentive for the department, the goal was to attract more people into the force, and according to the department, it is working.  KHON2.

Dennis Mitsunaga’s ‘Ninja’ Testifies That ‘It Felt A Little Wrong’ To Contact Witness In Corruption Case. Mitsunaga, charged in the federal bribery trial of former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, is accused of attempting to manipulate a witness's testimony. Civil Beat. KITV4.

'Our superhero’: Girlfriend of alleged Miske murder victim says she won’t stop looking for answers. The woman whose boyfriend was allegedly murdered by Mike Miske finished her testimony in federal court Monday and was finally free to tell her story in public. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Red Hill Families Describe Litany Of Harms From Tainted Water In Lead-Up To Federal Trial. In the trial starting Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice will question whether they were exposed to jet fuel and, if so, whether it was enough to account for their illnesses. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Nene gosling likely died from disease carried by feral cats. The nene gosling that died last month in Lili‘uokalani Park and Gardens in Hilo likely was killed by toxoplasmosis, an infection spread in the feces of feral cats, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Traps catch invasive coconut rhinoceros beetles in Waikoloa. The destructive beetles pose a serious threat to palm trees and culturally important plants in Hawaii. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Federal lawsuit against Roth, others on hold pending legal question. Hilo attorney Pueo Kai McGuire's federal lawsuit against Hawaii County, Mayor Mitch Roth, county Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen, Deputy Prosecutor Kate Perazich and former Deputy Prosecutor Sylvia Wan that accuses them of malicious prosecution is on hold — for now.  Tribune-Herald.


Maui mayor seeks more funding to cover Lahaina disaster costs. Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen, just shy of two weeks before the end of this year’s legislative session and after all public hearings on bills, asked House and Senate leaders to appropriate $125 million instead of $63.6 million to Maui County for wildfire recovery work pending in a bill. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Kaulana Mahina workforce housing apartments celebrates grand opening in Central Maui.  The event comes at a time when the chronically undersupplied housing market on Maui has been further impacted by the devastating fires of last August. Maui Now.


Friend of jailed Kaua‘i artist accused of threatening a councilman speaks out following court hearing. A Kauaʻi resident has voiced support for a local artist in jail on $100,000 bail after allegedly threatening County Councilman Bill DeCosta in January, following a court hearing on Tuesday, April 23.  Kauai Now.

Kauai County to extend beach lifeguard hours. Starting next month, hours at guarded beaches will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to the county’s Ocean Safety Bureau, an additional two hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. currently. Star-Advertiser.

Kauaʻi Habitat for Humanity expands affordable housing to island's north shore. The organization acquired six lots in Kīlauea that it plans to offer up to low-income homeowners in the next month or so. Hawaii Public Radio.

Wiwo‘ole Project takes root in Lihu‘e. The project consists of transitional housing for individuals and families trying to escape domestic violence and sexual assault. Garden Island.

Monday, April 8, 2024

House bill requires governor to make reports before emergency funding, wildfire risk increases after wet winter, single Maui power pole may have set off wildfire, lawsuit filed over geothermal plant expansion, proposed Big Island vacation rental limits attacked, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

House passes bill requiring governor to submit reports when using emergency grants.  The House passed a measure that requires the governor to submit reports to the state Legislature 14 days before using grants, including federal aid, received through emergency management powers. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Faces An Above Normal Risk Of Significant Wildfires Over The Next Three Months. A wetter-than-expected winter combined with an impending dry summer spells a risky few months for fire in Hawaii. Civil Beat.


Honolulu City Council members say they‘ll reject 3% pay hike.
All nine members of the Honolulu City Council appear to be unified on one issue: to formally reject the city Salary Commission’s proposed 3% salary increase granted to their respective Council seats last month. Star-Advertiser.

Weapons violations and homicides on Oahu are up compared to the first quarter of last year while crime overall is down, Honolulu police Chief Arthur “Joe” Logan told the Honolulu Police Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Chinatown’s Syringe Exchange Van Faces Hurdles Finding A Permanent Brick-And-Mortar Home. The program has been operating out of a mobile van for about 35 years. Civil Beat.

Community worries about state’s possible acquisition of ‘Bethel Block’.  After Hawaii Pacific University moved out of Fort Street Mall to Aloha Tower Market Place, HB 2328 would allow the state to acquire “Bethel Block” — the Ohia Building, the Blaisdell Building and the Whitlow Building that sit between Bethel Street, Pauahi Street, Fort Street and Chaplain Lane — to “faci­litate the growth of the State’s inventory of affordable housing units," according to HB 2328. Star-Advertiser.

DOE selects architect to design new multi-use building at Helemano Elementary. The Hawai‘i Department of Education has selected WhiteSpace Architects to design a $16 million multi-use building at Helemano Elementary School, according to a Thursday news release. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Mayor’s proposed budget up 6.6%. Mayor Mitch Roth and his department heads will be presenting a proposed $888 million budget to the County Council Finance Committee beginning Tuesday. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News.

Vacation rentals bill blasted: Commissioners get an earful over proposed TAR regulations. At a marathon eight-hour meeting of the Windward Planning Commission, residents clashed with County Council Chair Heather Kimball over the controversial Bill 121, which would overhaul the county code concerning short-term vacation rentals. Tribune-Herald.

Lawsuit Filed Over Puna Geothermal Environmental Impact Statement. A lawsuit filed over a recently accepted environmental study is seeking a “permanent injunction on any further Puna Geothermal Venture expansion”.  Big Island Video News.

Big power supply problems continue to plague Hawaii Island.  The company has been facing an unusual situation with mechanical problems at three of the island’s five largest power plants while part of the largest plant undergoes an annual overhaul. Star-Advertiser.

‘Acute Problems’ Plaguing Big Island’s Wastewater Treatment Systems Prompt EPA Crackdown. A newly signed consent order will force county officials to make multimillion-dollar upgrades to treatment plants and take steps to eliminate large cesspools. Civil Beat.

Steep rent forces Hawai‘i Keiki Museum to shutter its doors in Kona. The museum, which operates as a nonprofit, opened its doors in 2022 and has been committed to inspiring curiosity, creativity, and innovation in young keiki through hands-on STEAM experiences.  Big Island Now.


The Most Detailed Account So Far Of The Lahaina Fire Points To One Termite-Damaged Utility Pole. While the public awaits Maui County's official report on the cause of the fire, lawyers for victims and insurers say Pole 7A set off a cascade of events that led to a wall of flame. Civil Beat.

Kahului Housing Project For Fire Survivors Finally Opens. After months of battling red tape, Ohana Hope Village has opened its doors and can house about 500 people. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Council greenlights eminent domain for Central Maui Landfill expansion. The Council in its meeting Friday authorized eminent domain proceedings to gain legal access to land planned for the expansion of the Central Maui Landfill. Maui Now.

Lahaina harbor reopening timeline depends on funds. Lahaina Small Boat Harbor sustained $30 million worth of damage in the Aug. 8 Maui wildfire and its destruction continues to hit Maui’s activities and attractions market hard, leaving many commercial boating operations and about 1,000 industry workers in limbo.  Star-Advertiser.

Maui Voters Created A Public Water Board. Two Years Later, Are Vested Interests Dragging Their Feet? The community board that governs the fledgling East Maui Water Authority took longer to get up and running than voters envisioned when they created it via county charter amendment in late 2022. Civil Beat.

Lahaina residents are turning anger into action through legislative advocacy. With about 3,000 fire survivors still living in hotel limbo, Maui’s housing crisis is far from over. Hawaii Public Radio.


Coco Palms developer, state officials deny claims of burial disturbances. The developer rebuilding the Coco Palms Resort has firmly denied public claims that Native Hawaiian burials were unearthed and moved during construction work at the Wailua site, an assertion also supported by government officials following a preliminary investigation.  Kauai Now.

Domestic passenger count drops in March at Lihu‘e Airport. The number of people getting off domestic passenger flights at Lihu‘e Airport sank to its lowest total for the month of March since the COVID-19 era. Garden Island.

Viewing site at Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge to open public at end of April. The new viewpoint site will be the primary location for the public to visit the Hanalei NWR, where the public can safely view the many sensitive endangered species and habitats in the valley from a distance. Kauai Now.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Hawaii Island

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

State board mulls Thirty Meter Telescope permit, broadband plan tackles dead zones, Maui Council to meet on Office of Recovery funding, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Board hears arguments over TMT permit. Defining the word “construction” took up a large part of a more than three-hour Tuesday hearing that could determine whether a permit to develop the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea is valid. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-HeraldBig Island Video News.

Covid Funds Help Hawaii Schools Tackle Absenteeism. What Happens When Those Are Gone?. While chronic absenteeism improved across the state last year, some groups of students still lag behind in their attendance rates. Civil Beat.

US ambassador to the United Nations stops in Hawaiʻi en route to Cook Islands. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield is leading the United States delegation to the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting. Hawaii Public Radio.

Transportation Department hopes to expand Red Light Safety program statewide. The Red Light Safety Camera Pilot Program has been “live” for a year and still has another year to go but officials are already hoping to expand the program, citing a decline in red light runners. But there are still a few issues that need to be ironed out, including how to ensure citations are paid. KHON2.

Broadband initiative targets lack of access and slow internet speeds. The state is releasing hundreds of millions of dollars for initiatives to connect more people to the internet — and improve services for those already online. The federal initiative recognizes that internet access is no longer considered a luxury. Hawaii News Now. Civil Beat.


Audit finds long delays in Honolulu Department of Design and Construction projects. Honolulu improvement projects have been plagued by delays, according to the findings in a recent audit of the city’s Department of Design and Construction. Hawaii Public Radio.

Wage Bump Aims To Stem Departure Of Honolulu’s Deputy Prosecutors. In the midst of a workforce shortage, some city positions are getting big pay boosts. Civil Beat.

Makiki affordable rental project completed. Constructed in prefabricated concrete in under nine months, the building at 1427 Ernest St. will offer 24 studio apartments and two one-bedroom units, on a more than 5,300-square-foot property. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Ex-Mililani Athletic Director Gets Probation For Booster Club Theft. Glenn Nitta pleaded no contest to the theft of more than $400,000. Civil Beat.  Star-Advertiser.

Wildfire concerns revive pleas for new emergency evacuation routes on Oahu. Three months since the Maui fires and communities all over Hawaii are re-thinking their own safety plans, including coastal areas on Oahu where thousands of people have no alternate escape routes. Critical areas include the west side, the North Shore, and the Windward side. Hawaii News Now.

Wildfire burns 1,638 acres above Mililani Mauka, 90% contained
. Honolulu Fire Department officials say that they are transferring command of the Mililani Mauka firefighting efforts to the U.S. Fire and Wildlife Service, now that the remote wildfire is 90% contained with only “isolated smoldering pockets.” Star-Advertiser.

Stalled Train Temporarily Halts Service Along Skyline. No passengers were on board that driverless train, city officials say. They haven't said what may have stalled it. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Police Department warns of recent extortion scam. The Honolulu Police Department is warning the public about a rise in extortion cases over the past several weeks in which perpetrators impersonate law enforcement. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiian Home Lands Seeks $6M To Test For Geothermal Power. Research identifies DHHL lands in three areas of the Big island that show promise for development for geothermal power production. Civil Beat.

Big Isle police mourn death of former colleague. When former Hawaii Police Department officer Nicholas C.K. McDaniel was laid to rest Saturday in Post Falls, Idaho, numerous Big Island officers attended his funeral. Tribune-Herald.

150 Narcan kits given to Hawai‘i County to aid in fight against fentanyl
. The Hawai‘i Island Fentanyl Task Force donated 150 Narcan kits to Hawai‘i County as part of the ongoing effort to combat the spread of fentanyl in the Big Island community as concern grows surrounding opioid overdoses. Big Island Now. Tribune-Herald.


Special council meeting to consider bill to fund the new Office of Recovery. The Maui County Council will hold a special council meeting Thursday, Nov. 9 at 9 a.m. to consider Bill 114, which seeks to: fund the new Office of Recovery; and add new conditional language for a Lahaina Wildfire Final Disposition site in Olowalu. Maui Now.

Maui Realtor’s Fire Relief Fundraiser Under Audit From AG’s Office. Churches who were recipients of money from Eric West have provided limited details of how they have spent it, but they are not required to do so. Civil Beat.

$54M contract awarded for temporary Lahaina elementary school. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $53.7 million base contract to a Waianae-based company to build a temporary elementary school campus for students displaced from King Kamehameha III Elementary School, which was destroyed in the August wildfire.  Maui News. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Recovery still on the horizon for Lahaina.  Gov. Josh Green is slated to provide a 90-day update on the Maui wildfire recovery efforts at noon today from the Governor’s Conference Room on the fifth floor of the state Capitol. Star-Advertiser.


Visitor spending crosses $2B mark on Kaua‘i. The spending total climbed to $2.05 billion for the nine-month period ended Sept. 30 from $1.69 billion in the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, 2022, and $1.46 billion in the pre-pandemic nine-month period ended Sept. 30, 2019. Garden Island.

House Finance Committee visits Kaua‘i. Members of the House Finance Committee, led by Chair Kyle T. Yamashita, and the Kauaʻi delegation consisting of House Majority Leader Nadine K. Nakamura, House Majority Floor Leader Dee Morikawa, and Rep. Luke A. Evslin made its way to the Garden Isle to view firsthand several projects and programs supported by the Legislature. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Biden visits, offers support in wake of Lahaina fire, ACLU challenges Honolulu homeless sweeps, Hawaiian Homes report eyes geothermal on Mauna Kea, Kohala, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

President Biden offers message of support, hope after touring Lahaina. President Joe Biden described the devastation in Lahaina as “overwhelming” on Monday as he and First Lady Jill Biden toured the charred remains of the historic, seaside town, leveled in the worst U.S. wildfire in more than a century. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii Public Radio.  Associated Press.  Big Island Video News.  Maui News.  Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Video of Biden visit

For Gov. Green, a balancing act with no margin for error.  The  53-year-old governor, a Democrat less than a year into his first term, is confronting the horrific wildfires on Maui that have killed at least 114 people and perhaps many more. In a state where political decisions are often a balancing act among factions — from progressives to pro-development Democrats to powerful labor unions — some worry that the rush to rebuild will shred hard-won environmental and cultural protections. New York Times.

Lawsuit seeks to upend reassignment of water deputy.  A lawsuit filed Monday seeks to overturn the reassignment of state Water Commission Deputy Director M. Kaleo Manuel, who was given a new job after he apparently delayed permission to allow stream water to be made available for water control during the Lahaina wildfire. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Gov. Green encourage travel to parts of Maui not impacted by wildfires. While travel to West Maui continues to be discouraged following a deadly wildfire that decimated Lahaina’s historic Front Street, government officials emphasized the importance to visit other parts of Maui and neighboring Hawaiian Islands. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Legal experts refute rumors about FEMA aid and eminent domain.
  Posts and comments circulating on social media claim that signing up for disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency can give the government control of your land through eminent domain. FEMA’s powers are laid out in the Stafford Act — and eminent domain is not among them. Hawaii Public Radio.


Hawaii ACLU files motion to stop Honolulu homeless sweeps. Honolulu’s use of homeless sweeps constitutes cruel or unusual punishment under Hawaii’s constitution and should therefore cease immediately via a court order, according to an ACLU legal motion filed Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu District Court reopens after construction mishap. Honolulu District Courthouse will reopen today after a structural assessment found its parking garage, damaged the night of Aug. 15 by a contractor, and the courthouse are safe for occupancy. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiian Homes Report Eyes Geothermal On Maunakea, Kohala. Potential geothermal resources near Maunakea and Kohala mountains on Hawaiʻi island have the “highest probability of viable electricity generation” according to a new report provided to the Hawaiian Homes Commission. Big Island Video News.

‘Third try’ at starting master plan for Pahoa.  A survey has been sent in the mail and online to Pahoa property owners to help determine the future of the historic village. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor to host seventh town hall on Thursday. The event will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 pm. Thursday at the Cooper Center in Volcano Village. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.


Maui death toll at 115; search moves to multi-story structures.
Maui County officials said that 100% of burned single-story residences have been searched for Lahaina wildfire victims, and now search crews and their cadaver-detecting dogs will concentrate on multi-story properties. Star-Advertiser.

Toxic Debris From The Lahaina Fire Will Be Shipped To The Mainland.
The contaminated waste includes a unique Hawaii building material made of sugarcane fiber and termite poison. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now.

Details are still not available on people missing in Lahaina. Two weeks after a wildfire killed at least 115 people and destroyed Lahaina, no official list of the names and number of people missing is publicly available. Star-Advertiser.

New Prefab Homes Are Arriving On Maui. A local group has transported 60 fold-up structures to use as temporary homes. Civil Beat.

Your 2023 Maui County Council Guide: Everything You Need To Know. Here's how you can make your voice heard in local government by attending a council meeting or submitting testimony. Civil Beat.


Kaua‘i Community Health Alliance closing clinic.
The head of the Kaua‘i Community Health Alliance (KCHA) has announced the North Shore medical provider will permanently close its doors in the coming weeks due to circumstances, including low insurance reimbursement rates and labor shortages. Garden Island.

County and federal agencies partner for Kekaha Road Brownfields Study. County and federal agencies are partnering to revitalize brownfields along the Kekaha Road corridor, between Amakihi Road and Pueo Road, as a means to improve the quality of life for Kekaha residents. Kauai Now.

Water use plan update meetings set. The public is invited to attend the county Department of Water’s (DOW) second round of meetings for the Kaua‘i Water Use and Development Plan (KWUDP) update being held at various locations island wide, now through Aug. 31. Garden Island.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Watson named Hawaiian Homes chief, Honolulu grapples with concealed carry laws, Air Force secretary visits Maui to apologize for Haleakala fuel spill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Green Appoints Developer Kali Watson To Lead DHHL. Gov. Josh Green appointed housing developer Kali Watson as the new chair of the Hawaiian Homes Commission and director of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, a post Watson held under former Gov. Ben Cayetano in the 1990s. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now.

Plan to invest Hawaiian Home Lands funds in geothermal power plant draws scrutiny.  The Hawaiian Homes Commission is mulling a proposal to invest $2 million to develop a geothermal project on their lands using money that was appropriated to build homes. Hawaii News Now.

Better Background Checks Proposed For Certain State Employees. People applying for state jobs in Hawaii that put them in close proximity to minors and vulnerable adults would have to undergo more formal scrutiny, per a new bill being discussed in the Legislature.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii Tries To Ban Small Toiletry Bottles, Again. House Bill 85  proposes to rid the state of these tiny toiletry items and either put their contents them in a bulk container or in other holders not made of plastic. Civil Beat.

Vastly Expanded E-Bike Rebate Program May Be Coming To Hawaii. On Wednesday, the House advanced a bill that would grant all individuals over the age of 16 up to $500 of financial assistance for their purchase of an e-bike, electric moped or other micromobility device. Civil Beat.

Earthjustice files lawsuit to protect sea turtles, sharks, whales. Earthjustice filed suit today on behalf of the Conservation Council for Hawai‘i and native Hawaiian cultural practitioner Mike Nakachi seeking protection of a host of threatened and endangered Pacific Ocean species from harm. Maui Now.

Animal advocate pleads not guilty to drug charges. A veteran lobbyist and animal advocate pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal charges that she allegedly used a Wisconsin veterinarian’s identity to import large quantities of opioids for a mobile clinic run by her nonprofit organization. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

GET exemption bills move forward. Two bills proposing an elimination of the general excise tax on providers who accept Medicaid, Medicare and TRICARE patients have progressed in the state House and Senate, offering a chance to slow the physician shortage in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii hospitals at full capacity even with drop in COVID patients. The average number of patients with COVID-19 dropped to a new low over the past week, but hospitals in Hawaii are still bursting at the seams. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii COVID data not released due to system upgrade. The Hawaii Department of Health will not be releasing new COVID numbers for the state of Hawaii due to their ongoing upgrades to their disease surveillance system. KHON2.


City Measure To Restrict Concealed Guns In Some Areas Moves Ahead After Council Vote. A new conservative voting bloc emerged in the debate over concealed gun legislation at Honolulu City Council Wednesday, with three council members from the west side of the island voting against restrictions on concealed firearms and six others voting for the limitations. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Last Round Of Honolulu Covid Relief Money Released. With many Oahu residents continuing to struggle financially, the Honolulu City Council agreed Wednesday to distribute $25 million of the city’s dwindling federal pandemic relief funding to low-income families who have fallen behind on their rent and utility payments. Civil Beat.

Officials reveal plans to improve traffic, pedestrian safety. One week after 16-year-old Sara Yara was killed in a hit-and-run collision while walking to McKinley High School, city and state officials on Wednesday announced plans to improve driver and pedestrian safety near the campus. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Council OKs first settlement in police chase that prompted felony probe. The Honolulu City Council approved a settlement Wednesday that gives $4.5 million to four passengers and their families for a crash that involved three HPD officers in September 2021. Hawaii News Now.

Man accused of bludgeoning HPD officer, stealing police vehicle indicted. The man accused of critically injuring a Honolulu police officer and stealing his vehicle in the Laie area has been indicted by an Oahu grand jury for first-degree attempted murder and other charges related to the mid-February incident. KITV4.

Judge: Miske Can Keep A Key Defense Attorney. Accused racketeering boss Michael J. Miske will retain at least one of his original criminal defense attorneys after a federal judge decisively rejected an attempt by federal prosecutors to disqualify Miske’s two lead counsels, Thomas Otake and Lynn Panagakos, due to alleged legal conflicts of interest. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Group: Cost to convert cesspools on Big Island would be exorbitant. The state is about $1 billion short of the funds needed to convert more than 80,000 cesspools into something more environmentally friendly. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island Prison Guard Fired For His Role In An Inmate Beating Is Ordered Reinstated. The state has been ordered to reinstate a former Hilo corrections sergeant and pay him more than six years of back wages even after the officer was convicted and sentenced to federal prison for the brutal beating of a Hilo jail inmate. Civil Beat.

Long-awaited public library for Waikōloa is one step closer to becoming a reality. Today, after years of the community looking at different sites and discussing plans to make that dream become reality, the Hawai’i County Council is expected to approve a measure that will finally open the next chapter in the effort to construct a new public library in Waikōloa. Big Island Now.

Staging area for Kilauea Avenue work to eventually become parking lot. The Hawaii County Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments are collaborating on a project on the corner of Ponahawai Street and Kilauea Avenue in downtown Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Military looking into reports of large balloon off Hawaii. The Federal Aviation Administration notified pilots over the weekend of a sighting of a large white balloon roughly 600 miles east of Hawaii at an altitude of 40,000 to 50,000 feet. Star-Advertiser.


Pentagon official embarrassed by Haleakalā fuel spill on Maui; contract secured for excavation. Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall flew in from the Pentagon to speak at a Maui press conference held at the spill site within the Maui Space Surveillance Complex on Wednesday afternoon. Maui Now.

Council committee advances 7 appointed directors. Working quickly, a Maui County Council committee on Tuesday vetted and recommended for approval seven county department heads appointed by Mayor Richard Bissen Jr. Maui News.

Helicopter to begin defueling of luxury yacht that ran aground off Maui. The dirt road near Lipoa Point off Maui’s Honoapiilani Highway will be closed starting Thursday morning to allow a helicopter to lift barrels of fuel from a 94-foot luxury yacht that ran aground Monday over the dirt road and onto dry land where they can be transported offsite. Star-Advertiser. Maui News.  KITV4.

Maui County leads Hawaiʻi Hotel Performance Report in January 2023.
The data was compiled in the Hawai‘i Hotel Performance Report published by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. Maui Now.


High levels of fecal bacteria found in Kaua‘i streams, surfs. Environmental organization Surfrider Kaua‘i’s Blue Water Task Force found potentially dangerous amounts of bacteria in several of Kaua‘i’s most used streams and surf spots this week, suggesting high levels of fecal contamination. Garden Island.

Public input sought on Kapa‘a road project. The public is invited to share ideas to improve the safety and accessibility of Kawaihau Road by identifying potential road improvements along the Kawaihau Road corridor – between Hau‘a‘ala Road and Ka‘apuni Road. Kauai Now.

Passenger count hits new high in January. The number of passengers getting off domestic plane flights at Lihu‘e Airport last month was the best to begin an annual period at the transportation facility. Garden Island.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Polystyrene foam ban resurfaces in Honolulu, Maui police deny excessive force in telescope protester arrests, Big Island mayor cancels geothermal health studies, Kona homeless get new tent city, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Polystyrene lunch plate © 2017 All Hawaii News
An effort to bar Oahu businesses from using foam takeout containers has been renewed, this time by a Honolulu City Council member who said she opposed a similar proposal in 2004. Star-Advertiser.

‘Biocontrol Agents’ Could Be Used To Kill Albizia In Hawaii. Moths, mites, weevils, beetles, even a fungus, are under consideration as a way to stop the spread of the invasive tree in the islands. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s college graduates are managing student debt better than their peers anywhere else in the country, according to a new WalletHub report released this week. Tribune-Herald.

More than eight months after issuing a request for landowners in Hawaii willing to host renewable energy projects, Hawaiian Electric Co. said this week that it has compiled a list of potential sites, but it’s not saying where they are. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.’s earnings fell 12 percent in the second quarter, as its utilities saw a decrease in profits. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. reported second-quarter net income of $38.7 million, or 36 cents per diluted share, compared to net income of $44.1 million, or 41 cents per diluted share, for the same quarter a year ago. Pacific Business News.


The number of mumps cases at Oahu Community Correctional Center has more than doubled in less than a month, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the state’s outbreak, which now tops 200 cases. Star-Advertiser.

Fast-acting work crews prevented a mainland bat from escaping a container ship docked at Honolulu Harbor on Monday, according to state officials. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council has sided with an advisory board and an overwhelming community view to reject a developer’s proposal to rezone farmland on the fringe of Haleiwa town for residential use. Star-Advertiser.

A midrise rental apartment building reserved for residents with incomes up to the median in Honolulu will begin accepting tenant applications Aug. 18 in preparation for an opening by the end of this month. Star-Advertiser.

Howard Hughes Corporation Kakaako Development Update. Ward Warehouse in Kakaako closed earlier this week and is scheduled to be torn down by the end of the year. Hawaii Public Radio.

City transportation officials told a Honolulu City Council committee Thursday they are looking at redesigning and reducing the size of 11 traffic bulb-outs in Chinatown that merchants, customers and residents have complained about. Star-Advertiser.

A pedestrian safety measure in Chinatown is irking area businesses, who say it's hurting their bottom line. Hawaii News Now.

A nonprofit wants turn a former fishing shed at Kewalo Basin into a cultural and educational center. Hawaii News Now.

The median price for condominiums on Oahu hit an all-time high of $425,000 in July, rising 6 percent from the same month a year ago, according to a report by Honolulu-based real estate firm Locations. Pacific Business News.

Dozens of community members gathered Thursday inside Kapolei High School's cafeteria to have their questions and concerns heard, as Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa discussed the latest news out of the nation's capital. KITV.

The University of Hawaii Manoa student newspaper is hoping for a student fee increase to help it survive in the digital age. Civil Beat.

Former Honolulu police officer Jessie Laconsay,  who is already serving a 10 year sentence for sexually assaulting a teen, faces even more punishment. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

A bill that would allow Hawaii County to spend its geothermal royalties on “community health and safety projects” will be sent to the Planning Commission for review. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor Harry Kim has canceled two geothermal studies previously approved by the Windward Planning Commission. The studies would have looked at health impacts of geothermal development in Puna and dispersion of hydrogen sulfide during steam releases. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation maintenance crews had their hands — and their trucks — full Wednesday, as they cleared out rubbish from the Old Airport Park in preparation for a cleanup effort set for Aug. 9-10. West Hawaii Today.

Some of those who were previously camping at Old Kona Airport have been relocated under tents next to Hale Kikaha. Big Island Video News.

There's nothing fancy about the Big Island's new homeless safe zone. It's just a row of pop-up tents, a few portable toilets and some showers. Hawaii News Now.


Roads leading to the summit of Haleakala are once again open to the public today. Park officials say the construction convoy delivering equipment for the new Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope was successful. This follows the latest round of protests against the solar telescope under construction. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui police said a preliminary review of reports and video from the arrest of a protester on Haleakala Wednesday shows that officers acted within department policy in forcibly restraining him before he fell unconscious in handcuffs. Star-Advertiser.

Police force on Maui has been questioned following an injury reported during an arrest of one of the demonstrators during the Kāko’o Haleakala protest early Wednesday morning. Maui Now.

Some are claiming that Maui officers used excessive force during a protest of the controversial Haleakala telescope project, and are pointing to cell phone video circulating online as evidence of their charges. Hawaii News Now.

The Maui County Council’s Land Use Committee unanimously voted against approval for a conditional permit to allow special events at the “Lona Ridge” property in Wailuku. Maui Now.

A shortage of bus drivers on Maui has forced state officials to suspend bus rides for students at three schools and limit rides for students at one school. Associated Press.

Frustration is mounting on Maui as parents learn new bus pickup times for their kids still aren’t set or are set too late. KHON2.


Days from the first potential drop of 10 tons of rodenticide on Lehua Island, some are still demanding the state respond to unanswered questions. Garden Island.

The Navy announced today that it successfully tracked a medium-range ballistic missile target in flight off Kauai with the new AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar on July 27. Star-Advertiser.

When some Kauai County Councilmembers voted against funding to develop a Climate Action Plan, it was because they did not know what it hoped to accomplish. Garden Island.

Group sinks teeth into General Plan Update. Garden Island.

A Lihue man awaiting trial on charges of producing child pornography told Kauai police that he had sexually assaulted seven boys and girls over a span of eight or nine years, according to a recently unsealed U.S. District Court document. Star-Advertiser.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Honolulu police chief put on leave, Kauai warden cleared in sex therapy program, Hawaii receives $11.5M to fight homelessness, beach time for Obama family, state lawmakers seek more rail details, arrest in slaughter of 17 Laysan albatrosses, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

police department courtesy photo
Police Chief Louis Kealoha and deputies, courtesy Honolulu Police Department
Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha has been placed on paid leave for 30 days after being named as a target of a federal grand jury investigation that involves allegations of corruption and abuse of power. Civil Beat.

Embattled Police Chief Louis Kealoha was placed on paid leave and is no longer involved in running the Honolulu Police Department while his bosses, the Honolulu Police Commission members, decide what to do next, police and commission officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s Police Chief voluntarily stepped down yesterday following notification that he’s under federal investigation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Embattled Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha was relieved of his gun, badge and official duties Tuesday and placed himself on leave, one day after receiving a letter from a federal prosecutor notifying him that he is the target of an ongoing public corruption case. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha is stepping down for now. KITV.

Honolulu’s chief of police, Louis Kealoha, placed himself on restricted duty Tuesday and has agreed to go on leave for at least 30 days. KHON2.

Target letter chief received aimed at spurring his cooperation. Hawaii News Now.

A legislator, city councilman, former police officer and criminologist are among those who are calling for a change in leadership at the Honolulu Police Department after its top executive, Chief Louis Kealoha, was placed on paid leave Tuesday following confirmation that he was the target of a federal criminal investigation. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii’s share of new federal money to help combat homelessness is $11.5 million. Civil Beat.

Hawaii is receiving $11.5 million in federal grants to combat homelessness as the number of homeless people continues to rise, but the state missed out on a grant for permanent housing that could have brought in another $450,000. Associated Press.

The state Board of Education is aiming to have a new schools chief in place by the summer under a search timeline and process the board unanimously adopted Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Board of Education plans to have a new superintendent selected by June under a timeline and search process that it approved Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Blueprint For Education Still Being Refined, School Board Told. The document being prepared by a governor’s task force is expected to complement the Department of Education’s own strategic plan. Civil Beat.

Senators Assigned Committees. Hirono will return to serve on the Senate Judiciary while Schatz will join the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Civil Beat.

President Obama spent part of his fourth day of vacation in the islands at the beach with family and friends in Waimanalo. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama and his family spent three sunny hours at the beach at Bellows Air Force Station on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

POTUS Press Pool Prose. A New York Times reporter returns to Oahu to wax poetically about scenic vistas and McDonald’s. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines anticipates a three-month delay on the delivery of three new Airbus A321neo aircraft. Pacific Business News.

Island Air is leasing three new turboprop aircraft, the first addition to Hawaii interisland airline’s fleet since its acquisition early this year by Honolulu investment firm PacifiCap. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii's largest shipper, Matson Inc., is adding service to the Port of Naha in Okinawa as part of its expedited express service between Long Beach, California, and China. Pacific Business News.


With another tax-extension request coming their way, state lawmakers have now formally asked that rail’s federal partners brief them directly in Hawaii on the financially troubled project. Star-Advertiser.

A federal agency may have given Honolulu an April 30 deadline to pull a rail financing plan together, but a key state lawmaker said this week she isn’t feeling any pressure to approve enabling legislation by that date. Civil Beat.

City to auction off dozens of vehicles from overflowing tow yard. KHON2.

Some farmers moving into Waianae are trying to reassure their future neighbors they won't pollute the air with toxic chemicals. Hawaii News Now.

Stricter state standards may cause a Waipahu homeless shelter to close its doors. But residents are rallying around the Lighthouse Outreach Center. KITV.

The number of rooftop solar permits issued for Oahu dropped 40 percent in November compared with the same month last year. Star-Advertiser.

A man was arrested Tuesday in connection with the slaughter of 17 Laysan albatrosses at Kaena Point almost a year ago. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined Weston Solutions Inc. $25,000 for violating an order issued in 2010. Star-Advertiser.

The Cheesecake Factory Inc., whose bustling restaurant in the heart of Waikiki is one of the company's top-grossing locations in the U.S., is opening its second Hawaii restaurant at DeBartolo Development’s Ka Makana Alii mixed-use shopping mall in Kapolei, Pacific Business News has learned.


A geothermal health study could get more expensive for Hawaii County. Tribune-Herald.

Incoming Police Chief Paul Ferreira tapped into departmental internal affairs to select his second in command. West Hawaii Today.

Aina Lea Inc., which is developing a 1,099-acre Villages of Aina Lea on the Kohala Coast on the west side of the Big Island, has merged with New York’s Origo Acquisition Corp., which is publicly-traded on the Nasdaq. Pacific Business News.


The upper​ half-mile of the Pīpīwai Trail​ in the Kīpahulu District of Haleakalā National Park,​ including the viewpoint for Waimoku Falls, is now open​ to visitors. Maui Now.

In his executive two-year budget released Monday, Gov. David Ige has included $9.5 million to help fund the takeover of Maui Memorial Medical Center by Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. Maui News.

A Maui business that received a license to sell medical marijuana has revealed plans for its new dispensary, which will include space for a public cannabis education center. Associated Press.

One of the two Maui groups that received a medical marijuana dispensary license showcased its flagship dispensary Friday in Kahului, including its public cannabis education center and retail space. Maui News.

The infusion of drinking water Monday from a new well that has been cleared by the Health Department will alleviate low water pressure issues in East Maui communities caused by a pump problem, the Department of Water Supply reported. Maui News.

A federal jury found today that a warden at a Kauai jail did not subject female inmates to sexual humiliation and discrimination, and did not retaliate against a jail social worker who brought the suit. Star-Advertiser.

The warden of Kauai Community Correction Center was found not liable on Tuesday of sexual humiliation and discrimination. Garden Island.

Hoping to spur a resolution of a yearslong dispute over stream water in West Kauai, the state Agribusiness Development Corporation approved a five-year lease to the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative for its Puu Opae hydropower project. Civil Beat.