Showing posts with label homelessness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label homelessness. Show all posts

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Former Speaker Calvin Say retires from politics while Hee, Kahele return, Honolulu hikes property taxes on vacation rentals, Maui council unanimously opposes Air Force telescopes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hee, Kahele reemerge in Hawaii politics as Say exits. Former state senator and Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Clayton Hee and former U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele have reentered Hawaii politics this election cycle, while current Council Member Calvin Say, the former speaker of the state House of Representatives, has decided to retire from politics at age 72. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.  Big Island Video News.

State launches new marketing campaign in bid to recruit hundreds of new corrections officers. The state Department of Corrections is racing to fill nearly 400 positions at its facilities across the state — the highest number of vacancies it’s ever had. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii to cover palliative care through Medicaid.
Hawaii has become the first state in the U.S. to cover community palliative care services through Medicaid, according to Gov. Josh Green. Star-Advertiser.

Search for new CEO of Native Hawaiian trust stirs debate over qualifications. The Liliuokalani Trust, named after Hawaii’s last reigning queen, was founded in 1909 to support orphans and children experiencing poverty. As of 2022, the fund was worth more than $1 billion. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu’s New Budget Includes Higher Property Taxes For Short-Term Rentals. Council members stuck with the higher tax rate in part to avoid cutting more services in the city's $4.5 billion budget, $115 million of which is allocated for hazard back pay from the pandemic. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  KITV4.

The Backlog Of Honolulu Building Permits Is Taking A Toll On City Revenue. In the 2023 fiscal year alone, Honolulu received close to 20,000 permit applications but issued fewer than 15,000. The difference — carried over into the following year — represents an average of more than $1 billion in taxable construction work and nearly $7 million in building permit fees. Civil Beat.

Fireworks bill moves forward at Honolulu City Council. The Honolulu City Council held its first public hearing on Wednesday on whether or not Oahu should bring back sparklers and fountains. KHON2.

Sand Island business board sued by former lawmaker. A former state lawmaker and executive director of the Sand Island Business Association is suing its board of directors for discrimination and wrongful termination, claiming members allegedly made his job impossible in a toxic work environment. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Mililani care home fined $117K for operating without a license
. The state Health Department has fined Emmy’s Care Home LLC in Mililani a penalty of $117,000 for operating an adult residential care home without a license. Star-Advertiser.

DLNR to create separate position at Mauna ʻAla for Native Hawaiian cultural protocols.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Tuesday it will create a new position at the Mauna ʻAla Royal Mausoleum to focus solely on Native Hawaiian cultural protocols and community outreach. Hawaii Public Radio.

Undercover sweep of McCully-Moili’ili game rooms result in multiple arrests.
Law enforcement agencies conducted multiple raids on game rooms in the McCully-Moili’ili area Wednesday night resulting in several arrests. KHON2.

 Federal agents, state authorities and Honolulu police raided businesses Tuesday in both Kalihi and Mapunapuna. Sources say it was related to possible customs violations. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Homelessness down 28%: Officials credit increases in funding for services, affordable housing. It appears the number of homeless individuals on Hawaii Island has reached its lowest point in the last six years. Tribune-Herald.

Plan to turn Manago Hotel into housing nixed. A $5.5 million county grant to purchase a historic West Hawaii hotel and use it for affordable housing has fallen through. Tribune-Herald.

Bill to regulate bike tours advances. A proposal to impose regulations upon commercial bike tour operators in Hawaii County has advanced despite pushback from bicyclists and tour groups. Tribune-Herald.

Trace Amounts Of Chromium Detected In Laupāhoehoe Water. For the first time, trace amounts of chromium have been detected in water samples from the Laupāhoehoe P-2 Well, which is part of the County of Hawai‘i Department of Water Supply’s Laupāhoehoe-Kapehu system. Big Island Video News.


Maui County Council votes unanimously against new telescopes atop Haleakala. The Maui County Council voted unanimously Wednesday against a military plan to build up to seven new telescopes at the summit of Haleakala. ayor Richard Bissen doesn’t have to sign off on the resolution. However, a spokesperson in the mayor’s office said he is drafting a letter on the project that he will send to the Air Force. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Council Prioritizes Maui Fire Recovery And Housing In $1.7 Billion County Budget. The Maui County Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a $1.7 billion spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1, the county’s first budget since the devastating wildfires last summer. More money for affordable rentals, emergency management and firefighters is on tap for 2025. Civil Beat.

Maui Hits Pause Button On Managed Retreat Fund. A fund established to help Maui County deal with the impacts of climate change and sea level rise will be paused for three years and the money earmarked for it in the 2025 fiscal year used instead for the Pulelehua housing project north of Lahaina.  Civil Beat.

Tsuhako appointment as Human Concerns director advances with 7-2 committee vote.
Department of Housing and Human Concerns Director Lori Tsuhako faced critics Tuesday who questioned her responsiveness, accessibility and management of homelessness in Maui County. Maui Now.

2024 Point in Time Count shows 7% drop in people experiencing homelessness.
The overall homelessness count on Maui dropped by 7% from 704 individuals in 2023 to 654 in 2024, according to newly released data from Bridging the Gap. The report showed that there was a 26% decline in unsheltered homelessness. Maui Now.


Navy and NASA looking to renew land use deals
. Both the Navy and NASA propose to maintain long-term use of the land they occupy, and to satisfy the requirements for negotiations, both parties are working on creating an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the proposed real estate agreements. Garden Island.

Monday, December 18, 2023

Hawaii grapples with homeless laws, Chinese hackers target infrastructure, governor threatens Maui rental moratorium, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Homeless laws continue to face legal challenges. In 2022 Hawaii had over 8,000 homeless people, including 300 children — resulting in the second-highest per capita rate of homelessness in the nation, according to Gov. Josh Green. Star-Advertiser.

Green’s Homeless Coordinator Is Leaving Post.
Gov. Josh Green has not named a replacement yet for James Koshiba, who has been in the role for just under a year.  Civil Beat.

Gov. Josh Green appoints Tyson Miyake to Maui House seat. Gov. Josh Green has appointed Tyson Miyake — a Maui High School graduate and former chief of staff to then-Mayor Michael Victorino — to the state House representing Wailuku-Waikapu on Maui. Star-Advertiser.

Chinese hackers targeting assets in Hawaii.
A water utility and other government and private assets in Hawaii have been targeted this year by hackers working for China’s People’s Liberation Army who are looking for ways to undermine U.S. military capabilities in the Asia-Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

Deep-Sea Mining Vessel Changes Course As Hawaiians Protest From Shore. The Hidden Gem was scheduled to dock in Honolulu Harbor, but it never arrived as demonstrators gathered nearby. Civil Beat.

Coast Guard gets new ship assigned to Hawaii.
The Coast Guard has been steadily boosting its footprint in the Pacific.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii State Hospital Workers Were Assaulted More Than 1,700 Times Over The Past 11 Years. Hawaii officials have struggled to address the problem despite building a $160 million forensic hospital designed to improve safety. Civil Beat.

State sues makers of ‘forever chemicals’.
Hawaii Attorney General Anne Lopez filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state Thursday against 25 manufacturers of what is commonly called forever chemicals found in aqueous film-forming foam for use in firefighting, as well as common household products, including cookware, stain and water-resistant fabrics, cleaners, paints and carpeting. Star-Advertiser.

Public input sought in selection of next UH president
. University of Hawaii students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors in the 10-campus system are being asked along with community members to help in the search for the next university president by completing a survey. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Capitol pool repairs on track for completion. Long-awaited repairs to one of the ground-level reflecting pools at the state Capitol are coming to a close after decades of leaking it caused in the chamber level — just in time for the next legislative session. Star-Advertiser.

Former lawmaker Whitney Anderson remembered for life of service and heart of gold.  Loved ones and community members celebrated the life and legacy of former state lawmaker Whitney Anderson on Sunday morning in Kaneohe. Anderson died last month at his Waimanalo home. He was 91. Hawaii News Now.

Milestone is marked for recovery efforts of Nihoa millerbird. The International Union for Conservation of Nature on Monday downlisted the bird, also known as ululu, from critically endangered to endangered because a second population has been established in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.


Ewa Politician Says Responsible Gun Owners Will Make Hawaii Safer. Not Everyone Is So Sure. The town hall on Wednesday, organized by state Rep. Diamond Garcia, who represents parts of Varona Village, Ewa and Kapolei, was intended to discuss rising crime rates on West Oahu, as well as address questions from residents curious about how to obtain licenses to carry. Civil Beat.

City measures pave way for transit, stadium development. The Honolulu City Council has adopted two related measures to expand transit-oriented development and rezone 227 acres around Skyline’s Halawa station and the shuttered Aloha Stadium. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Military concludes ‘gravity defueling’ at Red Hill as 60,000 gallons remain. The military task force draining the fuel from the Navy’s underground Red Hill fuel facility announced Friday that it had wrapped up the last of its major milestones for the year, completing “gravity defueling” operations. Star-Advertiser.

Planners approve state permit for Kualoa Ranch expansion.
The Honolulu Planning Commission has voted to adopt a state special-use permit to allow Kualoa Ranch Inc. to expand business operations at its Windward Oahu property. Star-Advertiser.

EMS staffing shortage leaves one-third of Oahu’s rigs out of service for 12-hour period. Officials said reasons include a combination of approved holiday vacation leave, maternity leave and illness. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Police: Drugs a factor in half the Big Island’s traffic deaths. That sobering statistic was released Friday as police kicked off its holiday campaign — “If You Fell Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI” — with grant funding assistance from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Tribune-Herald.

North Kohala Water Notice: Two Wells Inoperable. The Hawaiʻi County Department of Water Supply is asking customers from Hāwī To Hala‘ula to reduce water use by at least 10 percent. Big Island Video News.


Hawaii Tourism Authority to vote Thursday on Maui recovery plan.
The forecast for Maui visitor arrivals is still down through 2024, and the overall visitor count to the state is lower at a time when state revenue is needed to support Maui. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Green threatens short-term rental moratorium on Maui. Gov. Josh Green hopes that owners of 3,000 short-term rental units on Maui convert to long-term housing in January for survivors of the Maui wildfires — or face a ban on short-term rentals and higher property taxes. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Maui Now. KITV4.

Hawaii House: Short- And Long-Term Solutions ‘Essential’ To Survival Of West Maui. A final report identifies dozens of legislative proposals to ensure that another Lahaina fire does not occur. But if one does, Hawaii will be better prepared. Civil Beat.

Maui developers seek subsidies to alter projects and help fire evacuees.
Maui County officials are being asked to subsidize at least two planned residential subdivisions to affordably house people displaced by the Aug. 8 wildfire that destroyed roughly 3,500 homes in Lahaina. Star-Advertiser.

 Kahoolawe Holds Lessons For Maui’s Environmental Recovery From The Wildfires. The severely degraded island has undergone two decades of restoration work after years of overgrazing, bombing and burning.  Civil Beat.


BLNR weighs in on Coco Palms land parcels issue. A community group fighting to stop the construction of the Coco Palms Resort was awarded joint temporary access rights, along with the developer, for a small piece of disputed state land during a Board of Land and Natural Resources meeting on Dec. 15. Garden Island.

Namahana gets green light from planning commission. The Kaua‘i County Planning Commission unanimously approved the Namahana School Special Use Permit application at its Tuesday, Dec. 12, meeting. Garden Island.

Agriculture Department to host pesticide collection on Kauai. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Pesticides Branch is running a free pesticide disposal program on Kauai for commercial users of pesticides, the HDOA announced Saturday.Star-Advertiser. Kauai Now.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Smith confirmed as Hawaii federal judge, microplastics found in human placentas, snowfall on Mauna Kea, Zoom testimony returns to Kauai County Council, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

US Senate Confirms Miske Prosecutor To Federal Bench.  The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Micah Smith as a federal judge for the U.S. District Court of Hawaii. Smith, a Kauai High School graduate, is an assistant U.S. attorney, who early in his career worked as a law clerk for former Supreme Court Justice David Souter.  Civil Beat. Garden Island.

State aims to cut unsheltered homelessness in half by 2026. There are around 6,500 homeless individuals in the state, according to last year's Point in Time Count, which provides a snapshot of the homeless population. More than 4,000 of those individuals live in unsheltered areas like beaches, parks or sidewalks. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii state Capitol soaked due to leaking reflecting pool. Lawmakers earlier this year appropriated $33.5 million to repair and renovate the pools after appropriating $9.8 million in 2021 for the more than $30 million job. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Should Use Artificial Intelligence To Improve Fire Forecasts, Researchers Say. University of Hawaii researchers are pushing to kickstart the second phase of a yearslong project to help the state better forecast wildfires by using artificial intelligence. Civil Beat.

Retirement savings program unlikely to start before 2025.  Established by a bill signed by then-Gov. David Ige in 2022, the Hawaii Retirement Savings Program is intended to help Hawaii residents prepare for the future by allowing them to enroll in a state-managed individual retirement plan. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Prison Oversight Meetings Are Missing A Key Player — The Prisons Director. Tommy Johnson told the oversight coordinator that neither he nor his staff will attend the meetings, though they'll engage in other ways. Civil Beat.

UH researchers’ study sheds light on prevalence of microplastics. Pregnant women in Hawaii are very likely to have plastic fragments in their placentas, University of Hawaii researchers have discovered, raising further concerns about the long-term health implications of microplastics. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.


HART OKs federal agreement to fund rail. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board of directors Wednesday approved a federal plan to fund the city rail line’s ongoing construction to a planned station in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Rail construction causes Kalihi street to be closed through July. All lanes of Kohou Street are now closed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, due to rail construction. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Honolulu planes to be diverted to another runway November 29 through December 8 due to construction, warn of possible delays. The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) will divert all aircraft arriving and departing at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) to Runway 26L from 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 29 through Friday, December 8 due to ongoing remediation work on Runway 8L. KITV4.

Safety concerns at Puuloa Range in Ewa Beach addressed. State Rep. Rose Martinez and U.S. Marine Corps officials said Wednesday that they have come to a “mutually agreeable consensus among all involved parties” regarding potential lead poisoning of soil around the Marines’ Puuloa Range Training Facility in Ewa Beach. Star-Advertiser.

Health Department says PFAS detected in Waialua water system. The Hawaii Department of Health reports that perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, have for the first time been detected in water samples collected from a water system in Waialua. Star-Advertiser.

Navy video shows no widespread reef damage from plane in Kaneohe Bay.
Underwater video taken of a Navy P-8A Poseidon plane sitting in Kaneohe Bay shows two points of the plane resting on coral reef but no extensive damage. Star-Advertiser.

Large boulders come crashing down in east Honolulu amid drenching rains.
Large boulders, including one about the size of a compact car, crashed down in an Aina Haina community on Wednesday morning amid heavy rains. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Snowfall Closes Hawaiʻi Summit Access Roads. A layer of snow closed the road up to Maunakea on Wednesday, as a Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for Hawaiʻi island summits. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Lawmakers tour progress of upgrades at Kona Community Hospital. Two West Hawai‘i state lawmakers on Wednesday were given a guided tour by hospital leaders of upgrades underway at Kona Community Hospital on the Big Island. Big Island Now.

HVNP takes steps to protect nesting nene. Parts of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park have been closed to give a couple of nene parents some space. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.


‘We are trying’: In wake of subpoenas, Maui’s mayor defends response to state investigation
. HNN Investigates has obtained copies of three subpoenas issued to Maui County as part of the investigation into the devastating fires. In an interview Wednesday, Mayor Richard Bissen said they are doing their best to cooperate, but experts say if that was true, subpoenas should not be necessary. Hawaii News Now.

Input invited on the role of tourism in supporting Maui’s recovery.  The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority will hold a community meeting to discuss proposed actions for tourism in support of Maui’s recovery. The meeting will be held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Morgado Hall on Monday, Dec. 4, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.  Maui Now.

Proposal offers tax incentive for short-term rentals that house displaced residents. Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen is proposing a bill that would offer tax exemptions for short-term rental owners who house residents displaced by the Aug. 8 wildfires.  Maui News. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Maui officials on standby to stop heavy rains from sending ash into storm drains. Maui officials were on standby Wednesday to prevent ash from August's deadly wildfire in Lahaina from flowing into storm drains after forecasters said a winter storm could bring heavy rain and strong winds to the island. KITV4.


Commentary:  Zoom testimony returns to Kaua‘i County Council. The Kaua‘i County Council is once again accepting remote public testimony “live” via the internet. Members of the public must sign up via email to testify no later than noon on the day prior to the meeting. Garden Island.

Lydgate Campground to close Dec. 6.  The Department of Parks and Recreation is announcing that the area surrounding the Lydgate Campground will be closed on Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Kauai Now.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

ACLU sues over Honolulu homeless sweeps, Gov. Green bails out Lt. Gov. Luke's budget overruns, feds probe for money laundering in state real estate transactions, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Lawsuit claims Honolulu’s homeless policies are unconstitutional.  Honolulu’s homeless sweeps and other “anti-houseless” laws should be ruled illegal and unconstitutional because they violate Hawaii’s state constitutional prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Oahu Circuit Court by the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Hawaii LG Sylvia Luke Needed Bailout From Governor, Documents Show. Just before the close of the fiscal year, Gov. Josh Green stepped in with a $49,000 solution to a budget problem that threatened to expose Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke to possible liability and removal from office. Civil Beat.

Feds Closely Watching Local Property Deals For Signs Of Money Laundering. Real estate purchases by anonymous shell companies can distort appraisals and tax assessments. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a branch of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, has begun requiring title companies on Oahu, Maui, Big Island and Kauai to report the identities of the true owners for all-cash purchases of residential real estate exceeding $300,000.  Civil Beat.

Businesses, residents demand more clarity on how new ocean recreation fee will be used. The state is preparing to collect a new $1 fee from every customer of commercial vessels, watercraft and water sports equipment operators. Hawaii News Now.

Law Enforcement Standards Board Inches Toward Hiring Key Staff. The board charged with overseeing police statewide still can’t develop standards, leaving Hawaii the only state unable to certify its law enforcement officers. Civil Beat.

Angelo named as Hawaii’s Consumer Advocate.  The state has named Michael S. Angelo executive director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Division of Consumer Advocacy. Angelo assumed the position on July 17. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Defense Contractors Likely To Get Probation For Campaign Violations. Clifford Chen and Lawrence Lum Kee, formerly of Navatek LLC, were indicted along with their boss, Martin Kao, after making illegal donations to a senator's reelection efforts. Civil Beat.


EPA hosting public meeting to create new community group for Red Hill defueling.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is hosting a community meeting Thursday night in Salt Lake, joined by Navy officials, to share more information about the formation of the “Community Representation Initiative.” Hawaii News Now.

HPD’s newly converted fleet of pickups taken off patrols after safety concerns surface.  In June, Honolulu police converted 10 Chevy Colorados into the department’s newest patrol vehicles. The trucks were purchased during the pandemic using COVID relief funds. Hawaii News Now.

Planners OK more mixed-use development in Halawa.  The Honolulu Planning Commission voted Wednesday to recommend rezoning 227 acres around Skyline’s Halawa station to allow for more development of mixed-use business, residential and affordable housing sites near the state’s planned New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District. Star-Advertiser.

Former site of Stadium Bowl-o-Drome will be new home for DHHL’s first rental project. The 23-story building in Moiliili will include 278 affordable apartments exclusively for beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Home Lands program. Hawaii News Now.

Developer renews plan for homes below Koko Crater.  A developer has revived plans to extend a subdivision of million-dollar homes in Hawaii Kai onto land zoned for preservation after making similar efforts twice before in recent decades. Star-Advertiser.

Nearly 300 tsunami hazard road signs installed across Oahu. The city says this is part of phase 2 of its project to alert people where the danger zone begins and ends. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Council votes to change process for ag land tax assessments.  An effort to offer Big Island commercial farmers a better break on their taxes took a new form Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

UH reaches agreement with hackers in Hawaii Community College ransomware attack.  The University of Hawaii has reached an agreement with those responsible for a ransomware attack on the Hawaii Community College network. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

Board hearing over TMT construction is postponed.  Land Board Chair Dawn Chang has formally declared she can be fair and unbiased in the matter despite having previously worked for the University of Hawaii and the Department of Land and Natural Resources in matters related to the Mauna Kea summit and its astronomy uses. Star-Advertiser.


Roadway along rural Alelele Point reopens 3 months after rockfall.  Maui County’s roadway along rural Alelele Point in East Maui reopened Tuesday, nearly three months after a rockfall forced emergency work to remove rock debris and stabilize the cliffside.  Maui News.

Outrigger finalizes acquisition of Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel; welcomes Maui Brewing Co. restaurant this summer. Outrigger Resorts & Hotels finalized its acquisition of the iconic Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel on Wednesday. The 11-acre, 432-room property is now rebranded as Outrigger Kā‘anapali Beach Resort.  Maui Now.

School bus routes modified to handle driver shortage. Some Maui public school students will head to campus on modified or consolidated routes, similar to last school year, as the island deals with a shortage of 29 bus drivers, the state Department of Education said.  Maui News.


Kaua‘i Bus to offer free passes to high school students this upcoming school year.  With ongoing staffing shortages for school bus drivers, the state will partner with counties for the second year in a row to provide transportation for students attending Hawai‘i public schools. Kauai Now.

Kauaʻi Community College begins chancellor search.  Margaret Sanchez was appointed interim chancellor on Jan. 3, 2023 after the previous chancellor, Joseph Daisy, retired in December 2022. Kauai Now.

Tour companies host free sightseeing event at Kikialoa Small Boat Harbor.  Tour companies at Kikialoa Small Boat Harbor gave free Napali Coast sightseeing tours to more than 200 Kaua‘i residents on Wednesday, July 26, launching what organizers say will be an annual event for locals. Garden Island.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Hawaii Convention Center is leaking, Pearl Harbor to get $2.8B dry dock, Legislature passes session midpoint, bankruptcy shuts down Hawaiian Isles coffee, water company, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The Hawaii Convention Center says a major rooftop leak problem threatens to cause structural damage to the $350 million complex. So far, the leaks haven’t led to cancellations. But the center’s manager said it has forced the venue to move events to other rooms. Hawaii News Now.

Debt shuts down Hawaiian Isles water, coffee companies. Two familiar brands in the islands — Hawaiian Isles Water Co. and Hawaiian Isles Coffee Co. — have shut down under a pile of debt and in the wake of ongoing bankruptcy proceedings, according to the companies’ attorney. Star-Advertiser.

Navy awards $2.8 billion contract for Pearl Harbor dock replacement. Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Pacific awarded a $2.8 billion task order Friday under a previously awarded contract to Honolulu-based joint venture Dragados/ Hawaiian Dredging/Orion JV to replace Dry Dock 3 at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. Star-Advertiser.

Public Utilities Commission tackles energy equity with new docket. A new docket seeks to define energy equity and integrate energy justice practices into the commission's proceedings.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Almost 1,000 bills advance at Hawaii Legislature.  Tax relief for residents and an environmental impact fee for visitors are among nearly 1,000 proposals in bills that have advanced through the midpoint of this year’s legislative session. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers consider bills to increase funding for at-home caregivers. Hawaii lawmakers are considering bills that would provide support and pay those who care for sick or aging family members. Experts said at-home caregivers save the state millions if not billions of dollars by taking care of their loved ones. KITV4.

Commentary: Plenty Of Legislators Support Term Limits. So Why Won't They Let The Public Vote On Them? Civil Beat surveyed many of Hawaii's 76 lawmakers or researched their positions on term limits. Here's what we found. Civil Beat.

Nowhere To Go: Lack Of Housing And Staff Is Undercutting Efforts To Deal With Homelessness In Hawaii. Homeless people face a number of barriers to getting the help, including a dearth of available housing and a safety net system that isn't always designed to meet their needs. Civil Beat.

Here’s What Hawaii Can Learn From Other States About Universal Preschool. The Ready Keiki initiative is a mixed-delivery system that aims to create more than 465 classrooms, increase subsidies for lower-income families and collaborate with universities to update their teaching curriculum by having a dedicated preschool school degree. Civil Beat.

Hawaii jobless rates higher than reported.  Upward revisions undertaken by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics boosted the rates for the last four months of 2022, including increasing December’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate by a half-percentage point, to 3.7% from 3.2%. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu City Council begins overhaul of land use ordinance.
Overhauling and updating the city’s more than 30-year-old land use ordinance — a guiding planning document used for orderly development on Oahu — has begun. Star-Advertiser.

Defense contract to study nonfuel uses for Red Hill. Two local companies, CommPac and SMS Hawaii, will be assisting defense contractor Nakupuna Cos. in conducting public outreach and soliciting community ideas about alternative uses for the Navy’s Red Hill facility once its closed for fueling operations. Star-Advertiser.

Big Pay Hikes On The Horizon For City Leaders. The increases arise amid a wider conversation about how to hire and retain workers. Civil Beat.

Honolulu police officers are one step closer to getting a schedule change. The police union has agreed to a a three-day-a-week, 12-hour patrol shift to address staffing shortages in patrol divisions. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu plans expansion of homeless housing and outreach. The city expects to announce two new tiny-home kauhale locations this year with a third to follow as Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s administration continues to look at ways to reduce homelessness while keeping struggling families from becoming homeless. Star-Advertiser.

Historic land sells for $36.5M on Oʻahu's North Shore. The historic Dillingham Ranch on Oʻahu’s North Shore was just acquired by an undisclosed buyer for $36.5 million. The sale closed March 1.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Watchdog Cites ‘Inhumane Conditions’ And Security Lapse At Oahu Jail. The correctional oversight commission observed gates left open and continued problems with the electronic medical records system at the Oahu jail. Civil Beat.

Miske Case: Judge To Decide If Defense Attorney’s Removal Should Stand. Thomas Otake has been at least temporarily terminated over alleged conflicts of interest. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Big Island Police Shoot And Kill Man In Kailua-Kona. Officers shot and killed a man Friday in the course of investigating a shooting from earlier in the week, according to a press release from Hawaii police. There is no body camera footage of the incident because the plainclothes vice detectives involved do not wear cameras, the department said. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Hawaii News Now.

Mediation urged to curb evictions: State legislation aims to help prevent homelessness. A bill seeking to establish prelitigation mediation in eviction cases has passed the state House and has received committee referrals in the Senate. Tribune-Herald.

Lofty solid waste goal set: County Council resolution supports trash-conversion facility.  Hawaii County has set a goal to process and recycle all solid waste on the Big Island in only three years. Tribune-Herald.


Housing project gets quick boost from County Council. Change in land use is final hurdle for 202-unit Kuikahi Village. Maui News.

Bissen directors cross final hurdle. The Maui County Council on Friday approved all 12 of Mayor Richard Bissen Jr.’s department head appointments. Maui News.

Two council members to step back from rental housing discussion. Both Tasha Kama and Gabe Johnson had been board members of MEO, landowner of the project site. Maui News.

Amendment needed for overnight camping on ag land, high court rules. The state Land Use Commission prevailed Friday in a Hawaii Supreme Court case regarding a special permit for overnight camping on prime agricultural land. Star-Advertiser.

Maui physicians back bill to lessen their tax burden. Bill would exempt medical providers from GET for treating some patients. Maui News.

Maui’s Kulanihakoi High School is empty and stuck in bureaucratic limbo.  Government  and community leaders continue to argue about how to get past more than a decade of bureaucratic missteps that have left Kihei with a long-delayed high school that has cost taxpayers $180 million so far but can’t be used, including a $16 million traffic roundabout that failed to meet the state Land Use Commission’s pedestrian-safety requirements to open the school. Star-Advertiser.


Passenger count eases at Lihu‘e Airport in February. For the first time in months, the number of people getting off domestic flights at Lihu‘e Airport was lower than the same comparable period a year earlier. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i COVID-19 update: “Kraken” subvariant in the wastewater. The state Department of Health reported a relatively low number of COVID-19 cases last week, with only 34 new cases reported on Kaua‘i between Feb. 28 and March 6. Garden Island.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Governor's new homelessness emergency comes with rules; tourist fee, general excise tax plans scaled back; judge ends aquarium fishing ban, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The state's homelessness proclamation isn't new, but now has a few 'rules'.  This isn't the first time a Hawaiʻi governor has issued an emergency proclamation on homelessness. However, Gov. Green's coordinator says this could be the first with cultural and environmental limitations. Hawaii Public Radio.

Green pledges new approach to state government. Gov. Josh Green added new details to a range of ideas including how to add more tourist fees to access state parks and trails while renewing his promise that his administration will be transparent and “nimble.” Star-Advertiser.

Governor’s ‘green fee’ plan scaled back to target park, trail and beach users. In bills introduced to the Legislature by his office, the governor’s proposal is now for what could be called a “paradise passport,” targeting only people who visit “a state-owned park, beach, forest, trail, or other state-owned recreational natural areas.” Hawaii News Now.

Tax breaks urged for ALICE families: Gov. Green pivots from GET reform efforts. Removing the general excise tax on food and medicine might not be the best way to help struggling Hawaii residents, Gov. Josh Green said Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Lawmakers Want More Information Made Public On Inmate Deaths In State Prisons And Jails. House and Senate measures would require corrections officials to announce each prisoner death on a website, and include information on what caused each fatality. Civil Beat.

Upping the ante: State lawmakers introduce several gambling bills. A raft of gambling-related bills have been introduced in the state Legislature and have passed first readings on their respective chamber’s floors. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii arrivals hit 9.25M in spite of Japan drop-off. Hawaii ended 2022 with less than 90% of the visitor arrivals that it had in the pre-pandemic 2019, mostly because of the drop in international visitors, especially from Japan, which is historically Hawaii’s top international market. Star-Advertiser.

Feds award Hawaii Title I schools $73 million. Hawaii’s Title I public schools, which serve a disproportionate number of students living in poverty, will get $73 million in added federal funding for the 2023-2024 school year — an increase of $15 million over 2022. Star-Advertiser.

Researchers Hope Hawaii Lawmakers Fund Cancer Research This Year. A new study would seek to get to the bottom of why Native Hawaiians, Filipinos and Pacific Islanders face high rates of many cancers. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi researchers' work could change life expectancy of mesothelioma patients. Michele Carbone and Haining Yang, both doctors leading a team of UH researchers, received several grants for the project — including a $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2019. Hawaii Public Radio.

Jim Leahey was the golden voice of Hawaii sports. Leahey, who was considered the “voice of University of Hawaii sports” during a six-decade broadcasting career, died on Monday morning at The Queen’s Medical Center. He was 80. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Maui Now.  Kauai Now.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.


New Hawaii Governor Plans A Tougher Stance On Red Hill. Environmental advocates want the Green administration to demand more from the Navy. Civil Beat.

Former police chief prevails in defamation suit brought by ex-SHOPO president. A jury on Monday sided with former Police Chief Susan Ballard in a defamation suit. The suit was brought by Tenari Maafala, who stepped down as president of the police union in 2018. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Under pilot, some repeat law-breakers in Chinatown are being given a choice: Jail or treatment. Under a pilot project, treatment is approved by the court before a judge ever rules on the case. The idea is to get homeless drug addicts into residential drug treatment programs right after they’re arrested. Hawaii News Now.

A new development offers affordable land for small farms on the North Shore. Developer Peter Savio is launching a new agricultural project called “Orchard Plantation,” which provides 155 acres of Waialua orchard land. Hawaii News Now.

Avalon Group buys Downtown Honolulu building; to convert part of it into housing. Avalon Group said Monday that its newly-acquired 378,000-square-foot Davies Pacific Center office building along Bishop Street will be converted to a mixed-use development with up to 120,000-square-feet of office and retail uses and the balance will be converted into up to 400 workforce and market-rate residential units. KITV4.

Marine biologists near end of 5-year study on health of Hanauma Bay. The University of Hawai‘i Institute for Marine Biology is winding up a five-year visitor capacity study on Hanauma Bay on Oʻahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Ban on West Hawaii aquarium fish collecting ends. An Oahu Circuit Court judge lifted an injunction Monday that effectively ends a five-year ban on aquarium fish collection in the waters of West Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Pōhakuloa Training Area receives funding to protect and restore native plants and species.
The U.S. Army Garrison-Hawai‘i, Pōhakuloa Training Area, located between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in the Saddle Road region, will receive $1.3 million for its Nāpu‘u Natural Resource Protection: Mitigating Rare Plant Impacts project. Big Island Now.


County council fails to override Victorino’s vetoes. Former mayor had nixed bills on housing resale rules, cultural overlay map. With a new majority on the Maui County Council, members failed to override two vetoes by former Mayor Michael Victorino, who prior to the end of his term opposed a bill relating to deed restrictions and the resale of workforce housing and another measure to establish a cultural overlay map for the county. Maui News.

‘A Sleepover For County Council’: Marathon Maui Meeting Raises Concerns About Public Participation. In the wake of a tumultuous, 18-hour long meeting in which residents said they felt “disenfranchised” and held “hostage” while waiting to have a say in their local government’s decision-making process, the new Maui County Council chair says she’s planning to change up the rules to make it easier to testify.  Civil Beat.

Kanahā Pond on Maui to get predator-proof fencing to protect nesting habitats. Pono Pacific Land Management was recently awarded a contract by the state to install 8,000 linear feet of an anticipated 14,785-foot predator-proof fence at Kanahā Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary on Maui. Maui Now.

3 days of downpours bring 23.61″ of rain to Puʻu Aliʻi, Molokaʻi, up to 15″ to parts of Maui. Crews on Maui continued to assess flooding and saturation from three days of heavy rainfall. Maui Now. Maui News.


Dead sperm whale removed from Kaua’i beach; buried at undisclosed location.
  A disappearing act of colossal proportions has taken place at on the East Side of Kaua‘i, after county, state and federal personnel worked through the weekend to remove a 120,000-pound sperm whale from Lydgate Beach Park — and bury it at an undisclosed location. Kauai Now. Star-Advertiser.

Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kaua‘i receives funding for invasive species. Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands is set to receive funding for detection and management of high-impact aquatic and terrestrial invasive species. Kauai Now.

County property taxes due soon. County Department of Finance officials said in a press release that the second installment of real property taxes for the 2022-23 tax year is due on Feb. 20. Garden Island.


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Gov. Green's first State of the State address seeks tax reform, solutions to homelessness, climate crisis. More news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Gov. Josh Green shares vision for Hawaii. Gov. Josh Green outlined a bold vision for Hawaii’s future that includes tax reform and ideas to turn Hawaii into a global model addressing climate change — immediately after Green signed his first emergency proclamation on homelessness, which received a standing ovation Monday in a joint session of the state House and Senate. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now.  Maui News. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.  KHON2.

Full text of Gov. Josh Green's State of the State address can be found here.

Decision forthcoming to fill 2 state House vacancies. A social worker, a fire commissioner and a couple of current or former County Council members are in the running to fill two vacant seats in Hawaii’s Legislature. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Lawmakers Seek Shields Against Supreme Court Rulings On Abortion, Guns. Lawmakers are considering statewide regulations on concealed carry and also plan to debate measures protecting doctors who perform abortions. Civil Beat.

‘One set of rules’: Counties look to state for uniformity on concealed carry guns. Every county has been working on its own way of dealing with concealed weapon permits and identifying sensitive places. Now, there’s a push for statewide legislation to clear up confusion. Hawaii News Now.

Teacher shortage complicates Hawaii’s preschool plan. As the state embarks on its ambitious plan to offer universal access to preschool by creating 465 new classrooms by 2032, among the questions stakeholders are asking most is, How will so many additional preschool teachers be found in the midst of the state’s chronic teacher shortage? Star-Advertiser.

Soft hotel occupancy may persist in first quarter. December hotel occupancy was 71.3%, down 9 percentage points from December 2019, according to the Hawaii Hotel Performance Report published by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, using data from STR, a global hospitality data and analytics company. Star-Advertiser.


Police In Hawaii Killed 2 People Last Year. Is It A Sign Of A Downward Trend? The quiet year for the Honolulu Police Department meant it fell marginally on a scale used to compare police killings across departments of comparable size, policing communities with similar populations over the past decade. Civil Beat.

Hundreds petition against a new bar planned for a residential area in Waikiki.
The concern is around increased noise and disruptive activity to the residential area just mauka of Kuhio Avenue. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Roth Presents County Priorities To Lawmakers. Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth appeared before a joint meeting of the Hawaiʻi House Finance Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Monday, offering a perspective from Hawaiʻi County as the 2023 legislative session gets underway. Big Island Video News.

Prisoner in Dana Ireland murder might get freedom. Attorneys for a Native Hawaiian man who has been imprisoned for more than 20 years for the 1991 sexual assault, kidnapping and murder of a white woman visiting Hawaii will ask a judge today to dismiss his conviction due to new evidence — including DNA testing — in the case. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

HFD seeks OK to hire grant manager. The Hawaii Fire Department is seeking County Council approval to hire a consultant to manage a nearly half-million dollar federal grant recently awarded to the county. West Hawaii Today.

Retreat expansion headed to contested case hearing. A proposal to more than double the number of rooms at a North Kohala retreat is headed to a contested case hearing after three neighbors successfully petitioned the Leeward Planning Commission. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County officials ‘eager’ to work with Green on proposals. The Maui County Council’s chairwoman is “eager” to discuss a partnership to help the homeless by setting up tiny home villages across the state, as proposed Monday by Gov. Josh Green during his State of the State address. Maui News.

$198,000 grant allows for launch of Native Hawaiian Owner-Builder project on Molokaʻi. Hawai‘i Community Lending announced grant awards totaling $1.3 million that aim to increase economic stability on Moloka‘i by helping the island’s native Hawaiian community to actualize affordable homeownership. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i public schools to receive $3.1M in federal funds. A federal funding mechanism that provides money for elementary and secondary education is projected to deliver more than $3 million to the County of Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Public may weigh in as Kaua‘i utility seeks 50-year permit. Members of the public have 60 days to comment on a Habitat Conservation Plan developed by the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative, which is seeking a 50-year incidental take authorization from state and federal agencies. Kauai Now.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Coral more resilient than thought to climate change, federal plan to protect 50 Hawaii species, state to receive federal funds for online education, Hawaiian homelands, homelessness, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Researchers study Hawaii coral ©2022 All Hawaii News

Hawaiian Corals Show Surprising Resilience to Warming Oceans. A new study that included researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi is painting a more optimistic picture of how Hawaiian corals are faring in warmer, more acidic oceans. Big Island Now.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife drafts plan to protect 50 Hawaii endangered and threatened species. The Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office has published a draft recovery plan for 50 endangered species within the Hawaiian archipelago which covers 35 plants, 13 invertebrates and two birds. KITV4.

Hawaii schools to receive $72 million in federal funds for online learning. More than $72 million in federal COVID-19 assistance funds has been awarded to Hawaii public schools, and a handful of charter and private schools, to help close the “digital equity” gap suffered by students who don’t have a way to connect to the internet at home. Star-Advertiser.

Congress OKs record $22 million for Hawaiian Home Lands. Federal lawmakers have committed to a record funding appropriation for the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now.

Wide range of bills advance, stall at mid-point of Hawaii legislative session. State lawmakers halfway through the 60-day legislative session are poised to grant raises to public worker union members and infuse millions of dollars to help Native Hawaiians afford homes on their ancestral lands. Star-Advertiser.

These 5 Bills Could Be Game Changers For Hawaii Residents Struggling To Afford A Place To Live. Hawaii lawmakers have proposed bills steering hundreds of millions of state and federal dollars toward a range of housing solutions. Civil Beat.

Onishi pushes back on retirement fund bill. A bill that would establish a state-managed retirement fund program for employees might be dead on arrival unless proponents make fundamental changes to how it operates. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Seemed Poised To Adopt A Vape Flavor Ban. Then Came The Amendments. The amendments were necessary, Rep. Ryan Yamane said, and were in no way influenced by thousands in donations from tobacco companies and lobbyists. Civil Beat.

Ige Appoints Utilities Lawyer To Public Utilities Commission. Naomi Kuwaye’s experience includes representing a $16 billion energy company in a major case before the commission she will oversee if confirmed. Civil Beat.

Delay expected for national park air tour plans in Hawaii. Proposals to cap tour flights over Hawai‘i Volcanoes and Haleakala national parks — or ban them altogether — are among the options being considered as two federal agencies work to draft mandated air tour management plans that are more than 20 years overdue. Star-Advertiser.


Public workshops scheduled for Ala Wai flood risk abatement. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City and County of Honolulu are inviting the public to participate in the Ala Wai Canal Flood Risk Management General Reevaluation Study in a series of virtual “miniworkshops” next month. Star-Advertiser.

After a community uproar, a crosswalk that was removed in Kakaako will be restored. On Saturday, House Speaker Scott Saiki was joined by other lawmakers, the Hawaii Community Development Authority and Department of Transportation Services at Kolowalu Park to announce that the crosswalk between Queen and Waimanu will be repainted, and a pedestrian refuge center will be installed. Hawaii News Now.

Upgrades, limits planned for popular Lanikai Pillbox Trail. A newly released 987-page draft environmental assessment describes proposed trail improvements and a management plan that includes capping the number of hikers through a permit or reservation system. Star-Advertiser.

Some Manoa residents raise concern over construction of kupuna housing project. The Lin Yee Chung Association wants to build 288 affordable rentals on preservation land to pay for much-needed maintenance at the Manoa Chinese Cemetery, which is more than 170 years old. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

‘What you know, not who you know’ County auditor says new controls should curb favoritism in county hiring. It took more than four years, but the county has finally implemented a whistleblower hotline, one of the recommendations of a scathing 2017 audit that found questionable hiring practices in county government. West Hawaii Today.

Kūkuiola and Village 9 Affordable Rental Community will benefit from the federal appropriation, officials say. $10 million in federal funding earmarked for Hawai‘i County will be used to build affordable housing and emergency shelter units for people experiencing homelessness in West Hawaiʻi. Big Island Video News.

Next Bayfront Trails phase slated to be finished this year.
The trails project is a decade-long plan to build nearly six miles of public pedestrian trails connecting the Hilo Bayfront to Hilo Harbor, but after the first phase was completed in 2016, the second has yet to begin construction. Tribune-Herald.


Five percent pay raises granted for county directors and deputies. The Maui County Salary Commission voted Friday to give county directors and deputy directors 5 percent raises, starting in the fiscal year that begins July 1. Maui News.

Maui helicopter, air operations tied to noise, livestock issues in draft resolutions. Citing noise complaints and livestock disruptions, two Maui County Council draft resolutions are asking the federal government to better manage aircraft operations in Maui County. Maui Now.

Retiring officers fear changes are lowering MPD standards.
Now-retired Assistant Chief Clyde Holokai, Capt. Ricky Uedoi and Lt. William Hankins said changes, including shortening the police recruit academy to five and a half months, are lowering standards and jeopardizing the safety of officers and the public. Maui News.

Community input sought to identify parcels for designation as Important Agricultural Lands. The Department of Planning seeks community review and comment on the initial steps to identify and map parcels that may be eligible for designation as Important Agricultural Lands under state law. Maui Now.


Alleged Russian operative tried to lure elected Hawaii officials to Russia. A woman accused of working as a foreign operative in America used a Kauai County Council member and a nonprofit organization to try to lure government and military officials to meetings with high-ranking members of the Russian Federation. Star-Advertiser.

Schatz: $8.5M for Westside affordable senior housing.
Money has been secured for a new community center and affordable senior housing at the Lima Ola Community, an affordable-housing development in ‘Ele‘ele that will house more than 500 families. Garden Island.

Erosion-mitigation project for Wailua Beach gets CIP funding. The state Department of Transportation plan to rebuild the Wailua Beach shoreline using patented technology have gotten a shot in the arm. Garden Island.