Showing posts with label hospitals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hospitals. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Breaking up statewide school district again under scrutiny, Green faces more heat over appointees, Maui hospital workers go on strike, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The Decades-Old Debate Over Breaking Up Hawaii’s Statewide School System. Hawaii is the only state to have a single school district and no local school boards — a holdover from the plantation-era that places many major decisions about education in the hands of a state board made up of volunteers.  Civil Beat.

Ruling on confirmations could draw political heat. Gov. Josh Green’s appointee for state attorney general has informed state Senate President Ron Kouchi that she agrees with a previous attorney general’s opinion that seven deputy directors of state agencies — including her own — do not have to undergo Senate confirmation. Star-Advertiser.

Anderson Can Remain Interim DHHL Chair, AG’s Office Says. Ikaika Anderson can stay on as interim director until the end of the legislative session in May or until Green appoints a replacement, Deputy Attorney General Ryan Kanaka‘ole told the Hawaiian Homes Commission Tuesday morning. Civil Beat.

Bills and proposals start to dwindle as Legislature hits deadline. With about two-thirds of the legislative session left to go, state lawmakers have whittled down thousands of bills. Hawaii Public Radio.

Local emergency dispatchers seek official 'first responder' title and union rights. During this legislative session, communication dispatchers are advocating for two bills. One, Senate Bill 1059, would add dispatchers to the state's definition of what a first responder is.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Car Insurance Would Cost More Under Legislation Pushed By Trial Lawyers. If passed, it would be the first increase in state-mandated minimum liability coverage since 1998. State lawmakers are seriously considering bills this year to require Hawaii motorists to buy more car insurance, a step the insurance industry warns will be “regressive” because it would impose additional costs on low-income residents. Civil Beat.

Measure would allow exonerees to file suit while also collecting wrongful conviction payout. The exoneration of Albert Ian Schweitzer in the Dana Ireland murder case is prompting lawmakers to change part of a law providing compensation to those wrongfully convicted. Hawaii News Now.

Mazie Hirono seeks reelection to U.S. Senate.  Hirono previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives representing rural Oahu and the neighbor islands, the state Legislature and as Hawaii’s lieutenant governor. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Garden Island.

State climate commission supports governor's climate fund. The Hawai‘i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission has thrown its support behind Gov. Josh Green's plan to create a $100 million climate fund. Hawaii Public Radio.


Vacation Rentals Are In The Hawaii Legislature’s Crosshairs. Rep. Daniel Holt and a handful of House members are spearheading efforts this year to rid Oahu of short-term rentals all together in an effort to try to slow the rising price of homes. Civil Beat.

Dillingham businesses hindered by the path to rail line’s terminus. Amid rail-related construction work on busy Dillingham Boulevard ramping up, some area businesses are grappling with plummeting customer foot traffic. Star-Advertiser.

Police chief urges safety after ‘rough’ week on Oahu roads.  After a week in which two police officers were critically injured in separate traffic-­related incidents and a 16-year-old girl was killed in an alleged hit-and-run while on her way to school, Honolulu Police Chief Arthur “Joe” Logan on Tuesday called for the community’s help to keep Oahu safe. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

On Hawaii Island, a desperate request to house traveling nurses key to patient care. A lack of affordable housing is hampering Kona Community Hospital’s ability to plug critical staffing shortages ― and prompting officials to think outside of the box to address the crisis. Hawaii News Now.

UH provides guidance on burial site preservation. The University of Hawaii has provided guidance for preserving a Native Hawaiian burial site in Puna near UH land after multiple incidents in which the graves were desecrated. Tribune-Herald.

Former Kona Seaside Hotel to reopen April 1 as Pacific 19 Kona.
Nine Brains Big Island LLC obtained the lease for the Kona Seaside Hotel last year and has been remodeling the 122-room hotel with an anticipated April 1 opening day. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.


Judge: West Maui Developer Broke The Law When Digging Up County Road. Second Circuit Judge Kirstin Hamman recently ruled that development companies broke the law when they tore through an old roadway in West Maui while trenching a water line, a project that fueled fierce protests from community members and had previously struck a burial site. Civil Beat.

Workers at three Maui County hospitals reject offer, will strike today. United Public Workers members rejected Maui Health’s “last, best and final offer” and will go on strike at three Maui County hospitals beginning at 6 a.m. Wednesday. Maui News. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Grounded yacht accidentally pumped fuel into Honolua Bay, owner says. An effort to remove the 94-foot luxury yacht that ran aground Monday on the reef at Honolua Bay during high tide failed this morning and accidentally pumped diesel into the water, according to owner Jim Jones.  Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  Maui News.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.


County exploring solutions to manage waste as landfill approaches maximum capacity.  As the County of Kauai‘s only landfill approaches maximum capacity, plans for a solution are still uncertain. Garden Island.

Luke Evslin sworn in as new Kaua‘i representative. New Kaua‘i state Rep. Luke Evslin took his seat in House chambers for the first time on Tuesday, joining the largest freshman class of representatives in 28 years. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Hefty subsidies for public hospitals, man urinating at Kilauea eruption draws Native Hawaiian ire, affordable housing battles continue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hefty subsidies continue for Hawaii’s state-run hospitals. Top officials with the state agency that oversees many of Hawaii’s neighbor island hospitals and long-term care facilities say there’s no current push to privatize more of its facilities even though the private sector could operate them more cheaply and efficiently, easing the hefty subsidies provided by state taxpayers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Is Struggling To Meet A Deadline To Reduce Leased Office Space. Despite a new law mandating a 10% reduction by 2026, the amount of office space leased by the state has increased. Civil Beat.

Friends remember Danny Kaleikini, 85. Danny Kaleikini, the legendary entertainer who embodied the best of Hawaii, was being remembered throughout the islands for his immense talent as a singer, musician, actor and recording artist, and for his boundless devotion to spreading aloha worldwide. Star-Advertiser. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu’s affordable housing disappearing prematurely. A state agency is looking to plug a leak in part of Honolulu’s affordable- housing market where subsidized condominiums have been converted to market-price sales or rentals despite a regulatory tool designed to defer such conversions. Star-Advertiser.

Manoa community split over plan for senior affordable rentals. Vocal opponents of a proposed 288-unit affordable rental project for seniors to be built on the edge of the nearly 190-year-old Manoa Chinese Cemetery in upper Manoa Valley have surfaced at recent community meetings and even launched an online petition that has collected more than 4,200 signatures to thwart the development within the affluent neighborhood in urban Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Health Department: ‘Forever chemicals’ detected in Leeward Oahu water system. Low levels of PFAS “forever chemicals” have been detected in a Leeward Oahu water system that serves about 217,000 individuals, the state Department of Health announced. Hawaii News Now.

City: Oahu’s digital parking meters will be free for at least 6 months. About 2,200 digital parking meters on Oahu will be free of charge for at least the next six months. The city says that’s how long it’ll take to replace its wireless credit card readers to match a technology upgrade by Verizon. Hawaii News Now.

Fugitive owner of embattled semi-sub company arrested after attempting to flee by boat.  Federal authorities on Friday arrested the fugitive owner of an embattled Hawaii shipbuilding company who tried to flee Hawaii on his boat ahead of his hearing. Curtiss E. Jackson, 71, was wanted by U.S. Marshals on a federal arrest warrant for violating his terms of pretrial release. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Why Community Efforts Aren’t Enough To Save Oahu’s Aging Cemeteries. Only a fraction of cemeteries on the island are licensed by the state and not all have a perpetual care fund to cover maintenance costs after the cemetery fills up. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Social media post of man urinating at Kilauea eruption viewing site stirs harsh backlash. A photo of a man urinating at a Kilauea eruption viewing site that was posted on social media is igniting anger — with some saying it underscores the need for cultural education.  Hawaii News Now.

TMT environmental review delayed by voluminous comments. The National Science Foundation is already behind in its effort to evaluate whether the stalled Thirty Meter Telescope project should be reinvigorated with $850,000 or more in public funds. Star-Advertiser.

Hilo Medical Center awaits $50M expansion OK.  Gov. Josh Green in December announced Opens in a new tab an allocation of $50 million in the executive budget for the expansion of Hilo Medical Center. Now it’s up to the state Legislature to approve that allocation. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Man who leapt to death off bridge political candidate, co-writer of famous song.  David "Kawika" Crowley, the 71-year-old Hilo man who jumped to his death Wednesday from the Puueo Bridge in downtown Hilo was a colorful character who pulled off an upset win in the GOP primary election for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District in 2012 — while homeless — and co-wrote one of Hawaii’s most beloved songs. Tribune-Herald.

Institute seeks to erect satellite array in Ka‘u.  The Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics will present at next month’s Windward Planning Commission meeting a request for a special permit to install 10 satellite dishes 20 feet in diameter, as well as additional infrastructure including a catchment tank, portable toilet and 10-kilowatt solar array across about two acres near Wood Valley. Tribune-Herald.


Developer to present update on Pulelehua housing project. A special presentation updating the progress of the 310-acre Pulelehua housing development is among the topics being presented at the annual West Maui Taxpayers Association members meeting. Maui Now.

DOE eyes tentative mid-January opening for Kulanihako‘i High. State still has not fulfilled permit, plans to meet with Mayor’s Office next week. Maui News.

A Dwindling Kalaupapa Population Honors 1st Exiles With Tributes And Tears. Despite the painful history, many former Hansen’s disease patients have chosen to remain even after the government freed them from quarantine. Civil Beat.


New Year, new laws: How ranked-choice voting could be used on Kaua‘i. Last week, state Rep. Jimmy Tokioka (a Democrat who represents portions of the Eastside) resigned his state house position to join Gov. Josh Green’s administration. Garden Island.

Mahelona master plan meeting is Wednesday. State Rep. Nadine K. Nakamura invites the community to attend a talk-story session regarding Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital, where officials will deliver an update on the hospital’s draft conceptual master plan. Garden Island.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Almost $1B in earmarks for Hawaii, new aircraft coming to Marine Corps Base Hawaii, endemic birds threatened with extinction, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

National report highlights dire situation for Hawaiʻi’s endemic birds. The report paints a grim picture — nearly half of Hawaiʻi’s 73 endemic birds have gone or are thought to be extinct. And 33% are either endangered or threatened.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Tourism Authority seeks separate bids for U.S. tourism pact.  The Hawaii Tourism Authority board voted Thursday to take its U.S. tourism contract to a third procurement and solicit bids for two distinct contracts: one to handle brand marketing and the other for destination management. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

New aircraft to be stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. New KC-130J refueling aircraft are expected to begin operations in 2023 with a total of 15 ultimately arriving by the 2026 fiscal year. Two MQ-9 Reaper drones are also expected to arrive in 2023, replacing the smaller RQ-21 surveillance drones that have flown out of the base for the past four years.  Star-Advertiser.

Sens. Schatz, Hirono announce nearly $1B in federal funding for Hawaii projects. Hawaii U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono on Thursday announced that they had collectively secured nearly $1 billion in federal funding for a wide range of Hawaii projects. Star-Advertiser.


Oahu homeowners balk after property tax assessments soar. Andrew Kawano, director of the city Department of Budget and Fiscal Services, said the city will look into a one-time tax credit or increased exemptions for homeowners. Hawaii News Now.

Red Hill report cites dangers of removing underground tanks. A cheaper and safer alternative would be to leave the tanks in the ground and not try to fill them in, according to a report produced by Jacobs Government Service Company for the Navy and submitted to the Hawaii Department of Health on Thursday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Leeward Community College Has Big Plans For Training A New Generation Of Food Innovators. Leeward Community College is aiming to make its newest facility, the Wahiawa Value-Added Product Development Center, a hub for local food innovation that will embolden young people to try their hand at food entrepreneurship.  Civil Beat.

Shopping cart theft is a costly headache for retailers, but the city is helping to fight back.  City crews have collected 4,823 stolen shopping carts so far this year, most in urban Honolulu and many from Walmart and Sam’s. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Mauna Loa, Kilauea share same ‘plumbing,’ new study suggests.  Scientists for the first time have mapped out the deep underground plumbing of Hawaii’s active volcanoes by locating and plotting hundreds of thousands of earthquakes over a 3-1/2-year period. Star-Advertiser.

Kalanianaole Street project tops $24M.
The rehabilitation of Kalanianaole Street in Hilo came with a greatly expanded price tag following nearly five years of delays and construction. Tribune-Herald.

Over 600 Without Power Past Christmas, Hawaiian Electric Says.  About 650 customers in the Ahualoa and Kukuihaele area remain without power, and “will not have their service restored until after Christmas, possibly not until the middle of next week” due to impacts from the recent kona low storm, the Hawaiian Electric company reports. Big Island Now. KHON2  Big Island Video News.

‘A high priority’: Green pledges major relief for one of Hawaii’s most overcrowded hospitals. Gov. Josh Green has set aside $50 million to fund a much-needed bed expansion project at Hilo Medical Center. It’s one of several priorities outlined in Green’s first executive budget, specifically aimed at improving healthcare. Hawaii News Now.


2023-2025 council inauguration slated for Jan. 2 at Kalana O Maui.  Maui County Council Chair Alice L. Lee announced that the inauguration of the Maui County Council for the 2023-2025 term, will be held Jan. 2 at 10 a.m. in the Council Chamber on the 8th floor of the Kalana O Maui building. Maui Now.

$15.3M in congressionally directed spending for Maui, includes $11M for Hālau of ‘Oiwi Art.  Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino announced today that the County of Maui will receive $15.3 million in congressionally directed spending thanks to the determination of US Senator Brian Schatz, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.  Maui Now.

Maui County Climate Plan Would Slash Greenhouse Gas Emissions And Boost Disaster Preparedness. The 267-page Climate Action & Resiliency Plan details dozens of ways the county can act in partnership with other organizations like Hawaiian Electric, renewable energy developers, state energy regulators and local nonprofits and businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 76% community-wide by 2050. Civil Beat.

Roundabout closer to completion.
The second southbound lane of the Kihei roundabout opened Wednesday and there were no issues reported as of Wednesday afternoon, a state Department of Transportation spokeswoman said.  Maui News.


Anahola Regional Plan update approved by Hawaiian Homes Commission. At its December meeting, the Hawaiian Homes Commission approved the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ update of the Anahola Regional Plan for Kaua’i. Kauai Now.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Plane crashes off Maui, Kauai have rescuers scrambling, farm families sue Parker Ranch over 2021 wildfire, tourism expected to soften, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all ights reserved
Hawaii luau ©2022 All Hawaii News
Hawaii tourism could soften with mainland pullback.  Hawaii should see nearly 9.7 million visitors in 2023 but also some cooling in the state’s biggest economic driver,  according to a report from the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii among healthiest states, new survey reports
. Hawaii and Connecticut tied for fourth place in the United Health Foundation’s annual ranking of states for their overall health, behind Vermont at No. 3, Massachusetts at No. 2 and New Hampshire at No. 1. Star-Advertiser.

As hospitals fill up, other health services falter. The Healthcare Association of Hawaii said hospitals are averaging more than 24 hundred patients a day, which is 400 more than the average before the pandemic.  KHON2. KITV4.

Wespac Will Have To Pay Back More Than $800K Of Mishandled Federal Money. NOAA says its review revealed the council’s “pattern of failure to comply,” and that it could withhold future funding if the money isn’t paid back. In recent years, the primary source of funding has come from Hawaii’s longline fishermen through deals that let them fish for several thousand tons of additional tuna beyond their quota limits. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Prison Medical Records System Has Reached A Point of ‘Absolute Crisis’. The continued failure of the electronic system has complicated efforts to provide inmates with the latest Covid-19 booster shot. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Teacher Violated Ethics By Accepting $16,600 From School Volunteer. The Moanalua Elementary teacher has to pay back the funds and may face further disciplinary action. Civil Beat.

Jiro Sumada returns to Honolulu's planning department as deputy director.
  Sumada previously held the position between 2010 and 2013. For a brief time, he also served as the department's acting director.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Health clinic for military families affected by Red Hill fuel spill to open in January. The Defense Health Agency Region Indo-Pacific announced Thursday that a Red Hill health clinic is set to open in January. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Stadium authority says they can pull off redevelopment plan. Not everyone agrees. Now that Gov. Josh Green has OK’d the redevelopment of Aloha Stadium and the 70 acres around it, Stadium Authority leaders are defending the project and their ability to control costs. Hawaii News Now.

Arizona prison that houses Hawaii inmates could influence design of long-stalled Oahu jail. A private prison in the middle of the Arizona desert could offer some design solutions for the state ― should a new jail be built on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Diamond Head Theatre ready to hit the stage. Construction is complete at the new Diamond Head Theatre and is almost ready to be used as they gather the finishing touches. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Parker Ranch sued over farmland wildfire. Fourteen Hawaiian homesteaders filed a lawsuit Thursday against Parker Ranch Inc. and its contractor seeking damages, which include $40 million just to replace topsoil on 500 acres of pastureland damaged by the massive 2021 Waimea fire — said to be the largest wildfire in state history. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Hawaii News Now.

Lawsuit alleges bad behavior by Hilo police.  Christopher Kagawa, who co-owned Infinity Concrete Pumping in Hilo for more than a decade,  is suing the Hawaii Police Department and two of its officers, claiming he was wrongly arrested, his civil rights were violated, one of his firearms was stolen after a search of his home, and police tampered with his cellphone. Tribune-Herald.

Is hiring process for Hawaiʻi Police Chief transparent if 40 applicants remain anonymous? The Hawai‘i County Police Commission Chair John Bertsch said transparency was paramount in the process to hire the next police chief. But while four finalists for the position are being interviewed at public meetings, it is unlikely the public will ever know the identities of the other 40 applicants. Big Island Now.

Law enforcement increases security on Mauna Loa, Mitigation route closed: Response to Mauna Loa eruption cost county nearly $400K.  Between Nov. 27, when the eruption began, and Tuesday, various county departments including the Hawaii Police Department, Hawaii County Civil Defense and the county Department of Public Works spent approximately $392,000 responding to the eruption. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2 Big Island Now. Big Island Video News.

Sand removal set for Bayfront Highway. Work will begin next week to remove a large berm of sand on the makai side of Bayfront Highway in Hilo. The highway and sections of Kamehameha Avenue were closed in late November due to high wind and surf, which deposited sand and other debris on the road. Tribune-Herald.


Coast Guard search underway for medical transport plane that crashed off Maui. The incident happened just before 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Officials said three crew members were onboard. There was no patient in the aircraft. Hawaii News Now.

Committee launches OpenGov Maui FY23 budget website. The website was created to showcase Maui County’s financial plan for the fiscal year, which started July 1, 2022 and runs through June 30, 2023.  Maui Now.

Maui Voters Created New Community Water Authorities. Here’s What Happens Next. Maui County residents can apply to serve on the board that will run the new East Maui Community Water Authority. Civil Beat.

Maui County’s unemployment rate rose to 4.3% in November 2022. Maui County’s unemployment rate for November rose to 4.3%, which was up .4% in October and higher than the statewide unemployment rate of 4% and the US rate of 3.4%, according to the Hawai‘i State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. Maui Now.


2 hurt in Lihue plane crash; commercial flights not affected.  Two people were seriously injured around noon Thursday when a single- engine Beechcraft BE77 crashed just after takeoff from Lihue Airport. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island. Kauai Now.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Wailuā Homesteads bridge repairs complete. Temporary repairs to Yasutake Bridge, located on Kamalu Road in Wailuā on the East Side of Kaua‘i, have been completed. Kauai Now.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Students' test scores rising, union boss heads to trial, 65 earthquakes on Mauna Loa in 24 hours, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Academic proficiency in Hawaii’s public schools improves but lags pre-pandemic levels. Hawaii’s public school students are starting to climb out of the academic slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with last year’s return to full in-person learning helping to push up test scores and other measures, according to the annual Strive HI report released Wednesday by the state Department of Education.  Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Conservative Super PAC Jumps In To Hawaii Governors Race. You may have seen some unsolicited text messages recently that start something like this: “Are you done with corrupt politicians like Josh Green?” The text messages and the website they link to are part of a campaign by a new super PAC called Hawaii Conservatives, created by first-time GOP candidate Tim Dalhouse and longtime conservative strategist Joel Borgquist, who has worked on campaigns in Virginia and Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Candidates for governor go head-to-head on controversial issues of abortion, gun control. The candidates for governor are accusing each other of inciting fear and being misinformed on heated issues. As the front-runner, Democrat Josh Green has gotten aggressive on the abortion issue by attacking Republican Duke Aiona, who calls himself pro-life from conception to death, but says he respects the law giving a woman a right to choose. Hawaii News Now.

After years of delays, former union leader accused of misusing funds to head to trial. Three years after his arrest, a former union leader accused of corruption will finally get his day in court this week. The feds have charged former IBEW Local 1260 leader Brian Ahakuelo and his relatives with 70 counts of fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and embezzlement for misusing on union funds to pay for lavish salaries and perks. He’s also accused of rigging union votes to increase dues to pay for those salaries and benefits. Hawaii News Now.

Head of Hawaii’s biggest public workers union blames bureaucracy for hiring shortages. The Executive Director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, Randy Perreira, said city and state human resources systems need to be overhauled and modernized. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii to host start of global economic conference. The East-West Center in Manoa will host the informal senior officials meeting in December to kick off the 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference hosted by the U.S., according to an official with the U.S. Department of State. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii residents 5 and over urged to get updated COVID-19 booster. The Hawaii Department of Health recommends the COVID-19 bivalent boosters for everyone age 5 and older in the state. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Hawaii health officials report 1,047 new COVID-19 infections, 5 coronavirus-related deaths. The state’s average positivity rate declined to 5.6% compared with 6.3% reported the previous week, and back to about where it was on Sept 28. Star-Advertiser.


City wants to redirect funds from traffic fines. The Honolulu City Council wants to change where money from traffic fines ends up. The hope is to give more of it to county law enforcement. Currently, money from traffic fines goes to the state. KHON2.

Prep work for rail accelerates along Nimitz Highway. While businesses along Dillingham Boulevard brace for the start of utility relocation work, the process has already begun on the last leg of the project from Iwilei to Cooke Street. Hawaii News Now.

Rail ‘hammerhead’ crack reports overdue, incomplete. Two highly anticipated reports on the extent of hairline cracks in the city rail system’s overhead “hammerhead” supports — and what should be done about them — were due Sept. 30 but still are not complete after a series of extensions. Star-Advertiser.

Health department prepares as Navy set to drain Red Hill fuel lines. The Navy is preparing to “unpack” or drain the fuel lines at its Red Hill bulk fuel storage facility. It’s the first step in permanently draining the massive underground installation. Hawaii Public Radio.

A group of nonprofit agencies at the Kawailoa Youth and Family Wellness Center will be getting a hefty infusion of cash over the next eight years. The program, managed by Partners in Development, is designed to end youth incarceration, was one of five big winners of grant money from the Kellogg Foundation’s global challenge for racial equality. Hawaii News Now.

DOH cites developer for storm water runoff at unpermitted construction site in Kailua. The state Department of Health has cited an Arizona-based developer for storm water runoff and lack of erosion control measures at an unpermitted construction site in Kailua. DOH said Wednesday it issued a notice of violation and order with a $14,000 penalty to Arcus Secured Loan Fund III LLC for failing to obtain a water pollution permit and discharging storm water runoff from the site on Old Kalanianaole Road. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Board: Nonresponsiveness is not an ethics violation. A non-response from government officials to emails and telephone calls isn’t necessarily a violation of the ethics code, the county Board of Ethics said Wednesday in denying a resident’s call to penalize 14 top officials for ignoring his warnings about what he saw as the danger of face masks and vaccines during the coronavirus pandemic. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiʻi County received 44 applications for police chief. The Hawaiʻi County Police Commission has directed the county’s Human Resources Department to not release the identities of the applicants during this phase in the search process. Big Island Now.

‘Dredge everything’: Preferred plan is to remove almost the entire beach blocking Pohoiki Boat Ramp. The black sand beach at Pohoiki will be almost entirely removed in order to reopen the Pohoiki Boat Ramp, engineers confirmed Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

65 earthquakes at Mauna Loa in the past 24 hours. Earthquake activity continues to increase at Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano. Mauna Loa is not erupting, and experts said an eruption is not imminent. KHON2.

Staffing crisis forces hospital’s cancer center to turn away new patients. Kona Community Hospital has temporarily stopped accepting new patients in its medical oncology and chemotherapy infusion clinics, forcing those needing care to travel to Waimea, Hilo or Honolulu for treatment. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Voters To Decide On Removal Of $1,000 Cap For Civil Fines. The proposed charter amendment would give the County Council more flexibility to set violation penalties by ordinance. Civil Beat.

Update on West Maui Hospital to be presented in Council committee on Monday. The Maui County Council’s Human Concerns & Parks Committee will host a discussion Monday, Oct. 17, 2022 on the current status of the West Maui Hospital and Medical Center. Maui Now.


Search ends for missing swimmer. Jaren Asalele, 19, of American Samoa, was last seen on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 8, swimming at Kalihiwai Beach on the North Shore when he became distressed. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Little fire ants detected at Wailua River State Park. A new population of little fire ants in Wailua River State Park has been confirmed, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said in a statement on Wednesday. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Ige emergency order seeks out-of-state nurses, ballots slow down before election, workers battle Pohakuloa wildfire, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo by SJ Objio via unsplash
Hospital nurse PC:SJ Objio via Unsplash
Gov. David Ige approves emergency rules addressing health care staff shortage. Gov. David Ige today announced the approval of emergency rules authorizing out-of-state nurses to temporarily practice in Hawaii without applying for and obtaining a license if certain requirements are met. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii to follow CDC’s relaxed COVID-19 guidelines. The state Department of Health says it plans to adjust its COVID-19 quarantine guidelines to align with those issued Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC dropped the recommendation that Americans quarantine if they come into close contact with an infected person, saying there is now significantly less risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death than earlier in the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Lack of ballots to count leaves Hawaii election volunteers at home. As of Wednesday over 234,000 ballots had been received via mail, dropped off at collection sites or cast in person at voter service centers. That’s 32% of the 730,000 ballots that were sent out to registered voters in Hawaii two weeks ago. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Federal agency failed to protect 49 at-risk Hawaii species, lawsuit says. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit Thursday against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, accusing the agency of failing to designate and protect critical habitat for 49 Hawaii endangered species. Star-Advertiser.

Alaska Airlines to fly Hawaii veterans to D.C. for free on special flights. Alaska Airlines is offering Hawaii military veterans free flights to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorials and monuments honoring their service and sacrifice. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.


Hawaii’s first major solar farm with batteries is currently producing electricity on Oahu. Hawaii’s first major solar farm with batteries is currently producing electricity on Oahu. The first utility-scale solar farm on Oahu linked with batteries recently began commercial power production ahead of seven similar projects slated for completion over the next two years. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s Urban Core May See More Affordable Housing For Older Adults. The Catholic Church has joined a nonprofit organization to develop a 17-story affordable housing building for older adults on downtown property owned by the church at Fort Street Mall, nestled on one of the oldest streets in Honolulu. Civil Beat.

Marine Corps Pledges To Improve Stormwater Management In Kaneohe. After the U.S. Marine Corps was found to be polluting Oahu’s coastal waters with stormwater discharges, the military and Environmental Protection Agency have entered into an agreement to address “significant deficiencies” in the base’s stormwater program, the EPA announced on Thursday. Civil Beat.

TheBus will be free for 5 days beginning Aug. 22.
To regain and encourage ridership, regular fares for TheBus on Oʻahu will be suspended for five days later this month. Riders will need to have HOLO cards to participate, which is how the city will evaluate the program. Hawaii Public Radio.

West Oahu Charter School Finances Expansion Through Municipal Bonds. One of Hawaii’s newest charter schools turns to an untraditional source of funding to finance its expansion. A West Oahu charter school that opened in 2019 with 100 sixth graders welcomed its first class of freshmen this year, but DreamHouse Ewa Beach doesn’t yet have a high school. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Large wildfire burning amid Big Isle drought. A large wildfire in a rural area of Hawaii island is not threatening any homes, but high winds and extremely dry conditions are making it difficult for crews to contain the blaze. The fire had burned more than 15 square miles as of Thursday. Associated Press. West Hawaii Today.  Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. KHON2.

Hawaiʻi County Council considers affordable housing credit audit. Earlier this month, Hawaiʻi County Council member Holeka Goro Inaba introduced a resolution for an audit into the county’s affordable housing credits after state and federal investigators indicted four people in an affordable housing scheme. Hawaii Public Radio.

Officials work to fix traffic woes near Mt. View school. Since students returned to school last week, there has been a substantial increase in traffic congestion on Highway 11 near Mountain View Elementary. Tribune-Herald.

Surf’s up: Business gets permit for surf school at Old Kona Airport Park. Kona Town Surf received a permit from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources hours before Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers on Wednesday attempted to cite the surf school business for operating without the necessary documentation. West Hawaii Today.


Iwi kupuna discovered on Maui public beach sparks debate over erosion plans. Rising sea level and erosion are provoking a painful debate on Maui between protecting the beach and protecting the dignity of Native Hawaiian ancestors. Last week, a visitor stumbled across ancestral skeletal remains on a public beach near the Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club in West Maui. Hawaii News Now.

District 13 Democratic primary features new faces with deep ties. House District 13 has seen plenty of turnover in recent years. In 2015 Lynn DeCoite was appointed to the seat after the death of former Rep. Mele Carroll. In 2021 Linda Clark was appointed to the office after DeCoite moved over to the Senate. Maui News.

The long-awaited opening of Kīhei High School is planned for January, but will it happen? Construction of the upper campus of the beautiful new Kīhei High School — which sits mauka of Piʻilani Highway with Haleakala as a backdrop — is expected to finally be completed enough to open in January for a small inaugural class of ninth graders. Maui Now.


HDOT to begin work on Lihu‘e Airport parking lot. The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation-Airports Division is set to begin a $2.4 million project at Lihu‘e Airport this Monday. Garden Island.

Primary election update; ballots due Aug. 13. Here are the preliminary numbers on ballots turned in so far, according to Elections Administrator Lyndon Yoshioka: Total ballots sent out: 40,947. Ballots turned in: 8,684. Percent of ballots cast: 17.5. In-person votes: 241. Percent in person: 2.7 Garden Island.

Friday, August 5, 2022

RIMPAC wraps up war games, super PAC spends millions in LG race, petroleum found in Moanalua well, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Sea Hunter crewless vessel arrives at Pearl Harborfor 2022 RIMPAC PC:U.S. Navy
Month-long RIMPAC exercises wrap up in waters off Hawaii. RIMPAC concluded Thursday after over a month of war games that united militaries from around the world. RIMPAC’s 2022 return was super-sized, after a smaller 2020 version during the onset of COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

This Hawaii Super PAC Is Spending Millions To Defeat One Political Opponent This Year. Be Change Now has launched an aggressive campaign attacking lieutenant governor candidate Rep. Sylvia Luke. Be Change Now, a super PAC funded by contractors who do business with the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters, is spending more than $2 million this year supporting Ikaika Anderson’s run for lieutenant governor with radio, digital and newspaper ads, according to recently filed campaign spending reports. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Meet the GOP candidates looking to flip Hawaii's U.S. House seats. The 1st Congressional District hasn't been in GOP hands in over decade, when it was briefly represented by Rep. Charles Djou.  And the 2nd District has never been represented by a Republican since its creation. KITV4.

Crowded field vying for seats on OHA Board of Trustees. Eighteen candidates are vying for six seats in the primary election for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees, including a retired state senator, a former star University of Hawaii football player and all six incumbents. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's gay leaders take steps to educate, vaccinate their community against monkeypox. Monkeypox can infect anyone, but the majority of cases in the US outbreak have been among men who have sex with men, including gay and bisexual men and people who identify as transgender. KITV4.


Board of Water Supply detects petroleum contamination in Moanalua monitoring well. The Honolulu Board of Water supply says it has detected petroleum-related chemicals in a monitoring well in Moanalua Valley, elevating concerns that fuel contamination from the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility is traveling through the aquifer and putting a major source of drinking water for southern Oahu at risk. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Efforts ramp up to reduce crime in Waikiki. A new crime-reduction program called “Safe and Sound Waikiki” is kicking off in the neighborhood where a rash of high-profile violent crimes, including a recent sword attack at a Kalakaua Avenue 7-Eleven, has sharpened community concerns. Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm said the multiagency program is based on the already established “Weed and Seed” program, which seeks to “weed out” criminals from a particular district and then “seed” communities by investing in social and economic revitalization. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office Won’t Charge SWAT Officer Who Killed Kakaako Man. The department concluded that officers last year did everything they could to de-escalate a tense barricade situation. After an almost yearlong investigation, the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s Office determined that the SWAT officer who shot and killed a man in his Kakaako apartment was justified in his actions and will not be charged. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hilo hospital sees surge in patients: Several factors push it well above capacity. HMC on Thursday reported 13 holds in the Emergency Department, 13 patients in the overflow areas, and 37 patients waitlisted for beds elsewhere. Waitlisted means they are looking for a long-term space to obtain care outside of their homes and HMC. Tribune-Herald.

Crews to soon begin process of dismantling observatory. Caltech Submillimeter Observatory Director Sunil Golwawa said the complete removal of the observatory — the first of five to be removed in exchange for the planned construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope — should be finished by the end of the year, with deconstruction of the building itself beginning before the end of summer. Tribune-Herald.

2,695 and counting: Hawaii Wildlife Center marks 10 years of saving native birds and bats.
Around 150 different bird and bat species have been seen at the hospital, including 27 rare species. West Hawaii Today.


Money Is Flowing Into Maui County Races As The Primary Election Nears. Developers, real estate investors and business interests are pouring contributions into local campaigns. In the month before voting started for the Aug. 13 primary election, recent campaign finance data shows that almost $282,000 flowed into the campaigns of candidates trying to lead Maui County’s $1 billion government. Civil Beat.

Annalisa M. Bernard appointed to fill judicial position in Maui’s Second Circuit Court. Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald today appointed Annalisa M. Bernard to fill a judicial position in the District Court of the Second Circuit in Maui County. Maui Now.

Maui County home sales cool in June; single-family home median sales price at $1.1 million. Maui County home sales fell by more than 50% for condos and 20% for single-family houses last month, as rising mortgage rates and record-high sales prices pushed out buyers. Maui Now. Maui News.

Monkeypox case on Maui brings Hawaii’s total to 12. The state Department of Health on Thursday announced an additional case of monkeypox in a Maui resident who traveled outside of the state, bringing the number of cases in Hawaii to 12. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now. Maui Now. KHON2.


Broken X-Rays lead to long wait times, high stress at Lihu‘e Airport. Faulty X-ray machines at Lihu‘e Airport led to long waits and high tensions this past week. Contracted security manager Charlie Iona estimated that at certain points wait times were two hours. Garden Island.

COVID continues downtrend on Kauaʻi. Kaua‘i’s test positivity rate was 17.3% — higher than the state average of 13.8%. Garden Island.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Tourism group seeks mandatory culture training for workers, hospitals ask for emergency proclamation to import staff, candidates for governor, lieutenant showcased in debates, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Charting A New Course For Tourism In Hawaii. Among other changes, the head of a leading Hawaii tourism association is calling for mandatory certification in Native Hawaiian culture for all hospitality industry employees. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s jobless rate ticks up amid rebound in tourism. More would-be workers poured into Hawaii’s labor market in June — so much so that they pushed up the state unemployment rate for the first time in 21 months amid a recovering local economy. Star-Advertiser.

Leading Democratic, GOP candidates for governor spar in HNN Super Debate. With time running out to change voters’ minds before the primary election, leading candidates for governor and lieutenant governor duked it out in the HNN Super Debate on Thursday as they laid out their plans for tackling big issues facing the state, from the cost of living to climate change. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.

On crowded debate stage, LG candidates looked for opportunities to shine. The leading Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor Thursday were hoping their debate stage performances translated into name recognition ― and votes in the primary election. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii scores a record total of research funding. The University of Hawaii amassed $505 million in research funding in fiscal year 2022, topping the half-billion-dollar mark for the first time in its history. Star-Advertiser.

Hospitals ask for emergency proclamation. Officials say the staffing shortage at hospitals and nursing homes has reached a critical point. The industry has asked the governor to declare an emergency proclamation to bring in mainland workers as soon as possible. KHON2.

Omicron subvariants BA.4, BA.5 now make up 47% of COVID-19 cases in Hawaii, DOH says. Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 together now make up 47% of the COVID-19 variants circulating in Hawaii, according to the state Health Department’s latest variant report. Star-Advertiser.

‘You Don’t Need To Suffer’: Doctors Predict More Use Of Covid Treatments In Hawaii. The two approved oral antiviral treatments for Covid must be taken within five days of the onset of symptoms. Civil Beat. KITV4.


Oʻahu takes a closer look at its energy usage with new law. Honolulu City Council Bill 22 will require property owners to report their total energy and water consumption every year. Mayor Blangiardi signed it into law Wednesday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oʻahu homeowners have 2 more months to apply for a property tax exemption. Taxpayers must own and occupy the property as their primary residence. Hawaii Public Radio.

Panel discussion on Red Hill water crisis offers new questions ― but few answers.  In a panel discussion Thursday in Waikiki, key stakeholders in the Red Hill fuel spill crisis raised new questions about the extent of the contamination and whether Oahu’s drinking water has been irreparably harmed. Hawaii News Now.

How The Story Of The ‘Army’ That Illegally Took Over A Kunia Property Is Playing On Social Media. Arrested earlier this month, members of the group claim they own the land as heirs of Native Hawaiians who got land grants during the Great Mahele in 1848. Civil Beat.

Former manager of Chinatown apartment files racial discrimination lawsuit. The former resident manager of Winston Hale in Honolulu’s Chinatown is suing Hawaiʻi Affordable Properties Incorporated for racial discrimination. Hawaii Public Radio.

Local 5 members approve 2-year agreement with Hilton. Union negotiates with other major hotels. 1,800 union members employed by the Hilton Hawaiian Village have a new two-year contract after 99% of members approved the hotel's proposal on Wednesday. Hawaii Public Radio.

UH West Oahu’s accreditation is affirmed for 8 more years. The University of Hawaii West Oahu has been granted another eight years of accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission. But while the college was applauded by the panel for promoting Hawaiian culture and serving the unique needs of the Leeward Oahu community, it also is being required to produce stronger plans for growth. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Seeks Applicants To Serve On New Mauna Kea Governing Authority. New panel members would oversee the astronomy district on Mauna Kea’s summit. Civil Beat. Big Island Now. Maui Now.

County gets more time, EPA solicits comments on Pahala, Naalehu wastewater treatment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday it is accepting comments on a proposed revision to the consent order requiring Hawaii County to close five decades-old gang cesspools in Pahala and Naalehu. Tribune-Herald.

Leeward Planning Commission gives Bolton neighbors legal standing. A group of owners of condos surrounding a North Kona rock-crushing operation now have standing in a future contested case hearing over whether the work being done there exceeds what was allowed by a permit application that was subsequently withdrawn by the applicant. West Hawaii Today.

Developer of Proposed Ali‘i Drive Subdivision Asked to do More Diligence Before Commission Can Sign off. The Leeward Planning Commission deferred on Thursday, July 21, voting on Hawai‘i One Investors LLC’s proposal until the developer can update the property’s cultural impact assessment to ensure the land’s history isn’t destroyed and neighbors and decedents of the area are satisfied on that front. Big Island Now.

Country Club lessee to surrender permit. The former Country Club Condominium Hotel could fall under new management this year after the Board of Land and Natural Resources decides whether to open requests for new lessees for the property. Tribune-Herald.

Wildfire scorches estimated 600 acres within Pohakuloa Training Area. A wildfire that broke out Thursday morning within Pohakuloa Training Area has scorched hundreds of acres. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


Who’s Bankrolling The Campaigns In The Race For Maui Mayor. Since the start of this year, political donors have poured almost $600,000 into the campaigns of candidates vying to become Maui County’s next mayor. Civil Beat.

Project aims to restore gulch, buffer runoff. Work to reestablish the riparian corridor — the natural flora and fauna along waterways — in Keokea Gulch within Hapapa watershed is underway to buffer runoff into streams and the North Kihei coastline. Maui News.

US Department of Labor recovers $290,000 for 95 food truck workers on Maui. The US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found violations by a single enterprise consisting of five corporations: Da Nani Pirates LLC, Da Nani Pirates Lahaina LLC, Maui Poke LLC, Maui Burgers LLC and Aloha Thai Fusion LLC. Maui Now.

Maui County’s unemployment rate up to 4.9% in June. Maui County’s unemployment rate in June of 2022 was 4.9%, up from 4.2% in May, and down from 8.3% at the same time last year. Maui Now.


Rice Street Business Association gets AARP grant. Three organizations across the state — including the Rice Street Business Association — are recipients of 2022 AARP Community Challenge grants totaling $49,500, part of $3.4 million awarded among 260 organizations nationwide. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i COVID case counts rising. COVID-19 case counts were on the rise last week. And it’s not just here, but across the state, Managing Director Mike Dahilig said during the county’s weekly update on the COVID-19 situation on Thursday. Garden Island.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Honolulu delays plastic, polystyrene ban, Maui hospital seeks more state aid, 'The Flash' actor Ezra Miller arrested in Hilo bar, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Man checks out Hawaii lunch plate ©2022 All Hawaii News

Honolulu’s Ban On Plastic And Polystyrene Containers Is On Hold For 6 Months. Implementation of Honolulu’s ban on plastic and polystyrene containers is being further delayed after businesses said supply chain challenges are preventing them from complying. Civil Beat.

Bill To Ban Male Jail Guards From Strip Searching Female Inmates Advances. Senate Bill 2777 faces another hearing in the House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers call on exploring a four-day work week
. Some lawmakers said a four-day work week may not be such a bad idea, and now there is a proposal to create a task force to explore this possibility. KHON2.

Citizen whale counts wrap up for 2022 season. This season’s totals for the three days were higher than last year’s and almost equivalent to 2019. The one-day volunteer counts provide a snapshot of humpback whale sightings and activity from the shoreline across multiple sites, as distinguished from deeper research into population trends. Star-Advertiser.


Water use on Oahu continues rising.
Water use on Oahu has continued to increase since November, despite the Honolulu Board of Water Supply urging residents to implement conservation measures after a fuel leak at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility resulted in the closing of three municipal wells. Star-Advertiser.

$1B to defuel Red Hill in budget proposal. President Joe Biden included $1 billion to defuel the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in his annual budget proposal. This is on top of the hundreds of millions already directed toward dealing with the water contamination crisis. KHON2.

Punawai Hale hoping for full occupancy. Punawai Hale studio apartments hopes to finally fill its 20 units with once-homeless residents by the end of the month after opening in November 2020. Star-Advertiser.

Planning for new Oahu jail hits snag over state funding. Hawaii’s 50-member House of Representatives recently passed a state budget draft that rejects a request from Gov. David Ige to allocate $15 million for continued planning and procurement work to build a new Oahu Community Correctional Center in Halawa. Star-Advertiser.

City expands homeless outreach response team to Kailua. The city’s Crisis Outreach Response and Engagement units, or CORE, made contact with 10 unsheltered individuals living across Kailua last week. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

$600 million DHHL bill advances. A bill that would allocate $112 million to Big Island housing projects on Hawaiian Home Lands is still alive and moving through the Senate. Tribune-Herald.

‘The Flash’ actor Ezra Miller arrested at Hawaii Island bar. Actor Ezra Miller, who has prominent roles in the Justice League and Harry Potter “Fantastic Beasts” film franchises, was arrested for suspicion of disorderly conduct and harassment early Monday after allegedly becoming belligerent at Margarita Village on Silva Street. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.


Maui’s Private Hospital System Is In Need Of More State Aid.
The hospital group is expected to request a state subsidy increase for the first time since Kaiser took over five years ago. Civil Beat.

Kaiser Permanente’s clinic in Kīhei reopens April 4. After being closed for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi’s clinic in Kīhei will reopen April 4. Maui Now.

College enrollment still trails pre-pandemic levels. There was a slight recovery in college-bound enrollment by Maui County’s 2021 graduating high school seniors compared to the previous graduating class, but efforts to continue higher education are still being hampered by the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on education. Maui News.

Online public meeting to discuss South Maui budget priorities Wednesday. Hosted by Maui County Council Member Kelly Takaya King, a virtual town hall at 6 p.m. Wednesday will discuss South Maui budget priorities for fiscal year 2023. Maui Now.

Former Maui DWS employee says he was fired for pointing out contamination concerns. One year after filing a whistleblower lawsuit against Maui County, a former Department of Water Supply employee is still fighting for his job back. Ashley Hooks’ lawsuit claims he was retaliated against and unlawfully fired in 2020 after he alerted the state that Maui’s largest surface water treatment facility had been contaminated. Hawaii News Now.


DeCosta’s agriculture bills get pushback from local lawyer.
A trio of proposed bills that would eliminate tax exemptions for large-scale tree farms, orchards and wasteland was met with some resistance at a public hearing last week. Garden Island.

How cuts in state mental health care affect Kaua‘i. On Kaua‘i, one clinical psychologist, one social-service assistant and six human-service professionals were laid off as part of the 2020 cuts. Now, despite a state budget surplus, whether or not these positions will be restored remains an open question. Garden Island.

Kauaʻi County to temporarily suspend rental relief program during April. Kauaʻi County will temporarily suspend its rental relief program next month. But government officials will still be accepting new applications for assistance. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmakers want Kauai’s Russian Fort Elizabeth to have a new name. Resolutions moving through the state Legislature urge the Board of Land and Natural Resources to restore the eastern shoreline of Kauai’s Waimea Valley, currently called Russian Fort Elizabeth Park, to its former Hawaiian name, Paulaula. Star-Advertiser.