Showing posts with label housing costs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label housing costs. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Development regulations could be scaled back to build more housing, arts face funding loss, Senate vote today on Regent Nahale-a, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Lawmakers May Roll Back Development Rules To Speed Housing Projects. Certain new housing developments in Hawaii would be exempt from lengthy environmental and historic reviews in an attempt to build more units faster under bills that appear likely to pass key legislative votes this week. Star-Advertiser.

Building regulations drive up Hawaii condo prices by 58%. Hawaii’s building regulations drive the cost of condominium development up 58%, the highest in the nation, according to a report released Monday by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. Star-Advertiser. Kauai Now.  KHON2.

AARP and Hawaiʻi housing agency disagree over possible loss of affordable homes. An AARP Hawaiʻi/Smart Growth America report about the potential danger of losing affordable housing in Hawaiʻi has triggered a defensive response from the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corp., which is responsible for increasing and preserving the state’s supply of low- and moderate-income housing. Maui Now.

Support for Nahale-a as UH regent swells before vote. Following a flurry of eleventh-hour meetings and negotiations Monday at the state Capitol, state senators are set to vote today on whether to confirm embattled University of Hawaii Board of Regents Chair Alapaki Nahale-a for a second term as a regent. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers envision state visitor app to help manage tourists. The problem of too many people in too few precious places has led to targeted tactics — like reservation requirements, traffic controls and public service videos, which rarely reach a wide audience, according to state House Tourism Chair Rep. Sean Quinlan. Hawaii News Now.

Several bills could impact funding for the state arts agency. Nearly midway through the 2024 legislative session, at least four bills relating to culture and the arts are still alive.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmakers advance bill to increase penalty for dangerous dog attacks
. Supporters say the bill would hold dog owners accountable and allow the police to impound dangerous dogs. Critics argue that determination should be made in a court of law. Hawaii Public Radio.

‘The Kids Feel Miserable’ But There’s No End In Sight For Hawaii’s School Bus Shortage. Lawmakers are weighing several proposals to address the lack of school bus drivers, but it's unlikely that any routes will be restored next year. Civil Beat.

What to expect in Hawaiʻi's Democratic presidential caucuses. Hawaiʻi Democrats will hold a presidential preference vote on Wednesday as President Joe Biden moves closer to securing the delegates needed to clinch the nomination for a second term in the White House. Associated Press.

GOP presidential caucus to be held March 12.
The 2024 Hawai‘i Republican Presidential Caucus will held on Tuesday, March 12. Garden Island.

Marc and Lynne Benioff donate $150M to 2 Hawaii hospitals. The gift — considered one of the largest single private donations in Hawaii’s history — will connect Hawaii Pacific Health with Hilo Medical Center and UCSF Health. It resulted from more than a year of collaboration among the three entities. Star-Advertiser.


One Way To Ease Honolulu’s Building Permit Backlog: Pay Workers More. The beleaguered Department of Planning and Permitting, which is drowning in more permit applications than it can process, is getting by on the backs of a low-wage workforce with high turnover.  Civil Beat.

Proposed city Ocean Safety Department under review. A proposed resolution urging that Honolulu’s lifeguard and ambulance services be broken up in order to create a brand new city department is expected to be reviewed today by the City Council’s budget committee. Star-Advertiser.

Entire attorney staff at key domestic violence nonprofit leave, citing internal conflict. Seven staff attorneys at the Domestic Violence Action Center have quit in recent months and tell Hawaii News Now that they all left for the same reason — because other staff were allowed to provide legal advice to clients. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i Convention Center grapples with recurrent vandalism.
The Hawai‘i Convention Center completed a $225,000 exterior camera installation project just in time to catch footage linked to the shattering of one of its soaring glass windows, worth about $25,000. Star-Advertiser.

High rise proposed in one of Honolulu’s most congested neighborhoods sparks backlash. This lower Manoa neighborhood is no stranger to residential high-rises, with several already built right across from Punaho School. Hawaii News Now.

Grounded sailboat in pieces off Waikiki. The Coast Guard said after search and rescue operations were completed Sunday, pollution responders assessed the scene, and found no signs of diesel or petroleum product in the water. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Man with loaded sawed-off shotgun, rifle arrested in Bayfront Soccer Fields parking lot. A 32-year-old Puna man, Nainoa Kaluhiwa, has been arrested and charged for being in possession of a loaded, sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun and a rifle of unknown make and model after police contacted him while seated within a vehicle parked in the parking lot at the Bayfront Soccer Fields in Hilo on Feb. 29. Big Island Now.

Prep work begins for HVNP roundabout.
Work to prepare for the installation of a traffic roundabout just beyond the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park entrance began Monday. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Ka‘ū Stewards Complete ‘Āina-based Education Training Program. The non-profit Ka ‘Ohana o Honu‘apo facilitated the Ka‘ū Hoa Pili ‘Āina program, funded by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. Big Island Video News.


EPA Completes Nighttime Inspections Of Sewer Lines In Lahaina. The operation involved debris clearing as well as use of a robotic camera to assess the lines. Civil Beat.

Maui County seeks owners of 21 unclaimed vehicles salvaged from Lahaina wildfire zone. The County of Maui is seeking the owners of 21 intact vehicles that were removed from the Lahaina wildfire disaster zone for debris cleanup progression. Maui Now.

MPD's new cold case detail dedicated to finding those still missing after Lahaina fire. Since its inception in November, the Maui Police Department's very first cold case unit located seven people.  KITV4.

Hāna groups issue advisory against visiting Waiʻoka and Kaihalulu in East Maui. The group Hoʻomakaukau Maui Hikina – “East Maui Ready” Leadership (EMR) is issuing a standing advisory requesting that both Waiʻoka and Kaihalulu areas of East Maui be avoided when looking for recreational spots to visit.  Maui Now.

Only safe house for boys on Maui closes due to staff shortage. The Salvation Army made the difficult decision to close its Family Intervention Services Kanehoalani in Wailuku last week until it can find adequate staffing. Hawaii News Now.


Mālama Kaua‘i, Moloa‘a farmers open ʻĀina Center to increase local food production. Kaua‘i moved closer to fulfilling its nickname of the Garden Isle last week, with the grand opening of the $3.2 million ʻĀina Center in Moloa‘a on Feb. 26. Kauai Now.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Green to change emergency housing proclamation to address concerns, U.S. House seeks answers on Maui fire from HECO, PUC, state energy office, drought worsens, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Josh Green to amend Hawaii emergency housing panel powers.  Green plans to issue a second emergency housing proclamation today that he hopes will mollify concerns and satisfy lawsuit complaints in order to fast-track construction of 50,000 new homes to give island residents a major reason to stay home. Seeking compromise, a new document to be signed Friday restores environmental review, historic preservation and open meetings laws. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Congressional committee to probe Maui fires amid demand for answers.  The U.S. House committee investigating the deadly Aug. 8 Maui firestorm said it expects the heads of Hawaiian Electric Co., the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission and the State Energy Office to testify at its first hearing on the disaster. Star-Advertiser. Civil BeatMaui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

$1000 Hotel Rooms? House GOP Wants Answers From FEMA On Maui Wildfires. The House Oversight and Accountability Committee sent a letter to FEMA's top administrator asking questions about its response to the Maui wildfires. Civil Beat.

Drought worsened, expected to intensify across Hawaii.  More than 81%, of the Hawaiian islands are now in moderate to severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor map released today. The rest are abnormally dry. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii AG Raises Concerns About Proposed New HART Rules. The rules would infringe on the rights of some rail authority board members to speak publicly about the massive rail project, according to the attorney general. Civil Beat.

U.S. government files motion to block prominent physician’s testimony in Red Hill suit. Tthe U.S. government is trying to block the testimony of a prominent Hawaii physician in a Red Hill lawsuit that includes allegations of medical negligence. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council proposal seeks to help state collect unpaid traffic fines. Two Honolulu City Council members want the city administration to work with the state to collect a reported $81 million in uncollected assessed traffic fines owed to the State of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Why Everybody Had To Move Out Of This Affordable Housing Project. A $7.5 million apartment building purchased by the City and County of Honolulu in 2018 to provide housing for low-income and homeless people is now sitting vacant due to problems with the building.  Civil Beat.

City extends feral chicken service. The city is extending a cage and disposal service to help tackle the issue of feral chickens.  KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Stoplight slated for Kaiminani. Two more traffic lights are in the initial design phase for installation on Highway 190, or Mamalahoa Highway in North Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Keaukaha Park Closure Set For Road, Parking Lot Restriping. James Kealoha Beach Park, known locally as “4-mile”, will be closed 7:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. daily from September 18 to September 22. Big Island Video News.


Maui councilmembers suggest improvements to state's recent housing proclamation. The Maui County Council’s Housing and Land Use committee reconvened Wednesday, picking up discussion on the governor’s emergency proclamation on housing and how that may come into play following the Maui wildfires. Hawaii Public Radio.

A Maui County Council committee is considering a possible investigation into how firefighters, police, emergency management and public works officials performed while responding to the wildfires in August. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Lahaina property owners allowed to return Sept. 25. Owners and renters who lost their homes and businesses in the deadly Aug. 8 Lahaina wildfire will be allowed escorted visits to their properties on a zone-by-zone basis starting Sept. 25. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

‘First day’ for Maui public school students displaced by wildfire.  For nearly 600 Maui public school students displaced by the closure of their schools by the Lahaina wildfire, Thursday was a “first day of school” like none other. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. KHON2.

American Lung Association questions state’s messaging on Lahaina air quality. The head of the American Lung Association Hawaii says the state Health Department is not doing enough to protect Lahaina fire victims from contaminants in the air. The group is especially concerned about the state’s release of some confusing data on air quality. Hawaii News Now.

The battle over water rights in West Maui is generational for this Kauaʻula taro farmer.  Taro patches once dominated the landscape in Lāhainā, with more than 1,700 recorded in the region in the mid-1800s. But once water started being diverted for sugar cane cultivation, taro farmers from Kauaʻula Valley fought back in one of the earliest recorded legal battles over water rights in West Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.


Lihu‘e Airport bustling in August. A total of 78,648 passengers deplaned domestic flights in August, compared with 83,331 in August 2022, according to data compiled by the state of Hawai‘i’s Department of Business, Economic Development &Tourism. Garden Island.

Fire season getting longer on Kaua‘i. Fire Chief Michael Gibson told The Garden Island he previously considered fire season to run from June through September, but that has started to expand to March through November. Garden Island.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Paying for housing remains a struggle, Honolulu rail CEO gets C-minus evaluation, Schatz, Haaland attend ceremony for new volcano observatory, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

It’s Actually More Expensive To Buy A Home In Hawaii These Days Than You Thought. Fewer than a third of households can afford to buy a single-family home and less than half can afford to buy a condo. The median rental price is unaffordable to a third of households. Civil Beat.

At a glance: Major takeaways from each county's budget. Affordable housing and sustainability were budgeted as top priorities for each county, however, tax relief measures and capital improvement projects were among the other expenditures mayors signed off on. Hawaii Public Radio.

A Struggle For Control Of Hawaii’s Beef Industry Is Playing Out On Safeway Shelves. Demand for beef is exceeding supply, but local producers are not seeing the returns. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii Medical School Suspends Body Donation Program. The program director cited a shortage in international doctors flying in for surgical training, a decline that began during the coronavirus pandemic. Beginning July 11, the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine is temporarily halting a program that allows people to donate their bodies after death for anatomical studies. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.


Rail CEO receives ‘C-minus’ evaluation ahead of the project’s biggest milestone.  On the eve of the biggest milestone in the often-troubled history of Honolulu’s $9.8 billion rail project, Lori Kahikina,  the executive director and CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation received a performance evaluation that she described as an overall “C-minus.” Star-Advertiser.

Red Hill repairs complete, task force says.  The military joint task force charged with defueling the massive underground fuel tanks at the Navy’s Red Hill facility announced Wednesday that it had successfully completed all repairs and modifications to the aging World War II-era facility the state Department of Health said the military must perform to safely begin draining the tanks. Star-Advertiser.

City fined $434K for bacteria exceedances at Kailua Bay. The state Health Department has fined the City and County of Honolulu $434,350 for discharging effluent exceeding permit limits for enterococci from its wastewater treatment plant into Kailua Bay. Star-Advertiser.

Evictions Creep Up On Oahu As Renters Face Waning Pandemic-Era Aid. High rents and overall inflation have contributed to an increase in evictions on Oahu after a lull amid a pandemic moratorium, with 703 evictions last year compared to 333 in 2020, according to the most recent data from the state Judiciary.  Civil Beat.

Green urged to intervene in Waiahole Valley leases. Waiahole Valley residents held a roadside demonstration Wednesday calling on Gov. Josh Green to intervene in a state agency’s effort to dramatically raise tenant land lease rents after 25 years of little or no increases. Star-Advertiser.

Plan B: State Turns To Pigs To Devour Oahu’s Invasive Beetle Problem. DOA Director Sharon Hurd has dubbed the scheme as “Plan B” for the almost decade-long fight to control the coconut rhinoceros beetle, which has the ability to decimate coconut palm populations.  Civil Beat.

Lawmakers, bars call for shake-up of liquor panel. A report criticizing the Honolulu Liquor Commission as understaffed — with workers struggling with low morale and doing inconsistent and ineffective enforcement of Oahu liquor laws — was met with calls for immediate change Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Board extends time for public input on landfill.  The Honolulu Planning Commission took public testimony Wednesday on the city’s request for a two-year extension to find a replacement site for the nearly 40-year-old Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill in Kapolei, which is slated to close by 2028. Star-Advertiser.

State seeks to delist Falls of Clyde from Hawaii’s historic register.  The Hawaii Department of Transportation announced today it would seek to delist the Falls of Clyde from the Hawaii Register of Historic Places. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Hawaii Island

US Geological Survey To Get New Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The site at University of Hawaii-Hilo Research Park will also be home to the USGS Pacific Islands Ecosystems Research Center. The grounds of a new Hilo facility to replace the severely damaged old Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory on the rim of the Kilauea Volcano caldera were blessed Wednesday in a ceremony attended by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. Civil Beat.  Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  KHON2.

‘We are stewards of the land’: Alvarado assumes command at PTA. Community and stewardship of the land were as much topics of discussion as the training of soldiers Wednesday at the change of command ceremony at Pohakuloa Training Center.  Tribune-Herald.

Mayor’s Town Hall Draws A Crowd In Waikōloa. Public questions focused on evacuation routes for Kawaihae, brush fire safety, the delayed start date for Waikoloa Road improvements, short term vacation rentals, area parks, and other topics of local interest. Big Island Video News.


County tax surcharge moves closer to reality.  The council’s Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend approval of the measure, which would add a 0.5 percent surcharge to the state’s 4 percent GET, which is like a sales tax that is charged when residents buy products ranging from groceries to even a haircut. Maui News.

Līloa Dr. extension in Kīhei, Maui gets $25M in federal funds, two more roundabouts planned.
A federal grant of $25,000,000 has been secured for the Līloa Drive Phase I extension in Kīhei on Maui as part of Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America Agenda.  Maui Now.

Permanent speed limit reduction announced for part of Haleakalā Highway.  Speed is being reduced from 55 mph to 45 mph in the northbound direction in the vicinity of the North Firebreak Road Intersection near the Hāna Highway, between mile 0.20 and 0.70.  Maui Now.


Kauai’s electric utility gets its first shipment of locally-produced biodiesel.  The delivery of the local and affordable biodiesel is being hailed as a big step toward meeting the goal of 100% renewable energy statewide by 2045.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Kauaʻi vacation rental occupancy for May down 14% from a year ago.  The occupancy for Kauaʻi vacation rentals in May was 51.7%, which is down 1.1% from a year ago and 28.2% lower than May 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Concrete price hike to impact development, firearms registration up, Maui bans disposable bodyboards, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Rising concrete prices to impact Hawaii construction and development. Industry experts predict a 30 to 60 percent increase in concrete prices by the end of this year and into 2023. Construction experts say the dramatic increase in concrete prices could be $200 per cubic yard or more in Hawaii. KITV4.

Report Raises Questions About The Effects Of Sunscreen On Marine Life. The National Academy of Sciences says more research is needed — even as Hawaii moves to tighten its sunscreen laws. A report released Tuesday said there’s a lack of conclusive data about whether the chemicals in sunscreen are harming marine life. It also cautioned that the environmental concerns as well as the cost and lack of cosmetic appeal of mineral-based sunscreens may have a negative impact on public health by discouraging their use. Civil Beat.

Firearm registrations in Hawaii were up again in 2021.
Firearm registrations in Hawaii were up nearly 7% in 2021, continuing a trend of increasing gun ownership that has stretched over two decades, the state Attorney General’s Office reported Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2.

State, counties to share Hawaii’s $78 million opioid settlement. Hawaii’s share of a $26 billion national opioid litigation settlement has gone up a little, and a special committee is to influence how most of the money gets spent combating harmful use of drugs. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Pacific Islanders Have a Harder Time Getting Kidney Transplants Than Other Patients. Kidney failure afflicts Pacific Islanders at much higher rates, but for reasons that some say amount to discrimination, they don’t get transplants as often. Civil Beat.

4 Days Before The Primary, More Than 186,000 Hawaii Voters Have Already Turned In Their Ballots. With less than a week to go before the primary, Hawaii voters had returned about 186,000 ballots out of more than 730,000 that were sent out statewide. This translates to an overall rate of about 25.5% returned, with Oahu and the Big Island so far leading the turnout at a little over 26% of ballots having been returned by Tuesday, four days before the primary. Civil Beat.

Kahele accuses Green of ‘blatant lie’ after Hawaiian Home Lands claim. Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Josh Green accused Kahele of ‘misleading attacks.’ Mud-slinging in the Democratic race for governor continues with a new accusation from U.S. Rep. Kahele. Hawaii News Now.


City council eyes outlawing gifts over $25. No more gifts. That’s the goal of the Honolulu Ethics Commission, which is pushing for a bill in the Honolulu City Council outlawing gifts to the mayor, prosecutor, city council or any city employee. KHON2.

Keith Kaneshiro trial is pushed back to March. The federal trial of former Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro and politically prominent architecture and engineering executive Dennis Mitsunaga was pushed back to March, a U.S. Magistrate Judge ruled Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Redacted Navy Red Hill log shows ‘critical’ system warnings began hours before May 6, 2021 fuel spill. A Navy document provided to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser shows that on the morning of May 6, hours before the spill, a constant barrage of alarms began going off within Red Hill’s Automated Fuel Handling Equipment program, an inventory control system used by the Navy to track fuel in real time and detect leaks. Star-Advertiser.

In wake of Uvalde, Hawaii law enforcement agencies coordinate on unified active shooter plan. Law enforcement from state and county agencies are working together to coordinate how they’d respond in the event of an active shooter or similar mass attack in Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

'We felt relief': Hilton housekeepers return to work with new contract. Many hotel workers struggled to make ends meet the last two years — even when properties were fully occupied. Now, Hilton housekeepers are returning to full-time work thanks to a new contract. Hawaii Public Radio.

Photographer, naturalist Nate Yuen found dead at cliff bottom. Members of Hawaii’s conservation, hiking and Native Hawaiian communities and others are mourning the death of photographer and naturalist Nate Yuen, whose body was found Tuesday morning roughly 100 feet below a cliff off the Waimano Ridge Trail in Pearl City. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

New emergency management law in the works: Bill raises eyebrows over power to suspend media coverage. A bill is in the works to strengthen and align local emergency powers more closely to those of the state during declared emergencies. West Hawaii Today.

Officials Working To Address Mountain View Traffic Concerns. The County and State of Hawaiʻi are working to resolve traffic issues on Highway 11 as the new school year gets underway. Big Island Video News.

Wendy’s decision delayed: Kailua Village Design Commission canceled due to lack of quorum. It’ll be another couple of weeks before the Kailua Village Design Commission takes up a design review application for a new Wendy’s in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.


Can capping Maui visitor rooms help curb over-tourism? Groups continue to spar over proposal. Nearly 30 testifiers sounded off Tuesday at Maui Planning Commission, which is considering whether to recommend a measure that would make the two-year hotel construction moratorium more permanent. Maui Now.

Ban on disposable bodyboards goes into effect on Maui. A ban on disposable bodyboards is now effect in Maui County. Boards made of polystyrene cannot be sold or rented. Hawaii News Now.

Blessing held for 324 unit Kaulana Mahina workforce apartments in Wailuku, Maui. An official blessing was held on Monday for the new Kaulana Mahina development in Central Maui. Kaulana Mahina features long-term workforce rentals and a community/recreation center, on 14.4 acres in Wailuku. Maui Now. KHON2.

Balinbin, Cochran face off again, this time for the House. District 14 candidates are competing for Democratic nomination. A grassroots Kahana resident goes head-to-head with a longtime West Maui council member in the Democratic primary for the House District 14 seat, a new district created from the state’s reapportionment process that encompasses nearly all of West Maui. Maui News.


Forum Wednesday is on coastal response to sea-level rise. Many people are seeing the erosion of Kaua‘i’s shorelines and sea-level rise during storms and wonder if anything can be done to preserve beaches. Garden Island.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Grand jury declines to indict police in 16-year-old's shooting death, teachers ratify contract, hot housing market squeezing out renters, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii mai tai on the rocks ©2021 All Hawaii News

Survey says Hawaii residents among the least likely to switch to alcohol-free drinks. 3,000 drinkers were surveyed across the country and it revealed that just 58% of people in Hawai'i would be willing to switch to a non-alcoholic drink -- for at least a month. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige continues to restrict the release of public records, citing the ongoing pandemic. The state’s public records law continues to be partially suspended under Gov. David Ige’s latest emergency proclamation related to the coronavirus pandemic, allowing government agencies to delay the release of records if they are busy responding to the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii State Teachers Association says tentative 2-year contract for teachers ratified. The two-year tentative agreement freezes teachers’ pay through June 2023. The state previously proposed cuts in pay by as much as 20% to help balance the budget in the midst of the pandemic. The contract also increases state contributions to employee health premiums. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii’s Hot Housing Market Is Squeezing Out Renters. The number of renters who are looking for a new place to live could rise when the eviction moratorium is lifted in August. Civil Beat.

'Regenerative Tourism' Movement Wants Benefits to Outweigh Costs. Even before the pandemic, movements were underway to shift Hawaiʻi’s visitor industry toward a model that gives back more than it takes. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Hopes New Commission Will Improve Civic Engagement And Respect For Democracy. In a bid to encourage democratic engagement by citizens young and old, Hawaii has joined a growing list of states, including California and Illinois, in establishing initiatives aimed at providing education and resources about basic government processes and ways to influence them. Civil Beat.

State officials tout incentives, hope more residents will get vaccinated. State leaders are hopeful that recently announced incentives and benchmarks will entice more people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, but it’s too soon to tell what effect those efforts will actually have on inoculation numbers. Tribune-Herald.

Kaiser opens ‘ImmUNITY’ sweepstakes for those vaccinated against COVID-19. Kaiser Permanente is launching a sweepstakes campaign as part of a national effort to vaccinate 70% of adults in the United States against COVID-19 with at least one shot by the Fourth of July. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Hawaii reports 46 new coronavirus cases. There are 17 coronavirus cases on Oahu, five on the Big Island, 17 on Maui and seven diagnosed out of state. KHON2.


Grand jury declines to charge officers in 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap shooting. In a decision that stunned family members and prompted calls for disclosure, an Oahu grand jury declined to indict three Honolulu police officers in connection with the April 5 shooting death of an unarmed 16-year-old who was the driver of a stolen vehicle that police fired into from behind as it sat idle on Kala­kaua Avenue. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

ACLU Files Lawsuit Accusing HPD Officer Of Helping His Friend. The ACLU has been pushing for a policy prohibiting conflicts of interest in policing. HPD’s new acting chief says the department is working on it. Civil Beat.

Woman says police covered up assault.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city, Honolulu police and the private business partner of an officer on behalf of a woman who alleges they covered up her assault by refusing to allow her to file a police report and falsely accusing her of stealing a mobile phone. Star-Advertiser.

Upfront split of new Aloha Stadium cost could have downside for taxpayers. The pending plan would shift much of the $400 million price tag to developers up front but could cost taxpayers more in the long run. KHON2.

In court, ‘Miske Enterprise’ defendant says he was offered $50,000 to help commit murder. Norman Akau III is the latest defendant to enter into a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in the case against Honolulu businessman and suspected crime boss Michael Miske, who remains behind bars as he awaits trial on a long list of charges, including murder. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Ethics Board weighs in on Van Pernis complaints.
Leeward Planning Commissioner Mark Van Pernis was in the hot seat again Wednesday, this time before the county Board of Ethics. The board found Van Pernis didn’t violate the code of ethics in one petition, and it postponed action on a second petition in order to review videos of planning commission meetings where Van Pernis was accused of acting inappropriately. West Hawaii Today.

HFD likely to finish out fiscal year slightly under budget. As of May 31, the department had expended just 84.12% of its $51.92 million annual budget, leaving a little bit of leeway for the final month of fiscal year 2020-21, which ends June 30. With the surplus, the department paid years of past-due bills discovered after a new accountant was brought on, Todd told the Hawaii County Fire Commission Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Legislative talk story: Lowen, Kanuha talk with constituents about 2021 session. Sen. Dru Kanuha (D-Kona, Ka’u) joined Rep. Nicole Lowen (D-North Kona) on Zoom alongside constituents for the hour-long meeting. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Residents Invited to Give Input on Future Transportation Projects.  The Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization is seeking public input on improving transportation on the Valley Isle. Hawaii Public Radio.

6-Story Building Proposed for Construction on Grounds of Old Wailuku Post Office Site. The construction is proposed by the State of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation for use as office space for various state agencies. Maui Now.

Traffic concerns stall Costco gas station expansion plans. After coming close to denying a permit that would allow Costco to expand its fueling station in Kahului, the Maui Planning Commission deferred a decision on Tuesday, citing concerns over traffic around the already crowded gas station. Maui News.


HTA funds $100K for forth-coming Kaua‘i shuttle service. With 40% of car rental inventory down and a surge in visitor arrivals, finding ways to get around the island for visitors has become a more pressing issue than it was in the past. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Humane Society gets $80,000. After receiving an anonymous donation of $40,000, the Kaua‘i Humane Society’s board matched the amount and used those funds by recently signing an agreement with Spectrum to upgrade their internet and phone lines. Garden Island.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Bill would allow exemptions from child vaccinations, Airbnb sends campaign cash, Honolulu prosecutor could be term-limited, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii corrections officer ©2020 All Hawaii News
Hawaii Prison Reformers Call For New Approach To Guard Training. An overhaul of the training program is competing with many other priorities. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers consider bill that would allow for ‘conscientious’ exemption for child vaccines. New state child vaccinations requirements are about to kick in. But some parents are calling on lawmakers to delay the new rules — or make it easier to exempt children. Hawaii News Now.

State Health Laboratory to begin testing for novel coronavirus. The State Department of Health said beginning next week Hawaii should be able to test for coronavirus at the State Laboratory in Pearl City. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii lawmakers explore controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws. State Representative Sean Quinlan's proposal would allow people to defend themselves on their own property or at their business, without fear of criminal prosecution. Hawaii News Now.

Environmental groups contend in lawsuit that the EPA has not protected Hawaii’s shorelines. Environmental groups last week filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, saying plastic is undoubtedly a criterion and that the EPA has failed to protect 17 coastal water bodies around Hawaii from wide-scale plastic pollution under the federal Clean Water Act. Star-Advertiser.

Inouye pushes for stricter DUI law. A bill that would lower the blood-alcohol content for drivers to be considered legally intoxicated was passed unanimously Wednesday by the state Senate Transportation Committee. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii legislators advance bill to create LGBTQ commission. Hawaii state legislators have preliminarily approved a bill that would create a commission to address issues concerning the LGBTQ community. Associated Press.

Bills target dog-tethering. Improperly chaining dogs could become illegal later this year if a pair of animal cruelty bills passes the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Bills would toughen penalties for assaulting, threatening sports officials. A pair of bills introduced this legislative session by state senators from Oahu seeks harsher penalties for parents, spectators and athletes who assault or terrorize sports officials such as referees, umpires and coaches. Tribune-Herald.

Survey Shows Extent of Sexual Harassment Among UH Students. The University of Hawaiʻi officially released its latest biennial student survey on sexual harassment and gender-based violence, issues that are prevalent among college students nationwide. Maui Now.

State could pay $1 million to settle lawsuits. Measures before the Legislature would appropriate more than $1 million to settle claims against the state — $650,000 of which would go toward a lawsuit over the 2014 death of a teenager who was riding a scooter on a Likelike Highway onramp. Star-Advertiser.

Tulsi Gabbard Bets Her Presidential Campaign On New Hampshire. The Hawaii congresswoman, who performed dismally in Iowa, has pretty much lived in the Granite State since December and hosted more than 100 events. Civil Beat.


All prosecutor candidates but 1 agree with 2-term limit. Oahu voters will be asked in November whether they want to stop future Honolulu city prosecutors from serving more than two consecutive terms. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands turn out to tour the nearly complete Halaulani city rail station. The general public got its first chance to visit a city rail station Saturday ahead of initial limited service projected to start 10 months from now. Star-Advertiser.


HART opens the doors to rail cars and platform for a community preview. Days after the mayor scrapped plans to renovate the Blaisdell Center over concerns of rail costs, the public had a chance to check out the already-completed rail facilities that have been years, and billions of dollars, in the making. Hawaii News Now.


Controversial Kahuku wind farm is built, what's next? All eight turbines in Na Pua Makani wind farm in Kahuku are built as construction and commissioning activities march forward. KITV4.

Emergency repairs begin on crumbling highway near Crouching Lion, snarling traffic. With high surf pounding shores across the state, erosion is continuing to cause problem for some, including an already troubled portion of highway on Oahu’s windward side. Hawaii News Now.

Owners at affordable condo to appeal after seeing their property taxes skyrocket. Nearly 50 owners of affordable condos at an Ala Moana area highrise are appealing their city property tax assessments. Hawaii News Now.

Aloha Tower restaurant Gordon Biersch closes after 26 years. After 26 years of business, Gordon Biersch at Aloha Tower has been closed for good. KHON2.

Oahu condo sales rise 16%, median price up by 7.5%. Condominium sales on Oahu increased by 16% in January as the median price rose 7.5%, compared to a year ago, while single-family home sales increased 8% as the median price remained flat, according to statistics from the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Airbnb fattens four council campaign war chests. Four Hawaii County Council members each received a $500 contribution from Airbnb last year, although the source of their money wasn’t obvious. West Hawaii Today.

Puna Kai work continues. Despite the developer’s assurance last fall that many retailers in the Puna Kai shopping center would be open by Thanksgiving, work is still underway on the Pahoa project. Tribune-Herald.

Time is ticking for a bill to secure funding for an ambulance to be stationed at Makalei Fire Station, and it doesn’t look like it has a promising future. The closest ambulance-equipped fire station is 8 miles away in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

DHHL Takes On Abandoned Vehicles in Makuʻu. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands says it is working to address abandoned vehicles, trespassing and unpermitted structures in the Makuʻu homestead area. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Island home sales get off to roaring start in 2020. Single-family home sales on Hawaii Island got off to a roaring start in January, with a 44% increase in sales and a 25% increase in the median price, compared to a year ago, while the median price of a condominium jumped 32%, according to statistics provided by Hawaii Information Service on behalf of Hawaii Island Realtors. Pacific Business News.


Top elections officials approved. County Council OKs Kaohu, Krueger for Clerk’s Office. Maui News.

Lab: Mahi Pono’s potato crop is free from chemical residuals. Amid questions over farming practices and the quality of its produce, third-party testing of Mahi Pono potatoes for 400 chemicals shows that they are free from pesticide residuals and safe for eating, the company said. Maui News.

ML&P sells 46 acres of Kapalua Resort for nearly $44M. Maui Land & Pineapple Co. reached an agreement to sell 46 acres at the center of its Kapalua Resort for nearly $44 million to Delaware limited-liability company KCRMD LLC, according to financial filings. Maui News.

Grand Wailea delay proves barriers to enter Maui’s hotel market. Expansion plans for the Grand Wailea Maui, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, recently hit another snag when the Maui Planning Commission granted a petition to intervene in the wake of community pushback against the $150 million project. Star-Advertiser.

Costs for Maui County seniors high. Maui County’s kupuna face some of the highest cost of living challenges in the nation, with some shelling out more than $5,000 annually for necessities compared to their Mainland counterparts, a recent study shows. Maui News.


Hanapepe bridges, other topics part of mayor’s talk story. The Hanapepe Economic Alliance is hosting a talk story session Wednesday, Feb. 12, beginning at 5:30 p.m., for Hanapepe and ‘Ele‘ele communities, to discuss the status of the four bridges in the Hanapepe area, led by Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i is good place to start a small business. A recent study from SmartAsset, a New York Financial company discovered that Kaua’i is one of the top islands in the state to start a small business. Maui comes in at first, with Kaua’i at second, Hawai‘i Island at third and Oahu in last. Garden Island.

Eradication unlikely. An invasive weed community members have been battling for years along the Kilauea River is creeping back along the banks, growing rapidly in a thick blanket of green that is known to take over the surface of lakes and slow-moving water. Garden Island.

Kauai single-family home prices jump 16%. The median price of a single-family home on Kauai rose 16% in January, compared to a year ago, and the median price of a condominium declined by 18% while sales of both categories dropped, according to statistics provided by Hawaii Information Service on behalf of the Kauai Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Kaiser sues Queen's in contract dispute, Honolulu no sanctuary city, OHA trustees must pay back misused money, water buffaloes on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Honolulu cityscape ©2019 All Hawaii News
Study: Average Honolulu resident would have to save for 40 years to afford a home. Urban Honolulu tied with San Francisco for the second-longest length of time a prospective homeowner would have to save up. Los Angeles was in the top spot -- at 43 years. Hawaii News Now.


Kaiser sues Queen’s over billing. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against The Queen’s Health Systems, after the hospital provider said it intended to directly bill Kaiser members who receive emergency medical services at its facilities as of May 31. Star-Advertiser.

Kaiser Permanente Sues Queen's Health System In Contract Dispute. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has sued the Queen's Health System in federal court after it said the parties failed to reach agreement over a hospital provider contract that expired last month. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kaiser files lawsuit against Queen’s following contract expiration at end of May. Kaiser Permanente on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against The Queen’s Health Systems after Queen’s told the health plan it will be billing Kaiser members for the balance of any emergency services it provides that aren’t reimbursed. West Hawaii Today.

Kaiser Permanente files lawsuit against Queen's Health System to protect patients from 'unfair billing practices'. According to Kaiser Permanente, it has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Queen’s Health System to "protect their patients from unfair billing practices." KITV.


Ethics Commission forces several OHA trustees to pay back thousands. The state Ethics Commission has ordered several members of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees to pay back thousands of dollars in travel and meal expenses. Hawaii News Now.

As Hawaii Looks to Build Tech Industry, Attention Turns To Esports. Hawaii has long sought to diversify its economy and build up its tech industry. One area gaining ground at local colleges is the competitive video gaming known as esports. Hawaii Public Radio.

Push To Increase College Financial Aid Applications May Be Paying Off. Education officials hope this results in more graduating seniors enrolling in college this year, especially those from low-income families. Civil Beat.

This Texas Lawyer Flies Marshallese Women Through Hawaii For Black Market Adoptions. In texts and emails with adoptive parents, Dallas lawyer Jody Hall openly flouts laws restricting Marshallese adoptions in the U.S. Civil Beat.

The State Department of Defense put out a warning about a scam involving the late Hawaii U.S. Representative Mark Takai. A person is sending text messages to people using his photo. He claims to be Sergeant Philip Lee Alexander Junior, a soldier in the Army stationed in Syria. KITV.


Bill to make Honolulu sanctuary city dies. Honolulu City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi, who co-authored Bill 31, said there are no plans to move the bill beyond the approval it received on first reading June 5. Star-Advertiser.

Power Outage At Honolulu Airport Causes Travel Delays. For about an hour, security checkpoints at Terminal 1 were not operational and there was no electricity at the gates. Civil Beat.

Faulty transmission line blamed for power outage at Honolulu’s airport. A power outage shut down a large portion of Honolulu’s airport Wednesday morning, but it’s now back to business as usual. Hawaii News Now.

Charges dismissed against ousted principal. A state judge has permanently dismissed felony theft charges against the ousted director of the now-defunct Halau Lokahi Public Charter School because the state took too long to take the case to trial. Star-Advertiser.

‘An ongoing problem’: Kailua residents worry a stretch of road is too dangerous for pedestrians. Two people have been hit by cars in two days on the same road in Kailua. Hawaii News Now.

Injured man, 5 others cited for trespassing after rockfall at Sacred Falls. State conservation officers on Tuesday afternoon cited an injured Honolulu man, along with five others, for trespassing at Sacred Falls State Park following a rockfall incident. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Garbage diversion is the goal: Solid Waste Advisory Committee wraps up draft report. The newest crop of trash-talkers advocates the carrot, not the stick. West Hawaii Today.

Man indicted in crash that killed HFD veteran. A Kona grand jury met June 10 and indicted Christopher Raymond Helmlinger, 21, of Waimea, on charges of manslaughter and second-degree negligent homicide in connection with the May 22 multiple-car crash that took the life of David Mahon, a 49-year-old Kailua-Kona resident who had a lengthy career with the fire department. West Hawaii Today.

HMC adds cardiologist. Hilo Medical Center’s cardiac program has expanded once again, with the addition of a second interventional cardiologist. Tribune-Herald.


Council budget in fact $43M more than mayor’s. Budget Chairwoman Keani Rawlins-Fernandez comments at news conference incorrect. Maui News.

On Hawaiian Kingdom, Maui County Goes Where Hawaii County Would Not. On May 15, Dr. Keanu Sai, a political science professor at the University of Hawaii, made a presentation to the Maui County Council regarding the status of Hawaii as an occupied nation State under international law. Big Island Video News.

Snake hitchhikes to Maui in Virginia visitor’s backpack. Maui police and state officials caught a small, juvenile snake that slithered out of a visitor’s backpack Monday night at a vacation rental in Pukalani. Star-Advertiser.

Stowaway Snake Found Slithering from Backpack of Maui Visitor. A small juvenile snake was captured after it was seen slithering out of a newly arrived visitor’s backpack Monday night at a Maui vacation rental in Pukalani. Maui Now.


Rules ready when highway reopens. It’s going to be different for Kauai residents trying to get to Kee Beach for sunset or take a weekend hike to Hanakapiai. Garden Island.

Hanalei Initiative to launch North Shore Shuttle. It will begin running with the reopening of Kuhio Highway to the general public. Garden Island.

Kauai climbs ‘The Hill’. Kauai’s contingent sent to this week’s “Hawaii on the Hill” in Washington, D.C., was on a mission of aloha. Garden Island.

Water buffaloes arrive on a Kauai farm. Kauai farmer Don Heacock has four new additions taking up residence on his 25-acre farm — water buffaloes from Arkansas that he considers a dream come true. Star-Advertiser.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Thousand Oaks shooter previously stationed at Kaneohe, Hawaii top state for Viagra, honeymooners file lawsuit over hotel strike, shark fins smuggled in luggage, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News
Natatorium in Waikiki ©2018 All Hawaii News
Supporters of the Natatorium applauded the city’s latest plan for restoring the deteriorating Waikiki memorial: a $25.6 million rebuild that would keep the historic structure and pool mostly intact. Star-Advertiser.

Where Does Tulsi Gabbard Fit In The New House Democratic Majority? The Hawaii congresswoman, who’s considering a run for president, has been outspoken about party establishment and wasn’t a major factor in Democratic fundraising efforts. Civil Beat.

Thousand Oaks shooter was once stationed at Kaneohe Marine Corps Base. A gunman who opened fire at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, late Wednesday night is identified as 28-year-old former Marine Ian David Long. KITV.

Hawaii the top state for prescription ED medications, study says. This comes after both Cialis and Viagra -- the top selling ED brands -- went generic, making the drugs less expensive. KITV.

Using Artificial Intelligence to Identify Humpback Whales. Artificial Intelligence has been used for everything from teaching computers to play chess to helping speed ride-sharing services on thei rway. And now one government agency is using it to track humpback whales in the Pacific. Hawaii Public Radio.

Union of Hawaiian Telcom, Cincinnati Bell ‘going well’. It’s getting dissed by a competitor as no longer being a local company, but Hawaiian Telcom is doing well since Ohio-based Cincinnati Bell acquired the longtime kamaaina phone, internet and TV service provider in July. Star-Advertiser.


A North Carolina doctor and his wife have filed a class-action lawsuit against Marriott International and Kyo-Ya Hotels &Resorts for not telling them that the workers in their hotel were on strike before they came here on their honeymoon. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell is hoping to find a private partner to help pay for the planned redevelopment of the Neal S. Blaisdell Center complex. Star-Advertiser.

Cost to hire special duty Honolulu police officer increases. Right now the regular rate for a special duty officer is $36 an hour. That'll go up to $40 dollars an hour Jan. 1. KHON2.

Analysis: 1 in 5 homes on Oahu worth $1M or more. Oahu’s median house price is $800K. Real estate website Trulia ranked Honolulu’s housing market fourth in the nation for having one of the largest increases in homes worth $1 million or more in 2018. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Among Top 10 Destinations for Thanksgiving Travel. AAA Hawaiʻi is reporting that 54 million Americans will travel this Thanksgiving, and Honolulu is among 10 top destinations where travelers plan to visit. Maui Now.

Agents bust alleged shark fin smuggling ring at Honolulu’s airport. The men reportedly had the shark fins in their luggage. Hawaii News Now.

A stretch of Kuhio Highway between Waikoko and Wainiha damaged by heavy floods will not be open until next year. The repairs were expected to be finished this fall, but officials say in order to bring in heavy equipment, they first have to repair the Waioli, Waipa and Waikoko Stream bridges. Hawaii News Now.

Down to Earth to reopen first standalone store at Pearlridge Center on Dec. 1. The new 13,000-square-foot store is located at Pearlridge Center east across the street from Pali Momi Medical Center, next to the old Toys R Us. KHON2.

As work on Honolulu’s 20-mile rail line begins to enter more populated areas, the state’s Harbors Division said it is looking at how it can capitalize on transit-oriented development opportunities. Pacific Business News.

Relocation of Kakaako farmers market to bring new life to demolished Ward Warehouse space. The Kakaako Farmers Market has found a new, and hopefully long-term, home in part of the recently demolished Ward Warehouse space. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Kim resumes work on plan for Maunakea. Kim, who in November 2017 received a green light from Gov. David Ige to propose a new management structure for the mountain, said he is back to talking with a seven-member working group that will help him refine his vision for Maunakea, which he thinks can be a symbol of international cooperation, the pursuit of knowledge, and the Hawaiian people. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island reps get new assignments. Rep. Mark Nakashima has been named vice speaker of the state House of Representatives. Tribune-Herald.

Gun owner contests petition in open-carry case. The attorneys for the Hilo man challenging Hawaii’s open-carry gun law filed a response Thursday to the state’s latest legal maneuver, saying its argument is both legally wrong and “far too little and far too late.” Star-Advertiser.

Vacation Rental Ban Could Be ‘The Final Death Blow’ For Puna. Critics argue these rentals are one of the few economic bright spots in the lava-ravaged district. Civil Beat.

Vandals damage Big Island park, closing it for $12K repairs. Repairs will be made to the bathroom, water fountain and storage lockers. Hawaii News Now.

A vision for an improved Volcano School of Arts and Sciences is moving forward, and has gotten Windward Planning Commission approval. Big Island Video News.

Big Island tea cooperative optimistic about new ag venture. With the help of farmers, landowners, investors and consumers, a Big Island cooperative hopes to establish a specialty tea industry in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Electric to Build Storm Water Retention Basin in Maalaea. The basin is planned to further protect surrounding areas from excess storm water overflow that could occur at the facility during heavy rains. Maui Now.

No leadership overhaul expected at Capitol. Maui County’s state lawmakers eye their roles the upcoming legislative session. Maui News.

Maui Lawmakers Secure Leadership, Committee Chair Assignments. Maui Now.


Jump start on legislative leadership. Democratic State Reps. Dee Morikawa and Nadine Nakamura have hit the ground running in leadership positions with the House of Representatives, flying to Oahu for meetings the day after the election. Garden Island.

'You gotta speak up'. The Kauai protest at the intersection of Ahukini Road and Kapule Highway near Lihue Airport was one of many nationwide rallies calling for the protection of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election season. Garden Island.

The annual Kauai Veterans Day parade, traditionally held on the first Saturday of November and presented by the Kauai Veterans Council, returned to Kapaa town, coordinated by the Kapaa Business Association. Garden Island.