Showing posts with label humpback whales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label humpback whales. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

House committees punt housing density plans back to counties, lawmakers mull tax breaks, last USS Arizona survivor dies at 102, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Housing density bill curtailed. A proposal to increase housing density statewide was substantially cut Monday after lawmakers chose to leave the matter to the counties. The measure attracted lengthy testimony, both positive and negative, during a Monday joint meeting of the House committees on Housing, Water and Land, and Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs. Tribune-Herald.

As deadline looms, lawmakers evaluating best use of limited money for tax breaks. Lobbying for tax breaks is in high gear at the state Capitol. That’s because Gov. Josh Green last week said costs for Maui’s recovery are lower than expected, making limited tax relief possible.  Hawaii News Now.

State Senate wants to establish renewable fuel working group to study local production. State senators are asking stakeholders from across the energy industry to convene a working group to figure out the best way to ramp up local production of renewable fuels.  Hawaii Public Radio.

HECO rolls out program for customers to streamline rooftop solar energy programs.
“Smart Renewable Energy” represents the next step in Hawaiian Electric’s push to bring more customer-sited renewable energy resources onto the grid as Hawai‘i strives to achieve its clean energy goals. Maui Now.

Hawaii Senate bill seeks to toughen penalties for speeding in school zones.
A bill is moving through the legislature that will allow harsher fees and penalties for those who speed in a school zone. KITV4.

Lou Conter, last survivor of the USS Arizona, dies at 102. Lou Conter, the last survivor of the USS Arizona, died Monday morning at his home in Grass Valley, Calif., at the age of 102. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press.Hawaii News Now.

OHA selects Hailama Farden as Senior Director of Hawaiian Cultural Affairs. The newly created position will be responsible for creating recommendations and institutionalizing OHA’s culture ensuring that a Hawaiian worldview and practices are incorporated into all lines of business. Maui Now.

Sanctuary Ocean Count, Great Whale Count conclude for 2024 humpback whale season. Data collected during the Sanctuary Ocean Count and Great Whale Count combined with other research efforts can help reveal trends in humpback whale occurrence within and amongst whale seasons. Big Island Now.


Navy Whistleblower Pursued Fraud Case Against Red Hill Contractors, Unsealed Documents Show. Newly unsealed court documents show that federal authorities spent the past two years investigating but ultimately declined to pursue a Navy whistleblower’s claim that private contractors helped cause the dire fuel leaks at the military’s Red Hill fuel storage facility by fraudulently cutting corners on their work there. Star-Advertiser.

High Fives And Hugs: Witness Describes Friendly Relationship Between Mike Miske And HPD Officers. A government witness in the trial of accused crime boss Miske told jurors he asked HPD for help after Miske threatened him. Instead, officers at Miske's business told him to get lost, he says. Civil Beat.

Court records: GPS data to be presented at trial will show officers drove past crash scene after pursuit. Court records show the city Prosecutor’s Office plans to employe location tracking technology in the trial against four HPD officers charged in connection with a 2021 chase and crash that seriously injured six people. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu police officer shortage imperils public safety, union says.
The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers is urging the Honolulu Police Department and county leadership to address a shortage of 437 officers that leaves areas of Oahu with “limited to no coverage” several days a week. Star-Advertiser.

Public Comment Requested For Oahu’s Near-Term Infrastructure Projects. The Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization announced Monday that it is seeking public comment to determine which local infrastructure projects get federal funding over the next three years.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

A new name for Hawaii Island? A state board considering it. The Board on Geographic Names is considering it — and could take a key vote this week. Hawaii News Now.

Hu Honua Pushes PUC To Take Action On Hawaiʻi Island Power Crisis. Hu Honua takes aim at Hawaiian Electric's "monopolization of the firm power generation market on the Big Island", and wants the Public Utilities Commission to help bring the bioenergy facility online. Big Island Video News. KITV4.

Planning Commission to mull housing-related bills. A trio of Hawaii County Council bills that would change how transient accommodations and ‘ohana housing units are regulated will go before the Windward Planning Commission on Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

EPA addresses pollution violations involving wastewater treatment plants on Hawaiʻi Island. The US Environmental Protection Agency entered into an Administrative Order on Consent with the County of Hawai’i to ensure pollution discharge requirements are met at the Hilo, Pāpa‘ikou, and Kula‘imano Wastewater Treatment Plants in accordance with the Clean Water Act. Maui Now.

Hawaii Island has most traffic fatalities in state.
This time last year Hawaii island was at five traffic deaths, as of April 1, 2024, they’re at 14. KHON2.

Hualālai Deepwell Goes Offline, Kona Water Restriction Notice In Place
. North Kona customers that a mandatory 25 percent Water Restriction Notice with two deepwells offline. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Waikoloa Road Rehabilitation project ongoing. Work continues on the Waikoloa Road Rehabilitation, which extends from Mamalahoa Highway to Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway. Tribune-Herald.


Hawaii Governor Will Take ‘Unilateral Action’ To Restore Historic Wetland In Lahaina. With legislative efforts dead this session, Native Hawaiian leaders remain encouraged by what they're hearing from elected officials and seeing on the ground. Civil Beat.

Maui Council Wrestles With ‘Tough Questions’ As It Begins Reviewing $1.7B County Budget. The county needs to ensure it is spending its own money wisely while asking for hundreds of millions of dollars in outside funding to rebuild Lahaina. Civil Beat.

State acquires former hotel to house Maui fire survivors. Between 350 and 450 Maui wildfire survivors in early May should begin moving into a former hotel in Kihei now owned by the state. Star-Advertiser.

Wai Now: Public forum sparks debate on Upcountry water well development. Members of the Upcountry community gathered to discuss a possible public-private partnership aimed at incrementally building one to four water wells in Kula, Maui. Maui Now.


Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge sets opening date for long-awaited viewpoint. The Hanalei refuge is the oldest of Kauaʻi’s three national wildlife refuges.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Friday, March 8, 2024

House passes $11.3B state budget that devotes $1B to Maui wildfire losses, DOE steps up construction projects to encumber funding, last known Pearl Harbor attack survivor laid to rest, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

$11.3B state budget advances with a focus on Maui recovery.  Finance Chair Rep. Kyle Yamashita explained that the committee tried to balance funding both Maui recovery and important state functions, with about $1 billion going to Maui wildfire costs. Hawaii Public Radio.

Details on the proposed state budget, HB1800, can be found here.

DOE Says It Can Step Up Spending To Save Construction Projects. The Department of Education is planning to significantly increase its spending on construction in the next three and a half months in an effort to reduce the amount of funding it is set to lose at the end of June because of delays in getting projects off the ground. Civil Beat.

Hawaii students’ learning loss from COVID may cut wages 3.7% lifetime. The learning loss that Hawaii students suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to lower their lifetime earnings by an average of 3.7%, spurring a 1.2% loss in Hawaii’s gross domestic product, or $31.3 billion in present value, according to a new report by the Hoover Institution of Stanford University released Thursday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Feds seized more than $6 million in Hawaii in ’23
. The U.S. Department of Justice more than tripled the amount of money collected through criminal and civil actions by adding $6.64 million to government coffers in fiscal year 2023. Star-Advertiser.

Changes To Hawaii’s Home Battery Program Could Hinder Its Clean Energy Transition. A revision in how much homeowners are paid for the electricity they send to the grid could keep them from participating at all. Civil Beat.

Catastrophes are driving up condo insurance rates in Hawaii and nationwide. A ripple effect across the country is showing up in the condo fees for nearly 200,000 Hawaii residents, and experts say catastrophes are driving up their insurance rates. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Human Services Director Stepping Down In May.  Cathy Betts, director of the Hawaii Department of Human Services is leaving her post to become executive director of the Hawaii State Bar Association. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s last Pearl Harbor survivor laid to rest. Sterling Robert Cale, 102, the last known Pearl Harbor attack survivor living in Hawaii was laid to rest Thursday alongside his late wife at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe. Star-Advertiser.

Deaths of young dolphin, humpback calf highlight importance of responsible boating in Hawaiʻi waters. Within the span of just a few weeks in February, a Hawaiian spinner dolphin yearling and humpback whale calf stranded dead in Hawaiʻi, both suffering injuries consistent with being struck by a vessel. Big Island Now.


University of Hawaii housing repair plans axed, records show
. University of Hawaii officials trying to learn how the Hale Noelani student housing complex ended up shuttered for seven years have discovered that although some top UH leaders have said they regret being unaware too long of its closure, preliminary work and permit applications actually were initiated and later canceled by the student-housing program in the past few years. Star-Advertiser.

 Honolulu City Council checks on improvements to building permit process.
Inadequate staffing, onerous regulations, manual procedures, and outdated technology. On Thursday, the Honolulu City Council focused on the city's backlog problem at the Department of Planning and Permitting. KITV4.

Navy Says Indications Of Petroleum In Pearl Harbor Water May Be ‘False Positives’. More than two years after fuel contaminated Pearl Harbor’s drinking water, residents remain at odds with the Navy about whether the water is clean. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Malfunction sends eastbound Skyline train in the wrong direction. More than 30 passengers heading into town suddenly found themselves going backward. The City’s Transportation Services Director Roger Morton said this was the programmed response for the rail system. KHON2. KITV4.

Bill to bolster native fish hatchery would help keiki 'bring the ʻanae back to Waiʻanae'
. Hawaiʻi lawmakers have advanced a measure to bolster a native fish hatchery program in Waiʻanae that would produce pua, or juvenile mullet, for fishponds and stock enhancement. Hawaii Public Radio

State-run health care center opens in Iwilei.
Located in an industrial area of downtown Honolulu where homeless people live in tents or shacklike structures erected on city sidewalks, the stand-alone Behavioral Health Crisis Center  at 806 Iwilei Road will provide short-term “compassionate mental health care," according to the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

No decision on Punalu‘u Village. Dozens testified before the Windward Planning Commission, which met to decide whether to grant a special management area permit to developer Black Sand Beach LLC. The permit would allow Black Sand Beach to build a roughly 225-unit “residential and commercial community,” called Punalu‘u Village, on a 147-acre parcel. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Downtown Hilo roadwork nears completion. Excavation and reconstruction of sections of Kilauea Avenue and Keawe Street in downtown Hilo are set to be complete at the end of next week.  Tribune-Herald.

Snow Covers Hawaiʻi Summits As Winter Weather Advisory Continues. Rangers reported the road to the summit of Maunakea was closed at the mid-level Visitor Information Station, due to snow and icy roads causing hazardous driving conditions. Big Island Video News.


Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority discusses Maui marketing plan amid lower visitor numbers. The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority is mapping out its marketing plan to deal with softening visitor numbers since the wildfires. That includes a campaign to welcome visitors back to the Valley Isle — Mākaukau Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.

Attorneys claim new evidence in search for spark that set off Lahaina inferno. Maui attorneys representing wildfire survivors are sharing new details of how they believe the fire started last August. One of the attorneys is a victim himself. Hawaii News Now.

Maui releases trove of emails offering new insight into wildfire response. After six months of submitting records requests, HNN Investigates finally obtained hundreds of emails belonging to the former head of Maui County’s Emergency Management Agency Herman Andaya during a key period. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Office of Recovery announces interim housing projects for Lahaina wildfire survivors.
Mayor Richard Bissen and officials from the County’s Office of Recovery announced temporary modular home group housing projects being planned in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State of Hawaiʻi and private developers to provide an estimated 4,000 interim housing units for wildfire survivors. Maui Now.

Preliminary data shows impacts of wildfire on Lahaina coastal waters. Preliminary data on coastal water quality monitoring in West Maui was presented Wednesday at a public speaker series featuring Andrea Kealoha, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Oceanography at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Maui Now.


Hanalei nonprofit wants to transform former church into housing for teachers, lifeguards. A nonprofit organization has taken possession of the Church of Latter Day Saints ward in Hanalei – and it has big plans for the three-quarter-acre plot on the North Shore of Kaua‘i. Kauai Now.

Monday, January 29, 2024

There be whales! Plus, bills ban candidates for insurrection, flavored tobacco, more. State pays $1.25M to teen raped by DLNR officer. More news from all the Hawaiian Islands.

First whale count gives cause for optimism. More humpback whales were counted Saturday during the first of three whale counts of the year versus the previous most comparable year, 2022. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  KHON2.

Lawmakers consider narrowing election recount threshold. The bill also would increase the amount of time the Office of Elections has to announce the result of a recount from 72 hours to five business days. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bills would ban candidates for insurrection. State Sen. Karl Rhoads has received “almost death threats” on social media after introducing two bills that would disqualify anyone from seeking political office who “participates in insurrection.” Star-Advertiser.

Their Party Platform Shouts For Change, But Many Democrats Aren’t Listening. In his dual roles as lawmaker and state party chair, Adrian Tam talks about why reform happens so slowly in the Hawaii Legislature. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Lawmakers Again Eye Ban On Sales Of Flavored Tobacco. House Bill 1778 and its Senate companion would ban the sale of flavored tobacco products and mislabeled e-liquid products that contain nicotine. Civil Beat.

2 House bills push for nuclear energy in Hawaii.  House Bill 1516 would establish a nucllear energy commission and HB 1741 would repeal Section 8 of the Constitution and allow nuclear energy to be more accessible. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii electrical utilities could face more regulation. Hawaii lawmakers are considering legislation to increase electrical utility regulation pertaining to wildfires in the wake of the Aug. 8 Maui disaster. Star-Advertiser.

A package of House bills would help property owners buy insurance in Hawaii’s most high-risk zones
, including those in Puna’s riskiest lava zones and survivors of the Maui wildfires who also lost homes. Star-Advertiser.

Bill would clarify definition of ‘historic property’. In an effort to speed up permitting processes for properties throughout the state, a bill carried over into the 2024 legislative session is aiming to narrow the definition of historic properties. Star-Advertiser.

Feds Estimate Aug. 8 Wildfires Caused $23 Million In Damage To Agriculture. The fires on Maui and Big Island destroyed thousands of acres of pasture, hundreds of crops and led to loss of livestock. Civil Beat.

Recent storms dampen Hawaii’s drought forecast. Predictions of extreme drought in Hawaii this winter — bolstered by ongoing El Nino conditions — have so far missed the mark. Star-Advertiser.

Student Journalists Still Fighting For Press Freedom In Hawaii. More than a year and a half after then-Gov. David Ige signed a new law providing more First Amendment protections for student journalists, the Board of Education has yet to officially revise its policy regarding censorship in school-sponsored publications. Civil Beat.

Demand For Preschool Is Growing In Hawaii As Federal Funding Dwindles. More families are set to receive subsidies to alleviate tuition costs, but the state is struggling to expand its early learning workforce. Civil Beat.


Honolulu City Council ‘reprograms’ $39M in federal COVID funds.
As adopted, Resolution 299 will reprogram the American Rescue Plan Act’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds toward social services, affordable housing, law enforcement and homeless services programs, among others. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council OKs aid to businesses near rail construction.  The Council voted 7-2 this week to adopt Bill 40, which would provide a $10,000 grant to eligible businesses that opened prior to Jan. 1, 2022. Qualifying businesses would receive the grant each year, but only as long as active construction remains in the area. Star-Advertiser.

Volunteers could monitor HPD surveillance cameras. To capture evidence of possible crimes, the Honolulu Police Department might use community volunteers to monitor its overt public surveillance camera system in Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

City Council advances high-rise housing project along Waialae Avenue. The Highridge Costa Development Company and co-developer Form Partners plan to build the Pāhoa Ridge apartments along a portion of Waialae Avenue just before it feeds into the H-1 Freeway’s westbound lanes. The developers have proposed a building up to 210 feet tall with 182 affordable rental units. Hawaii Public Radio.

City, Howard Hughes Headed For Trial After Supreme Court Ruling. The city’s lengthy, high-stakes court battle against one of Oahu’s most prominent developers, Howard Hughes Corp., over land that might eventually be needed for the rail line is heading to trial either late this year or early next year, officials say. Civil Beat.

HPH, nurses prepare to bargain after historic strike at Kapi‘olani. A weeklong strike by hundreds of nurses at Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children — the first in nearly 50 years — concluded Saturday night with no resolution yet in sight. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

A Huge Battery Has Replaced Hawaii’s Last Coal Plant. Plus Power’s Kapolei battery is officially online. The pioneering project is a leading example of how to shift crucial grid functions from fossil-fueled plants to clean energy. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Lawsuit Over Teen Who Was Sexually Assaulted By A DLNR Officer Is Settled For $1.25 Million. The state has agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle a lawsuit over the sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl at a Hilo beach park by a state Department of Land and Natural Resources enforcement officer in 2016. Civil Beat.

Here’s why the Office of Hawaiian Affairs wants to repeal the new Maunakea management group. A majority of the members, about seven, are Native Hawaiian. The authority was seen as an effort to give Native Hawaiians more of a say in the management of Maunakea. Hawaii Public Radio.

County lowers maximum payments for lava-impacted properties. The county Recovery Office announced Friday that its Voluntary Housing Buyout Program will now only award a maximum payout of $142,000 to secondary homeowners enrolled in the program, a decline from the previous maximum of $230,000. Tribune-Herald.

Coconut Grove Marketplace listed for sale at $38.4 million. The 49,513-square-foot retail center housing 18 restaurants and retail stores opened in 1998 by Anekona LLC, owned by developer Brian Anderson. West Hawaii Today.

The Wall That Heals concludes Hilo visit with ceremony. A ceremony Saturday at the The Wall That Heals in Hilo drew a huge crowd of veterans, families, friends and people looking to honor the veterans — living and dead — of the Vietnam War. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Journey Through the Universe celebrates milestone.  Keiki and adults have the chance to take a “Journey Through the Universe” as educators and scientists return next month to Hilo for the 20th annual astronomy education and outreach program. Tribune-Herald.

Aloha Billy: Family, friends, community gather to celebrate life, legacy of former Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi. Hundreds of people were already inside the stadium before the celebration began, which was organized by family with help from the community.  Big Island Now.


Maui Police Identify 100th Known Victim Of The Lahaina Fire. The last of the 100 known victims who perished in the fire that destroyed most of Lahaina on Aug. 8 was identified Friday by the Maui Police Department as 70-year-old Lydia Coloma. Civil Beat. Maui News.

6 injured after American Airlines jet makes hard landing at Kahului Airport
. A passenger and five flight attendants were injured Saturday after an American Airlines flight made a hard landing this afternoon at Kahului Airport. Star-Advertiser.

Temporary campus opening for King Kamehameha III Elementary pushed back. Students displaced from King Kamehameha III Elementary School, which was ravaged by the Lahaina wildfire in August, will now have to wait until April to occupy a new temporary campus being built for them in Pulelehua, according to the latest timeline from state school officials. Star-Advertiser.


Biologists work to protect Nēnē nested on Kaua‘i’s Pacific Missile Range Facility. At Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, the birds often make their nests away from humans in the open fields at the facility where there are low levels of traffic. Kauai Now.

Nearly 300 humpback whales sighted off Kaua‘i shores on Saturday.
Approximately 292 humpback whales were counted offshore of Kaua‘i during the first Sanctuary Ocean Count and Great Whale Count of the season.  Kauai Now.

Friday, January 5, 2024

Fireworks again on legislative agenda, bomb scare at 3 state courts, volunteers sought for humpback whale counts, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Sanctuary seeks volunteers for humpback whale count. The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is preparing for this year’s Sanctuary Ocean Count as kohola, or humpback whales, make their annual migration from Alaska waters to the islands to mate, calve and nurse their young this winter. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Maui Now.

Illegal Fireworks Will Be Back On The Legislative Agenda After A Noisy New Year’s Eve. One priority this legislative session will be to examine the work of the Illegal Fireworks Task Force, which was formed last year under the Department of Law Enforcement, and decide whether it should be funded into next fiscal year. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

3 state courts evacuated in bomb scare. The Ronald T.Y. Moon building in Kapolei, Kaui­kea­ouli Hale in Honolulu and the Puuhonua Kaulike courthouse in Lihue cleared people out Thursday morning after receiving threats. All three reopened by 9:50 a.m. Star-Advertiser.

New report states Hawaii's doctor shortage is improving but the issue remains critical. The University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) released a report on Thursday that said the state needs at least 750 more physicians statewide. KITV4.

Hawaii’s new corrections department aims to give inmates a fresh start. The newly re-designated state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says that with 95% of incarcerated people who come into the state’s prison system eventually being released, moving away from punitive justice has become a “vital” part of its mission. Star-Advertiser.

Regents keep exclusive say in search for new UH president. Despite many testifiers’ pleas to include University of Hawaii faculty, students and staff as well as community members on the selection committee that will choose the next UH system president, the UH Board of Regents opted Thursday to stick with a “committee of the whole” composed exclusively of the 11 regents. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.


‘Defects’ Have Already Been Found Along Honolulu Skyline’s Tracks.
Several months after Honolulu’s Skyline rail transit system opened for service, problematic “defects” were discovered at key points along the track from early wear-and-tear, according to inspection reports and emails from a track safety official who later left the job. Civil Beat.

Jury should weigh rail dispute, state high court says.
  The Hawaii State Supreme Court has ruled that the merits of the ongoing dispute involving construction of a planned rail station within real estate developer Howard Hughes Corp.’s 60-acre master-planned property in Kakaako should be decided by a jury rather than a judge. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Attorney working to protect juror identities trial of Michael Miske. It’s been four and a half years since Michael Miske was federally indicted in a sprawling criminal conspiracy case that grew to more than a dozen others, most of whom have reached plea deals in the years since. Finally, next week the repeatedly delayed trial of the remaining defendants begins for Miske, John Stancil and Delia Fabro-Miske. KHON2.

HPD corporal’s 2016 DUI case faces new scrutiny amid probe into recent crash. While the department still refuses to say if it’s looking into claims Vasai Isala Jr. was driving under the influence that night, Hawaii News Now found court records that revealed why the 18-year veteran’s previous DUI charge was dropped following a crash in 2016. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Gun permit rules changed: New requirements went into effect Jan. 1 in Hawaii County. A series of new requirements for obtaining a firearm have taken effect in Hawaii County, creating some confusion among residents. Tribune-Herald.

Hot Shot Vehicles To Boost Hawaiʻi Nutrition Program. The County of Hawaiʻi has acquired two state-of-the-art F-150 Ford Hot Shot vehicles to help home-deliver meals. Big Island Video News.

 Independent Journalists Work to Fill Rural News Gaps on the Big Island of Hawai’i. As rural communities across the United States struggle to keep their small newspapers open, some independent and passionate journalists on the Island of Hawaiʻi take on the fight to keep the local news coming.  Daily Yonder.


Maui Mayor Promises Olowalu Will Not Be The Permanent Dump Site For Wildfire Waste.
Olowalu will not be used as a final dump site for all the ash and debris being cleaned up from the Aug. 8 fires in Lahaina, Maui Mayor Richard Bissen announced Thursday. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Maui Now.  KHON2.


Island-wide power outage hits Kauai. The outage occurred at approximately 2:15 p.m. after the transformer failed. Within 90 minutes, “almost all of KIUC’s members were restored,”  according to a Kauai Island Utility Cooperative Facebook post. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Garden Island.

Hawai‘i Water buys HOH Utilities assets on Kaua‘i. The purchase of HOH Utilities’ wastewater system assets on Kaua‘i marks the entry of Hawai‘i Water onto its fourth island.  Kauai Now.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Hawaii tourism's slow return, minimum wage hike, new gun laws kick in Monday, Lahaina restaurant workers get $600 gift cards, four inmates indicted in OCC beating death, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Visitor arrivals to Hawaii up slightly, but spending drops.  Some 731,233 visitors came to the Hawaiian Islands in November, up just 0.3% from November 2022. Star-Advertiser.

In encouraging sign for tourism, Japanese visitor arrivals to Hawaii on the rise. Just under 63,000 Japanese tourists arrived in Hawaii last month, which is a 142% increase from November 2022. Arrivals are still not quite at pre-COVID levels, but, spending is seeing an increase. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s Minimum Wage To Increase To $14 On Monday.  The increase is required under a 2022 law that incrementally increases the wage to $16 per hour on Jan. 1, 2026, and to $18 per hour on Jan. 1, 2028. Civil Beat. Kauai Now.

Kaleo Manuel Became A Cause Celebre For Maui Water. Now He’s Leaving The State Water Commission Without Saying Why. The deputy water commissioner told one state lawmaker he didn't want to be 'an obstacle.'  Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.


Oahu gun owners frustrated over new firearm law. The Honolulu Police Department has not certified any instructors yet, therefore it will be impossible to get a permit. KITV4.

City releases ‘Complete Streets’ report. Honolulu has released its 2023 “Complete Streets” progress report, which details finished and ongoing projects underway for people walking, biking and accessing transit on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Attorney Michael Green sued for alleged sexual harassment.
A former client of attorney Michael Jay Green filed a “Jane Doe” lawsuit against him and his law firm alleging he sexually harassed and sexually assaulted her. Star-Advertiser.

Four inmates indicted in OCCC beating death.
An Oahu grand jury indicted four Oahu Community Correctional Center inmates for manslaughter in the death of inmate Christopher Vaefaga, 36. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

NOAA surveying shoreline in case whale calf spotted around Waikiki comes back. Honolulu Ocean Safety and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) responded to a call Wednesday afternoon to a humpback whale calf that was separated from its mother. The calf was spotted swimming very close to shore at Fort DeRussy Beach. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

New Firearm Permitting Law Takes Effect Starting 2024. The Hawaiʻi Police Department detailed the changes to the application form in a Thursday news release. Big Island Video News.

Hawai‘i County’s top leadership to get pay raises for first time in 5 years.
  Officials  will receive a 22.44% inflation adjustment increase starting Jan. 1 and a 5% pay raise in July. Big Island Now.

County seeks to fill Community Development Plan Action Committees. The County of Hawaiʻi seeks applicants for its Community Development Plan (CDP) Action Committees for Kona and Puna.  Big Island Now.


New rules on Maui Police Department’s concealed carry weapon policy go into effect. Any concealed carry weapons license applications submitted before January 1, 2024, but are pending approval will not be subject to the new rules. Maui Now.

Thousands of Lahaina restaurant workers to receive $600 prepaid debit cards.  Thousands of Lahaina restaurant workers are scheduled to receive financial aid in the form of $600 prepaid debit cards following a fundraiser by celebrity chef Guy Fieri. Hawaii Public Radio.

Parents And Teachers Say Schools Must Do More To Help Those Still Traumatized By Lahaina Fire.
Campuses have expanded their mental health resources, but some people say the response has been inadequate. Civil Beat.

Lahaina Disaster Recovery Center hours to change Tuesday.
The Lahaina Disaster Recovery Center will have shorter hours next year, starting Tuesday, Jan. 2, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Star-Advertiser.

Survivor shares video of his dramatic Lahaina escape in bid to share a powerful message. Nearly five months after the Maui wildfires killed at least 100 people, a Lahaina man is sharing dramatic videos of his escape. Hawaii News Now.


County seeks approval for ‘Waimea 400’ affordable housing.
As the County of Kaua‘i Housing Agency works to obtain land use and environmental approvals for a new affordable housing development on the island’s westside, the agency is asking members of the public to weigh in on plans for the future project. Garden Island.

Home sales hold steady, price eases. A weary housing market showed a spark of life in the penultimate month of 2023, as sales of single-family homes were on par with the same period a year earlier on the island of Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

State budget surplus plummets, Hawaiian Airlines stock soars, military ending live-fire training in Makua Valley, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Remember Last Year’s State Budget Surplus? Well, Wave Goodbye. New state data provided to bond investors shows the general fund surplus for the end of this fiscal year has plummeted from a projected $3.9 billion to just $600 million. When Gov. Josh Green unveils his proposed state supplemental budget later this month he will set the stage for what may be a lackluster election year session of the Legislature. Civil Beat.

Review of Governor Josh Green's first year in office. Tuesday, December 5th marks one year since Governor Josh Green came into office. Over the past year, he has had a lot on his plate. KITV4.

Three individuals identified in search to fill the House District 10 vacancy for Maui. They are Timothy Scott Lara, entrepreneur, and community leader; Leslee D. Matthews, social worker and attorney; and Tyson K. Miyake, former chief of staff to former Mayor Victorino. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Airlines stock soars 193% after buyout news.
Shares of Hawaiian Holdings Inc. closed Monday at $14.22, up from $4.86 Friday before leaders of the two companies announced the acquisition deal Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

Proposed Hawaiian-Alaska merger tests Biden administration’s resolve.
The Biden administration has taken a tough stance against mergers, and it is certain to take a close look at Alaska Air Group’s proposed $1.9 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Airlines. Associated Press. KHON2.

Experts: Alaska buyout of Hawaiian Air was best possible outcome but questions remain. The end of local ownership for Hawaiian Airlines continues to send shock waves across the state and airline industry, but many see the $2 billion buyout by Alaska Airlines as a chance to preserve the Hawaiian Air brand while perhaps improving service. Hawaii News Now.


US military affirms it will end live-fire training in Mākua Valley. The U.S. military has confirmed that it will permanently end live-fire training in Mākua Valley on Oʻahu, a major win for Native Hawaiian groups and environmentalists after decades of activism. Associated Press.

Navy plane ‘pulverized’ coral in Kaneohe Bay, state divers say.
State divers plan to continue surveying the damage to the coral reef around Marine Corps Base Hawaii, where the front landing gear of a Navy plane “sort of pulverized the coral,” and anchors from a boom installed to contain fuel leakage also left scars. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

State, feds offer city $75M to reopen Halawa Shaft. The Halawa Shaft, one of Oahu’s major sources of fresh drinking water, was permanently shut down following massive leaks of jet fuel at the Navy’s Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage in 2021. Star-Advertiser.

The New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District will take decades to complete. One official said the stadium should be done in about five years, but the rest of the project will take many more to complete. KHON2.

Mechanical issues reportedly force emergency hard landing. A 77-year-old man was taken in serious condition to a hospital Monday after the pilot of a small plane apparently performed an emergency landing at a construction site in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

How A Hawaii Kai Community Ended Up Owing $38,000 In Delinquent Property Taxes. Residents in a section of Hawaii Kai are trying to get the city to take over their private road after the development companies dissolved and left them to cover almost $40,000 in delinquent property taxes.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Roth signs bill to streamline construction permitting process on Hawaiʻi Island. The new law simplifies and standardizes application timelines, extensions and expirations. They now align with updated construction code standards mandated by the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Study: Hilo had 20.2% decline in brick-and-mortar retailers from 2011 to 2021. Hilo ranked No. 16 in the study among “small metros” and 19th in “all metros,” with the number of retail stores plummeting from 657 in 2011 to 574 in 2021. Tribune-Herald.

Magnitude-5.1 Earthquake Shakes Hawaiʻi Island. The earthquake was located in the Hilina region on the southern flank of Kīlauea volcano, and did not generate a tsunami. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  KHON2. KITV4.

Two humpback whales in Kona waters instantly identified using app with artificial intelligence. With the app Happywhale, Capt. Andrew Aggergaard and naturalist Olivia Miller were thrilled to be able to identify the two adults by photographing their flukes and letting the app’s artificial intelligence match them to those in its global digital database of more than 70,000 whales.  Big Island Now.


Lahaina Fire Came Amid Record String of Natural Disasters In 2023.
After a record-breaking year for natural disasters in America, Lahaina will be vying for recovery assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency amid growing geopolitical threats and within a bitterly partisan political climate. Civil Beat.

With key deadline approaching, FEMA seeks long-term housing for Maui evacuees. Federal, state and county officials are working with thousands of victims — and next Monday is the deadline for those impacted to apply for assistance with FEMA. Hawaii News Now.

State DHS launches million-dollar rental assistance program for Maui wildfire survivors. 
Maui wildfire survivors who are ineligible for FEMA assistance are now candidates for a new state rental assistance program. KITV4.

UH researching Maui wildfire impacts on agriculture, health with federal grants. In the wake of the Aug. 8 Lahaina fire on Maui, researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi have launched projects that focus on agriculture’s monitoring and response to disasters, and analyzing the possible effects of chromium on West Maui agricultural lands.  Maui Now.

Total visitor arrivals, spending declined for 3rd straight month in October compared to 2022. Both visitor arrivals and visitor spending declined for the third straight month compared to 2022, as Hawaiʻi’s visitor industry continued to feel the impact of the August Lahaina wildfires, according to preliminary statistics from the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Maui Now.


Evslin addresses plans for ‘housing crisis’ after becoming chair of House Committee on Housing. Following the recent announcement that Kaua‘i state Rep. Luke Evslin was appointed to chair the House Committee on Housing, Evslin spoke of his efforts to address the state’s housing shortage. Garden Island.

Department of Water to conduct water service line inspections beginning January. The Department of Water will be conducting water service line inspections at meter boxes island-wide starting in January to identify pipe materials delivering water to residential homes and businesses and ensure compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead and Copper Rule Revision drinking water rules. Kauai Now.

Monday, November 6, 2023

Changes proposed to motorcycle rules, HECO unveils plan to combat wildfire risk, Red Flag warnings continue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Public hearing scheduled for proposed changes to motorcycle, moped rules. The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation notifies the public of a hearing scheduled on Nov. 16 from 9 to 11 a.m., for proposed changes to Hawaii Administrative Rules 19-123 “Statewide Motorcycle, Moped, and Motor Scooter Education Courses and Licensing Skill Test Waiver.” Kauai Now.

Hawaiian Electric announces plan to help combat risk of wildfires. Hawaiian Electric on Friday announced a series of statewide strategies to alleviate the risk of wildfires in drought-stricken parts of Hawaii. Company proposes spotters, possible power shutoffs and better technology. Tribune-Herald. Maui News.

Red Flag Warning posted for parts of the state. Trades will strengthen Monday night with gusts up to 50 mph possible over the windiest portions of Maui County and the Big Island. Hawaii News Now.

Mother, Calf Whale Pairs Spotted In Hawaiʻi Waters. The appearance of the humpback whale pairs warrants extra care by ocean users, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary says.  Big Island Video News.


Honolulu Planning Commission to decide fate of landfill selection process. The Honolulu Planning Commission plans to make a decision in early 2024 on the city’s request for a two-year extension to find an alternate site for the 34-year-old Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Fire Department was kept busy on Sunday with the Red Flag Warning not making things any easier as they dealt with several fire incidents across Oahu. The Honolulu Fire Department was kept busy on Sunday with the Red Flag Warning not making things any easier as they dealt with several fire incidents across Oahu. KHON2.   KITV4.

Mililani Mauka fire 85% contained amid challenging red-flag weather. Firefighters on Oahu continue to battle a large wildfire above Mililani Mauka that was 85% contained Sunday, and knocked downed five other brush fires and a building fire on a “red flag” weather day that put the state on edge in the aftermath of the deadly Lahaina inferno. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Drunken Day At A Bar Led To This Detective’s 99-Day Suspension. Other officers on scene said the off-duty detective was "code black," police jargon for when someone is totally out of control. Civil Beat.

Manufactured compostable waste to be accepted in Oahu’s green recycling bins. By 2025, specially designed plastic, paper and other materials that easily break down in the environment will be accepted inside Oahu curbside collection bins typically reserved for grass clippings, broken tree branches and raked leaves. Star-Advertiser.

Little fire ant infestations spread across Oahu. There are now more than 30 active sites of little fire ants across over 200 acres — from Kahuku down the entire Windward coastline to Hawaii Kai and Kahala. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Fire chief talks wildfire readiness during council meeting.
Members of the County Council questioned Fire Chief Kazuo Todd on Tuesday about the Hawaii Fire Department’s ability to prevent or respond to a wildfire on the scale of the August blaze that devastated Lahaina. Tribune-Herald.

Project To Remove Facilities At Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau Moves Forward. The National Park Service will be able to move forward with a plan to remove and replace park maintenance facilities at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, now that a Finding of No Significant Impact has been published.  Big Island Video News.

Kona coffee farms head into this year’s festival with healthier crops. Entering  the 52nd annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival that runs through Nov. 12, farmers are celebrating higher yields and healthier crops throughout the Kona region due to more rain and better management of the killer fungus.  Big Island Now.

Several county park projects near completion. Numerous improvement projects in parks and recreational facilities across Hawaii County are nearing the finish line as the Parks and Recreation Department sets goals for next year. Tribune-Herald.


4 Lahaina schools to close Monday due to red flag warning. King Kamehameha Elementary, Princess Nahienaena Elementary, Lahaina Intermediate and Lahainaluna High School will be closed to students and staff out of an abundance of caution, according to a news release from the Hawaii Department of Education. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

300 temporary jobs available for workers impacted by fires. Three hundred temporary jobs to help with debris removal, damage cleanup and humanitarian aid are available for residents impacted by the Maui wildfires, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced Friday.  Maui News.

Job, housing insecurities mount as Maui tourism disaster adds to devastation. Tourism reopened to all of Maui Wednesday but the economic fallout from the Aug. 8 wildfires in Maui, the deadliest in modern U.S. history, is still unfolding and recovery is unlikely to come soon enough to stem all of the pain points. Star-Advertiser.

Lahaina’s Filipino Community Is Fighting For Its Voice. The Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce applied for money from the Hawaii Community Foundation but did not get approval for funding. Civil Beat.

Lahaina Families Frustrated Over Lack Of Child Care Options. The historic Maui town, which already suffered from a child care shortage, lost 255 licensed seats in the August wildfires. Civil Beat.

Mahi Pono to bring more crops to packing facility.
Company currently packing citrus; coffee, potatoes, onions up next. In a 117,000-square-foot warehouse behind the old Puunene Mill lies Mahi Pono’s new packing facility, which will now make it easier to pack some of its produce for sale.  Maui News.


County passes resolution in support of Filipino social studies course.
Following the announcement that two high schools on O‘ahu are set to become the first public schools in the country to offer a course on Filipino history and culture, Kaua‘i County Council member Addison Bulosan introduced a resolution last week in hopes of getting a course started on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Mosquito suppression pilot project to save Kaua‘i forest birds concludes.
A team of researchers working to prevent the extinction of Hawai‘i’s endangered forest birds through the release of incompatible mosquitoes in Koke‘e are set to conclude a 10-day pilot project on Saturday, Nov. 4. Garden Island.

Friday, October 27, 2023

1st humpback of the season spotted, Supreme Court clears $328M Hawaiian homestead settlement for distribution, rail could reach Honolulu airport by 2025, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

First humpback whale of season spotted in Maui waters. The Pacific Whale Foundation has sighted its first humpback whale this fall in Maui waters, marking the start of whale watching season. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Hitch in $328M homesteads settlement cleared. The state Supreme Court cleared the last hurdle for the 2022 landmark $328 million settlement in the Hawaiian homesteads class-action lawsuit, and the settlement funds can now be transferred to the 2,515 settlement class members in Kalima v. State of Hawaii. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.

Bill seeks to separate data on Asian, Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students. U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center announced the reintroduction of the All Students Count Act in a Zoom news conference Thursday.  Star-Advertiser.

Most Hawaii Wildfires Are Started By People, But Arson Cases Are Rarely Solved
. There are too few investigators and insufficient resources to find out who was to blame in most fires. Civil Beat.


Contractor provides update to Skyline’s ‘airport’ segment. Under Mayor Rick Blan­giardi’s administration, the city in 2022 truncated the last 1.25 miles of guideways and the planned final two stations near Ward Avenue and Ala Moana Center. That reduced costs from more than $12.45 billion for a 20-mile, 21-station route down to a $9.9 billion system with an 18.9-mile, 19-station line terminating at Halekauwila Street. HART expects to complete testing and transfer of the Airport Guideway and Stations segment in mid-2025. Star-Advertiser.

Red Hill class action lawsuit tops 7,000 plaintiffs. There are now more than 7,000 people who have joined a class action lawsuit against the Navy for contaminating the water with fuel at Red Hill. KHON2.

Oahu's electric bus fleet grounded indefinitely due to charging issue. One of the eight chargers at the Middle Street bus yard shorted out about three weeks ago and the heat generated in the incident frayed some of the dispenser cables. KITTV4.

These ‘Affordable’ High Rise Apartments Aren’t Selling. It’s Not For Lack Of Interest. Only about 13% of affordable units in some Honolulu towers have sold after being on the market for over a year. Civil Beat.

This HPD Officer Quit In The Face Of Discipline.
But The Story Didn’t End There. Officer Mason Jordan left the force in 2021 as he was under investigation. He was later arrested on separate charges related to the sexual exploitation of children. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

More funding proposed for Hawai’i Fire Department to prevent, battle wildfires. Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz will introduce Resolution 333 on Oct. 31 during a meeting of the Council Committee on Governmental Operations and External Affairs, urging Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitch Roth’s office to increase the Fire Department’s capacity and funding to enhance its ability to respond, prevent and mitigate wildfires and other emergencies. Big Island Now.

Military Training Exercise Will Involve Hilo Airport, Pōhakuloa. Tropic Lightning Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division will be training at Pohakuloa and will periodically use the airfield at Hilo International Airport. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Goodwill Hawaii acquires Hilo property for future hub. Goodwill Hawaii has acquired about 67,000 square feet, or roughly 1.5 acres, in Hilo to create a hub for team members, according to a news release from real estate firm Colliers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii family working for auntie’s safe return from war-torn Gaza. Ramona Okumura, a prosthetics expert, was volunteering with Palestine Children’s Relief Fund in Gaza when the hostilities broke out Oct. 7. She has been stuck there ever since. Star-Advertiser.


House Finance Committee visits Lahaina wildfire disaster zone to identify priorities. Members of the House Finance Committee, led by Chair Kyle T. Yamashita (D-12, Upcountry Maui), visited various sites in the Lahaina wildfire disaster zone on Thursday to receive an update on recovery efforts from Federal and County officials, and identify key priorities for the upcoming legislative session. Maui Now.

Green plans to extend Maui renter protections. Gov. Josh Green plans to extend renter protections that are set to expire next month, his office said Wednesday following a rally by tenants earlier this week calling for a continued eviction moratorium and rent freeze. Maui Now.

Wildfire impacts result in unavailable vacation rental units on Maui in September. Unit night supply and unit night demand were inactive for the entire month of September in West Maui, according to the latest Hawaiʻi Vacation Rental Performance Report compiled by the state Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism. Maui Now.

Shipment of 90 tiny homes for wildfire survivors arrives on Maui from Europe. A shipment of 90 tiny homes for wildfire survivors have arrived on Maui from Europe. They will be part of the 10-acre Ohana Hope Village off Kuihelani and Maui Veterans Highway. Developers hope to welcome the first round of residents before Thanksgiving. Hawaii News Now.

Lahaina fire debris burial site proposed in West Maui. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources is scheduled to consider at a meeting today whether to grant permission for Maui County to use 53 acres of state land in Olowalu, about 5 miles from Lahaina in a former cinder quarry, to exclusively and permanently store the debris. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Hazardous waste from over 85% of Lahaina properties removed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that it has removed hazardous waste from over 85% of the burned properties in Lahaina. That includes more than 1,300 parcels. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

‘It was a failure’: Member of wildfire advisory team says Maui can’t miss key lessons again. A member of the advisory team helping guide Lahaina’s recovery is calling on state and county leaders to bolster Maui’s disaster plan to prevent future disasters. Hawaii News Now.


Transportation agency accepting applications for its Kaua‘i Bus Pass Outreach Program. The County of Kaua‘i Transportation Agency will be accepting applications from Kaua‘i-based non-profit organizations for its Kaua‘i Bus Pass Outreach Program beginning Nov. 1. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hawaii Island

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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