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

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.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Tourist impact fee advances, humpback whale sightings decrease 40%, makeover coming to Blaisdell, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii ‘visitor impact fee’ bill moves forward. A “visitor impact fee” bill that would require any nonresident aged 15 or older to pay for an annual license to visit a state park, beach, forest, hiking trail or other natural area is still alive. Star-Advertiser.

Green’s Cabinet nominees face tough slog in the Senate. There is no shortage of theories swirling in and around the state Capitol to explain Gov. Josh Green’s two failed Cabinet nominees and one whose confirmation ended in a tie — an unusually high rejection count for a popular governor midway through his first legislative session. Star-Advertiser.

Past governors also hit roadblocks. Since statehood, no first-term governor has had more Cabinet nominees rejected than Gov. Josh Green. But other governors in their first terms have seen their share of roughed-up nominees. Star-Advertiser.

State reaches settlement in civil lawsuit that accused embattled DLNR boating chief of sexual assault.
A confidential settlement has been reached involving Ed Underwood, the state administrator for the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, and a female subordinate in a civil lawsuit that accuses the administrator of sexual assault and claims the DLNR was slow to act. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Why 2 Of Hawaii’s Best-Known Brands Are Battling In Court. The local candy company Hawaiian Host Group, which also owns the Mauna Loa macadamia nut brand, is engaged in a bitter lawsuit with its longtime banker, First Hawaiian Bank, in a matter stemming from the darkest days of the pandemic, when Hawaiian Host was on the verge of bankruptcy. Civil Beat.

Humpback whale sightings decreased by almost 40%.  The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and the Pacific Whale Foundation coordinate the research to understand population trends. This is the first year since the pandemic that both programs resumed normal operations. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii reports 1,263 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths. The state’s seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases was reported at 122 a day, nearly double the 66 a day reported on March 22. The state’s average positivity rate was at 8.9% compared with 5.2% reported on March 22. Star-Advertiser.


$43.6M makeover to start at Neal S. Blaisdell Center.  The city’s nearly 60-year-old prime venue for live concerts and sporting events, graduations and hula competitions, Broadway shows and exhibitions of all sorts, began renovations in February to address health, safety and deferred maintenance concerns.  Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

50 years later, Vietnam War veterans finally get a fitting welcome home with Waikiki parade. It was 50 years ago that the U.S. military ended its involvement in Vietnam. And on this day, there was a sense that the veterans who served in that war were finally being welcomed home. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Bills before lawmakers threaten future of 1,000-patient medical marijuana farm on Oahu. Care Waialua offers medical marijuana patients access to grow-their-own sites, and it has more than 1,000 medical marijuana card-holders signed up. Hawaii News Now.

New bill would require bars, nightclubs to carry life-saving overdose treatment. City Councilmembers are considering a bill that would require high-risk venues like bars and nightclubs to carry life-saving overdose treatment Narcan in an effort to tackle Hawaii’s ongoing opioid crisis. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Red light cameras are nabbing hundreds of red-light runners. According to the Department of Transportation, there have been 1,793 citations issued in just the first four months of the program.  KHON2.

Hawaii Prisoner Dies After Serving More Than 59 Years For 1963 Murders. Alfred Joy Tai, who served more than 59 consecutive years in prison for the murders of two Honolulu police officers in 1963, died earlier this week in an Arizona prison, according to Hawaii corrections officials. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Pre-Fab Housing May Finally Be A Viable Option For Big Island Farmers Trying To House Workers. Despite the global popularity of prefabricated housing, it barely had a footprint in the state until local building supply outfit Hawaii Planing Mill pre-built housing for those displaced by the 2018 Kilauea eruptions which destroyed 700 homes in Puna. Civil Beat.

Delays Reported In Kilauea Recovery Road, Waterline Projects. An Environmental Assessment for the Kīlauea Eruption Recovery Pohoiki Roads project, originally planned to be completed in January, will take another 6 months to finalize. Big Island Video News.

Vietnam Veterans memorial unveiled. On Wednesday, Vietnam Veterans Day, as America recognized the 50th anniversary of the end of the war, a group of dedicated veterans unveiled a new Vietnam War Memorial at the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.

Ola Brewing eyes new venue. The Hawaiian Ola Brewing Corporation has submitted to the county Planning Department an application for a special management area use permit to renovate the 12,000-square-foot building to house a micro-distillery and agricultural processing facility, in addition to a restaurant and bar area seating up to 60 people. Tribune-Herald.

Proposal seeks to designate 122,000 acres as critical habitat.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed that more than 122,000 acres of Big Island land be designated a critical habitat for 11 native endangered plants and one native endangered fly. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Plans underway to make Kapāpala forest a long-term source for koa canoes. More than 30 years ago, the state set aside about 1,200 acres of forest in Kaʻū on Hawaiʻi Island to address a significant decline in koa trees. Hawaii Public Radio.


West Maui to hold first evening budget meeting Thursday, March 30.  The Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee will receive testimony on the fiscal year 2024 budget on Thursday at 6 p.m. in Lahaina Civic Center’s Social Hall. Maui Now.

Plan to widen Puunene Avenue moves forward. The state Department of Transportation is proposing to add two additional vehicle lanes and shared shoulders to Puunene Avenue between Wakea Avenue and Kuihelani Highway.  Maui News.

Amid mounting challenges, Maui’s only private obstetrics practice will soon close its doors. In a major setback is coming for women’s healthcare on Maui, the island’s only private obstetrics doctors will deliver their final babies this fall. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Department of Liquor Control to accept License renewal applications April 1.  Applications can be submitted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the department’s office at 110 Alaʻihi St., Room 212, in Kahului. Maui Now.


Kauaʻi event invited landlords to 'overcome stigma' of low-income renters. The nonprofit Leadership Kauaʻi partnered with the county's housing agency to host the island's second Landlord Summit last week. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ana Mo Des elected chair of Kaua‘i Republican Party. With the goal of team unity, the Kaua‘i Republican Party selected its new executive committee during the Kaua‘i County Republican Party County Convention held Saturday afternoon at the Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center. Garden Island.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Hawaii may have to return $412M in COVID funding, political parties get notice of disqualification, humpback whale count concludes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Humpback Whale Counts For 2023 Season Completed. A total of 997 humpback whales were spotted from the Big Island, Kaua’i, Maui and O’ahu during specific time periods. 345 volunteers gathered data from the shores of Kaua‘i, O‘ahu and Hawai‘i islands during the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count and from Maui during the Great Whale Count by Pacific Whale Foundation, the second of three coordinated whale counts between the two organizations in 2023.  Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  Maui Now.  Kauai Now.

Hawaii government spending could trigger COVID aid payback.
The state Department of Budget and Finance is advising the Legislature that $675 million in spending appropriations last year should be delayed in order to avoid triggering a requirement to return $412 million in coronavirus pandemic aid to the federal government. Star-Advertiser.

Over 20 bills to improve government transparency take shape in state House. The bills were part of a package to improve transparency and accountability in state and county government in the wake of unveiled corruption throughout state and county government. Hawaii Public Radio.

Three political ‘third parties’ get notice of disqualification. The States’ Office of Elections released a notice with the intention to disqualify the Aloha Aina Party, Green Party of Hawaii and Constitution Party of Hawaii for falling short in the percentage of votes required by the state to remain active. KHON2.

Studied To Death? Some Say Hawaii Doesn’t Need More Data Before Acting On Overtourism. As Hawaii tourism rebounds three years after being effectively shut down during the pandemic, political, community and business leaders are reprising a question central to policy discussions about the state’s most prominent industry: How many tourists is too many?  Civil Beat.

Bills aim to add ‘tiny home’ sites for homeless.  Bills are moving through the House and Senate that would expand Gov. Josh Green’s vision of creating more communities of tiny homes across the state to house the homeless and provide them with social services to reduce the islands’ homeless population. Star-Advertiser.


Mayor Rick Blangiardi offers 5-point homeless plan for Oahu. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s administration has offered its plan to deal with the needs of the nearly 4,000 homeless people living on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Contract for Red Hill facility alternatives is an enigma. The company awarded a half-million-dollar, no-bid “public outreach” contract to solicit ideas from the community about possible alternative uses of the Navy’s Red Hill facility once it’s closed for fueling operations is being tight-lipped about how it plans to conduct community outreach. Star-Advertiser.

Waimanalo Road Safety Upgrades Raise Local Concerns About A Community’s Identity. The DOT is installing medians and widening sections of Kalanianaole Highway amid safety concerns, with six pedestrians killed in 10 years. As Oahu’s population balloons and the number of tourists grows, the island’s low-capacity coastal roads that are often the only thoroughfares for rural communities have become increasingly crowded, prompting calls for the state to better manage traffic.  Civil Beat.

Oʻahu's junk vehicle program sees 65% decrease in roadside refuse. According to the city's Department of Customer Services, the program handled roughly 1,600 cars a year prior to 2020. But over the last three years, there has been a steady decline — resulting in the program handling 567 vehicles in 2022, which is a 65% decline. Hawaii Public Radio.

At a cost of $40M, large new wave pool on Oahu nearing completion. A standing wave pool being built in Ewa Beach is set to open next month, but not everyone is giving it a warm welcome. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers unreceptive to moratorium on Waiahole Valley rent increases. A legislative committee has declined to support a five-year block on the state raising ground-lease rents for about 100 residential and farm tenants in Waiahole Valley, where tension exists over potential evictions. Star-Advertiser.

Waiawa residents advised of possible contamination from training site. Residents of Pearl City’s Waiawa Road area are demanding answers — and assistance — after learning that the National Guard and the state Department of Health are investigating the possibility that toxic chemicals from fire suppressant used years ago by firefighters at the Hawaii National Guard’s Waiawa Unit Training and Equipment Site may have seeped into their groundwater. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands gather to bid a fond farewell to Aloha Stadium. A new Aloha Stadium is scheduled to replace the old one at the same site in Halawa in 2027, according to the most recent estimate by state planners. The stands have been closed to the public since December 2020 due to high maintenance costs and lack of revenue amid COVID-19 restrictions. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News News. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

County outlines plan of action: Steps being taken in response to housing credits audit.  A spokesman for Mayor Mitch Roth said the mayor and the county’s Office of Housing and Community Development are working to correct deficiencies pointed out in an audit of its affordable housing credits program. Tribune-Herald.

Business owners voice concerns over proposed district. While testifiers acknowledged that downtown Hilo is in sore need of improvement, many were critical that the bill would put the onus of solving the town’s problems onto business and property owners instead of county administration. Tribune-Herald.

Public Invited To Give Input On New Library, Transit Hub In Pāhoa. There will be a number of opportunities for the public to give input on the future location of a new library and transit hub planned for Pāhoa. Big Island Video News.

‘We are running out of time’. Thousands of grams of pure fentanyl and over 15,000 pills containing the illicit drug have been recovered in West Hawaii over the past 15 months, police officers told County Council members this week. West Hawaii Today.


Work in watershed aims to curb ocean pollution downstream. Final Pohakea Watershed Plan gets green light. A watershed management plan that addresses the land, gulches and gullies that run from the West Maui Mountains to Maalaea Bay received final approval this week to support the next steps in protecting and restoring water quality in the area. Maui News.

State will bill owner $460K for cost of salvaging yacht from Honolua Bay.  The state has selected a contractor to remove the 94-foot-long yacht that remains grounded at Honolua Bay and will bill the owner for the $460,000 salvage cost. Maui News.

Defueling of luxury yacht on Maui complete, salvage work to begin.  The defueling of the grounded yacht on Maui was completed today, and the task of salvaging the vessel will begin Sunday. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.  Maui Now.


Can hydropower leave its plantation legacy behind on Kauaʻi?  The Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative is pursuing a multi-year lease for a new hydropower plant on the Waimea River, called the West Kauaʻi Energy Project. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kaua‘i home sales tumble in January.  A confluence of reluctant homebuyers and soft inventory levels led to a rough start to the new year for the County of Kaua‘i housing market. Garden Island.

Hundreds of parking tickets issued in Ha‘ena amid increased enforcement efforts. Last year, the Kaua‘i Police Department handed out more parking tickets on the North Shore alone than they issued on the entire island the year prior. Garden Island.

Monday, November 14, 2022

More Hawaii precincts favor GOP, affordable housing funding rejected by Honolulu voters, new permit requirement for lay nets, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Precinct map showing GOP gubernatorial victories ©2022 All Hawaii News
Precinct analysis: Big Islanders loyal to the Democrat, despite minor Republican renaissance. The Big Island was the best island for Gov.-elect Josh Green, delivering the largest percentage of its votes and helping propel the former Kona Democrat to the state’s highest office with a solid victory over his Republican opponent, James “Duke” Aiona. West Hawaii Today.

As he prepares for inauguration, Green heads to Japan in bid to promote Hawaii tourism. Gov.-elect Josh Green is headed to Japan to meet with government officials and travel industry executives in hopes of promoting Hawaii’s tourism industry. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Lawmakers Honored Federal Lobbyist Despite Her Conviction In A Foreign Lobbying Scandal. The legislative action for Nickie Lum Davis recently surfaced in sentencing documents. It illustrates the sometimes loose practice around honorary certificates. Civil Beat.

National $22.5M grant to help Hawaiʻi researchers study health disparities. Researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi and the John A. Burns School of Medicine hope to make an impact by studying health disparities impacting Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and other ethnic groups. Hawaii Public Radio.

Permits Now Required For Lay Net Use In Hawaiʻi. The Hawaiʻi land board voted to eliminate the requirement that lay net fishers register each lay net with the department, and require one permit to use lay nets in general. Big Island Video News.

Scientists still unlocking mysteries of Hawaii’s humpback whales.
Humpback whales, the winter stars of Hawaii’s marine environment, have been arriving and leaving island waters earlier than normal in recent years, according to a trend documented by scientists. Star-Advertiser.


Concerns about flexibility helped sink affordable housing amendment. The failed amendment would have raised the amount of real property tax directed to the Affordable Housing Fund from 0.5% to 1%, or from about $8 million to $16 million. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council elections retain political leanings. The incoming Honolulu City Council had the potential to take a hard right turn in this year’s election but instead will retain its political balance when three new Councilmembers are sworn in Jan. 3. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council To Take Up Restricting Guns In ‘Sensitive Places’. The City Council is scheduled to hold a special meeting Nov. 29 to hear a bill that would restrict weapons from being carried in schools and other public places. Civil Beat.

Oahu problem properties owe $130 million in building fines to city. The city is owed over $130 million for building violations involving Oahu properties with outstanding fines over $100,000, according to Department of Planning and Permitting data. Star-Advertiser.

Plans move forward for $100M renovation of ‘antiquated’ Honolulu Hale. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi is proposing relocating city government to a high rise to make room for a $100 million renovation of Honolulu Hale. Hawaii News Now.

New Aloha Stadium plan proponents put hopes in Gov.-elect Green. Leaders of surrounding communities and state officials, including Stadium Authority board members, say they are optimistic that Gov.-elect Josh Green will allow resumption of work on requests for proposals for the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District when he takes office in December. Star-Advertiser.

Felons violating probation threaten Hawaii’s public safety. Public safety in Honolulu is being threatened by convicted felons violating probation without any penalties because a program designed to keep high-risk probationers from committing new crimes by imposing immediate sanctions isn’t being run right, Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm said. Star-Advertiser.

Koko Crater Stables: Gunfight At The Not-So-OK Corral. After a four-year contest between battling horsewomen, the city has awarded the contract for the Koko Crater Stables to a new bidder. Civil Beat.

Concerns Over Leadership At St. Louis School Prompt Resignations, Investigation. Board members said they’ve taken steps to improve the situation, but not before a slew of departures.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

County bills would reduce requirements for director positions. Hawaii County’s hiring criteria for directors of the departments of Public Works and Environmental Management could be loosened by a pair of bills to be discussed at County Council committee meetings this week. Tribune-Herald.

State officials, Hawaiian activists voice concern over Army’s Pohakuloa training site. The Army is hoping to maintain the Pohakuloa Training Area as its 65-year lease on a parcel of state land that makes up a key part of the range nears expiration. Star-Advertiser.

County hires security for Waipi‘o Valley Lookout.
Citing concerns about rockfalls, Roth closed Waipi‘o Valley Road by emergency proclamation on Feb. 25 to all but a handful of people, including valley residents and farmers. Tribune-Herald.

820 seek lava buyouts: Final application phase for county’s Kilauea disaster recovery program closes. More than 800 victims of the 2018 Kilauea eruption are hoping Hawaii County will buy their properties after the final application phase for the Voluntary Housing Buyout Program ended last month. Tribune-Herald.

Laupahoehoe ramp restoration a county priority. The ramp is the only point for boats to access the ocean between Hilo and Kawaihae, and was closed by Hawaii County in 2009 because of extensive wear from the surf. Tribune-Herald.


In open council races, candidates overcame criticism of campaign donations. Some of this year’s top fundraising candidates will take council seats. Nohe U’u-Hodgins and Tom Cook, the two candidates who won the Maui County Council’s only open seats, survived criticism over their large amount of campaign donations and challenges by progressive candidates who banded together to campaign. Maui News.

Kulahaven Farms, rainbow trout aquaponics farm to close at year’s end. Kulahaven Farms LLC, Hawaiʻi’s first, and only, rainbow trout aquaponics farm will be closing operations by the end of this year, the business announced. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Experts: Watch out for the whales with season underway. Last migration season saw record entanglements. As Maui heads into whale season, researchers and conservationists will be on the lookout for whales in distress after a record season of responding to entanglements. Maui News.


Kaua’i police celebrate its five forensic nurses. Kaua‘i police held a special ceremony Thursday to celebrate the department’s five forensic nurses during Forensic Nurses Week. Kauai Now. Garden Island.

Additional lane closures scheduled as Kapa‘a roundabout construction continues. Additional lane closures and detours are scheduled this week in Kapa‘a as construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Mailihuna Road, Hau‘a‘ala Road and Kawaihau Road continues. Kauai Now.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Hotel worker, nurse shortage persists, Honolulu backs off Sherwood Forest development plan, 'alarming' spike in ghost guns, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Travel demand creating historic opportunities for Hawaii hotel employees, but labor shortage persists. Hawaii hotels are looking to fill thousands of jobs statewide as the hospitality industry, one of Hawaii’s top economic drivers, continues a recovery this year that’s projected to surpass 2019’s pre-pandemic levels. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Amid severe shortage of nurses, Hawaii nursing schools reject 100s of qualified applicants. While Hawaii’s hospitals grapple with a dire shortage of nurses, nursing schools across the state are rejecting hundreds of qualified applicants. The reason: There aren’t enough instructors to teach them. Hawaii News Now.

Minimum-wage increase coming Oct. 1. Hawai‘i’s minimum wage will rise to $12 per hour on Oct. 1, and then will go up by $2 every other year until it reaches $18 per hour on Jan. 1, 2028. Garden Island.

A Hawaii Supreme Court ruling has inmates in legal limbo — held behind bars even though their charges are no longer valid. Prosecutors grapple with ‘impossible’ situation after serious criminal charges against scores are invalidated. On Oahu alone, prosecutors have identified 160 people who were charged with serious crimes by criminal complaints whose cases now have to go before a grand jury for an indictment. Hawaii News Now.

Federal agencies report alarming spike in illegal ghost guns, attachments on Hawaii streets. Federal agents are sounding the alarm about illegally obtained ghost guns and other gun parts they’re finding in Hawaii homes. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii public schools: White teachers, Hawaiian students. For the 2020-2021 school year, there were 174,704 students attending Hawaii public schools, according to the annual report published by the State of Hawaii Department of Education. There were also 11,627 public school teachers. KHON2.

DLNR looking for volunteers for habitat restoration project at Kure Atoll. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is looking for volunteers for a six-month habitat restoration program at the Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Star-Advertiser.

Bank of Hawaii, venture fund join to boost state’s growth. Mana Up, an accelerator and venture fund for Hawaii-based products, said Wednesday it is partnering with Bank of Hawaii to boost the success of Hawaii entrepreneurs in an effort to diversify the local economy. Star-Advertiser.

Shidler donates $1 million to UH’s law school. Business leader Jay H. Shidler has donated $1 million in cash to the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii to establish the Dean’s Innovation Fund, encouraging legal education that keeps pace with today’s fast-changing business landscape. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Hawaii health officials report 1,343 new COVID-19 infections, 10 coronavirus-related deaths. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, increased slightly to 6.7% compared with 6.4% reported the previous week. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.


Start of rail ridership hinges on damage, repairs to pillars. The severity of damage from hairline cracks on pillars that hold up the rail system’s overhead tracks could delay the launch of paid ridership expected early next year, the head of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation said. Star-Advertiser.

A Major Overhaul Of Honolulu Land-Use Rules Has Been Quietly Advancing. Now, Some Say Not So Fast. The wide-ranging bill would change zoning rules for thousands of Oahu properties. But it has gone largely unnoticed until now. Civil Beat.

City agrees to cease controversial Waimanalo development project. A three-year battle to redevelop Waimanalo Bay Beach Park is now on hold indefinitely. The Blangiardi administration confirmed Wednesday a settlement with the Friends of Sherwood Forest and closed its Special Management Area Permit. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Neighborhood Parking Zones Are Still Not Being Set Up. Here’s Why. Oahu residents covet neighborhood street parking, but a pilot study to manage and restrict those spaces has been stuck in limbo for five years. Civil Beat.

Fatal ambulance fire linked to oxygen device. Preliminary findings from the investigation into a fatal ambulance fire in Kailua point to a portable oxygen regulator as the cause of the August incident. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Homeless roadmap: Permanent housing, detoxification lead priority list. Providing permanent housing with support systems and treating substance abuse problems in homeless individuals are the two top priorities for the use of some $10 million annually the county has devoted to homeless programs. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiʻi County Hires New Solid Waste Division Chief. The County announced Michael Rivera has been hired to head the Department of Environmental Management's Solid Waste Division, replacning acting chief Michael Kaha. Big Island Video News.

State agencies fail to find proof of reported big cat on Big Island. In August, a Holualoa man anonymously reported seeing a wildcat near his property, taking some blurry photographs of the animal before it scampered away. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


Maui mayor, council move to acquire Lahaina Crossroads after tenants face eviction. After longtime residents, including kupuna on fixed incomes, spoke out about looming evictions at one of the last affordable apartment rentals left in Lahaina, county leaders are making moves to purchase the 20-unit Lahaina Crossroads, located building blocks away from Front Street. Maui Now.

Fishermen Spot First Humpback Whale of the Season off South Maui. It is the earliest sighting of the beloved mammals in the past 24 years. Maui Now.


Surfrider Foundation Kaua‘i Sponsors International Coastal Cleanup Day Saturday
. Surfrider Foundation Kaua‘i is sponsoring a marine-debris cleanup at Nukoli‘i Beach on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as part of global International Coastal Cleanup Day. All are encouraged to attend. Garden Island.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Too hot for humpbacks? Ige signs affordable housing bills, Honolulu historic homes could lose tax break, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Humpback whales may avoid Hawaii due to climate change, study shows. The findings of a new paper by researchers at the University of Hawaii and the Pacific Whale Foundation suggest that the whales may one day avoid the relatively shallow ocean around the Hawaiian islands because the waters will be too warm. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii national park sites attracted 4 million visitors in 2021, study finds. Nearly 4 million people visited Hawaii’s eight national park units in 2021, spending an estimated $438 million in local communities across the state, according to a National Park Service report. Star-Advertiser.

Water conservation top of mind for some hotels, tourism businesses.
Drought conditions in the islands are expected to worsen this summer, concerning water supply officials. Residents have been asked to conserve water. But what about visitors? Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. Ige signs bills to fund affordable housing and ʻOhana Zones. Gov. David Ige signed three bills on Friday relating to affordable housing. The new measures will support the Ohana Zones and First-To-Work programs. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News.

Second all-mail election offers some changes. Elections are coming up, and ballots can be cast just weeks from now in the 2022 primary. There are lots of changes this year. KHON2.

Redrawn districts present choices for voters. Many Hawaii residents will get a new representative in the state Legislature later this year — even if their current representative is running for reelection and wins. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s GOP primary candidates test the party’s values. The overall mood of the Hawaii Republican Party in 2022 likely will be revealed through the Aug. 13 primary election when voters have a choice of a diverse slate of candidates who appeal to distinctly different tastes. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele gets key union backing, Lt. Gov. Josh Green adds to long list. U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele received a needed endorsement in his gubernatorial bid Thursday from the United Public Workers union, while opponent Lt. Gov. Josh Green simultaneously was endorsed by the AFL-CIO, adding to Green’s long list of support from Hawaii labor unions. Star-Advertiser.

Schools wrestle with effects of Supreme Court ruling on coach’s prayer. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a high school football coach in Washington state had a constitutional right to pray at the 50-yard line after games has provoked strong reactions and left public school officials in Hawaii and across the nation struggling to discern how it might affect policies and religious acts on campuses and at school-related activities. Star-Advertiser.

Civil Beat Law Center Goes To Court To Make Prison Covid-19 Reports Public. The state refuses to release the health care monitoring reports, saying they are confidential under the terms of a federal court settlement. Civil Beat.


Property tax incentives for historic homes reexamined. The Honolulu City Council might take a look at modifying the historic homes property tax exemption to increase the minimum tax payment or possibly remove the exemption altogether. Star-Advertiser.

HART Mum On Where Pivotal ‘Mauka Shift’ Approvals Stand. It’s not clear why HART is moving ahead before confirming which environmental approvals are needed and how long they might take. Civil Beat.

Fuel Spewed ‘Full Blast’ Into Red Hill Tunnel In November. As fuel rained down, creating a virtual river on the concrete floor of a Red Hill facility tunnel in November, the worker who accidentally triggered the leak found himself powerless to stop it. Civil Beat.

Officer who led Army’s Red Hill response is promoted to general. Col. Phillip “Cain” Baker, the 25th Infantry Division’s deputy commander for support, was promoted to brigadier general Friday in a small ceremony at the Schofield Barracks attended by family and friends. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian ‘Occupied Forces’ Group Ousted From Kunia Property By Police.
The squatters had taken over the private property nine months ago claiming they had title under laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Civil Beat.

Former federal ACO agrees to pay $100K to settle sex assault lawsuit. A former prison guard at the Federal Detention Center has agreed to pay $100,000 to two former female inmates who alleged he sexually assaulted them. Hawaii News Now.

Building damage estimated to be over $1.1M to historic Boyd-Irwin Estate with ties to Hawaiian royalty. The Honolulu Fire Department has determined the building fire that consumed the historic Boyd-Irwin Estate in Maunawili last month is estimated to have caused more than $1.137 million in damage. Star-Advertiser.

Makaha Valley Resort sold to South Korean company, KH Group at $20.7 million. A U.S. bankruptcy judge has approved a sale of 644 acres in Makaha Valley, positioning a South Korean company to develop the property previously slated for a resort featuring a golf course designed by Tiger Woods. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Feedback sought about EA for HVNP recovery effort. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has opened a comment period for community feedback about an environmental assessment for its proposed disaster recovery project to repair damage caused by the 2018 volcanic eruption and summit collapse on Kilauea volcano. Tribune-Herald.

Vacation rental rules remain unclear: County continues enforcement while awaiting ICA opinion. Hawaii County continues to enforce its prohibition against short-term vacation rentals in the state agricultural district despite a Kona judge’s ruling that the state doesn’t disallow that use as the county has claimed. West Hawaii Today.

County poised to award PONC grants.
Improvements at Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden top the list of awards to nonprofits the administration is recommending for the use of property tax funds earmarked for the county Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Commission. West Hawaii Today.


Long-Awaited Maui Ag Department Set To Be Finally Up And Running This Week. The director of Maui’s newly launched county department of agriculture is expected to be announced on Wednesday following an almost two-year wait. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Maui County Council Races: ‘Crucial’ Election May Bring A Political Shake-Up. The council’s progressive majority may change in an election where cost of living and the economy top the list of concerns. Civil Beat.

MPO mulls flexing federal funds to buy new buses. Public comments on the revised Federal Fiscal Year 2022-2025 Transportation Improvement Program is now being accepted by Maui MPO — the transportation planning agency for the island of Maui — through Friday. Maui News.

Maui’s top public health official wants an apology from state lawmakers. Dr. Lorrin Pang says it time for his critics to say they are sorry. Pang faced major backlash last year when he did not condemn controversial COVID-19 treatments like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. Hawaii News Now.


Brun distributor gets 2 years in prison
. After a 20-year prison sentence was imposed on former Kaua‘i County Councilmember turned meth dealer Arthur Brun this May, the court has begun mopping up the cases of his 11 co-conspirators. Garden Island.

Hanapepe native Fujii to get Medal of Honor Tuesday. Specialist Five Dennis M. Fujii of Hawai‘i is one of four people who will receive the Medal of Honor on July 5 from President Joseph R. Biden Jr., states a June 27 release from the White House. Garden Island. KITV4.