Showing posts with label income taxes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label income taxes. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Green signs 'historic' tax cut bills, Kilauea eruption pauses, Maui Council tackles resolution opposing Space Force telescopes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Josh Green Gives Final Approval To Income Tax Break He Hopes Will Make Hawaii Affordable. The Governor also signed a bill that exempts medical services reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE from the state’s General Excise Tax.  Gov. Josh Green signed the largest income tax cut in state history into law on Monday, giving final approval to a measure that should deliver bigger paychecks for many of Hawaii’s working people as early as the beginning of next year. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.  Big Island Now.  Star-Advertiser.  Tribune-Herald.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.  Big Island Video News.

Governor declares emergency to avoid loss of phone, internet services for Hawaiian Home Lands households. Hawai‘i Gov. Josh Green on Friday signed an emergency proclamation to avoid loss of telecommunications services for many Hawaiian Home Lands households across the state. Big Island Now.

Hawaiian Home Lands Broadband Customers Say The Service Has Been Bad For Years. State regulators and the governor stopped the communications company from cutting off phone and internet services over the weekend. Civil Beat.

Telecom service can’t last, Sandwich Isles founder says. Sandwich Isles Communication founder Albert Hee said Monday that despite the company’s lack of resources, services have continued for about 1,500 customers on Hawaiian home lands because of Gov. Josh Green’s emergency proclamation Friday evening to prevent the loss of telecommunications services. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

DHHL Has Big Plans For More Homes. But It Needs A Lot More Money. The department and its developers are pushing for a mixed bag of financing and housing options. But not everyone is happy with proposals for more rentals. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Department of Health is investigating the Badia brand seasonings after food inspectors in New York confirmed elevated levels of lead.  Hold off on using Badia ground ginger and cinnamon products. Hawaii News Now.

73 public schools to offer summer meals to children under 18. Thanks to the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) program, two meals will be served Monday through Friday at 73 participating schools, excluding state-observed holidays. KHON2.


Uncertainty over Honolulu rail leadership could put funding in jeopardy. The Federal Transit Administration on Monday warned that leadership uncertainty at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation could jeopardize another $250 million in federal money needed by the city’s rail system. Star-Advertiser.

City land donation proposed for Kailua Hawaiian homesteads project. For the third time in two decades, city officials are seeking to make residential use out of a large parcel of vacant city land in Kailua. Star-Advertiser.

New injunction is sought to stop Haiku Stairs’ removal.
The Friends of Haiku Stairs have filed a new legal motion meant to stop the city’s planned demolition of the World War II-era staircase, above Haiku Valley and the H-3 freeway, in Kaneohe. Star-Advertiser.

NOAA: Post-mortem exam confirms monk seal pup attacked by dog. Federal wildlife officials today said a post-mortem exam confirms a newborn monk seal pup born on Oahu’s North Shore died from injuries due to a dog attack. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.  KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Kīlauea eruption within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has paused.
The eruption that began southwest of Kīlauea’s summit at approximately 12:30 a.m. has paused. However, activity in this region remains dynamic and could change quickly, according to a press release from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.  Big Island Now. Big Island Video News.  Star-Advertiser.  KITV4.

DHHL To Bring Wi-Fi Hotspots To Puʻukapu Pastoral Leases
. SIC broadband customers in Puʻukapu who have been without service since April 2024 will be eligible for the AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot distribution. Big Island Video News.

Police, fire, National Guard, others stage exercise at Hilo school today.
Waiakea High School will take on the appearance of Ground Zero today — but rest assured, this is only a drill. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Council Hears Opposition To Proposed Space Force Telescopes On Haleakala. The council will vote on a resolution on Wednesday to officially oppose construction of up to seven telescopes on the dormant volcano. More than 20 people from Hawaii to Tahiti urged the Maui County Council on Monday to oppose the military’s plan to build more telescopes atop Haleakala, the Valley Isle’s highest peak at 10,000 feet. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

73 public schools, including eight in Maui County to offer summer meals to children.
The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education announced today that 73 public schools will serve meals free of charge over the summer to children ages 18 and younger – regardless of public school enrollment status – through its summer food service program. The list includes five schools on Maui and three on Molokaʻi. Maui Now.


PMRF honors Hawaiian place name as Major’s Bay becomes Waiapua‘a Bay. The US Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kekaha formally changed a recreation area at its military base to its Native Hawaiian place name during a sign unveiling ceremony on Friday, May 31, as  Major’s Bay officially became Waiapua‘a Bay.  Kauai Now. Garden Island.

State to ‘closely monitor’ cruise ships after large liner appeared too close to Na Pali Coast.
The state is putting cruise ship operators on notice after the large liner Celebrity Edge appeared to come too close to Kauai’s Na Pali coast a month ago. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Green almost certain to sign major income tax cut bill, former foster children win $1.8M abuse settlement, Japan coast guard trainees visit the state, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Josh Green Is Poised To Sign A Big Income Tax Cut. But Can Hawaii Really Afford It? Gov. Josh Green seems certain to sign into law the whopping state income tax cut of 2024, a bill that is expected to reduce the state tax burden for a median-income Hawaii family by nearly $20,000 over the next seven years. Civil Beat.

Japanese coast guard ship, trainees visit Hawaii. Trainees from Japan’s Coast Guard Academy are in Hawaii as part of a training cruise that is taking them across the Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

A Working Group That Emerged From A Tragedy Sets Out To Reform Child Welfare Services. A working group formed to help reform Hawaii’s troubled child welfare system has drafted dozens of recommendations for reform, and the group is about to launch a series of hearings to solicit comments on those ideas. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Opioid Settlement Fund Is Growing And, After Delays, Starting To Be Spent. The appointment of a full-time project coordinator to manage Hawaii’s opioid settlement trust fund has set the process of allocating money to the counties for drug treatment efforts on a faster track, according to a member of the settlement advisory committee who previously described the pace of spending as “painfully slow.” Civil Beat.

AMR continues ground ambulance service on Maui and Kauaʻi following protest. The Hawai‘i State Department of Health Emergency Medical Services Injury Prevention Systems Branch has issued two Notices of Award to International Life Support, Inc., doing business as American Medical Response (AMR). Maui Now.

Nearly 8 years after his death, new book highlights late US Rep. Mark Takai's contributions. (Video) Hawaii News Now.


State pays $1.8M to settle former Waimanalo foster kids’ lawsuit. Three former foster children, now adults, of George Kipapa and his late wife, Jolyn Kipapa, agreed to a $1.8 million settlement in a lawsuit alleging abuses they suffered as foster children over 18 years. Star-Advertiser.

Over 40,000 attend Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai’i ceremony. A crowd of over 40,000 people gathered for the Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai’i ceremony as 6,000 lanterns were set afloat in remembrance of loved ones at Ala Moana Regional Park on Memorial Day. The ceremony marked the 25th anniversary of the event with the theme “Many Rivers, One Ocean.” Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

A source of koa for canoe-builders.
A 1,200-acre koa forest in Ka‘u is almost ready to be harvested for the first time in nearly two decades. Tribune-Herald.

Demolition of historic Jaggar Museum begins.  Demolition began this month at the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum, ending a six-year period of disuse after the facility was critically damaged during the 2018 Kilauea eruption. Tribune-Herald.


DLNR cites 3 men for fishing violations in ‘Ahihi-Kina‘u Area Reserve.
Officers recovered a total of 78 different fish from the men at the reserve in southwestern Maui — a nursery and refuge for some of Hawaii’s most important, unique resources. Star-Advertiser. Maui News.

Interest form open to help Lahaina homeowners rebuild. The three-year program will assist up to 500 owner-occupant Lahaina homeowners prevent foreclosure and qualify for financing to rebuild their homes. Maui Now.


Home sales leap, median price retreats on Kaua‘i in April. Home sales jumped more than 60 percent in the first full month of spring, as the Kaua‘i housing market continued to rebound from a rough outing in 2023. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i resort, nonprofit cohosting free World Oceans Day event – musicians, vendors still have time to join. Kaua‘i ocean conservation nonprofit Ho‘omalu Ke Kai will install its first beach cleanup station – made of upcycled marine debris – at its biggest World Oceans Day celebration to date, on June 8. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Green may veto rainy day funding, income tax cuts could also benefit wealthy, Maui shifts property tax burden from homeowners to vacation rentals, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Governor May Nix Plan To Put More Money Into The State Rainy Day Fund. Green says the state cannot afford to put another $300 million into the budget reserve fund, which already has about $1.5 billion. Civil Beat.

Concerns rise for low-income families over Legislature's recent tax cut measure.
Most Hawaiʻi residents will likely see lower income taxes next year due to a measure recently passed by the state Legislature. Hawaii Public Radio.

Keeping peace is crucial, officer declares at LANPAC.  The Association of the U.S. Army kicked off its annual Land Power in the Pacific Symposium on Tuesday at the Sheraton Waikiki, bringing in attendees from 30 countries. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii brown water health risks aren’t just in the ocean. At least seven brown water advisories were issued since Monday and ranged from Kauai to Hawaii Island. KHON2.

How do officials plan to address state infestation of coconut rhinoceros beetle? State and county legislators met at Kapalama Elementary School on Tuesday to address the statewide infestation of the coconut rhinoceros beetle. KHON2.


Campaign Contributions Or Bribes In Disguise? Closing Arguments Begin In Kaneshiro Bribery Trial. Prosecutors tried to convince jurors money given to Keith Kaneshiro's campaign was part of a conspiracy to bribe the former Honolulu prosecutor, but defense attorneys maintain it was legal. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Rail Authority To Seek Damages For Delays In Completing Airport Segment. Imposing liquidated damages on contractor STG would be a turnabout. Last year it was the contractor that demanded cash compensation from the city for project delays. Civil Beat.

Second chance, former inmate hiring program, supports Waikiki’s Aloha Ambassadors. The Waikiki Business Improvement District Aloha Ambassador program will expand to 24 hours, seven days a week this summer and is projected by year’s end to remove 500,000 pounds of trash and serve over 350,000 visitors. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu homeless figures to be released.  The latest number of homeless people who were counted across Oahu in January will be released today in the latest benchmark of homelessness in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Waikoloa Library project moves ahead.
The long-sought public library for Waikoloa Village is a step closer to becoming a reality. The state Office of Planning and Sustainable Development last week published a final Environmental Assessment for the project, with a finding of no significant impact. Tribune-Herald.

County wants private land for Puna road. Hawaii County will seize portions of a pair of private properties in lower Puna in order to complete the reopening of Pohoiki Road. Tribune-Herald.

Court urges parties to settle in case of house on wrong lot.
In the case of a house built on the wrong property lot on Hawaii Island, after weeks of appearing in court Kailua-Kona, both sides were ordered by a judge to meet in a closed session to try to come up with an agreement. KITV4.


Maui Council Holds Down Property Tax Rates For Local Homeowners
. The county plans to shift more of the revenue burden onto vacation rental and investment property owners. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Vacant Land Sales Around Lahaina Have Jumped Since The Wildfires. As remediation efforts proceed, some local residents have bought property within minutes of the town. Civil Beat.

Maui project aims to restore landscape, mitigate axis deer damage and reduce erosion above Kīhei.
A collaborative project to protect against erosion, reduce flood risk, mitigate axis deer damage, and improve water quality is being implemented in an 11-acre area mauka of Kīhei.  Maui Now.

Condo and house sales rise on Maui during April, along with prices. The median sales prices for both categories also saw notable increases as single-family homes rose by 16.9%, while condominiums climbed by 8.4%, compared to April 2023. Maui News.

On Molokai, health care providers struggle with low payments, high costs — and little support. The island of Molokai has only a third as many doctors as a communities of similar size on the mainland. But experts say roots of the health care crisis there — economics and isolation — exist in rural areas on every island. Hawaii News Now.


DLNR finalizing investigation into cruise ships reported close to Na Pali Coast. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says it’s awaiting a final report following its investigation into two cruise ships that came too close to the shore of the Na Pali Coast earlier this month.  Kauai Now.

Monday, May 6, 2024

Hawaii governor signs vacation rental bill, same-sex marriage amendment heads to November ballot, Legislature wraps up 60-day session, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii’s ‘historic’ 2024 legislative session comes to a close. Hawaii lawmakers wrapped up the 32nd biennial legislative session Friday in largely ceremonial fashion that included a traditional display of unity, but also cast final votes on a few momentous bills. Star-Advertiser.  Big Island Now.

Legislative session began amid uncertainty, ended with relief for Maui and taxpayers. The Hawaii legislative session began Jan. 17 clouded in unknowns over how much money would be available overall, how much could be spent to help Maui recover from the Aug. 8 wildfires, and concerns that lawmakers would have to tap into the state’s so-called rainy day fund to meet Hawaii’s needs. Star-Advertiser.

How major bills fared at the Capitol. Here is the status of major bills following the end of the 60-day Hawaii legislative session on Friday.  Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Josh Green signs vacation rental bill into law.  Gov. Josh Green on Friday made good on his promise and signed a bill into law that gives counties the ability to better regulate short-term vacation rentals in the hope of freeing up affordable, long-term housing for island residents. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4. Tribune-Herald.

Lessons For Hawaii: Other States Have Strong Pay-To-Play Laws
. Experts say regulating contractor donations along with publicly financed elections could go a long way to taming corruption. Civil Beat.

Voters could repeal Legislature’s authority on same-sex marriage. An amendment to repeal the Legislature’s authority to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples will be on the November ballot.  KHON2.

Hawaii Has Been Debating Marijuana Legalization For Half A Century. Lawmakers have been vacillating over how to handle weed consumption in the islands since the late 1960s. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Legislature OKs $18M for claims against state. Crimes committed by state employees, accidents on public property and a couple Second Amendment challenges are contributing to settlements, judgments and other legal claims this year to cost Hawaii taxpayers $18.1 million. Star-Advertiser.

Water Safety Coalition’s bills sent to governor. The measures — one that designates May 15 as Water Safety Day in the state each year and another that authorizes the issuance of Duke Kahanamoku license plates, with revenue from the plates being dedicated to water safety educational programs — are now on Gov. Josh Green’s desk, pending his signature.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Execs Got Big Raises In 2023. They’re About To See How Shareholders Feel About It. A vote on compensation and reelection of board members is set for May 13. Civil Beat.

Hawaii traffic fatalities in 2024 on pace with last year. From Jan. 1 to April 30, there were 33 traffic-related deaths, compared with 33 during the same period in 2023, according to preliminary statistics from DOT. Star-Advertiser.


Staff shortages plague Honolulu’s 911 system. HPD Maj. Calvin Sung of the communications division said if the system is busy, callers should keep calling back. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu first responders alter operations for planned power shutoffs. Police, firefighters, paramedics and emergency management officials on Oahu are modifying operations to prepare for the possibility that Hawaiian Electric must shut off power to reduce wildfire risks. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Got Back $441,000 From Aloha Stadium Consultant. An audit, spurred by a Civil Beat investigation, is leading to policy changes at the Department of Accounting and General Services. A consultant for Aloha Stadium has reimbursed the state more than $441,000 after an audit last year found that the firm charged the state for exorbitant travel expenses and excessive costs. Civil Beat.

Nurse’s aide fined over $300,000 for running unlicensed care home. The health department has fined a certified nurse aide $315,000 for running an unlicensed care home in Ewa Beach. Complaints led inspectors to a Muiona Street home where they say Nenita Mauricio of “Private Home Duty LLC” admitted to operating the unlicensed facility for nearly a year. Hawaii News Now.

North Shore seeing ‘advanced infestation’ of coconut rhinoceros beetle, experts on what to do. From Mokuleia to Laniakea, to Pupukea, and from Ke Iki to Sunset Beach, if you look up you’ll see palms with only a few fronds, some with none, and some looking sick or oddly shaped.  KHON2.

Hawaii Island

National Science Foundation to discuss possible funding for TMT. NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said a panel will visit the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea and the Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile and evaluate them on a series of topics including their current progress, partnerships, risks and risk mitigation, governance, opportunities for access by early-career scientists, how well the project complements the European Southern Observatory’s Chilean Extremely Large Telescope, and public engagement. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park areas reopen as tremors subside. Kilauea volcano’s recent seismic rumblings have quieted down, leading Hawaii Volcanoes National Park officials today to reopen several areas that have been closed in the past week as a precaution. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

Proposed Punalu‘u Village goes before Planning Commission Monday. Punalu‘u Village is a “residential and commercial community” proposed to be built on a 147-acre parcel in Punalu‘u, restoring several disused buildings and attractions in the process. If built, the project would add nearly 300 accommodation units to the rural community, as well as a market space, golf course, restaurant and more. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Hawaiʻi County Council to consider preserving 27 acres near ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay. A Hawaiʻi County Council committee has advanced plans to help preserve 27 acres of land on the south end of ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay near the Waikoloa Beach Resort. Hawaii Public Radio.

Parks and Rec, DLNR work to address issue of cat colonies at park where nene died. State and county agencies are moving forward to address feral cat feeding and its effects on the nene population. Tribune-Herald.

Removal of UH-Hilo newspaper causes flap. An administrator at the University of Hawaii at Hilo admitted to ordering the removal of the student-run campus newspaper from a rack at an April 20 event welcoming prospective students and their parents to the campus. Tribune-Herald.


Ohana Hope Village Is Finally Opening To Maui Fire Survivors.
Access to water is still in flux, but the Maui modular home housing project now has county approval to open 16 of 88 units. Civil Beat.

45th Maui Charity Walk raises over $1.2 million for the eighth year. Nearly 1,600 walkers attended the in-person event at the War Memorial Complex.  Maui Now.

Young Brothers blesses $1.5M mooring system to improve service for Lānaʻi. Hawai‘i interisland freight company Young Brothers blessed its new $1.5 million ShoreTension mooring system on Monday at the Port of Kaumalapau on Lāna‘i. The system keeps the barge steady against the dock during poor weather conditions. Maui Now.


Kauai County officials warn flood victims might not get FEMA federal assistance. More than 12 inches of rain pummeled parts of the Garden Island in a few hours overnight on April 12. Hawaii News Now.

Kaua‘i County data shows recent decline in lifeguard rescues. Recent data from the County of Kaua’i Ocean Safety Bureau indicates a decline in aquatic rescues this year following the department’s announcement of the extension of operating hours at lifeguarded beaches. Kauai Now.

St. Catherine School shutting down next month; it’s served Kaua‘i families since 1946. St. Catherine School, a Catholic elementary school in Kapa‘a on the East Side of Kaua‘i, is shutting down this June after 78 years in operation – despite parents’ last-ditch efforts to save it earlier this spring. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Legislature passes almost 200 bills, including income tax cut, vacation rental regulation, official shaka gesture, coffee labeling; Maui sues cell phone carriers for Lahaina fire outages, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Lawmakers Give Final Approval To A ‘Historic’ Income Tax Cut In Long Day Of Voting. The tax bill along with nearly 200 other measures, including one that gives counties the authority to regulate short-term vacation rentals, now go to Gov. Josh Green for his consideration. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Bill aimed at short-term vacation rentals passes. Legislation that would give Hawaii’s counties the authority to fully regulate and to phase out short-term vacation rentals cleared its final floor vote Wednesday in the state Senate. Tribune-Herald.

Legislature passes bill to exempt certain medical services from General Excise Tax.
Senate Bill 1035 SD2 HD1 CD1, introduced by Sen. Lorraine R. Inouye (Senate District 1, Hilo, Paukaʻa, Papaikou, Pepeʻekeo), exempts hospitals, infirmaries, medical clinics, health care facilities, pharmacies, and medical and dental providers from General Excise Tax (GET) on goods or services that are reimbursed through Medicaid, Medicare, or TRICARE. Maui Now.

Coffee labeling standards bill gets final approval from Hawaiʻi Legislature. House Bill 2298, introduced by Big Island state Rep. Nicole Lowen, mandates that as of July 1, 2027, any coffee labeled or advertised with a Hawaiʻi geographic origin must consist of at least 51% coffee, by weight, from that region. Kauai Now.

Shaka bill passed
. A proposal making the “Shaka” Hawaii’s official state gesture received final approval Wednesday. KHON2.

Department of the attorney general releases annual firearm registration statistics
. Statewide, a total of 23,528 personal/private firearm permit applications were processed during 2023, marking a 7.5% increase from 21,881 applications processed in 2022. Kauai Now.

Volunteer Firefighters Are Big On The Mainland. Not So Much In Hawaii. The ability of fire departments to muster extra help during major wildfires is a critical issue for the state as it grapples with how to prevent another disaster like Lahaina.  Civil Beat.

These energy bills failed to pass this Legislative session, puzzling proponents. Popular measures on energy efficiency and solar permitting died abruptly in their last committees, leading some energy stakeholders to label this session as a letdown.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Kupuna lost nearly $28M to fraud in 2023, FBI reports.
Seniors in Hawaii over 60 years of age lost nearly $28 million last year to fraud schemes targeting older Americans’ money or cryptocurrency, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Star-Advertiser.

Union hotel workers rally to kick-start bargaining. More than 1,500 Unite Here Local 5 union members Rallied Wednesday as they prepare for the possibility of widespread labor disputes with 17 Hawaii hotel contracts covering over 7,000 hotel workers over three islands  set to expire at the end of next month.  Star-Advertiser. KITV4.


Developers And Labor Unions Are Contributing To Blangiardi’s Reelection Campaign. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has collected about $90,000 in campaign contributions since the start of the year, bringing his available spending money to about $750,000 as he pursues reelection. Civil Beat.

DOH takes 'unusual step' to reject Navy's Red Hill groundwater sampling plan. The Hawaiʻi Department of Health has rejected the Navy’s Red Hill Consolidated Groundwater Sampling Program and ordered a modified version to be implemented instead. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ocean safety lifeguards want their own department, but don’t want the mayor to appoint their leader. Lifeguards told a Honolulu City Council committee that they want a commission to pick the leader for a new department -- and that’s something that has to go before voters. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Red light cameras at intersections on Oahu could soon also enforce speeding. For the first time since 2002, speed limits in Hawaii could soon be enforced by automated cameras — thanks to a bill easily approved by both House and Senate on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian monk seal Kaiwi gives birth at Kaimana Beach again. This is the third time Kaiwi has given birth at the popular beach in Waikiki, and federal, state and county agencies are urging the public to maintain a distance from mom and pup as they nurse along the shoreline. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

County Council takes up 2 measures supporting project to mitigate wildfire risk in North Hawai‘i. The Hawai‘i County Council on Wednesday during a regular session meeting took up two measures in support of mitigating the risk of wildfires in North Hawai‘i, specifically in and around communities that were affected by the Māna Road Fire. Big Island Now.

Council bill could change make-up of planning commissions.
A county bill under consideration by a council committee over the last two weeks would require that the Windward and Leeward planning commissions include at least one member with experience or expertise in Native Hawaiian traditions, customary practices, land usage and law. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo woman cited for feeding cats in park where nēnē gosling was found dead. Doreen Torres, 66, was issued two citations for violating state endangered and threatened species laws, which prohibit the feeding of protected wildlife, since nēnē may eat the cat food. Big Island Now.

Harsher fines proposed for owners of barking dogs.  The proposed increases would raise the fine for a first offense from $25 to $50; from $75 to $100 for a second violation; from $100 to $200 for a third; and from $200 to $400 for any subsequent offense. Tribune-Herald.

North Kona Water Restriction Downgraded After Well Repair. The Hualālai Deepwell has been repaired and returned to service, which means certain Kona customers are back to a voluntary 10% Water Conservation Notice. Big Island Video News.

Permitting process to harvest Kapāpala koa trees for canoes gets approval. More than 30 years ago, the state set aside about 1,200 acres on the southeastern slopes of Maunaloa to serve as a sustainable source of koa for constructing canoes. Hawaii Public Radio.


Maui County Sues Cell Phone Carriers For Lahaina Fire Outages. Maui County filed a lawsuit against four telecommunications giants Wednesday alleging that the companies failed to notify 911 dispatchers about a cell phone service blackout that hampered the government’s wildfire response in Lahaina’s hardest-hit neighborhoods last year. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Maui Now.  KHON2.

Maui County files eminent domain complaint against Komar Maui Properties for landfill expansion. The Maui County Department of Environmental Management filed a complaint Tuesday in 2nd Circuit Court for condemnation of nearly 20 acres of former quarry land next to the Central Maui Landfill in Puʻunēnē. Maui Now.

Maui United Way approves $150K in emergency funding to address unmet food needs for wildfire impacted families. Maui United Way has stepped in to provide emergency stop-gap funding to a hui of organizations led by Common Ground Collective (CGC) dedicated to feeding vulnerable fire-impacted families on Maui’s West Side while also providing a boost to local farmers. Maui Now.

Air Force offers first interview on proposal to build up to 7 telescopes on Haleakala. As a plan to build up to seven new telescopes on Haleakala faces mounting opposition, the Department of the Air Force on Wednesday offered its first interview to discuss the controversial proposal. KITV4.

New Kaiser Permanente Lahaina Clinic marks official opening with Ho‘ola.
Kaiser Permanente physicians, nurses, staff, Maui community partners stakeholders, and local dignitaries gathered on the grounds of the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort to celebrate the new 5,200-square-foot Lahaina Clinic.  Maui News.


State investigating amid reports cruise ship sailed too close to Kauai’s Na Pali Coast.
Kauai community advocates said the ship appeared to be in very shallow water and about 1,000 feet offshore. Hawaii News Now.

Wastewater spill reported following failure of Coco Palms sewer pump station. A failure of a critical pump controller at the Wailua Coco Palms sewer pump station on Tuesday resulted in a wastewater spill of about 6,000 gallons. Kauai Now.

New North Shore school getting closer to opening.
The school purchased a permanent site in Kilauea last year, and is currently is in the initial phase of its campus development. Garden Island.

Biodiesel sunflowers are coming to Kaumakani.
The project is a multi-year agreement between Pacific Biodiesel and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory that will demonstrate renewable biofuel produced in Hawai‘i from multiple locally grown oilseed cover crops, and the effort will strengthen Hawai‘i’s food security, energy security and supply chain resiliency. Garden Island.

Monday, April 29, 2024

House-Senate negotiators agree on biggest tax cut yet, COVID hazard pay cost jumps to $449M, second round of health-care debt forgiveness begins, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii residents could see biggest tax cut yet. Hawaii taxpayers could be seeing phased state income tax cuts that over eight years amount to the biggest reduction in state history. A measure approved by House and Senate negotiators Friday,  House Bill 2404, would double the standard deduction for the 2024 tax year and then keep raising it every two years through 2030. Star-Advertiser.

State to pay $449M for government worker pandemic hazard pay. The state will have to pay $449 million to compensate government employees for coming to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The cost is about $150 million over previous estimates by the Department of Budget and Finance. Hawaii Public Radio.

New round of debt forgiveness begins for Hawaii healthcare professionals.  Gov. Josh Green, in partnership with the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine, the Healthcare Association of Hawaii and the state Department of Health, developed the Healthcare Education Loan Repayment Program (HELP) to pay off up to $50,000 for each of two years as long as health care providers commit to accepting public insurance for at least 30% of their patient care claims. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers reduce financial grants.
Hawaii’s Legislature approved $30 million in grants this year to around 150 applicants amid a challenging budgetary picture that included the need to appropriate roughly $1 billion for Maui wildfire response and recovery work. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiʻi is one step closer to having a state fire marshal. Lawmakers in conference committee, one of the final legislative hurdles, have passed Senate Bill 2085 to establish a dedicated fire marshal who will direct statewide efforts to prevent and respond to fires. Hawaiʻi is the only state without one. Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor approves broadband equity access and development state match plan. Governor Josh Green approved the use of $33 million in state funds for the state match plan for the Broadband Equity Access and Development (BEAD) grant program on Friday, April 27. Eight programs will be funded with this grant which will have a statewide impact on ensuring Hawai‘i’s goal toward universal broadband access.  Big Island Now.

Frequent Withdrawals Of Nominees Hinder Green’s Efforts To Fill Boards And Commissions. More than 10% of the governor’s nominees have been pulled back this year. Civil Beat.

Governor Backs Effort To Stem The Tide Of Invasive Species In Hawaii. The biosecurity measure is one of two key pieces of legislation that will strengthen the efforts of the Department of Agriculture. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Tourism Agency campaign targets U.S. market. Hawaii’s hotel booking pace is in the red through December, but legislative funding has allowed the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority to support a new multimillion dollar marketing campaign aimed at U.S. visitors. Star-Advertiser.

Flat Golden Week foretells a sluggish Japan tourism recovery in Hawaii. Golden Week, the traditional peak Japanese travel season, is better this year than last, but it isn’t the gold mine that it once was because Hawaii is losing ground to competing destinations during this holiday period and beyond. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii child abuse cases decrease, according to 2023 statistics. Last year, 1,800 total cases were reported — a decrease of over 300 reported the year before. Hawaii News Now.


Trial starts today in federal lawsuits over military jet fuel leak. 17 relatives of U.S. military members suing the United States over the leak from the World War II-era storage tanks. The 17 are considered “bellwether” plaintiffs representing more than 7,500 other military family members, civilians and service members in three federal lawsuits.  Associated Press.

Officers posted outside Mayor’s office after alleged heated discussion with Ocean Safety chief.  Honolulu police officers are posted outside the Mayor’s office at Honolulu Hale after an alleged heated discussion between the Mayor and the Division Chief of Ocean Safety. John Titchen was put on unpaid administrative leave this week. Hawaii News Now.

Ocean Safety Task Force members critical of process. Some who served on Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s Ocean Safety Task Force to help form the new public safety department say they were fed up with the outcome. Star-Advertiser.

Financial woes plague state’s free dental clinic. After serving Hawaii’s low-income population for over 20 years, the state’s only free dental clinic might be forced to close its doors this summer. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes Road, Cabins Closed Due To Sharp Increase In Earthquakes. Hilina Pali Road is closed on the Upper East Rift Zone, where 250 earthquakes have occurred in the past 24 hours. Big Island Video News. KHON2.

Union Says Big Island Wastewater Plants Are Dangerously Understaffed. It's not uncommon for a lone worker to be responsible for operating sewage treatment facilities that have been plagued with problems. Civil Beat.

Draft EIS: PTA lease extension could have adverse impact. A draft environmental impact statement released earlier this month about the Army’s proposal to renew its lease on up to 22,750 acres of state land at Pohakuloa Training Area indicated that granting the extension could have an adverse impact on Hawaiian cultural practices and environmental justice. Tribune-Herald.

A solution for insurance crisis? Some Puna residents pursue member-owned insurance cooperative. After most of the recently proposed legislative solutions have failed, Puna residents are hoping they can solve their district’s impending housing insurance crisis. Tribune-Herald.

Light at the end of the tunnel for Hakalau park. The long-closed Hakalau Beach Park will reopen more than a decade after being shut to the public according to a state Department of Transportation document. Tribune-Herald.


Missing Maui County documents complicate Lahaina fire probe. Missing Maui Emergency Management Agency documents make it “difficult to make a complete and accurate accounting” of activities inside the Emergency Operations Center on Aug. 8 when fires killed 101 people, burned 6,721 acres and left 8,000 people homeless, according to the state attorney general.  Star-Advertiser.

37 Fires Along One Maui Road This Year Alone Have Residents Of Nearby Town On Edge. In the aftermath of the Lahaina tragedy, officials are stepping up efforts to protect Paia and other areas considered at high risk.  Civil Beat.

Emergency slope repairs will close remote Alelele Point roadway 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays starting May 1.  A portion of remote county roadway at Alelele Point near Mile Marker 39 will be closed to all traffic, with the exception of emergency vehicles, between 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday starting May 1, 2024, due to an emergency slope repair project on the makai side of the road, according to a County of Maui Department of Public Works announcement today. The road closure is expected to last five months, the department said. Maui Now.

Rebuilding Lahaina: Homeowners In The Seaside Town May Get A Reprieve From Coastal Zone Rules. Shoreline setbacks or a retreat from the water so far aren't getting much traction under state and county planning efforts. Civil Beat.


Storm damage assessment process continues on Kaua‘i. Local, state and federal officials will embark on a process aimed at validating damage data from heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding earlier this month on the island. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Tax cuts still alive in Legislature, condemnation sought for Honolulu rail, second Mauna Kea telescope to be dismantled, FEMA extends Maui housing program, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The Last Major Tax Bills Still Alive This Session Would Cut Income And Estate Taxes. The House and Senate are seriously considering a sizable state income tax cut to benefit working families, and also a separate measure to exempt more people from the state inheritance tax. Civil Beat.

Retired State Ag Official’s Return To The Agency Has Critics Concerned Over Conflicts Of Interest. Carol Okada had been sidelined at the Department of Agriculture because of personality clashes and her relationship with nurseries. Civil Beat.

Bill calls for increase in autism services reimbursement. A House bill to increase funding for autism services by requiring the state Department of Human Services to seek additional funding sources and maximize federal matching funds continues to move through the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Hospitality purchases lead Hawaii commercial real estate investments. Hospitality purchases at more than 23% were the largest share of Hawaii’s $1.93 billion commercial real estate investment in 2023, with Outrigger Hotels and Resorts’ $325 million acquisition of the Outrigger Beach Ka’anapali Hotel topping the list. Star-Advertiser.

Valerie Kato confirmed as deputy director of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health. The Hawaiʻi State Senate voted Monday to confirm Valerie Kato as deputy director of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health. She joins Director Kenneth Fink. Maui Now.

Cattle import restrictions due to avian influenza cases on the mainland.
Due to the recent highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) detections in livestock on the mainland, the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture has placed a restriction on the transport of cattle from premises where HPAI has infected cattle. Maui Now. Garden Island.


Honolulu City Council requested to condemn properties for rail. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation would like to acquire by eminent domain five private properties along the rail corridor as construction of the nearly $10-billion Skyline proceeds toward Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

City Council resumes discussion on adding more incentives for affordable rental developers
. Bill 3 would amend a $10 million city program by offering grants to developers before the construction of rental units, instead of just after construction. It would also allow developers to receive up to $35,000 per eligible unit — up from a maximum of $15,000. Hawaii Public Radio.

Former HPD Officer Pleads Guilty To Child Sex Charges. Prosecutors say Mason Jordan, while serving as a Honolulu police officer, impersonated young people on social media to lure children to work as prostitutes. Civil Beat.

Key figure in Kaneshiro, Mitsunaga bribery and corruption case testifies. A central figure in the corruption and bribery case involving former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro and former businessman Dennis Mitsunaga took the stand as the government’s key witness. KHON2.

Group appeals court decision to stop Haiku Stairs removal.
The City and County of Honolulu are moving ahead with removing the Haiku Stairs with a blessing scheduled this week to mark the beginning of the removal project, although the lead attorney working to keep the stairs said he will continue to make his case in court.  KHON2.

Homeless camps inside Moiliili drainage canals raise health and safety concerns. There are growing concerns about the health and safety risks of homeless encampments inside and along drainage canals across Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Kawananakoa Middle School teacher receives $25,000 Milken Educator Award. Jade Pham, a 27-year-old teacher at Prince David Kawananakoa Middle School, was surprised with a $25,000 Milken Educator Award at a schoolwide assembly on Monday. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Health department reports travel-related dengue case on Oahu. A third confirmed case of travel-related dengue has been reported in Hawaii this year, according to the state Health Department. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Tuesday Meeting Set On Kauhale For Hilo Houseless.  An informational briefing will be held on Tuesday evening, April 9, to discuss potential kauhale locations in Hilo. Big Island Video News.

Removal of second Mauna Kea telescope to begin this month. The University of Hawaii Hilo will remove the Hoku Kea Observatory and generator buildings, telecommunications and electrical infrastructure beginning on Monday, a process that should be done by August, according to a university press release. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Public comment sought on proposed transit hub and library in Puna. Hawai‘i County and state officials are holding a public meeting to discuss the findings reported in the Draft Environmental Assessment and offer an opportunity for the public to provide feedback on a proposed new transit hub and co-located library in Pāhoa Town. Big Island Now.

HMC begins preparing for new modern administrative services building. A new facility to house additional office space and a planned medical simulation lab at Hilo Medical Center took a step forward Monday, but is still years away from reality. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Monthly parking at Kona airport no longer offered starting this summer. Monthly parking passes for the general public will no longer be offered at the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole, effective June 1, 2024. Big Island Now.

Hū Honua renews calls for PUC to bring its biomass plant onto the grid.
Hū Honua President Warren Lee sent a letter asking the PUC to direct HECO to restart contract negotiations. In the letter, Lee called Hū Honua the "solution" to Big Island's energy woes. Hawaii Public Radio.


FEMA Extends Deadline To Reimburse State For Maui Fire Survivors Housed In Pricey Hotels. The state would have been on the hook starting Thursday for paying the costs of all fire survivors still living in the hotels. But FEMA will continue to pay until May 10, officials announced Monday. Civil Beat.

Half of rental units reserved for Maui fire victims (and paid by taxpayers) are sitting vacant
. About half of the rental units being reserved for Maui fire victims — more than 600 mostly former vacation rentals — are still vacant even as taxpayers fork over above-market rent for them. Hawaii News Now.

Landowner Offers To Donate 5 Acres For Lahaina Fire Debris Dump Site To Avoid Eminent Domain. Komar Maui Properties says it will give the county enough land to handle all 400,000 cubic yards of fire ash and debris, but the county said it needs it all. Civil Beat. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Judge Blocks New Appointee From Joining Maui Planning Commission. The matter stems from a dispute between Mayor Richard Bissen and the County Council over his nominations to the volunteer boards. Second Circuit Judge Kelsey Kawano on Monday issued a temporary restraining order and a so-called writ of quo warranto against Danny Ray Blackburn, a construction executive with F&H Construction, which has offices in California and Maui.  Civil Beat.

Maui County Council passes bill for Kulanihako‘i Gulch sediment removal. Councilmember Tom Cook applauded the Maui County Council’s passage of a bill to authorize the county to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the federal government to support a sediment-removal project for Kūlanihākoʻi Gulch in North Kīhei. Maui News.


KPD chief addresses firearm issue. Kaua‘i Police Department Chief Todd Raybuck could be in some hot water after he left his “department-issued firearm” in an employee restroom last month. Garden Island.

Hale Puna restoring oldest house on Kaua‘i as prior success Kōke‘e Lodge ramps up events. A westside nonprofit is making headway in restoring the oldest building on Kaua‘i – while its business counterpart expands its community programming in Kōkeʻe State Park. Kauai Now.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Hawaii Republicans unveil legislative priorities, state Supreme Court mulls Maui election protest, council members, nonprofit leader submitted to fill Kauai House seat, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii’s cost of living is top issue of GOP caucus. Hawaii’s Republican caucus wants the state Legislature to focus on improving the cost of living, increasing homeownership, personal rights, government reform, crime and rehabilitation. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2.

2 Hawaii Senate Republicans tangled in power struggle.  Republicans added two House seats and doubled their Senate seats from one to two to start the legislative session, but an opening day power struggle between the two GOP senators raises questions about the party’s ability to challenge Democratic control of the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian activist who disrupted legislative opening session faces misdemeanor charge. The man who shouted at lawmakers and first responders during the opening session of the state Legislature on Tuesday is Samson Souza — a known Native Hawaiian activist in West Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai'i Tax Fairness Coalition protest at State Capitol in favor of new tax on ultra-wealthy. The Hawaii Tax Fairness Coalition is calling on lawmakers to pass wealth taxes, and they came out in a peaceful protest Thursday at the Hawaii State Capitol to call for tax justice.  KITV4.
Standardized testing and community college costs to join education priorities this session. Last year, legislators took a crack at raising teacher salaries, funding classroom improvements and expanding pre-K accessibility — yet many advocates are saying more needs to be done this session. Hawaii Public Radio.

New UH tuition schedule freezes tuition for 2 of next 4 academic years.
  The University of Hawaii Board of Regents has voted on a new four-year tuition schedule for the university system which increases tuition for some of the main campuses after a temporary tuition freeze. Star-Advertiser.

Traffic violators owe Hawaii taxpayers tens of millions in unpaid fines, records show.  An investigation revealed the debts have been sitting for years without efforts by law enforcement to collect. Meanwhile, many who owe money just keep driving — and putting others on the road at risk. Hawaii News Now.


New city policy bans prosecutors from attending parole hearings.  Honolulu prosecutors are no longer attending or attempting to influence parole hearings by detailing the crime committed by an inmate. Further, they’re limited to providing the Hawaii Paroling Authority with information relevant to a behavior inside a correctional facility. Star-Advertiser.

Officials warn of more traffic during Honolulu rail work.  For years to come in Iwilei and Kalihi, expect traffic to snarl more than usual and construction noise day and night as the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and its contractor work to relocate utility infrastructure above and below two major thoroughfares in the build-out of the city’s nearly $10 billion rail system. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Josh Green Wants ‘A Better Proposal’ For New Oahu Jail. The facility would replace the aging and crowded Oahu Community Correctional Center in Kalihi, but critics say criminal justice reform should be the priority. Civil Beat.

New transitional ‘kauhale’ village for the homeless planned for urban core. Plans are moving forward to put in another village aimed at housing the homeless in Oahu’s urban core. The site currently being considered is located off Middle Street near the Keehi Transfer Station. Hawaii News Now.

Marines, HPD and federal agents hold raid exercises on Oahu. Under cover of darkness on Tuesday night, members of the Honolulu Police Department’s SWAT team, federal agents and members of the Marine Corps’ Okinawa- based Maritime Raid Force quietly made their way into Aloha Stadium as part of an urban combat training exercise. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Propane shortage hits island. A late shipment of propane to a Big Island supplier resulted in several dispensers posting “no propane” signs this week and the fueling of rumors that residents wouldn’t be able to refill their tanks for weeks. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian Cultural Artwork Stolen From Volcano House.  A Hawaiian cultural artwork was stolen from the Volcano House lobby in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park this past Friday, and park officials are asking for the public’s help in identifying two individual suspects. Big Island Video News. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Hospital that serves as a lifeline for West Hawaii is requesting $20 million from state lawmakers.  The Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) went before the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday to talk funding. KITV4.

‘If you live here, give back’: Old Kona Airport Park pavilions get facelift. The beach pavilions at Old Kona Airport Park are getting a facelift this week thanks to the donation of time and materials by three local companies. West Hawaii Today.


State’s highest court considers call for new election in key Maui Council race. The fight over a Maui County Council race continued Thursday. The Hawaii Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding the battle for the Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu-seat. Hawaii News Now.

Council to consider bills on residential zoning and Kula Agricultural Park.  The Maui County Council will meet on Jan. 27, one week later than originally planned, to allow more time for the possibility of filling the Wailuku-Waiheʻe-Waikapū residency seat.  Maui Now.

US Rep. Jill Tokuda visits Maui on inaugural District II Congressional Work Period. “Heightened urgency” surrounds issues of affordability, housing, ag, sustainability. Maui Now.

Desiree Sides appointed to oversee Baldwin-Kekaulike-Kūlanihāko‘i-Maui complex area. The Hawai‘i State Board of Education today approved the Department’s recommendation to appoint four complex area superintendents to oversee the schools in respective areas. Maui Now.

It’s Horrendous’: The Deaths Of 2 Doctors Deepen The Void In Rural Health Care Access. Nearly half of Molokai's population lost their primary care physician in a state that has long struggled to attract and retain medical professionals. Civil Beat.


Council Members, Nonprofit Director Nominated To Fill Kauai House Seat. Kauai Democrats are submitting the names of Kauai County Councilman Luke Evslin and former County Councilman Mason Chock to Gov. Josh Green as possible replacements for former state Rep. James Tokioka, according to an official familiar with the party process. Civil Beat. Kauai Now.

Kaua‘i County Council talks fireworks enforcement. Kaua‘i neighborhoods were lit up on New Year’s Eve with a massive display of amateur fireworks, both legal and illegal. Garden Island.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Tax rebates coming next week, Hawaii Proud Boys founder to plead guilty, Honolulu takes electric buses off the street following recall, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii tax rebates slated to start arriving next week. State tax rebates should begin showing up in bank accounts of Hawaii residents Monday, though full delivery could be prolonged by a low supply of paper check stock. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Tourism industry expects a busier than normal fall season. DBEDT's latest economic outlook for the state predicts visitor arrivals will make a 99% recovery between September and November, compared to the same period in 2019. Hawaii Public Radio.

Immigrants in Hawaii. Hawaii is home to more than a quarter of a million immigrants who play a vital role to expanding Hawaii’s workforce and supporting the state’s economy. Immigrants make up approximately 18% of our entire population, according to New American Economy, a bipartisan research organization. KHON2.

Hawaii Proud Boys founder, accomplice intend to plead guilty to Jan. 6 insurrection charge. Nicholas Ochs, founder of the Hawaii Proud Boys, intends to plead guilty to “obstructing an official proceeding” following the storming of the U.S. Capitol in January last year. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii to net $7 million in Juul settlement. The state of Hawaii is set to receive $6.8 million from a multistate settlement with electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs over its role in the nation’s teen vaping epidemic. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Maui Now. KITV4.

How Homeless People Have Weathered The Pandemic In Hawaii. Data collected from Hawaii and several other states shows that Covid-19 spread more slowly among homeless people compared with the general population. Civil Beat.

Civil Beat Asks Judge To Force Hawaii To Identify Prison Inmates Who Died Behind Bars. Other states routinely identify inmates who die in custody, but Hawaii refuses to do so. That prevents the public from learning how most of those inmates died. Civil Beat.


 ‘Safe and Sound Waikiki’ ramps up district’s crime-fighting, social service effort. A new crime reduction program called “Safe and Sound Waikiki” kicked off Tuesday in Waikiki, where the community has been demanding an official response to a rash of high-profile violent crimes. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

National recall on electric buses prompts City to pull fleet off Oahu roads. All 17 of Oahu’s new electric buses are off the roads due to a recall over potential leaks in the cooling system, city officials said Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

This WWII-Era Hangar Survived The Japanese Attack On Hawaii. The Marines Want To Tear It Down. The Marines have proposed demolishing the hangar and other historic buildings on their base in Kaneohe to make room for new aircraft. World War II historians call it an outrage. Civil Beat.

Council considers measure to crack down on ‘monster homes’. The Honolulu City Council is taking up a measure to target “monster home” development which would impose higher fines and blocks on permit applications for continuous violators of building codes. However, questions from builders have yet to be addressed. Star-Advertiser.

A ‘Tremendous Need’ For Affordable Housing In Hawaii Leads To Long Waitlists. As Honolulu officials push for more affordable housing, people are applying to multiple waitlists to get into available units. Civil Beat.

Honolulu police officers rarely disciplined for violating policy on body cameras. Five years after the Honolulu Police Department started rolling out body-worn cameras to officers, some are still not turning on the devices when required, others are shutting them off when they’re not supposed, and critics say it’s time for tougher penalties for policy violations. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

  Disaster management: Council committee clarifies language, still stuck on suspending electronic communications. A County Council panel Tuesday combed most of the snarls out of a sweeping emergency management bill, but remained stymied on a clause allowing the suspension of electronic media during a crisis. West Hawaii Today.

Council committee advances bill aimed at abandoned vehicles. A proposal to enable Hawaii County to remove abandoned vehicles from properties free of charge was widely popular at a County Council committee hearing Tuesday. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Overcrowding at HCCC ‘a serious and immediate concern’. A report by the Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission details the effects of chronic overcrowding at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Ironman hosting two community update meetings. Following a three-year hiatus, the Ironman World Championship returns to Hawaii Island where in the first time in over 40-years, the iconic triathlon be contested over two-days on on Thursday, Oct. 6, and Saturday, Oct. 8. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


 Volunteers sought for community emergency response team in Maui County. The Maui Emergency Management Agency is seeking community volunteers in Maui County to be a part of the Community Emergency Response Team, a national program designed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Maui Now.

Fishermen plea for help after summer swell ruins West Maui boat ramp.
The monster south swell in July sent waves over rooftops, crashed wedding parties, ruined restaurants and pushed all the sand around at Mala Boat Ramp in West Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Record-setting heat rolls into September. Temperatures reached 93 degrees in Kahului on Sunday, tying the record set on the same day in 2016, according to the National Weather Service. Maui News.


 Seed distribution planned for this Saturday. Carmila Udarbe will be joined by Roy Miyashiro and Basilio “Coach Bunga” Fuertes Saturday when the trio distributes vegetable seedings from 8:30 a.m. at the ‘Ele‘ele Shopping Center. Garden Island.