Showing posts with label sirens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sirens. Show all posts

Monday, October 30, 2023

Almost half of Emergency Management Agency positions vacant, Inouye's son to run for state Legislature, raises in store for public schools executives, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency Struggles To Fill Many Key Jobs. About 45% of HIEMA's civil service jobs are vacant, forcing the agency to use temporary and exempt employees to fill in. Civil Beat.

Hawaii public school executives’ maximum salaries raised to $192K to $206K.  Seven months after angry public testimony helped to compel the state Department of Education to scale back a proposal to raise salaries of officials at the top levels of Hawaii’s public school system, the state Board of Education has approved salary increases of 4.6% to 6% for the 2023-2024 fiscal year for 21 out of 25 of its “subordinate superintendents.”  Star-Advertiser.

Inouye’s son making first run at House seat against La Chica. The son of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye plans to make his first foray into politics at the age of 59 by challenging fellow, first-time Democratic state Rep. Trish La Chica for the House seat representing Waipio-Mililani in 2024. Star-Advertiser.

Late state Sen. Sam Slom to be celebrated at Capitol. Friends, family and legislative colleagues have planned the only public “celebration of life” for state Sen. Sam Slom, who died in May at the age of 81 after serving 20 years in the Senate. Star-Advertiser.

State Central Committee of Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi votes to oust chairperson Jung. The State Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i on Sunday voted to remove Chairperson Dennis Jung and begin the process to elect new party leadership. Maui Now.

Hawaii Ethics Commission Steps Up Training Of Government Employees. Since a new law requiring state legislators and employees to complete live or online ethics training classes every four years went into effect Jan. 1, the number of people taking the course has increased significantly as compared to 2021. Civil Beat.

50,000 acres of state farmland set to move under Department of Agriculture management
. About 50,000 acres of Hawaiʻi farmland managed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources are set to be transferred to the Department of Agriculture. The move is two decades in the making. Hawaii Public Radio.


Waikiki climate change study underway, city says. The city Department of Planning and Permitting says it’s kicked off a nearly $400,000 pilot project to study the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on Oahu’s prime tourist zone. Star-Advertiser.

Cesspool Conversions: Honolulu Seeks To Connect More Homes To Main Sewer System. A proposal to install sewer lines for a section of Ewa Beach is shaping up as a litmus test for the effort as homeowners say they need more help covering the costs. Civil Beat.

Hawaii to be first to offer Filipino History Culture course in public school curriculum. Waipahu and Farrington high Schools will be the first in the nation to offer a student created Filipino Studies class in a public school curriculum. Hawaii News Now.

Teaching Kids To Read In Hawaii Is Going Back To Basics. Makakilo Elementary is one of about 80 schools in the state to receive funding from a roughly $50 million federal grant awarded in 2019 to improve literacy among the country’s youngest readers. Civil Beat.

Tour helicopter makes ‘precautionary landing’ on small island near Honolulu‘s airport. Honolulu Ocean Safety responded to a helicopter that had made a “precautionary landing” on a small island near the Honolulu Airport Saturday morning. Honolulu EMS officials say the incident happened just after 10:00 a.m. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

County delays Waikoloa siren installation. HI-EMA Communications Director Adam Weintraub Weintraub acknowledged that Waikoloa Village is a particularly at-risk community — the village only has one way in or out for about 7,000 residents — he added that HI-EMA, responding to personnel shortages, has prioritized installing emergency sirens for coastal communities that currently do not have redundant sirens in case of tsunami. Tribune-Herald.

County hopes water study will shed light on Hilo Bay contaminants. After the bay was found to not meet state water standards in 2009, county, state and federal agencies have investigated various methods for improving it. Tribune-Herald.

Surf schools to find out Nov. 17 if they can operate at Kahalu‘u Beach Park. After years of public meetings, draft rules with numerous amendments and jurisdictional disputes, surf schools wanting to operate at Kahalu‘u Beach Park will find out on Nov. 17 if they are awarded one of four coveted spots determined by a lottery. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Inmate Serving Two Life Sentences Dies In An Arizona Prison. Richard Keokeo Taylor Jr., 51,  a Big Island man who spent nearly 28 years in prison for the robbery of a downtown Hilo Pizza Hut in 1995 has died at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona. Civil Beat.


State Land Board OKs Olowalu For Ash And Debris Disposal From Maui Fires. The site would be monitored for 30 years for any leakage of contamination into the groundwater and ocean. Civil Beat. Maui News.  Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Deadlines near to receive FEMA wildfire disaster aid. On Friday, federal officials reported that more than $236.8 million already has been approved for 6,505 Maui households affected by the high winds and wildfires. Star-Advertiser.

Immigrants on Maui hesitant to apply for disaster assistance. The deadline is approaching for Maui residents impacted by the August fires to apply for FEMA assistance, but there is some concern that many in the Latino community have not yet applied. KHON2.

Maui’s struggling small businesses driven by the spirit of aloha. Dreams shattered. Shops burned to the ground. Irreplaceable losses. These are the realities that small business owners in Lahaina are dealing with as the three-month mark of the devastating Aug. 8 fires draws near.  Star-Advertiser.

Gift drive, celebration aim to lift spirits of young Maui fire survivors. Kanani Oury aunched “Makana no na Keiki” — an online Christmas gift drive and in-person holiday event for children directly affected by the Maui wildfires — to spark joy for that community, but she aches for the stories pouring into her email inbox from families asking for presents for their kids. Star-Advertiser.

Dispute shuts down a major community hub in West Maui. There is one thing that both sides agree on -- that state Rep. Elle Cochran started the hub in the Kelawea Mauka subdivision of Lahaina. But volunteer managers asked her to leave -- and when she didn’t, they decided to dismantle the hub. Hawaii News Now.


Next tool for saving Kaua’i forest birds from extinction introduced. A dozen researchers and technicians on Thursday began releasing incompatible male mosquitoes to try and stop the near-certain extinction of at least four species of Native Hawaiian honeycreepers. Kauai Now.

Coco Palms debate continues as demolition nears.
As the developer of the Coco Palms Resort reported being just weeks away from commencing demolition of the deteriorated site and constructing a 350-room resort, county officials and members of the public continued to debate the possibility of halting the project in two separate meetings this week. Garden Island.

2-mile-long fence on Kauai ready to protect seabirds.  Pono Pacific Land Management LLC built the $1.7 million fence along the perimeter of the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on Kauai’s north shore. Star-Advertiser.

Friday, October 20, 2023

15 North Shore landowners cited for clearing native plants, Hawaii tourism could benefit from Mideast tensions, Maui fire fatality list grows to 99, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

North Shore Landowners Cited For Clearing Native Plants Along Beach. State coastal land officials issued notices of alleged violation Thursday to 15 North Shore property owners on Oahu for cutting down native vegetation and trees, as well as moving dirt and spreading mulch in a designated conservation district along the shoreline. Civil Beat.

State unveils interactive map of warning sirens. The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, or HI-EMA, on Wednesday unveiled an interactive map showing the location of 418 alert and warning sirens across the state, as well as their operational status as of the most recent monthly test. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now.

Expert: State’s delay in activating emergency hub for wildfire likely hindered response. For nearly two months, HNN Investigates has tried to nail down exactly who was in the emergency operations centers for Maui County and the state on the day of the Lahaina wildfire. Hawaii News Now.

Middle East tensions ramp up travel concerns that could benefit Hawaii, experts say
. Events half a world away from Hawaii may have spurred a worldwide caution on travel. And while it may have a lot of Hawaii residents jittery about traveling abroad, experts say it could have a benefit in the islands. Hawaii News Now.


Cops Want Guns Off The Streets. But Are Buyback Programs The Way?
A gun buyback is coming to Honolulu for the first time in decades as hundreds of gun owners have new licenses to carry. Civil Beat.

Natural disaster shelter proposed for Koʻolauloa residents in Windward Oʻahu. A first-of-its-kind hurricane shelter could be coming to Windward Oʻahu. A 5-acre plot in Hauʻula is the site of the proposed Koʻolauloa Resilience Community Hub. Hawaii Public Radio.

North Shore Residents Concerned about the Development of McCully's Corner.
The development of McCully's Corner, on Oahu's North Shore, just received its third extension to continue its project. However, not everyone is happy about it. KITV4.

Utah developer buys 1,000+ acres of North Shore Oahu land for $45M from Dole Food Co.
Public documents show that Oahu Property Owner LLC, which includes a mix of Hawaii-based and Mainland-based investors including Salt Lake City-based Woodbury Corp., recently purchased the agriculturally-zoned land from Dole Food Company. KITV4.

Honolulu Awarded Up To $1 Million For Public Art. The City and County of Honolulu announced Thursday that it received an award through Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Art Challenge. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

TMT: First-time $6.5M funding from National Science Foundation isn’t construction commitment. There’s first-time funding for the embattled Thirty Meter Telescope from the National Science Foundation, but officials say the new infusion of cash doesn’t mean construction is imminent. Hawaii News Now.

Fate of West Hawaii commericIal aquarium fishing hangs on state High Court judgment. Oral arguments over the fate of commercial aquarium fishing in West Hawaii waters will be heard by the Hawaii Supreme Court on Dec. 5. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2021 by Earthjustice on behalf of a coalition of conservation groups, Native Hawaiian fishermen and cultural practitioners. West Hawaii Today.

Top-ranked E.B. de Silva school eyes expansion as it nears 500 students. Dennis O’Brien, principal of E.B. de Silva Elementary School in Hilo, noted in a recent letter to the school’s parents and guardians that the school has received $3 million in design and planning funds “for four or five additional classrooms.” Tribune-Herald.

Suspect in firearms arrest that caused school lockdown was free pending trial for auto theft.
Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii went briefly into a “soft lockdown” Thursday morning as police officers arrested a 52-year-old man walking along Highway 11 near the school with a handgun. Tribune-Herald.   Big Island Now. Big Island Video News


Lahaina Fire Death Toll Rises To 99. The additional death is attributed to the discovery of human remains last Thursday in the Old Lahaina Courthouse, according to Mahina Martin, a spokesperson for Maui County.  Civil Beat.  KITV4.  KHON2.

Maui’s unemployment rate surges for second straight month. Unemployment on Maui jumped to 8.4% in September from 4.7% in August, according to a state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism report issued Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

3 more burn zones opening in Lahaina. More than 10 weeks after the Aug. 8 fires, Lahaina residents and business owners will have access to three more areas in the burn zone starting Monday, including parts of historic Front Street. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds Still Without Power As Hawaiian Electric Rebuilds Lahaina Infrastructure
. Extended power outages are expected to continue in neighboring communities as the work continues. Civil Beat.

EPA’s removal of hazardous materials is 75% complete. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that it has removed hazardous materials from more than 75 percent of the burned properties in Lahaina, nearly completing the first phase of the federal cleanup efforts after the August wildfires on Maui.  Maui News. Maui Now.

‘Things have shifted’: Maui farmers applaud in-person visit from powerful land executive. In a move that’s being well-received by traditional Maui farmers who have long felt ignored by the state and big companies,  Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair Dawn Chang met with traditional taro farmers and the landowner who controls their stream on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Lahaina Preservationists Move Fast To Shore Up Baldwin House And Other Historic Sites.  The Lahaina Restoration Foundation is forging ahead with plans to protect and rebuild historic structures in the fire-ravaged town, cheered by support from state archaeologists and historic preservation experts at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Civil Beat.

Maui Ecosystem To Get Help From Fire Victims. The Hawaii Land Trust has received $1.1 million from the Hawaii Community Foundation to create 48 temporary jobs for unemployed fire survivors that can bolster the organization’s land conservation projects.  Civil Beat.

3 Lahaina public schools to reopen are 500 students short. The number of public school students who showed up for their first day back at Lahaina’s three remaining public schools as they reopened this week was almost 500 short of the schools’ latest official enrollment, according to data presented Thursday to the state Board of Education. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.


Kaua‘i hotels at 66.4% occupancy for September 2023. Kaua‘i hotels earned revenue per available room (RevPAR) of $322 (+15.4% vs. 2022, +94.2% vs. 2019), with average daily rate (ADR) at $398 (+9.7% vs. 2022, +67.0% vs. 2019) and occupancy of 80.9% (+4.0 percentage points vs. 2022, +11.3 percentage points vs. 2019). Kauai Now.

‘A‘o gets help reaching the sea. Waimea High School science teacher Charles Folks and Commander Kacee Jossis of the Pacific Missile Range Facility were among the guests invited to the blessing and release of a trio of endangered Newell’s Shearwater birds, or ‘a‘o, at Lydgate Park in Wailua on Wednesday. Garden Island.

Floating body found near Waika‘ea Canal. A badly decomposed body was found floating in the water off Waika‘ea Canal on Tuesday morning. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Maui ash samples show high levels of arsenic, lead, cobalt; vandals hit emergency sirens; state loses bid to be hydrogen hub; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

aerial view of devastation on Lahaina
Preliminary ash samples from Kula fire show high levels of toxic substances; same expected in Lahaina. Preliminary, unvalidated data from ash sampling received late Friday night shows very high levels of arsenic, and elevated levels of lead and cobalt, in wildfire ash collected in Kula, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health announced on Sunday. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaiian Electric’s wildfire mitigation plan under scrutiny
.  Video cameras, weather sensors, intelligent switches, stronger wires and other upgrades are part of a Hawaiian Electric plan to reduce wildfire ignition risk, though it could take decades to make widespread improvements that only partially reduce risk. Star-Advertiser.

PUC needs definitive cause of Maui fire before HECO investigation. The Public Utilities Commission needs an official finding of what caused the Aug. 8 Maui wildfires before investigating whether a lack of preparation by utility companies contributed to the tragedy that killed 98 people.  Star-Advertiser.

Vandals Are Stealing Parts Off Hawaii’s Emergency Sirens. Roughly three out of every four sirens works at any given time, officials said. At least eight of the state’s emergency sirens are currently not working due to vandalism or suspected vandalism, according to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s bid to be hydrogen hub falls short. Hawaii won’t be a clean-­hydrogen production and distribution hub under a $7 billion federal initiative. Federal officials announced Friday that seven hydrogen hub plans across the country were selected for the funding, and a bid from Hawaii didn’t make the cut. Star-Advertiser.

This State Employee Is Scouring The Earth For Solutions To Combat Hawaii’s Invasive Species. Government bureaucracy and inadequate research facilities are now blamed for delaying potentially significant relief to industries like macadamia and coffee and possibly even providing a “silver bullet” in the battle against the invasive grasses that fueled the deadly wildfires on Maui. Civil Beat.

Hawaii State Hospital names Luke as permanent head. The state Department of Health said in a press release Thursday that Luke, the interim hospital administrator since May, becomes administrator effective Monday. Star-Advertiser.


‘Red tape’ likely delayed Honolulu police efforts to assist Maui after wildfires. Required county forms appear to have been part of the delay in getting Honolulu police to Maui to help that department in the days after the Lahaina wildfire. Hawaii News Now.

Coast Guard puts 2 new environmental focused units on Oahu. The Coast Guard is expanding its engagement in the Pacific and beyond to tackle illegal fishing and respond to environmental disasters. Star-Advertiser.

US military to begin draining leaky fuel tank facility that poisoned Pearl Harbor drinking water. The military next week plans to begin draining fuel from World War II-era underground fuel tanks in Hawaii, nearly two years after the massive facility sickened 6,000 people when it leaked jet fuel into a Pearl Harbor drinking water well. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Downtown businesses expect loss in revenue following cancellation of major Halloween event.  One of Downtown Honolulu’s biggest events of the year will not happen due to a permitting issue, and many bar owners say it will cause a major drop in revenue. Businesses in the Downtown area say Hallowbaloo that Halloween night can represent anywhere from 10 to 30% of their income for October. Hawaii News Now.

On Oahu’s North Shore, big fines are proposed for illegal erosion control measures. Waves have been rising on Oahu’s North Shore, with one of the largest early-season swells possible next week. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Activity at Kīlauea summit decreases dramatically, suggesting recent intrusive event coming to an end. Earthquake and ground deformation rates beneath the southern part of the summit caldera of the Big Island’s Kīlauea volcano and extending southwest to the Koaʻe fault zone have decreased dramatically during the past several days. Big Island Now.

BLNR denies research application, saying project failed to engage with residents
. A United Kingdom-based research project that took samples from Big Island reefs has been terminated after a state board found the scientists failed to hold sufficient public outreach about the project. Tribune-Herald.

BLNR OKs removal of Hawi dam, reservoir. The reservoir has not been in use since 1975, although it was only drained of water in 2014, after the Department of Land and Natural Resources found serious deficiencies in the dam that posed a high risk of failure. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island saw surge of vehicle thefts during the pandemic
. There were 1,190 auto thefts reported islandwide in 2019, the last prepandemic year. The pandemic hit the island in March 2,000, and auto thefts increased to 1,269 that year, a 6.6% increase. Tribune-Herald.


Uncertainty And Delays Are Too Much For Some Lahaina Businesses. They’re Calling It Quits. Cheeseburger in Paradise was a top revenue producer for Maui for decades but its owners have decided not to try to reopen. Other firms are making the same decision. Civil Beat.

Students Return To Lahaina Schools As EPA Seals Down Toxic Ash. State health and education officials say it's safe for kids to come back but some parents and teachers have doubts. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Maui News.

Lahaina fire evacuees being evicted from temporary shelters. William Nhieu, spokes­person for the state Office of Consumer Protection, said the office has opened an investigation but, since it is still pending, declined to comment on specifics. Star-Advertiser.

Modular-home village proposed for displaced Lahaina residents. Tiny-home villages have been popular as emergency housing in Hawaii, but Maude Cumming is pursuing a bigger idea to temporarily re-house many Lahaina residents displaced by the Aug. 8 wildfire that destroyed the West Maui town. Star-Advertiser.

Human Remains From Lahaina Wildfire Found In Courthouse. Maui police also said the number of people who have not been accounted for since the Aug. 8 fire dropped to seven. Civil Beat. Maui News.


Mosquito ‘birth control’ project that could save Hawaiian honeycreeper is moving forward. The project called “Birds, Not Mosquitoes” is working with the state to help import mosquitoes implanted with Wolbachia, a bacterium that would curb reproduction of wild mosquitoes that carry avian malaria — which is killing off the endemic Hawaiian honeycreeper. Hawaii News Now.

Schatz visits Lima Ola housing project in ‘Ele‘ele. U.S. Sen Brian Schatz on Friday stopped by the Lima Ola Housing Development on Kauai’s westside, where he was updated on the decades-long project to build affordable housing on the island. Garden Island.

Six Kaua‘i nonprofits awarded total of $1 million through Life’s Choices grant program. Six Kaua‘i nonprofit agencies will receive a portion of $1 million awarded Oct. 13 through the Kaua’i County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney Life’s Choices program mental health and substance abuse community program grants. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Wastewater exec sentenced in legislators' bribery case, federal probe launched into Biden's Lahaina spending, Maui mayor not sure who was in charge, sirens may become SOP, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Wastewater Exec Milton Choy Gets 3 1/2 Years In Prison In Bribery Case. Choy’s cooperation led to two former state legislators, J. Kalani English and Ty Cullen, pleading guilty to honest services wire fraud in February last year. English was sentenced to 40 months in prison while Cullen got two years.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

House Oversight Committee Will Launch Federal Probe Into Maui Fire Response. The Republican-led House Oversight and Accountability Committee announced Tuesday that it will launch an investigation into the federal government’s response to the wildfires in Maui that so far have left 115 dead and hundreds more missing. The chairman confirmed the investigation just days before Speaker Kevin McCarthy is expected to visit Hawaii. Civil Beat. Bloomberg.

Lawmaker’s potential role as lawyer for fire victims described as ethical ‘gray area’. The lawsuits over the deadly Lahaina inferno are piling up and more are expected, and now state Sen. Gilbert Keith-Agaran's participation in the legal challenges is raising eyebrows. Hawaii News Now.

Sounding sirens for wildfires in Hawaiʻi may soon be standard emergency protocol. Darryl Oliveira, the new interim administrator of Maui Emergency Management Agency said he was in talks Tuesday morning with officials from the Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency and all four counties about codifying a new emergency response protocol to use sirens during wildfires everywhere in the state. Maui Now.

Response timeline will not be released, Maui County officials say. Maui County officials Tuesday again declined to release a timeline of their response and disclose when they knew that people had died in the Aug. 8 Lahaina fire, which took at least 115 lives and gutted the historic heart of Lahaina town. Star-Advertiser.

Maui’s mayor ‘not sure’ who was in charge at emergency management center as Lahaina burned. Three weeks after a wall of fire claimed at least 115 lives and turned historic Lahaina to ash, Maui County’s highest-ranking official said he didn’t know who was calling the shots at the county’s Emergency Management Center the day the town burned. Hawaii News Now.

Will The Maui Wildfires Cause Insurance Companies To Rethink Coverage In Hawaii? The concern aligns with a national trend of increasing rates and limited coverage in areas at a high risk of the effects of climate change. Civil Beat.

The Lahaina Blaze Is Rekindling An Old Debate Over Using Water To Fight Fires. The fight centers on how much power owners of private water systems should have to divert streams to fill their plantation-era reservoirs with water to control wildfires. Civil Beat.

Maui County, HECO vow to work together as Hawaii faces fire weather watch. Maui County and Hawaiian Electric Co., at odds over the cause of the deadly Aug. 8 Lahaina wildfire, issued a joint statement Tuesday night to assure the public that they will work together, along with state officials, as high winds and dry conditions once again threaten leeward areas of all Hawaiian islands. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Native Hawaiian leaders, others plan statewide vigil for Maui. Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners will lead a one-day, statewide vigil Friday to aid the emotional and spiritual healing of those on Maui who suffered devastating loss from wildfires that swept through Lahaina and other areas of the island. Tribune-Herald.


Hawaiʻi House Republicans to hold weekly community meetings to hear from constituents firsthand. The Hawaiʻi Republican Caucus is rolling out what it calls a “listening tour” of weekly community meetings on Oʻahu. This allows politicians to hear constituent concerns firsthand, and act on them when drafting bills for the next year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Contract worth $2.5M awarded to remove Haiku Stairs. The Nakoa Companies, Inc., specializes in “complex infrastructure projects” and will be working on the removal of the Haiku Stairs and the Moanalua Saddle Stairs, the city’s Department of Design and Construction announced Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Joint Task Force Red Hill begins repacking facility lines with fuel on way to defueling. Defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility starts in mid-October, but before that, the pipes need to be prepped.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Experts debate legalizing recreational marijuana in Hawaii . Experts gathered in Waikiki to discuss the ramifications of legalizing recreational marijuana on Tuesday, Aug. 29. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Fire Watch for leeward portions of Hawai‘i Island extended through Thursday. Hawai‘i Fire Department is watching for blazes from Pāhala in the Ka‘ū District all the way up to Hawī in North Kohala. Deputy Fire Chief Eric Moller anticipates the Fire Watch to rise to a Warning. Big Island Now.

New boat and trailer parking signs posted at Hōnaunau ramp. Less than a week ago, Hawai‘i County Parks and Recreation Department posted “boat and trailer parking only” signs at Hōnaunau boat ramp in South Kona. But it appears beach goers are not adhering to the parking restrictions. Big Island Now.


‘Return To Lahaina Phase’ Begins After Removal Of Hazardous Materials. The search for bodies of fire victims in Lahaina has come to a close as environmental regulators begin to remove toxic chemicals dislodged during the Aug. 8 disaster from the ash-covered landscape. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  Garden Island.

Lahaina public schools expected to open after fall break, pending environmental clearances. Hawai‘i State Department of Education Superintendent Keith Hayashi announced today that the Department has set a tentative goal of welcoming students back to the three West Maui campuses after fall break in mid-October.  Maui Now. KHON2.

US Sen. Brian Schatz focused on supplemental appropriations to help in the wake of Lahaina wildfire recovery. Congressional leaders are focusing on supplemental appropriations needed to help rebuild Lahaina Town, according to US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaiʻi) who is visiting Maui for assessments in the wake of the Aug. 8 wildfire disaster.  Maui Now.

Green’s emergency housing panel hears concerns over Lahaina rebuilding. A new state emergency housing development approval panel didn’t have anything to consider for approval at its first working meeting Tuesday, but got an earful from community members opposed to the panel’s existence, power or process. Star-Advertiser.

The Great Lahaina Fire Of 1919 Has Eerie Parallels To The Recent Blaze.
This isn’t the first time that much of Lahaina was destroyed in a blaze. About 100 years ago, a group of buildings in the town’s commercial center went up in flames in what is known as the Great Lahaina Fire of 1919. Civil Beat.


Fire Watch for leeward portions of Kaua‘i extended through Thursday. According to the National Weather Service, Trade winds of 15 to 30 mph are expected with gusts of 40 to 45 mph. Kauai Now.

Kilauea’s North Shore Medical Center accepting new patients. The clinic manager at Kilauea’s North Shore Medical Center says people incorrectly believe the center is closing, following the recent announcement that the nearby Kaua‘i Community Health Alliance (KCHA) is shutting down. Garden Island.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Lawsuit aims to stop Ala Wai project, emergency sirens accidentally activated, lava-damaged geothermal plant to reopen this year, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News
Canoeing on the Ala Wai ©2019 All Hawaii News
Group sues to halt Ala Wai project. The city and state have signed an agreement outlining a funding plan and path forward for working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to establish flood control measures along the Ala Wai Watershed, but the $345 million project now faces a new challenge from a lawsuit filed Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu police training exercise led to false emergency warning sirens on Oahu, Maui. A Honolulu police training exercise “mistakenly activated” emergency warning sirens at 5:05 p.m. Wednesday on Oahu and Maui. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Authorities Say Emergency Sirens On Oahu, Maui Were A False Alarm. Hawaii officials say the blaring of emergency sirens in parts of Oahu and Maui Wednesday afternoon was caused by an accidental activation during a Honolulu police training exercise. Hawaii Public Radio.

Emergency sirens islandwide accidentally set off during police training exercise. Emergency sirens were accidentally set off islandwide on Wednesday, sending residents from Waikiki to Waianae scrambling to figure out what was happening. Hawaii News Now.

Emergency warning sirens accidentally activated.  Another false alarm sounded Wednesday, Sept. 18, as emergency warning sirens were mistakenly set off, this time by the Honolulu Police Department. KHON2.

Emergency Sirens Mistakenly Activated on Oahu and in Kahului. Due to an error during a Honolulu Police Department training exercise, emergency sirens were mistakenly activated on Oahu. Maui Now.

'I apologize' HPD Chief Ballard says after emergency sirens mistakenly sounded. As soon as the mistake was identified, HPD says they notified the media and the state. KITV.


Neighbor Island Schools Could Get More Money Next Year. The funds would help offset the added costs of operating a school outside the urban hub of Oahu, such as gas and mileage to cover travel for athletic events and field trips. Civil Beat.

DOE Shuts Down Its Long-Running Alternative Diploma Program. The”C-Base program,” which was a pathway to a community school diploma for non-traditional students, is being replaced by a program that focuses on work readiness. Civil Beat.

Hawaii hotels see healthy gains in August. Hawaii’s hotel industry posted healthy year-over-year gains in August, but that was due in part to weaker hotel performance in August 2018 because of Hurricane Lane. Star-Advertiser.

With Sea Level Rise, The Fate of Hawaii’s Most Vulnerable Roads Is Uncertain. Climate change is already taking a toll on coastal highways. Some of those roads may eventually be abandoned to the rising seas, a top official warns. Civil Beat.

Bottomfish Survey Underway Across Hawaii. Researchers from the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and local cooperative research fisheries have conducted the bottomfish survey in Hawaii every year since 2016. Big Island Now.


Anti-Caldwell PAC’s Inaccurate Reporting Leads To $15,000 Fine. The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission investigated the PAC for vast discrepancies between its campaign reports and bank records.Civil Beat.

New questions raised over dozens of costly change orders for the rail project. An audiotaped interview of a top city purchasing official is raising new questions about more than $100 million in change orders paid for by the rail project and city taxpayers. Hawaii News Now.

New ‘courtesy’ building inspections could speed up commercial projects. Frustrated building industry officials are hopeful a bill signed into law by Mayor Kirk Caldwell Wednesday will speed up home construction on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

New law is aimed at streamlining building permit process. A measure signed into law Wednesday is aimed at streamlining permitting for commercial construction projects. Hawaii News Now.

City Slaps UH With $35 Million Sewer Bill After Failing To Charge Them For 7 Years. The Department of Environmental Services never got the word UH West Oahu should be billed, and now is working with the university to come up with an accurate estimate for the retroactive sewer charges. Civil Beat.


Katherine Kealoha gets first jail visit from husband Louis. Katherine Kealoha got a visit at the Federal Detention Center Wednesday from her husband Louis Kealoha. KHON2.

Kealohas granted face-to-face meeting at federal detention center. Katherine and Louis Kealoha ― and their lawyers ― will meet at the Honolulu federal detention center for the first time since she was locked up. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu Zoo applies for accreditation approval. Honolulu Zoo officials this month submitted an application for accreditation to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and hope to win approval by April, some four years after the facility was stripped of its association status. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Zoo reopens Malay sun bear exhibit. In a press conference this morning, Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Honolulu Zoo director Linda Santos announced the reopening of the Malay sun bear exhibit. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Big Island Prosecutor Won’t Handle TMT Arrests Because Of Son’s Job. Mitch Roth, whose son works at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has sent the cases to the Hawaii attorney general’s office to avoid a conflict of interest. Associated Press.

Prosecutor son's job prompts turning over telescope arrests. Roth says he doesn't believe it's a conflict, but he asked for opinions from the state Office of Disciplinary Counsel and the county's ethics board. KITV.


Puna Geothermal On Track To Reopen In 2019. Hawaii’s only geothermal power plant is still on track to resume operations before the end of the year. Puna Geothermal Venture has been shuttered since the 2018 Kilauea volcanic eruption. Hawaii Public Radio.

Council OKs interim lava recovery plan. An interim strategy to guide the county’s recovery from the 2018 Kilauea eruption was formally adopted during Wednesday’s meeting of the Hawaii County Council. Tribune-Herald.

Kilauea Risk Assessment Published, As Council Adopts Recovery Strategy. The long awaited risk assessment was published on the same day the Hawaii County Council adopted the Kilauea Interim Recovery Strategy. Big Island Video News.

Broader abandoned vehicle rule drives forward. A bill that would fix county law to permit the Department of Environmental Management to remove abandoned vehicles from state and federal property is moving forward. West Hawaii Today.


Kahele: Long-term water permits on the horizon. Senator’s letter on county water agenda. For months, county water users Upcountry have been caught up in the shifting tides of the state Legislature, a lawsuit, a longtime contested case and the decision-making of private companies. Maui News.


Climate rally on Friday at KCC. A “Global Climate Strike” is set for 1 p.m. Friday at Kauai Community College.  Garden Island.

Robert Weist is one of the original investors in the Koloa Rum Company. Wednesday morning, he smiled with pride as he took part in a groundbreaking and blessing ceremony at its new site in Koloa. Garden Island.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Souki accused of sexual harassment; Ige edges Hanabusa in campaign contributions, Chin trailing Kim, Tokuda pulls ahead; audit blasts OHA for misspent millions, recreational fishing license, plastic straw ban posed in Legislature, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii House majority
Former Speaker Joe Souki, courtesy photo
Former state Department of Human Services Director Rachael Wong has filed a sexual harassment complaint against former House Speaker Joe Souki — a political icon from Maui who for decades has been one of the most powerful lawmakers in the state. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige raked in more than $800,000 in campaign donations for his re-election bid in the last half of 2017 — short of the $1 million he set out to raise in that time frame, but slightly more than his Democratic opponent U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Star-Advertiser.

Ige Leads Hanabusa In Campaign Fundraising For Governor’s Race. State Sen. Jill Tokuda tops lieutenant governor candidates, bringing in more donations than her four rivals. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige raised close to $811,000 in the second half of 2017 for his re-election campaign, while U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who will challenge Ige in the Democratic primary, reported donations of almost $732,000. Pacific Business News.

Gov. David Ige raised $810,000 for his re-election campaign during the six months through December, while his primary election opponent U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa raised $731,000. Associated Press.

Ige, Hanabusa neck and neck when it comes to campaign fundraising. Hawaii News Now.

Kim Leads Pack In Congressional Campaign Cash. Attorney General Doug Chin raised less than a fifth as much as Sen. Donna Kim in the race to replace Colleen Hanabusa. Civil Beat.

AG Chin to Announce Decision on LG Vacancy by Weeks’ End. Maui Now.

The first Hawaii lieutenant governor from Maui, Shan Tsutsui, left the office Wednesday while his replacement remains up in the air. Maui News.


Searing Audit Says OHA Misspent Millions Of Dollars. A harshly critical draft audit found the Office of Hawaiian Affairs spent millions of dollars loosely and without proper oversight. Civil Beat.

State to conduct first siren test since false missile alert. Hawaii News Now.

State to conduct monthly warning siren test; internal drill on hold indefinitely. KHON2.

A Hawaii emergency management official who said last week that his retirement had nothing to do with a mistaken missile alert that stirred panic statewide now says it was because of the fallout from the warning. Associated Press.

Worries mount over HI-EMA leadership after resignations announced. Hawaii News Now.


How many more tourists can the state’s environment and infrastructure support? That’s the question being asked by some residents and lawmakers after a report Wednesday said Hawaii’s visitor industry set five records in 2017, the sixth record-setting year in a row. Star-Advertiser.

New bill aims to allocate some HTA funding to conserve natural resources. Pacific Business News.

A proposal making its way through the state Legislature would require a yearly permit for recreational fishing. KHON2.

Senate bill to ban plastic straws in Hawaii passes committee. KITV.

Hawaii Bail Study Finds Justice Is What You Can Afford. Statewide, almost half of the detainees in our jails are accused but not convicted, many because they cannot afford bail. Hawaii Public Radio.

A former Idaho airport director recently accepted a leadership position with the Hawaii Department of Transportation Airports Division, according to the Idaho Falls ABC affiliate. Pacific Business News.

Large Marine Debris Field or Net Mass Between Molokai and Oahu. Maui Now.

The Coast Guard is advising all mariners to exercise caution after a large marine debris field was last observed in the Ka Iwi Channel between Molokai and Oahu. Star-Advertiser.


Bill to limit ‘monster’ houses advances. Honolulu City Council members say they will take another look at what types of houses would be rejected under a bill imposing a moratorium on large-scale houses after being warned about unintended consequences. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council Advances "Monster Homes" Bill: Special Meeting Monday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu’s Ala Wai is ranked as one of the most polluted waterways in the country. The State of Hawaii has a plan to clean it up that just received a green light. Hawaii Public Radio.

How A Big Mainland Developer Learned To Thrive In Hawaii. Howard Hughes Corp. seems to stay on course as it navigates burial grounds and being in the path of rail. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's 'last princess' fights for control of her fortune. Multimillionaire heiress Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa, considered by many to be Hawaii's last princess, is no longer in a position to fund her pet charities, including Iolani Palace and various Native Hawaiian causes. Associated Press.

A new security fence at the Hawaii State Hospital could cost taxpayers millions. Hawaii News Now.

Kamehameha Schools is making another run at redeveloping 6.5 acres in Moiliili near the University of Hawaii, six years after an unsuccessful effort to create a largely retail and residential “town center” on the site. Star-Advertiser.

Ala Moana Center is valued at $5.74 billion, making it the most valuable real estate investment trust-owned mall in the United States, according to a new study by boutique research firm Boenning & Scattergood. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Long-awaited shooting ranges for the Big Island could take some incremental steps forward, the county Game Management Advisory Commission learned Monday evening. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo Medical Center undergoing $28 million in renovations. Tribune-Herald.

2017 was a strong year for tourism on the Big Island. According to data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority, arrivals to the Big Island increased by 13.7 percent from 2016, from 1.5 million to 1.7 million. These arrivals spent more than $2 billion on the island last year, about 14 percent more than in 2016. Tribune-Herald.

Another eight classrooms are coming to Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School with the release of more than $12.4 million in funding for a new classroom building at the campus. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County Director of Water Supply David Taylor, who has been on administrative leave for three months, has filed a lawsuit against Mayor Alan Arakawa and the county over Arakawa’s attempts to remove him from his position. Maui News.

The Hawaii National Guard’s 93rd Civil Support Team along with the United States Coast Guard, paramedics, airport security, Maui police, and firefighters will participate in a large-scale emergency operations exercise beginning Monday, Feb. 5. Maui Now.


A $30 million missile touted as a possible second layer of defense for Hawaii from North Korean threats reportedly failed in its first-ever flight from Kauai’s Aegis Ashore facility today when it did not intercept a target representing an intermediate-range ballistic missile. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Missile Defense Test Failed To Intercept Target. The interceptor was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. Associated Press.

Department of Public Safety: Sheriffs will now get involved in Coco Palms occupation. Hawaii News Now.

A Kauai hui involved in a lawsuit against the Hawaii Department of Natural Resources and the agroscience company Syngenta is continuing efforts to require the seed company to conduct an environmental review of their ongoing operations on the island’s Westside.  Garden Island.

Kauai-based KonaRed is partnering with beverage incubator L.A. Libations, an innovation partner of The Coca-Cola Company. Pacific Business News.

Total visitor numbers via air travel for Kauai saw a 7.5 percent increase to 1.3 million in 2017 from 1.2 million in 2016, according to HTA ,and that’s not the only growth the island saw. Garden Island.

Artists spent three days creating a 40-foot-long mural depicting the island’s character on a wall fronting the oceanfront bike path in Kapaa Town — only to paint over it a week later. Garden Island.

The Kauai Lifeguard Association board members recently handed over the keys for a 2018 4 x 4 fully-outfitted Kuhio Auto Ford truck to the County of Kauai’s Ocean Safety Bureau. Garden Island.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Hawaii tourism setting records, audit blasts Health Department handling of disease outbreaks, U.S. Appeals Court rules fishery feds erred in allowing turtle takings, minimum wage increases, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hula on Waikiki beach ©2017 All Hawaii News
State visitor arrivals to break 9 million mark for year. With just three days left in the year for visitors to step off planes, it’s expected that about 9.3 million tourists — a record — will have come to the state this year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii visitor spending increases to $1.3B in November. Visitor spending in Hawaii increased 4.5 percent in November to $1.29 billion, while year-to-date spending rose 6.6 percent to $15.2 billion, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii visitor spending, traveler numbers went up this November. Whether it's to escape the cold on the mainland or just to relax on the beach, travelers continue to choose Hawaii as their vacation destination. KITV.


The state auditor is slamming the Health Department for failing to properly communicate with its own divisions, health responders and the public during three major disease outbreaks in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Audit: Hawaii Needs To Get Its Act Together In Responding To Outbreaks. When it comes to communication and record keeping, the Health Department seems to start from scratch with each disease outbreak. Civil Beat.

Audit blasts outbreak responses. A breakdown in communication reported throughout the dengue fever outbreak on Hawaii Island between October 2015 and April 2016 were included in an audit of the Department of Health’s Disease Outbreak Control Division that was critical of several issues in the way the agency handled that and other outbreaks across the state. West Hawaii Today.

State Health Officials Criticized For Dengue Outbreak Response In Audit. The State Auditor details confusion and discord in the Department of Health during the 2015 Big Island dengue fever outbreak, as well as other outbreaks. Big Island Video News.

Audit slams state's fumbled response to 3 major outbreaks. The state Health Department experienced "communication breakdowns" and "inconsistent processes and procedures" in its response to three disease outbreaks in 2015 and 2016, a scathing new audit found. Hawaii News Now.


Report: Most sirens worked during Hawaii warning test. A report on a Hawaii siren test that drew international attention amid a North Korea missile threat shows that 28 sirens statewide played the wrong sound or had other technical problems. Associated Press.

Come Jan. 1, Hawaii's minimum wage workers will earn more. Hawaii's minimum wage will go up to $10.10 per hour starting on New Year's Day. Hawaii News Now.

Swordfishing permit review ordered. Environmental groups that sued to protect migratory birds and endangered sea turtles are claiming victory in their challenge to the federal government’s authorization to expand the swordfish fishery for Hawaii-based longline fishing vessels. Star-Advertiser.

US Appeals Court: Feds Erred In Hawaii Fishery Expansion. Conservation groups had challenged a rule that doubled limits on how many endangered sea turtles could be accidentally hooked. Associated Press.

Hawaii Looks To Spur School Creativity With ‘Innovation Grants’. Up to $250,000 will be available for the right idea and a two-year plan to implement it. Civil Beat.

Kamehameha Schools invests $24M in community programs. Kamehameha Schools has awarded $24 million in community investment grants to support collaboration partners in more than 100 programs and projects during current fiscal year, which began July 1. Pacific Business News.

USS Wasp with F-35B makes stop on way to Japan. The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp pulled into Pearl Harbor on Thursday for a port visit on its way to Japan and the introduction of an F-35B ship-based joint strike fighter capability in the highly charged region that includes North Korea and China. Star-Advertiser.

A report on sea level rise vulnerabilities and adaptation has been released by the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission, known as the Climate Commission, and the 304 pages are available online.  Garden Island.

Climate Change's Impact on Hawaiian Fishpond Aquaculture. New research is shedding light about what needs to be done as the cultural resource is under threat by climate change. Hawaii Public Radio.

Young Brothers names Gas Co. executive to take over as president. Young Brothers Ltd., the state’s largest interisland cargo carrier, said today it has selected Joseph Boivin as its new president. Star-Advertiser.


New Year’s means higher taxes, fees, bus fares and minimum wage. The state and city are ringing in the new year by lightening your pocketbooks through new laws or rule changes that take effect Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Rush is on to prepay property taxes. Dozens of people waited in line for more than an hour Thursday at Honolulu Hale trying to beat an end-of-the-year deadline to save money by paying their 2017 property taxes early. Star-Advertiser.

City and County of Honolulu says bond refinancing saves taxpayers $20.7M. The City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Budget and Fiscal Services said it closed on $253 million of tax-exempt advance refunding bonds last week that will be used to refinance existing debt for improvements to Oahu’s wastewater system. Pacific Business News.

Leaky roofs still a problem at Honolulu airport, some say it’s getting worse. KHON2.

Kualoa Ranch plans include expanding visitors center, new buildings. Kualoa Ranch, a Windward Oahu visitor attraction that has also served as a filming location for such movies as “Jumanji” and “Jurassic World,” is planning to build a number of improvements, including an expanded visitors’ center, a new retail building, new tour depots and more than 7,000 square feet of office space. Pacific Business News.

Diamond Head Theatre redevelopment moves ahead with revised plan, new architect. Two years after launching a capital campaign to fund a redevelopment, Diamond Head Theatre is moving ahead with plans to build a new 500-seat theater building and has hired a Houston-based architecture firm that specializes in theater design. Pacific Business News.

Commentary: Did Hawaii Really Try To Thwart CNN’s Homelessness Report? The DLNR explains its reasons for not granting a permit for access to an encampment near the Waianae Boat Harbor. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Allure of isle boosts tourism. Tourism numbers were strong in November — and for the year overall statewide — particularly for the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

Kamehameha Schools Invests Nearly $7M in Hawaii Island Programs. Big Island Now.

An endangered seabird is nesting 7,000 feet above sea level on the slopes of Mauna Loa on the Big Island. Hawaii Public Radio.


Maui Visitor Spending and Arrivals Surpass 2016 Numbers. Visitor spending on Maui rose (+2.7% to $359.4 million) in November 2017, boosted by growth in visitor days (+5.8%), and visitor arrivals (+9.3% to 215,266), according to preliminary data released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Maui Now.

Maui close to record-breaking visitor arrival, spending totals. Maui visitor arrivals by air were up 9.3 percent in November to 215,266 and up 3.7 percent to 2,483,686 for the year’s first 11 months. Maui News.

Reef Safe Sunscreen on Maui. There’s now a movement in Maui County to ban sunscreen containing chemicals that scientists say are harming the reefs. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kamehameha Schools Invests $1.7 M in Maui Programs. Kamehameha Schools has awarded more than $1.7 million in community investment grants to support collaboration partners on Maui, Molokai and Lanai for the current fiscal year which began July 1. Maui Now.

November home sales sizzle with strong demand. Low inventory makes it a hot sellers’ market. Maui News.

More fish, lower sashimi prices predicted. Retailers say there should be plenty for New Year’s parties. Maui News.


Visitor spending continues climb. Kauai saw 95,900 visitors in November, an increase of 9.8 percent over November 2016. Through the first 11 months of 2017, Kauai has had 1.16 million visitors, a 7.5 percent increase over the same time frame last year. Garden Island.

Canines latest tool in effort to curb avian botulism. Avian botulism has been dropping ducks in outbreaks that have been sweeping the population since 2011 — and it’s not just koloa ducks. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hawaii still tops in homelessness, new tax chief named, Honolulu police chief admits error in gun confiscation, Kauai council passes GET surcharge, attack siren failures reported, Pearl Harbor remembered, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Homeless sleep on Honolulu sidewalk © 2017 All Hawaii News
Hawaii still leads nation in homeless count per capita. The 7,220 homeless people counted across the islands in January as part of an annual, nationwide homeless census put Hawaii’s rate at 51 homeless people for every 10,000 individuals, the worst of all 50 states, according to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report released Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Despite broad concerns, governor says tax system upgrades are on track. The governor says a $60 million project to modernize the tax department's outdated computer systems is moving forward with the right team in place. Hawaii News Now.

Ige appoints new director for troubled state tax department. Gov. David Ige today named Linda Chu Takayama as the new director of the state Department of Taxation in an effort to quickly replace outgoing director Maria Zielinski in what has emerged as a pivotal position in Ige’s administration. Star-Advertiser.

Linda Chu Takayama
Ige appoints new interim director of taxation. Hawaii Gov. David Ige has named Linda Chu Takayama as the new interim director of the state Department of Taxation following Maria Zielinski's sudden resignation on Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Governor Appoints Linda Chu Takayama as Interim Tax Director. Hawaii Public Radio.

Trump advised to alter Pacific Remote Islands monument. Commercial fishing has been banned for nearly a decade in 490,534 square miles of water around several western Pacific islands and atolls. But that could change based on a recommendation issued Tuesday to President Donald Trump. Star-Advertiser.

Can Voluntourism Offset the Environmental Impacts of Hawaii's Growing Visitor Industry? Most tourists come to Hawaii on vacation for rest and relaxation, but there’s a popular trend in visitors coming to Hawaii to volunteer their time and labor. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Lawmakers Are Used To Hearing About Potential Conflicts Of Interest. Legislators argue there are good reasons to vote even on issues where they may have potential conflicts. Associated Press

Why Hawaii Residents Can’t Build Their Own Private Power Grids. As solar systems and battery storage gain popularity, some say Hawaii’s law needs to catch up with the technology. Civil Beat.

Survivors, families to mark 76th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack. The crowds will be smaller this year. There will be fewer headlines and cameras and big names. Hawaii News Now.

76th Anniversary of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Maui Now.

WWII veterans accomplish final mission. Seventy-six years have passed since the “day of infamy.” The call to “Remember Pearl Harbor” has faded, Hotel Street has faded, and the men like Lauren Bruner and Lou Conter, who were there and fought back, are fading, too. Star-Advertiser.

USS Arizona Survivors take special flight to mark 76th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack. KITV.

USS Arizona survivors take aerial tour ahead of Pearl Harbor’s 76th commemoration. KHON2.

How Hawaii airports stack up against the competition for international passengers. Pacific Business News.

Island Air workers unable to access 401(k) funds. The company’s 423 workers, already without their final November paycheck and health insurance, now are being shut out from accessing their 401(k) retirement funds — some of which have been deposited in the wrong account. Star-Advertiser.

Following report, judge in Kamehameha Schools sex abuse case recuses herself. Hawaii News Now.

Commentary: Preparing For Hawaii’s Next Constitutional Convention Vote. A referendum is set for Nov. 6, 2018, but now is the time to begin the discussion. Civil Beat.


Emergency Leader Concerned Siren Was Hard To Hear In Waikiki. Beachgoers hardly noticed the alarm, which also was hard to hear in some other areas. Associated Press.

HPD in error over cannabis patients with guns, chief says. Honolulu police Chief Susan Ballard said her department’s controversial policy requiring medical marijuana patients to relinquish their guns was wrong. Star-Advertiser.

Council Gives Preliminary OK To Changing How Police Panel Selected. The resolution would allow the City Council to select three members of the seven-member commission. Civil Beat.

Council OKs measures trying to rein in ‘monster’ homes. The Honolulu City Council approved legislation Wednesday that directs the Department of Planning and Permitting to come up with stiffer regulations on large-scale houses and renewed an effort to impose a moratorium on building permits for such structures until new rules are in place. Star-Advertiser.

Council gives OK to Keeaumoku condo tower project. The developers of the Hawaii City Plaza condominium tower in the Keeaumoku area have been given the go-ahead by the Honolulu City Council, despite lingering ill feelings toward the developers by some Council members and concerns by community members that the approval was rushed. Star-Advertiser.

Proposed High Rise With ‘Poor Door’ Stalls At City Council. Councilwoman Kymberly Pine said the developer needs to address concerns about a planned separate entrance to the lower-cost rental units. Civil Beat.

Hawaii health officials have issued an advisory telling people not to eat fish or shellfish caught in the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii fuel pier and marina area due to unsafe levels of contaminants. Associated Press.

Crews Are Close to Finally Ridding Waikiki Of The Pacific Paradise. The Coast Guard says the cost of salvaging the wrecked vessel has already exceeded $1 million. Civil Beat.

The state attorney general says no criminal charges will be filed for now in the case of a toddler who was assaulted in a babysitter's care. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu home prices continued their mostly slow and steady rise this year, notching 3 percent gains in November. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu home sales post double-digit increases as prices rise. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

State adding more sirens to alert Big Island about emergencies. The state is adding 17 new Big Island sirens to its system of emergency alerts as it works to fill gaps in a program designed to bolster public preparedness in natural and man-made emergencies. West Hawaii Today.

People in Hilo thought they were hearing sirens. It was actually a leaf blower. Hawaii News Now.

The owner of Cloverleaf Dairy is looking to hand his family business over to another company after a deal reached in 2016 fell through. Tribune-Herald.

VIDEO: Hungarian Automated Telescope On Mauna Kea Made Permanent. A request for permanent continuation of the Hungarian Automated Telescope, or HAT, was approved by the Maunakea Management Board on November 28. Big Island Video News.


LUC members hear testimony backing ‘agrihood’ project. Land Use Commission members heard several hours of testimony Wednesday as part of hearings on proposed state district boundary amendments for the nearly 500-acre Waikapu Country Town project. Maui News.

Letter: County Liquor officials did not prohibit children at event. The county Department of Liquor Control defended its “limited role” in an October fundraiser by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui, writing in a letter last week to the club that no liquor laws or rules prevented youths from receiving awards at the event that served alcohol. Maui News.

Infographic: Sewage Spills on Maui. Maui Now.


Council OKs tax hike. On Wednesday, the county council approved Bill 2670 to establish a general excise and use tax surcharge. Garden Island.

Officers seize illegal plants from Kalalau Valley. The Kauai Police Department participated in a two-day multi-agency operation this week that led to the removal of 15 coca plants from Kalalau Valley. Garden Island.


New emergency sirens will be tested at five Molokai sites between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. today and Friday, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said. Maui News.