Showing posts with label vetoes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vetoes. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Hawaii recycling program beyond redemption? Plus, you can’t say 'FCK' on your license plate, state Capitol to install metal detectors, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

DOH recycling program receives 2-year audit. Although the refund and recycling program’s issues involving fraud have reportedly waned, the audit did find that what it called a “significant deficiency” in internal controls to curb the problem of fraud as well as the ongoing reliance on third-party certifications remained — meaning an increased risk of fraud is still of concern. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Court: You Can’t Say “FCK” On Your License Plate.
The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a loss for Honolulu resident Edward Odquina, who in 2021 applied for and received a personalized plate with the message “FCKBLM.” Civil Beat.  Star-Advertiser.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Hawaii losing economic strength, economist says.  Inflation has stabilized in Hawaii, but what is of concern to one of Hawaii’s leading economists is the state’s gross domestic product, which over the past five years has fallen way behind the national economy. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Chamber of Commerce Seeks To Rein In Red Tape To Help Businesses. A new web portal is part of a long-term approach to improving the business environment in the state. Civil Beat.

State Capitol to get metal detectors after lawmakers and aides say they don't feel safe.  The Hawaiʻi State Capitol will have metal detectors installed at three entrances starting July 10, state agencies said Monday. Associated Press.

State Legislature plans to not override any items on governor's veto list. After consultation, the state Legislature will not override any bills or line-items that Gov. Josh Green intends to veto. Hawaii Public Radio.

Competitive Hawaii proposals sought to fight homelessness with federal funds
. U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, who wrapped up a two-day visit to Hawaii on Monday, encouraged local government leaders, developers, nonprofits and others to compete for a share of about $3.1 billion to be made available soon under the agency’s Continuum of Care program. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Housing Authority seeks 10,880 more affordable units. The Hawaii Public Housing Authority has taken on the monumental task of taking its inventory from 1,187 units to an additional 10,880, announcing Monday that it has chosen a developer for its Ka Lei Momi Redevelopment Project at nine existing housing properties over the next decade and beyond.  Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Now.  KHON2.

Gov. Green signs bills to improve school facilities, curricula.  Measures giving the state’s new School Facilities Authority access to millions more dollars and dramatically broader flexibility to build teacher housing and preschool classrooms were among a group of education-related bills signed into law by Gov. Josh Green in a ceremony Monday. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News.  Maui Now.

Hawaii’s Parole Board Is The Most Powerful In The Country. That May Change. The paroling authority sets the minimum terms that inmates must serve before they can be released from prison, a task that other states assign to judges. Civil Beat.


City Officials’ Pay Raises Weren’t Included In The Budget. Now What? The city charter mandates that these raises be delivered, meaning officials have to scrape together the money from other sources. Civil Beat.

Report: Despite cooling housing market, Oahu rents continue to soar.  During the past five years, average studio rents in Honolulu are up 25% to more than $1,600 a month while four-bedroom apartments are up 22% to nearly $3,700.  Hawaii News Now.

Oahu’s traffic-related fatalities remain high. At roughly the halfway mark, the number of traffic­-related fatalities in Hawaii is lower than at the same time in 2022. Star-Advertiser.

State, city strain to keep traffic signs clear of overgrown foliage.  Since the COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortages in state and city maintenance departments and a switch to sustainable yet less efficient weedkiller have hampered the frequency and quality of roadside maintenance. Star-Advertiser.

Ex-Gangsters, Grandmas And The Good Word Take On West Oahu’s Game Rooms.
An unlikely alliance is working to disrupt illegal gambling on the west side. Civil Beat.

State finds new operator for low-income complex. A private development partnership has taken over the Kulia i ka Nu‘u low-­income rental housing complex in Waianae under a state land lease arrangement that includes a planned renovation of the property. Star-Advertiser.

There’s a new viewing platform atop Koko Crater Stairs
. The new viewing platform at the summit of the popular Koko Crater Stairs in Hawaii Kai has been completed. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Public meeting planned for proposed traffic improvements near Hilo Harbor. The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation is hosting a public meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. today (July 5) to provide information about its proposed land acquisition for traffic improvements on Kalanianaʻole Street adjacent to Hilo Harbor. Big Island Now.

Following HSTA concerns, crews complete mold abatement effort at Hawaii school. Holualoa Elementary School students and staff will start the school year with an updated look following a $1.27 million renovation project that addresses campus-wide environmental concerns. Hawaii News Now.

Waipi‘o Valley Road phase one work completed.  One phase of work on the Waipi‘o Valley Road is over, but the rest is still a long way off. Tribune-Herald.


Service outage cancels 2 committee meetings. Full council to meet Friday to discuss bills on tax surcharge, air guns, water rules. Two Maui County Council committee meetings that had been scheduled for Wednesday had to be canceled due to a service outage of the digital platform that hosts the council’s meeting documents, Presiding Officer Pro Tempore Tasha Kama announced Monday.  Maui News.

Conservation land designation resurfaces for discussion in committee on Thursday. The Maui Council committee on Agriculture, Diversification, Environment and Public Transportation will reconvene July 6 at 1:30 p.m. to discuss Resolution 23-146, requesting that the Conservation Planning Committee review and provide recommendations on the possible acquisition or management of certain lands for conservation purposes. Maui Now.

Committee agrees to revise proposed renaming of Puamana burial site to include Waianuʻukole. The Water and Infrastructure Committee agreed on a proposal Monday to rename Puamana Beach Park in Lahaina to Puamana Cultural Preserve at Waianuʻukole.  Maui Now.


Visitor spending climbs past $1B in 2023 on Kaua‘i.  That was up 31.1 percent from $823.9 million in the same five-month period of 2022, and 40.7 percent from $767.6 million in the same five-month period of pre-pandemic 2019. Garden Island.

Nagramada takes Island School helm. Island School announced that Nancy Nagramada will be head of school. She assumed the role on July 1. Garden Island.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Green signs 18 government anti-corruption bills, journalist shield law, announces potential veto list; Honolulu Mayor Blangiardi signs $3.4B budget and $350 property tax rebate, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Josh Green signs batch of government reform bills. These bills, passed by the Legislature earlier this year, include one requiring Hawaii legislators to disclose relationships with lobbyists, one prohibiting campaign donations by lobbyists to elected officials during or close to legislative sessions and one enhancing criminal penalties for public corruption offenses. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Green signs bill protecting the work of journalists. Gov. Josh Green on Friday signed into law a measure that brings back and makes permanent protections to prevent reporters from being forced by state courts to disclose confidential  information or sources. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Announces Intent To Veto 11 Bills. Certain bills related to water code penalties, ocean recreation commercial permits, and education are all under threat of veto. Gov. Josh Green plans to veto 11 bills passed by lawmakers this year, including one related to the controversial Hawaii Technology Development Corp. and another that he says could discourage the building of new housing.  Civil Beat. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  Maui News.

Tourism plans extend beyond stewardship contract, CNHA says. The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement got a seat at the tourism table when it secured a multiyear, $27 million contract for stewardship services from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Star-Advertiser.

Hussey leaving post as CEO of Office of Hawaiian Affairs.  Office of Hawaiian Affairs Ka Pouhana/CEO Sylvia Hussey announced she will be leaving the organization June 30, at the end of the fiscal year, “to focus on her personal and ‘ohana health.” Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Maui News.


Mayor Rick Blangiardi approves Honolulu’s $3.41B budget. The mayor also formally adopted the city’s one-time $350 tax rebate that will be granted to nearly 152,000 qualifying homeowners with an active home exemption on their 2023 assessment, regardless of property value. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Inside Honolulu’s Six-Decade Fight Over Rail: It’s Always Been ‘Boondoggle Or Boon’. Proposals for an elevated rail system on Oahu date back to the 1960s. Now, at least part of a modern-day rail line is finally about to open to the public. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Judge nixes bid to depose Pacific Fleet chief in Red Hill lawsuit. A federal judge decided Friday to quash an attempt to make the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet sit for a deposition in a civil lawsuit brought by military and civilian families whose drinking water was contaminated with jet fuel from the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility in November 2021. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Board OK’s removal of Doris Duke breakwater.  The state Board of Land and Natural Resources has given the green light to demolish the Diamond Head Breakwater, a wall of large boulders that juts out into the ocean, creating a protected cove fronting Doris Duke’s Shangri La estate. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Kaimuki residents protest ‘monster home’ construction.  An appeal by a builder of so-called monster homes in Kaimuki drew the anger of about 15 Kaimuki residents outside the city’s Mission Memorial Auditorium who beat on a drum and waved signs that read, “Kaimuki against monster homes” and “Be a good neighbor” at a hearing of the city’s Building Board of Appeals on Friday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Popular Koko Crater hike to close temporarily.  The city plans to close the Koko Crater stairs for four days this month to replace the viewing platform at the top. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Waste proposal draws doubts: Board presented with information on trash conversion technology. A company’s proposal to convert Big Island waste into energy, concrete and more raised eyebrows Friday at a Hawaii County Environmental Management Commission meeting. Tribune-Herald.

Green, BISAC tout medical kauhale for Hilo.  The concept for a medical kauhale for homeless people in Hilo originally came from the Big Island Substance Abuse Council, or BISAC. Tribune-Herald.

State gun permits drop: Hawaii County sees registration decrease of 7.9% in 2022. In Hawaii County, there were 4,510 applications processed last year, a decrease of 7.9% from the 4,899 applications processed in 2021. Tribune-Herald.

Budget cuts leave boat ramp in limbo.  The state project to reopen the Pohoiki Boat Ramp regained, then promptly lost, $35 million in funding this month after gubernatorial budget cuts. Tribune-Herald.

Land Acquisition To Expand Hilo Harbor Open For Comment.  The draft environmental assessment for the Hilo Harbor Private Lands Acquisition and Development has been published for public review. Big Island Video News.


Former Mayor Arakawa, Kalo Farmers Among 6 Chosen For New East Maui Water Board. The County Council's selections marked the culmination of a weekslong power struggle over control of the board that will help shape the region's future. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Phase II response work begins at fuel spill site atop Haleakalā. Phase two of the spill response efforts at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex began on June 20, 2023. This comes after 700 gallons of diesel fuel spilled at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex Jan. 29 into Jan. 30, 2023.  Maui Now.

Environmental groups raise alarms as illegal dumping in West Maui continues to grow.  Despite recent crackdowns by the county, they said that illegal junkyards at Ukumehame and Cut Mountain have gotten larger in recent months. Hawaii News Now.


Plan To Save Kauai Forest Birds With ‘Mosquito Birth Control’ Published. State officials are seeking public comment on a plan to bring the world's first attempt at landscape-scale mosquito control to Kauai. Civil Beat. Garden Island.  Kauai Now.

Jobless rate falls to 2.5 percent on Kaua‘i.  The unemployment rate in the County of Kaua‘i moved within spitting distance of pre-pandemic lows last month, largely because of robust hiring in the accommodation sector ahead of the summer tourism season. Garden Island.

Residents in Kauai pushing for the state to lower their rent as they can no longer afford the price increase.  Since 2019, residents have been working to convince the state to lower their rent so it can be affordable again. This came after rent increased after the 10-year affordable housing plan ended.  KITV4.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Army seeks to renew military land leases, legislators reach tentative tax break deal, governor proposes expansion of homeless villages, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Military training areas in Hawaii under scrutiny. Several state lawmakers and mayors toured Army facilities Monday and witnessed training on Oahu and Hawaii Island with Gen. Charles Flynn, the service’s top commander in the Pacific. The Army has been proactively preparing for what could be a fight to renew leases on state land that the military trains on, which are set to expire in 2029.  Star-Advertiser.

Tentative deal reached on tax breaks as legislative session enters home stretch.  Key lawmakers say they have reached a tentative agreement on tax breaks for Hawaii residents. The news comes as the legislative session enters the home stretch Monday, with the first formal negotiation session over the $20 billion state budget. Hawaii News Now.

Green’s First Veto: A Condo Bill That Could Have Increased The Cost Of Housing. Hawaii Gov. Josh Green issued the first veto of his administration on Friday, rejecting a bill that was supposed to clarify an unusual scenario in which condominium owners sued the developer of their project for construction flaws more than a decade after construction was finished. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Governor Plans To Develop More Tiny Home Villages Statewide. Gov. Josh Green promised more tiny home villages will be built around the state, regardless of opposition from local communities, as his administration tackles homelessness.  Civil Beat.

DOH urges vigilance following second case of measles on Oahu. The state Department of Health on Monday confirmed a second case of measles on Oahu. The resident was exposed to the previously confirmed case in an international traveler. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.


Homeless ‘medical respite’ kauhale planned on Oahu.  Gov. Josh Green plans to expand his homeless kauhale village concept within a month to erect the state’s first “medical respite” kauhale for homeless people across from The Queen’s Medical Center “in my backyard” for eight to 10 homeless people at a time who disproportionately use emergency rooms only to end up back on the street, Green said. Star-Advertiser.

Controversial 6-foot-tall walls remain in latest Ala Wai flood mitigation proposal. The latest flood mitigation plan for the Ala Wai Canal is starting to take shape, and it still includes large walls that have been unpopular with the public. Hawaii Public Radio.

Conflict Of Interest? Neighborhood Board Employees Are Running For Seats On The Boards. Questions are being raised about whether as elected board members the employees can effectively question their bosses. Nine employees of the Honolulu Neighborhood Commission Office, the city agency that oversees Oahu’s 33 neighborhood boards, have signed up to run for elected seats on the boards themselves. Civil Beat.

Prominent Honolulu Condo Board Members Are On Trial For Alleged Retaliation. The lawsuits claims the Hokua board members used their positions to help themselves and each other without disclosing conflicts of interest. Testing a Hawaii law prohibiting retaliation by condominium boards, a trial began on Monday pitting a retired Army officer against several prominent members of Hawaii’s real estate and development community who served alongside the retired officer as directors of one of Honolulu’s landmark luxury condominiums. Civil Beat.

Bishop Museum probe ends with no findings. An investigation of the board of directors of Bishop Museum prompted by a formal complaint from loyalists of the ousted president and CEO has found no financial mismanagement or wrongdoing. Star-Advertiser.

Slew of rescues highlight hiker safety. After a series of hike rescues over the weekend, state officials are reminding people to take precautions, know their limits and be aware how hot it can get on exposed trails. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Green weighs in on feral cats: Governor sending DLNR chief to the Big Island following protest in Waikoloa. Gov. Josh Green said Monday he’s dispatching Department of Land and Natural Resources Director Dawn Chang to the Big Island today “to work out a peaceful solution” between DLNR, owners and mangers of the Queen’s Marketplace, and feral cat advocates who feed the felines behind the Waikoloa Beach shopping center. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i County seeking proposals for affordable housing funding. Up to $18 million will soon be available to qualified applicants working to increase, support, or sustain the availability of affordable housing in Hawaiʻi County. Big Island Now.

Draft EA offers more details about Pohoiki ramp dredging. The reopening of the Pohoiki Boat Ramp is one step closer after a draft environmental assessment for the dredging project was published Sunday. Tribune-Herald.


New Rules That Seek To Better Protect Maui’s Coastlines Will Take Effect Soon. Planning officials are paving the way for some big changes with how the local government controls development and construction projects close to and along Maui’s coastlines. Civil Beat.

Maui median home price is $1.2M, up 1.9% in March 2023. The last time Maui’s median was above $1.2 million was in June of 2022 when the median was $1.242M. Maui Now. Maui News.


Kaua‘i police warn of ongoing thefts targeting residents and visitors. According to officials, a recent rash of car break-ins and thefts have occurred in residential neighborhoods islandwide. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Masks to become optional in Hawaii public schools, Ige vetoes 28 bills, state AG issues new guidance to relax gun laws, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Indoor masking optional at Hawaii public schools starting Aug. 1. Indoor masking will become optional in Hawaii’s 257 regular public schools effective Aug. 1 — a change eliciting praise from people who feel masking harms students, and criticism from other parents and some doctors who predict an increased risk of COVID-19 for children and school employees. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige vetoes 28 bills from original list of 30
. Gov. David Ige on Tuesday sent legislative leaders a list of 28 bills — from the original 30 on his June 27 “intent to veto” list — including one aimed at reforming Hawaii’s foster care system that Ige called unconstitutional. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Attorney general issues new guidance for state to ease gun permit laws in wake of SCOTUS ruling. Hawaii is set to relax some of the toughest permit laws in the nation in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling. Hawaii’s Attorney General Holly Shikada said the decision means that the state will need to make it easier to apply for a permit to carry guns in public. Hawaii News Now.

Democratic candidates for Hawaii governor face off in KITV4's Debate Night
. Homelessness, high taxes, and tourism - were some of the issues debated tonight by Hawaii's gubernatorial candidates during a three hour special hosted by KITV4. The three frontrunners on the Democratic ticket for governor, Vicky Cayetano, Josh Green, and Kai Kahele, engaged in their own debate. KITV4.

Hawaii GOP gubernatorial candidates debate ahead of election. Some of Hawaii’s top Republican gubernatorial candidates faced off Tuesday evening in a live debate in which they mostly fell along political party lines on national issues, including abortion and gun rights, and often had overlapping ideas about local issues such as affordable housing and the Thirty Meter Telescope. Star-Advertiser.

Crypto Super PAC Launches Ad Campaign In Support Of Patrick Branco In CD2 Race. Federal records show that Web3 Forward, which backs Democrats for Congress, has spent more than $100,000 on advertising in the Hawaii race. Civil Beat.

RIMPAC back at full force showcasing training, partnership. Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, and more than 25,000 military personnel have been in and around Hawaiʻi the last couple of weeks for this year’s Rim of the Pacific maritime exercises. Hawaii Public Radio.

Software snafu affects government employees’ health benefits. The state agency that administers health insurance benefits for thousands of state and county workers in Hawaii is experiencing problems with the rollout of new benefits administration software. Tribune-Herald.

Kaiser Hawaii under scrutiny for lack in behavioral health. A national organization focused on improving the quality of health care has determined that Kaiser Permanente’s health plans in Hawaii need to improve and has put them under “corrective action” for failing to meet national quality standards. Star-Advertiser.


Judge postpones corruption trial of ex-city prosecutor, 4 alleged co-conspirators. Former city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro is accused of accepting $45,000 in campaign contributions from Honolulu businessman Dennis Mitsunaga, his company employees and relatives. Federal authorities said in exchange, Kaneshiro filed criminal charges against a former Mitsunaga employee who had sued the company over being fired. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

City’s high job vacancies prompts audit. The Honolulu City Council unanimously approved a resolution directing the city’s auditor to look into the hiring practices of the human resources department. KHON2.

Honolulu Rail Whistleblower: Tracks, Wheels A Maintenance Nightmare And Potential Safety Issue. A  track consultant pressed HART officials for two years for the rail agency to make key changes that would make the system safer and more operable. They dismissed him in February. Civil Beat.

Honolulu rail project is exploring alternatives to Pearl Highlands parking garage.
The Pearl Highlands parking garage has been paused due to exorbitant costs. It was supposed to create spaces for central Oʻahu residents who want to take the train into urban Honolulu. Hawaii Public Radio.

With no ridership rebound in sight, city bus system plans route changes. More than two years after the start of the pandemic, ridership on the city bus is still only about half of what it was. According to the city’s Department of Transportation Services TheBus currently has about 115,000 daily riders. That’s down from 195,000 prior to the pandemic ― a 41% decline. Hawaii News Now.

Judge: Man left homeless after wrongful prosecution can seek another civil claim against city.
An Oahu man left homeless after being jailed and wrongfully prosecuted for drug crimes is celebrating another legal victory. A federal judge says Sefo Fatai’s malicious prosecution claim against the city can move to trial. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Pohue Bay preserved: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park adds 16,000 acres.
The Trust for Public Land officially transferred ownership and stewardship of Pohue Bay to the National Park Service on Tuesday, preserving the area’s unique natural and cultural resources from development. West Hawaii Today. Associated Press. Big Island Video News.

Council members displeased with Waianuenue Ave road project. County Council members are frustrated that the repair work on Waianuenue Avenue in Hilo does not appear to conform with their expectations. Tribune-Herald.

$15M Waiaka Bridge replacement project expected to start next summer. The project, which also includes realigning Kawaihae and Kohala Mountain roads and installing a roundabout at their intersection, is expected to be complete by the end of 2024, should construction get underway as planned in summer 2023. West Hawaii Today.

Olson Trust drops lawsuit against Naniloa’s top brass. The Edmund C. Olson Trust has withdrawn its lawsuit against two co-owners of the Grand Naniloa Hotel. Tribune-Herald.


Central Maui Transit hub could be ready by year’s end. The Central Maui Transit hub that will replace the one at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center may be up and running by the end of this year, a county official said on Monday. The $2 million bus hub is located off Vevau Street near Kane Street, across from the old Sears store. Maui News.

Another Waiehu affordable housing project moves ahead — this one plans 752 units. Another affordable housing project is advancing in Waiehu, and this time the developer is pitching 752 units in a proposal called Waiehu Residential Community.  Maui Now.

Hotel Wailea earns No. 1 ranking in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards. The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Maui is ranked No. 3; Montage Kapalua Bay, Maui  is No. 5; Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi, Lānaʻi is No. 10; Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Maui is No. 18; and Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui rounds out the list at No. 20. Maui Now.


Kauai District Health Office to conduct survey on COVID-19 response
. The Kauai District Health Office is conducting another survey this month to assess the community’s perception of its COVID-19 response efforts and current emergency preparedness level. Star-Advertiser.

Wainiha to Hā’ena residents asked to conserve water.
The Department of Water is asking residents in Wainiha to Hā’ena to conserve water until further notice due to an electrical power outage affecting water system facilities.  KHON2.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Aiona, Penn, lead GOP gubernatorial race, Kahele misses public financing deadline, Ige vetoes $244M in spending, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Aiona, Penn Lead Field In GOP Gov Contest. Duke Aiona, a former lieutenant governor who ran twice unsuccessfully for the top job, has a slight edge on BJ Penn, a former Ultimate Fighting Championship winner, 27% to 24%. Honolulu City Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi trails the two leaders in the race at 9%, as does community activist Gary Cordery at 7%. Civil Beat.

Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Dems Unsure Of Who To Vote For In Lt. Gov. Primary.
Luke polls best but Anderson is not far behind, while Amemiya and Menor-McNamara remain in the hunt. Rep. Sylvia Luke is now ahead of the pack at 20%. Former Honolulu City Council Chair Ikaika Anderson is not far behind at 14%. Keith Amemiya, a business executive, polls at 10% while Sherry Menor-McNamara, head of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, is at 7%. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Kai Kahele Won’t Be Able To Get Public Funding For Governor’s Race. After failing to submit a required document when he filed for election, Kahele will miss out on over $200,000 of public funding this primary cycle. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige vetoes $244 million in state budget spending. Gov. David Ige informed the Legislature Wednesday that he has vetoed funding in the state budget for two dozen projects costing $244 million, partly because state lawmakers appropriated $100 million more federal pandemic recovery aid than the state received. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

New law raises the age for kids to use a child passenger restraint in Hawaiʻi. A new law is now effect, that raises the age through which a child must use a child passenger restraint or booster seat to 10 years old. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Navy leaders emphasize climate change at RIMPAC. As sailors from around the world train in Hawaii at the biennial Rim of the Pacific training exercise, climate change is taking center stage for several planners. Star-Advertiser.

Government Workers Wrongly Seize A Child From Parents. Should They Be Made To Pay? The principle of qualified immunity protects workers in their official actions. The most recent decision involves Hannah David, a Big Island mother who filed a lawsuit alleging that her daughter’s father teamed up with an employee of the Kauai Police Department in 2019 to get a restraining order that allowed her daughter to be seized from her school and flown back to Kauai with the father. Three weeks later, a judge ordered the girl to be returned. Civil Beat.

Hawaii research group that tracked pandemic’s valleys and peaks ceases operations. The team that has kept a close eye on COVID infection rates throughout the state is shutting down operations. The Hawaii Pandemic Applied Modeling Work Group issued its final report this week. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii COVID-19 cases continue to decline but experts say new subvariants could bring another surge. The Hawaii Department of Health on Wednesday reported the seven-day average of new cases at 651 compared with 685 reported June 29, representing a decline for the fifth week in a row. The state’s average positivity rate also dropped to 15.1% from 16.5% reported the previous week. DOH also reported 20 more coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 1,524. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

More monkeypox vaccine to be distributed in Hawaii. Dr. Nathan Tan, deputy state epidemiologist, said the first phase of the monkeypox vaccine rollout will be offered to close contacts of people known to have monkeypox and those who may have had high-risk exposures in areas where monkeypox is actively spreading. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu Council Approves The Return Of Outdoor Dining In Public Spaces. The two-year pilot program could lead to city approval of permanent outdoor dining. Civil Beat.

City Council Members Question Liquor Commission On Lack Of Internal Affairs Office. The commission is under fire from bar owners and council members for inappropriate actions during the pandemic. Civil Beat.

Honolulu rail receives $70 million in federal funding from American Recovery Plan Act. Honolulu’s rail project has received $70 million in federal funding, but it’s not part of the money being withheld from the project. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Police Department received 48 applications to carry guns in public after high court ruling. In the aftermath of a U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a New York law requiring people to show proper cause for carrying a gun in public the Honolulu Police Department has received 48 applications as of today, Chief Arthur J. Logan told the Honolulu Police Commission this afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

Bodycam footage released by HPD captures officer’s alleged attack on suspect. The man had to go to the hospital for his injuries and the officer is now the target of an FBI criminal investigation. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council Race: Oahu’s North Shore Is Getting New Blood. Oahu’s largest council district is up for grabs by a crop of political newcomers. Civil Beat.

Candidates, older voters talk story in Kalihi. A larger than expected crowd of more than 300 likely senior citizen voters turned out Wednesday to mingle with more than 40 political candidates running in the Aug. 13 party primary elections. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council overrides Roth veto: Affordable housing bill adds new eligible programs. A County Council majority Wednesday overturned Mayor Mitch Roth’s veto of a bill governing the allowable uses of money from the affordable housing fund, after a debate between the council and administration about whether adding more uses to the list limits or broadens the program. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.

HVO Helicopter Survey Of Kilauea Begins, Meeting Set.
The U.S. Geological Survey is conducting a helicopter geophysical survey over unpopulated parts of Kīlauea volcano on the Island of Hawaiʻi from July 5–25, 2022. Big Island Video News.


Mayor announces Kali Arce and Weston Yap as leaders of new Maui Ag Department. Arce is a Hawaiian homesteader with more than three decades of experience in Hawaiʻi’s agriculture industry, according to the Mayor’s announcement. The Director designee must still be formally confirmed by the Maui County Council, according to county officials. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

33 acres of Hāna coastline now permanently protected at Mokae II. An additional 33 acres along the Hāna coast in East Maui is now permanently protected thanks to a multi-partner effort. Maui Now.

Molokai Community Health Center focusing on voter turnout, engagement. A Community Civic Engagement program’s Vot-ER grant is giving the center funding to provide residents with the tools to vote. Hawaii Public Radio.


Bill hopes to ensure “fair play” from contractors on Kaua‘i. A bill presented to Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday intends to rein in unfair labor practices by requiring permit-holders to disclose information on contractors working on site. Garden Island.

Grove Farm seeks court ‘Clarification’ on drug treatment facility. The company feels the court action is necessary to prevent the improper transfer of the land to a third party that may not use the facility as intended. Garden Island.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Ige may veto 30 bills, Honolulu permit clerk gets prison time for accepting bribes, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa meets state lawmakers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. David Ige targets 30 Hawaii legislative bills for veto. Gov. David Ige on Monday gave Hawaii’s Legislature a long list of bills he might veto, including measures dealing with bail reform, $60 million in Hawaii Tourism Authority funding and a vaping products ban. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Gov. Ige's full intent to veto list and rationale here.

Ige Approves Ban On “Forever Chemicals” In Food Containers, Firefighting Foam. The class of chemicals known as PFAS has been suspected of causing health impacts, including cancer. Civil Beat.

Local organizations launch bailout initiative as Gov. Ige decides on bail reform measure. Some pre-trial detainees are held in jail because they can’t afford bail. So Hawaiʻi bail reform advocates have launched an initiative to help secure bail and reentry services for them. Hawaii Public Radio.

Democratic hopefuls for governor to hold first joint appearance. The three leading Democratic candidates hoping to become Hawaii’s next governor are scheduled to make their first live, joint appearance in a special one-hour, digital town hall on the Honolulu Star- Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” livestream program starting at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Group issues final COVID report.
The Hawaii Pandemic Applied Modeling Workgroup which has been using public data to provide COVID information, announced that it will not provide any more forecasts and updates after Monday, June 27. The last report stated that Omicron BA.2 variant cases are slowly trending down and hospitalizations are staring to slow. KHON2.

State Rules Make It Harder To Open Dialysis Centers In Hawaii. More states are lifting or reforming regulations governing the opening of new dialysis facilities. Civil Beat.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa brings her fight for truth to Hawaii. Hawaii senators and Filipino organizations honored Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Philippine journalist Maria Ressa at the State Capitol on Monday. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.


Permitting Worker Who Took Bribes For A Decade Gets Prison Time. The judge said he wanted to make an example of Jennie Javonillo to deter other government workers from taking bribes. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Governor plans to veto child welfare bill inspired by Isabella ‘Ariel’ Kalua case. Nearly a year after the Waimanalo girl was last seen alive, the measure intended to protect adopted children like her appears doomed. Hawaii News Now.

Japanese tech company to survey Oʻahu roads. The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation has partnered with the Japanese tech company i-Probe for a pilot program to monitor road conditions on Oʻahu. i-Probe uses car-mounted sensors to track road conditions like potholes and traffic. Real-time data will then be collected on a cloud-based map. Hawaii Public Radio.

No end in sight for Red Hill water pumping. The Navy continues to pump about 4.5 million gallons of water daily out of its Red Hill shaft in an effort to remediate the aquifer that was polluted with fuel from its Red Hill tanks in 2021. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hundreds of keiki under 5 vaccinated in rollout of clinics
. Hawaii Pacific Health vaccinated some 585 keiki under age 5 at large-scale clinics at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children in Honolulu and Kauai Medical Clinic in Lihue on Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Governor Will Not Veto Bill Creating New Mauna Kea Authority. The Governor says he looks forward to appointing a board "committed to supporting astronomy on Maunakea, and supporting moving forward in the best way to manage" the mountain. Big Island Video News.

Council kills one proposed charter amendment, moves the rest along. One proposed charter amendment was killed, a second barely squeaked through and two received unanimous endorsements recently, when the County Council took up six bills to consider putting on the Nov. 8 ballot. West Hawaii Today.

Puna Pono Alliance denied PGV appeal, PUC reconsideration. The state Intermediate Court of Appeals on June 13 denied a pair of appeals seeking an updated environmental review for Puna Geothermal Venture. Tribune-Herald.


Drought conditions will limit water supplies in Upcountry and West Maui. Portions of Upcounty and West Maui will be under a Stage 1 drought declaration by Thursday. Nonessential water activities like car-washing and landscaping will be prohibited. Hawaii Public Radio.

New shelter planned for at-risk youth on Maui. Facility would offer safe space for youth while long-term solutions sought. Maui News.

Owners give Lahaina tenants more time; rally highlights Maui’s housing woes
. New owners of one of the last Lahaina apartments with workforce rents reversed course Friday, announcing that no immediate evictions or rent increases will occur at Lahaina Crossroads. Maui Now.

Kula Forest Reserve remains closed with conditions still unsafe from December storm. Access roads and trails in the Kula Forest Reserve remain closed due to extensive damage and unsafe conditions caused by the December 2021 Kona storm, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said today. Maui Now.


9th Circuit: County, state workers may have violated constitutional rights in bitter child custody case. A federal appeals court said a Kauai police official and state Child Welfare workers may have violated the constitutional rights of a Big Island mother and her 11-year-old daughter when they removed the girl in 2019. Hawaii News Now.

DOW quality reports available.
The county Department of Water 2022 Water Quality Reports, covering calendar 2021, are available on the DOW’s website, Garden Island.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Over-tourism, new hotel taxes mulled as Hawaii reopens, jail COVID lawsuit heard in federal court, Gluck tapped for appellate court judge, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

©2021 All Hawaii News
Kauai's Waimea valley ©2021 All Hawaii News

How Neighbor Islands Are Working To Address Overtourism In Hawaii. Amid a post-pandemic tourism surge, Hawaii’s counties are rethinking their reliance on the visitor industry with new laws meant to stem the flood of visitors. Civil Beat.

Federal Court Case: Corrections Officials Botched COVID-19 Response In Prisons. Corrections officials have botched the COVID-19 pandemic response so badly in Hawaii’s prisons and jails that the state is violating the constitutional rights of the inmates, attorneys for the inmates told a federal judge on Thursday. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Legislature amends 3 vetoed bills, overrides 1. The drama and uncertainty over efforts to amend and override Gov. David Ige’s record number of vetoes came to an end Thursday after the state House and Senate voted unanimously to amend three bills and essentially kill a fourth one to address Ige’s initial concerns. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press.

Behind closed doors: Reapportionment Commission could become less transparent. A powerful commission tasked with redrawing political boundary lines for Hawaii’s state and congressional districts appears headed for more secrecy than in previous years, with the formation of private permitted interaction groups in lieu of publicly held committee hearings. West Hawaii Today.

Ige Appoints Dan Gluck To Intermediate Court Of Appeals. Gov. David Ige has appointed Dan Gluck, the director of the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, to fill a seat on the state Intermediate Court of Appeals. Gluck’s appointment is subject to Senate confirmation. Civil Beat.

HDOT Outlines Actions to Protect Seabirds Following Threat of Lawsuit. The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation today outlined a list of actions it has taken recently to protect endangered seabirds at harbors and airports.  Maui Now.

The Statewide Effort to Turn Filmmaking into Hawai‘i’s Next $1 Billion Industry. Talent, training and financial incentives are driving a new era of filmmaking, TV and digital media production in the Islands. Hawaii Business magazine.

China service expected to lift Matson profit. Another giant wave of profit is expected to hit the balance sheet of Matson Inc. as the local ocean cargo transportation firm continues to ride swells of demand for service from China. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii reports 75 new COVID infections; 1 additional fatality. Of the new cases Thursday, 42 were on Oahu, eight on Hawaii Island, six on Kauai, and seven on Maui. There were also 12 residents diagnosed out-of-state. Hawaii News Now.


Oahu eateries, bars can now fully reopen if they ask for vaccine cards or negative COVID tests. Oahu restaurants and bars can now do away with social distancing if they ask their patrons for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. Eateries that don’t must still keep a 6-foot distance between parties, limiting their capacity. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Federal CARES Act dollars will fund new effort to beef up police presence in Chinatown. A new effort to beef up the police presence in Chinatown will be paid for using federal CARES Act funds. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said he approved $2 million of CARES Act appropriations to pay for the overtime of officers working foot patrols. Hawaii News Now.

Ethics Commission Quietly Drops Kealoha Investigation As Questions Swirl. In February, after a closed door meeting, the commission voted unanimously to drop its ongoing investigation into the retired police chief and his former prosecutor wife, citing their federal convictions in 2019 for conspiracy, obstruction of justice and other crimes. Civil Beat.

Ann Botticelli Moves Forward in Confirmation Process to Honolulu Police Commission. Ann Botticelli is moving further in her confirmation process to the Honolulu Police Commission, a seven-member body nominated by Honolulu mayors and confirmed by the Honolulu City Council. Hawaii Public Radio. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Olympic swim team enjoys a crowd of 300 fans as they practice at Punahou. The U.S. swimmers leave for Japan on Monday. For the past two weeks, they’ve also trained at two other pools here. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Decommissioning plan approved for Hoku Kea. As part of the requirements for the planned construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope, Hoku Kea is one of five telescopes slated for removal from the mountain. Tribune-Herald.

PUC hearing on Honua Ola tentatively set for January. The state Public Utilities Commission has reopened the docket for Honua Ola Bioenergy, formerly known as Hu Honua, the nearly completed biomass power plant in Pepeekeo. Tribune-Herald.

BLNR to mull proposed Kahalu‘u Bay surf school rules. The number of surf schools allowed to operate and students in the water at Kahaluu Bay would be spread throughout the day under draft rules proposed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. West Hawaii Today.

Endangered bird found on Maunakea for first time in nearly 70 years. University of Hawaii at Hilo researchers announced Thursday that they located an ‘ua‘u — a seabird also called the Hawaiian petrel — at a nesting site on Maunakea in May, the first time one has been recorded on the mauna since 1954. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau, DLNR to Remove Hundreds of Goats From National Park. Goats will be trapped and removed live from the park, which will close on Aug. 11, 2021, to distribute these animals to permitted members of the public. Big Island Now. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.


Bill to slice short-term rental permit caps advances. After hearing about two hours of mixed testimony, the Maui County Council’s Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee gave the green light to a bill that would cut the amount of short-term rental home permits allowed on Maui. Maui News.

Maui County seeks a new visitor hotel tax that could rake in millions more. Maui County officials are rushing to impose new visitor accommodations taxes after the state legislature overrode a controversial veto by the governor this week. Hawaii News Now.

Restrictions on Plastic Disposable Foodware Outlined in Proposed Maui Ordinance Amendment. The County of Maui Department of Environmental Management has scheduled an online public hearing at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, 2021, to consider proposed amendments. Maui Now.

Visitors Asked to Use Permitted Tours to Mitigate Visitor Impact on Hāna Highway. The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority is advising visitors to East Maui to join a tour from a permitted tour company instead of driving on their own along the Hāna Highway or visiting other areas on Maui. The suggestion is the latest recommendation made by visitor industry officials amid an increase in tourism, illegal parking along the scenic route, and unsafe pedestrian crossing along the highway. Maui Now.


Council approves mediation program, housing vouchers. As the state barrels toward the lifting of the eviction moratorium, the county is setting up a landlord-tenant mediation program. Garden Island.

Hotels: ‘Resorts Bubbles’ kept guests happy, island safe. The Kaua‘i resort bubble program burst Thursday in coordination with the county’s move to Tier Five of its six-tier COVID-19 guidelines chart. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Legislature overrides Ige vetoes, cuts tourist funding, counties' TAT share, 98% of COVID infections in unvaccinated, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Hawaii House chambers

Lawmakers override Gov. David Ige, cut tourism funding. State legislators took out their frustrations about over-tourism by overriding Gov. David Ige’s veto of a bill that puts the fate of the Hawaii Tourism Authority in jeopardy. Lawmakers overrode five of the governor’s vetoes on Tuesday, including a bill that will require disclosure of COVID-19 cases in public schools. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Key senator, Lorraine Inouye, wants a woman to serve on state Land Board. Aside from Suzanne Case, who chairs the BLNR and the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the board consists entirely of men, and state Sen. Lorraine Inouye (D, Kaupulehu-Waimea-North Hilo) said she wants a woman to fill one of the seats. Star-Advertiser.

Bankrupt Honolulu Charter Operator Faces Allegations Of Multimillion Dollar Fraud. Wing Spirit had donated $1 million in flights to support interisland travel for medical care during the pandemic, but filed for bankruptcy six months later. Civil Beat.

Metered parking no longer free for handicap placard holders. As of July 1, drivers who have the temporary red or long-term blue placards, as well as special license plates, will now have to pay the normal rate in metered street stalls. This is a result of a change in the Hawai’i Revised Statutes approved in 2019. Hawaii News Now.

Almost all of those contracting COVID in Hawaii now have one thing in common: They’re unvaccinated. According to Hilton Raethel, head of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, 98% of people diagnosed with COVID statewide over the past couple months haven’t gotten a COVID vaccine. Hawaii News Now.

New Federal Vaccination Data Boosts Hawai‘i Percentages. The addition of detailed information from the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program increases the percentage of residents who have initiated their vaccinations from 62.7% to 64.7%, a gain of 2%. It also drops slightly the number of residents who have completed their vaccinations from 58.3% to 58%, a loss of 0.3% Big Island Now. Maui Now.

39 new COVID cases reported
; no additional fatalities. The confirmed cases included: 27 on O‘ahu (+1 probable); three on Maui; two on Hawai‘i Island; one on Kaua‘i; and five in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


Boom in Oahu’s housing market continued in June.
The Honolulu Board of Realtors said in report released Tuesday that the median sale price for single-family homes surged 27% to a rec­ord $979,000 last month, compared with $770,000 a year earlier. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Officers’ attorneys seek dismissal of charges in fatal shooting of teen. Attorneys representing three Honolulu police officers charged in the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old Micronesian teenager who led police on a high-speed pursuit after a two-day crime spree are seeking to have the allegations dismissed. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Complaints Lead To Ouster Of Big Island Animal Control Contractor
. Hawaii Rainbow Rangers will be replaced by county officials after numerous allegations of mismanagement circulated on the island. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News.

4 HCCC Inmates Test Positive for COVID-19. Four out of 44 inmates at Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center recently tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, one out of 16 HCCC staff results was positive for COVID. Big Island Now.

Maui County looking at banning certain bodyboards. Councilmember Tamara Paltin, who introduced the legislation, is looking to ban cheaply made polystyrene made bodyboards from being sold or rented. KHON2.

Mayor: Additional Water Allocation to be Reserved for Development of Affordable Rentals, Attainable Workforce Housing. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino today announced his decision to reserve the balance of available water recently allocated to the County’s Department of Water by the Hawai‘i Commission on Water Resource Management to develop affordable rental units and attainable workforce homes for residents in Central and South Maui. Maui Now. KHON2.

Maui shuttle service aims to move tourists around while reducing cars on the road. The Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii Department of Transportation, the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau and Polynesian Adventure Tours have launched a shuttle service for tourists from the Kahului Airport to big resort areas like Kaanapali and Wailea. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.


Island to move to Tier 5, resort bubble program ends. As of Thursday, Tier 5 will allow gatherings of up to 75 people outdoors or 25 indoors. Restaurants, gyms, buses and attractions will be able to operate at 75% capacity. Garden Island. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Group: No hotel at Coco Palms site. Kaua‘i community residents have mobilized to protect the land of Coco Palms Resort against development as the property heads to auction later this month. Garden Island.

KPD, DLNR cite, eject remaining houseless. The Salt Pond Beach Park closed last Wednesday, June 30, signaling the end of the county’s Shelter-In-Place program that allowed the houseless community to live on county-owned beach properties throughout the coronavirus pandemic and have access to running water and electricity. Garden Island.