Showing posts with label whistleblower. Show all posts
Showing posts with label whistleblower. Show all posts

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Hawaii opens its gates to travelers, Health Department whistleblower sues state, Kauai water rights case heads to Supreme Court, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Safe Travels Special Projects Administrator Sherilyn Kajiwara

Fully Vaccinated US Travelers Can Bypass Quarantine, Testing Requirements. Fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. and its territories can bypass quarantine and COVID-19 testing if they possess one of three federally recognized vaccination documents. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. Tribune-Herald.

State leaders question need to market Hawaii as vaccination exemption adds to a travel surge. The leaders of the state House and Senate are saying that tourism marketing is no longer needed given the summer surge, and invited the Hawaii Tourism Authority to figure out what role it should play in managing tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Travel Rules Are Ending But Restrictions On Other Businesses Linger. Although the hospitality business has opened fully and bounced back substantially, driven by a daily average of more than 32,000 passenger arrivals per day so far this month, some industries remain hamstrung by restrictions limiting things like the size of gatherings and social distancing requirements. Civil Beat.

Whistleblower sues state after being fired by Hawaii Health Department. A former Hawaii Department of Health epidemiologist who exposed deficiencies within the department’s COVID-19 contact tracing program last year is suing the state alleging that she was fired in late May in retaliation for speaking out. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

More detailed school COVID reports mandated. A bill that requires the state Department of Education to publish a weekly report enumerating COVID-19 cases on school campuses is now law despite Gov. David Ige’s veto of the measure. Tribune-Herald.

Come January 1, it will be legal for private citizens in Hawaii to own a Taser. On January 1, it will be legal for private citizens in Hawaii to own a Taser. It’s one of the laws that emerged from the legislative session and repeals Hawaii’s ban on electric guns for the public ― allowing them for self-defense, defending another person or protecting property. Hawaii News Now.

Case Draws Most Of His Campaign Cash From Special Interests
. Lobbyists and business interests continue to pump money into Hawaii Congressman Ed Case’s political campaign, according to his latest filings with the Federal Election Commission. Civil Beat.

Ige picks former Hawaiian Homes Commissioner to serve on Board of Land and Natural Resources. Gov. David Ige has nominated Doreen “Pua” Canto, who has served on a number of local boards and commissions, including the Hawaiian Homes Commission and the Maui Police Commission, to fill a vacant seat on the state’s Board of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.


24 apply to be Honolulu Police Department chief, but names not made public. Twenty-four people applied to serve as Honolulu’s 12th police chief but the process is delayed by 30 days because not enough people applied to serve as the consultant to assist the Honolulu Police Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Taxpayers May Foot The Bill For Lawyers For Officers Charged In Sykap Shooting. Honolulu taxpayers could end up paying for the legal defense of three officers charged in an April shooting incident that ended with the death of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

City cites homeless project for lacking building permit.
The Department of Planning and Permitting issued a notice of violation against a church-backed foundation helping house the homeless by erecting 50 plastic storage sheds on a 4-acre Waianae farm. Star-Advertiser.

Council narrowly approves first steps for a new Chinatown fire station. In a 5-4 vote, the Council on Wednesday authorized the Honolulu Fire Department to adjust the Public Infrastructure Map adopted in 2017 by adding a fire symbol that is required for the Council to appropriate any funds for construction. Star-Advertiser.

Developers propose building a 15-story hotel in Chinatown. Developers are proposing to build a 15-story hotel in a Chinatown parking lot located on 120 Nimitz Highway. KHON2.

Measure introduced to remove Haiku Stairs. A measure introduced at the Honolulu City Council is calling for the removal of Haiku Stairs, which has been hotly debated for years over neighborhood disturbances and trespassing by hikers seeking to complete the illegal Stairway to Heaven hike. Star-Advertiser.

In big step for Aloha Stadium, Hawaii agency takes lead to develop ‘entertainment district’.
Gov. David Ige signed House Bill 1348, making the Aloha Stadium Authority Board the lead agency for development of the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District — or NASED — project. Hawaii News Now.

State board rules against homeowners in Kakaako tower dispute. A state board has rejected a petition from owners of a moderate-priced Kakaako condominium tower to hold the developer of the 2-year-old building accountable for grossly underestimated maintenance fees. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Roth, others mulling options after passage of TAT bill.
HB 862 abolishes the allocation of statewide TAT revenues to the individual counties and instead allows them to establish their own taxes on accommodations at a rate of up to 3%. Tribune-Herald.

$25.5M for ADA compliance: County Council advances bond float. Required improvements at 10 county parks will likely continue, with a $25.5 million bond issue forwarded Wednesday by the County Council on an 8-0 vote. West Hawaii Today.

‘It’s disgusting’: Lawsuit alleges DOE, BOE and principal failed to protect female student. A Kona school principal, the state Department of Education and Board of Education are being sued for failing to protect a female student from repeated sex assault on a public school campus. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County Gymnasiums Preparing to Reopen. The County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation is preparing to reopen gymnasium facilities that have been closed for recreational use since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Proposed Amendments To Kahului Harbor Fisheries Area & Maui ‘Oama Rules. A statewide online public hearing will be held on proposed amendments of Hawai’i Administrative Rules relating to the Kahului Harbor Fisheries Management Area and rules regulating the take and possession of ‘oama on the island of Maui. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

State seeks information on vandalism of Maui petroglyphs estimated to be over 300 years old. Conservation officers are seeking information on those responsible for defacing a collection of petroglyphs on the face of a cliff in Olowalu Valley on Maui with a paintball gun, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Dispute over public water rights on Kauai heads to state Supreme Court.
The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case over public water rights on Kauai. The case is over a dispute of a new 18-inch pipe proposed by the Kauai Department of Water, which would tap into the East Wailua Watershed. Hawaii News Now.

County deeds Adolescent Treatment and Healing Center to HHSC
. The title of the land where the Adolescent Treatment and Healing Center is has been formally offered to the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation by the county. Garden Island.

Waimea man opens home to Salt Pond residents. This week, Buna and wife Marcia Leialoha have taken in several families who were recently evicted from Salt Pond Beach Park with the closure of the county’s Shelter-In-Place program that allowed the houseless to set up camps during the pandemic. But this set-up may not last, either. Garden Island.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Alcohol tax hike, sugary drink tax proposed in Legislature, OHA whistleblower files lawsuit, only half of state residents plan to take coronavirus vaccination, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Sweet alcoholic umbrella drink on Hawaii shoreline ©2021 All Hawaii News

House measure would increase state liquor tax. House Bill 771 proposes a 3-year-long increase to the state’s liquor tax, which currently imposes a nearly $6 tax per gallon on distilled spirits and a nearly $1 tax on nondraft beer. Tribune-Herald.

Ige’s Proposed ‘Sugar Tax’ Could Generate $60 Million A Year For The State. Gov. David Ige has proposed a new 2-cents-per-ounce tax on soda and other sugary drinks in an effort to discourage sugar consumption and cope with the “huge health challenge” of obesity and diabetes. Civil Beat.

Labor unions push lawmakers to drop GET on groceries. Labor unions are asking lawmakers to get rid of the state general excise tax on groceries as a way to help struggling families. Supporters of the idea say bold initiatives are needed during these unprecedented times. KHON2.

Hawaii Chief Justice: Courts Must Address Systemic Inequities. Hawaii Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, invoking the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others who were killed by police, is calling on the state court system to do its part in addressing systemic inequities. Civil Beat.

Former OHA Finance Chief Sues Over Whistleblower Retaliation. A former official at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has sued the agency as well as its former chief executive officer alleging whistleblower retaliation and corrupt and unlawful practices. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii ‘Proud Boy’ Hires 9/11 Defense Lawyer To Fight Capitol Mob Charges. Nick Ochs ran for political office in Hawaii as a Republican and was endorsed by the Hawaii GOP. Civil Beat.

Women’s Legislative Caucus Outlines 2021 Bill Package Protecting Women, Children and Families. The bipartisan Hawaiʻi Women’s Legislative Caucus announced their 2021 legislative package of five bills and two resolutions that will support and protect women, children and families. Maui Now.

Should the voting age be lowered? Proposal is among package of bills introduced by Keiki Caucus. A Wednesday presentation by the state Legislature’s Hawaii Keiki Caucus discussed 20 bills and resolutions that were devised after lawmakers discussed with children and teenagers what issues are important to them. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.

Only half of Hawaii residents surveyed plan to vaccinate. Only half of the respondents in a recent Department of Health survey indicated they would take the COVID-19 vaccination, while about 24.4% said they were not likely to get immunized against the virus that has sickened nearly 25,500 Hawaii residents, killed 404 and ravaged the economy. Another 25.5% said they were undecided. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige opens pre-arrival testing program to South Korea. Gov. David Ige today announced a pre-arrival testing program for travelers from South Korea starting Feb. 5. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Now.

Fed Help Would Give Hawaii’s Vaccination Campaign A Shot In The Arm. Faster vaccine deliveries promised by President Joe Biden would help the state could give a COVID-19 shot to every willing Hawaii resident by the fall, health official says. Civil Beat.

COVID-19 Testing Capacity Quadrupled. Hawaii’s largest locally owned medical testing laboratory, Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc. (DLS), has increased its capacity to 4,000 tests per day, up from 1,000. Big Island Now.

Teacher vaccinations slowed by vaccine shortage, educators unsure about the process. Teachers and educators fall under group 1B in the Department of Health (DOH) vaccine breakdown. The DOH said, they are working diligently to get Department of Education (DOE) employees their shots but some teachers claim the process is unclear. KHON2.

Lt. Gov. Green: We’ve given more vaccines than we’ve had cases. Hawaii is one of only two states that has administered more COVID-19 vaccines than confirmed cases of the virus. KHON2.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Jan. 27: 103 New Infections And 3 Deaths. Hawaii health officials reported three deaths and 103 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, including 64 on Oahu, 27 on Maui, three on the Big Island, and nine Hawaii residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Mayor identifies affordable workforce rentals as a top priority. Rick Blangiardi’s first piece of legislation as Honolulu’s mayor calls for grant money to help fund more affordable rental units. Hawaii News Now.

Blangiardi feels energized in mayor’s role; hopes to ease COVID restrictions in February. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said about a month into the job, he feels energized to serve in his new position, as well as to the pressure of high expectations and a sense of responsibility as his new leadership team comes together. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu's Next Budget Director Expects Challenges, 'A Tough 2022' . Mayor Rick Blangiardi named Andy Kawano as the next person to lead the department. He came to the city from Foodland Supermarket as its director of facilities. Hawaii Public Radio.

Murder trials, other Oahu court cases with multiple defendants halted due to COVID-19. Prosecutions of homicide cases on Oahu — and trials involving multiple defendants — are not moving forward because of COVID-19 limits, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald told a joint session of the state Legislature Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

HPD Chief Shakes Up Covert Intelligence Unit After Years Of Scandal. The Intelligence Enforcement Unit was at the center of the Kealoha conspiracy as well as a more recent surveillance operation that targeted a political appointee. Civil Beat.

Kualoa Ranch to lay off large number of workers. Kualoa Ranch Hawaii Inc., which employed some 370 workers pre-COVID-19, is permanently laying off a large number of its remaining employees due to a decline in business, its president confirmed Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Boatyard Agrees To Six-Figure Penalty For Keehi Lagoon Pollution. The levels of contaminants discharged from the facility into the lagoon violated federal regulations, the EPA found. Civil Beat.

An affordable housing complex opens in Maili, with more projects expected to break ground along the Leeward Coast and around Honolulu this year. More public and private housing projects will start construction this year, but experts say it still won't be enough to satisfy the state's supply shortage of affordable homes. KITV4.

Honolulu City Council OKs senior housing tower in Chinatown. The Honolulu City Council is endorsing a long-planned affordable rental housing tower for seniors on city land in Chinatown. Star-Advertiser.

All 4 Ko Olina lagoon parking lots will reopen completely on Monday. The four free parking lots, relied upon by the beachgoing public to access the popular lagoons, were closed during the resort’s coronavirus closure from March until October 16, when Ko Olina began reopening to tourists and partially reopened the lots, making 111 of 180 parking stalls available. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Some Big Island teachers get first dose of COVID vaccine. Approximately 630 DOE staff were given the first dose of the Moderna vaccine Jan. 16 at a closed “POD,” or point of distribution, conducted for Big Island DOE staff at Keaau High School, according to District Health Officer Eric Honda. Tribune-Herald.

Water employees offered vaccinations: Employees moved ahead in line after letter to Ige. There hasn’t been a single positive coronavirus test among the Department of Water Supply’s 164 staff, and the agency wants to keep it that way. West Hawaii Today.


Proposal pulls power from Maui Redevelopment Agency. The Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday gave its backing to a proposed bill that pulls power from a county agency with authority to alter zoning and variance rules for downtown Wailuku. Maui News.

Hawaii Governor Declares Maui County A Disaster Area As Drought There Persists. The drought has lasted since March 2019, taking a heavy toll on farmers and homesteaders, as well as the deer that roam those islands. Civil Beat. KITV4.


Council passes lower residential investor threshold evaluation. With one in eight homes on Kaua‘i empty, a bill attempting to incentivize filling these vacancies passed through the Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday. Garden Island.

Kauai Is Moving Forward On One Of The Nation’s Most Advanced Energy Projects. The solar-charged hydro power concept is being eyed to replace coal and other fossil-fuel powered electric plants in the U.S. and abroad. Civil Beat.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Coronavirus infections trending downward in Hawaii, Oahu opens hotels to COVID-19 quarantiners, Health Department whistleblower speaks out, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Department of Health
Coronavirus epi curve as of Sept 10, 2020 Hawaii Department of Health
DOH Reports Overall Decline in COVID-19 Cases Statewide. Hawai‘i is beginning to regain control of the spread of COVID-19 after nearly six weeks of elevated case numbers throughout the state. Big Island Now.

DOH: COVID-19 case numbers appear to be declining. After weeks of increased COVID-19 cases, the state Department of Health said Thursday that Hawaii is beginning to turn the corner and regain control of the spread of the disease on all islands. Tribune-Herald.

Relief for nurses through federal support and lower COVID-19 cases. The Hawaii State Department of Health said COVID-19 cases are beginning to decline after a six-week surge in new cases, and 169 new cases were reported on Thursday and the decline in numbers is also being reflected at hospitals. KHON2.

Hawaii’s Health Department Received Millions In COVID-19 Grants. Where Is It Going? Competition for equipment and bureaucratic hurdles have slowed down spending meant to boost the state’s pandemic response. Civil Beat.


Whistleblower says Hawaii Department of Health’s ‘toxic’ culture of fear impeded investigators’ work. State Department of Health whistleblower Jennifer Smith, the epidemiologist who was suspended with pay Friday after speaking out about the understaffing of COVID-19 contact tracers, says the DOH fostered a “toxic” culture of fear that impeded the work of investigators trying to stop the spread of disease. Star-Advertiser.

Health Dept Whistleblower Speaks Out About ‘Toxic Management Culture’. Jennifer Smith was placed on paid leave weeks after her revelations about the Department of Health led to the director and the state epidemiologist being replaced. Civil Beat.

'I’m not a threat’: DOH whistleblower responds to alleged smear campaign against her. The Health Department whistleblower who exposed the state’s woefully inadequate COVID-19 contact tracing efforts vigorously denied allegations she made violent threats against her colleagues and says she has endured “character attacks” after speaking out. Hawaii News Now.

State Health Department whistleblower speaks out. In her first on-camera interview since being suspended with pay Health Department whistleblower Dr. Jennifer Smith claims management facilitated a culture of bullying, shame, and blame within the department. KITV4.


Money for $300 unemployment boost to run out after 6 weeks. The temporary $300-a-week unemployment insurance boost implemented by President Donald Trump is about to end, with no extension in sight. Associated Press.

Thousands of Local Jobs Available, Chamber Says. The overall Hawai‘i economy may be stalled, but some organizations are hiring – and not just in health care and home deliveries. Hawaii Business magazine.

$3 Billion in Unemployment Benefits Issued Since March 1. The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations today announced updated unemployment insurance claims information, including paying $3,081,193,375 and 3,155,245 weeks claimed since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic on March 1. Big Island Now.

Hawaii has nation’s highest ‘insured unemployment rate’. Unlike the more frequently reported seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, the insured unemployment rate represents the number of people receiving unemployment insurance as a percentage of the labor force. Star-Advertiser.

47 Hawaii restaurants have permanently closed since pandemic began. The effect of the coronavirus pandemic on Hawaii’s restaurant industry hits home most strongly when reading through the names of establishments that have closed. Star-Advertiser.

Those eligible for additional jobless benefits will be allowed to enroll starting Saturday. The state will launch a new online feature Saturday to allow those eligible for $300 in additional weekly jobless benefits to enroll. Hawaii News Now.

$10M Federal COVID-19 Grant Focuses On Teacher Training. An initial report lays out how Hawaii education leaders plan to use the CARES Act money. Civil Beat.


Gov. David Ige signs bill to protect Hawaii musicians. With live musical performances effectively silenced by the pandemic, the state of Hawaii gave a boost to local musicians Thursday with the signing of a bill designed to protect them from having someone else fraudulently use their identity to promote a performance. Star-Advertiser.

Governor signs measure aimed at preserving ‘integrity’ of musicians' original works. The governor signed a measure into law Thursday that protects musicians against cover bands and imposters making money off their name. Hawaii News Now.


VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 10: 169 New Cases And 3 Deaths In Hawaii. The average number of daily cases has dropped from a peak of 250 in August to 156 last week. Civil Beat.

Hawaii sees 3 coronavirus-related deaths on Oahu and 169 new cases statewide. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawai‘i Department of Health reported 169 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, along with three COVID-related deaths. The statewide total of cases is now 10,292. Big Island Now.


Federal Medical Team Deployed to Honolulu to Help with COVID-19 Surge Support. A federal medical team from the US Department of Health and Human Services began providing temporary medical surge support Thursday at the Queen’s Medical Center at Hale Pulama Mau and the Kuakini Medical Center in Honolulu. Maui Now.

HPD Is Getting Millions To Enforce The Shutdown While Aid For Struggling Residents Lags. Honolulu City Councilman Tommy Waters says the city’s priorities are backwards, pointing to money for police overtime and training, new ATVs and “paddy wagons,” among other items. Civil Beat.

Frustration builds for businesses that complied with CDC guidelines but still forced to close . Calls to reopen more businesses on Oahu continue. Business owners said they are frustrated because they have done everything required by the CDC but are forced to remain closed. KHON2.

City Council adopts resolution offering grants to commercial property owners. Honolulu City Council members have approved a resolution aiming to provide rent relief to businesses through a grant program for landlords. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green asks for loosening of latest Oahu stay-at-home order. Lt. Gov. Josh Green is asking city and state officials to change Oahu’s latest stay-at-home order to allow residents living in the same household to engage in outdoor activities together. Star-Advertiser.

How Oahu’s COVID-19 Park And Beach Restrictions Are Hurting Families. Parents say they are struggling to keep their children — and themselves — sane and healthy without regular access to outdoor spaces. Civil Beat.

Local COVID-19 survivor says she didn't take restrictions seriously. Sarah Bolles says she was going to social gatherings, putting herself at risk, and eventually ended up with a fever of over 104 degrees in the hospital. KITV4.


Nearly 300 hotel rooms islandwide available for those who can’t quarantine at home. The Hawaii Department of Health is working with the city to isolate COVID-19 patients at a number of hotels. Hawaii News Now.

These Hotels Are Stepping Up To Help Hawaii’s Virus Control Effort. Some Hawaii hotels have repurposed rooms for people who need to be isolated or quarantined while they recover from COVID-19 or wait for a test result. Civil Beat.

Pearl Hotel Waikiki among four lodges assisting those in need of COVID-19 isolation. The Department of Health says it now has the capacity to offer enough bed space on Oahu to accommodate anyone who has nowhere else to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Four hotels on Oahu are stepping up to help people with COVID-19. If you tested positive for COVID-19 or are waiting for test results but can't safely quarantine at home, you may qualify to stay at an isolation location. KITV4.


Dole School in Kalihi mourns death of staff member in home quarantine. A Dole Middle School employee who worked in the school’s office died Wednesday after being quarantined at home because of COVID-19 cases among staff members. Star-Advertiser.

A staff member at Dole Middle School has died after quarantining at home for COVID-19 following an outbreak at the school, according to the Hawaii State Teachers Association. KITV4.


Rail Board Confronts Project’s Deepening Financial, Contract Concerns. HART members raised more questions about whether a public-private partnership is still in play and what a “plan B” might look like. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Nearly All Residents at Hilo Veterans Home Test Positive for COVID-19. Nearly all the residents at the veterans home in Hilo have tested positive for COVID-19.  Additionally, no deaths were reported on the Big Island Thursday. Big Island Now.

Review of veterans home COVID outbreak underway. A review is still underway into the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home COVID-19 outbreak response. Tribune-Herald.

A representative from the Department of Veterans Affairs is expected on site at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. According to the Department of Health it's a two-day unannounced review that started on Friday on whether the facility is following state regulations. KITV4.

Hawai‘i Health Department Addresses Discrepancy in Hilo COVID-19 Deaths. The state Department of Health reports that it is aware of six additional deaths associated with COVID-19 at the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home in Hilo; however, it is awaiting medical records from the facility as part of its official confirmation and documentation process. Maui Now.

Puna Geothermal Officials Take Questions Online. During a virtual community meeting on Wednesday, Sierra Club member Cory Harden had a lot of questions for PGV reps Mike Kaleikini and plant manager Jordan Hara. Big Island Video News.


Budget committee seeks public input. The Maui County Council’s Economic Development and Budget Committee will be discussing the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, rules, the CARES Act and other related issues. Maui News.

Kula land to become recreation site. Public hiking trails, picnic spots and forest excursions are in the works for more than 3,000 acres of Upcountry forestland recently acquired by the state. Maui News.


First coffee berry borer beetle detected on Kauai. The first coffee berry borer, a beetle that feeds on coffee berries and reduces both the yield of quality of coffee, has been found on Kauai, the state Department of Agriculture reported today. Star-Advertiser.

HDOA: Coffee berry borer confirmed on Kaua‘i. Yesterday, the state’s Department of Agriculture confirmed coffee berry borer, a devastating pest of coffee plants, has been detected on Kaua‘i, the first detection on the island. Garden Island.

Keahua bridge repairs with temporary blocked access. Heavy rains in March caused severe damage to Keahua Bridge at the entrance of the Lihu‘e-Koloa Forest Reserve. Due to structural damage, the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) blocked vehicular traffic until repairs are completed. Garden Island.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Health Department whistleblower forced out, Honolulu mayor extends stay-at-home order, Hilo jail inmates riot, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from KITV4 video
Health Department investigator Jennifer Smith PC:KITV4 video
Whistleblower at Department of Health says she was placed on leave. Whistleblower at the Department of Health and case investigator Jennifer Smith says that she was placed on leave. KITV4.

Hawaii Dept Of Health Whistleblower Forced Out As Shakeup Continues. After revealing flaws in the state’s contact tracing program, Jennifer Smith, a state DOH case investigator, was put on leave on Friday. Civil Beat.

DOH whistleblower placed on leave for firearm allegations. Another shakeup at the Department of Health, as KHON2 has learned Tuesday that the DOH whistleblower who brought to light the state’s contact tracing program was understaffed, is now on leave. KHON2.


Failure To Communicate: How The State Lost The Public's Trust And How It Can Get it Back. The departures of top leaders from the state Department of Health follow disclosures of major shortcomings in the state’s response to COVID-19. These events have diminished public confidence in what officials say. However, trust is crucial in maintaining the public’s health. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kokua Council Wants Court To Order DOH To Hire Contact Tracers. A community organization has petitioned the Hawaii Supreme Court to order the state health department to hire more contact tracers. Civil Beat.

Elizabeth “Libby” Char named interim director of the Hawaii Department of Health. Elizabeth “Libby” Char appointed by Gov. David Ige to serve as interim director of the Hawaii Department of Health, effective Sept.16. Pacific Business News.


Hawaii Gov. David Ige unveils $100M program to help renters affected by pandemic. Hawaii renters who are at risk of eviction due to the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for financial help under a new $100 million rent relief and housing assistance program announced Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

State Makes Rental Assistance Available For Hard Hit Residents. Payments will go directly to landlords, not tenants. Civil Beat.

State launches $100 million housing assistance program. The state is launching a $100 million program designed help Hawaii residents pay for and stay in their current housing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that’s put thousands out of work. West Hawaii Today.

Governor Announces Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program. The new program will provide federal assistance for Hawai‘i renters at risk of eviction for non-payment of rent because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State says. Big Island Video News.

Ige announces $100 million in rental assistance. The state’s moratorium on evictions is valid through the end of the month, but any missed payments during this pandemic are still owed to landlords. Garden Island.

Gov. Ige Announces Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program. Governor David Ige announced the launch of a new program that will provide federal assistance for Hawai‘i renters at risk of eviction for non-payment of rent because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Maui Now.

State to provide qualified residents rent money. The state announced on Sept. 8 it will provide $100 million to renters and eventually homeowners. KHON2.


‘Special master’ to oversee Hawaii’s Department of Public Safety. The embattled state Department of Public Safety went under a new level of oversight and scrutiny in the era of COVID-19 on Tuesday after Gov. David Ige announced that he has appointed the chairman of the state Hawaii Paroling Authority as Ige’s “special master” over DPS. Star-Advertiser.

Ige selects Department of Public Safety insider to assess DPS in wake of COVID-19 outbreak. In the wake of an outbreak of COVID-19 in the state’s largest jail, the governor has appointed the chairman of the Hawaii Paroling Authority as a special master to assist in overseeing the state Department of Public Safety. West Hawaii Today.


Senate Committee Requests Pre-Testing Pilot Program for Interisland Travel. A Hawai‘i Senate Committee is calling for a program that would require coronavirus testing for those wishing to travel between the Hawaiian Islands. Big Island Now.

Senate Special Committee Calls for Pre-Testing Pilot Program for Travel Between Neighbor Island Counties. Members of the Hawai‘i State Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 sent a letter to Governor David Ige calling for neighbor island counties to serve as Pilot Program testing sites for exclusive travel between neighbor island counties. Maui Now.


Hawaii surpasses 10,000 COVID-19 cases. The state Department of Health on Tuesday reported 66 new cases of the novel coronavirus bringing Hawaii’s total case to 10,025 cases since Feb. 28. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii COVID-19 Updates For Tuesday, Sept. 8th: 66 New Cases Lift State Over 10,000 Total. Big Island Video News.

VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 8: 66 New Cases And 2 Deaths. It was one of the lowest daily counts seen in more than a month. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell extends stay-at-home, work-from-home order. Oahu’s stay-at-home, work-from-home order to curb a surge in new daily coronavirus cases will continue for at least the next two weeks, with changes to allow for limited outdoor activities. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu Parks, Beaches To Reopen – But Only For Solo Activity. Parents are not allowed to bring their kids to the beach, the mayor said. Civil Beat.

Mayor extends stay-at-home order, but reopens parks and beaches for solo activities. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is extending Oahu’s stay-at-home order for two more weeks ― through Sept. 23 ― but will reopen parks and beaches for individual activities. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor extends stay-at-home order for 2 more weeks. Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced an extension to the stay-at-home order which will now end on Sept. 23. KHON2.

Rules for going solo on Oahu outdoor pursuits raise safety concerns. In the mayor’s latest order, city parks and trails will reopen for limited uses such as walking, running and biking, but only by oneself. Group activities will not be allowed. Star-Advertiser.


2 more city bus operators test positive; last routes driven released. One of the operators last worked on Friday, Aug. 28 and did not have any COVID-19 symptoms while on the job. Hawaii News Now.

Kalihi Has The Worst COVID-19 Outbreak In Hawaii. Here’s How The Community Is Responding. Nonprofits are pivoting to help residents in a community facing the worst outbreak of COVID-19 of any zip code in the state, along with high rates of unemployment. Civil Beat.

Community divide over an affordable housing project planned for Kailua deepens. An affordable rental housing project in a Kailua neighborhood continues its uphill battle, despite strong opposition. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu private schools differ on when to bring back students. ‘Iolani School plans to bring all students back to campus Sept. 21 with extensive safety precautions against COVID-19, but some other big private schools remain wary of in-person classes. Star-Advertiser.


EPA orders Waianae company to stop selling pesticides claiming to kill coronavirus. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered a Waianae-based company to stop distributing and selling two pesticides known as “InstaPURE” and “EverPURE” because they are not registered and make misleading claims. Star-Advertiser.

EPA orders Waianae company to stop using unapproved COVID-fighting chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency is ordering a Waianae-based company to stop using two chemicals it allegedly markets as coronavirus killers. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Officials: Inmates barricade themselves, set fire and riot at HCCC. The Hawaii Police Department, Hawaii Fire Department and state Sheriff’s Division responded late Tuesday afternoon to what police described as a “riot” at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Inmates riot and set fire to housing unit at Hilo jail. Several inmates were injured Tuesday during a riot and fire at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo. Star-Advertiser.

Affray at HCCC Contained After Inmates Start Fire. Authorities have contained an incident at Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center where inmates started a fire and barricaded doors on one of the units Tuesday afternoon. Big Island Now.

Photos Show Inmates Rounded Up After HCCC Riot. The situation at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center was contained Tuesday evening, after a riot broke out at the facility. Big Island Video News.

Disturbance at Hilo’s correctional center contained after fire, barricades. A Department of Public Safety spokesperson said the incident began around 3:45 p.m. and was contained by 5:30 p.m. Hawaii News Now.

‘Public safety has things that need to be corrected,’ a lawmaker says as a riot occurs at HCCC. A jail riot at Hawaii Community Correctional Center is causing concern among some state leaders. KHON2.


Team from the state to review COVID response at veterans home in Hilo. A state team will be assembled today to conduct a review of the COVID-19 outbreak response at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, and the virus was reported in two more Big Island long-term care facilities. Tribune-Herald.

Army to seek lease extension of state-owned land. The U.S. Army is seeking input for an upcoming environmental impact statement to retain its lease of nearly 23,000 acres at Pohakuloa Training Area. West Hawaii Today.

Kealakekua man fined $5,500 for fish poaching. A Kealakekua resident was sentenced Tuesday to pay $5,500 in fines stemming from the illegal collection of 550 aquarium fish earlier this year from waters off South Kohala. West Hawaii Today.


Roselani Place COVID-19 Cases Rise to 47 Total Since Aug. 15. The number of COVID-19 positive cases at the Roselani Place assisted living community is now 47–including 28 staff and 19 residents. Maui Now.

New owners bring life back to local brewery. About $1M infused into Kohola Brewery to restart company shuttered by pandemic. Maui News.

Maui Cattle Company Offers COVID-Friendly Drive-Up Sale on Friday. Maui Cattle Company, a local business founded in 2002, hosts a third drive-up sale from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 at their facility located at 106 South Kāne Street (between Kahului Foodland and Sysco) in Kahului. Maui Now.


Aloha for Kaua‘i campaign to assist small business extended. The Aloha for Kaua‘i campaign, conducted in partnership with the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau, the county’s Office of Economic Development, the Kupa‘a Kaua‘i program and Jaxon Communications, has received notice that the program has been extended through the end of the year. Garden Island.

Decision on proposed Hanalei brewery deferred. The proposal for a new brewpub in Hanalei was before the Planning Commission Tuesday, but because of an influx of new public testimony, all action was deferred to next month. Garden Island.

Multiple agencies contain airport fire. Firefighters contained a 100-acre brushfire that broke out near the makai side of Lihu‘e Airport on Monday afternoon. Garden Island.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Legislature seeks to ban more sunscreen ingredients, Aila confirmation moves forward, Honolulu backs off rail plan, Willie K says cancer is terminal, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii beachgoers ©2020 All Hawaii News
Proposal tightens rules on sunscreen ingredients. Stricter rules are being proposed for what goes into sunscreen. On January 30, Hawaii lawmakers announced plans to ban more than a dozen additional chemicals that the FDA deems unsafe to humans. KHON2.

Bill would ban harmful sunscreens. Hawaii legislators Thursday announced the introduction of bills that restrict the sale of sunscreens with anything other than those deemed safe for coral reefs as well as human health in the state. Star-Advertiser.


In a 3-2 vote, the Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee recommended the full chamber approve Gov. David Ige’s nominations to lead the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. William Aila, the acting director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands since May, secured a recommendation from a key senate panel Thursday to make his position permanent. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers Consider Red Light Photo Enforcement Pilot Program. The latest proposal involving a red light photo program in Hawaiʻi, will get a hearing before the House Committee on Transportation on Friday. Maui Now.

‘It’s not just a Kona problem’: Another year, another fight over coffee-labeling law. The latest effort to change labeling requirements for Hawaiian-grown coffee blends is making its way through the state Legislature. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Looks To The Philippines For Its Newest Teacher Recruits. In an effort to plug the teacher shortage, the Hawaii Department of Education sent two officials to Manila on its first-ever international recruiting effort. Civil Beat.

Hawaii saw more than 10M visitors last year, but not everyone is celebrating. For the first time in 2019, Hawaii saw more than 10 million visitors to its shores ― a widely-expected milestone that’s drawn concerns about over-tourism. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Airlines posts earnings jump while keeping eye on China virus. Hawaiian Airlines’ earnings soared 57.2% in the fourth quarter despite increased capacity that included additional competition from newcomer Southwest Airlines. Star-Advertiser.

Property sales catapult American Savings’ earnings 30%. The state’s third-largest bank, a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., reported today that its net income increased to $28.2 million from $21.8 million in the year-earlier quarter. Star-Advertiser.

Performer Willie K shares that his lung cancer is now terminal. The multi-Na Hoku award winner has been battling lung cancer but has continued to perform on a limited basis. KHON2.


Mayor Caldwell warns of another rail delay. Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the city is “not yet confident” the first 11-mile segment of the Honolulu rail line will open at the end of this year, and told the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation that it should stop promising the public that rail will open even earlier. Star-Advertiser.

Feds: HART Shouldn’t Promise To Have Rail Ready In October. Rail’s federal partners in Washington aren’t confident “at all” that the trains will be ready to run in October for interim service and they want local rail officials to “step back” from that promise, according to the city’s top leadership. Civil Beat.


Councilman Ron Menor opts out of mayoral race. Honolulu City Councilman Ron Menor said Thursday that he has decided not to run for Honolulu mayor this fall after all. Star-Advertiser.


Crowds lined the streets to honor fallen Honolulu police officer Tiffany Enriquez. Fallen Honolulu police officer Tiffany-­Victoria B. Enriquez, Hawaii’s first female police officer to be killed in the line of duty, was remembered Thursday as a warm person with an infectious smile that brought people together. Star-Advertiser.

Moving service, ‘final roll call’ honor fallen Officer Tiffany Enriquez. After a moving service in which she was remembered as someone who always put others before herself ― until the very end ― fallen Officer Tiffany Enriquez was honored Thursday with a poignant procession and “final roll call" fronting HPD headquarters. Hawaii News Now.

SLIDESHOW: Emotions Run High At Memorial Service For Slain HPD Officer. Tiffany Enriquez, shot to death on Jan. 19 while responding to a call in the Diamond Head area, was honored by law enforcement, family and friends Thursday. Civil Beat.

Touching tribute for fallen HPD officer Tiffany Enriquez. She was a role model, a loving mother, and a hero. That’s how family and friends are remembering Honolulu Police Officer Tiffany Enriquez at her funeral service. KHON2.

Date set for memorial services of fallen HPD Officer Kaulike Kalama. The date has been set for memorial services of HPD officer Kaulike Kalama, who was killed in the line of duty in the Diamond Head tragedy. The family announced Kalama’s services are planned for March 7. It will be open to the public. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii accuses HPOWER of exceeding pollution limits and fines company nearly $20,000. The Hawaii Department of Health’s Clean Air Branch has fined HPOWER nearly $19,700 for exceeding the allotted amount of dissolved solids in the recirculation water it uses in its cooling towers. Star-Advertiser.

Pali Lanes faces another challenge: It’s been put on a month-to-month lease. The property lease between landowner Alexander & Baldwin and Pali Lanes will change to month-to-month on Feb. 2. Hawaii News Now.

A&B says it still wants bowling for Pali Lanes — for now. The head of Alexander &Baldwin Inc. said Thursday he remains hopeful Pali Lanes bowling center can stay in business but conceded he has his eye on a different type of development for the Kailua property if a viable business plan or bowling alley operator doesn’t materialize in the coming months. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Police discipline detailed: Five officers terminated in 2019 in unrelated cases. Five Hawaii Police Department officers were terminated in 2019 and seven were suspended for disciplinary reasons, a department official said Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island Lawmakers Weigh In On Joint Economic Package. Big Island state representatives are promoting affordable housing, expanded child care, and tax relief as part of the legislative package of bills introduced this session to reduce income inequality. Big Island Video News.


Lahaina Front Street Improvement Project Community Meeting, Feb. 13. County officials say wave action and saltwater spray have deteriorated street elements on the makai side of Front Street in two locations: between Dickenson Street and Lahainaluna Road and between Papalaua and Baker streets. Maui Now.

Former House candidate is sentenced to 5 years in prison. Chayne Marten pleads no contest to endangering a minor in 2016 sexual abuse case. Maui News.

Biolab, built on Maui, headed to the space station. HNu Mobile SpaceLab set to blast off Feb. 9. Maui News.


CBS News reports that a Federal Aviation employee is blowing the whistle on a lack of critical inspections. CBS said the whistleblower, Joseph Monfort, said he was prevented from inspecting the tour helicopter that crashed on Kauai back in December, killing all seven people on board. Hawaii News Now.

Property tax bill fails. The Kauai County Council on Wednesday killed a proposal to increase property taxes for around 200 Kauai residents with rental properties. Garden Island.

County backs Hawaiian homesteaders. The County Council on Wednesday passed unanimously a resolution to urge the state Legislature to fix defects in laws that govern the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands that have led to stubbornly high mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates among Native Hawaiians living on DHHL lands. Garden Island.


Officials Confirm 9th Case Of Rat Lungworm Disease. An adult resident of Kauai is believed to have caught the parasitic disease during a December trip to the Big Island, making the individual the sixth Hawaii resident to fall ill. Civil Beat.

DOH Confirms Ninth Case of Rat Lungworm. The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) verified the presence of angiostrongyliasis, or rat lungworm disease, in an adult on the island of Kaua‘i. Big Island Now.

New case of rat lungworm disease confirmed in Hawaii. On Thursday, the Department of Health said the disease was found in a Kauai resident. Hawaii News Now.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Barking Sands eyed for $1.98B ballistic missile system, resolution urges media restrictions on reporting suspects, whistleblower says FAA gave Southwest preferential treatment, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Kauai military site named as possible site for $1.9B ballistic missile radar. The Missile Defense Agency is now also eyeing Kauai as a potential site for its planned $1.9 billion high powered ballistic missile radar. Hawaii News Now.

PMRF eyed for missile defense system. The U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility is being considered as a new location of a ballistic missile defense radar that would take up between 50 and 80 acres at Barking Sands. Garden Island.

Kauai, not just Oahu, now being considered for $1.9B defense radar. The Missile Defense Agency confirmed it is looking at the possibility of siting a $1.9 billion Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai instead of at one of several spots on Oahu that had been considered since 2018. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii lawmakers urge news outlets to use ‘no-notoriety’ approach. State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro of Oahu has introduced a pair of resolutions “encouraging the media, law enforcement, and information officers to adopt a no-notoriety approach to reporting on mass shooters and the perpetrators of other mass crimes.” Tribune-Herald.

Plenty Of Warning Signs But Few Treatment Options In Police Killer Case. Neighbors were well aware of Jerry Hanel’s bizarre behavior, but it’s hard to force unwilling people to get mental health treatment. Civil Beat.

Woman staying with Cain, Hanel Sunday says tragedy at Diamond Head was preventable. Sunday’s tragedy at Diamond Head that saw the deaths of two Honolulu Police Officers was the result of city and state agencies neglecting a warning about Jerry Hanel’s violence according to an acquaintance. KHON2.

Hawaii Eyes Closing Gun Loopholes, Bolstering Mental Health. Hawaii already has some of the nation's strictest gun laws, but the fatal shooting of two Honolulu police officers by a man his lawyer and neighbors believe had psychiatric problems has added new urgency to efforts to close gun control loopholes and bolster mental health care treatment. Associated Press.


Democratic Party of Hawaii announces list of candidates appearing on ballot. Democratic Party of Hawai'i Interim Chair Kate Stanley announced the list of candidates who will appear on the ballot of Hawai‘i’s Party-run Presidential Primary. KITV4.

A dozen Democrats sign up for mail-in Hawaii party voting. A dozen candidates who are seeking the Democratic nomination for president have signed up and paid the filing fee to compete locally for delegates in what will be the Hawaii party’s first-ever mail-in balloting this spring to decide who will win the support of state Democratic Party members. Star-Advertiser.


FAA gave Southwest Airlines special treatment for Hawaii flights, whistleblower alleges. Southwest Airlines received special treatment from the Federal Aviation Administration in expediting the approval process to begin Hawaii service last year, according to a whistleblower complaint. Star-Advertiser.

Whistleblower: FAA Improperly Rushed Southwest Approvals To Fly To Hawaii. FAA managers engaged in “abuse of authority” last year to help Southwest expedite service to the islands, according to a new Wall Street Journal report. Civil Beat.

Southwest responds after reports it got preferential treatment from the FAA to fly to Hawaii. Southwest Airlines says it followed all the rules to receive approval to fly to Hawaii. KHON2.


Tour Helicopter Crashes — And Flights — Have Escalated In Recent Years. In Hawaii, 2019 was the deadliest year for tour helicopters in nearly two decades, with 10 people dying in two crashes, a Civil Beat review of federal records shows. Civil Beat.

Report: Fundamentals of Hawaii’s economy would need to change to ease cost of living. In a recent write-up, the Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawaii notes that residents are unlikely to get much relief from the price of paradise ― barring changes to the fundamental factors that drive high costs in the islands and modest incomes. Hawaii News Now.

Little relief from Hawaii’s high cost of living. Executive summary. University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization.

Volunteers gather for point-in-time count to get better sense of Hawaii’s homeless population. The point-in-time is a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January that helps to determine the funding and resources that are committed to combating homelessness in our community. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii officials urge doctors to be on alert as deadly coronavirus spreads from China. A deadly new virus from China has spread to the U.S., prompting federal officials to expand screenings for the illness at major airports across the country. Hawaii News Now.

No Coronavirus Cases Reported In Hawaii But Officials Advise Flu Shots. Hawaii health officials are advising residents to get flu shots to help in the detection of cases of coronavirus that has affected over 400 people in China and killed nine. Hawaii Public Radio.

DOH urges vigilance, not panic as deadly coronavirus spreads. State health officials are urging Hawaii residents to be vigilant but not to panic after a deadly new virus from China reached the U.S. West Coast in recent days. West Hawaii Today.

Health Department issues China virus medical advisory. The state Health Department sent out a detailed medical advisory for health care providers Tuesday to be on the alert for patients who traveled from Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and may have pneumonia contracted from the novel coronavirus. Maui News.

State health department believes there's a small chance Coronavirus will be Hawaii bound. It's sill advising the community to be prepared. KITV4.

Hawai‘i Health Officials Offer Guidance on Novel Coronavirus Outbreak in China. The Hawai‘i Department of Health is providing guidance to healthcare providers in the state for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak in China, which already includes more than 300 confirmed infections and several deaths in China. Maui Now.


Hawaii Doctors Hopeful Over-The-Counter Drug Can Fight Rat Lungworm Disease. The Hilo Medical Center is recommending people take pinworm medicine as a precautionary measure if they accidentally eat slugs or snails. Civil Beat.


Street where violent rampage happened reopens, but a sense of normal is likely years away. Three days after a man’s deadly rampage in the Diamond Head area, dozens of displaced residents were allowed to return to their homes Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Power restored, roads reopened in Diamond Head neighborhood. A neighborhood in the Diamond Head area continues to repair itself after a tragic event struck on January 19. KHON2.

'Shell shock’: As residents return to Diamond Head, coping with memories among challenges. Three days after triple-murder suspect Jerry Hanel torched his neighborhood in a hail of gunfire, resident Gisela King returned to the home where she was stabbed. Hawaii News Now.

Outpouring of support for grieving HPD. The names of Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama were added Wednesday to the Honolulu Police Department’s “Roll of Honor” plaque at the main police headquarters, joining 48 other officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Star-Advertiser.

Residents on Hibiscus Drive allowed to return to homes. Raymond Teruya Sr. had the widest smile Wednesday as he returned to his family’s Diamond Head home after police pulled down most of the crime scene tape that has surrounded Hibiscus Drive since Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

Landlord was quirky, caring. Lois Kiehl Cain was a quirky former belly- dancing University of Hawaii librarian who had a soft spot for taking in strangers to her home on Hibiscus Drive where they lived rent free, including defecting Russian fishermen, a family escaping Asia’s economic downturn and the man suspected of killing her and two Honolulu police officers on Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

Concerns discussed at Kaneohe cemetery expansion hearing. Supporters and opponents of a controversial Kaneohe cemetery expansion plan sounded off in about equal numbers Wednesday to start a quasi-judicial state hearing over whether forested conservation land can be developed with 30,000 new burial sites for Hawaiian Memorial Park. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

HELCO seeks OK to rebuild transmission lines to PGV. A public hearing regarding Hawaii Electric Light Co.’s application to construct portions of overhead transmission lines that will reconnect Puna Geothermal Venture to the HELCO grid will be held next week in Pahoa. Tribune-Herald.

County set to put limit on one load of refuse a day. The county will soon limit the amount of waste residents can dispose at county transfer stations in a single day. Tribune-Herald.

Bus depot land buy paused. The County Council put the brakes Wednesday on a fast-tracked land buy for a bus depot, for at least two more weeks while more information is gathered. West Hawaii Today.


Court: County cannot redefine ‘real property’. Code changed to allow wind turbines to be included in tax assessments. The Hawaii Supreme Court said Tuesday that Maui County did not have the power to include wind turbines as “real property” when it taxed major wind farms on Maui. Maui News.

Judge’s ruling shuts down vacation rental in Paia. Unpermitted Nalu Kai Lodge had $2.7M in fines, penalties. Maui News.


Council amends TVR bill 2767. The Kauai County Council on Wednesday approved amendments to a bill that would increase property taxes for certain vacation-rental owners. Garden Island.

Recycling biz rising. James Higginbotham has been operating Kauai Community Recycling Service for 17 years, the last 10 at 962 Kipuni Way in the Arzadon Industrial Center next to Gather Federal Credit Union. Garden Island.