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Saturday, September 9, 2023
September 9, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:22 PM :: 2101 Views

Economic Perspective of Maui’s Devastating Wildfires

Maui trudges toward recovery, one month since wildfire tragedy

‘Unaccounted for’ list now at 66; more info sought for 80 others

SA: … Of the 115 confirmed fatalities, 61 have been identified while MPD and the FBI work to identify the other 54.

At a news conference Friday, Gov. Josh Green said many of the 66 individuals on the latest “unaccounted for” list might also be among the 54 people whose remains have yet to be identified, so he does not expect a significant increase in the death toll.

“We’re starting to see that the universe of 115 fatalities is about where we are,” Green said. “There may be some additional fatalities as we go through the next month.”

In an interview Thursday with the Honolulu Star- Advertiser, Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said his officers were investigating 43 open missing-person cases….

CB: At Least 66 People Are Still Missing In The Maui Fires

read … ‘Unaccounted for’ list now at 66; more info sought for 80 others

Green: Here’s how I blame you for Lahaina Fire

SA: … “The fire in Lahaina has shown that we’re not coming to a time of climate crisis,” he said. “It’s happening right now. We’re in the moment.”

Asked who should apologize for the Lahaina fire, Green said, “The world has to apologize for what the world has become.” ….

SA: Governor lifts suspension of Water Code on Maui

read … Gov. Josh Green outlines future for Lahaina

“To my knowledge, we haven’t solved the housing crisis at all yet.”

SA: … Asked Friday about the future of the panel, Green said, “To my knowledge, we haven’t solved the housing crisis at all yet.”

He estimates that Hawaii needs 52,000 more homes — most of them considered affordable — to help keep residents from leaving for cheaper communities.

Green’s emergency proclamation expires Sept. 15, and he plans to extend it up to a year while the Legislature works to draft bills on some of the ideas endorsed by the panel.

The future panel, he said, creates an opportunity for more input and participation, “but it has to be done in a respectful way. It can’t be combative and threatening like occurred for Nani.”

On Thursday, Green accused B.J. Penn — a former mixed martial artist and failed 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidate — of rhetoric leading to threats against Medeiros.

Penn tried to get into Green’s Friday news conference at his offices at the state Capitol but was quietly escorted out by Green’s security detail with no problems….

read … Gov. Josh Green to extend controversial housing panel

Questions about Miske’s fishing boat “Painkiller”

ILind: … Investigators later learned Miske had filed an insurance claim for damages to Painkiller supposedly caused when the boat hit a reef in Kaneohe Bay on August 7, 2016, just a week after Fraser’s disappearance.

Again, the Miske used the name “Miszewski” when applying for the insurance policy, as he had done for the marina rental, although the “statement of loss” filed with the claim used his own name.

Miske reported the boat had been damaged when “Miske had crashed onto the reef at a low rate of speed after the boat’s electronics had gone down.”

The service manager from the location where the boat was purchased inspected Painkiller at Makani Kai Harbor, the private marina where Painkiller was towed following the incident. The service manager determined that the bottom hull of the vessel was lightly scratched and that one of the propeller shafts and propellers had broken off of one of the three outboard engines. The service manager determined that the main breaker on the 12-volt DC panel had been tripped, cutting the power to the vessel. The service manager flipped the breaker back on and inspected the electrical system for faults but found none.

Does all this mean anything? I don’t know.

But Norman Akau, one of Miske’s original co-defendants in the federal case who pleaded guilty in June 2021, told investigators he had received an offer of cash to assist in Fraser’s kidnapping, that involved delivering him to a location on Oahu’s North Shore.

According to his written plea agreement, filed in Honolulu’s federal court:

In or around 2016, AKAU was also offered $50,000 by Michael J. Miske, Jr., through Wayne Miller, this time to abduct Johnathan Fraser and transport him to the North Shore of Oahu where another individual would commit Fraser’s murder. After thinking over the offer and discussing it with others, AKAU declined to accept the offer because Fraser was “a kid.”

The FBI special agent submitting the affidavit concluded Miske had tried to conceal his identity by removing his name and home address from the marina application in “an attempt to evade law enforcement detection.”…

read … Questions about Miske’s fishing boat “Painkiller”

Bay Area scientist 'left out the full truth' to get study on climate change fueling wildfires published

SJMN: … Patrick T. Brown, climate team co-director at the nonprofit Breakthrough Institute in Berkeley and a visiting research professor at San Jose State University, said his Aug. 30 paper in the prestigious British journal Nature is scientifically sound and “advances our understanding of climate change’s role in day-to-day wildfire behavior.”

But Brown this week dropped a bomb on the journal — as well as his study’s co-authors who are staunchly defending the team’s work. In an online article, blog post and social media posts, Brown said he “left out the full truth to get my climate change paper published,” causing almost as much of a stir as the alarming findings themselves.

Brown wrote that the study didn’t look at poor forest management and other factors that are just as if not more important to fire behavior because “I knew that it would detract from the clean narrative centered on the negative impact of climate change and thus decrease the odds that the paper would pass muster with Nature’s editors and reviewers.” He added such bias in climate science “misinforms the public” and “makes practical solutions more difficult to achieve.”…

read … Bay Area scientist 'left out the full truth' to get study on climate change fueling wildfires published (

Green: Lahaina residents need to start leaving hotels

SA: … The FBI has reported that 66 of our people are potentially still unaccounted for based on calls and emails that they have received, and in many cases they only have names of these individuals on a list and no other information. This number was initially over 3000, dropped to 385 as of last week, and now, I repeat is at 66.

The Maui Police Department continues to make daily progress on missing person reports and encourages families to share information about any missing loved ones.

Since August 16, the American Red Cross, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, and FEMA have relocated over 7,500 displaced survivors from shelters to a total of 29 hotels and hundreds of Airbnbs. 15,931 individuals have filed for FEMA relief….

These accommodations will continue to provide meals, casework services, financial recovery resources, and other disaster relief assistance until we are able to move into the next phase of our recovery.

However, hotels can’t be our long-term solution to housing in West Maui.

We have entered into an agreement with the Red Cross to house our people for a minimum of 36 weeks. We are also pursuing relationships with large numbers of homeowners who have historically used their properties as short term rentals to convert them into long-term rentals to accommodate displaced residents.

Residents may then enter agreements to receive housing through FEMA.

FEMA will continue to assist us with direct leases and rental assistance grants to ensure that people stay housed well into 2025, and these costs will be covered by federal assistance, state resources, and humanitarian aid.

We also intend to contract with 3 to 5 local hotels able to lease their entire properties long-term for the recovery effort, which serve as an additional housing safety net….

read … VIDEO: Gov. Josh Green gives update on Maui fires recovery, response

State abruptly cuts program seen as key to boosting number of paramedics trained in Hawaii

HNN: … A state Department of Health program aimed at encouraging more EMTs to become paramedics was suddenly cancelled this summer, and onlookers say the move is expected to have an immediate impact on the first responder population.

The grant program started in 2007 and provided a monthly stipend of $2,000 to emergency medical technicians who signed up for the year-long paramedic school.

Kapiolani Community College on Oahu is the only approved paramedic training center in the state so the grant particularly helped those from the neighbor islands….

Danny Kao, a paramedic with AMR Oahu for 15 years, was one of the first to take advantage of the stipend and said it helped him cover lost wages since the training took him off the streets and limited his time as an EMT.

In 2019, then-Health Director Bruce Anderson signed an updated agreement that said the state is “responsible for assuring an adequate workforce for emergency medical services” and authorized using the stipend to do that. Paramedics are able to perform more lifesaving tasks than an EMT….

HNN Investigates did ask the state Department of Health to explain why they ended the program without notice and did not get an answer….

read … State abruptly cuts program seen as key to boosting number of paramedics trained in Hawaii

Lahaina Fire News:







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