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Monday, October 30, 2023
October 30, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:42 PM :: 1235 Views

Lahaina Fires: Tourist Arrivals Down for Second Straight Month

Here’s the Living Wage a Single Person Needs To Live Comfortably in Hawaii

Kula residents wonder when they can rebuild

KHON: … some residents said they are eager to rebuild and are wondering how long it will take for the debris to be cleared from their properties….

There are new signs from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and they have to meet all these requirements before they get county approval to go and remove debris off the property.

Ross, an area resident, has been waiting weeks for a pile of debris to be removed from his property on Kulalani.

He’s been here almost every day since the fires cleaning, finding old belongings and then waiting.

He said, he’s getting frustrated that it hasn’t been cleared as more agencies come to mark off boxes for someone else to look at….

“We have completed the Phase one portion of the mission for Kula and are looking to transition into Phase two, debris removal process once we have all ROE data collection, that’s the last in those checked marked items that needs to be completed,” said Mark Cardwell debris subject expert with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Some residents are wondering why hazardous materials need to be checked again when the EPA did it weeks ago.

KHON2 spoke to one of the Hawaiian cultural teams who told us they don’t anticipate identifying anything culturally sensitive in Kula, but it still needs to be marked off.

Cardwell said county staffing has limited how quickly they’re able to move

“There’s a lot of things that could happen, we do want to go quickly, and once we have assessments done once the paperwork is done we can complete Phase two debris operations,” continued Cardwell.

He said Phase two could begin anytime in the next 30 to 60 days

“Right now three crews working is the plan so on a given day you’ll have three properties being worked at one time.”

Once crews start on a home it should take three to four days to clear but then soil sampling needs to happen.

“We’ll take six inch scrape, do soil sampling if there’s still contaminates there is measures in place to do an additional six inches get containment out of the soil and the homeowner to rebuild at that time,” Cardwell added….

CB: US Army Corps Of Engineers Begins Examining Fire-Damaged Properties

read … Kula residents wonder when they can rebuild (khon2.com)

Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency Struggles To Fill Many Key Jobs

CB: … About 45% of HIEMA's civil service jobs are vacant, forcing the agency to use temporary and exempt employees to fill in….

Data provided by HIEMA shows that 37 of 82 civil service positions were unfilled in September, which works out to a vacancy rate of slightly more than 45%. By comparison, it had 36 of 74 civil service vacancies in September 2022….

(CLUE: ‘Positions’ are created to build up a slush fund to pay for ‘Top Three’ overtime.)

read … Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency Struggles To Fill Many Key Jobs - Honolulu Civil Beat

Late state Sen. Sam Slom to be celebrated at Capitol

SA: … Friends, family and legislative colleagues have planned the only public “celebration of life” for state Sen. Sam Slom, who died in May at the age of 81 after serving 20 years in the Senate.

The public is invited to the memorial service, which is scheduled for noon to 2 p.m. Sunday in the auditorium of the state Capitol, in the basement level.

Scheduled speakers include Gov. Josh Green, who served in the Senate with Slom, a Republican who represented East Honolulu until he lost reelection in 2020. Also scheduled to speak are Slom’s longtime Republican colleague in the House, Rep. Gene Ward (R, Hawaii Kai-Kalama Valley)….

During his political career, Slom often served as the only Republican in the Senate, earning him the nickname “The Lone Ranger.”

Slom’s four sons and organizers plan to “keep spirits high” Sunday and share “good memories, fun stories,” said his youngest son, Spencer Slom. “That’s what my dad would like.”

Attendees will have a chance to donate to the Sam Slom Scholarship Fund for Hawaii students who attend Hillsdale College in Michigan…. 

Details: Celebrate the Life of Senator Sam Slom

read … Late state Sen. Sam Slom to be celebrated at Capitol | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

Waikiki climate change study underway, city says

SA: … According to DPP, the study will be run by three engineering and construction management firms: Tetra Tech, the lead consultant, as well as Hono­lulu-­based SSFM International Inc. and Workshop Green LLC.

The city’s consultant contract is for $399,557, while the project is planned for completion by late 2025, DPP says.

The goal of “Adapt Waikiki 2050” is to create “a unified outlook for city infrastructure in light of anticipated impacts by climate change and sea level rise,” DPP says. The plan will note current impacts observed in the Waikiki area “during king tides and episodic heavy rain events as a starting point for understanding future projected conditions due to sea level rise.”

The work will be overseen by the city’s One Water Panel — composed of directors and staff from nine city departments including DPP, the Department of Environmental Services, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply and the Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency — as “a demonstration/pilot project for coordinating long-range infrastructure adaptation across agencies,” DPP says.

Eventually, the “Adapt Waikiki 2050” plan will make recommendations to the city.

The project might uncover gaps in regulatory procedures and processes and institutional capacity needed to better meet current state and county guidance for sea level rise adaptation, according to DPP. If so, recommendations would be made for further study or actions.

DPP says it expects to have a project website up in a couple of months.

Coinciding with DPP’s study of Waikiki, the Hono­lulu City Council is also considering potential legislation over sea level rise and its impacts on the island’s 30,000-room tourist destination as well.

On Aug. 31, Council Chair Tommy Waters introduced Resolution 207, which seeks to amend the city’s Land Use Ordinance in order to have greater regulation over the inspection and maintenance of Waikiki’s shoreline hotels.

If adopted in bill form, the resolution — which is still undergoing Council scrutiny — will require hotels built on a shoreline lot in the Waikiki Special District to have a structural inspection performed within three years of the bill’s adoption and then every four years thereafter….

read … Waikiki climate change study underway, city says | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

Hawaii Ethics Commission Steps Up Training Of Government Employees

CB: … Since a new law requiring state legislators and employees to complete live or online ethics training classes every four years went into effect Jan. 1, the number of people taking the course has increased signifcantly as compared to 2021.

That’s due in part because an online, self-directed version of the course was introduced in 2020, when the pandemic forced many people to work from home.

As of Oct. 4, the number of legislators and employees taking the course has totaled nearly 30,000, or half of the 60,000 state workers that the Hawaii State Ethics Commission has under its jurisdiction.

But there are still hundreds of workers covered by Act 165 that have not taken the training, either online or live via webinar or in-person classes….

read … Hawaii Ethics Commission Steps Up Training Of Government Employees

Weʻll soon have a more comprehensive understanding of the victims of crime, including hate crimes, in Hawaii.

CB: … The most high-profile hate crime in Hawaii in recent times came to its conclusion in March last year, when two Native Hawaiian men were sentenced for their attack of Chris Kunzelman….

read … Weʻll soon have a more comprehensive understanding of the victims of crime, including hate crimes, in Hawaii.

Cesspool Conversions: Honolulu Seeks To Connect More Homes To Main Sewer System

CB: … A proposal to install sewer lines for a section of Ewa Beach is shaping up as a litmus test for the effort as homeowners say they need more help covering the costs….

Fevella, a Republican, wasn’t in state office in 2017, so he had no part in the initial bill mandating the conversions. In a phone interview, he said he intends to push to modify it when the next legislative session starts in January, although that will be a hard sell in Democrat-led Hawaii.

Instead of mandating that all cesspools in the state be converted, Fevella said, it might make sense to only mandate conversions for cesspools closer to the ocean where the risk of environmental harm is greater. Roger Babcock, director of Honolulu’s Department of Environmental Services, contends that risk still could exist to the larger environment, including reefs….

read … Cesspool Conversions: Honolulu Seeks To Connect More Homes To Main Sewer System

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