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Friday, May 17, 2024
May 17, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:38 PM :: 936 Views

Census: Hawaii cities shrinking as state population decreases

Influential high school administrator in Hawaii shrugs as boy competes in girls' track and field state championships

Akina lauds Legislature’s Lahaina-response spending

Tax cut great. Now let’s cut regulations.

Oahu Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Fraudulent Check Scheme

Tupola Proposal Lowest TVR Property Taxes for 2025

Even After Debris Removal, Lahaina Homeowners Still Not Allowed to Return

CB: … In a matter of days, Mario expects to receive test results from soil samples excavated from his lot during the three-day debris removal process. If the soil is deemed safe, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hand his property back over to the jurisdiction of Maui County.

At that point, Mario still won’t be able to live on his property, not even in the trailer he and his business partner U‘i Kahue-Cabanting plan to ship from Oregon to Maui. 

(CLUE: FEMA Trailers have not been made available to burned-out homeowners because Josh Green chose not to request them.)

Government leaders have said landowners won’t be permitted to live on their lots again until Lahaina’s fire-damaged water and sewer systems have been rehabilitated. There’s still no official timeline for that work to be completed.

“The hardest thing is waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting,” Mario says….

April 22, 2024: Lahaina Burn Zone Water System – All Lines Re-pressurized

May 16, 2024: Lahaina Burn Zone Sewer Service Partially Restored

read … After Debris Removal, Lahaina Fire Survivor Left With Blank Slate For Future Home

Maui Wildfire Insurance Losses Estimated At $3 Billion So Far

CB: … Insurance losses related to the Maui wildfires continued to rise through March, as the estimated amount rose to $3.08 billion, according to the Hawaii Insurance Division. Meanwhile, insurers had paid $2.09 billion in claims as of March 31, according to data from more than 200 insurers. 

The data from Hawaii’s insurance regulator includes only part of the damages residents and business owners have suffered because of the fires that destroyed much of Lahaina in August. The insurance data doesn’t reflect monetary damages suffered by people who were underinsured, for instance, or not insured at all. …

“My thoughts are this is the absolute minimum that the claims will be,” said Ed Neiger of the law firm ASK LLP, who represents Lahaina fire victims. Many victims haven’t even filed suit yet, he said.

“This just shows that the number can be well in excess of $5 billion,” he said. …

The data comes out as plaintiffs' lawyers and defendants discuss settlements through mediation ahead of trials scheduled to start in six months….

read … Maui Wildfire Insurance Losses Estimated At $3 Billion So Far

Lies and bogus documents got Miske’s companies past licensing hurdles

ILind: … he wanted to get one of his companies, Hawaii Partners LLC, licensed as a motor vehicle dealer. This required filing an application with the Motor Vehicle Industry Licensing Board, part of the state’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

By that time, Miske had an approach to such matters. Have an employee or associate put their name on the application, concealing his direct control of the business. Then, if there were requirements that the new business couldn’t meet, they simply lied, claimed to be qualified, and then made up phony but official-looking documentation in support of their claim.

The nightclub and the termite business were both highly regulated, but Miske and his crew had routinely submitted fraudulent paperwork to regulators, where overworked (unmotivated) public employees rarely flagged problems or referred them for action, trial testimony has shown ….

read … Lies and bogus documents got Miske’s companies past licensing hurdles

Evacuations Coming?  City officials keep close eye on rising Wahiawa Reservoir

SA: … At the 9:20 p.m. news conference, Toiya said the reservoir was at the 80-foot level and that evacuations would be required before the level reaches the dam’s 88-foot maximum….

Toiya said officials are concerned about nearby Otake Camp in Waialua and that Honolulu police officers are in the area to monitor conditions and to update the community….

Toiya said that of the island’s 10 “high-risk” dams, Wahiawa is the only one that is a concern currently.

He encouraged residents to visit honolulu.gov/damevac Opens in a new tab and honolulu.gov/dem/preparedness/build-kit Opens in a new tab for more information….

HNN: Spate of heavy rains prompts increased scrutiny of Oahu dams, reservoirs 

KHON: Waialua residents concerned as Wahiawa Reservoir rises

SA: HI-EMA: Flood threat from Wahiawa Reservoir subsides

read … City officials keep close eye on rising Wahiawa Reservoir

Storms cause solar reduction, HECO says the diesel backup generators can meet demand

KHON: … Hawaiian Electric said the gray and cloudy skies have reduced the solar output across Oahu, but they believe they can meet the demand and keep the lights on for the island….

HECO added their solar farms also have back up (diesel) generators and batteries to compensate for the reduction in solar at this time.

read ... Storms cause solar reduction, HECO says they can meet demand | KHON2

Hawaii Just Won't Give Up Its Harsh Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws

CB: … In 1988, the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office and the four county prosecutors and police chiefs pushed through the Legislature the forfeiture laws modeled after the federal government and Arizona.

These are the laws still at work today.

The police can seize property “without court process” whenever officers believe the property is associated with a crime. They even can confiscate property if they believe it is “directly or indirectly dangerous to health or safety.”…

read … Hawaii Just Won't Give Up Its Harsh Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws

Honolulu City Council OKs plan for stand-alone Ocean Safety Department

SA: … Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s plan to establish a stand-alone city Department of Ocean Safety sailed through the City Council on Wednesday.

The City Council voted unanimously in favor of the city’s Resolution 103, which seeks an executive action to quickly create a new public-safety sector. Currently, the city Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division is under the larger Honolulu Emergency Services Department.

Likewise, the panel voted without opposition to amend Council member Andria Tupola’s Resolution 50, which now seeks a voter-­approved charter amendment on the Nov. 5 general ballot to create an oversight body, the Ocean Safety Commission….

read … Honolulu City Council OKs plan for stand-alone Ocean Safety Department

US Tourism Soars, Hawaii Declines

SA: … On Thursday, TSA officials forecast that over 3 million passengers and crew members will come through airport security checkpoints on May 24, the biggest travel day of the Memorial Day weekend. Through May 29, TSA expects to screen 18 million passengers and crew, a 6.4% increase compared with the same period in 2023.

That’s the opposite of what’s happening in the islands, where booking data and air seat projections point to a slowdown.

Travel deals to Hawaii abound, with some hotels offering a fourth or fifth night free, resort spending credits, discounts on meals or attractions, and steeper discounts for kamaaina, including resort fee waivers.

Jack Richards, president and CEO of Pleasant Holidays, said summer bookings to Hawaii are still down 28% from 2023. In comparison, he said bookings to Mexico in the same period have increased 5% and are up double digits for Western Europe and triple digits to Asia.

Keith Vieira, principal of KV &Associates, Hospitality Consulting, estimates that hotel bookings to Hawaii for summer are down about 10% to 12% compared with last summer….

BH: Signs Of Hawaii Hotel Price Softening Amid Economic Challenges - Beat of Hawaii

read … Rosy U.S. summer travel forecast excludes Hawaii | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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