SA: State Seeking to Sell Waianae Rental Complex (11/19/21)

By Andrew Gomes, Star-Advertiser, 19 Nov. 2021

Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. aims to sell the 72-unit affordable rental housing complex called Kulia I Ka Nuu, also known as Kahikolu Ohana Hale O Waianae. Photo: CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
Kulia I Ka Nuu was built on state land in 2008 as Kahikolu Ohana Hale O Waianae at a cost of $16.4 million, mainly with local taxpayer funding, by the Hawaii Coalition of Christian Churches. Photo: CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

A state agency plans to sell a Waianae rental housing complex serving low-­income residents after struggling with management and financial troubles at the property.

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Karen Young in ‘Empowered’ 11/16/21

Watch the full, original video @blueplanetfound.

Maile with Senate Committee on Ways and Means Visited Maui (10/21/21)

Mahi Pono Vice President of Agriculture Outreach Darren Strand (from left) talks with Hawaii State Sens. Bennette Misalucha, Kurt Fevella, Donovan Dela Cruz and Maile Shimabukuro, Mahi Pono Chief Operating Officer Shan Tsutsui and Mahi Pono Director of Community Relations Tiare Lawrence during a visit to a recently planted lime orchard Wednesday morning. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

By Kehaulani Cerizo, “Drought disaster relief eyed for county,” Maui News, 21 Oct. 2021.

PUUNENE — Officials may again seek a disaster declaration for Maui County amid extreme drought conditions, according to Molokai Sen. Lynn DeCoite.

DeCoite and other senators with the Senate Committee on Ways and Means traveled to Maui early this week as part of a multiday meeting to assess regional agriculture strategic plans. During a presentation by the state Department of Agriculture at Mahi Pono on Wednesday, DeCoite asked what it would take for the governor to issue another request for emergency relief.

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SA: $11M in federal grants for Native Hawaiian college students, programs (10/9/21)

Jayna Omaye, $11M in federal grants awarded to help support Native Hawaiian college students, programs, Star-Advertiser, 9 Oct. 2021.

Twenty-two grants totaling $11 million will help new and ongoing efforts to support Native Hawaiian college students and Indigenous higher-education programs statewide, officials say.

Through the U.S. Department of Education and the federal Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions program, grants were awarded to nine of the 10 University of Hawaii campuses, as well as Chaminade and Hawaii Pacific universities, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono’s office announced Wednesday.

At UH Maui College, Ben Guerrero, student success coordinator, said they will use the $550,000 awarded this year for creating a Native Hawaiian center on campus. The funding is part of a larger five-year grant totaling about $2.75 million. The college currently has an open hale that officials plan to renovate and transform into a center for Native Hawaiian students, their families and community members.

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HUD to Protect Tenants Facing Eviction in HUD-Assisted Properties 10/6/21

HUD to Issue Rule Protecting Tenants Facing Evictions for Non-Payment of Rent in HUD-Assisted Properties (HUD No. 21-167, 6 Oct. 2021)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Wednesday announced that it will publish a rule that prohibits the eviction of tenants facing eviction for nonpayment of rent from HUD-subsidized public housing and certain properties with project-based rental assistance without providing a 30-day notice period that includes information about available federal emergency rental assistance.

The interim rule, which will be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, October 7, provides that when there is a national emergency—such as the COVID-19 pandemic—and federal money is allocated to help tenants facing eviction for nonpayment of rent, the HUD Secretary can (1) Expand the notice a covered landlord must give before such a tenant must vacate a unit from 14 days to 30 days; (2) Require landlords to provide information to the tenant regarding federal emergency rental relief along with the eviction notice; and (3) Require landlords to provide notice to all tenants in public housing of the availability of emergency rental assistance. Separately, HUD is publishing notices that invoke this new rule’s authority and require provision of information regarding the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

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CB: Savings Accounts For Native Hawaiian Families

Suevon Lee, “Nonprofit Will Use Grant To Create Savings Accounts For Native Hawaiian Families: Partners in Development Foundation is teaming up with American Savings Bank to help families better prepare and pay for children’s educational needs,” Civil Beat, 8 Oct. 2021.

A nonprofit serving Native Hawaiian children and their families through educational and social service initiatives will launch a new savings program in partnership with a bank to help families build financial security using a $2.5 million grant under the federal American Rescue Plan.

Hawaii’s Partners in Development Foundation was among the nearly two dozen beneficiaries of a combined $28.1 million in federal grants under the Native Hawaiian Education Program announced by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz’s office last month.

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SA: Free COVID-19 test kits available throughout Oahu (9/28/21)

Free COVID-19 test kits now available at pickup locations throughout Oahu
By Nina Wu, Star-Advertiser, 28 Sep. 2021

The free, home COVID-19 test kits that the Hawaii Department of Health is distributing as part of a federal pilot program are now available for pickup at various Oahu locations.

The Honolulu Fire Department will be distributing about 3,000 of the kits, which have eight tests each, at its four drive-thru testing sites, which include the Aloha Stadium, Ewa Mahiko District Park, Waianae District Park, and Kapolei Consolidated Theatres parking lot.

The free kits, part of the “Say Yes! COVID Test” at-home testing challenge has been in high demand since its launch last week. More than 500,000 were already ordered online within the first few days of the launch.

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NYT/SA: Cost of insuring expensive waterfront homes is about to skyrocket

“Cost of insuring expensive waterfront homes is about to skyrocket”
By Christopher Flavelle / New York Times, 24 Sep. 2021
Republished in Star-Advertiser, 28 Sep. 2021

STAR-ADVERTISER: Water crashed onto fortifications called “burritos” near homes precariously perched above Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oahu in September 2020.

Florida’s version of the American dream, which holds that even people of relatively modest means can aspire to live near the water, depends on a few crucial components: sugar-white beaches, soft ocean breezes and federal flood insurance that is heavily subsidized.

But starting Oct. 1, communities in Florida and elsewhere around the country will see those subsidies begin to disappear in a nationwide experiment in trying to adapt to climate change: Forcing Americans to pay something closer to the real cost of their flood risk, which is rising as the planet warms.

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SA: UH Seeking Participants for Native Hawaiian Dietary Study

University of Hawaii to study Native Hawaiian dietary health
Star-Advertiser 27 Sep. 2021

”There isn’t enough information about how Native Hawaiian babies are eating and growing.” -Marie Kainoa Fialkowski Revilla, UH associate professor of human nutrition

University of Hawaii officials are seeking participants for a statewide study on the dietary habits of Native Hawaiian mothers and their babies.

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SA: “COVID ‘crisis’ in Leeward Oahu” 8/30/21

COVID ‘crisis’ in Leeward Oahu as area leads island with case counts
By Nina Wu, Star-Advertiser, 8/30/21

The Leeward coast of Oahu is in crisis mode, with some of the highest coronavirus case counts on the island, which continue rising and spreading like wildfire among household members.

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Ash Processing Contract Next Step in Closing Landfill (1/6/21)

By Megan Quinn, “Covanta’s $60M Ash Processing Contract in Honolulu Signals Next Step in Closing Local Landfill,” WasteDive, 6 Jan. 2021

Permission granted by Honolulu Dept. of Environmental Services

Dive Brief:

  • Covanta and the City and County of Honolulu plan to open a new facility meant to treat and recycle bottom ash from Oahu’s incinerator. The project would divert about 60% of the ash from the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill (WGSL), signalling another step in Honolulu’s efforts to close the island’s only MSW landfill.
  • The new facility, which Covanta will design, build and operate, will treat the ash from H-POWER, the island’s waste-to-energy facility. The incinerator produces about 180,000 tons of ash a year, making it a major contributor to the WGSL landfill.
  • H-POWER, which Covanta also operates, has metal sorting capabilities, but the new ash recycling facility would be able to sort out additional ferrous and nonferrous metal fines from bottom ash. The project will cost about $60 million over 11 years. That cost covers the initial design, build and installation process and does not include operation or maintenance costs, said Covanta spokesperson James Regan.
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SA (4/28/21): ‘City Again Takes First Steps to Relocate Landfill’

By Ashley Mizuo, Star-Advertiser, 28 April 2021

For the third time, the city has started evaluating sites to replace the island’s only municipal landfill, Waimanalo Gulch, on the West side of Oahu.

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Update 6/21/21: Makaha Bridge, Free Wi-Fi


In response to community concerns, the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) plans to apply for a RAISE grant for the Makaha Surfing Beach highway realignment project, which would move the highway further mauka behind the canoe halau and bathroom. DOT estimates that the realignment will cost approximately $75m. They will hopefully know if the grant is approved by around the end of the year.

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SA/AP (5/12/21): Emergency program to give people $50 off internet bill

By Star-Advertiser/Associated Press, 5 May 2021

Americans can begin applying for $50 off their monthly internet bill today as part of an emergency government program to keep people connected during the pandemic.

The $3.2 billion program is part of the $900 billion December pandemic-relief package. The government is increasing spending on broadband as the pandemic made stark that millions of Americans did not have access to, and could not afford, broadband at a time when jobs, school and health care was moving online.

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SA (5/12/21): Hawaii food support program for women, infants, and children gets boost in benefits

By Nina Wu, Star-Advertiser, 12 May 2021

Hawaii is offering more financial relief to families through a temporary increase in cash value benefits for its Women, Infants, and Children Program this summer.

The federally funded program provides Hawaii residents that are pregnant, breastfeeding, postpartum, or mothers of children under age 5 with access to food, nutrition education and support.

With a boost from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the cash value benefit for WIC will increase to $35 for first-use dates during the months of June, July, August, and September.

They can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables at authorized vendors. WIC recipients will also continue to receive milk, cereal, juice, whole grains, beans, peanut butter, and baby food as part of their monthly benefits.

“This pandemic has been incredibly hard on Hawaii families,” said Melanie Murakami, DOH’s Branch Chief, WIC Services, in a news release. “The temporary increase of $35 will allow families to maximize WIC benefits and continue to include more fruits and vegetables into their daily meals while helping ease the extra financial stress they had to endure this past year.”

To learn more about the Hawaii WIC Program, visit

KITV4: Oahu’s vehicle ‘recon’ inspection program close to shutting down

Senator Maile Shimabukuro: Great news, SB57, which I introduced, should be heading to the Governor for approval next week.  Here is it the latest update:

by Brenton Awa, KITV4 News, Wednesday, 21 April 2021, 3:02 PM HST

According to the State Department of Transportation, current crash data indicates reconstructed vehicles do not pose a safety problem on Hawaii’s roads.

Starting next year, more lifted trucks, dropped cars, and other modified vehicles could be back on Oahu’s roads.

Wednesday, Senate and House committee members passed SB57 which would put an end to Honolulu’s Recon inspection program through 2025.

According to the State Department of Transportation (DOT), current crash data indicates reconstructed vehicles do not pose a safety problem on Hawaii’s roads.

The DOT is also facing limited staff who do not have the training needed to properly inspect these types of vehicles.

The measure would also keep the current Street Rod exemption for vehicles older than 1968 which allows those cars to undergo a less stringent safety inspection.

Lawmakers in both the house and senate are expected to follow the committee’s recommendation to send the bill to Governor David Ige to be signed into law.

The repeal would begin next year and run through at least 2025.


View the KITV news video story here:

Please Support Surfer Lucy Jarrard’s Olympics Dream

Surfer Lucy Jarrard from Nanakuli

From Senator Shimabukuro: Lucy Jarrard – We’re soooo proud of you !!!!
🏄🏽‍♀️Surfer Lucy Jarrard from Nanakuli aspiring to compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics 🏆
GoFundMe Link and Website:…/Help-Lucy-be-the-first…

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KITV4: Lawmakers push to end ‘recon’ inspections of modified vehicles 2/23/21

[Note: The following article, published by KITV4 on 23 Feb. 2021, is about a bill, SB57, introduced by Senator Shimabukuro, to eliminate the Reconstructed car inspection requirement.]

O’ahu’s “Recon” inspection program could be coming to an end.

State senators are pushing to eliminate the special inspection requirement for modified vehicles.

The State Department of Transportation supports the call and testified that current crash data indicate reconstructed vehicles do not pose a safety problem on Hawaii’s roads.

According to the HDOT, its staff also lack the expertise needed to properly inspect these types of vehicles. The measure would keep the current “street rod” exemption for vehicles older than 1968 which allows those vehicles to undergo a less stringent safety inspection.

SB57 also has support from the Honolulu Police Department.

The bill passed its final Senate committee Tuesday.

It’s a full senate vote away from being sent to the House to be voted on by representatives.

PBS Hawai’i Insights: Hawaiian Home Lands 2/18/21

Senator Maile Shimabukuro and the International Hospitality Center 2/3/21

Senator Maile Shimabukuro shares her legislative focus for 2021, with an emphasis on traffic, education, unemployment benefits, a surfing village, etc.