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Thursday, August 10, 2023
August 10, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:24 PM :: 3122 Views

36 Dead: People Jump in Water as Fire Burns Thru Historic Lahaina Town

VIDEO: Hawaii National Guard Fights Fires, Biden Declares Disaster  

Historic Maui town in ruins after wildfires

BLNR Reschedules Mauna Kea Telescope Hearing

Coco Palms to be Model for Lahaina Rebuild? Disaster could be lasting setback for economy

SA: … The wildfires on Maui are likely to have a major impact on the tourism industry — the state’s primary economic engine — with the Valley Isle as a huge draw for Hawaii’s core U.S. visitor market.

Maui led the tourism rebound after COVID-19, and although it’s had some slowing in recent months, statistics from the state Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism show that during the first half of the year Maui drew more than 1.48 million visitors, or 30% of all Hawaii tourists. It also generated $3.5 billion in visitor spending during the first six months of this year, or 32.3% of all the visitor spending to Hawaii….

The historic Best Western Pioneer Inn and The Plantation Inn are among the massive property losses of the wildfire sweeping through downtown Lahaina, and there’s the potential for the loss of additionalstructures to come….

Lisa Paulson, executive director of the Maui Hotel &Lodging Association, said “Right now, I’m working on life safety. I haven’t even wrapped my mind around the economic impact. I’m trying to get guests off the island — there’s an estimated 15,000 in Kaanapali without power, cells or communication. I don’t even have a number in Wailea yet.”

Still, it likely won’t take long for broader economic impacts to wreak havoc, too. Closures of hotels and other visitor industry businesses from damage or drops in arrivals can cause reductions in work hours or job losses that have a trickle-down economic impact. Worse yet in a state where many people live paycheck to paycheck, difficulties can drive people to move away from Hawaii as they did in droves during the pandemic plunge.

When visitors see scary images coming out of Maui or hear that officials have asked visitors to leave Maui, confusion about the geography of the Hawaii requires careful messaging to prevent the drop in arrivals from spreading.

It has happened following previous natural disasters.

The impacts of Hurricane Iniki, which devastated Kauai on Sept. 11, 1992, and wrought billions of dollars in direct damage, are still felt. Employment took years to recover. Coco Palms Resort, which was once frequented by Hollywood icons like Elvis Presley, fell into disrepair after it was hit by the hurricane and despite many stops and starts has yet to reopen.

Kona Village, shuttered in 2011 when a devastating earthquake-­generated tsunami sent waves surging across the Pacific, only reopened July 1 after a seven- year complete renovation. Hawaii County officials said several waves hit the coast, causing damage to homes, businesses, parks and roadways. Officials recalled that damage along the coast included at least one house being washed into Keala­kekua Bay by the waves. They said several hotels in South Kohala and North Kona were affected, including the Kona Village Resort….

The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, which recently was selected for an HTA destination stewardship contract, already has seen great support for its Kako‘o Maui Donation Campaign, and now with the support of partners like the Alaka‘ina Foundation Family of Companies and Kameha­meha Schools…

read … Disaster could be lasting setback for economy

Judge says “no” to joint meetings between Miske, co-defendants, and their lawyers

ILind: … Behind the demand for joint meetings is an attempt to invalidate “separation orders” which presently require Miske and his half-brother and co-defendant, John Stancil, to be separated from unspecified co-defendants, making joint meetings involving defendants, as well as attorneys, impossible….

It is not known what separation orders are currently in place for the Miske defendants held in Honolulu’s Federal Detention Center, or what the justifications for those orders are.

Mansfield denied the request “to vacate or modify the separation orders” in order to allow joint meetings to be accommodated, and found “no authority holding that pretrial detainees have a right, particularly a constitutional right, to conduct joint defense meetings with their counsel despite CIM separation orders.”

As a practical matter, Mansfield observed that any such meeting would require significant planning to deal with security concerns and coordination with the detention center, as well as “a large, secured space.” It had previously been determined that neither the U.S. Courthouse nor the U.S. Marshall cellblock are options, and the motion offered no suggestions of when, where, or under what conditions such meetings could occur.

Miske’s attorneys can appeal Mansfield’s ruling to Judge Derrick Watson, who is the primary judge handling all the related Miske matters, and they have not been shy in bringing such appeals in the past….

PDF: Order denying motion to permit joint meetings of defendants and their counsel

read … Judge says “no” to joint meetings between Miske, co-defendants, and their lawyers | i L i n d

‘Less Than $250K’ -- Payment to HCC hackers was first for state

HTH: …The decision by the University of Hawaii to pay the hackers responsible for a ransomware attack on Hawaii Community College was the first such payment in state history, according to the governor’s office.

The attack was first noticed on June 13 and impacted roughly 28,000 current and former HCC staff and students….

The UH official also confirmed the group responsible for the attack was named “NoEscape,” also stylized as “N0_Esc4pe.”

The group has been cited by several online technology and cybersecurity media outlets as a new gang of hackers targeting Windows, Linux and VMware ESXi servers. Outlets have also claimed the threat actors have demanded ransoms as high as $10 million in the past, but UH confirmed the payout was below $250,000.

Ransomware analyst Allan Liska told one outlet that the hacking group was spotted advertising its services on the cybercriminal forum RAMP….

UH confirmed work on HCC’s IT infrastructure remains underway, and full restoration of the wired network is expected to be completed next week.

NOIRLab, the U.S. center for ground-based optical-infrared astronomy, also confirmed that on Aug. 1 it detected its own “cyber incident,” forcing the suspension of observations at Gemini North on Maunakea and its computer systems.

NOIRLab opted to isolate the Gemini Observatory computer by shutting the system down, and it remains offline as of Wednesday.

While a statement from NOIRLab confirmed there is no suspected impact on other infrastructure, a representative declined to comment whether the incident was a ransomware attack or when the system would return online….

read … Payment to HCC hackers was first for state

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