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Tuesday, August 15, 2023
August 15, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:04 PM :: 2555 Views

Lawsuit Alleges Waimanalo Foster Girls Sexually Abused--and DHS Knew

Hawaiian 8a Racial Contracting Finished?

"We would probably see a mass exodus from Maui."

Lawsuit: HECO Should Have Depowered Lines

Just the Beginning: S&P Downgrades Hawaiian Electric to Junk

Green Wants Moratorium: “It’s going to be a very long time before any growth or housing can be built”

CB: … “I’ve actually reached out to our attorney general to explore options to do a moratorium on any sales of properties that have been damaged or destroyed,” Green said at a press conference in response to a question about the concerns. …

(CLUE: There will be very little rebuilding without property sales.)

“Moreover, I would caution people that it’s going to be a very long time before any growth or housing can be built so you will be pretty poorly informed if you try to steal land from our people and then build here,” he added….

(Translation: Move to Las Vegas.  We won’t let you rebuild anytime soon.)

(IQ Tests: 1-Did you notice that the depopulation strategy is couched in language about saving the population?  2-Do you recognize how common this stratagem is?)

DM: Hawaii resident slams investors she says are already calling distraught families offering to buy their scorched land while they pick over the ashes of their homes - as death toll rises to 99 and hundreds more are still missing | Daily Mail Online  (This story is propaganda designed to justify a moratorium which prevents locals from rebuilding.)

NW: Hawaii Governor Issues Warning to People Buying Maui Wildfire Victim Land (

SA Editorial: West Maui needs aid now, not tourists 

read … Hawaii Governor Seeks Moratorium On Property Sales In Lahaina

Hawaiian Activist working for DLNR Refused To Release Water For West Maui Fires Until It Was Too Late

CB: …With wildfires ravaging West Maui on Aug. 8, a state water official delayed the release of water that landowners wanted to help protect their property from fires. The water standoff played out over much of the day and the water didn’t come until too late.

The dispute involved the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ water resource management division and West Maui Land Co., which manages agricultural and residential subdivisions in West Maui as well as Launiupoko Irrigation Co.Launiupoko Water Co.Olowalu Water Co. and Ha’iku Town Water Association. 

DLNR delayed releasing water requested by West Maui Land Co. to help prevent the spread of fire, sources familiar with the situation said.

Specifically, according to accounts of four people with knowledge of the situation, M. Kaleo Manuel, a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner and DLNR’s deputy director for water resource management, initially balked at West Maui Land Co.’s requests for additional water to help prevent the fire from spreading to properties managed by the company….

According to the sources, Manuel wanted West Maui Land to get permission from a taro, or kalo, farm located downstream from the company’s property. Manuel eventually released water but not until after the fire had spread. It was not clear on Monday how much damage the fire did in the interim or whether homes were damaged….

Gov. Josh Green spoke candidly Monday during a press briefing about conflicts over water on Maui – although not the DLNR-West Maui Land Co. incident directly – and encouraged news media to explore the issue….

HNN: ‘A gunfight without bullets’: Firefighters faced down blaze with dry hydrants (

read … A State Official Refused To Release Water For West Maui Fires Until It Was Too Late

MEMA Chief to be Fall Guy for Lahaina Disaster?

CB: … Questions about why warning sirens failed to sound as fire raced toward Lahaina on Aug. 8 and what attempts were made to save lives ahead of time have dominated much of the talk in the wildfire’s aftermath. Yet representatives of the county agency in charge of those alerts have not appeared publicly to explain what happened. 

Instead, other authorities have stepped in to speculate on how the fire would have impacted an evacuation as a formal probe proceeds into how the response actually occurred.

No one from the Maui Emergency Management Agency, especially its administrator, Herman Andaya, has participated in any of the three press briefings led so far by Gov. Josh Green, who’s been accompanied by virtually all other major leaders of the response to the Lahaina disaster.

The MEMA absence also comes amid a probe by the state attorney general’s office into the response to the wildfires. Green authorized that investigation on Friday.

Neither Andaya nor Maui Fire Chief Bradford Ventura were on Maui Aug. 8 as fires were ripping through Lahaina and Central Maui, and they did not return to the island during the day as the wildfire situation developed, county officials confirmed Thursday.

At the disaster briefings on Thursday, Saturday and Monday, when questions related to the evacuations have been asked, either Ventura or Green himself have stepped in to give answers.

“Our department is not responsible for that,” Ventura said Thursday of the evacuation protocols. He added that those duties fell to MEMA.

Cell towers “could have been out,” Ventura said. “All I can tell you is what we experienced was such a fast-moving fire through the neighborhood that the initial neighborhood that caught fire, they were basically self-evacuating with fairly little notice.”

On Saturday, when an Associated Press reporter asked Green to clarify whether MEMA tried to activate the sirens, the governor’s communications director Makana McClellan dismissed the question saying it had already been “asked and answered” — even though it hadn’t.

Reporters in the room pressed for Green to answer, but they never got a response.

read … The Maui Agency That Could Answer Pressing Wildfire Evacuation Questions Has Been MIA - Honolulu Civil Beat

Notification of Maui victim’s families to begin soon as fatalities mount

SA: … The death toll from the Lahaina fire climbed to 99 and the relatives of the first three victims to be identified will be notified Tuesday….

Asked about concerns over predatory buyers trying to purchase destroyed or damaged property for cheap, Gov. Josh Green said today at a Maui news conference that he has contacted state Attorney General Anne Lopez about a possible moratorium on sales, saying that he wants to keep property under local ownership and not be bought by anyone “from outside our state.”

With 20 cadaver-sniffing dogs searching Lahaina, the area searched has grown from 3% from a single dog to 25% today. Maui Police Chief John Pelletier hopes to have searched 85% to 90% of the buildings and homes by the weekend in a process that Federal Emergency Management Agency search-and-rescue officials call “Phase Zero.”

Powdered human remains can be found on the clothes of search crews….

At the same time, 60 people who had been living in a single home in Lahaina originally listed as not found have been reunited with their loved ones, officials said.

One person was arrested for allegedly trespassing into cordoned-off Lahaina and Pelletier said that people trying to get a look are slowing down the search for more fatalities.

Green and county officials cautioned that the death toll will increase.

Asked about social media posts about looters, Pelletier said there have been no confirmed reports.,,,

Gov. Josh Green confirmed the death toll from the Maui inferno has climbed to 99, the deadliest wildfire in the U.S. in more than a century.

At a news conference on Maui, Green said over 200 displaced residents have been placed in temporary housing to initially last 36 weeks, but likely much longer, with government aid covering the costs.

Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said on Tuesday MPD will start notifying the families of fatalities who have been identified. He said 25% of the disaster zone has been scanned for victims and that there are now 20 cadaver-sniffing dogs on the island.

Hawaiian Electric Co. President and CEO Shelee Kimura said over 400 Maui utility poles have been damaged or destroyed.

And Maui Fire Chief Brad Ventura said the Lahaina fires is now 85% contained….

HNN: Death toll in Lahaina wildfire rises to 99 as hundreds remain unaccounted for (

NBC: Hawaii governor says there will be a review to assess possible 'failure of preparedness' (

B: Hawaii Governor Doesn’t Want Developers Buying Burned Lahaina - Bloomberg

read … Notification of Maui victim’s families to begin soon as fatalities mount

Bankruptcy Coming: Hawaiian Electric’s stock plunges 34% on fears of wildfire liability

B: … Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.’s stock plunged by a record on concern that its power lines may be linked to the deadly Maui wildfires.

Shares fell $10.94, or 34%, to close at $21.46 today on Wall Street, after earlier tumbling as much as 42%.

Hawaiian Electric, which operates the utility that serves Maui, has come under criticism for not turning off power despite weather forecasters’ warnings that dry, gusty winds could create critical fire conditions.

Plaintiffs attorneys are homing in on the utility’s equipment as a possible source of ignition and plan to file lawsuits this week.

Officials say they haven’t determined what triggered the blazes and Hawaiian Electric said it doesn’t have information on the possible cause….

B: Hawaiian Electric Woes Include Owning One of Maui’s Top Banks - Bloomberg

SA: Videos call out downed power lines as possible cause of Maui wildfires | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (

DE: Maui couple claim warning signs of devastating wildfires were ignored in new lawsuit - US News - News - Daily Express US (

read … Hawaiian Electric’s stock plunges 34% on fears of wildfire liability

Lahaina Affordable Housing Projects Burn to Ground

MN: … Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, whose Lahaina facility burned down, quickly took in a little more than 100 displaced West Maui tenants at their Wailuku facility, with some eagerly taking accommodations that were even not move-in ready….

Nonprofit developer Ikaika Ohana, whose 89-unit affordable mid-rise Kaiaulu o Kupuohi housing project also burned, has already reached out to the state and other government entities to “fast track” the project’s cleanup and to rebuild “as fast” as they can….

at Ka Hale A Ke Ola, about 108 evacuees, including 38 children, were brought in to the Wailuku shelter and apartment complex Hale Makana O Waiale.

Ka Hale A Ke Ola lost its west side facilities, from which 220 people had to be evacuated Tuesday as the fire broke out.

Executive Director Monique Ibarra said that three of her staff members were heroes and helped evacuate residents, with some residents already leaving Tuesday morning as the first fire in Lahaina started. Ibarra said staff were on “alert” all day Tuesday.

Ibarra said that even though some spaces in Wailuku were not ready to be occupied, as they were not cleaned and prepared, evacuees responded with a “yes, yes, yes,” when asked if those spaces would be O.K. for them to stay in.

She said that 13 households found alternative interim housing and that two people have not been accounted for yet.

When asked what the organization will do now that the Lahaina facilities, including the shelter and apartments, have been destroyed, Ibarra responded, “I say rebuild.”

“We are not going to give up the land. We are going to keep it,” Ibarra said.

The Salvation Army’s Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division Saturday confirmed the loss of the entire Lahaina Lighthouse Corps complex, including the administrative building, church, thrift store and residential quarters.

All staff evacuated safely from the building, the Salvation Army said in a news release.

“In time, we will rebuild our buildings, but right now our main focus remains serving those on Maui by not only coordinating and providing meals, but also providing emotional and spiritual care,” said Maj. Troy Trimmer, divisional commander of The Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands….

Also looking to rebuild quickly is Ikaika Ohana, which has other affordable housing projects across the Valley Isle.

John Bigley, secretary for the nonprofit, said Friday that the 89-unit Kaiaulu o Kupuohi mid-rise on Kupuohi Street housed people who worked in “the local shops and hotels and it’s a lot of these service industry folks that we have.”…

The burned apartment project just had its grand opening in December. Bigley said maybe all but one unit was filled at the time of the fire.

The $64.6 million project was made possible by both private entities and government….

read … Agencies rush to find housing for fire-displaced residents | News, Sports, Jobs - Maui News

Lahaina Fire News: 



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