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Saturday, August 26, 2023
August 26, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:10 PM :: 1030 Views

Hundreds of Military Personnel Helping in Lahaina Fire Zone

‘Sorry … Mr. President’: Hawaiian Business Torches Biden’s Wildfire Response With Viral Marquis Message

DoH, Kapiolani Hospital Ink Abortion Pill Deal

Last Shelter Closed: Lahaina Survivors in Hotels

Darryl Oliveira hired as interim director of Maui Emergency Management Agency

100 Found: But List of Lahaina Fire missing is ‘subset of a larger list’

SA: … One hundred people or more have been tentatively removed from the list of those unaccounted for in the aftermath of the deadly Lahaina wildfire, authorities said Friday….

Maui Police Chief John Pelletier told a news conference Friday afternoon that authorities received hundreds of phone calls and emails with information about people on the list since it was released to the public Thursday.

The contacts provided enough information to tentatively strike at least 100 people from the list, said Steven Merrill, special agent in charge of the FBI Honolulu Division….

Pelletier said the ongoing massive urban search and rescue effort largely was set to end Friday with 99% of the disaster zone cleared of human remains. All that is left, he said, are rechecks and the search offshore.

The death toll from the deadliest U.S. wildfire in the past century remained at 115 Friday but is likely to rise as coroners go through the remains, some of which may have commingled, the chief said.

Of the confirmed fatalities, 38 have been identified and their families notified, while seven have been identified but their families have not been located or notified, officials said.

The 388 people on Thursday’s unaccounted-for list are people authorities have some information on, Merrill said, but there are hundreds of other names on a larger list where there is less information….

Pelletier said officials want to issue an updated list of those unaccounted for, “but we’re going to do it right, not fast.” He said it will probably end up being a weekly update….

CNN: The FBI on Friday acknowledged the list of names was “a subset of a larger list” of people who are believed to be missing.

read … List of missing people from Maui wildfire downsized

Bare electrical wire and leaning poles on Maui were possible cause of deadly fires

AP: … In the first moments of the Maui fires, when high winds brought down power poles, slapping electrified wires to the dry grass below, there was a reason the flames erupted all at once in long, neat rows -- those wires were bare, uninsulated metal that could spark on contact.

Videos and images analyzed by The Associated Press confirmed those wires were among miles of line that Hawaiian Electric Co. left naked to the weather and often-thick foliage, despite a recent push by utilities in other wildfire- and hurricane-prone areas to cover up their lines or bury them.

Compounding the problem is that many of the utility’s 60,000, mostly wooden power poles, which its own documents described as built to “an obsolete 1960s standard,” were leaning and near the end of their projected lifespan. They were nowhere close to meeting a 2002 national standard that key components of Hawaii’s electrical grid be able to withstand 105 mile per hour winds. A 2019 filing said it had fallen behind in replacing the old wooden poles because of other priorities and warned of a “serious public hazard” if they “failed.”…

read … Bare electrical wire and leaning poles on Maui were possible cause of deadly fires

Leaks in destroyed structures siphoned firefight water

KHON: … The head of Maui County’s water department tells KHON2 the fire was so ferocious it tore through hundreds if not thousands of service connections as homes and buildings throughout Lahaina burned, leaving water pouring out of the system but not pushing through fire hydrants….

HNN: DLNR chair praises reassigned water deputy amid investigation into water management

read … Leaks in destroyed structures siphoned firefight water | KHON2

Hawaii municipal bonds take a plunge

B: … Hawaii state and local municipal bonds have surrendered all their 2023 gains in the past three weeks after the deadly Maui wildfires delivered a fresh reminder of climate risk in the $4 trillion market for state and local debt.

An index comprised of Hawaiian municipal securities has dropped 2.81% in August, the worst performance of any state and compared with a 1.8% loss for the broader market, according to data compiled by Bloom­berg. Hawaii is one of only four states to post a negative performance this year. At the end of July, its municipal bonds were sporting a more than 2% gain for 2023.

“The Hawaii index was impacted by the large drop of bonds associated with the Maui catastrophe,” said Tom Doe, president and founder of Municipal Market Analytics.

Municipal bonds guaranteed by Hawaiian Electric Co. Inc, the utility under scrutiny for its possible role in the fires, had plunged as much as 40%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg…

read … Hawaii municipal bonds take a plunge

Fuel to be pumped into Red Hill pipes before defueling tanks

KHON: … Officials said more than 1 million gallons of fuel were previously unpacked from pipelines so crews could make necessary repairs and modifications. Those upgrades have been made and it will soon be time to repack the fuel….

SA: Red Hill to start ‘milestone’ in defueling

HNN: Military offers inside look at Red Hill facility as crews prepare to begin defueling

KITV: Defueling to soon begin at Red Hill

read … Fuel to be pumped into Red Hill pipes before defueling tanks

Health Department warns of COVID uptick on Maui, statewide

SA: … On Wednesday, the Hawaii Department of Health reported a seven-day average of 153 cases per day, up from 88 per day in mid-July.

Maui County has been averaging 14 new cases per day for the past two weeks.

The average positivity — or percentage of tests that were positive — was at 15.3% statewide. On Maui County, the average positivity was higher, at 19.5%.

More COVID patients are also being admitted to Hawaii hospitals, with a weekly average of 107 per day reported Wednesday – the highest to date this year….

read … Health Department warns of COVID uptick on Maui, statewide

Cyberattack shutters Hawaii telescopes for more than 2 weeks

S: … A mysterious “cyber incident” at a National Science Foundation (NSF) center coordinating international astronomy efforts has knocked out of commission major telescopes in Hawaii and Chile since the beginning of August. Officials have halted all operations at 10 telescopes, and at a few others only in-person observations can be conducted.

With no clear resolution to the shutdown in sight, research teams are uniting to figure out alternatives as critical observation windows spin out of reach. Given remote control of many telescopes is no longer available, some groups may rush graduate students to Chile to relieve exhausted on-site staff who have spent the past 2 weeks directly operating instruments there….

NOIRLab, the NSF-run coordinating center for ground-based astronomy, first announced the detection of an apparent cyberattack on its Gemini North telescope in Hilo, Hawaii, in a 1 August press release. Whatever happened may have placed the instrument in physical jeopardy. “Quick reactions by the NOIRLab cyber security team and observing teams prevented damage to the observatory,” the center’s release said….

IE: Massive cyberattack disables telescopes in Hawaii and Chile (

read … Cyberattack shutters major NSF-funded telescopes for more than 2 weeks | Science | AAAS

State agencies begin transfer of Act 90 lands

SA: … After two decades of mostly inaction, the state has begun transferring thousands of acres of pasture land to its Department of Agriculture in a significant win for farming in Hawaii.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday unanimously approved the transfer of some 30,000 acres of pasture land on Hawaii island currently managed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to the DOA….

The pasture lands are part of more than 100,000 acres of DLNR land made eligible for transfer to the DOA under Act 90, a state law passed in 2003 to keep active pasture land in agricultural production….

read … State agencies begin transfer of Act 90 lands | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (

Kauai Council Tries to Block Homeless from Flying In

TGI: … The resolution, which would reduce the number of homeless people in the county, died later Wednesday afternoon, following a closed meeting between the county council and county attorney.

Resolution No. 2023-57, introduced by council members Bill DeCosta and Ross Kagawa, requests that the state enact legislation “prohibiting or discouraging certain undesirable visitor activities,” which include the “influx of potential new non-contributing persons” and “unpermitted vehicle-based camping.”

In order to limit the number of “non-contributing persons,” the resolution seeks to require visitors to have a round-trip ticket, permanent home address, address of stay, or provide proof of employment before flying to the state.

The resolution also aims to prohibit “unpermitted vehicle-based camping,” as visitors would also need to meet the aforementioned requirements in order to obtain camping permits and use other unspecified services.

The measures would address “problematic tourism-related issues,” including nonresidents remaining in Hawaii for extended periods of time by relocating from campsite to campsite….

read … Visitor mandate resolution falls apart

Lahaina Fire News:




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