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Thursday, April 11, 2024
April 11, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:06 PM :: 2398 Views

Case: FEMA should build housing on Maui

Waipahu High students, Hawai‘i Pacific Health doctors and nurses to work side by side in new Academic Health Center

Study: Honolulu Is the City with the Highest Inflation Problem

Rising insurance rates on the horizon for Hawaii residents following Maui fires

KITV: … Last year's fires on Maui not only devastated Lahaina, it also caused repercussions in Hawaii's insurance rates.

"A lot of carriers who serviced the market have since departed and there is a less of a pool of carriers. That is causing the premiums to go up," said CJ Paet, Vice President of Operations for Cadmus Properties….

It's not just premiums for houses that have gone up, but condominiums as well.

Paet works for a company that manages 70 condo and homeowner associations, "we have one building in the Piikoi area, their premium jumped from $70,000 to $270,000 a year," he said….

read … Rising insurance rates on the horizon for Hawaii residents following Maui fires

HB2743:  A new $1,200 per year tax

HNN: … State House Majority Leader Nadine Nakamura worked prior to the session with leaders and experts to come up House Bill 2743. It includes a county option to impose a cesspool pollution fee, potentially as high as fees now paid by homeowners with sewer connections.  That figure can exceed $100 per month….

Honolulu Environmental Services Director Roger Babcock said there are 18 proposed sewer improvement districts on Oahu, which would replace about 3,000 of Oahu’s 10,000 cesspools.

He said the projects could cost $100 million, which amounts to $100,000 per replaced cesspool. “Those are very early estimate numbers,” he said. “It could double by the time we actually do it.”…

read … Cesspools are sending raw sewage into the ocean. Could a fee get people to convert? (

A Low-Income Housing Complex Is First to get Building Permit After Lahaina Fire

CB: … The $64 million Kaiaulu o Kupuohi apartment complex for low-income families in Lahaina was reduced to rubble less than a year after it was built, one of more than 2,220 structures destroyed by the Aug. 8 wildfire.

But while much of the town still looks like a war zone, the 89-unit, five-story complex — with views of the ocean and West Maui Mountains — is on a fast track to be rebuilt.

It is the first and only property in the roughly five-mile burn zone to obtain a county building permit. The insurance money is in the bank. Almost all of the debris has been removed. And a general contractor, Honolulu-based Maryl Group Construction, is in place.

Tenants could be moving back into it by June 2025, the developer says, likely paying rents somewhere between $602 for a one-bedroom to $1,766 for a three-bedroom unit….

The company is also moving quickly because it wants to get the 89 families — about 300 people — who were living in the building back into stable housing. Fischer said that while it is fortunate everyone was able to make it out alive, many are now living in hotels, couch-surfing or sleeping in tents or cars….

read … A Low-Income Housing Complex Is Ready To Rebuild After Lahaina Fire. It Just Needs $36M

CNHA Complains Maui Fire Victims Unwilling to Leave Island

SA: … Some 1,100 households — or 2,768 individual evacuees — were still living in 11 Maui hotels as of Friday.

The number of survivors still housed in hotels fell from the original 3,000 families — or 7,796 individuals — who were initially housed in 40 hotels….

Serious discussions need to happen about moving families to other islands, where rents are still high but closer to what survivors can pay, Lewis said.

“Families can afford $1,500 but rents (on Maui) are as high as $6,000, $7,000,” Lewis said.

So far, CNHA has helped relocate six Maui families to Hawaii island and four more to Oahu but more need to consider moving, Lewis said….

CB: Lahaina Family Stuck In Housing Limbo Tries To Navigate New Normal

read … Skyrocketing Maui rent shrinks housing options for wildfire survivors

Hawaii lawmakers aim to avert ‘early’ DHHL funding lapse

SA: … The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands appears set to receive extra time to use $600 million appropriated by the Legislature in 2022.

Members of the state House of Representatives and Senate unanimously voted Tuesday to endorse two similar yet competing bills that would extend a deadline to encumber, or contract to spend, all the funding to June 30, 2026.

If either bill becomes an effective law with the new proposed deadline, DHHL would receive four years to use the money mainly to develop homesteads for beneficiaries on the agency’s embarrassingly long waitlist before any unencumbered balance lapses back to the state general fund, instead of three years intended by lawmakers in 2022….

read … Hawaii lawmakers aim to avert ‘early’ DHHL funding lapse

Lahaina Protesters Trash Wedding

HNN: … A video taken in Kaanapali on March 30 shows grassroots community advocacy group Lahaina Strong rallying once again for dignified housing for fire survivors.

However, in the middle of their march this time, they came across a wedding ceremony.

“For some people, it was like a powerful scene of the people of Lahaina and the clash of tourism,” said Deason Ka’ohelo Baybayan III.

Baybayan, a Lahaina resident who was the musician at the wedding, said some people accused Lahaina Strong of being disrespectful.

He said he documented the memorable moment to prove otherwise.

“Some people were saying the Lahaina Strong protesters and marchers were disrespectful. I never seen anything disrespectful. Yeah, when they first came, they were loud because they didn’t know there was a wedding ceremony going on. But when they realized there was a wedding ceremony, they walked through pretty quiet. They’re very respectful,” Baybayan said….

read … Lahaina Strong protesters have a message for anyone who will listen, including visitors

The Miske trial may be nearing the half-way point

ILind: … Modaresi is the third auto dealer to testify about Miske’s threats or violence, and I’ve heard of others….

HNN: At Miske trial, car dealer recounts story of assault that left him unconscious

read … The Miske trial may be nearing the half-way point | i L i n d

Death Of Foster Child $750,000 Settlement Keeps CWS Secrets

CB: … Fabian’s biological parents Sherri-Ann Garett and Juben Garcia sued the state and Catholic Charities in 2019 over Fabian’s death, alleging the state Department of Human Services failed to properly monitor and supervise the foster home where Fabian and his two younger siblings had been placed.

The lawsuit alleged that in the months leading up to Fabian’s death, DHS employees and workers with Catholic Charities saw “obvious injuries” on Fabian and “were notified of suspected child abuse occurring in the McKenzie residence on nearly a dozen separate occasions.”

The lawsuit also alleged the state “formally acknowledged having received such notifications from Fabian’s mother.”

The lawsuit dragged on for five years, and court records show DHS was accused of withholding or destroying evidence in the case in a filing last December that sought court sanctions against the state.

According to that filing, a DHS social worker reported pictures were taken of one of the Garett-Garcia children who had “an usual amount of bruising on both sides of his body, down by his testicles and around lower stomach and rib cage.”

The filing alleged that contrary to court discovery rules, “these photographs have not been produced by DHS. The text messages between social workers have not been produced. Any text messages by and between social workers and resource care givers regarding these injuries have not been produced.”

A jury trial in the civil case had been scheduled for July 9 before DeWeese, but the proposed $750,000 settlement was submitted to lawmakers for their consideration last month.

Catholic Charities, which trains foster families and provides other services related to foster care, has already settled the lawsuit by Fabian’s parents, according to Jeffrey Foster, the Kona lawyer representing the parents. The terms of that settlement are confidential, he said….

read … Death Of Foster Child Leads To $750,000 Settlement Pending Approval By Legislature

Unsupervised: Military Child Care Centers Slow to Report Abuse with Little Oversight   

MC: … CCTV from the day care center that was checked only after Kate and Jeremy Kuykendall requested a review later revealed that Bella had been physically abused by at least two of the workers. She was pinched, shoved, smothered and pushed up against a wall, the Kuykendalls told….

No official police or command reports were filed on the day law enforcement responded to the first report of potential abuse. The day care failed to properly document the injuries or to tell the parents the full scope of what happened, aside from the story that Bella had been crying. It was only after more than a year that two of the three workers allegedly responsible for abuse were charged in a civilian court. Two of the workers involved were allowed to keep working for five months before one was fired and the other quit….

HNN: Report: Military childcare centers in Hawaii, nationwide slow to report abuse

read … Unsupervised: Military Child Care Centers Slow to Report Abuse with Little Oversight   

Mental health crisis center open in Iwilei—but half of homeless need padded cell

HNN: … The Behavioral Health Crisis Center is taking in patients nearly every day, but the numbers are far below capacity in the initial month of operation.

BHCC in Iwilei, a first-of-its-kind program in Hawaii, opened on March 8.

Since then, 58 people were screened; half of them were admitted for treatment.

The other half could not be admitted and some were considered unsafe to be there.

One of the reasons: A seclusion room with padded walls and other safety features is not ready. 

(CLUE: They need more than one.)

The seclusion room is crucial to hold those who are a danger both to staff and themselves.

The renovation project for that room could take a few more months.

Another reason the BHCC isn’t maxing out the 25-space capacity — current law doesn’t allow police or paramedics to drop off patients classified who need immediate mental health treatment….

HNN: Homeless camps inside drainage canals raise health, safety concerns

HTH: ‘Kauhale Initiative’ garners support from Hilo crowd - Hawaii Tribune-Herald

read … New mental health crisis center is already diverting patients from ERs, but has room to grow

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:  



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