The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a HIGH SURF WARNING for NORTH & WEST FACING SHORES of MOLOKAI and NORTH FACING SHORES of MAUI in effect from 6:00 a.m. Saturday to 6:00 a.m. MONDAY.
A High Surf Warning indicates that dangerous, battering waves will pound the shoreline. This will result in very dangerous swimming conditions, and deadly rip currents.
EFFECTS: A strong low far northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands has generated a large west-northwest swell which will produce dangerously large surf along exposed north and west facing shores of the islands.
Surf will rise rapidly to 25 to 35 feet, beginning midday Saturday and lasting through Sunday night.
Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves.
EXPECT OCEAN WATER SURGING AND SWEEPING ACROSS BEACHES, COASTAL BENCHES AND LAVA FLOWS, CREATING THE POTENTIAL FOR IMPACTS TO COASTAL PROPERTIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE, INCLUDING ROADWAYS. POWERFUL LONGSHORE AND RIP CURRENTS WILL BE PRESENT AT MOST BEACHES. LARGE BREAKING WAVES AND STRONG CURRENTS MAY IMPACT HARBOR ENTRANCES AND CHANNELS, CAUSING CHALLENGING BOAT HANDLING.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: THESE DANGEROUS CONDITIONS MEAN THAT ONLY HIGHLY EXPERIENCED PERSONS SHOULD ENTER THE WATER. INEXPERIENCED PERSONS SHOULD REMAIN OFF BEACHES AND ADJACENT BEACHFRONT AREAS. LARGE BREAKING SURF, SIGNIFICANT SHOREBREAK, AND DANGEROUS CURRENTS MAKE ENTERING THE WATER VERY HAZARDOUS. ANYONE ENTERING THE WATER COULD FACE SIGNIFICANT INJURY OR DEATH.
INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates. NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl .
Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200.
Honolulu – The Hawai’i House today passed a measure that will help resolve the inability for thousands of Hawaii families to install photovoltaic solar panels, only to be left in limbo by electric utilities and “fine print” including terms like grid saturation, max capacity, etc. The measure directs the Public Utilities Commission to establish new guidelines and rules that will support the upgrade and modernization of Hawaii’s electric grid and accommodate growing energy generation from residential and business customers.
Representative Chris Lee (Kailua, Waimanalo) who introduced the bill said, “We cannot let families make an investment to save on their electric bills but then be left waiting months or years for utilities to finally connect them to the grid. They should be able to connect to the grid in a reasonable time and at a reasonable cost, and know what to expect before they put their money down.”
HB 1943, HD 2 asks the commission to address technical, policy and economic issues associated with modernizing the state’s electric grid and include policies that would support a diverse portfolio of renewable energy resources and expand options for customers to manage their own energy use. The measure also directs the PUC to begin proceedings to discuss upgrades to the grid no later than July 14, 2014. The bill was drafted in response to the inability of the current grid system to accommodate all of the individuals and businesses interested in purchasing their own photovoltaic system and hooking it up to the grid.
The bill now goes to the Senate for review and action.
Honolulu, Hawaii – The House today passed 83 bills that cover a broad range of issues on education, health care, social services, housing and homelessness, economic development, aging and senior care, space exploration, and climate change and the environment. The body now stands in recess and will reconvene to take action on additional measures up for third reading next week on Tuesday, March 4th at 9:00 a.m.
To date, the House has approved more than 200 bills this session that have crossed over to the Senate for its consideration.
The measures passed today include HB 1671, relating to the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT), HB 1713 relating to aging and long-term care, HB 1714 protecting seniors from financial fraud, and HB 1714 relating to climate change, as well as bills relating to Niihau, the homeless and the disabled.
HB 1671 HD1 removes the $93 million cap on the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) allocation to the counties and, instead, establishes the distribution of these revenues as a percentage of the TAT collected. The measure, which is expected to produce additional funds for the counties, was introduced and advocated by House Speaker Joseph M. Souki in his opening day speech.
The following bills were part of the joint Senate-House majority package focusing on seniors and the environment. The significance of the joint package is that the bills are considered to have statewide importance and the commitment of the majorities of both chambers.
HB 1713 provides ongoing financial support to healthy aging programs and services, and requires the Executive Office on Aging to conduct a public education and awareness campaign on long-term care.
HB 1715 HD1 appropriates funds for educational outreach targeted to protect seniors from financial fraud, based on Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ existing investor education programs.
HB 1714 HD1 addresses climate changes by tasking the Interagency Climate Adaptation Committee under the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) with creating sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation reports. Tasks the Office of Planning with establishing and implementing strategic climate adaptation plans and policy recommendations based on that report.
Other notable bills also passed today included:
HB 709 HD2 establishes a task force to assist the DLNR in developing rules that regulate activities within and that are applicable to all coastal areas and near shore waters. It requires the task force to submit reports to the Legislature in 2015, 2016, and 2017, and prohibits DLNR from adopting any rules affecting coastal areas and near shore waters of Niihau until the task force submits a final report. The bill also appropriates funds for the DLNR to conduct public outreach meetings to adopt rules applicable to all coastal areas and near shore waters.
HB 2478 HD1 provides a taxpayer who hires an individual with a disability a nonrefundable tax credit for the six-month period after the individual is initially hired by the taxpayer.
HB 1934 HD1 appropriates funds to various programs that provide housing, housing assistance, and supportive services to individuals at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
Maui Police have arrested the man they suspect was the robber at the Bank of Hawai’i in-store branch at Safeway in Kihei Sunday.
Thursday evening, at 6:08 p.m., officers were following a lead from the community that the suspect in the Kihei Safeway bank robbery, Kristopher Michael Sharrott, was seen in the Pukalani area. Acting on that tip, Patrol Officers checked his last known residence in Pukalani.
When the officers arrived, they noticed activity in the house. As the Patrol Officers cautiously approached the home, Sharrot, ran out of the house and was caught after a brief foot pursuit.
Sharrott was arrested for Robbery in the First Degree and Theft in the Second Degree for an unrelated incident.
HONOLULU – The Hawaii Bankers Association is warning of a recent surge of telemarketing calls to Hawaii residents. Several bank customers have notified their financial institution that they have received suspicious telephone calls from individuals representing themselves as bank officials.
The caller indicates that the customer’s card has been deactivated. To reactivate the card, the caller requests card account and security information, claiming the information is necessary to validate the customer. Be advised that a bank official will never call to request account information by telephone, text message, or email.
Here are some important reminders:
The Hawaii Bankers Association is a trade organization made up of FDIC insured depository institutions in Hawaii, including: American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Bank of the Orient, Central Pacific Bank, Finance Factors, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaii National Bank, HomeStreet Bank, Ohana Pacific Bank, Pacific Rim Bank, and Territorial Savings Bank.
Kathleen Kern, an employee with the Maui County Planning Department, was one of the victims of Wednesday night’s tragic plane crash on Lana’i. This morning, Janice Okubo with the Hawai’i State Department of Health provided the following email to many major media outlets in the state. Okubo’s message, in its entirety, follows:
“Her family would like to share the following information and attached photos with the news media.
“Kathleen Kern was the youngest of eight children and was born in Vancouver, Canada, She was 50 years old. Most of the siblings were born in Vancouver but are now in many locations around the world, including England, Canada, Australia and Hawaii. Kathleen was introduced at an early age to Hawaii and loved visiting and finally being able to live the Hawaiian dream when she moved to Hawaii in 2009 and began working for the County of Maui in the planning department. Her family owns an interest in a condominium in Maui and are frequent visitors to the island. Her brother, Ken, has lived and worked in Honolulu for more than 35 years and is a retired physician.
“Kathleen had several degrees, including a BA from Trent University; Masters degree from York University – both in Ontario, Canada – and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She was a PhD candidate from University of Washington.
“Kathleen was passionate about urban planning from a very young age and believed that public spaces were critical to the functioning of communities. She had a particular interest in the process of planning and the involvement of the community in that process.
“Kathleen’s family is devastated with the news of her death. We are are in shock at this tragic news.”
Also killed in the crash were Maui County Planner Tremaine Balberdi and Richard “Dick” Rooney, owner and pilot of the Piper Chieftain aircraft. Survivors remain in critical condition, including Mark King and Doug Miller. James Giroux is listed in serious condition. Giroux, an attorney with Maui County, pulled the survivors from the burning wreckage and was able to call 9-1-1 following the impact.
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