Kauai County has begun the second year of a search for a new fire chief—to replace Chief Robert Westerman, whose retirement became effective in January. At its April 1, meeting, the Fire Commission confirmed that it “… is at step one of its hiring process.”
It may have been the ultimate soft opening. At least that’s what Vivien Davenport, of Lihue — who said she was the first person at Ke‘e Beach at 4:45 a.m. Monday — had to say about the grand relaunch of Kuhio Highway and Haena State Park, which reopened after a lingering shutdown of more than a year.
Kuhio Highway west of Hanalei — closed and accessible only to residents since last year’s disastrous storms — is tentatively set to reopen on or about May 1, but continuing restrictions will make actually using the highway challenging for both residents and visitors.
Kauai County Council on Wednesday adopted a resolution that could reopen a controversy that originally dates to 1993 over whether Bank of America reneged on a deal to provide a total of $180 million in mortgage loans to Native Hawaiians and Filipinos. The vote was 6-0, with Councilmember Kipukai Kuali‘i absent.
Dozens of transient vacation rentals that operate legally in the Wainiha-Haena area closed to the public since last April’s disastrous storms got a one-year reprieve on Monday that will permit them to go back into business when Kuhio Highway reopens — projected for later this year.
Owners of the two heavily damaged houses on Weke Road in Hanalei that have become symbolic of the horrific storms of mid-April and August have applied for demolition permits to tear them down, though replacement plans have not been filed with Kauai County officials.
Kauai County may have just had its most important local election in a generation, but who would have thought the new County Council would begin by calling police to remove a public commenter who refused to relinquish his seat until someone told him who called the meeting?
County Council Chair Mel Rapozo slid into the banquette at JJ’s Broiler on Kalapaki Beach looking a little the worse for wear. He’d had a cold-induced coughing fit that caused a small blood vessel in his eye to burst, so he looked a bit like he’d been in a fight.