Alameda out at Na Leo

Na Leo TV is undertaking a management change following former CEO Stacy Higa’s guilty plea to federal embezzlement and bribery charges and the subsequent filing of a whistleblower hostile workplace complaint by an employee there.

County Democrats seek clarity on reapportionment

The Hawaii County Democratic Party is asking the state Reapportionment Commission to take another look at how nonresident military and students were extracted from population data in light of new figures showing there were almost twice as many military personnel as previously thought.

Cost of Government Commission to convene

Mayor Mitch Roth has tapped residents with backgrounds in the island Fire Department, U.S. Marines and Army, as well as a forensic engineer, software engineer and meteorologist to serve on the Cost of Government Commission, and he’s looking for three more candidates.

New EA planned for sewer project

The county is set to prepare another environmental assessment and work closely with the community before constructing a wastewater system to replace gang cesspools in Naalehu and Pahala, Environmental Management Director Ramzi Mansour said Wednesday.

Water Board mulls rate hikes

Members of the island Water Board favored a 9.5% annual rate increase over options of 12% and 8% after a presentation Tuesday from consultants anticipating revenues and expenses over the next five years.

Solar projects ditched, delayed

Supply chain problems and other unfavorable circumstances have led to the cancellation of one Big Island large solar project and the delay of another, according to documents filed with state regulators.

Whistle-blower complaint targets Na Leo managers

Na Leo community television executives are investigating a whistle-blower complaint filed by an employee charging a hostile work environment because three managers who had a business relationship with former CEO Stacy Higa continue working at the station.

Sustainability fundraising raises questions

A move by Mayor Mitch Roth’s office to raise private donations to host conferences has caused some County Council members consternation about the appearance of “pay for play,” but the second event in the mayor’s series is scheduled later this month after council approval of the money.

Hotel tax advances without resident discount

A move to exempt county residents from having to pay an extra 3% hotel tax in order to enjoy a staycation on their own island was shot down Wednesday by a County Council majority before advancing Bill 81 on a unanimous vote.

Roth: building permit reviews to be expedited

As the county administration struggles with a backlog of more than 1,500 building permit applications stuck in its new computerized EPIC system, contractors and County Council members have more questions than answers following a statement from Mayor Mitch Roth that certain permit reviews will be “expedited.”

Water power charges to increase

An increase in electric rates is leading to the highest power cost surcharge on county water bills in at least two years, with the Water Board on Tuesday approving a 16% hike in the power cost charge.