Oliveira represents the “strong leadership” Maui County needs to run its Emergency Management Agency, Mayor Richard Bissen said at an Aug. 25 press conference.
The complaint alleges that Hawaiian Electric and its subsidiaries “acted negligently” by failing to de-energize their electrical equipment despite a National Weather Service Red Flag Warning that was issued on Aug. 7, the day before a wildfire devastated Lāhainā Town.
Though no action was taken on the resolution at the Aug. 22 council meeting, Council Chairperson Alice Lee said the body would hold many meetings on Lāhainā in the coming weeks and months.
Biden, plus other federal, state and local officials, repeatedly referred to the 150-year-old banyan while speaking about recovery efforts. Biden called the tree “a powerful symbol” in a town where the devastation is “overwhelming.”
“These folks out here on West Maui did not wait. They helped each other,” Bissen said of residents’ fast-acting relief efforts. “I like to call it locally led and government supported.”
“I am personally making sure that Maui receives every resource possible,” Governor Josh Green said, promising that it would go “to everyone who needs it.”
The activists, who have collectively spent many decades living in and working in Lāhainā and call themselves the Nā ʻOhana o Lele coalition, stood near the shoreline and spoke about both the resilience of their community and its precarious future as the town attempts to rebuild over the next several years.
The office of U.S. Representative Jill Tokuda will hold a federal resource fair in Kīhei on Saturday, Aug. 19, for Maui residents who have been affected by the Aug. 8 wildfires.
Andaya faced withering criticism from residents and the media about his agency’s response to the fires in Lāhainā, Kīhei and Upcountry on Aug. 8.
The waiver only applies that improved properties that were “completely destroyed” in fires in Kīhei, Lāhainā and Upcountry, county officials say.