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Friday, October 31, 2014

Sweeping new police powers block media lava access, Kauai minister wants his peyote back, Maui GMO foe accused of buying votes, Honolulu rail work stifles businesses, Ige picks up Abercrombie votes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
National Guard blocks lava access © 2014 All Hawaii News
Dozens of Hawaii National Guard members in combat gear arrived in Pahoa Thursday to help local officials man checkpoints and patrol the area. But the efforts to restrict access to this small town 20 miles southwest of Hilo is causing friction between the civil authorities and journalists here to cover the disaster. At issue is a new law that gives local authorities sweeping powers in times of natural disasters. Civil Beat.

More than 80 members of the Hawaii Army and Air National Guard deployed this morning in Puna to assist police as the June 27 lava flow continues its relentless march in Pahoa. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii National Guard is deploying troops to a rural Hawaii town as lava makes a slow crawl toward a major road and threatens to further isolate the community that got its start during the lumber and sugar-plantation heyday. Associated Press.

Local media, national press and now onlookers are all descending on sleepy Pahoa town in hopes of catching a view of the lava flow. The road block on Pahoa Village Road is as far as non-residents can come. The lava is not visible from the roadblock yet but the smoke is. KITV4.

The leading edge of the lava flowing out of Kilauea Volcano came within 156 yards of crossing Pahoa's main road Thursday — and less than a half-mile from cutting off Highway 130, the main artery for the 8,200 residents of lower Puna. Then, at 5 p.m., the front of the 13.5-mile-long river of lava suddenly stalled. Again. Star-Advertiser.

The June 27 lava flow stalled at its front Thursday outside a Pahoa home while activity continued about 400 yards upslope. Tribune-Herald.

VIDEO: Evening Lava Flow Update – Thursday, Oct. 30. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials say the Puna lava flow's leading edge has not moved at all since Thursday morning.  Officials say that while the front has stalled it is still active upslope.  Meanwhile the front has shown signs of widening with breakouts along the flanks or margins. Hawaii News Now.

The molten lava creeping down the hill in Pahoa is consuming everything in its path.  Electric company officials feared the wooden utility poles in the path of the lava would burn down on contact, cutting off power to the area.  So workers with Hawaiian Electric Light Company sought advice from experts at UH Hilo and the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.  They settled on a design that would wrap the pole in a heat resistant coating. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ten miles from Pahoa, a rural Big Island town that is being menaced by a stream of lava from Kilauea volcano, there’s another community that was almost entirely swallowed by the molten rock nearly 30 years ago. Today, a few dozen recently built homes sit on Kalapana’s rolling black fields — offering a glimpse of life after lava. Associated Press.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ige and Abercrombie
Many political donors and interest groups that had supported Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the past have gravitated toward state Sen. David Ige since the Democratic primary, a shift that has benefited Ige's campaign both politically and financially. Star-Advertiser.

Medical marijuana advocates are applauding a new law that aims to improve housing protection by voiding provisions in state rental agreements that had allowed a tenant's eviction based on their status as a registered medical marijuana patient. Star-Advertiser.

Homelessness is on the decline across the United States, just not in Hawaii. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued its latest estimates on homelessness Thursday based on its annual point-in-time count. Civil Beat.

The number of homeless counted annually in Hawaii has climbed 18 percent since 2010 while the national tally has dropped steadily, according to a report released Thursday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Star-Advertiser.

Enrollment at Hawaii public schools dropped slightly this year, mostly due to a later entry age for kindergarten that took effect this school year. Star-Advertiser.

The way to get lower rates in Hawaii is to start directly substituting solar energy for oil, especially with bigger solar projects that end up being cheaper than oil, the former chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission told Pacific Business News on Thursday.

Opinion:  Preschool amendment fails our children. While early learning programs are vital to our childrens' futures, the current proposal (Ballot Questions 4) to allow public dollars to fund private preschool operations is not the way we ought to go about creating those programs. Hawaii Independent.

Oahu

North Shore Races Heat Up As Election Nears. Campaigns turn ugly as candidates divided on ideology and development controversies battle for two coveted seats. Civil Beat.

A federal judge approved a $1.5 million settlement Thursday between the families of five men who died in a 2011 fireworks explosion and fire at a Waikele storage bunker and the company that held the master lease to the Navy's former munitions bunker complex. Star-Advertiser.

Waikiki's Fort DeRussy Beach Park now has nightly closure hours. The city advisory Board of Parks and Recreation on Thursday set the closure for 2 to 5 a.m. in an effort to allow the city to enforce its laws on the state-governed beach where homeless campers have taken advantage of a jurisdictional loophole to avoid being cited for violating city regulations. Star-Advertiser.

As construction for rail moves down its planned route along Kamehameha Highway, so does its impact on businesses. Some Aiea companies are complaining about a sudden drop in customers. But are HART officials listening? KHON2.

Out at the Hoakalei Country Club in Ewa Beach, near the 18-hole golf course's clubhouse, may be something that definitely doesn't belong: the hastily buried remains of a Japanese aircrew whose dive bomber went down Dec. 7, 1941, during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The finish line for the Laaloa Avenue extension has been pushed back to the end of the year, but the stalled Mamalahoa Bypass project to the south appears closer to moving ahead. West Hawaii Today.

A retired Hawaii County economic development specialist has been appointed to the state Agribusiness Development Corporation board of directors, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Thursday. Day Day Hopkins will assume the seat representing Hawaii County. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Did a supporter of the Maui ballot initiative calling for a temporary moratorium on GMO farming offer to buy votes to help get the measure passed? That’s what the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office is currently looking into. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Health has confirmed four additional cases of measles on Maui and Kauaʻi, bringing the total number of confirmed measles cases in these two separate clusters in Hawaiʻi to seven, and the total reported cases for the year to nine. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. is working with the state Commission on Water Resource Management to comply with a mediated agreement to return diverted water to Iao Stream, a company official said Thursday. Maui News.

Kauai

The defendant in a drug possession case against a Native American church that was dismissed in February was in 5th Circuit Court again on Monday to ask for an order that the police return property held in evidence, including ceremonial peyote. Jesse Shane Johnson, 38, minister for Beauty Way of the Four Directions of the Native American Church of Hawaii, had a felony narcotics case against him dismissed on Feb. 28. The decision included a court order to the Kauai Police Department for return of evidence. Garden Island.

Police are urging parents to inspect Halloween candy. The warning is in part due to a marijuana-coated candy that is gaining popularity in states where marijuana and marijuana edibles are legal. Garden Island.

The number of regular students in kindergarten to 12th grade in Maui County public schools declined 2 percent from last school year to 19,818 students, but the number of kindergartners plummeted even more - 31 percent - likely due to new age requirements that took effect in August. Maui News.

Hawaii landed at the bottom of a list by an agency that recently ranked each state in political engagement, and that’s not surprising to some Kauai residents. Garden Island.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hawaii lava flow beautiful but unpredictable, outside money pours into negative campaign ads, Hawaiians evicted from homelands, outreach to Waikiki homeless, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii County
Hawaii lava Wednesday Oct. 29 afternoon, courtesy Hawaii County
The unpredictable lava that's invading Pahoa came within 100 feet of a two-story home Wednesday and then suddenly stalled, underscoring the difficulty of predicting what the flow will do next. Star-Advertiser.

After consuming a shed and a pile of tires the day before, the June 27 lava flow moved within 100 feet of a home Wednesday and continued to threaten a cluster of residences on Pahoa Village Road. The stream of 2,000-degree molten rock continued its descent at an average rate of 10 yards an hour as it advanced within 280 yards of Pahoa’s main road. Tribune-Herald.

On Wednesday evening, people were already waiting by the post office to witness the lava crossing Pahoa Village Road. They came from all over the island, brought their lawn chairs, and camped out next to the police road block, hoping to have a good view of the flow’s arrival. Nearby smoke could be seen above the trees. Big Island Video News.

Lava ignited small fires behind Pahoa Village Road on Wednesday night while a resident stood with her Pahoa neighbors and watched in awe. Star-Advertiser.

Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, moves gradually and persistently as she deposits lava across the Big Island of Hawaii. People in the small town lying in its path say the lava will reshape the community yard by yard as it slides toward the ocean. Associated Press.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials say the Puna lava flow is now approximately 200 yards from Pahoa Village Road. They say the flow front is moving through a private residential property in a northeast direction at a rate of approximately 5 to 10 yards per hour. Hawaii News Now.

The molten river of lava flowing from Kilauea volcano continued its slow advance toward Big Island homes in the community of Pahoa on Wednesday. Civil Beat.

The flow continues to remain active and has advanced approximately 55 yards since 6:30 this morning and is currently approximately 202 yards from Pahoa Village Road. KHON2.

surveying lava
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard surveys lava
Lava that has entered a rural Hawaii town has been described as a disaster in slow motion. After months of creeping through uninhabited areas of the Big Island, it reached Pahoa this week, crossing a residential street, burning down a garden shed and inching toward homes and a main road that goes through downtown. Associated Press.

Lower Puna residents who receive government housing assistance, already stressing over the threat of lava consuming their homes, are facing a new fear. They may have to leave their beloved community. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island residents are feeling the throat-scraping effects of the approaching lava flow, just one more aspect of this creeping disaster. KITV4.

As the Puna lava flow advances closer and closer to the homes here along Pahoa Village Road, most residents can do nothing more than watch and wait - wondering what direction it will take and when it will pass through. Hawaii News Now.

Did state Sen. David Ige really want to tax pensions? Was former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona actually behind teacher furloughs? The answer to both questions is "no." But that is not the impression left by a flurry of negative advertisements sponsored by mainland political action committees, also known as super PACs, trying to influence voters before the November election for governor. Star-Advertiser.

Democrat David Ige leads in the polls in the race for Hawaii governor, and he’s raised more money than Republican Duke Aiona. In another category often overlooked, Ige has also held nearly twice as many campaign fundraisers as Aiona since the Aug. 9 primary. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Venture Capital Association will hold a gubernatorial forum on Thursday. All four candidates for governor are expected to attend the event at the Plaza Club in Honolulu. Associated Press.

Hawaii super PACs eclipsed a record this year for spending on local races, according to the latest Campaign Spending Commission data. So far this election cycle independent expenditure committees — better known as super PACs — spent $5.9 million supporting or opposing various candidates for office. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has been largely out of the public eye ever since his historic loss in the August primary, but his appearance at an advocacy event for affordable housing earlier this week showed the lame duck governor hasn’t lost his passion. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has nominated the former head of the now-defunct Public Land Development Corporation to serve on the Agribusiness Development Corporation, a state board tasked with diversifying Hawaii’s farming industry. Civil Beat.

State lawmakers today convened a second Department of Health update on preparations for the Ebola Virus, should it strike Hawai’i.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Governors of New Jersey, New York and Illinois have imposed mandatory quarantines for health care workers who treated Ebola patients in West Africa. But Hawaii Department of Health officials said Tuesday no such plan will be implemented in the islands. Hawaii Reporter.

Oahu

State deputy sheriffs have evicted six families from a Hawaiian homestead property in Waimanalo that has also been used as a farm for abandoned animals. Star-Advertiser.

Developers, unions, prominent attorneys and Realtors have thrown tens of thousands of dollars into the Honolulu City Council races this year, in which Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga is challenged by Sam Aiona for the District 6 seat and Tommy Waters and Trevor Ozawa are competing in District 4. Civil Beat.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has chosen a design team to develop a plan for the 30 acres in Kakaako Makai the state agency acquired two years ago from the state of Hawaii in a deal meant to resolve a dispute that dates back to when it formed in 1978. Pacific Business News.

The Institute for Human Services, with support from the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, is starting a full-time homeless outreach program in Waikiki in the hopes that it will bring stability to the district's homeless population and end the litany of complaints that threatens the health of the state's key visitor industry. Star-Advertiser.

The Institute for Human Services is launching a full-time homeless outreach program aimed at reducing homelessness in Waikiki. Associated Press.

Tripler Army Medical Center held its first large-scale Ebola response exercise Wednesday, simulating a patient showing up there and at the Schofield Barracks Health Clinic with symptoms of the disease. Star-Advertiser.

The JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko Olina will be renamed Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina and is scheduled to be reopened under the Four Seasons flag in December 2015. Pacific Business News.

Half a century of time wasn't kind to a cluster of low-rise apartment buildings on the edge of the University of Hawaii's Manoa campus. But today the small neighborhood along Kolo Place between the H-1 Freeway and UH's athletic complex has a fresh look following a $6.6 million renovation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The new Hawaii Community College - Palamanui is on course to be completed in May, according to the project’s superintendent. West Hawaii Today.

National Park Service officials are seeking feedback on a plan to quadruple the entry fee to the popular Puuhonua o Honaunau site in South Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The Hawaii Commission on Water Resource Management announced Wednesday that required "in-stream flows" have been returned to required levels to Iao and Waikapu streams, but members of Hui O Na Wai Eha remained unconvinced. Maui News.

Maui's spike in visitor spending for the first three quarters of 2014 - the only island to log double-digit increases compared to 2013 - reflects growing consumer confidence and the abundance of opportunities for visitors to shop, eat and play on the island, according to the Maui Visitors Bureau executive director. Maui News.

More bad news for print media. The Maui Weekly was closed by its publisher, Joe Bradley, on Monday. The weekly went to press this week with its last edition and its web site is no longer available. Civil Beat.

The Maui Weekly newspaper published its last issue on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, and its online version is no longer accessible via the internet. Maui Now.

Kauai

Voters on Kauai and Niihau will have three opportunities in the general election to amend sections within the Kauai County Charter, the county’s governing document. Garden Island.

A blessing held Tuesday in Kapahi marked the start of the construction phase of the county’s islandwide bus shelter project. Garden Island.

An appeal regarding an arbitration grievance over a police promotions process dating back to 2007 was sent back to 5th Circuit Court with a partial union victory.  The state Intermediate Court of Appeals on Oct. 16 affirmed in part and vacated in part a 5th Circuit order to confirm an arbitrator’s award, and denied in part the county’s motion to vacate the award. Garden Island.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lava enters farmland -- schools, roads, polling places threatened, Health Department mum on Ebola hospitals, Schatz lobbies for less ahi protections, record big bucks in GMO fight, tourism up, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Courtesy Ena Media Hawaii & Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
Lava flow Tuesday Oct. 28 Courtesy Ena Media Hawaii & Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
Kilauea’s June 27 lava flow claimed its first structure Tuesday morning as it continued to carve a jagged black scar through the green Pahoa landscape, set on a collision course with Pahoa Village Road. Tribune-Herald.

After traveling a circuitous 13.5-mile route over four months from Kilauea Volcano, the threat from a river of lava suddenly became real Tuesday when it destroyed its first structure on Hawaii island, took on a utility pole wrapped in untested, anti-lava technology, blackened the sky after setting tires on fire and led Hawaii County police to abandon their Pahoa substation. Star-Advertiser.

Lava ignites tire fire, while Governor Abercrombie tours the flow front. Big Island Video News.

Lava flow advances; 40-50 homes in projected impact path. Hawaii News Now.

courtesy Hawaii Volcano Observatory
courtesy Hawaii Volcano Observatory
One structure has been destroyed as the July 27th lava flow picked up speed, moving through private property. As of 5:30 p.m., scientists say the flow was 340 yards from Pahoa Village Road and about 985 yards from Highway 130. KITV4.

Lava is expected to slither past properties across the street from Jeff and Denise Lagrimas' home on Hawaii's Big Island as it works its way to the ocean. Associated Press.

Hawaii County Civil Defense eruption and lava flow information Update for Tuesday, October 28 at 6:15 p.m. The flow continues to remain active and has advanced approximately 45 yards since this 1:30 this afternoon and is currently approximately 370 yards from Pāhoa Village Road. KHON2.

Hawaii Chief Election Officer Scott Nago said today that voters assigned to Pahoa Community Center (district and precinct 04-03) who live north of the lava flow are instructed to vote at Hawaiian Paradise Community Center (district and precinct 04-01) on general election day. Civil Beat.

The state is asking Pahoa voters who could be impacted by the June 27 lava flow to plan on casting their votes at an alternate site. Tribune-Herald.

Keonepoko Elementary became the first public school to close as a result of the June 27 lava flow. As the flow continued its advance, students and staff gathered for one final assembly Tuesday to bid farewell to the 23-year-old school and help keiki with the transition, said Principal Brandon Gallagher. Tribune-Herald.

Teachers' and students' laughter, tears and aloha marked the last day before the approaching lava flow breaks up Keonepoko Elementary School. Star-Advertiser.

As lava continues to snake through the Pāhoa area,  most local residents are feeling anxious.   And the adults in a family need to address not only their own concerns but also the fears of their keiki. Hawaii Public Radio.

Health officials have reversed course and won't be identifying the hospitals they have designated as Ebola facilities due to fears of stigmatizing the medical centers. Officials said last week that they had designated four Oahu hospitals whose staff will receive intensive training to handle the disease that has killed thousands in West Africa. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii will not impose mandatory quarantines for returning healthcare workers who have treated Ebola patients in West Africa. Hawaii News Now.

The latest Hawai’i Campaign Spending Commission report is out. And the leading candidates running for Governor are expressing mixed feelings about so-called Super Political Action Committees or PACs spending millions on local campaign ads. Hawaii Public Radio.

“No” on No. 4. That is the consensus of 50 percent of voters surveyed in a new Civil Beat poll. Only 34 percent are in favor of amending the state constitution to allow the state to use public funds to help pay for privately run early education programs.

Early learning advocate The Good Beginnings Alliance has spent more than a half-million dollars on television ads to lobby support for a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow spending public funds on private preschool programs, according to the latest round of campaign-finance reports. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary:  A last-minute debate has flared up in recent weeks over one of five proposed constitutional amendments on the general election ballot. Amendment 2, if approved by voters, would authorize the state “to issue special purpose revenue bonds and use the proceeds from the bonds to assist agricultural enterprises on any type of land.” Civil Beat.

Hawaii High School Confidential: Where All Politics Is Truly Local. Civil Beat asked the 2014 candidates why their schooling plays such a part in their campaigns and what kind of kids they were.

Sashimi or sustainability. Which is more important? For U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, it appears to be sashimi, especially if it means fresh ahi for the holidays. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s longline fleet may be rejoicing over a new opportunity to catch ahi, but a coalition of environmental groups are not on board with the increased catch. West Hawaii Today.

A record 57 tons of marine debris was captured by this year's annual National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cleanup expedition to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, including the largest net ever removed from the area, an 11.5-ton monster large enough to fill up a 20-foot shipping container. Star-Advertiser.

The global system of submarine telecommunication cables that support our connected world is deaf, dumb and blind to the external ocean environment and represents a major missed opportunity for tsunami warning and global climate monitoring, according to University of Hawaii scientists and a United Nations task force. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii visitor spending for the month of September reached $1.08 billion, a 1.4 percent increase from the same month a year ago, and visitor arrivals reached 622,163, a 4.1 percent increase, according to the latest statistics released Tuesday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

Spending and arrivals rose in September as Hawaii tourism remained slightly ahead of the three-quarters pace set during the record years of 2012 and 2013. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu
A Japanese deputy mayor died this weekend after being pulled from the water in Waikiki, one day after accomplishing his task of establishing a sister-city relationship in the islands, Honolulu officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

An award-winning educator known as "Mr. Pearl City" will be honored Wednesday for his volunteerism and community leadership with the renaming of a site as the Shigeo Ushiro Neighborhood Park. Star-Advertiser.

Residents of Honolulu have been engaging in extra-marital affairs in record numbers according to new data from AshleyMadison.com. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii

Forward Progress, a Honolulu-based political action committee allowed by law to raise and spend unlimited amounts, has pumped more than $100,000 into a campaign to elect Ron Gonzales for County Council District 9, eclipsing threefold the money he raised on his own. West Hawaii Today.

Opinion: Media reports about the health study commissioned by Mayor Billy Kenoi remind us that advancing geothermal energy must go hand in hand with public safety and well-being. Civil Beat.

Maui

Seed companies and their allies have raised nearly $8 million to defeat a Maui County voter initiative that seeks to temporarily ban GMO farming, according to reports filed with the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission on Monday. Civil Beat.

Kauai

So far this year, incumbent Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. outraised his challenger Dustin Barca by more than $10,000 and outspent him by more than $100,000, according to the latest round of campaign reports released Monday. Garden Island.

Residents living along the island’s Royal Coconut Coast say they are wary of recent changes to current plans for a large timeshare resort near Coconut MarketPlace in Waipouli. Garden Island.

Visitors to Kauai are in the mood to spend money. Lots of money. Through the first nine months of the year, visitors spent around $1.1 billion on The Garden Isle, a 5.8 percent increase over the same time frame last year. And that was despite fewer people — 844,814, a drop of 1.1 percent from 2013 — coming to Kauai through September. Garden Island.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hawaii voters apathetic, tax hike falls short for rail project, lava poised to consume first home, 2k march on Maui to oppose GMO, mainland money rolling in for governor's race, 1st Congressional candidates fight to the finish, Lanai mom sues over lack of Hawaiian language in school, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

No Vote No Grumble
No Vote No Grumble tries to stir voter interest
Hawaii, with its history of low voter turnout, ranks third among the least politically engaged states in the country, according to a new WalletHub online study. Star-Advertiser.

There’s just a week left before Hawaii’s gubernatorial election, but most residents of the Aloha State probably don’t care. A new study by the personal finance website WalletHub has found that Hawaii is the third least politically engaged state. Only Oklahoma and West Virginia are worse. Civil Beat.

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano, a Democrat who held the governor’s office for eight years from 1994 to 2002, blames the Hawaii Republican Party for the notoriously low turnout. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii's Democratic gubernatorial candidate has received enough small contributions to qualify for matching funds from the state. State Sen. David Ige raised $100,000 in qualifying contributions of $100 or less. That means he can get those matching funds. Associated Press.

Despite different points of views on many issues, the four candidates vying to become Hawaii's next governor do agree that energy is one of the single-most important issues facing the state. Pacific Business News.

Mainland super PACs tied to the Republican Governors Association and the Democratic Governors Association will rival the top two candidates for governor in spending on Hawaii, bankrolling negative advertisements so the candidates are free to concentrate on more positive themes. Star-Advertiser.

Super PACs funded by groups based on the mainland have spent more trying to influence the Hawaii governors race since the Aug. 9 primary than the candidates have themselves, according to the latest filings with the state Campaign Spending Commission. Civil Beat.

Hawai’i’s Congressional District One race is too close to call, according to the latest polls.   And the two front-runners are in full campaign swing with the General Election one week away. Hawaii Public Radio.

Democrat Mark Takai and Republican Charles Djou are headed for a photo finish in the race for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District. The candidates are tied at 45 percent each, with 9 percent of the electorate still undecided — even with election day just one week away. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Officials overseeing Oahu's rail transit project reported the Oahu tax dollars that they received this past quarter were about $5 million less than the influx projected under their financial plan. The project received $48.5 million in general excise tax surcharge dollars for the quarter that included July, August and September. Star-Advertiser.

The $5.16 billion Honolulu rail transit project that is now moving full speed ahead, and the construction industry's overall ramp up in most areas has translated to more office space vacancies becoming filled. Pacific Business News.

Choosing between experience and new ideas is at the center of election contests for the two outstanding seats on the Hono­lulu City Council. Star-Advertiser.

Hauula residents blame state and farm for storm flooding. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

The residency status of County Council District 9 candidate Ron Gonzales, locked in a fight to the finish with incumbent Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille, will be the subject of a meeting of the county Board of Registration just days before Election Day. West Hawaii Today.

The June 27 lava flow front appeared Monday afternoon to be within hours of impacting its first home in Pahoa, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Tribune-Herald.

A molten river that overran a Buddhist cemetery and buried it in lava Sunday was on the verge Monday night of claiming the first home in its path. Star-Advertiser.

After traveling for 123 days, a Big Island lava flow approaches a couple's doorsteps.  By Monday night or Tuesday, the first home in the lava flow's path may go up in flames. KITV4.

Keonepoko Elementary School will shut down indefinitely effective Wednesday. The DOE is also closing four other area public schools beginning Thursday until early next month: Pahoa High and Intermediate, Pahoa Elementary, Keaau High and Keaau Middle because of lava flow. Star-Advertiser.

A Pahoa resident built a large dirt wall to try to protect his home from lava. Alfred Lee, whose house on Pahoa Village Road was at risk of becoming one of the first claimed by the June 27 flow, said Monday he was using a bulldozer to build a large berm between the lava and his home. Tribune-Herald.

Hele-On has announced an update on bus stop locations in the Pahoa area due to the closure of Pahoa Village Road and active lava flow. Big Island Now.

Maui

More than 2,000 people marched through Kahului on Sunday in support of an initiative on the Nov. 4 ballot that would place a moratorium on all genetically engineered operations and practices in Maui County until companies prove their activities are safe. Maui News.

Members of the Shaka Movement organized a rally over the weekend in support for a ballot initiative that seeks a moratorium on genetically modified organisms in Maui County. Maui Now.

In one of Maui County's most watched council races, incumbent Mike White spent $89,000 from August to October and had nearly $7,000 cash left on hand as the Nov. 4 general election nears, according to his campaign spending commission report filed before Monday's deadline. Maui News.

Upcountry: Same issues, different generations. Maui News.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie released $400,000, which will be matched by the same amount by the Kaanapali Operations Associations, to plan and design a beach renourishment project for Kaanapali Beach. Maui News.

Kauai

The County of Kauai is performing an assessment on the feasibility of using locally produced food waste to generate renewable natural gas that could be used to fuel The Kauai Bus and other county vehicles. Garden Island.

Filmmaker Dean Lyon, best known for his work as visual effects supervisor of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, is on Kauai this week to spread the word about his plans for a 3D IMAX  documentary about Kauai’s diseased coral reefs. Garden Island.

Developers behind two resorts proposed for Kauai’s Eastside could soon be one step closer to seeing the projects move forward. Garden Island.

Lanai

Lanai’s only public school is at the center of a lawsuit filed by a mother whose children speak and read only in Hawaiian. Chelsea-Marie Kealohalani Clarabal is suing both the Department of Education (DOE) and the Board of Education, which sets policies for the schools.  According to the lawsuit, while there are about 20 public schools that have Native Hawaiian language immersion programs on Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Hawaii, and Kauai, there are none on Lanai. KHON2.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Photos: Fickle finger of fate -- Hawaii lava burns toward Pahoa Town -- a special report

courtesy ‘Ena Media Hawai’i/Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
This structure is spared, but who will be next? courtesy ‘Ena Media Hawai’i/Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

courtesy ‘Ena Media Hawai’i/Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
Lava leaves a heavy black footprint as it moves toward Pahoa courtesy ‘Ena Media Hawai’i/Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

courtesy ‘Ena Media Hawai’i/Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
Lava covers road, specially treated power pole remains intact, courtesy ‘Ena Media Hawai’i/Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

Lava buries cemetery, Ige tops in latest poll, Maui GMO a big ballot issue, constitutional amendments galore, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii County Civil Defense
Lava buries Puna cemetery courtesy Hawaii County Civil Defense
Hawaii County Civil Defense closed Pahoa Village Road as a fast-moving finger of lava moved to within 600 yards of the main street of Pahoa town. Residents in the immediate downslope path of the lava were also urged to prepare to evacuate Sunday night and the Red Cross opened an emergency shelter at the Sure Foundation Church in Keaau. Star-Advertiser.

Evacuations have not been ordered, but Red Cross Hawai'i opened an emergency shelter Sunday night at the Sure Foundation Puna in preparation for residents who may be displaced by the Puna lava flow. Hawaii News Now.

A small, primarily Buddhist cemetery in Pahoa fell victim to advancing lava on Sunday, marking yet another sobering milestone in the ongoing June 27 flow. Tribune-Herald.

Civil Beat Poll: Ige Up by 6 Over Aiona. The Democratic nominee for Hawaii governor leads Republican Duke Aiona 40 percent to 34 percent. Hawaii Independent Party candidate Mufi Hannemann is at 11 percent. Libertarian Jeff Davis is at 6 percent while 8 percent of voters are undecided.

Approval of a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would allow the state to spend public funds on private preschool programs is uncertain as support for the initiative continues to wane and opposition has mounted in recent months, according to new Hawaii Poll results. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s constitution allows for age discrimination against judges, say proponents of a constitutional amendment to raise the mandatory retirement age for judges and justices from 70 to 80. West Hawaii Today.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has brought back an attempt to allow private landowners to access special purpose revenue bonds to finance the preservation of reservoirs and dams. A similar measure failed on the 2012 ballot. West Hawaii Today.

Before stepping into the voting booth or casting a mail-in ballot, voters may want to familiarize themselves with the following five proposed statewide constitutional amendments on the ballot. Star-Advertiser.

Which Hawaii Candidate Spent the Most Money Per Vote? The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission has crunched the numbers and it's an interesting look at how the 2014 election is playing out. Civil Beat.

Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle spoke to Cornell University students and faculty on Thursday in a presentation that recounted her vision for a sustainable energy future and her role in implementing the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. Civil Beat.

A battle continues to brew between the Building Industry Association of Hawaii and historic preservation officials in the state over a law that subjects homes built more than 50 years ago to a historic preservation review whenever a homeowner applies for a building permit for a rebuild or remodel. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

New Hope’s Evangelism Has a Distinctly Political Flavor. The megachurch is becoming a force to be reckoned with in Hawaii civic affairs. It recruits candidates, registers new voters and organizes political events. Civil Beat.

Lifeguard beaned by falling coconut. Haunama Bay was closed for several hours Sunday morning for emergency tree trimming. A county lifeguard claims the work should have been done weeks ago and he was injured because of the delay. KITV4.

There’s a new twist in criminal case against Matson Navigation Company for the Sept. 2013, 220,000 gallon molasses spill into Honolulu Harbor that killed 26,000 fish and caused substantial damage to the area reefs and ocean.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi did not accept all of the terms of its plea agreement Friday, saying he isn’t certain whether the donations are legal. Puglisi will look into the matter further, he said. Hawaii Reporter.

A federal judge accepted a guilty plea by Matson Inc. to criminal charges stemming from the spill last year of more than 230,000 gallons of molasses in Honolulu Harbor, but expressed concerns that the company agreed to make a $600,000 community service payment but didn't agree to any probation. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

The timeframe to resume the Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening project is back in federal hands. State Department of Transportation officials confirmed this week they submitted the Section 106 memorandum of agreement to the Federal Highways Administration Sept. 22. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

There's a rising chorus of Hawaii opposition to the biotechnology seed companies that have moved into the state's former sugar cane lands and have quietly become the state's top agricultural industry. A Nov. 4 ballot measure proposes a moratorium that would make it illegal to cultivate, grow or test genetically modified crops in Maui County until environmental and public health studies show their practices are safe. Star-Advertiser.

Dozens of Maui mothers are going door-to-door to urge voters to back a ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops because they think they are unsafe. A group backed by companies growing the crops counters with ads playing heavily on the airwaves that urge rejection of what they are calling the “farming ban.” Associated Press.

It’s a controversial issue Maui County voters will see on the Nov. 4 ballot. They’re being asked whether to approve an initiative that would make it against the law to grow, reproduce, or test genetically modified crops until an environmental public health study is completed. KHON2.

In the hotly contested race for the Maui County Council's Makawao-Haiku-Paia residency seat, challenger Mike Molina is attempting to turn the tables on incumbent Mike White on the charge of being a "rubber stamp." Maui News.

The decline in fall enrollment at University of Hawaii Maui College from its Great Recession peak of 4,527 students in 2011 continued this year, with student numbers dipping below 4,000 for the first time since 2008. Maui News.

Kauai
The state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday unanimously approved Hawaii’s first community based fisheries subsistence area rule package for Haena on the island of Kauai. Associated Press.

As a longtime County of Kauai department manager and the current mayor, Bernard Carvalho Jr. said he is not afraid to make tough decisions. Garden Island.

County officials are reminding the public that the deadline to submit applications for the waiting list lottery for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is Wednesday. The waiting list will be utilized to fill vacancies in the federally funded program. Garden Island.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Djou, Takai in dead heat, ousted Abercrombie still unpopular, rail project adds $14M, Honolulu mulls e-cig ban, Big Island GMO ban gets court hearing, lava advance quickens, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Mark Takai, Charles Djou vie for Congress
Democrat Mark Takai, who already has spent $1.2 million on the race, and Republican Charles Djou, who has a 2-to-1 lead in cash on hand heading into the home stretch, are tied at 47 percent each, according to the latest Hawaii poll. With the race for Hawaii's open 1st Congressional District seat up for grabs, at least one analyst predicts the contest could come down to who has more money for the final push and who gets outside help from mainland third-party money. Star-Advertiser.

Our latest Hawaii News Now/Star Advertiser poll in the campaign to represent urban Oahu in Congress suggests the vote could go either way. In the race between Charles Djou and Mark Takai,volunteers and the candidates will crank up efforts to get out the vote with their campaigns in a dead heat. It's tied at 47 percent according to our new Hawaii poll.

Mark Takai needed more campaign money — and he got it. The Democratic candidate for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District raised just over $200,000 — including $85,000 from super PACs — during the first half of October, according to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission. His Republican opponent, Charles Djou, pulled in $72,000 but outspent Takai by almost $82,000 during the same 15-day period. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Democrats Launch Preemptive Strike Against National GOP Group. In a tight race for Congress between Charles Djou and Mark Takai, the Democrats are worked up about a political commercial that might hurt their candidate — even before the ad airs. Civil Beat.

History might eventually treat him more kindly than voters did during the Democratic primary in August, but the initial appraisal of Gov. Neil Abercrombie's four-year term is below average. Asked in a new Hawaii Poll to rate the Democrat's job performance during his term as governor on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being a "terrible job" and 5 being a "great job," voters gave him a 2.53. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz says his intent if elected in November is to help make sure the federal budget reflects Hawaii's priorities. Star-Advertiser.

The state will consider new hunting rules that some say could destroy traditional pig hunting methods. The DLNR will hold a hearing Friday to approve the new rules, which will require all hunting dogs to be registered and to carry some form of identification. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s Department of Health today said it has confirmed three cases of measles in the state, one on Maui and two on Kauai. Civil Beat.

Matson Inc. will lower its fuel surcharge for Hawaii cargo shipping by 5 percentage points Nov. 2 to compensate for falling ship fuel prices, the state's largest ocean cargo carrier announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Researchers will be sharing their latest observations on how warmer-than normal ocean temperatures are causing large sections of Oahu's coral reefs to expel algae. The phenomenon called coral bleaching can kill coral, an organism at the foundation of Hawaii's marine environment. Associated Press.

Oahu

Board members overseeing Oahu's rail transit project have approved an additional $14 million in cost increases -- and nearly half of that expense is due to yet another contract that went out prematurely, project officials say. Star-Advertiser.

E-cigarettes have long been touted as an alternative to cigarettes. But e-cig users could soon have fewer places to smoke on Oahu. A city councilman wants to expand the smoking ban, to include e-cigs. KHON2.

Jeffrey Crabtree, a private attorney who specialized in consumer protection, personal injury, malpractice and end-of-life medical issues, was confirmed to 1st Circuit Court. Christine Kuriyama, a Family Court judge, was also confirmed to 1st Circuit Court. Before she was a judge, Kuriyama was a private attorney, deputy attorney general, administrator at the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and staff attorney for the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and state House Democrats. Star-Advertiser.

A new non-profit, established in September, 2014, has sent a letter to the four gubernatorial candidates asking that—whichever one of them wins the general election in November—he overhaul the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) board and end fast tracking of development and permitting. Hawaii Independent.

A Republican state Senate candidate resumed sign waving Thursday afternoon after he was hit by a car while crossing the street after waving signs in Waipio Thursday morning. Star-Advertiser.

Sonar mapping shines new light on USS Utah. Star-Advertiser.

The city and county of Honolulu says it has an explanation for hundreds of pounds of trash that’s stockpiled in Kapiolani Park. Honolulu spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke says the trash collected by street sweepers is being kept there so that consultants can test it for the type of debris that ends up in the ocean. Associated Press.

The attorney for Malia Arciero, a madam who operated her business out of the elite Oahu neighborhood Portlock for about a decade, will go to court Thursday, Oct. 23, to attempt to get drug possession and drug dealing charges against her dismissed. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii

A lawyer representing a group seeking to invalidate Hawaii County’s law restricting the use of genetically engineered crops urged a judge Thursday to make the same decision he recently made invalidating Kauai’s law. Associated Press.

Hawaii County officials are keeping a constant eye on the June 27 lava flow as it begins to reach the outskirts of Pahoa. After weeks of sluggish advance, the flow gushed toward pastureland above the village and Civil Defense initiated the first road closure since access was restricted to Kaohe Homesteads more than a month ago. Tribune-Herald.

A larger crowd than usual attended the weekly lava update meeting in Pahoa on Thursday night following news that Madame Pele's path had quickly advanced. Star-Advertiser.

Margaret Masunaga officially became District Judge Masunaga upon her confirmation Thursday by the state Senate in a special session. West Hawaii Today.

There’s a “desperate” need for election workers, as Hawaii County finds itself short 67 volunteers for precincts in Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona and Ka‘u. West Hawaii Today.

Led by a 23.6 percent rise in room rates on the Big Island, the statewide average room rate at Hawaii hotels last week rose 8.6 percent to $232.58 compared to the same week a year before, according to the latest Hawaii Hotel Industry Snapshot from Hospitality Advisors LLC and STR Inc. Pacific Business News.

Mauka from the Kekaha Kai State Park entrance on Queen Kaahumanu Highway is land the Hawaii Racing Association believes is best suited for a motorsport park. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

County Council Candidates Assess GMO Moratorium Ballot Initiative. Most were not in favor of the bill as written, and will vote “no.” Maui Weekly.

Maui resident Kathleen Soule is pursuing a class action lawsuit against Priceline Group and Marriott International seeking monetary damages "arising from the unfair and unconscionable assessment and collection of 'resort fees.'" Pacific Business News.

Kauai
Department of Public Works officials are reviewing current policies and procedures after thieves stole $86,000 in equipment from two county facilities in July. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council on Wednesday passed a trio of measures that seek to correct current tax laws and assist some property owners who saw substantial increases on their real property tax bills this year. Garden Island.

Grove Farm Company has given the state Department of Health permission to access its land in Mahaulepu and investigate the source of pollution in Waiopili Stream. Garden Island.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ige widens lead in new poll, federal judge to hear Big Island GMO complaint today, Hawaii not ready for Ebola, commission undecided on PAC spending complaints, Senate panel advances judge nominees, Steven Tyler Maui nightclub plan falters, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ige © 2014 All Hawaii News
State Sen. David Ige has the advantage in the campaign for governor, a new Hawaii Poll shows, scoring well with Japanese-Americans, seniors and union families who are among the most likely to vote in November. Ige, the Democrat, leads former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the Republican, 47 percent to 35 percent. Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, the independent, is at 12 percent, while Jeff Davis, the Libertarian, is at 1 percent. Six percent remain undecided. Star-Advertiser.

Early voting has begun and the general election is just under two weeks away. Who will win the big races in Hawaii — for governor, the U.S. Senate, the 1st Congressional District and the 2nd Congressional District, according to the national experts? In short, Democrat David Ige has the edge over Republican Duke Aiona for governor, as does Democrat Mark Takai over Republican Charles Djou in the CD1 contest. Democrats Brian Schatz and Tulsi Gabbard, meanwhile, need not fear Republicans Cam Cavasso and Kawika Crowley in their Senate and CD2 races, respectively. Civil Beat.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Aiona © 2014 All Hawaii News
Fresh poll numbers for Hawaii’s top political races (sans the federal offices) are expected any day now, but by another metric there is already a clear frontrunner: David Ige, the Democratic Party nominee for governor, has held 15 campaign fundraisers since the Aug. 9 primary. Civil Beat.

Gubernatorial candidates James "Duke" Aiona and David Ige were treated like celebrities — cheered on by scores of screaming fans decked out in red, white and blue, toting hand-painted posters — at a student pep rally Wednesday at Maryknoll School. Star-Advertiser.

The state Campaign Spending Commission decided Wednesday to defer until November a complaint that former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano filed against the super PAC that crushed his bid for mayor in 2012. Pacific Resource Partnership, a political action committee funded by contractors and unionized carpenters, spent over $3 million on a coordinated attack to keep Cayetano out of office after he pledged to end Honolulu’s $5.2 billion rail project if elected. Civil Beat.

The state Campaign Spending Commission on Nov. 19 will vote again on whether two complaints against the Pacific Resource Partnership Political Action Committee should be reviewed by state attorneys for criminal prosecution. The commission voted 2-1 Wednesday, failing to muster three votes to make a decision on whether to refer for review the two complaints — one by former Gov. Ben Cayetano and the other by commission Executive Director Kristin Izumi-Nitao. Star-Advertiser.

Officials said Wednesday Hawaii health care workers need more training to be sufficiently prepared to handle an Ebola virus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

A Senate investigative committee is calling for major reforms to the Hawaii State Hospital in an effort to curb violence and restore trust in a mental health system that has been mismanaged for many years. On Wednesday, the committee, which is co-chaired by Hawaii Sens. Clayton Hee and Josh Green, issued its final report after holding nearly a dozen hearings in which top officials from the hospital and state Department of Health were subpoenaed to testify under oath. The report’s recommendations are wide-ranging and include everything from building a new state hospital — something that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars — to sending the most troublesome, violent patients to an out-of-state facility to receive treatment. Civil Beat.

A special State Senate committee convened to investigate problems at the Hawaii State Hospital Wednesday released a lengthy report about its findings and recommendations to improve the troubled facility. The 88-page report calls the state's only mental hospital outdated and overcrowded. It also said the facility suffers from bad management, a lack of training and chronic overtime and sick leave abuse, leading to assaults by mental patients against the staff. Hawaii News Now.

Scientists have found evidence of a massive tsunami that slammed into Hawaii nearly 500 years ago. That’s according to a new study released this week, that’s prompting state officials to re-examine their tsunami evacuation plans. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

The contractor hired to dispose of seized commercial-grade fireworks in Honolulu says it will find another site for the job after residents of Nanakuli objected to blowing them up in their community. Michael De Sousa of URS Federal Services Inc. says the company will honor the state Department of Health's request to find another site. Associated Press.

A government contractor will find another site to dispose of 39 pallets of commercial-grade fireworks from a Waikele storage bunker after Nanakuli residents voiced strong opposition to setting them off on a property in their rural neighborhood. Star-Advertiser.

The city has been stockpiling hundreds of pounds of trash collected by street sweepers right in Kapiolani Park. The debris piles, located near the Waikiki Shell next to a city no dumping sign, includes asphalt, oil, gravel and plain old trash that's exposed to the elements. Hawaii News Now.

An accident that left an Ewa Beach man dead has now become even more tragic for the loved ones left behind because of a mistake by the Honolulu City Prosecutor’s office. KHON2.

Matson Terminals Inc., the company responsible for spilling 220,000 gallons of molasses into Honolulu Harbor in September 2013, has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor violations of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, court records show. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii

A federal magistrate judge will be hearing arguments a lawsuit seeking to invalidate Hawaii County’s law restricting the use of genetically modified crops. Big Island agriculture groups and farmers filed a lawsuit in federal court in June seeking to overturn the law, which went into effect in December. Thursday’s hearing will be on the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, which argues that the law is invalid on the grounds that it’s pre-empted by federal and state law. Associated Press.

The state Senate Judiciary Committee gave its unanimous approval Wednesday to the confirmation of Margaret Masunaga as a district judge in Kona, despite a negative rating by the Hawaii State Bar Association. West Hawaii Today.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is in Pahoa offering low-interest loans to victims of Tropical Storm Iselle. Loans are available to homeowners, renters, nonprofit organizations and businesses in Hawaii County that received damage related to the storm from Aug. 7-9. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island hunters will have more opportunities to bag feral pigs, goats and sheep under a package of changes to hunting rules set to go before the state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday. West Hawaii Today.

Some Ocean View residents aren’t waiting around for a new county garbage disposal facility. Instead, large quantities of trash are being dumped along the access road to the future site of the transfer station. West Hawaii Today.

A narrow finger of lava  along the southern edge of the main flow has now become the leading edge of the flow and advanced about 100 yards since Tuesday, Hawaii County Civil Defense officials said after an overflight Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Maui
The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission on Wednesday dismissed two complaints filed by a Paia political activist, one against a nonprofit industry trust fund and the other against a related super Political Action Committee, which have poured thousands of dollars in at least the Maui County Council West Maui residency race. Maui News.

State and county officials Wednesday closed down beaches from the Old Suda Store to Kalama Park in South Maui after a shark encounter — the third since Saturday on the Valley Isle. Star-Advertiser.

A plan to develop a new restaurant and nightclub in Hawaii involving Aerosmith frontman and part-time Maui resident Steven Tyler has likely been shelved, one of the operating partners told Pacific Business News.

The non-profit Lokahi Pacific community development corporation broke ground on a new affordable housing complex in Happy Valley on Maui. Maui News.

Veteran candidates vie for East Maui council seat. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai County Councilman Tim Bynum says Kapaa New Town Park is a place that has not necessarily lived up to its name. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council plans to rename the Kapaa New Town Park Facility the Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex. Associated Press.

Benches built to accommodate visitors to Kauai Veterans Cemetery were stolen just weeks after they were installed. Garden Island.

A former Department of Land and Natural Resources official pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Kauai Circuit Court to 30 counts of sex assault — a majority of which are alleged to have occurred when the female victim was a minor. Star-Advertiser.

Molokai

A single initiative on the November election ballot has the Molokai community in such a heated debate that “vote yes” and “vote no” only refer to one thing: whether or not the cultivation of all genetically engineered crops in Maui County should stop while studies are done examining effects on human health and the environment. Molokai Dispatch.