Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ige signals veto of social media, Airbnb tax, seven other bills, signs Maui stream diversion bill, Maui's first mayor dies, Djou gets rare union endorsements for Honolulu mayor, Hawaii Island police switching to Glocks, Kauai police files lawsuit, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy office of the governor
Gov. David Ige singles vetoes, courtesy photo
Gov. David Ige said he plans to veto nine bills. Among the nine is a bill that would prohibit employers from accessing or obtaining employees’ social media accounts and passwords. Associated Press.

The Governor today released the list of bills he intends to veto or needs more time to look over. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced Monday that he intends to veto nine bills, including a measure that would allow vacation-rental companies to collect taxes on behalf of the state. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige expects to veto a hotly contested bill that would allow transient accommodations brokers, such as Airbnb, to act as tax collection agents for the state, as well as eight other bills that he’s determined to be legally questionable, fiscally unsound or generally problematic. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Monday he intends to veto a bill that would allow Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and other alternative accommodations companies to act as tax brokers on behalf of the state. Pacific Business News.

Gov. David Ige detailed his "Intent To Veto" list in a press release Monday.  On the list are nine bills. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige notified legislative leaders and key lawmakers Monday that he intends to veto nine bills. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige notified legislative leaders and key lawmakers that nine bills are on the Intent to Veto list. The Hawai‘i State Constitution requires the governor to give notice to the Legislature by Monday’s deadline. Maui Now.

Young Brothers, Hawaii’s largest interisland cargo service provider recently invested tens of millions of dollars in four new tugs — the first to be delivered to the state in 2018 and the fourth by 2019. Garden Island.

Oahu
The city wants 10 additional months to submit to federal transit officials a plan for how it intends to proceed with its increasingly expensive rail project. Star-Advertiser.

Officials overseeing Oahu's billion-dollar rail project have expressed concern in recent months about staffing issues that could potentially delay progress on the rail. Associated Press.

The images of the mural taggers left on the rail cars were jaw dropping not just because they're elaborate... But for the apparent easy access to Honolulu's very expensive train. KITV4.

Rail officials hope the cleanup of a rail car vandalized by graffiti is done by the end of the week. KHON2.

A 1st Circuit Court of Hawaii judge ruled Monday that state Sen. Laura Thielen properly filed her nomination papers for re-election this year. Civil Beat.

Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that the Navy’s plan to secure and prevent future leaks at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility is moving forward and making progress. Star-Advertiser.

Three monitoring wells will be built near where 27,000 gallons of fuel spilled from the U.S. Navy’s Red Hill fuel storage tanks in January 2014. Civil Beat.

In seven months the Hale Mauliola homeless shelter on Sand Island has managed to get 61 individuals into permanent housing, but perhaps the greatest benefit is the lessons learned from the first-of-its-kind project that can be translated to other homeless projects in the future, according to Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu mayoral candidate Charles Djou scored endorsements Monday from five organized labor unions that had backed incumbent Mayor Kirk Caldwell in two previous bids. Star-Advertiser.

Charles Djou’s campaign acknowledged the novelty of the occasion of having received union endorsements in his campaign for Honolulu mayor. After all, the Republican politician had not received labor backing since 2006, and Democrats have historically sided with Democrats. Civil Beat.

The owner of a company that sells Hawaiian-themed souvenirs was sentenced to six months in jail this afternoon and fined $40,000 for smuggling walrus ivory and whale teeth into and out of the country and for importing black coral without a permit. The company, Hawaiian Accessories Inc., was also fined $50,000. Star-Advertiser.

Column: A Rare Chance To Explore Chinatown’s Mysterious Lofts. History is preserved in the apartments and businesses that most people will never see above street level in Honolulu’s Chinatown. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

The Hawaii Police Department is going the way of many federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and exchanging officers’ clunky old Smith &Wesson revolvers for sleek, new Glock 9 mm semiautomatic handguns. West Hawaii Today.

The latest lava flow from Kilauea’s Pu‘u ‘O‘o vent has begun to peek over the pali, providing curious onlookers an early glimpse of its glow from Kalapana. Tribune-Herald.

Things just got a lot louder at Kahaluu Beach Park, not to mention safer, thanks to a recently gifted long-distance communication system. The system lets lifeguard messages reach surfers 300 yards away from the north tower. West Hawaii Today.

Construction on the Waimea District Park continues, with the frame of the initial structure visible from Ala Ohia Road. A metal roof in nearly completed on one side of the covered play courts building that can be seen from the southeast side of town, atop exposed beams. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County consumers spent an average of $51,700 per household in 2014, with the bulk of those expenditures falling in three categories: housing, transportation and food. The number is less than both Oahu’s average ($62,280) and the nationwide average ($53,495). Hawaii County spends more on housing and food, but less on transportation as compared to the U.S. average. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Elmer F. Cravalho, who served as speaker of the state House, Maui County chairman and mayor for 12 years, died Monday afternoon under hospice care after a long illness. He was 90 years old. Maui News.

Elmer Cravalho, Maui’s first mayor, has died, county officials confirmed. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige on Monday signed a bill allowing Alexander & Baldwin to continue its more than century-old practice of diverting water from East Maui streams for at least three more years under current lease terms to the jeers of East Maui taro growers and environmentalists. Maui News.

Among the nine bills Gov. David Ige put on his list of potential vetoes Monday is one that aims to help Maui County public hospital employees as the facilities move to become privately operated by Kaiser Permanente. Maui News.

With some using Brexit as a cautionary tale of rushing a vote, dozens of testifiers made their case to a Maui County Council committee on Monday on a new form of county governance, which could be placed on the general election ballot in November depending on what council members decide in the coming weeks. Maui News.

California-based U.S. Realty Partners Inc. said Monday that it has acquired the Lahaina Cannery Mall in West Maui from an affiliate of Safeway for an undisclosed price. Pacific Business News.

Kauai

An assistant chief in the Kauai Police Department is suing the department and Kauai County. The civil court filing by assistant chief Mark Begley claims he was harassed and intimidated for following department procedures after a female officer accused another assistant chief of inappropriate behavior. KHON2.

Salvaging of the Coco Palms property is wrapped up, and demolition has begun. On Monday, heavy demolition equipment took to the 46-acre lot, tearing down the former cottages. Garden Island.

With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump the presumptive presidential nominees for the Democratic and Republican parties, many voters on Kauai have mixed feelings on who they’re supporting to be the next president of the United States. Garden Island.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Marijuana dispensaries not likely this year, state ignores inmate deaths in Mainland prison, Zuckerberg wall draws Kauai neighbors' ire, no-kill shelters touted on Big Island and Kauai, SPJ honors state media, Ige visits neighbor islands, feral animals to be removed from Haleakala National Park, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News
Medial marijuana permit sign, Keaukaha, Hawaii © 2016 All Hawaii News
It does not appear that legal sales of medical marijuana will begin this year, although the state is allowing the first eight dispensaries to start operations in as early as three weeks. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Health Department on Friday released the scores for the 66 applications for eight medical marijuana dispensary licenses, which were awarded in late April. Civil Beat.

Hawaii medical marijuana dispensary license application scores for the eight selected applicants. Star-Advertiser.

Actor Woody Harrelson fared worse than Hawaii video game pioneer and Blue Planet Foundation founder Henk Rogers in their rejected applications for the eight medical marijuana dispensary licenses that were granted by the state. Pacific Business News.

==============================

Starting Wednesday, 26 nations with 45 ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will be practicing war in and around the Hawaiian Islands as they engage in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. Garden Island.

The state has never sought or obtained damages against Corrections Corporation of America  even though a number of inmates have been killed while incarcerated, which attorneys for some of the victims have attributed to a shortage of corrections staff, and female prisoners have accused guards of sexual abuse. Star-Advertiser.

A Deadly Dust Is Plaguing Hawaii Prisoners In Arizona. Valley fever is widespread in the Southwest, yet Hawaii prison officials haven’t paid much attention to it, despite the recent deaths of at least two prisoners who had the disease. Civil Beat.

Startup hiccup for Hawaii state agency charged with growing startup ecosystem. What happens when a state agency charged with growing Hawaii’s startup industry gets shortchanged. Pacific Business News.

A pair of in-depth studies into the potential threat of chemical munitions dumped at sea have yielded cause for cautious reassurance. Star-Advertiser.

State Sen. Will Espero announced Friday that he plans to introduce a bill in January to ban oxybenzone, a chemical commonly found in sunscreen that damages coral reefs. Civil Beat.

As the largest international gathering of coral reef experts comes to a close, scientists have sent a letter to Australian officials calling for action to save the world’s reefs, which are being rapidly damaged. Star-Advertiser.

In a study published in the science journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology in February, a research team headed by Craig Downs, executive director of the Haerecticus Environmental Laboratory in Virginia, reported on a link between oxybenzone, a key ingredient in sunscreen lotions and personal-care products that protect against UV rays, and so-called coral bleaching. Star-Advertiser.

Why You Should Check Your Sunscreen Label Right Now. Scientists say oxybenzone, an active ingredient in many sunscreens and other personal care products, is killing coral reefs. Civil Beat.

It’s not always clear just what research is going on. In some cases, the University of Hawaii and other biolabs have refused to reveal what viruses they’ve imported for research purposes, pointing to national security concerns. Civil Beat.

Column: Civil Beat Named Best Hawaii News Site For The 6th Year In A Row. The Society of Professional Journalists also honored us with the top award of the contest, public service journalism, and in many other categories. Civil Beat.

SPJ award list.

Hawaiʻi Public Radio’s newsroom was recognized today by RTDNA (Radio Television Digital News Association) with its third National Edward R. Murrow Award in two years. This 2016 award was in the category of Small Market Radio Continuing Coverage for a series of reports on the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope by HPR General Assignment Reporter Molly Solomon. The series previously won in the same category for its region, comprising California, Guam, Hawaiʻi, and Nevada.

The University of Hawaii's new Institute of Hawaiian Language Research and Translation or "IHLRT" is now making 125,000 pages of Hawaiian language newspapers available for research and study. KITV4.

Oahu

Language in the Honolulu City Charter requiring the city to set aside a percentage of annual revenues for a grants-in-aid fund to be doled out to Oahu nonprofits would be abolished under a plan moving through the Charter Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Transportation and homelessness have been major concerns facing Leeward Coast residents, and addressing those issues are some of the top priorities in the Democratic primary for the House District 43 seat. Star-Advertiser.

The Ansaldo Honolulu JV staffing problems that came to light last fall have persisted in recent months — and they’ve continued to worry those who oversee the island’s rail project, according to documents provided by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

The HOV lanes in five heavily congested areas will now be open from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. during weekdays. The change starts Monday, June 27 and extends the routes by 30 minutes. Hawaii News Now.

A huge line snaked around Ala Moana’s Ewa wing Saturday as crowds waited to take part of Shirokiya’s grand reopening. KHON2.

Hawaii

The Kona International Airport should be set to receive international flights by November 1. But the news gets better, Gov. David Ige and his transportation department heads revealed at a town hall meeting at Hawaii Community College — Palamanui on Friday evening. West Hawaii Today.

The subject of the Thirty Meter Telescope project on Mauna Kea, as well as the related blockade and mass arrests that occurred exactly one year ago, was discussed when Governor David Ige and his administration came to Pālamanui for a community meeting Friday night. Big Island Video News.

An ancient South Kona fishing village and trail is set to be placed in public hands, thanks to the efforts of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail and The Trust For Public Land Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

There were 915 instances in which pedestrians were hit by motor vehicles on the Big Island between 2007 and May 31 this year, according to figures provided by the Hawaii Police Department. Tribune-Herald.

Nathan Winograd, an expert on the no kill movement, was brought to the island for a day-long conference sponsored by Big Island Dog Rescue as that group squares off with the Hawaii Island Humane Society in a bitter legal battle that carried allegations of defamation and conspiracy from both sides. West Hawaii Today.

Last Hawaii Vietnam veteran ID’d with picture after unexpected twist. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County officials are making plans for a lava viewing area in Kalapana should the latest flow from Kilauea’s Pu‘u ‘O‘o vent advance over the top of Pulama pali. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Haleakala National Park has outlined plans to remove feral pigs, goats, dogs and axis deer to protect endangered plants and animals, including the endangered uau, in the park's newest addition at Nuu on the mountain's southwestern flank. Maui News.

An $830,000 proposal would remove feral animals such as pigs and goats from Haleakala National Park land. Associated Press.

The vice chairwoman of a special committee that narrowly recommended a change from the current mayor-council form of government to a system that includes a county manager has lodged a Sunshine Law complaint over the filing of a "Minority Report" with the County Council. Maui News.

Kauai

For years, Kilauea resident Gy Hall has enjoyed the view of the ocean and the breeze along Koolau Road. Then, a few weeks ago, a crew started to build a wall which happens to belong to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Garden Island.

‘A win-win-win situation’ Gov. Ige visits Tropic Care facilities, praises ‘terrific’ service. Garden Island.

Kauai is tied with Hawaii Island for having the most high-risk areas for water quality degradation from on-site disposal systems, according to reports from the state’s Department of Health. But the island only has three properties taking advantage of the state’s tax break program for cesspool upgrades, making a very small dent in the county’s estimated 14,000 existing cesspools. Garden Island.

Around 100 people turned out to hear Nathan Winograd’s No-Kill Conference at the Kauai Beach Resort on Sunday, hosted by Big Island Dog Rescue in Kona. Garden Island.

Ed Justus wants to make sure a bill that would allow vending on county-owned property is fully discussed before the Kauai County Council takes a final vote. Garden Island.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Sunscreen killing coral reefs, Ige signs gun control database bills, lawmaker seeks criminal probe of school AC bids, vandals damage Hawaiian king's summer palace site, Health Department crackdown on HI-5 recycling programs, Maui restaurant to be on 'Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,' more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Beach-goers in Hawaii © 2016 All Hawaii News
Personal care products like shampoo, soap, lotion and especially sunscreen are decimating coral reefs and weakening their ability to mitigate the effects of climate change, scientists said Thursday at the International Coral Reef Symposium. Oxybenzone and about 10 other chemicals are the real culprits, which is why groups have started ramping up campaigns to educate the public, service industries and government officials about the problem and what they can do about it. Civil Beat.

The bigger picture surrounding the state of our reefs just became a bit clearer. New technology and imaging data are helping scientists quickly survey coral reefs from around the world. Hawaii Public Radio.

In the case of global climate change, convincing the world that time is of the essence has been no easy task for the scientific community. Coral reefs, however, which have been devastated by the “longest and most widespread“ bleaching event on record, are telling a story that may shine a global spotlight on the the seriousness of the threat. HuffPost Hawaii.

Scientists using facial recognition technology and 360-degree underwater photos said Wednesday they have developed new software to quickly assess coral bleaching and other damage to the world’s imperiled reefs. Associated Press.


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Gov. David Ige is signing a bill that makes the state the first to enter gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere else in the country. Star-Advertiser.

As the U.S. Congress failed to agree on meaningful gun-control measure this week, the governor of Hawaii quietly signed three bills regarding local firearms ownership. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige signed SB 2954 (ACT 108) which authorizes county police departments in Hawai‘i to enroll firearms applicants and individuals registering their firearms, in a criminal record monitoring service. The system, also known as the “Rap Back” system, is a service of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that provides continuous criminal record monitoring for authorized government agencies such as law enforcement agencies. Maui Watch.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is signing a bill that makes the state the first to enter gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere else in the country. Associated Press.

Scores of people headed for Hawaii Kai for the two-day Shooting Sports Fair and a chance to try out firearms ranging from tactical shotguns to high-powered rifles. Civil Beat.

With construction bids coming in significantly over budget for the state’s plan to cool 1,000 public school classrooms, one state lawmaker is calling for a criminal investigation into possible collusion among contractors. Star-Advertiser.

State Rep. Matthew LoPresti, a Democrat who represents the Ewa area on Oahu, wants Hawaii’s attorney general to investigate “if there is a conspiracy to defraud taxpayers by artificially inflating bids for profit at the expense of school children — who will suffer through yet another unbearably hot summer in stifling classrooms.” Civil Beat.

The term “Asian American” is too general to describe ethnicity in Hawaii, said Jonathan Okamura, an ethnic studies professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Garden Island.

One more sure sign that election season has come to Hawaii is on Civil Beat’s website, where we’ve begun publishing candidates’ answers to Civil Beat questionnaires. Nearly 200 surveys have been emailed to candidates for every Hawaii office in the Aug. 13 primary ballot.

Oahu

A relatively rare vacancy in the state House in urban Honolulu has attracted a crowded field of five candidates to the Democratic primary to compete for the chance to represent Chinatown, Iwilei and parts of Kalihi. State Rep. Karl Rhoads, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is abandoning his House seat in an effort to move up to the state Senate this year. Star-Advertiser.

Soaring construction costs have caused Outrigger Enterprises Group to abort plans to build a new 32-story hotel tower at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. Instead, Outrigger plans to spend its $100 million budget on a new plan that adds a few hotel rooms to the property and creates about a half-acre of open space that runs from curb to ocean. Star-Advertiser.

Vandals etched crosses on the crumbling remains of the 180-year-old palace of a former Hawaiian king, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Thursday. Associated Press.

The National Park Service announced $1.19 million in grants Thursday to preserve American battlefields — including $63,000 to help place Ewa Field’s World War II aircraft revetments on the National Register of Historic Places. Star-Advertiser.

A plan by two nonprofits to buy a long-vacant residential estate in East Honolulu and preserve a rare freshwater spring is still in jeopardy. Star-Advertiser.

An August deadline for a rail recovery plan is unlikely to be met as the feds’ own numbers now raise the question: Could the project hit $11 billion? KHON2.

The Hawaii State Department of Health made an example of a Costco store while cracking down on beverage distributors to make sure they meet state reporting requirements for the state's HI-5 recyclable beverage container fees. Pacific Business News.

The Haleiwa Beach House has a temporary liquor license that will expire at the end of this month. But the Honolulu Liquor Commission won't hold a hearing on renewing that license until August. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

Plans to remove Hoku Kea, the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s teaching telescope, from Mauna Kea are being delayed after a group of Native Hawaiians who support astronomy on the mountain and others urged officials to consider the impact to students. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Council is so concerned about the island’s trees it added $120,000 to the budget to hire and equip a professional arborist. But a committee charged with protecting trees has languished for eight years without ever having members appointed. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County officials plan to reopen a lava-viewing and parking area if a lava flow that began last month reaches the Pulama pali and becomes visible from Kalapana — something that could happen soon or not at all. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s population is growing — and graying. Hawaii County has the highest percentage of residents older than 65 (18.3 percent) and the highest median age (41.3 years old). Tribune-Herald.

Making Hawaii Island the breadbasket it was in antiquity — but also increasing modern jobs and shifting county employees into areas where they will be most useful. Those themes, along with reducing pollution and keeping a cautious hand on the purse strings dominated center stage as West Hawaii heard from eight mayoral candidates Wednesday evening. West Hawaii Today.

Eight candidates for Hawaii County Mayor – Eric Drake Weinert Jr., Timothy Waugh, Shannon McCandless, Wally Lau, Harry Kim, Pete Hoffmann, Marlene Hapai, and Paul Bryant – are asked about how they would handle the Big Island’s budget, including personnel and capital improvement projects. The candidates spoke at a mayoral forum held on Wednesday night at Kealakehe High School. Big Island Video News.

The decision of some Big Island pharmacists to stop filling a doctor’s prescriptions after his arrest made its way to the state pharmacy board in Honolulu on Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Hana Steel is one of five individuals running for the Maui County Council seat representing Wailuku, Waihee and Waikapu, which is currently held by Mike Victorino (who can’t run again because of term limits). She is/was the County’s Recycling Coordinator, but has been on paid leave for the last two years. MauiTime.

An upcoming episode of the Food Network show "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" will feature Maui restaurant Da Kitchen, co-owner Mariah Brown confirmed to Pacific Business News on Wednesday.

The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa has embarked on an at least $13 million renovation of its Kaanapali property, including work on its ballroom, meeting rooms and event lawn. Maui News.

A 5-megawatt capacity limit was reached this week for rooftop solar systems connected with the islandwide power grid, Maui Electric Co. reported Wednesday. Maui News.

Representatives from Maui, along with Florida residents with Hawaii ties, place a milelong ti leaf lei Wednesday afternoon at a memorial for victims of the Orlando shooting. Nearly 200 volunteers spent four days creating the lei on Maui, which contains shells inscribed with the names of the 49 victims killed at the Pulse nightclub on June 12. Maui News.

A mile long Lei of Aloha from Maui was placed at three memorial sites in Orlando on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, as a demonstration of good will and a reflection on the 49 people who lost their lives in last week’s night club shooting. Maui Now.

Kauai

Growth, climate change, taxes and affordable housing were just some of the survey topics recently sent out by County Councilman Gary Hooser to 21,000 Kauai households. Garden Island.

A Kauai legislator said the majority of the Hawaii Senate identified three major areas affecting the state in the recent legislative session. The next step was finding funds for homelessness and housing, education, and health service. They managed to do it. Garden Island.

Three Kauai companies were cited by the Hawaii Department of Health for HI-5 violations, ranging from failing to inspect deposit containers for redemption labels and not turning in their semi-annual report to missing payments. Garden Island.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Offshore windmills could power Oahu, Honolulu rail may pass $10B mark, Osprey coming for RIMPAC, Maui hits solar electric buyback limit, public meets 8 of 13 Hawaii County mayoral candidates, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Offshore windmill, courtesy U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Massive windmills floating miles off the coast of Oahu may power tens of thousands of homes and businesses within the next decade if projects go forward as planned. Civil Beat.

The Obama administration took the first step Wednesday toward leasing two offshore Oahu areas to the wind industry for renewable energy projects. Star-Advertiser.

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop clean energy sources and cut carbon pollution, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced the first step to support wind energy development in federal waters offshore Hawaii, by issuing a call for information and nominations to gauge the wind industry’s interest in commercial wind leases in two areas offshore Oahu. Press release.

The first Marine Corps tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft to be based in Hawaii will be arriving by the end of the month to take part in Rim of the Pacific exercises, the Marines said. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Telcom experienced a technical issue that intermittently impacted voice calls statewide Wednesday, including calls to 911. Tribune-Herald.

As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, Hawaiian Telcom says they have resolved the issue that caused intermittent phone service issues across the state. The problem stemmed from a glitch in the call routing equipment, which allowed only some voice calls to complete. Hawaii Public Radio.

Some of the most powerful people in Hollywood are working in or have projects set in Hawaii, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s new list of the 100 most powerful people in entertainment, including the executive at the top of the list, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co. Pacific Business News.

Scientists using facial recognition technology and 360-degree underwater photos said Wednesday they have developed new software to quickly assess coral bleaching and other damage to the world’s imperiled reefs. Associated Press.

Oahu
Statistical models done by the firm tasked with management oversight of Honolulu’s rail project show that a 20-mile line from East Kapolei to Ala Moana could cost as much as $10.79 billion, significantly more than the $8 billion figure that federal and city officials have been using in recent weeks. Star-Advertiser.

The FTA has asked HART to submit by Aug. 7 a recovery plan outlining how much of the 20-mile rail route HART expects it can complete with its current amount of funding. Pacific Business News.

The Waikiki War Memorial was recently designated as a national treasure even though it has been closed for almost 50 years. Its last major face-lift was 16 years ago. Next week, the natatorium becomes the focus of a week-long series of meetings in an effort to decide what to do with it. KITV4.

The Honolulu Police Department’s newest batch of police officers is much smaller than usual, in part due to a cheating scandal at the police academy. KHON2.

Hawaii

Eight of the thirteen candidates for Hawaii County mayor introduced themselves to Kona on Wednesday evening. Big Island Video News.

The lengthy process of revitalizing one of Hilo’s most recognizable locations took another step forward Wednesday as members of the newly formed Banyan Drive Hawaii Redevelopment Agency board met to review a draft conceptual plan for the area. Tribune-Herald.

The nonprofit group Friends of the Future is hoping to change the conversation, or at least make it more civil and productive, with a new initiative — EnVision Maunakea. Tribune-Herald.

At 85, Ed Olson says he’s ready to step down and hand the reins of the Edmund C. Olson Trust, which owns 16,500 acres of land in Hawaii, to someone else. Pacific Business News.

Maui

Maui Electric Co. said Wednesday that the county has hit the limit of rooftop solar systems that can send power to its grid. After this week, the Maui utility will not approve any new rooftop solar systems on Maui, Lanai or Molokai that send power to the grid. Star-Advertiser.

Democratic South Maui House candidate Deidre Tegarden will hold a talk-story event from 5 to 6:30 p.m. today at her campaign headquarters in the Azeka Makai shopping center, according to an announcement. Maui News.

Kauai

Work has finally begun on rebuilding the storied resort where Elvis Presley's character got married in the 1961 film "Blue Hawaii," decades after a major hurricane heavily damaged its buildings and forced its closure. The company redeveloping the Coco Palms Resort began demolishing structures this week. It hopes to reopen the hotel in mid-2018. Associated Press.

Feral cats are the culprits in the deaths of a half-dozen endangered seabirds that nest on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaiian green sea turtle has been on the endangered species list since 1978, but with populations rebounding, some experts are calling for their removal from that list. Garden Island.

Avoiding beach driving for the nesting season, which runs from May through July, and the July through September hatching season, is only one of the tips for helping the honu, or green sea turtleGarden Island.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Honolulu airport rated best, DLNR chief canned for probing waste and abuse, cool schools plan falls to hot construction market, cats killing endangered petrels on Kauai, EPA closes Army cesspools, Big Island gambling sweep, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu International Airport © 2016 All Hawaii News
Honolulu International Airport is the best airport in the nation for the summer travel season, according to a new study from NerdWallet. Pacific Business News.

The state’s ambitious goal of cooling 1,000 public school classrooms by the end of the year is facing a major setback: All construction bids have come in over budget, meaning completion of the project will likely be delayed until next year, members of the Board of Education were told Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Plans to cool off classrooms throughout Hawaii have been delayed, an assistant superintendent told state Board of Education members Tuesday. The department’s initiative to add air conditioning to 1,000 classrooms has been slowed by high costs resulting from increased construction demand and a shortage of skilled labor, said Dann Carlson, assistant superintendent for the Office of School Facilities and Support Services. Civil Beat.

Thomas “Tommy” Friel, chief of enforcement for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, said he is resigning from his position after only six months on the job because he wasn’t getting the support from above to clean up “a culture of waste, fraud and corruption” in the department. Star-Advertiser.

Just six months on the job, the new Chief of Hawaii's DLNR enforcement division is suddenly forced out. After gushing praise for conservation officer Thomas Friel at his hiring, the state has quickly changed its tune. KITV4.

Enforcement Chief Leaves DLNR. Land Board Chair Suzanne Case thanked Thomas Friel for his brief tenure but offered no explanation for the abrupt departure. Civil Beat.

Legislation establishing an industrial hemp pilot program to allow its cultivation and distribution of its seed in Hawaii for research purposes unanimously passed the Legislature last month and awaits Gov. David Ige’s signature. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has forced the Army to close 12 illegal cesspools on Oahu and the Big Island and ordered it to pay a $100,000 fine, the first time the EPA has imposed a civil penalty against a federal government facility for operating banned cesspools. Pacific Business News.

The Army has agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty for operating 12 large-capacity cesspools on Oahu and Hawaii island beyond a ban that went into effect on April 5, 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Army has been fined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and will have to close eight illegal large capacity cesspools on the Big Island. Big Island Video News.

Scientists working to prevent coral reef destruction have stumbled onto some good news. In one of the largest global studies reef studies, researchers discovered fifteen “Bright Spots” where reefs were doing better than expected. Hawaii Public Radio.

As our oceans become warmer and more acidic, scientists need to act to make sure their research spurs policies and action that can reverse environmental decline, Aulani Wilhelm told hundreds of scientists, policy makers, cultural practitioners and others Tuesday at the International Coral Reef Symposium. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The city plans to turn a four-story industrial building in Iwilei into the first all-in-one homeless project of its kind in the islands that will provide showers, laundry machines, two floors of permanent housing, and social services pertaining to mental illness and alcohol and drug abuse. Star-Advertiser.

Legal experts are weighing-in after the Honolulu Police Chief, Louis Kealoha, and his Deputy Prosecutor wife, Katherine, sued the city's Ethics Commission -- claiming they are victims of "vindictive" attacks that have damaged their professional and personal reputations. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu’s police chief and his wife say a federal grand jury targeting them can be traced in part to what they call “vindictive and illegal investigations” by the Honolulu Ethics Commission, and they’re suing to set the record straight. KHON2.

The owners of a papaya farm on Oahu are seeking help from the community in catching the thieves who struck their Punaluu property, resulting in a loss of thousands of dollars. Associated Press.

A total of 75 luxury single-family homes and condominiums on Oahu were sold during May, a drop of 13.8 percent from the 87 homes that sold for $1 million or more in May 2015, according to a report by Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

With the addition of a few ramps and rails, a Bayfront parking lot could soon double as Hilo’s only skate park. Tribune-Herald.

They gave it their best shot. But at least one organizer of a proposed Puuanahulu shooting range, after biting the bullet trying to get it built for more than a decade, said Tuesday he’s about ready to cease fire. West Hawaii Today.

Several koa-oriented initiatives are ongoing on the Big Island, including breeding disease-resistant trees and helping private landowners develop best practices for managing their own acreage. Tribune-Herald.

Four Hilo men were arrested Thursday in connection with nine search warrants served March 1 on seven Big Island establishments and two homes police say harbored illegal gambling operations. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

As Maui's affordable housing crisis mounts, local property owners said they're willing to help - but that the county also needs to adjust some of its laws on housing. Maui News.

Undeterred by early-morning rain, about 30 farmers and residents from Hana to Waihee gathered at the Honomanu bridge Saturday to protest House Bill 2501. Maui News.

Maui Medical Group, one of the island's largest health care providers, is referring 100 pregnant patients to other island doctors because its obstetrics and gynecology department will be down to one part-time physician and one nurse practitioner on Aug. 1. Maui News.

Tenants and landlords are being pointed to resources designed to prevent disputes from escalating to eviction. Maui Now.


photo courtesy Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources
cat kills petrel, DLNR
Kauai

A cat was caught on camera picking off two Hawaiian Petrels last week, but researchers say the feral feline is actually responsible for recently killing six of the endangered birds. Garden Island.

Feral cats have been blamed for the recent deaths of endangered seabirds found only in the Hawaiian Islands. Associated Press.

North Shore residents and visitors will have another way to get around this summer. Kauai County received $160,000 from the Hawaii Tourism Authority to bring back the North Shore Shuttle program, said George Costa, Kauai County director of the Office of Economic Development. Garden Island.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Coral bleaching to continue, Hawaii teens well-behaved, Caldwell lets rail budget pass without signature, HGEA union wants Dems, GOP squabbles, Honolulu police chief sues, Big Island loves theirs, Coco Palms comes down, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Damaged coral with ornate butterflyfish © 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaii is expected to experience coral bleaching a third year in a row, as the globe is experiencing the most widespread coral bleaching event on record, scientists said Monday at the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Palau President Tommy Remengesau added his voice Monday to those calling on President Barack Obama to expand the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument fourfold so that it protects nearly 600,000 square miles. Civil Beat.

Not much relief for our coral reefs. Scientists provided troubling information Monday that coral bleaching and death rates over the past two years have been the worst, most widespread they've seen. KITV4.

After the most powerful El Nino on record heated the world’s oceans to never-before-seen levels, huge swaths of once vibrant coral reefs that were teeming with life are now stark white ghost towns disintegrating into the sea. Associated Press.

Here’s a look at what coral is, what role it plays in human life and what might happen if more of these important ecosystems are lost. Associated Press.

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More of Hawaii’s children are growing up in poverty, but island teens are making healthier choices, with far fewer getting pregnant or abusing alcohol and drugs in recent years, according to a report issued today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Star-Advertiser.

All public elementary, middle and high schools in Hawaiian Electric Co.'s service area will receive new technology to monitor their energy levels through a collaboration involving the utility company, the Hawaii State Department of Education, Energy Excelerator and Stem Inc., a California software company. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii’s biggest labor union overwhelmingly wants Democratic incumbents to keep their seats this election, but was silent on several state races. The Hawaii Government Employees Association, which represents more than 42,000 state and county workers, announced its picks Monday for the Aug. 13 primary. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Sticking Up For GOP Values Or Tearing The Party Apart? The Hawaii GOP’s deep divisions are driven by frustration and disagreement over how to overcome Democrats’ stranglehold on power in the islands. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Monday signed a fifth proclamation on homelessness, extended the crisis status until August. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Is There No Hate In The 808? Hawaii and Alaska are the only states with no organized hate groups. That doesn’t mean they are free of hate crimes. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday allowed key fiscal bills to become law without his signature, citing a disagreement with the Honolulu City Council over whether it has authority to oversee the budget for the contentious rail project. Star-Advertiser.

From Leis To World Travel: The City Council’s Invisible Spending In addition to their allowances of $20,000 apiece, Honolulu City Council members can access a protocol fund controlled by Ernie Martin. It’s not easy to find out how that money’s spent. Civil Beat.

O’ahu’s escalating 8.3 billion dollar rail transit project is in deep financial trouble.  Now, lawmakers controlling the City’s budget are weighing-in. Hawaii Public Radio.

Embattled Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his city deputy prosecutor wife, Katherine Kealoha, are suing the city, the Honolulu Ethics Commission and the commission’s former executive director and former investigator. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s police chief and his wife say a federal grand jury targeting them can be traced in part to what they call “vindictive and illegal investigations” by the Honolulu Ethics Commission, and they’re suing to set the record straight. KHON2.

Coping with ongoing issues tied to homelessness in the state’s tourism hub is a primary focus of a three-way Democratic primary for the District 22 House seat, which includes Waikiki and Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

The city, cracking down on unauthorized activities at an off-the-grid agriculture development in Kunia, recently issued a dozen citations to owners of the 854-acre project and expect to send out more in the coming weeks, including those for illegal residential use. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

It was another stellar year for Police Chief Harry Kubojiri, according to his annual performance evaluation released Monday by the Hawaii County Police Commission. West Hawaii Today.

The Hilo Women’s Imaging Center has resumed regular mammogram procedures after receiving provisional certification from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County Council members gave final approval Friday to bills that would provide the Department of Water Supply with enough money to build a new Iao water treatment plant. Maui News.

Haleakala National Park's next commercial-free day will be Tuesday, allowing Native Hawaiians to conduct traditional cultural practices in the park, Haleakala park officials said. Maui News.

Man seeks to build wheelchair-accessible camp. Maui News.

Kauai

On Monday, a bulldozer and a construction crew replaced cars and tourists as they took to the 46-acre property, cleaning up overgrown trees and salvaging the inside of cottages. The long-awaited demolition of Coco Palms Resort, which was destroyed by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, is under way. Garden Island.

Three baby Hawaiian monk seals have entered the world on Kauai’s shores this year, and Jamie Thomton, Kauai’s marine mammal response coordinator, said there shouldn’t be any more this season. Garden Island.

Monday, June 20, 2016

National parks boost Hawaii tourism, Chinese investors coming, coral reef symposium this week, judge allows 20 to participate in Thirty Meter Telescope case, Kaiser curbs Medicaid patients, Kauai mulls smoking ban in cars with kids, Gabbard hasn't embraced Clinton, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


copyright 2016 all Hawaii News all rights reserved
Crater in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park © 2016 All Hawaii News
 In 2015 visitors spent an estimated $364.5 million in local areas while stopping at National Park Service lands in Hawaii — a total up $24 million from the previous year, the U.S. government said. Star-Advertiser.

A 2015 ban on free travel for public school teachers who organize out-of-state field trips was essentially lifted Friday, after a Circuit Court judge invalidated advice given by the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is only beginning to see a trickle of what will be coming, in terms of Chinese commercial real estate investments, although developers need to do more to attract these types of key investments, an international real estate expert tells Pacific Business News.

Recent Chinese investments in Hawaii real estate total nearly one billion dollars. Hawaii Public Radio.

The International Coral Reef Symposium convenes Monday to try to create a more unified conservation plan for coral reefs. Associated Press.

After the most powerful El Nino on record heated the world’s oceans to never-before-seen levels, huge swaths of once vibrant coral reefs that were teeming with life are now stark white ghost towns disintegrating into the sea. Associated Press.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has stopped accepting new Medicaid patients, making it more difficult for those on the government-backed health insurance program that in Hawaii is known as "Quest," to find doctors willing to admit them. Star-Advertiser.

Allegations of wrongdoing by University of Hawaii employees and officials can now be confidentially reported by students, faculty, staff and the public through a whistleblower website and hotline the university has launched. Star-Advertiser.

Almost a year after Hawaii’s Environmental Court made its debut, it received high marks last week at a conference in Honolulu on environmental law. Civil Beat.

A group that sued to stop a Native Hawaiian election is persisting with its lawsuit because it fears another race-based vote will happen. Star-Advertiser.

Here’s the harsh truth about the roughly 900 prisoners released each year in Hawaii: The odds are, more than half of them will end up back in trouble. Civil Beat.

Man’s efforts to find birth parents leads to legislation that eases access to adoption records. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s top supporter of Bernie Sanders is not prepared to endorse Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. “I’m not prepared to do that,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard told CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer Friday when asked if she would back Clinton. Civil Beat.

The yearly “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report,” compiled by the Washington, D.C.-based Food Research and Action Center, ranks Hawaii No. 47 in the country for the percentage of students who ate free federal meals last summer in comparison to the school year. Tribune-Herald.

Oahu

An unprecedented and acclaimed Hawaiian feather work show that was years in the making and originally scheduled to appear at Bishop Museum in Honolulu has instead opened in Los Angeles. While the Bay Area show went off as planned, Bishop Museum apparently backed out because of the expense to bring the exhibit to Hawaii and stage it here. Star-Advertiser.

There are more than $20 billion worth of transit oriented developments planned along the rail line from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center.  But experts said that stopping it at Middle Street is going to be devastating for some of these projects.  Hawaii News Now.

One-half of 1 percent of all city general fund collections are set aside for Oahu nonprofit groups each year under a Honolulu City Charter amendment approved by voters in 2012. Star-Advertiser.

Plantation housing in Ewa will be redeveloped by city. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Riki May Amano is giving everyone a seat at the table as she prepares to start a new contested case hearing for the Thirty Meter Telescope’s land use permit. During her first pre-hearing conference in Hilo on Friday, the hearings officer accepted 14 new parties, essentially everyone who applied and showed up to the cramped meeting room at the State Building on Aupuni Street. Tribune-Herald.

There are now 20 participants in permit proceedings for a giant Mauna Kea telescope. The retired Big Island judge overseeing the contested case hearing on Friday allowed the nonprofit company building the Thirty Meter Telescope to participate. Associated Press.

Attorney arguments recorded inside the cramped pre-hearing conference cut together with moments captured outside the old courthouse, as the TMT contested case proceedings begin in Hilo. Big Island Video News.

For many of the 75 or so community members and real estate agents who grabbed lunch at the Kona Elks Lodge on Friday, it was their first good look at eight mayoral candidates in the same room. West Hawaii Today.

Kekaualua steps down from campaign as DOT investigates. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

About 2,800 displaced workers on Maui received some good news on Friday as Gov. David Ige signed two bills into law that will help them during the transition. Pacific Business News.

About 30 farmers and residents gathered at Honomanū bridge along the Hāna Highway on Saturday in an effort to draw attention to their objection of House Bill 2501, which defines water rights on the island. Maui Now.

Kauai

Bill No. 2629 was drafted in an effort to address the potential harmful health risks to children who are exposed to nicotine in cars. On Wednesday, the Kauai County Council hosted a public hearing on the bill. Garden Island.

The conversation about turning Kauai Humane Society into a no-kill shelter will renew next weekend with a conference hosted by Nathan Winograd, director of the National No Kill Advocacy Center. Garden Island.

Recently, eight North Shore community members applied for a $10 million grant through XQ Super School Project, a national competition founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Steve Jobs. Garden Island.