Thursday, April 19, 2018

Money flowing in to Kauai as Legislature, Zuckerberg, Omidyar send relief funds, 'rescuers' in boats extort evacuees, sunscreen ban advances, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke and Senate Ways and Means Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz announce relief funds, courtesy photo
House and Senate lawmakers on Wednesday agreed to set aside $100 million to help finance the Kauai flood recovery effort and $25 million to speed the Oahu recovery, money that can be made available quickly until federal relief funding is available. The appropriation could be signed into law by Gov. David Ige as early as this week. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii legislators are rushing to send $100 million to rain-soaked Kauai and make $25 million available statewide for damage caused by last weekend’s deluge. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers are appropriating $125 million to help with flood relief efforts on Kauai and elsewhere in the state. Associated Press.

Legislators proposing $100M aid package for storm-ravaged Kauai. Hawaii News Now.

The state Legislature Wednesday funneled $125 million for road, bridge and other infrastructure repairs for the stricken communities in the wake of devastating flooding on Kauai. Garden Island.


House and Senate conferees began negotiations on a final version of HB1900 HD1 SD1, the state budget bill. Early agreement on a number of budget items included: $7.1 million to increase payments supporting foster children and resource caregivers; $1.7 million for services at Aging and Disability Resource Centers; $3.4 million for rescue and fire fighting staff and vehicles at Lihue Airport; and $500,000 for books and materials for public libraries statewide. Maui Now.

Hawaii Seems Poised To Ban Coral-Damaging Sunscreen. It would be the first state to prohibit the use of sunscreen containing ingredients that scientists say harm sea life. Civil Beat.

Bill seeks to ban 2 sunscreen chemicals suspected of damaging coral. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers are discussing versions of two bills that would tighten the state’s already strict gun regulations. Associated Press.

Few Hawaii Students Have Access To After-School Meals. A new report by the Food Research & Action Center shows Hawaii near the bottom in terms of serving an after-school supper to low-income students. Civil Beat.

The American Lung Association's State of the Air 2018 report shows that Hawaii continues to have some of the best air quality in the nation. KHON2.

State seeking to improve how it regulates HECO. State regulators are seeking public participation in an effort to better align the interests of Hawaii’s biggest electric utility and its customers. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has fined Hawaiian Airlines $125,000 for violating the agency’s airline consumer protection rules. Star-Advertiser.

Home Depot is gearing up for spring season by hiring 150 associates in Hawaii, with hiring events taking place at several of its stores across the state on Wednesday. Pacific Business News.


Efforts to clean and restore damaged areas began coalescing Wednesday, with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell issuing an emergency declaration for Oahu while Gov. David Ige announced that the island was joining Kauai on his state-of-emergency proclamation. Star-Advertiser.

East Honolulu residents still bogged down by mud ask: Where's the government? Hawaii News Now.

Red Hill Underground Storage Fuel Tank Legislation Fails. Local efforts to mandate more timely upgrades for the Navy’s Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility on O’ahu failed in the Legislature this session. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ige announces program to divert Honolulu homeless from jail. Under a new program announced Wednesday by Gov. David Ige, homeless people who commit minor crimes could receive social services instead of going to jail. Star-Advertiser.

The state Wednesday launched a collaborative pilot project called Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, or LEAD, to help Oahu's homeless and reduce criminal activity. KITV.

Waikiki lifeguards frustrated as homeless fights, obscene acts distract from job duties. Hawaii News Now.

The Board of Water Supply has completed repair of the 24” water main which ruptured Tuesday near the entrance to the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill on Farrington Hwy. above Ko Olina in Leeward Oahu. This main feeds water to the entire Waianae Coast. KHON2.

The state held a ceremony Wednesday for starting construction on a $7.3 million technology business incubator building in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

Funding for the construction of a 120-bed extended-care veterans’ facility on Oahu has been accelerated due to $685 million in increased funding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs received from Congress for the VA State Veterans Home Construction Grant Program. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Juvenile crime is down 58.5 percent over the past five years, despite heavy caseloads and limited budgets in the Office of the County Prosecutor. Crimes in other categories have also been dropping. West Hawaii Today.

Planning director Micheal Yee gave the Hawaii County Council Finance Committee an overview of his department’s operations during a special budget review meeting in Hilo on Tuesday. Big Island Video News.

Big Island Police and the military are investigating a reported sexual assault at the Hawaii Youth Challenge Academy in Hilo. KITV.

Solar contractor sues former customer to remove blog. A Big Island solar contractor is suing a former customer, seeking a court to order the Pahoa man to remove a blog from the internet that the contractor claims was “maliciously created … with the intent to cause financial harm.” Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is reporting that the magma system beneath Kilauea’s Puu Oo cone has become increasingly pressurized, leading scientists to believe a new vent and lava flow may be imminent. Star-Advertiser.


Mayor has at least $2M in land and farm holdings. Arakawa, other county officials financial reports released. Maui News.

South Maui residents object to bridge project. Residents say Kulanihakoi Bridge Replacement project won’t stop flooding, offer alternative idea. Maui News.

Repairs Continue at Site of West Maui Waterline Break. Maui Now.


Zuckerberg, Chan pledge $1 million. In response to severe flooding on Kauai, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg have pledged to donate $1 million to organizations working tirelessly to assist the community’s storm relief efforts as well long-term recovery. Garden Island.

Facebook founder and part-time Kauai resident Mark Zuckerberg is donating $1 million to flood relief efforts on the Garden Isle. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Community Foundation said it is partnering with eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, his wife Pam and two anonymous donors to establish the Kauai Relief and Recovery Fund to assist with recovery efforts from the recent floodingthat has devastated the island’s North Shore. Pacific Business News.

Zuckerberg, Omidyar among donors supporting flood relief, recovery on Kauai. KHON2.

Kauai Braces For More Rain: 340 Airlifted, 12 Landslides, Thousands of Pounds of Debris. Maui Now.

Here’s Why The Weather Experts Didn’t See The Kauai Storm Coming. The rain-laden system was hard to track because it wasn’t large-scale, like a tropical storm. Civil Beat.

Survey finds flood damage in parts of Kauai worse than formerly thought. Hawaii News Now.

Relief efforts will continue for stranded residents and visitors in Haena and Wainiha on Kauai today despite a flash flood watch that is set to go into effect Thursday through Friday for the entire state. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Colleen Hanabusa spoke of the destruction caused by severe flooding on Kauai and East Oahu on the House floor this morning, calling attention to victims while thanking first responders for their hard work. Star-Advertiser.

The Kauai Police Department and Kauai County prosecutors said Wednesday that they were investigating multiple extortion cases involving would-be rescuers during the island’s historic rain and flood event over the weekend. Hawaii News Now.

A female bison frightened by the on-going, helicopter storm relief efforts in Hanalei bolted into the ocean Wednesday and was roped and brought back to shore: First by boat, then with the help of personal watercraft and —finally — four paniolo from the bison’s Hanalei ranch who patiently nudged it out of the surf. Star-Advertiser.

Reality Sets In For Kauai’s Flooded-Out Residents. Civil Beat.

Hanalei Elementary School on Kauai will remain closed for all students for the rest of the week as the campus is cleaned after suffering flood damage this weekend, state Department of Education officials said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Lenny Rapozo, director of the county Department of Parks and Recreation, has officially filed his papers for the upcoming mayoral race. Garden Island.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Legislative committees begin budget negotiations, Ige picks Hashimoto to fill Souki's House seat, Molokai leprosy memorial project approved, Kauai taxpayers get tax filing relief as they dig out from floods, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources
Monk seal pup with knife PC: Hawaii DLNR
Endangered monk seal pup spotted with knife; but all is OK. West Hawaii Today.

The state House and Senate on Tuesday began public discussions on next year’s budget, which is expected to total more than $14 billion. Star-Advertiser.

State Office of Information Practices: Funding Denied, Again. The State Budget is in a joint conference committee this week to work out Senate and House differences. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmakers May Expand Definition Of Drugged Driving. A measure to ensure that driving under the influence of marijuana remains illegal also addresses other substances. Civil Beat.


Gov. David Ige has appointed Troy Hashimoto, former chairman of the Maui Democratic Party, to the Maui House seat vacated by Joseph Souki, who resigned last month to resolve sexual harassment allegations. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Selects Replacement For Vacant Hawaii House Spot. Troy Hashimoto will take former speaker Joe Souki’s Maui post. Associated Press.

Governor David Ige picked Troy Hashimoto to replace Joe Souki in the State House of Representatives Tuesday. KITV.

Ige appoints Hashimoto to serve remainder of Souki’s House term. Appointment follows Souki’s resignation in late March over sexual harassment charges. Maui News.


With less than four months until the primary election, three candidates vying for the U.S. House seat representing urban Honolulu raised more than $200,000 each in the first three months of the year. Star-Advertiser.

The late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka will lie in state at Hawaii’s Capitol rotunda prior to his memorial services next month. Star-Advertiser.

Late U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka to lie in state before private burial. KHON2.

Whose Side Is This Workers’ Comp Doctor On? Chris Brigham has exerted major influence on how Hawaii’s insurers treat injured workers claims. Critics say he has mostly made it easier to slash benefits. Civil Beat.


State lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday aimed at remedying a sore spot among drivers and businesses in Kakaako. The measure, House Bill 2275, would require that owners of private roads in the area pay to conform with city standards if they charge for parking on those streets. Star-Advertiser.

City Council Planning Chairman Ikaika Anderson said Tuesday he is looking at introducing legislation giving city officials clear authority to tear down structures that are built while under a stop-work order for constructing without a building permit. Star-Advertiser.

New Waikiki senior apartments blessed. A nonprofit developer with heavy government financing held a blessing Tuesday for a new affordable rental apartment building expected to welcome its first residents early next month. Star-Advertiser.

Man released after deadly shooting in Ewa Beach, but will self-defense claim hold?  KHON2.

Olomana Golf Links owed the state of Hawaii more than $110,000 when the operator of the 18-hole Windward Oahu golf course closed last week without notice. Pacific Business News.

Dennis “Bumpy” Kanahele, head of the sovereign Nation of Hawaii, envisions Olomana golf course as site for homeless. Star-Advertiser.

3 Oahu homes destroyed, dozens more damaged in Oahu flooding. At least 67 Oahu homes were seriously impacted by the weekend's heavy rains that caused flooding in several areas on the east side of the island. Hawaii News Now.

The Board of Water Supply crews are working tonight to repair a 24-inch water main break near the entrance to Waimanalo Gulch Landfill in the westbound shoulder of Farrington Highway. Star-Advertiser.

Whole Foods sets opening date for new Kakaako location. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

If each man, woman and child living on the Big Island dug into a pocket and handed over his or her share of the cost of operating county government, that amount would be $2,449. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Council Committee on Finance began its week of department budget and program reviews on Tuesday in Hilo, starting with the traditional opening presentation from the mayor. Big Island Video News.

The state attorney general’s office executed a search warrant at Ka'u Learning Academy on Tuesday morning, school leaders confirmed Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Residents packed a public meeting on Saturday to sound off on satellite launch project representatives who were eyeing Ka'u as a potential location. Big Island Video News.

Police officers and staff at the Kealakehe police station have been working on a plan to remove feral chickens as their presence has become annoying. West Hawaii Today.

The restroom facilities at Glenwood Park on the Big Island have been temporarily closed after thieves stole utility equipment from the park site. Hawaii News Now.

Kilauea Volcano Showing Signs of Increased Activity. Big Island Now.


The southern terminus of the Lahaina bypass will open about 6 a.m. Monday, the state Department of Transportation announced. All northbound traffic will be routed to the bypass at the southern terminus, which starts at “cut mountain” near Olowalu. Maui News.

High Enterococci Bacteria Count at Hanakaoo. Maui Now.

Environmental assessment is approved for memorial project honoring the 8,000 people sent to Kalaupapa. Completion and opening targeted for October 2020. Maui News.


Gov. David Ige has directed the state Department of Taxation to provide relief for Kauai residents affected by the devastating floods and landslides. Garden Island.

Kauai residents get extension to file state tax returns. Hawaii News Now.

It could be weeks before roads on Kauai's north shore reopen. Hawaii News Now.

State explains what needs to happen before Kuhio Hwy. can reopen on Kauai. KHON2.

The devastation is all around in hard-hit Wainiha, but so is hope. Garden Island.

Hanalei residents cleaning up, assessing damage. Garden Island.

Westside ohana boats in supplies to flood victims. Garden Island.


Environmental assessment is approved for memorial project honoring the 8,000 people sent to Kalaupapa. Completion and opening targeted for October 2020. Maui News.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Governor surveys Kauai flood damage, more than 200 rescued; quiet title law proceeding through Legislature; Honolulu officials soothe feds over rail payments; Kim leads in congressional fundraising, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Gov. Ige surveys Kauai storm damage. See Kauai category below for extensive coverage.
Changes to Quiet Title Law Still on the Table. A bill before the State Legislature may make it harder for new landowners in Hawaii to clear title to their piece of paradise. Proponents of the bill say it would help native Hawaiians preserve ancestral lands. Hawaii Public Radio.

State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim continues to lead her opponents when it comes to raising campaign cash in the race for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District, which covers urban Oahu. Civil Beat.

Recreational aquarium collection permits voided. Conservation groups hope there will be plenty of fish in the sea following another legal victory against the Department of Land and Resources. West Hawaii Today.

A rumored merger between Marriott Vacations Worldwide and ILG Inc. could create the largest timeshare company in Hawaii, creating competition for Hilton Grand Vacations. Pacific Business News.


Officials torn on how to get rail money. Key city officials Monday assured top brass at the Federal Transit Administration that they are committed to providing the city’s share of funding for the financially strapped rail project. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu City Councilman is requesting emergency proclamations to help homeowners in East Honolulu who sustained severe damage from flooding on Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Worst flooding for East Oahu in 30 years. Oahu's torrential downpours created East Oahu's worst flooding in three decades. KITV.

City to create temporary dump-sites for residents to discard storm debris. Hawaii News Now.

With a little help, East Oahu cleans up after flash flood wallops area. Star-Advertiser.

Olomana golf course closed indefinitely, owner behind on payments. A popular golf course in windward Oahu shut down without any notice on when or if it will be reopened. KHON2.

Bowling Alley Supporters Fight For ‘Soul Of Kailua’. Millennials lead the charge to convince a development company to hold off on its plan to redevelop the Pali Lanes site. Civil Beat.

Fatboy’s restaurant owner charged with tax violations, faces imprisonment. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Funding for ambitious plan to fix county transit system still needs to be worked out. More reliable buses, more routes and better coordination are coming to the county transit system, if recommendations of a master plan discussed Monday evening are implemented. Tribune-Herald.

SpinLaunch reps face criticism during informational session in Naalehu. Ka'u residents during a community meeting Saturday expressed their considerable disapproval of a facility proposed to be built in Ocean View that would launch satellites. Tribune-Herald.

Kilauea’s summit lava lake is the highest it’s been in more than a year. Tribune-Herald.

Man swept into ocean while reportedly fleeing from police. Tribune-Herald.


The Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve area on Maui’s south shore will remain closed until at least Monday, April 23, 2018 due to the continued presence of sharks in the popular snorkeling destination. Maui Now.

Southern terminus of Lahaina bypass blessed. The 2.6-mile-long, $38.7 million roadway is set to open April 23. Maui News.

Tri Park Annual Pass fee to increase. Maui News.


Emergency responders rescued more than 200 people by helicopter Monday after they were stranded on Kauai’s North Shore following a severe storm that walloped the island this weekend. Star-Advertiser.

State to Kauai flood evacuees: We don't know when you'll be able to go home. Hawaii News Now.

The Path To Recovery In Hanalei Will Be A Long One. The record-setting storm, which dumped 28 inches of rain in 24 hours, has dramatically changed the North Shore of the island for some time to come. Civil Beat.

Evacuation and relief efforts were to continue Tuesday morning in Kauai communities devastated by severe flooding. Hawaii News Now.

Community races to help. When tragedy strikes on Kauai, the community comes together. Garden Island.

Rescue and relief efforts continue on Kauai, some areas of the Garden Isle is destroyed. KITV.

First-hand look at extensive flood damage, rescue efforts on Kauai. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige, Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, and military and county emergency crews took a helicopter tour of the devastated areas of the North Shore aboard a Hawaii National Guard Black Hawk Helicopter Monday morning. Maui Now.

View from above shows devastation. Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. saw the view from above on a helicopter tour Monday and got a true understanding of the devastation that happened in Hanalei, Haena and Wainiha over the weekend. Garden Island.

Jessica Else shares perspective of the situation in Hanalei after bridge opens. Garden Island.

What you can do: How to help Kauai flood victims. Hawaii News Now.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Flooding damages Kauai and Oahu, Ige says Hanabusa pressuring lawmakers for donations, three finalists named to replace Souki, public-private partnership may fix Ala Wai harbor, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

House destroyed by floodwaters in Wainiha, Kauai. PC: Kresta Kay
Gov. David Ige issued an emergency proclamation Sunday for Kauai after severe rains led to flooding and landslides on the island. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige is calling out his leading political rival, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, and top leaders in the Legislature for collaborating on a fundraiser in the final weeks of this year’s session, saying the event sends a clear message to anyone who hopes for anything from the Legislature that they must donate to Hanabusa. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would change Hawaiian Electric Co.'s century-old business model is awaiting Hawaii Gov. David Ige's signature. Pacific Business News.

Lawmakers have performed CPR on a lifeguard liability bill that was all but sunk in the legislative session. West Hawaii Today.

Ad Watch: Who’s Kim Coco Iwamoto Again? The candidate for Hawaii lieutenant governor attempts to brand herself in her first television commercial. Civil Beat.

Republican candidates for state office stump in Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Starvation case reveals gap in safety net for abused children. By simply submitting a one-page form, the family of a 9-year-old Hilo girl who starved to death in 2016 was able to remove the child from the public school system to educate her at home despite a long and troubled history with the state’s child welfare system. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii cases of home-schooling and abuse. These four Hawaii cases are included in a national database compiled by the Coalition for Responsible Home Education that tracks severe abuse, including fatalities, of children who are home-schooled. Star-Advertiser.


The state’s decision to move forward on redevelopment of the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor through a public-private partnership drew criticism Friday during a Board of Land and Natural Resources meeting. Star-Advertiser.

Erosion, eating away at the shoreline. Star-Advertiser.

In Waimanalo, flood clean-up comes with a question: Could this have been prevented? Hawaii News Now.

A 41-year-old man was shot to death today after attempting to enter a home in Ewa Beach, police said. Star-Advertiser.

Since BikeShare Hawaii’s launch in June, the program’s operator has attempted to charge 107 customers a $1,200 “lost or stolen” bike fee, despite saying that improper docking of the bike is the usual culprit. Star-Advertiser.

Zoo addresses vandalism amid push for validation. Star-Advertiser.

Dean Okimoto, owner of Nalo farms in Waimanalo, faces a financial setback after Friday night's rain washed away a dozen acres worth of his popular Nalo greens. KITV.

Hawaii Island

More marked police cars sought. About a decade ago, the Hawaii Police Department acquired its first fleet of marked police vehicles, costing around $2 million. West Hawaii Today.

Kealakekua draft environmental report raises concerns. About 60 people attended a public comment meeting for the draft environmental impact statement connected to the master plan for Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park, a South Kona site the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Division of State Parks have been trying to develop for decades. West Hawaii Today.

Residents who live in the area surrounding Kealakekua Bay had a chance to share their thoughts on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a Master Plan that will shape the future of the culturally and historically significant place, considered by many to be a wahi pana. Big Island Video News.

Uncertainty over whether the Legislature will continue to fund programs to help the homeless has caused at least one nonprofit to pull back on services, including efforts to get more chronically homeless adults and low-income families off the street on Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

The Public Charter School Commission has voted to put Ka'u Learning Academy on notice about possible revocation of its charter, citing a range of problems including financial irregularities, enrollment discrepancies and testing procedures. Star-Advertiser.

More than two weeks after a deadline to submit bids for a surf school pilot program at Kahaluu Bay, local surf schools said they haven’t heard anything from either the county or the nonprofit picked to manage the program. West Hawaii Today.

Accidental manure spill prompts advisory. The state Department of Health is asking residents to stay out of Alaialoa Gulch in Ookala after it was contaminated with cow manure. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island businesses experience drawbacks trying to fill staff during robust economy. West Hawaii Today.


Former Maui County Democratic Party Chairman Troy Hashimoto, former Maui County Council Member Dain Kane and attorney Joe Wildman were selected Saturday as finalists to fill the state House seat of former Speaker Joe Souki. Maui News.

The list of candidates seeking to fill the remaining term for the District 8 House vacancy has been narrowed to three: Troy Hashimoto, Dain Kane and Joseph (Joe) Wildman. Maui Now.

About 35 traffic signals — some more than four decades old — will be upgraded within the next year, Maui County Traffic Engineer Nolly Yagin said Wednesday. Maui News.

While surf splashes against bulging sand mattresses just a stone’s throw away from a Kahana resort’s eight-story towers, plans to shield them from erosion with a 400-foot-long seawall have run into community opposition, a lawsuit and an uncertain future in the state Legislature. Maui News.

The southern terminus of the Lahaina bypass was blessed Sunday, and while the controversial project prompted one Maui lawmaker to skip the ceremony in protest, others expressed relief that the latest section of the bypass had finally been built. Maui News.

Haleakala’s Changes Hit Small Businesses. Park officials vastly reduced the number of tour companies allowed to operate in the park. Hawaii Public Radio.

A public informational meeting for the Paia Relief Route project, originally scheduled for Tuesday, April 17, 2018, has been postponed, according to officials with the Hawaii Department of Transportation. Maui Now.


A lawsuit between Kauai Police Department Assistant Chief Mark Begley and the County of Kauai is garnering another $100,000 in legal fees in a battle that’s been ongoing since 2012. Garden Island.

Flooding of epic proportions: Homes destroyed, roads closed, many rescued. Garden Island.


Commentary: The Crazy Lease Fight Over Molokai Mule Rides. The family that has operated the Kaulapapa tours for decades is fighting eviction with claims based on long-discredited conspiracy theories. Civil Beat.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Thirty Meter Telescope decision delayed, Mauna Kea bills progress in Legislature, Honolulu rail auditor named, Kauai studies landfill site, Maui ethics board investigates gifts, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu skyline ©2018 All Hawaii News
Honolulu ranks No. 1 in survey of clean cities. The international consulting firm Mercer ranked Honolulu No. 1 in sanitation in a recent survey analyzing more than 450 cities worldwide. Star-Advertiser.

A recent survey ranked America's most popular and least popular governors. Hawaii's governor ranked in the bottom 10. KHON2.


Officials: Decision on future of Thirty Meter Telescope project delayed. A decision will be made on the planned location of the Thirty Meter Telescope as further progress is made in the legal and regulatory processes at both proposed sites. Hawaii News Now.

In the closest Senate vote this year, lawmakers voted 15-8 in favor of a ban on new construction atop Mauna Kea, but the effort is likely to collapse as their counterparts in the House say they don’t want to interfere with the Thirty Meter Telescope planned near the mountain’s summit. Star-Advertiser.

The state Senate passed two bills affecting management of Maunakea on Thursday. Both measures — House bills 1585 and 1985 — likely will end up in conference committees since the House is expected to reject changes the Senate made through a process known as “gut and replace.” Tribune-Herald.

The full Senate approved a measure Thursday that would stop construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea if the University of Hawaii doesn’t meet certain requirements. Hawaii News Now.


The state Legislature’s response to the Jan. 13 ballistic missile false alarm has been a complete dud, according to state Rep. Matt LoPresti. Star-Advertiser.

A controversial bill that would provide funding to a company to build a revolutionary satellite launch facility somewhere in the state is nearing passage despite vocal misgivings from Ka'u residents. Tribune-Herald.

Ag initiatives, potential ADC audit intertwine and head to conference committee. The papaya initiative appropriates funds to study why and where in the growing and transport process the fruit breaks down so as to make it more viable for export, thereby strengthening Hawaii’s agricultural economy, particularly on the Big Island where the vast majority of the state’s papaya is grown. West Hawaii Today.

More than $9 million in fruit and nut exports from Hawaii could be affected by tariffs announced by China earlier this month. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Senate voted to confirm Gov. David Ige's pick for the director of the Department of Human Resources Development on Thursday. The new director, Ryker Wada was deputy director of DHRD since December 2016, and was appointed director by Ige in January, following the retirement of then-director James Nishimoto. Hawaii News Now.

Dozens of kupuna filled the state Capitol grounds Thursday for the annual Kupuna Power Day, an information fair designed to “empower” senior citizens with education and resources. Star-Advertiser.


New City Council Leadership Challenges Caldwell’s Proposed Budget. The Budget Committee declined the mayor’s request to set aside $44 million for rail operating costs. Civil Beat.

Former prosecutor, judge selected to lead rail investigation. The state legislative auditor has hired former prosecutor and state judge Randal Lee to head the $200,000 rail audit. Hawaii News Now.

Councilwoman calls for more officers, community leaders to help tackle crime on Oahu's Leeward Coast. KITV.

City using private security to lock up some Oahu parks at night. After more than 600 acts of vandalism to city parks in three years, Mayor Kirk Caldwell today unveiled a three-month pilot project that began this month to lock up gates and bathrooms when city parks are supposed to be off limits. Star-Advertiser.

A pilot project to secure park facilities during park closure hours has begun in Urban Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

Plans to dismantle breakwater at Cromwell's beach run into opposition. Hawaii News Now.

A large residential complex now standing in a prime Honolulu corner lot in Kapahulu went up with no city building permit and despite a stop-work order. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Police Target Bicyclists With No Registration Tags. Advocates for more bike use were irked by recent police enforcements that appeared to target registration more than safety concerns. Civil Beat.

Concern over new type of bike sharing program prompts proposal to change bike laws. KHON2.

Low-income rental tower could break ground in 2020. A state board has selected a developer to put up a low-income rental apartment tower and a new youth shelter and service center on the site of a run-down former juvenile detention center on state land in Pawaa. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Technology Development Corp. to break ground on Kakaako innovation center next week. The Hawaii Technology Development Corp. will break ground on its Entrepreneurs’ Sandbox Facility in Kakaako on Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Kauhale Kamaile, the modular housing project that opened in Waianae last month, is completely full. Hawaii News Now.

Community shaken after large boulder lands near Manoa home. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric to break ground on new solar farm next week. The Honolulu-based utility will host a blessing and ground-breaking ceremony for its new 20-megawatt West Loch Solar facility at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam’s West Loch Annex on Monday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Plans to build a South Kona Police Station remain unknown since the project was put off due to lack of funding, according to Hawaii County officials this week. West Hawaii Today.

County Councilman Aaron Chung has drafted a bill that would allow a farmers market to be set up temporarily at Mooheau Park in downtown Hilo across from Hilo Farmers Market. Tribune-Herald.

After serving as the Acting Director of the Hawaii County Department of Public Works for half a year, Allan G. Simeon was confirmed as the official head of the department on Wednesday. Big Island Video News.

Entrance fees at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii island are slated to go up in 2020, the National Park Service announced today, in order to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance. Star-Advertiser.

Gun-Surrender Laws Don’t Reassure This Doctor After Death Threats. An abortion protester was ordered to surrender his firearms after a temporary restraining order was issued. Civil Beat.

A five-bedroom house at the Kukio Golf and Beach Club on the Big Island sold last month for $27.5 million, eclipsing the sale of a beachfront house on Maui to become the highest-priced residential real estate sale in Hawaii so far this year. Pacific Business News.


Maui County Council Chair Mike White announced today that he will be retiring at the end of the term and will not be seeking re-election. Maui Now.

Ethics Board looking into tournament gifts. Maui Jim Maui Invitational swag, tickets worth thousands of dollars. Maui News.

Thousands Sign Petition Against Paia Inn Permit Request. A contested case involving a special use permit for the nine-room Paia Inn and café along Maui’s north shore, has been remanded back to the Maui Planning Commission for review. Maui Now.

Maui Police Department employees were disciplined with suspensions ranging from one to 10 days for violations sustained in 16 cases last year, according to an MPD report to the state Legislature. Maui News.

The owner of The Maui Cookie Lady recently signed with retail website Goldbely to sell her handmade cookies on the site, thanks to one of her biggest fans — The Rock, the actor also known as Dwayne Johnson. Pacific Business News.


County takes another step in creation of new landfill. In the next 10 to 12 years, Kauai is going to need somewhere to put its trash, and officials are looking at 270 acres near Hanamaulu for a new municipal solid waste landfill. Garden Island.

Twenty more overnight camping permits are becoming available for Kalalau. The first day the peak-season permits will be available is Tuesday. Garden Island.

General Plan available online. This plan updates the last General Plan that was completed in 2000 and reflects diverse community input that was collected over the last three years. Garden Island.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Agribusiness Development Corp. resists audit, cracking down on unlicensed elder care homes, former AG Bennett welcomed by U.S. Senate, Thirty Meter Telescope future up in the air, Kauai to sue Big Pharm over opioid abuse, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hilo Farmers Market ©2018 All Hawaii News
State Agribusiness Agency Says It’s Too Busy To Be Audited. Lawmakers may expand the power of the Agribusiness Development Corp. even as its officials try to stave off a review of its operations. Civil Beat.

Bill Would Allow Crackdown On Unlicensed Care Homes. The unauthorized facilities proliferated while the Health Department failed to establish rules on which ones need licenses. Civil Beat.

The House Health and Human Services Committee is trying to pass a bill to put illegal care homes out of business. Civil Beat.

New bill looks to close complicated loophole for kupuna care facilities. Hawaii News Now.

The 6th Kupuna Power Day will be held at the State Capitol Thursday. This year's event is dedicated to the late Sen. Daniel Akaka who was a champion for kupuna care across Hawaii. KHON2.


A controversial bill that has the astronomy community on edge might have violated the state Senate’s own rules since it was crafted without time for a public hearing. But that might have little consequence since legislators say the chamber can bend or ignore them essentially at will. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii lawmakers discuss sexual harassment complaint reforms. Women lawmakers at the Hawaii state Capitol want the House and Senate to update rules on handling sexual harassment complaints — a push that comes amid high-profile misconduct allegations nationwide and after a former Hawaii House speaker resigned after acknowledging inappropriate behavior toward women. Associated Press.

Trump’s Federal Judge Nominee For Hawaii Gets Warm Reception In DC. Mark Bennett, the former state AG under Hawaii’s last Republican governor, received bipartisan accolades during his Senate confirmation hearing. Civil Beat.

Sen. Schatz Introduces Court of Appeals Nominee Mark Bennett. Big Island Now.

Hawaii Senators participated in the questioning of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Washington on Tuesday. Big Island Video News.

While a few governors have said they oppose President Donald Trump’s plan to send up to 4,000 National Guard troops to the border with Mexico, Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s office said he’s taking a wait-and-see approach and that no such request has come in. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Department of Health officials confirmed Wednesday there were two additional rat lungworm disease cases in the state. The cases involve an adult Maui resident and an adolescent visiting Hawaii island from New York. Star-Advertiser.

Rat Lungworm Confirmed in Maui and Mainland Resident. Maui Now.

Luxury homes on Hawaii’s Kona Coast sold faster and for a higher average price than on other islands last year, while Oahu has seen a reduction in prices and an increase in the number of days those high-end homes are on the market, according to a market index report by Concierge Auctions. Pacific Business News.


Council Leaders, Mayor Caldwell Will Talk With Feds In DC About Rail Funding. Honolulu Council Chair Ernie Martin and Budget Chair Trevor Ozawa, who proposed big cuts in the city budget to raise rail funds, will travel with the mayor to the Capitol. Civil Beat.

Oahu farmland purchased by state in 2013 site of massive dump site. Hawaii News Now.

Officials from the city, state, Kamehameha Schools and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration unveiled a dramatic, 10-foot high banner at the steps of Honolulu Hale Wednesday to hammer home the threat that tsunamis can wreak across the islands at any moment. Star-Advertiser.

Some riders of TheBus will begin today to help the city determine if switching to electric buses makes sense. Star-Advertiser.

A demonstration at Iolani Palace Wednesday showcased electric buses that could be considered when the state looks to implement passenger shuttles between the terminal and rental car facility at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport later this year. KHON2.

3-foot tall concrete wall that snakes along Kalakaua Avenue fronting the old Waikiki 3 theater will be knocked down Thursday morning. Police and businesses say the wall has been a magnet for criminal behavior. Hawaii News Now.

The federal government’s dispute with the city for its handling of abandoned vehicles is officially over. A U.S. District judge dismissed the federal government’s lawsuit against the city Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Lawsuit dismissed after changes made for vehicles of active-duty service members. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Bolstered by a state recalculation that shows a half-cent general excise tax surcharge would give the county twice what was originally thought, Mayor Harry Kim has resumed lobbying the County Council to pass it. West Hawaii Today.

TMT decision faces delay. The TMT International Observatory board, which for months has been saying it would decide by April whether to build the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaii, is meeting at its Pasadena headquarters this week. Newspapers in Spain and the Canary Islands — home to TMT’s backup site — last month reported that members of the TMT governing board assured local officials that the decision about where to build the $1.4 billion observatory would be delayed until November. Star-Advertiser.

Employees at Royal Kona Resort aren’t on strike — yet. A few dozen staff members clad in red and waving picket signs rallied on Kahakai Road fronting the hotel Wednesday afternoon. West Hawaii Today.


Large mound of nets that washed up on Maui's Black Sand Beach to be removed. Hawaii News Now.

The state plans to close Waianapanapa State Park in Hana, Maui, on Thursday morning to remove a large pile of cargo nets that washed ashore about two weeks ago during a recent northeast swell, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

East Maui residents at odds over new Paia bypass proposal. Many prefer the use of old cane roads owned by A&B instead of the DOT’s proposed route. Maui News.

A measure vastly different from the one initially introduced that puts the onus on Maui County to recoup government funds expended on the Front Street Apartments affordable housing project passed the state House on Tuesday. Maui News.

Maui High’s day care, teen parents programs in limbo. Nonprofit offers a $20,000 grant, but portable buildings top $100,000. Maui News.


The County of Kauai is planning to sue the manufacturers, marketers and distributors of opioids. Reminiscent of lawsuits against big tobacco companies, Kauai County will be the first county in Hawaii to pursue this type of litigation.  Garden Island.

Kauai County is the first in the state to take legal action against the makers, marketers and distributors of opioid pain medications. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai County's "opioid litigation" aims to sue prescription drug companies. KITV.

The Kauai Rural Health Association is bringing the conference “Opioid Crisis: What You Should Know” to Kauai Community College on Thursday, May 17. Garden Island.

KCC Medical Assistant Program gains national approval. Garden Island.


Oral Arguments Set on 1993 Water Use Permit for Molokai Ranch Subsidiary. Maui Now.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

How much do we make? New study compares Hawaii to the rest of the U.S., plus lots of action as Legislature enters final 14 days, ballot initiative taxing investment property for education advances in House, too many emergency drills, opiates down, pot use rises, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hotel workers rally in Waikiki. That sector makes more than the national average. ©2018 All Hawaii News
The state has sized up the local workforce in a new report that shows Hawaii workers earned less on average compared with workers nationwide, largely because the biggest employment sector here is part of the relatively low-paying tourism industry. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s average labor earnings and wages, in general, are lower than in the rest of the United States, according to a new study released by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism on Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

A study released Thursday by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism shows some jobs related to tourism pay better in Hawaii than on the mainland, but for almost everyone else, the price of paradise is a lower paycheck. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii workers make less than their mainland counterparts in just about every industry, and the average earnings for Hawaii men are nearly $13,000 higher than those for women, according to a new study that further underscores the disparity between what people earn in the islands and what it costs to live here. Hawaii News Now.

Read full Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism jobs report here.

Gender pay gap in Hawaii is $12,921. Tuesday, April 10 is Equal Pay Day, dedicated to raising awareness of the gender pay gap. KITV.

City, state lawmakers mark 'Equal Pay Day'. State lawmakers are also considering a bill that could be a step toward improving equity in the work place. The bill would prohibit the enforcement of wage secrecy, as well as retaliation or discrimination against those who inquire about their or their co-worker's wages. Hawaii News Now.

National study finds Hawaii residents lead longer, healthier lives. The study, done by the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed death rates by state in 1990 and 2016, as well as the average number of years people live healthy lives. Hawaii News Now.


Legislature Heading to Last 14 Days of Session. Hundreds of bills at the State Legislature passed critical floor votes in the House and Senate today.  But the work is far from over as lawmakers head into the last 14 days of the 2018 session. Hawaii Public Radio.

House lawmakers unanimously approved a bill to ask voters whether the state should be empowered to impose a tax surcharge on investment properties to help fund public education, and also voted Tuesday to impose a new tax on e-­cigarettes. Star-Advertiser.

Tactics To Revive Mauna Kea Bill Leave Even Senators Confused. Recesses in a public floor session to talk privately about the legislative maneuvering slow down “second crossover” day at the Hawaii Capitol. Civil Beat.

The state Senate will vote on two controversial bills affecting Maunakea later this week after making floor amendments on Tuesday. The amendments change the effective date of House bills 1585 and 1985 to Dec. 31, 2033. That’s when the University of Hawaii’s lease for the Maunakea Science Reserve ends. Floor votes are scheduled in the Senate for Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

Minor amendments were inserted into two controversial bills related to Mauna Kea during a floor session of the Hawaii State Senate on Tuesday, setting them up for a final vote in the same chamber on Thursday. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Lawmakers Say They Want Better Sexual Harassment Rules — Just Not Yet. Legislative leaders say they need to study the issue and consult experts before making any changes. Civil Beat.

A bill that would establish regulations on users of restricted pesticides is on the cusp of being passed into law after the state House unanimously voted to pass it last week. Tribune-Herald.

Bills on Sunscreen, Gun Control, Family Leave Head to Senate before Second Crossover Deadline. Key measures that passed by the House today include a proposed amendment to the State Constitution to fund public education, stricter gun control policies, the establishment of paid family leave, and a ban on sunscreens containing oxybenzone. Maui Now.

Edibles Could Be Coming Soon To Medical Marijuana Dispensaries. Key Hawaii legislators in both chambers also support workplace protections for employees who consume medical cannabis. Civil Beat.

A House Bill that would authorize the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds to assist SpinLaunch Inc., with “the financing of the planning, design, and construction of a satellite launch system”, to be located somewhere in Hawaii, passed the State Senate on Tuesday. Big Island Video News.


Botched Hawaii Missile Alert Prompts Advice On Drills. Avoid using the phrase, “This is not a drill,” the Federal Communications Commission says. Associated Press.

Botched missile alert inspires broad FCC recommendations. The Federal Communications Commission said future ballistic missile warning tests in Hawaii should not include words that hark back to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor — specifically, “This is not a drill.” Star-Advertiser.

The FCC this morning released its full report on the false missile alert in Hawaii, finding a “combination of human error and inadequate safeguards” and issuing a lengthy list of recommendations. Star-Advertiser.

The feds say Hawaii has made strides in strengthening its emergency alert system, but urges more training after the Jan. 13 incoming missile alert that sent Hawaii scurrying for cover. Garden Island.

The FCC has released its final report on January's false missile alert. Among its findings, some people did not get the alert because they were probably in areas known as coverage dead zones. KHON2.


The United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution today honoring the life of retired U.S. Sen. Daniel Kahikina Akaka, who died Friday at the age of 93. Star-Advertiser.

Opiate use among Hawaii workers dropped 50 percent during the first quarter of this year compared with the same time last year, according to workforce drug tests performed by the state’s largest laboratory. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii workforce drug testing results show opiate use down, marijuana use up. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii among the worst states for millennials, report says. WalletHub's "2018's Best & Worst States for Millennials" analysis has ranked Hawaii at No. 38, with a score of 44.61 out of a possible 100 points. Pacific Business News.

Three key military positions affecting the Pacific theater and involving top-ranking Hawaii-based commanders were announced by the Pentagon today. Star-Advertiser.

HECO grid study emphasizes real-time data for alternative energy integration. Pacific Business News.


Council Considers Big Cuts In Honolulu’s Climate Change Office. Voters created the office less than two years ago. Now Council Chair Ernie Martin wants to slice its budget in half. Civil Beat.

A contentious bill that would allow drivers to turn left during rush hour at two key Kapiolani Boulevard intersections on weekdays was vetoed Tuesday by Mayor Kirk Caldwell, an action that could lead to an interesting political showdown. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu is becoming a more bikeable city, but that comes at a price. The city confirms 184 on-street parking spaces have been removed to make way for bike lanes and the new bike share program, known as Biki. Hawaii News Now.

A state lawmaker fell victim to thieves while taking a family photo on a beach in Waikiki. Rep. Kaniela Ing (D, Kihei, Wailea, Makena) is now dealing with thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent debit card charges. KHON2.

High rise residents -- including House Speaker Scott Saiki -- stuck without elevators. KHON2.

The road at Kaena Point State Park has been closed for nearly eight weeks due to rainy weather and the muddy damage caused by off-road vehicles. Star-Advertiser.

A home on Oahu's North Shore is breaking sales records in the area after real estate agents closed a multi-million dollar deal Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

A North Kona park proposed several decades ago could be coming to fruition. Hawaii One1 Investors LLC will construct the first phase of the long-planned park on Laaloa Avenue off Alii Drive as part of its fair-share agreement in exchange for zoning and use permits from Hawaii County. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Community College is looking to redevelop its current Manono Street campus, foregoing costlier options to move to a larger site elsewhere in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

A critical audit of the county Human Resources Department has netted a national award for Legislative Auditor Bonnie Nims and her staff. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County police said police officer Christopher R. Kapua-­Allison’s serv­ice weapon, a 9-mm Glock, was found at the scene of the apparent murder-suicide at his Mountain View house on Sunday. Star-Advertiser.


Maui Ocean Users Sue Land Board Over 400 Foot Seawall. A lawsuit has been filed in Maui’s environmental court over a 400 foot seawall proposed for construction at Kahana Bay in West Maui. Maui Now.

East Maui residents at odds over new Paia bypass proposal. Many prefer the use of old cane roads owned by A&B instead of the DOT’s proposed route. Maui News.

House passes Front Street Apartment bill. Measure puts burden on county to get funds back from developers. Maui News.

Chumbley offers to keep 8th House seat warm. Former state lawmaker says he won’t run in November, leaving spot open for candidates. Maui News.


Chamber supports nene delisting. The federal government might remove nene from the endangered species list and the Kauai Chamber of Commerce is reminding everyone to comment on the proposal before it’s too late. Garden Island.

Study shows Puaiohi’s importance to the Alakai Plateau. Small and aloof, the Puaiohi songbirds of Kauai might stand only a few inches high but they have a big impact on their home ecosystem on the island’s Alakai Plateau. Garden Island.

Kauai’s newest charter school has received 113 student applications for the 2018-2019 school year. Garden Island.


Four Seasons Resort Lanai has launched a daily private air charter service for hotel guests traveling from Honolulu, the resort announced Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

The ultraluxury resort on Lanai announced Tuesday that it has started its own charter flight service for guests traveling between Honolulu and the Four Seasons Resort Lanai. Star-Advertiser.