Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hawaii Legislature's opening day, Zuckerberg sues over Kauai locals, audit calls for midwife licensing, Native Hawaiian health, FBI raid update in Kealoha case, lawmakers question loss of school superintendent, Hard Rock Cafe leaves Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii state Capitol © 2017 All Hawaii News
Today marks the opening day of the state Legislature, with the House and Senate scheduled to convene at the state Capitol at 10 a.m. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers are pushing for energy independence, easing the high cost of living and improving working conditions in the state’s commercial fishing fleet as they begin the 2017 legislative session. Associated Press.

Lawmakers interrogated several members of the Board of Education on Tuesday over the decision not to retain schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, and demanded to know what prompted the call for a leadership change. Star-Advertiser.

Two groups of lawmakers wanted answers Tuesday as to why current Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi is being replaced when the Board of Education has said she’s done a good job. Civil Beat.

The accounting practices of the State Public Charter School Commission came under scrutiny during a legislative budget hearing at the Capitol.  Civil Beat.

A plan to ease overcrowding in Hawaii jails by releasing nonviolent accused or convicted petty criminals hasn’t gotten off the ground yet, and might not have much impact when it finally takes effect because too few inmates will qualify. Star-Advertiser.

A state audit calls for all midwives to be licensed in Hawaii. KITV.

A group of health leaders is proposing public policy changes such as a minimum wage hike and public dental benefits for low-income residents in an attempt to reduce health disparities among Native Hawaiians with a higher proportion of chronic diseases. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii typically ranks among the top states when it comes to the health of its residents, but its indigenous population suffers disproportionately from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and high incarceration rates. Civil Beat.

Senate president’s goals include rail, health care services. Garden Island.

Counties Again Seek Greater Share Of Hotel Tax, Lifeguard Immunity. Protection from civil litigation expires July 1 unless lawmakers act. Counties want lifeguards treated the same as some state workers. Civil Beat.

Counselor Involved In School Sex Case Now Works For State. Scott O’Neal didn’t admit liability but paid $750,000 to settle. The Department of Health said it could find no reason not to hire him. Civil Beat.

Women legislators across the country are launching a bi-partisan effort to address the opioid abuse epidemic.    Local lawmakers conducted a news conference today on their proposed legislation. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state Department of Health levied an administrative penalty of $2,800 against Safeway Inc. “for failure to submit payments and reports required of beverage distributors.” Tribune-Herald.

Oahu

The FBI raided another county building late last week as part of its public corruption case against Honolulu's police chief and his deputy prosecutor wife, Hawaii News Now has learned.

Hawaii Sen. Will Espero has added his name to the chorus of people urging the Honolulu Police Commission to hold off on inking a cash settlement with Police Chief Louis Kealoha, who is under federal investigation for corruption. Civil Beat.

What will police chief Louis Kealoha walk away with when his retirement becomes official? It’s a question the Honolulu Police Commission will answer at its meeting Wednesday. KHON2.

How Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell's pay stacks up against other big city mayors. Pacific Business News.

State officials say they’ll have to relocate the 450-foot-tall radio tower near the Kapalama Canal in the next several years to help make way for more harbor capacity — but where the tower will go hasn’t been decided. Star-Advertiser.

The City and County of Honolulu expects to select a company in the coming months that will replace about 52,000 of its streetlights with more efficient LED lighting, a city spokesman confirmed to Pacific Business News Tuesday.

State officials recovered an illegal 4-1/2-foot ball python over the weekend, the Department of Agriculture said. Star-Advertiser.

The first residents of a new apartment complex in Kapolei that feels like a hotel for seniors received a grand welcome along with a kahu’s blessing and a Champagne toast Tuesday as part of the project’s opening ceremony. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii
Mayor Harry Kim headed to Honolulu Tuesday, ready to meet, greet, request and repeat. West Hawaii Today.

Amidst concerns expressed by residents neighboring the planned East Hawaii Organics Facility in Panaewa, the mayor is taking another look at the enhanced mulching project. Big Island Video News.

Puna Councilwoman Eileen O’Hara interrupted a burglary at her Pahoa council office Monday when she found a man making himself a little too comfortable. Tribune-Herald.

Demolition of two Pahoa landmarks — the Akebono Theatre and Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant — started Tuesday afternoon following a late-night blaze that heavily damaged both buildings Sunday. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Police Department and residents of Puueo have taken steps toward the creation of a neighborhood watch to help address ongoing concerns about crime and drug use in the area. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The titles, membership and duties of each committee were finally decided at 9:30 p.m. Monday after the Maui County Council unanimously approved a proposal to create four committees with seven voting members and four with nine voting members. Maui News.

Closed for months following massive flooding in September, Iao Valley State Monument and Kepaniwai Park are both expected to re-open this year, county and state officials said. Maui News.

A peek through the windows of Lahaina’s Hard Rock Cafe on Thursday afternoon shows that the Front Street landmark has been closed and cleaned out after a 26-year run. Maui News.

Kauai

Lawsuit: When Facebook’s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg paid around $100 million for 700 acres of rural beachfront land on Kauai two years ago to create what Forbes magazine described as a secluded family sanctuary, he actually acquired a not-so-secluded property. Close to a dozen small parcels within Zuckerberg’s Kauai estate are owned by kamaaina families who have rights to traverse the billionaire’s otherwise private domain. Star-Advertiser.

When the Legislature opens today, a slew of key issues await Kauai legislators. Garden Island.

With today’s opening of the 2017 Hawaii State Legislative session, some on Kauai are redirecting the spotlight to restricted use pesticides. But the agribusiness industry is waiting for the opening of the session to take up the issue. Garden Island.

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing regarding the departmental draft of the General Plan update. Garden Island.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Honolulu purchases 114 acres for preservation, Hawaii to be linked with broadband cable, Oahu solar hookups down, Delta adding Seattle-Kauai flights, living payheck to paycheck, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell
North Shore beach purchased, courtesy Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell
The City and County of Honolulu announced Monday the $12 million purchase of 114 acres of the North Shore, saving a sizable chunk of oceanfront land that includes the Kahuku Golf Course from possible development. Star-Advertiser.

The City and County of Honolulu has purchased 114 acres of oceanfront land on Oahu’s North Shore, including the nine-hole Kahuku Golf Course, for $12.1 million, saving these lands from a planned development of luxury homes along the shoreline. Pacific Business News.

The City and County of Honolulu just beat developers to the punch, and scooped up prime beachfront land in Kahuku before houses could pop up. KITV.

A large piece of oceanfront land on Oahu’s North Shore that was at risk for development is now city property. KHON2.

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People living in Hawaii are more likely to live paycheck to paycheck than in any other state, and may even be in the red each month after paying for basic living expenses, according to a new study by GoBankingRates. Pacific Business News.

For the second year in a row, Hawaii has been named the state where residents are "most likely" to live paycheck to paycheck. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Telcom said the Federal Communications Commission has approved the landing license for the $250 million Southeast Asia-U.S. broadband cable under construction, which will allow the cable to connect Indonesia and California, via Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Do Condo Owners Need Some Help From Hawaii’s Legislature? Potential condo-related proposals run the gamut from establishing an ombudsman to merely clarifying existing laws. Civil Beat.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s presence at Pearl Harbor will endure in the form of a small yet powerful symbol of peace and reconciliation between Japan and America. Star-Advertiser.

As many as 50 supporters from the islands will be among the one million people in attendance for the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump in Washington, D.C. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Most Integrated State. America, it seems, has come closer to realizing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision, “though segregation and discrimination persist,” says WalletHub. Civil Beat.

With a high turnover rate of teachers, it can be challenging to fill open positions. The state Department of Education is trying to fix this problem by increasing recruitment efforts, providing mentoring programs for teachers and by strengthening partnerships with organizations such as Hawaii State Teachers Association. Garden Island.

Gun-Death Rates In America. Hawaii still rates very low but slips to No. 49 in report analyzing weak gun violence prevention laws and higher rates of gun ownership. Civil Beat.

Oahu
More Judge Jobs For Ige Pal. The governor’s former campaign manager is being considered for three judicial vacancies. Civil Beat.

Three Honolulu attorneys in private practice and a District Court judge are among the nominees for two vacancies on Oahu's 1st Circuit Court submitted to Gov. David Ige by the Hawaii Judicial Selection Commission. Pacific Business News.

The solar industry on Oahu continues to shrink as the number of building permits issued for rooftop solar projects by the City and County of Honolulu was down 34 percent in 2016 compared with the year prior. Star-Advertiser.

Volunteers spent the holiday cleaning up Diamond Head State Monument. KHON2.

Commentary: I feel sad whenever I hear about local residents being squeezed out of their community beach parks by tour buses rumbling in day after day to drop off hundreds of tourists on so-called “recreation stops.” Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Puna residents were in shock Monday following a fire late Sunday night that gutted the historic Akebono Theatre and Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant in downtown Pahoa. Tribune-Herald.

Although there were no reported injuries in the fire, it felt like a funeral on Monday as the community stood in disbelief over the loss of their town's cultural center. Big Island Video News.

For the second straight year, around 150 Kaiser Permanente employees and members of various nonprofits from across the island dedicated their annual day of service, which falls every year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to reforestation efforts at the Hauaina Enclosure, part of the 40,000-acre Puu Waawaa Forest Reserve on Hawaii Island. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

More than 150 volunteer physicians, staff, and family members continued a 12-year tradition of giving back on Martin Luther King Jr. Day by participating in the Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi Annual Day of Service on Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

Delta Air Lines is adding a daily nonstop flight between the Hawaiian island of Kauai and Seattle, one of seven new flights from the Atlanta-based airline’s hub in the Pacific Northwest. Pacific Business News.

Kaiser Permanente staff members and families volunteered at Waipa ahupuaa in North Kauai Monday as part of the organization’s 12th annual Day of Service. Garden Island.

Albatross back on Kauai; 33 eggs relocated from Pacific Missile Range to Oahu. Garden Island.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hawaii Legislature prepares for session opening, 300 rally for health care, tourism bureau prefers closed meetings, foreclosure increase bucks national trend, homeless, squatters plague Big Island, candidates set for Kauai electric coop, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Democratic Party of Hawaii
Health-care rally, with U.S. Sen. Schatz, courtesy Hawaii Democratic Party
More than 300 people gathered Sunday at the Hawaii State Capitol for a rally to save the Affordable Care Act. KITV.

The Legislature will gather for its 29th biennial session Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the state Capitol. Among the nagging problems that confront lawmakers are the lack of affordable housing, the condition of congested state highways, and aging facilities such as the Oahu Community Correctional Center that need to be refurbished or replaced. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: The first legislative pass over Gov. David Ige’s $28.5 billion, two-year state budget drew only catcalls. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority, empowered by the Legislature to spend tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to market the islands, is operating behind closed doors at least half the time, according to a three-month review of records by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s tight housing market is the result of a “costly, time-consuming, and politically and economically uncertain” development process and not short-term Airbnb rentals, says a study conducted for the online vacation rental company. West Hawaii Today.

With President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration a week away, Pacific Business News took the temperature of local industries on their expectations of the new administration. Hawaii Public Radio.

Embattled telecommunications provider Sandwich Isles Communications Inc. is disputing findings by the federal government that the company received more than $26 million in overpayments of federal subsidies over 10 years. Star-Advertiser.

Schatz Gets Key Role On Military Panel. Hawaii senator hopeful that new post will bring money to the state. Civil Beat.

Hawaii experienced an increase in foreclosure activity in 2016, contrasting the national trend with foreclosure activity sinking to its lowest level since 2006 according to a report by property database Attom Data Solutions. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

An FBI raid on the Honolulu prosecuting attorney's office is the latest action in a growing corruption scandal involving the chief of police and his prosecutor wife. Associated Press.

The Honolulu Police Commission won’t meet with the City Council about a retirement deal for Police Chief Louis Kealoha, who has agreed to leave the department in the midst of a federal criminal probe but is still negotiating his exit. Civil Beat.

In the first rent increases in years, the city on Feb. 1 will begin raising rates on 10 “affordable” residential properties across Oahu, including those for low-income senior citizens. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson wants to move quickly on a proposal that would presumably end the idea of developing the Malaekaha­na section of Laie. Star-Advertiser.

A former Honolulu police officer has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. Associated Press.

Hawaii

It’s that time of year again, and Big Island legislators are brimming with new ideas for laws and projects they want to see in their districts. West Hawaii Today.

Harry Kim ordered the removal of a baseball diamond from the Kukuihaele Park redevelopment plan. The facility had the neighborhood sharply divided. Big Island Video News.

Homeless at Old Kona Airport Park say they’ve been told to clear out; but ‘very few places to go’ West Hawaii Today.

New players are starting to emerge in Hawaii Island’s international tourism game, as 2016 saw a noticeable increase in arrivals and expenditures from South Korean and Taiwanese visitors. Tribune-Herald.

A destructive house fire last week underscores the problem of squatters on Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.

Workers from entry level to highly trained professionals are needed for high-paying East Hawaii health care jobs. Tribune-Herald.

An assessment of Hawaii Island’s sandalwood supply is being planned to help state officials improve protection of what remains of the sweet-scented tree. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County’s state legislators will continue to push for a smooth transition for Maui Memorial Medical Center and will remain vigilant in ensuring that long-term projects such as the Kihei high school get the money and support they need. Maui News.

Renters in the Lahaina Front Street Apartments fear they’ll eventually be forced out of their affordable units, due to a loophole in the tax code that would allow the units to be bumped up to market rates by 2019. Maui News.

Wailuku/Kahului was one of five communities statewide chosen to join the Blue Zones Project, a community well-being improvement initiative. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has confirmed seven candidates that will run for three seats during its board of directors election in March. Pacific Business News.

During the first week of January, 17 animals were transferred to the Mainland from Kauai Humane Society as a direct result of the community’s involvement. Garden Island.

For the Surfrider Foundation, which announced its landmark 400th coastal victory over the past decade, consistently moving forward and improving coasts and oceans is the primary goal. Garden Island.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Why did the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wear a lei on his famous 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, his relationship with Akaka and other Hawaii ties of the great civil rights leader: a special report

Martin Luther King Jr. wearing lei
Ever wonder why the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders on that famous march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. wore lei? Turns out King had special ties to the Aloha State, and to the family of former U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.

It's altogether fitting that the Hawaii Legislature opens its annual session this week as the state and the rest of the nation commemorate what would have been King's 88th birthday. King, in his 1959 address to a special session of the Hawaii Legislature, praised Hawaii for its ethnic diversity.

"We look to you for inspiration and as a noble example, where you have already accomplished in the area of racial harmony and racial justice, what we are struggling to accomplish in other sections of the country, and you can never know what it means to those of us caught for the moment in the tragic and often dark midnight of man’s inhumanity to man, to come to a place where we see the glowing daybreak of freedom and dignity and racial justice," King said in his address.

Five years after those words, King carried a bit of Hawaii to Alabama. That five-day, 54-mile march from Selma, where an Alabama state trooper had shot and killed church deacon Jimmie Lee Jackson, to the state capital, helped bring King to the forefront of the nation's imagination, spurring the cause of nonviolent protest that would be picked up and championed by an entire generation, fomenting the hope of equality for all mankind.

The lei were no artifice. King had strong Hawaii ties, from his 1959 address to the Hawaii Legislature to his relationship with the Rev. Abraham Kahikina Akaka, older brother of Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii. Abraham Akaka, kahu (shepherd) of Kawaiahao Church in Honolulu, developed a close friendship with King when King came to Honolulu in 1964 to participate in a Civil Rights Week symposium at the University of Hawaii, according to Akaka's obituary in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.  Abraham Akaka later sent the lei to King as a gift, according to a 1991 article in Jet Magazine by Simeon Booker.

Here's the text of King's speech, as recorded in the Journal of the Hawaii House of Representatives:

The following remarks were made by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Thursday, September 17, 1959 at the Hawaii House of Representatives 1959 First Special Session:

“Mr. Speaker, distinguished members of the House of Representatives of this great new state in our Union, ladies and gentlemen:

It is certainly a delightful privilege and pleasure for me to have this great opportunity and, I shall say, it is a great honor to come before you today and to have the privilege of saying just a few words to you about some of the pressing problems confronting our nation and our world.

I come to you with a great deal of appreciation and great feeling of appreciation, I should say, for what has been accomplished in this beautiful setting and in this beautiful state of our Union. As I think of the struggle that we are engaged in in the South land, we look to you for inspiration and as a noble example, where you have already accomplished in the area of racial harmony and racial justice, what we are struggling to accomplish in other sections of the country, and you can never know what it means to those of us caught for the moment in the tragic and often dark midnight of man’s inhumanity to man, to come to a place where we see the glowing daybreak of freedom and dignity and racial justice.

People ask me from time to time as I travel across the country and over the world whether there has been any real progress in the area of race relations, and I always answer it by saying that there are three basic attitudes that one can take toward the question of progress in the area of race relations. One can take the attitude of extreme optimism. The extreme optimist would contend that we have come a long, long way in the area of race relations, and he would point proudly to the strides that have been made in the area of civil rights in the last few decades. And, from this, he would conclude that the problem is just about solved now and that we can sit down comfortably by the wayside and wait on the coming of the inevitable.

And then segregation is still with us. Although we have seen the walls gradually crumble, it is still with us. I imply that figuratively speaking, that Old Man Segregation is on his death bed, but you know history has proven that social systems have a great last-minute breathing power, and the guardians of the status quo are always on hand with their oxygen tents to keep the old order alive, and this is exactly what we see today. So segregation is still with us. We are confronted in the South in its glaring and conspicuous forms, and we are confronted in almost every other section of the nation in its hidden and subtle forms. But if democracy is to live, segregation must die. Segregation is a cancer in the body politic which must be removed before our democratic health can be realized. In a real sense, the shape of the world today does not permit us the luxury of an anemic democracy. If we are to survive, if we are to stand as a force in the world, if we are to maintain our prestige, we must solve this problem because people are looking over to America.

Just two years ago I traveled all over Africa and talked with leaders from that great continent. One of the things they said to me was this: No amount of extensive handouts and beautiful words would be substitutes for treating our brothers in the United States as first-class citizens and human beings. This came to me from mouth of Prime Minister Nkrumah of Ghana.

Just four months ago, I traveled throughout India and the Middle East and talked with many of the people and leaders of that great country and other people in the Middle East, and these are the things they talked about: That we must solve this problem if we are to stand and to maintain our prestige. And I can remember very vividly meeting people all over Europe and in the Middle East and in the Far East, and even though many of them could not speak English, they knew how to say ‘Little Rock.’

And these are the things that we must be concerned about – we must be concerned about because we love America and we are out to free not only the Negro. This is not our struggle today to free 17,000,000 Negroes. It’s bigger than that. We are seeking to free the soul of America. Segregation debilitates the white man as well as the Negro. We are to free all men, all races and all groups. This is our responsibility and this is our challenge, and we look to this great new state in our Union as the example and as the inspiration. As we move on in this realm, let us move on with the faith that this problem can be solved, and that it will be solved, believing firmly that all reality hinges on moral foundations, and we are struggling for what is right, and we are destined to win.

We have come a long, long way. We have a long, long way to go. I close, if you will permit me, by quoting the words of an old Negro slave preacher. He didn’t quite have his grammar right, but he uttered some words in the form of a prayer with great symbolic profundity and these are the works he said: ‘Lord, we ain’t what we want to be; we ain’t what we ought to be; we ain’t what we gonna be, but thank God, we ain’t what we was.’ Thank you.”

At the conclusion of his address, there was much applause.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Another $13M to house homeless, Pearl Harbor vessel to check North Korea missile, racial slur on Hilo shopfront, smaller Aloha Stadium planned, OHA meeting disintegrates, 3 council members named in Maui ethics case, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki homeless © 2017 All Hawaii News
Thirty-three homeless shelters across the islands are pledging to collectively add nearly 200 beds and to more than double the number of clients they place into permanent housing, Gov. David Ige announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

State contracts that support homeless shelter operations will fund nearly 200 more shelter beds in 2017 compared to last year, Gov. David Ige announced Thursday. Civil Beat.

The Governor announced an increase in homeless shelter beds statewide over the next 12 months. Hawaii Public Radio.

Death And Taxes: Two Certainties For This Year’s Hawaii Legislature. Lawmakers will consider medical aid in dying legislation while also weighing how to fund transportation projects such as Honolulu rail. Civil Beat.

Longtime state political lobbyist John Radcliffe is the face and voice of the latest push to give terminally ill patients in Hawaii, like himself, the legal ability to end their lives on their own terms. Star-Advertiser.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday against the state of Hawaii aims to grant terminally ill, mentally competent patients the right to medical aid in dying. Civil Beat.

Days after critics called for a federal probe into “unconstitutional” conditions at the state’s prisons and jails, Hawaii Department of Public Safety officials fielded questions from state lawmakers about the governor’s budget proposal that offers little in the way of quick solutions. Civil Beat.

Is Hawaii Spending Enough To Protect Its Natural Resources? The challenge facing the DLNR is called “overwhelming,” but the agency hasn’t hired all the people it’s authorized to. Civil Beat.

The Sea-Based X-Band Radar has deployed out of Pearl Harbor after North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un recently said his country was in the “final stages” of test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii ranks near the bottom half when compared to other U.S. states and territories for releases of toxic chemicals into the air, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pacific Business News.

Terry Surles, who was a top executive for the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii Manoa, has been named interim administrator of the state Energy Office, industry sources confirmed to Pacific Business News Thursday.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has been named as co-trustee to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs now has an official voice in the management of the world’s largest marine conservation area. Associated Press.

A Board of Trustees meeting at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs abruptly ended shortly after it started Thursday when a majority of the members walked out. Civil Beat.

A procedural dispute short-circuited an expected showdown over whether the CEO at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs stays or goes. KITV.

Robert Farrell has been tapped to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement. West Hawaii Today.

Oahu

House Speaker Joe Souki says he supports plans to make the half-percent excise tax surcharge for the Honolulu rail project permanent, and wants to use money from the surcharge to extend the rail line to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, but only on one condition: Souki says the city must contribute its own funding to help pay to build the project. Star-Advertiser.

The Aloha Stadium Authority is recommending that the state seek ancillary development to help underwrite a new, slightly smaller stadium on land surrounding the deteriorating 42-year-old Aloha Stadium. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii state agency that oversees Aloha Stadium has approved a plan to move ahead with the development of a smaller stadium that would replace the aging and outdated Honolulu facility that was once the longtime home to University of Hawaii football and the NFL’s Pro Bowl. Pacific Business News.

Latest push to expand cell phone ban targets pedestrians, bicyclists. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige has until Feb. 11 to decide who will fill two seats left vacant on Oahu’s Circuit Court following the retirement of Judges Steven Alm in August and Karen Ahn in June. Star-Advertiser.

Popular hike has tenants calling out for solutions. Star-Advertiser.

A development team led by a New York company received more than $50 million in state and federal financing to build a “micro-unit” rental apartment tower in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Vandal writes 'No Blacks' on Hilo Boutique. KITV.

The nearly 1,000-acre Makalei Golf Club community on the Big Island of Hawaii is on the market with an asking price of $11.25 million for the undeveloped subdivision, Pacific Business News has learned.

Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii’s flagship carrier, announced Thursday it will launch once daily non-stop service between Kauai and Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Thousands of people have flocked to Kamokuna on the Big Island to get as close as they can to the lava flow entering the ocean from Kilauea's Pu'u O'o vent. Many of them are getting their via tour boats. And the National Park Service says those boats are raising concerns about safety. Hawaii News Now.

A stream of lava continues to gush out the side of a sea cliff in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as the 61g flow struggles to rebuild a delta of volcanic rock that calved like a glacier New Year’s Eve. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A Wailuku man has filed a complaint with the Maui County Board of Ethics over alleged ethics violations by three County Council members during the council’s initial meeting of the new term on Jan. 2 and 3. Maui News.

A U.S. district judge late last month whittled down the number of claims against Mayor Alan Arakawa in his personal capacity in a wrongful termination lawsuit brought by former Film Commissioner Harry Donenfeld. Maui News.

Thar She Blows! Maui Whale Season in Full Bloom. Maui Now.

Kauai

If the Kauai County Council was aware Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. did not support a bill to legalize drinking on the Wailua Golf Course, it would have saved a lot of time and trouble, said Councilman Ross Kagawa. Garden Island.

Gov. David Ige announced the state Department of Human Services will award contracts to 33 homeless shelters, including Kauai Economic Opportunity on Kauai. Garden Island.

Volunteers are needed to help Kauai Economic Opportunity with its annual homeless census. Garden Island.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Money sought for roads, mileage tax mulled, state computers probed 45M times a day, death with dignity legislation, Green mulls gubernatorial run, Attorney General clears homeless map, Hawaii park downsized, Maui workers charged with vacation theft, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii roadway © 2017 All Hawaii News
Hawaii Department of Transportation officials told state lawmakers Wednesday that they need dozens of new positions and millions of additional dollars to continue with plans to modernize airports, repair harbors and maintain roads. Civil Beat.

As laws mandate more fuel efficient cars and trucks, state transportation officials said they have to either double the gas tax, or find some a more fair way to charge users. KITV.

The top manager of state government computer systems in Hawaii says would-be hackers are probing the defenses of state networks up to 45 million times a day in an effort to find vulnerabilities in the system. Star-Advertiser.

With two years left in his Senate term, Josh Green is considering running for governor or lieutenant governor in 2018. West Hawaii Today.

Pierre Omidyar, LinkedIn co-founder ​Reid Hoffman put $10M each into new fund for ethical artificial intelligence. Pacific Business News.

Longtime state political lobbyist John Radcliffe has stage four liver and colon cancer and wants to choose when he dies. Radcliffe, 74, is asking the court to declare that Hawaii’s murder and manslaughter laws do not apply when a physician helps a mentally-competent, terminally-ill adult patient who chooses to die. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers in Hawaii and several other states want to prevent presidential candidates from appearing on their states’ ballots unless the candidates release their tax returns. Associated Press.

Incensed that President-elect Donald Trump still won’t make public his tax returns, state Rep. Chris Lee is trying to do something about it. Civil Beat.

As the state Department of Education continues to reduce its backlog of employee misconduct cases, some Board of Education members are questioning whether the department is doing enough to prevent cases in the first place. Star-Advertiser.

The Governor’s top budget priority for this upcoming legislative session is Public Education. But will his increased spending really make a difference? Hawaii Public Radio.

Seniors in Hawaii face a greater risk of being struck and killed by a car than in any other state in the nation — a nagging fact that hasn’t changed much in the last decade, according to a report released this week by the National Complete Streets Coalition. Star-Advertiser.

How Hawaii’s Inmates Are Ending Up In Prisons All Over The Country. But, citing privacy and security reasons, state prison officials won’t say why ‌imates are being transferred or where they have gone. Civil Beat.

Oahu
The state Attorney General’s office told state Rep. Gene Ward that a map he published in November of suspected homeless encampments and homeless activity in his East Honolulu district passes legal muster and is constitutional. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Wednesday said he doubts a final agreement has been reached yet between the Police Commission and Police Chief Louis Kealoha over a possible payout to the chief in exchange for his retirement. Civil Beat.

As out of state law enforcement agencies prepare to make the trip to Hawaii and begin their recruiting trip, the Honolulu Police Department is searching for applicants of its own. KHON2.

A traffic pattern change due to the city's rail project in Pearl City is not sitting well with a longtime business there. Hawaii News Now.

The city wants to sell a portion of a popular park in Windward Oahu. However, the proposal is facing backlash from some community members in Kahaluu. Hawaii News Now.

Sewage spills are likely to continue in West Kapolei near Ko Olina until corroded pipes are replaced at an estimated cost of $20 million, a Honolulu City Council committee was told Wednesday. Civil Beat.

A third finalist for the University of Hawaii at Manoa chancellor position will be participating in a final round of interviews this month, UH officials announced Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: STEM Jobs? Not In Honolulu. Nationally, we rank close to the bottom when it comes to professions involving science, technology, engineering and math. Civil Beat.

Ho‘ola Na Pua event provides insight into human trafficking. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

After more than a year of neighborhood contention regarding construction of a park in Kukuihaele, county planners presented a new and largely well-received proposal for the 4-acre space Tuesday night. Tribune-Herald.

The number of solar electric permits issued on the Big Island dropped 56 percent compared with the year earlier. Star-Advertiser.

A long-awaited four-year aviation program could take off this year at University of Hawaii at Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Legacy nursing home in Hilo hired a former state Department of Health nursing home compliance director to get Legacy back in line with federal regulations. Tribune-Herald.

As big of a challenge combating human trafficking is in Hawaii, convincing people it even happens here in the first place is a whole other one. West Hawaii Today.

West Hawaii joins the previous selections of East Hawaii and North Hawaii as Blue Zones, making Hawaii County the first entire county in the nation to join the movement. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Two former Maui County Public Works employees pleaded not guilty Wednesday to second-degree theft charges involving unrecorded vacation time, according to sources familiar with the case. Maui News.

The Maui County Council will hold a special meeting on Monday to handle matters left over from its Jan. 2 meeting, including establishing the body’s standing committees and referring various matters to appropriate committees. Maui News.

Kauai

Getting a fair share of the transient accommodations tax, making sure lifeguards are insured and purchasing an additional ambulance are some of the goals for Kauai County this legislative session. Garden Island.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

ACLU seeks federal probe of Hawaii prison overcrowding, $22 minimum wage sought, judge denies dismissal of Kauai Sunshine Law case, ethics complaint against Hawaii County prosecutor, Honolulu council briefed on police chief, teachers want higher pay, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Cell for 3 inmates © 2017 All Hawaii News
The ACLU of Hawai‘i Foundation has filed a formal complaint asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Hawaii’s overcrowded jails and prisons and to force the state to remedy the situation. Star-Advertiser.

Citing severe overcrowding at the state’s dilapidated prisons and jails, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii has filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department, calling for a federal investigation into “unconstitutional and unsafe conditions” endured by Hawaii inmates. Civil Beat.

The American Civil Liberties Union complaint calls the crowded conditions chronic. KITV.

Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo is one of seven state-operated correctional facilities that is overcrowded and violating the constitutional rights of inmates, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii Foundation said in a complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice dated Friday. Tribune-Herald.

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Members of a key state Senate committee blasted the Hawaii Tourism Authority at a Tuesday hearing for its lack of transparency and what they termed “unsustainable” spending and debt management. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: How many tourists is too many tourists? Star-Advertiser.

State senators grilled the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism director Tuesday about the costs of a failed $150 million renewable financing program intended to help residents who have trouble owning renewable energy. Star-Advertiser.

A $22 Minimum Wage? A Hawaii state representative wants to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2019 and $22 by 2022. Civil Beat.

Businesses raise concerns over lawmaker’s push for $22 minimum wage by 2022. KHON2.

A $15 an hour minimum wage is getting the support of at least one Hawaii Island lawmaker. Tribune-Herald.

With the Legislature set to convene next week, the Hawaii State Teachers Association is looking to drum up support to increase pay for public school teachers. Star-Advertiser.

New numbers reveal just how much lower Hawaii public school teachers get paid compared to mainland cities with similar high costs of living. Hawaii News Now.

Compared to two years ago, the Hawaii Department of Education has fewer cases of employee misconduct to investigate. Civil Beat.

Hawaii needs to think “very differently” about how it addresses its longstanding teacher shortage and should perhaps look at alternative solutions — such as recruiting overseas. Tribune-Herald.

Police May Be Blocked From Aerial Surveillance In Hawaii. The Hawaii Supreme Court is considering whether privacy expectations preclude the police from gathering evidence of a crime by flying over your house. Civil Beat.

Hawaii roads are the riskiest in the nation to pedestrians 65 and over, a new report concludes. Hawaii News Now.

The state released Tuesday its first-ever inter-agency bio-security plan, an ambitious and multifaceted initiative intended to safeguard against invasive species posing threats to human health, endangered species and major state industries. West Hawaii Today

As the new board chair of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Rowena Akana, pushes to remove its chief executive officer, Civil Beat has obtained documents indicating that dozens of human resources complaints have been filed against her by OHA employees.

The Navy hasn’t fundamentally changed its personnel system since the draft ended in 1973, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The online vacation home booking site Airbnb has had “no material impact” on Hawaii’s housing market, with homes booked through the website representing 1.53 percent of the statewide housing stock, according to an analysis by local housing analyst Ricky Cassiday. Pacific Business News.

The new State Moped Law is currently being implemented on all islands with a focus on illegal modifications for speed and noise. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Several Honolulu City Council members voiced frustration Tuesday about receiving little information regarding Police Chief Louis Kealoha’s impending departure and warned that any additional money he is given in a settlement might need their approval. Star-Advertiser.

City Council Members ‘Leery’ Of HPD Chief’s Retirement Deal. Police Commission Chairman Max Sword refuses to answer questions from council members who want to know if they get final say on any payout. Civil Beat.

Members of the Honolulu City Council think they should get a say on whether or not Police Chief Louis Kealoha walks away from the post with a payout. KHON2.

Honolulu City Council Members were briefed on the status of the City’s Police Chief today. Hawaii Public Radio.

A city proposal to preserve 52,575 acres of privately owned farmland on Oahu drew a crowd of interested community members — and some protest — Tuesday evening at the city’s first public meeting on the details of its plan. Star-Advertiser.

New Kakaako Park Rules Could Keep Homeless Away. The HCDA says the changes mostly clarify rules that already existed. Recent problems have involved vandalism and homelessness. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

An ethics complaint against County Prosecutor Mitch Roth is bringing to the surface years of submerged accusations and counter-accusations between local boaters and the state Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation. West Hawaii Today.

A senior housing project in Hilo recently reopened following a complete renovation made possible through a mix of federal and state low-income housing tax credits. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiʻi Civil Rights Commission Executive Director William Hoshijo today announced the settlement of a complaint brought by an employee against a Hilo business, alleging that her employer failed to reinstate her after a pregnancy-related disability leave, denied her a reasonable accommodation for her pregnancy-related disability and terminated her because of her pregnancy. Big Island Now.

Maui

With dozens of testifiers calling for a more rigorous study on the proposed Makena Resort, the Maui Planning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to defer the final environmental assessment for the 47-acre project. Maui News.

Maui County Council Members Riki Hokama and Kelly King have submitted different resolutions regarding the council’s standing committees and its members in a prelude to a public hearing Monday afternoon. Maui News.

On Monday, days after the state Agriculture Department announced a coffee berry borer beetle infestation in East Maui, experts gave residents tips for controlling the pest that’s already struck Hawaii island and Oahu. Maui News.

Maui County is asking for the public’s assistance identifying the individual or individuals involved in shooting at Maui Bus windows with what is believed to be a BB or pellet gun four times last month. Maui Now.

After being closed for several months, Hāna Ranch Provisions has confirmed it will not be reopening in 2017. Maui Now.

Kauai

A motion to dismiss a Sunshine Law complaint against the County of Kauai and Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura was denied by Judge Kathleen Watanabe Tuesday afternoon in Fifth Circuit Court. Garden Island.

Parts of Kauai will be underwater within the next 50 to 100 years, according to a report the state is developing on sea level rise. Garden Island.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative and AES Distributed Energy, Inc. announced a power-purchase agreement for a plant that will provide solar energy with the benefits of battery-based energy storage that will be located on former sugar land between Lawai and Koloa. Garden Island.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative said Tuesday it signed a contract to build the largest utility-scale solar and battery system in the state. Star-Advertiser.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has struck a deal with a subsidiary of Virginia-based AES Corp. for the development of a solar-plus-battery-storage project on the island’s South Shore that includes a 28 megawatt solar farm and a 20 megawatt five-hour duration energy storage system. Pacific Business News.

Senior affordable rental units dedicated. Kaniko‘o Phase II adds 30 units. Garden Island.

The second phase of Kanikoo, an affordable senior housing complex in Lihue, was completed on Tuesday, Kauai officials said. Pacific Business News.