Friday, July 29, 2016

Hawaii solar panels nearing grid capacity, lobbying law finally comes to Kauai, Department of Education rebuffs lawmaker, tourism up, 3 Honolulu mayoral candidates debate, rail chief under review, Maui rep apologizes for arrest, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Solar panels in Hilo © 2016 All Hawaii News
Oahu and the Big Island are closing in on the total capacity the state allows for residential solar systems that can export excess power to the grid and receive credit. Oahu is at 70 percent of its total limit, and the Big Island is at 70.6 percent, according to Hawaiian Electric Co. numbers released last week. solar applicants on Maui hit the limit in June. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s visitor industry achieved its best midyear performance ever, putting it on pace to achieve its fifth consecutive record-setting year. Star-Advertiser.

A state lawmaker concerned about hot classrooms in his district was rebuffed when he tried to attend a meeting Thursday morning with school officials and contractors involved with an expedited $100 million air-conditioning project. Civil Beat.

The applications for three startup charter schools will be recommended to the state Public Charter School Commission for approval, while three others got a thumbs-down Thursday from the agency’s Applications Committee. Star-Advertiser.

Federal researchers returning from a 30-day expedition to study whales and dolphins around the Hawaiian Islands said Thursday they are looking for clues to help sustain healthy populations of the marine mammals. Associated Press.

Oahu

At the KITV and Civil Beat mayoral debate Thursday night, candidates were asked about Honolulu Police Department mismanagement, homelessness, neighborhood boards — and, of course, rail.

With just over two weeks remaining before the Aug. 13 primary election, the three major mayoral candidates attacked one another’s positions on rail transit and personal backgrounds in their first televised debate. Star-Advertiser.

KITV Island News and Civil Beat hosted a debate with the top candidates running for mayor of the City & County of Honolulu.   Incumbent mayor Kirk Caldwell, former mayor Peter Carlisle and former Congressman Charles Djou participated in the debate.

Honolulu’s policy of moving homeless people out of sight of tourists isn’t likely to change anytime soon, because it’s supported by all three of the best-known candidates for mayor. Civil Beat.

The board overseeing Honolulu’s rail project will hold a special meeting early next month to continue its behind-closed-doors assessment of the executive director’s job performance. Star-Advertiser.

Congressman K. Mark Takai passed away last week with nearly 6 months left in his term. Takai’s chosen successor is now gearing up her campaign to regain her seat. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Navy said it is working on placement of a new $500,000 groundwater monitoring well near the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Facility to check water quality and evaluate how groundwater moves in the vicinity. Star-Advertiser.

Four days after Tropical Storm Darby dumped about a foot of rain on Oahu, some businesses in Kalihi are still suffering from the storm’s impacts. Hawaii News Now.

The muddy, garbage-infused muddle of junk left behind by Tropical Storm Darby in the waters and along the shoreline of Keehi Lagoon is threatening the state sport of outrigger canoe paddling’s largest annual event. Star-Advertiser.

Costco has confirmed a worker at its Hawaii Kai store tested positive for hepatitis A. The employee worked in the store’s bakery department and, according to a Costco spokesman, may have inappropriately handled food products. KHON2.

Hawaii

There’s a dustup in the local Democratic Party over an official’s endorsement of a candidate in a nonpartisan County Council race. West Hawaii Today.

The Big Island race to represent the poorest Senate district in the state pits a lifelong environmentalist and successful businessman against the youngest person to ever be elected to the Hawaii County Council. Civil Beat.

Having made a series of broad sketches over the past months, the Banyan Drive Hawaii Redevelopment Agency and the Hawaii County Planning Department are beginning to tweak details for the ambitious long-term project that will renovate one of Hilo’s most recognizable areas. Tribune-Herald.

Political hopefuls went on the record Wednesday night in regard to one of Hawaii’s most divisive issues. 8 of the 11 Hawaii County mayoral candidates present for a forum held at Aunty Sally’s Luau Hale in Hilo declared their support for the Thirty Meter Telescope project planned for Mauna Kea. Big Island Video News.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, the American Bird Conservancy and the Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project have created the Palila Forest Discovery Trail — a one-mile, interpretative loop trail located in the game management area of Kaohe, which falls within the boundaries of the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Representative Kaniela Ing of Maui was apologetic for missing a court date and being served a subsequent bench warrant for failure to appear in court for a vehicle insurance violation. Maui Now.

Last night, state Representative Kaniela Ing, D–South Maui, released a statement on his July 26 arrest on a $250 traffic infraction bench warrant issued back in February of this year. MauiTime.

State Rep. Kaniela Ing was arrested by Maui police Tuesday on a warrant for failing to appear in court for a vehicle insurance violation that the South Maui representative described as "a human mistake." Maui News.

The closure of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. is costing parent company Alexander & Baldwin less than expected, and the company now expects the cessation of operations to be "a cash positive event" for the full year, A&B said in its second quarter report released Wednesday. Maui News.

Kauai

Lobbyists have to register with the Office of the County Clerk, effective Thursday, thanks to Ordinance 999, passed by the County Council in March. Garden Island.

For more than a decade, county leaders have been working toward a treatment and healing center for Kauai’s youth. On Thursday night, about 50 people gathered at the Lihue Civic Center for the unveiling of the draft environmental assessment of the proposed center. Garden Island.

A measure that would allow vending on county-owned streets was deferred Wednesday to an Oct. 12 Kauai County Council committee meeting. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

EPA warns Hawaii about beach bacteria, Takai remembered at DNC convention, Hirono's name misspelled, bird-flipping delegate won't apologize, Kaupulehu marine reserve established, Maui Rep. Ing arrested, Kauai additional rental units bill advances, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Anini Beach on Kauai
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has sent the Hawaii Department of Health a stern letter warning state officials to do a better job protecting the public’s health when it comes to posting signs at beaches known to have unsafe levels of fecal-waste bacteria in the water. The EPA also wants the state to do more thorough investigations into the sources of enterococcus at certain sites, such as Waiopili Stream on the south shore of Kauai. Civil Beat.

The Environmental Protection Agency is calling on the state to post warning signs at Kauai's Mahaulepu Beach, just upshore from the Garden Isle's gold coast. Hawaii News Now.

Health care providers have been slow to embrace the medical marijuana industry even though July 15 was the legal opening date for the state’s first dispensaries. The number of doctors certifying medical cannabis patients climbed only slightly over the past six months. Star-Advertiser.

Colleagues of the late U.S. Rep. K. Mark Takai remembered the Hawaii congressman on stage at the Democratic National Convention today. Star-Advertiser.


Democratic National Convention
Convention bird
Chelsea Lyons Kent, a member of Hawaii’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia has been kicked out of the group after she was shown on television on Tuesday giving the middle finger as U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced Hawaii’s delegate count for Hillary Clinton. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii delegate who made an obscene gesture at the Democrats’ national convention in Philadelphia stands by her action. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s delegation saw several Sanders delegates walk out in protest following Tuesday’s state-by-state tally that officially made Clinton the party’s nominee. One delegate, Chelsea Kent of Honolulu, displayed an obscene gesture on national television during the roll-call vote. Tribune-Herald.

A Hawaii delegate’s credentials were removed after she flipped off the camera on national television during roll call at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday. Garden Island.

Sen. Mazie Hirono’s (D-Hawaii) name was misspelled when she appeared on stage Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention.  The Hawaii senator’s name appeared as “Mazie Mirono” on the giant screen behind the stage inside the Wells Fargo Center as she spoke. The Hill.

With the Zika virus a growing worldwide health threat, the Blood Bank of Hawaii is moving to implement screening of all of its blood donations in an effort to ensure a Zika-free supply. Star-Advertiser.

Why It Took A Republican Governor To Get Blue Hawaii On The Path To Clean Energy. When Gov. Linda Lingle pushed for sweeping renewable energy legislation, Hawaiian Electric pushed back. But Lingle eventually won. Civil Beat.

Island Air announced Wednesday that it has extended agreements with three labor unions that represent most of its employees. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Chuck Totto received two months’ severance pay — or about $18,000 — as part of his deal with the city to walk away from his role as executive director of the Honolulu Ethics Commission. Totto also agreed that he would not sue the commission, and in return the agency would defend him in any litigation stemming from his employment with the city. Civil Beat.

City officials estimate the air-conditioning system at the Fasi Municipal Building will be fixed no earlier than Tuesday, leaving hundreds of city employees and the site’s visitors dealing with the summer heat. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

New faces played off against old hands Wednesday evening during the final major mayoral forum before the Aug. 13 primary. Top issues for most of the 11 candidates at the forum were poverty and homelessness, renewable energy, taxation, lagging infrastructure and trust, ethics and efficiency in government. West Hawaii Today.

This is state Sen. Kai Kahele’s first race for elected office, having been appointed to the post by Gov. David Ige in January, and yet it all feels so familiar to him. Civil Beat.

New rules creating a marine reserve at Ka‘ūpūlehu, and a 10-year ban on near shore fishing, go into effect on Friday, July 29. Big Island Video News.

Gov. David Ige signed a rule last week establishing a marine reserve at Kaupulehu. The rule carries with it a 10-year, near shore rest period, which essentially amounts to a fishing ban with limited exceptions, out to a depth of 120 feet across a 3.6 mile stretch of the West Hawaii coastline. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Democratic state Rep. Kaniela Ing turned himself in to police Tuesday and was arrested on a bench warrant issued in February after he failed to appear in court to answer a citation for failure to have no-fault insurance on his car. Star-Advertiser.

State Rep. Kaniela Ing was arrested by Maui police Tuesday on a warrant for failing to appear in Wailuku District Court for a vehicle insurance violation in February. Maui News.

Winding down Hawaii’s last sugar plantation cost Alexander &Baldwin Inc. less in the second quarter than previously expected, but still produced a second consecutive quarterly financial loss for the company. Star-Advertiser.

One hundred years ago Monday, the place of myth where the demigod Maui lassoed the sun, the realm of the gods to Native Hawaiians, the 10,023-foot vantage point for crowds awed by the dawning of a new day, and the home to 200 endangered species including the nene and silversword was established as a section of the Hawaii National Park. Maui News.

Kauai

In front of a crowd of about 80 people at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall Tuesday evening, Rep. Jimmy Tokioka (D-15) and Democratic candidate Thomas Oi addressed infrastructure, affordable housing and agriculture on Kauai. Garden Island.

A Kauai County Council committee voted in favor of a bill Wednesday that would allow additional rental units in the Lihue Planning district, passing on the bill to full council on Aug. 3. Garden Island.

A resolution aimed at improving pedestrian safety on Waikomo Road in Koloa was once again deferred in committee by the Kauai Council Wednesday, pushing its next date for discussion to Sept. 28. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Kilauea lava flow returns to ocean, Hawaii delegate booted from DNC convention following inappropriate gesture, new telescope planned for Maui's Haleakala, battle over expanded marine zone brings out environmentalists, politicos, Honolulu mayor candidates spar over rail, pCard looms over Big Island mayoral race, cremated remains could form new reef, hepatitis speads, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Capt. Shane Turpin Lava Ocean Tours
Lava enters ocean, courtesy Capt. Shane Turpin, Lava Ocean Tours
Lava entered the ocean early Tuesday morning, just two months after emerging from a vent at Kilauea Volcano and beginning a steady flow toward the sea. It’s the first time lava has reached the ocean since August 2013. Star-Advertiser.

Lava began spilling into the ocean early Tuesday morning, sending a plume of volcanic gas skyward while adding new land to Hawaii Island’s southeast coast as waves crashed into 2,000-degree molten rock. Tribune-Herald.

The first video of the new lava ocean entry is already hitting social media, thanks to the tour guides who track Hawaii’s volcanic activity. Big Island Video News.

On Hawaii Island, lava from the erupting Kilauea volcano has reached the ocean. According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, a flow that extends southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō entered the ocean at 1:12 a.m. Tuesday. KHON2.

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With thousands of government dignitaries, scientists, environmentalists, business leaders and possibly President Obama set to descend on Honolulu in a month for one of the world’s largest conservation conferences, a local fight over whether the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument should be expanded to further protect the marine ecosystem is escalating. Star-Advertiser.

Former Gov. George Ariyoshi said Tuesday that he doesn’t want “somebody from the outside” dictating how Hawaii residents can use the waters around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Civil Beat.

New Army Secretary Eric Fanning is in Hawaii with an agenda for his first Pacific tour that includes robotic technology, jungle training and ballistic missile defense. Star-Advertiser.

Several community groups and national environmental nonprofits have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Navy to prevent bombing and other live-fire training from occurring on the islands of Pagan and Tinian in the Mariana Islands in the western Pacific. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii delegate was removed from the Democratic National Convention and the Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii has issued a statement after the delegate, Chelsea Lyons Kent, District 27 Chair, appeared to make an inappropriate gesture during the vote to nominate the party's candidate. KITV.

Commentary: How not to send a unity message: File into the City of Brotherly Love and spend the first day of the Democratic National Convention booing each other. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: The State Ethics Commission took another beating in court this month, when the Hawaii Supreme Court threw out the commission’s case against a Big Island charter school administrator who it had charged with numerous counts of conflict of interest and self-dealing. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Mayor Kirk Caldwell, former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou and former Mayor Peter Carlisle criticized one another for their respective positions on rail but failed to provide specific plans of their own during a forum Tuesday sponsored by the Rotary Club of Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

When rebuttal time came at a Honolulu mayoral candidate forum Tuesday, Peter Carlisle acted like he didn’t have anything more to say about his opponents, Kirk Caldwell and Charles Djou. Civil Beat.

There are 8 candidates running for Honolulu Mayor who have never been elected to public office. Hawaii Public Radio.

Cedric Gates, a Democratic candidate running for state House District 44, said he felt shocked and disgusted after finding out Tuesday morning that some of his campaign posters had been defaced and spray-painted with a racial slur. Star-Advertiser.

The City and County of Honolulu is moving ahead with its effort to replace about 52,000 of its streetlights with more efficient LED lighting, a city spokesman confirmed to Pacific Business News.

A unique proposal for an artificial reef off Oahu’s west and southeast shores using the cremated remains of loved ones has created backlash from some community members. Hawaii News Now.

A Pacific Business News panel discussion featuring five leaders of Hawaii nonprofit organizations touched on raising money, collaborating with other groups and what qualities to look for in new board members.

Hawaii

The Ghost In The Big Island’s Political Machine. Billy Kenoi isn’t among the 13 candidates for Hawaii County mayor, but the incumbent’s credit card scandal looms over the race. Civil Beat.

A mayoral candidate who was shut out of several Big Island forums said he’s filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union, believing nonprofits that sponsor forums are required to invite all candidates. West Hawaii Today.

Kai Kahele is the state’s newest senator, but he’s proving to be one of its most adept fundraisers. Campaign finance records show the District 1 Democrat, appointed by Gov. David Ige in February following the death of his father, the late Sen. Gil Kahele, raised $109,362.76 for his campaign during the first half of 2016. Tribune-Herald.

State Sen. Kai Kahele has passed along a controversial state land lease in Milolii to a relative. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources approved transferring the residential lease to Orasa Fernandez during its meeting Friday in Honolulu. Tribune-Herald.

Employees at a Waikoloa fast food and catering restaurant have been ordered to undergo blood testing after one employee tested positive for hepatitis A earlier this month. West Hawaii Today.

A Hawaii outbreak of hepatitis A has grown to 93 cases, including an infected sushi restaurant worker who might have exposed diners, the state's Department of Health said Tuesday.Associated Press.

A 32-year-old man convicted in May of damaging the statue of King Kamehameha the Great on Hilo’s Bayfront and stealing the top portion of the statue’s bronze spear during last year’s Labor Day holiday weekend was sentenced this morning to five years in prison. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A year after vehement protests attempted to block construction of a solar telescope on Haleakala, plans are being made for another, smaller telescope in an existing building near the summit. Maui News.

Kaiser Permanente has hired seven new care providers for its facilities, including a pediatric hospitalist and family medicine physician on Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

Hidden away in Kalaheo, about a quarter mile west of mile marker 12 on Kaumualii Highway, is a dirt road that leads to a property with a storied history. Garden Island.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hawaii Health Department sued over lack of elderly home inspection reports, cool schools bids come in lower, Kauai water quality lawsuit filed, campaign money follows incumbents, bottled volcanic water comes right from the tap, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii Health Systems Corp.
Leahi Hospital, courtesy Hawaii Health Systems Corp.
The state’s failure to post inspection reports of state-licensed care facilities online has prompted advocates for the elderly to go to court to force the state to comply with the law. Civil Beat.

A senior citizens advocacy organization is suing the Hawaii Department of Health for failing to post inspection reports online for care homes that serve seniors and the disabled. Star-Advertiser.

Construction bids for the state’s “cool schools” initiative have started to trend lower since the Department of Education announced last month that an initial round of proposals came in significantly over budget. Star-Advertiser.

American fishermen are digging in for a fight over a proposal to shut down the vestiges of the U.S. harvest of shark fins, prized for soup and traditional medicine in Asia, and send a message to the rest of the world. Associated Press.

Why It’s So Hard To Find A Fresh Voice In Hawaii Politics. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has an easy route to re-election. Oh, there are candidates who’d love to unseat him. They just struggle to get noticed. Civil Beat.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono isn’t up for election until 2018, but she continues to add more cash to her campaign coffers. Hirono raised $111,352 from April 1 to June 30, according the latest reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Civil Beat.

It’s interesting that U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard thinks she needs more money, as she raised more than $420,000 in the April-June period and reported nearly $1.9 million in cash on hand. Civil Beat.

Oahu

A Board of Water Supply crew is patching a water main break in a sinkhole on Punaluu Valley Road that has left residents without water and a road on which to exit their neighborhood by vehicle. Star-Advertiser.

Darby scooted off to the north a weaker storm Monday, but not before pounding Oahu with enough rain Sunday night to stop freeway traffic, knock out power, spill sewage and trigger some serious flooding. Star-Advertiser.

Feds Finalize $175 Million Plan To Protect Waikiki From Flooding. Tropical Storm Darby was a reminder that a much bigger 100-year flood could devastate Honolulu’s economic engine. Civil Beat.

Honolulu not building enough housing for its population, report says. Pacific Business News.

For the first time since state Rep. John Mizuno originally ran for the Legislature 10 years ago, he faces a Democratic primary opponent in the race for House District 28, which encompasses Kalihi Valley, Kamehameha Heights and part of Kalihi. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Rod Tam Crosses The Aisle To Try To Come Back. Talking with Rod Tam about his guilty plea, his nights in jail and why he’s running for the state Senate as a Republican. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

County water is source of premium brand. The California Department of Public Health is investigating a complaint about Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water involving “issues such as labeling and source water requirements associated with Waiakea.” Tribune-Herald.

No one on the Big Island has been issued a concealed carry license and that is unlikely to change any time soon in the wake of a recent Ninth Circuit Court ruling, attorneys say. West Hawaii Today.

The lava flow from Kilauea’s Pu‘u ‘O‘o vent crossed the Kalapana emergency route Monday afternoon as it approached the coastline. Tribune-Herald.

An active lava flow from Kilauea Volcano’s Puu Oo vent was less than a quarter-mile from the ocean as of Monday morning, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Star-Advertiser.

The 61g lava flow has crossed the coastal emergency road that connects the Chain of Craters Road in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to Kalapana. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Plans call for opening a new burial site at the Maui Veterans Cemetery by mid-September, which would add much-needed space for deceased veterans and their spouses, state and county officials said last week. Maui News.

A public hearing on the revised draft Honua'ula Habitat Conservation Plan will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the J. Walter Cameron Center in Wailuku. Maui News.

Five blacktip reef shark pups have recently became a part of the marine life at Maui Ocean Center. Maui Now.

Kauai

The nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice filed a lawsuit Monday against Hawaii’s Agribusiness Development Corporation alleging it allows pesticides and chemicals to flow unchecked through Kauai’s Mana Plain and into waterways. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Department of Health and Agribusiness Development Corporation are both facing a lawsuit for allegedly polluting Kauai’s Westside waters. Garden Island.

A draft environmental assessment on a proposed residential treatment facility for adolescents on Kauai battling substance abuse is now available for public review. Star-Advertiser.

A draft environmental assessment is being prepared for the repair or replacement of the Kapaa Stream Bridge, on Kuhio Highway near mile marker 10. Garden Island.

Patricia Wistinghausen said the first day representing Kauai as a delegate in the Democratic National Convention was “crazy and crowded.” Garden Island.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Tropical Storm Darby leaves Hawaii, state Democrats split at convention, new marijuana magazine begins, cost of Maui special session, hot classrooms to greet returning students, audit find sloppy records at Big Island Parks&Rec, pollster predicts Kim lead for mayor, OHA threatens Mauna Kea lawsuit, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Sen. Russell Ruderman
Tropical Storm Darby cleanup in Puna, courtesy Sen. Russell Ruderman
Darby swept through the state over the weekend as a tropical storm, but it weakened to a depression early Monday. The Tropical Storm Warning has been dropped for all islands as it moved away from Kauai. Hawaii News Now.

The 70-foot Spirit of Kona vessel grounded and sank early Sunday near Kukailimoku Point in Kailua-Kona. The coastline was closed from King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel to Kukailimoku Point until further notice. West Hawaii Today.

Political conventions usually strive to project an image of unity, but Hawaii’s rough-and-tumble primary race this year caused a rift in the party that is reflected in the divided Hawaii delegation. Based on vote totals, Sanders secured 17 Hawaii delegates while Clinton won eight. That means most of the Hawaii delegates traveling to Philadelphia prefer Sanders, including newly elected Hawaii Democratic Party Chairman Tim Vandeveer, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Democratic National Committeeman-elect Bart Dame. Star-Advertiser.

A new statewide publication called The New Leaf aims to provide comprehensive information on all aspects of Hawaii’s emerging cannabis industry. Pacific Business News.

Next Monday, Hawai‘i public school students will return to classrooms across the state. And chances are, many of those school rooms will be hot. Hawaii Public Radio.

According to dockets filed with the Hawaii state Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday, NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE: NEE) has filed to withdraw from its ongoing projects in Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Big Risks Led To Big Losses For Hawaiian Electric. Hawaiian Electric leaders tried to turn an electric utility into an investment powerhouse. It didn’t quite stick. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The Federal Transit Administration has agreed to give city officials more time to come up with a plan to either find the money to finish the Honolulu rail project as originally planned or end it at Middle Street. Civil Beat.

Although the Federal Transit Administration has granted an extension until the end of the year for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and the city to develop a recovery plan for the Honolulu rail project, it's not as much time as Mayor Kirk Caldwell had requested. Pacific Business News.

The state is moving forward with plans to build a community of more than 200 affordable housing units in Honolulu as part of an effort to address Hawaii's homelessness problem. KITV.

Frustrated Hawaii health officials say they have faced a number of challenges trying to identify the source of a hepatitis A outbreak that has affected at least 74 people on the island of Oahu. Associated Press.

Hawaii

The Department of Parks and Recreation has plugged a leak in its cash-handling procedure following an audit that pointed to lax security. It’s not known how much money might not have found its way into the county coffers that should have been deposited there. West Hawaii Today.

It may not be the most scientific survey, but George Yokoyama said his political polling hasn’t been wrong in the 40 years he’s been doing it. Yokoyama’s latest poll, mailed to 3,000 Big Island households in early June, showed former Mayor Harry Kim leading former county Managing Director Wally Lau by double digits, Yokoyama confirmed this week. West Hawaii Today.

Accusing the state and University of Hawaii of having “grossly mismanaged” Mauna Kea, the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs has been working behind the scenes for months in a move to gain some control over the summit of Hawaii’s tallest mountain. Now, having been rebuffed in its attempts, OHA is threatening to go to court over the issue. Star-Advertiser.

Now, it’s time for Hilo voters to decide who will be their state senator. The District 1 seat is up for grabs after the death of Sen. Gil Kahele last January at age 73.  Tribune-Herald.

Greggor Ilagan, a Hawaii County councilman, is seeking to unseat state Sen. Russell Ruderman in the Democratic primary. And the race is getting heated. Tribune-Herald.

Democrats voting in the District 2 state House primary race have three vastly different choices. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

The dollar amount to help public employees at three Maui-area hospitals is not yet known, but the cost to taxpayers to hold a special legislative session was at least $10,000. Civil Beat.

A cascading waterfall surrounded by vibrant green grass and palm trees at the airport will be the new gateway for visitors arriving and leaving Maui starting today. Maui News.

Young Brothers is proposing a 4.4 percent general increase to its shipping rates that the company says would make up for rising expenses and low cargo growth, but some Maui County residents fear it would create hardships on agriculture and small businesses. Maui News.

A consent order between Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. and the state Health Department over air quality and reporting violations that calls for the sugar plantation to pay $600,000 in fines and other remedies has been finalized. Maui News.

Kauai

Former state land surveyor Thomas Oi is challenging incumbent state Rep. James Tokioka for the District 15 seat. Star-Advertiser.

In March, something unexpected happened. State Rep. Derek Kawakami gave up his secure spot in the House after a five-year stint and decided to run for the Kauai County Council. The rare open seat has spurred a three-way race to represent District 14, which runs from Wailua on the east side through Hanalei on the north shore. Civil Beat.

Lanai

Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell in June to 3.3 percent, down from 3.6 percent during the same month last year. However, Lanai saw a tripling of its unemployment rate. Pacific Business News.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Tropical Storm Darby continues path toward Hawaii, Ige pledges another $12M to fight homeless, only Senate Republican faces challengers, incumbent advantage on Big Island, UH tuition to increase, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Fisherman in Ala Moana Park © 2016 All Hawaii News
City officials said Thursday it will take two weeks to repair a section of Ala Moana Beach Park Drive where a large sinkhole has been blocking the Ewa entrance to Ala Moana Regional Park since Tuesday afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

Tropical Storm Darby maintained its strong winds overnight as it continued heading west toward Hawaii island. As of 5 a.m. today, the center of Darby was located 390 miles east of Hilo and 595 miles east-southeast of Honolulu. Maximum sustained winds measured 60 mph as the storm moved west at 12 mph. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige plans to spend an extra $12 million this year to make a dent in the state’s homelessness crisis, outlining a three-pronged approach that includes expanding services, conducting sweeps of encampments and developing more affordable housing. Associated Press.

Armed with $12 million in supplemental funding to stem the state’s homeless crisis, Gov. David Ige unveiled a four-year plan Thursday that aims to reduce the number of unsheltered homeless people to “functional zero.” Civil Beat.

Governor details $12 million spending plan to tackle homeless crisis. KITV.

Gov. David Ige pledged Thursday to allocate $12 million to combat the issue. The plan is to get more people into permanent housing by building 10,000 affordable units in the next four years, expanding homeless outreach, and providing more funds for property storage and cleanup. KHON2.

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The University of Hawaii Board of Regents voted Thursday to hold tuition flat across the 10-campus system for the 2017-18 academic year, a move that will delay the administration’s plans to begin upgrading campus facilities. Star-Advertiser.

Students at Hawaii Community College and the University of Hawaii at Hilo will see modest tuition hikes in coming years. The UH Board of Regents on Thursday approved a three-year plan that starts in the 2017-18 school year and caps increases at 2 percent systemwide. Tribune-Herald.

In a case stemming from ballot shortages at precincts on Oahu and the Big Island in the 2012 general election, the state Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the state Office of Elections needs to establish rules through proper public noticing and hearing on the method it uses to calculate the number of ballots printed for precincts and how to handle ballots cast incorrectly. Maui News.

Valley Fever Risk Won’t Slow Flow Of Hawaii Inmates To Arizona. Hawaii may soon face legal claims over prisoners infected with valley fever, a disease endemic in the Southwest. Civil Beat.

NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE: NEE), which has pending projects across Hawaii, is mum on what will happen with those projects following its termination of its proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co., a spokesman for the Florida energy giant told Pacific Business News this week.

Oahu

State Sen. Sam Slom has held the District 9 seat representing East Honolulu for two decades, but a pair of Democratic candidates are spending thousands of dollars in hopes of unseating Hawaii’s only Republican senator. Civil Beat.

The State and City of Honolulu are implementing separate plans to address homelessness and affordable rental housing. Hawaii Public Radio.

The chief academic officer for the University of Hawaii at Manoa announced he is resigning from the post but said the decision was not a result of complaints lodged last year by faculty and staff over alleged bullying and racist and sexist behavior. Star-Advertiser.

The attorney for Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha wants the federal prosecutor heading a grand jury investigation dismissed from the case. KHON2.

The Navy held a lease-signing ceremony Thursday with Hawaiian Electric Co. for a 20-megawatt alternating-current solar farm at Pearl Harbor’s West Loch Annex that HECO said would be the second largest for photovoltaics in the state. Star-Advertiser.

A new 60-second radio commercial from the campaign of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell “fact-checks” challenger Charles Djou and finds him wanting. Specifically, the spot refers to Djou’s statements on rail and homelessness. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

There’s a definite incumbent advantage when it comes to raising money for County Council elections. West Hawaii Today.

Citing violations ranging from poor land husbandry to evidence of a junkyard and the possibility of a cockfighting operation, the state Board of Land and Natural Resources will consider a request to revoke the lease on a 10-acre Panaewa parcel. Tribune-Herald.

The Leeward Planning Commission paved the way Thursday for construction of a 19-unit, single-family subdivision on the mauka side of Alii Drive across from the Alohi Kai Subdivision and Kamoa Point, allowing the applicant, Larry Smith of Royal Alii LLC, a five-year extension to meet conditional requirements set forth when the project was initially approved in July 2006. West Hawaii Today.

As Tropical Storm Darby continues to track toward the state, the Big Island could see heavy rain and strong winds as soon as Friday night. As a result, officials has begun preparations for the storm. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company was fined $600,000 by the state for violating air quality regulations. The state Department of Health said that the excess emission and reporting violations occurred from 2009 to 2014 in Puunene, Maui. Civil Beat.

Kauai

The Kilauea Neighborhood Association is throwing its weight behind the plan to subdivide 120 acres on the Kilauea Plateau, but the group wants a seat at the table when it comes to developing the eight planned parcels. Garden Island.

The plan for the future of Haena State Park has been tweaked, and Saturday, the State Parks division and members of the Haena State Park Community Advisory Committee will host an open house to chat about the changes. Garden Island.

When it comes to creating bus stops, Mel Rapozo, chair of the Kauai County Council, wants to make sure they will be accessible for everyone. That’s why the council voted to defer a decision on passing a resolution that proposes establishing a bus stop on Kawaihau Road, west of Awa’a Place, near the Menehune Food Mart and the Kauai Athletic Club. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

U.S. Rep. Mark Takai: 1967-2016. Honored by friends and colleagues. Plus, Legislature overrides Maui hospital worker bailout veto, Kauai council passes vehicle smoking ban, Thirty Meter Telescope judge makes big bucks, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Facebook photo
U.S. Rep. Mark Takai Facebook photo
Friends and colleagues mourned the passing of U.S. Rep. K. Mark Takai on Wednesday, describing the congressman as ferociously hardworking with an enthusiasm for politics dating back to his days at Pearl City High School. Star-Advertiser.

Mark Takai, a Democrat from Hawaii serving his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, has passed away. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, a war veteran and long-time legislator known for his bright nature and deep commitment to service, died in his home Wednesday after a months-long battle with cancer. Just 49 years old, the first-term Democrat from Hawaii was surrounded by family when he died of pancreatic cancer, said Rod Tanonaka, Takai’s chief of staff. Associated Press.

U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, D, Hawaii, died Wednesday morning at his home surrounded by family. He was 49 years old. KHON2.

U.S. Representative from Hawai’i, K. Mark Takai, passed away today in Honolulu following a 9-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Hawaii Public Radio.

Congressman Mark Takai's star was rising in our nation’s Capitol. He was respected for his decades of public and military service. His spark didn't go unnoticed. KITV.


Those who knew Congressman Mark Takai say he was a passionate public servant and a loyal friend. Garden Island.

Years before he made his mark in politics, Mark Takai made his mark at the University of Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Scenes From Mark Takai’s All-Too-Short Congressional Career. After 20 years in the Legislature, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014 and mused about serving Hawaii for another 20 years in Washington, D.C. Civil Beat.

Hawaii voters will be asked who should serve out the remainder of the late Mark Takai’s term in Washington — possibly on the same day they decide who should represent the 1st Congressional District in the next term starting in January. Civil Beat.

The state Office of Elections plans to hold a special election in conjunction with the Nov. 8 general election to decide who will serve out the last two months of the unfinished term of the late U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, according to a spokeswoman for the office. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu is moving closer to imposing the city’s first set of regulations on the ride-hailing industry, which has operated under a free market since entering the isles. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is talking to the feds about borrowing money from them for the first time, from the same program Puerto Rico used to bail out its train when its cost doubled. KHON2.

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday granted tentative approval to Hawaiian Airlines to shift its current daily flight between Honolulu International Airport (HNL) and Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport (HND) to a daytime schedule starting Oct. 29. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Retired Judge Riki May Amano is earning $375 an hour and could make as much as $200,000 for acting as Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearings officer. Star-Advertiser.

Five candidates for Hawaii County mayor participated in a two and a half hour political forum at the Pahoa Community Center on July 16. Big Island Video News.

For the second consecutive year, Hawaii’s longline fisheries in the Central Pacific have reached their bigeye tuna quota far earlier than expected. The longline fleet, nearly all of which is based in Honolulu, will now have to travel farther to fish for bigeye, a factor that could lead to better prices for Big Island fisherman bringing in tuna with handlines. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian attendees describe atmosphere on the ground at passion-fueld Republican National Convention. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has cleared Connections New Century Public Charter School employee Eric Boyd of ethics violations stemming from 2006. Civil Beat.

Maui

State lawmakers on Wednesday overrode Gov. David Ige’s veto of a bill providing severance packages and retirement benefits to Maui County hospital workers who will lose their state jobs as three hospitals are transferred to Kaiser Permanente. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Legislature voted Wednesday to override Gov. David Ige’s veto of a bill that provides severance payments or pension benefits to unionized public workers at three hospitals in Maui County that are being privatized by Kaiser Permanente. Civil Beat.

The State House and Senate today voted to override Gov. David Ige’s veto of SB 2077 to preserve the management transfer of three state run Maui hospitals to Kaiser Permanente. Maui Watch.

The Legislature overturned the Governor’s veto of a benefits package for Maui hospital workers. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii lawmakers have voted to override Gov. David Ige's veto on a bill that would transfer control of three Maui County hospitals to Kaiser Permanente, making it the largest privatization of public facilities in state history. Associated Press.

A section of the old Haleakala Trail that Mark Twain and Jack London likely hiked to reach the summit of the mountain that traverses an area currently in ranching by Haleakala Ranch officially became state property earlier this month, but public access is being limited to guided hikes. Maui News.

The Maui County Service Center at the Maui Mall, which houses the divisions of Motor Vehicles and Licensing and Real Property Tax, reopened Monday after being closed since March due to water damage. Maui News.

Lynn DeCoite, a first-term state representative, businesswoman, farmer and rancher, will face a state substitute teacher in the Democratic primary race for the district that covers Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and East Maui. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

It is now illegal to smoke in the car with minors on Kauai. On Wednesday, the Kauai County Council voted 6-1 to approve Bill No. 2629, which prohibits smoking in cars with children under the age of 13. Garden Island.

A resolution that would have let the public vote on how to pay for road repair projects was rejected Wednesday by the Kauai County Council. Garden Island.

Irene Inouye said her late husband, Sen. Daniel K Inouye, insisted that nothing be named after him. But she said there were a small number of places that were special to the late senator, and the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Mana was one of them. Garden Island.

Police officers, prosecutors, and community members gathered in front of the YWCA of Kauai in solidarity, rallying against racial bias, discrimination and inequality. Garden Island.

Molokai

According to Brenda Kaneshiro of Molokai Meli, Molokai was once the number one honey exporter of the world. In the early 1900’s Molokai Ranch had countless hives. Unfortunately a disease affected the bees and they were nearly all wiped out. Maui Now.