Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Lack of training blamed for deadly Marine Corps helicopter crash, celebrity chef Sam Choy testifies in Kenoi trial, Ige's salary lags top CEOs, Hanabusa a sure thing, another $6.9M for Honolulu homeless housing, iconic Coco Palms trying to rebuild, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Sam Choy hands a photograph back to attorney Richard Sing while he testifies during Kenoi's trial Tuesday in Hilo Circuit Court. Pool photo HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald
Celebrity chef Sam Choy didn’t take long to change the mood in Mayor Billy Kenoi’s criminal trial Tuesday morning. Tribune-Herald.

Celebrity chef Sam Choy took the witness stand today during the ongoing criminal trial of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi. Big Island Video News.

The architect of Hawaii County’s purchasing card — or pCard — program testified in Mayor Billy Kenoi’s corruption trial Tuesday that Kenoi had broad leeway over his spending, including purchasing alcohol, as long as it was in the best interest of the county. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi's former managing director knew as far back as 2011 that the mayor was using his government-issued credit card for personal purchases. Hawaii News Now.

On day four of the trial for Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi, a total of five witnesses were called to the stand by the defense team. KITV.

Day four of Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi’s trial saw laughter and tears in the courtroom. KHON2.


A Marine investigation of a deadly 2016 helicopter collision off Oahu found that pilot error, lack of training and command problems were to blame. The findings are contained in a report obtained by the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley. Civil Beat.

Twelve Hawaii Marines were killed on Jan. 14 when two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters collided off Oahu as one chopper raced at night to catch up and the first helicopter turned in its path, according to the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley. Star-Advertiser.

How Gov. David Ige's salary compares with other governors. Pacific Business News.

The election is still two weeks away, but a Washington, D.C., political news outlet says Colleen Hanabusa will definitely be returned to Congress. Civil Beat.

Two incumbents face challengers in the final two races for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. West Hawaii Today.

Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd. said Tuesday it plans to buy Pacific Island Restaurants, the largest fast-food operator in Hawaii, for $105 million. Pacific Business News.

Nearly a year after Hale Mauliola’s opening, city leaders who once doubted it would work are calling the transitional housing complex a success — and they aim to expand the model to help address widespread homelessness on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

The city spent $6.9 million to buy a three-story, 24-unit walk-up apartment building on Beretania Street to be used for low-income and homeless housing. Star-Advertiser.

Are Oahu’s Bridges Better Off Than They Were 4 Years Ago? Kirk Caldwell promised to improve them. But while work has continued, there haven’t been any new repair initiatives. Civil Beat.

This Clear Water Has Been Flowing Under Kakaako Since The 1920s. An auwai has been discovered underground, and Howard Hughes wants to find a way to bring it to the surface. Civil Beat.

Heavy day at polls as early voting starts. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu voters are being asked to establish an agency dedicated to managing thousands of acres of city land and another charged with handling climate change and sustainability. Civil Beat.

The chief executive of the Queen’s Medical Center says the hospital is trying to help fix the state’s critical primary care shortage in private practice even as it offers lucrative contracts to persuade doctors to join its staff. Star-Advertiser.

A 14 year old Hawaiian monk seal is back in the water after a lifesaving surgery to remove a fishing hook he swallowed. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released RE-74, also known as Benny, after a two-week recovery period. Hawaii Public Radio.

Copper thieves target street lights along Farrington Highway. Hawaii News Now.


The contested case hearing over a key permit for the Thirty Meter Telescope inched forward today as opponents of the project wrapped up their questions for the first witness called by the University of Hawaii, and moved on to the second. Star-Advertiser.

Fence on Mauna Loa meant to protect ‘ua‘u from feral cats. Tribune-Herald.

Humpback whale season typically starts in December and stretches through March, but a few of the mammoth mammals recently made early appearances off the coast of West Hawaii. Two separate reports of sightings came into the West Hawaii Today Tuesday, the first such reports since last season.

Commentary: Why Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa’s decision to suspend community plans may be a bad idea. MauiTime.

Maui County’s largest products show, the 3rd Annual Made in Maui County Festival, is fast approaching and the island is gearing up for what is anticipated to be a “big draw” for both residents and visitors alike. MauiWatch.


The developers of the iconic Coco Palms Resort on Kauai are hoping to clear another hurdle. Pacific Business News.

‘No vote, no grumble’ Some visit polls before the general election. Garden Island.

Schools in the state of Hawaii are getting a much needed boost from the U.S. Department of Education. HIDOE will receive $1.5 million in School Improvement Grants, or SIG, to improve facilities, classrooms and the overall student experience. Garden Island.

Blocking the locks. DLNR removes 94 ‘love locks’ from Waimea Canyon lookout. Garden Island.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Records tampering charges tossed in Kenoi trial, jurors see video, Hawaii may lose its lone GOP state senator, Honolulu accessory dwelling unit permits up, Thirty Meter Telescope hearing all about religion, petrel chicks planted on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kenoi's attorney, Todd Eddins, cross examines forensic accountant James Cigan during Kenoi's trial Monday in Hilo Circuit Court. Pool photo HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald
Embattled Hawaii island Mayor Billy Kenoi won a partial — but still stunning — victory Monday when three misdemeanor charges related to tampering with government records were dismissed, leaving Kenoi to face five remaining criminal charges over misuse of his government purchasing card. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Billy Kenoi’s three records tampering charges were dismissed Monday in his criminal trial for alleged misuse of a Hawaii County purchasing card. Kenoi still faces two counts of second-degree theft, two counts of third-degree theft and one count of false swearing. Tribune-Herald.

State Circuit Court Judge Dexter D. Del Rosario dismissed three of eight counts against Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi based upon insufficient evidence after the state rested its case. KITV.

A small victory for Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi after a judge tossed out several charges against him. KHON2.

Watch the full Billy Kenoi video shown to the jury here


The self-described “Lone Ranger,” state Sen. Sam Slom, may be making his last ride. He is the only Republican in Hawaii’s 25 member state Senate. Civil Beat.

Bonterra Solar, which at one time was one of the largest and fastest-growing solar energy companies in Hawaii, has shut down, Pacific Business News has learned.

State to use Volkswagen settlement funds for energy projects. Pacific Business News.


Many of your neighbors want more useful information about crimes happening in their communities. Some have asked the city for the information multiple times since 2014. But the Honolulu Police Department largely has ignored the requests. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu police are adding a new way to communicate with communities. The Honolulu Police Department on Monday announced a partnership with Nextdoor, a private online social network designed to connect neighbors. Star-Advertiser.

TV Spots — And One Big Print Ad — Spice Up Mayor’s Race. Incumbent Kirk Caldwell lets others do the talking, while challenger Charles Djou appears with his wife — and in uniform. Civil Beat.

Early walk-in voting opens at 2 Oahu sites. Star-Advertiser.

An Oahu farmers cooperative has received a $249,000 federal grant to help other local small farmers sell what they grow. Star-Advertiser.

Defining Downtown Honolulu Isn’t As Easy As You’d Think. Historic charm, urban bustle, convenience and homelessness in a place of uncertain borders. Civil Beat.

The city is working to speed up the approval process for Oahu homeowners who want to add an accessory dwelling unit on their properties. Hawaii News Now.

A new education center features artifacts from Japanese Americans who were confined at the Honouliuli Internment Camp in the ’40s. Associated Press.


Opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope proposed for Mauna Kea spent much of Monday quizzing a planner on the project about his understanding of Native Hawaiian religion and the nature of “sacred lands” during the second day of a contested case hearing for the telescope. Star-Advertiser.

Day two of the Thirty Meter telescope contested case hearing began in Hilo on Monday. Big Island Video News.

Judges, attorneys and community leaders gathered to formally break ground for the Kona Judiciary Complex on a scraped-down section of lava near the Makalapua Shopping Center on Monday. West Hawaii Today.

The Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau is closing its Hilo office next month. Tribune-Herald.

Incumbent Democrat Nicole Lowen, who represents Kona’s 6th District in the state House of Representatives is asking voters to elect her to a third consecutive term. Republican challenger Bruce Pratt will ask them to reconsider. West Hawaii Today.


McKelvey defends House seat against GOP challenger. Maui News.

Several Iao Valley residents living along the Wailuku River, who describe themselves as “the lost seven,” fear their properties and road may erode away if emergency repairs do not begin soon, but it is unclear who  ultimately will pay for the work. Maui News.

Pavement striping will prompt alternating lane closures on Mokulele Highway between North Kihei and Kamaaina roads this week, according to the state Department of Transportation. Maui News.


The last chance to register for voting in the general election opens today with early voting at the Lihue Neighborhood Center, and in this election there’s a twist: ballot selfies. Garden Island.

The 20 Hawaiian Petrel chicks that were transferred to their new home at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge Monday were tucked, fluffy and healthy in the their new manmade burrows in an effort that was documented for the first time using social media. Garden Island.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ala Wai cleanup mulled, changes to state constitution, local charters on ballot, Oahu wants feral cat cleanup, Department of Education pares teacher suspension list, lots of candidates on ballots, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Canoe on the Ala Wai © 2016 All Hawaii News
The Ala Wai Canal is home to the largest concentration of canoe clubs in the state, yet according to city readings it sometimes has 20 times the level of contaminants considered safe for human recreation. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Education’s backlog of employee misconduct cases has dropped to its lowest level in at least two years amid efforts to resolve investigations quicker and provide consistent guidelines to schools. Star-Advertiser.

Public high schools across the state saw an increase this past year in ACT results for 2016 graduates, increasing scores in mathematics by 2 percent and 1 percent in English and science.Garden Island.

From Now Through Nov 8, Every Day Is Election Day In Hawaii. Plenty of people have their ballots in hand, but there are a lot of decisions to make. Civil Beat.

Hawaii residents who missed the deadline to register to vote will get a second chance. Late registration will be available during Early Walk-In voting starting on Tuesday. KITV.

Voters won’t just be deciding political races in November. Also on the general election ballot, voters will find two proposed constitutional amendments adopted during the Twenty-Eighth Legislature’s Regular Sessions of 2015 and 2016, as well as proposed charter amendment questions for individual counties. KHON2.

University of Hawaii researchers have been awarded more than $1 million to test and evaluate technology used to observe aquatic ecosystems, the university announced. Star-Advertiser.


Democratic hopeful aims to unseat Hawaii’s only GOP senator. Associated Press.

Honolulu Charter Commission leaders say there’s a legitimate argument for allowing the mayor and City Council members to serve up to three consecutive four-year terms instead of the current two terms. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu voters are being asked to study up on 20 proposed changes to the Honolulu City Charter dealing with topics as diverse as giving more teeth to the Honolulu Police Commission to creating a new Department of Land Management. Star-Advertiser.

Amendment Would Help Fund Honolulu Zoo With Property Taxes/ Voters are asked to dedicate a portion of the tax revenue. The zoo recently lost its accreditation, partially due to the lack of a steady funding. Civil Beat.

Nearly 70 percent of Oahu voters want feral cats removed from Hawaii, according to The Civil Beat Poll conducted earlier this month by Merriman River Group.

Mayoral candidate Charles Djou has filed an ethics complaint against Mayor Kirk Caldwell, alleging the incumbent lied on his official financial disclosure form about the value of his stock in Territorial Savings Bank. Civil Beat.

The race for state House District 22 comes down to an incumbent Democrat who does not think government is hard enough on the homeless versus a Republican businesswoman who maintains the homeless should be shown more compassion. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu has the second-highest construction costs in the world behind only Oslo, Norway, according to a new report. Pacific Business News.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is working on a plan to better protect the Pahole Natural Area Reserve at Mokuleia. Star-Advertiser.

A Haleiwa landowner is seeking to rezone 7 acres of agricultural property for development of 29 homes on the edge of an existing residential neighborhood and large farms. Star-Advertiser.

Palolo Valley: ‘Overshadowed By Its Past,’ But Making Progress. Though outsiders have long been wary of the community east of Manoa, its reputation is changing for the better. Civil Beat.


After more than 770 absentee voters cast mail-in ballots too late to be counted in the primary election, officials have tucked a bright orange reminder in the ballot packages being mailed for the general election. West Hawaii Today.

Depending on whom you ask, the single local amendment on the Big Island’s general election ballot will either do nothing or quite a lot. The amendment changes language in the county charter, the county’s governing document. It would broaden the scope of the General Plan, the document that dictates what can be developed, where. West Hawaii Today.

The House District 3 race is probably the closest it gets to putting the Thirty Meter Telescope on the ballot. Tribune-Herald.

Rep. Cindy Evans, who’s represented North Kona, South Kohala and North Kohala since 2002, said it’s her experience that makes her suited to continue representing the district during the next legislative cycle. Her opponent, community organizer Jeffrey Coakley, said it’s time to “bring in a change,” and fight for a less “Oahu-centric” government. West Hawaii Today.

For the first time in 2016, voters in West Hawaii’s 5th District have a choice to make regarding who will represent them in the State House of Representatives. Incumbent Democrat Richard Creagan’s seat, which covers the southern tip of the island from Keauhou down to South Point, is being challenged by Libertarian candidate Michael Last. West Hawaii Today.

Two community association leaders are seeking to represent lower Puna on the Hawaii County Council. Maddie Greene of Nanawale Estates and Eileen Ohara of Hawaiian Shores will face off in the Nov. 8 general election in the District 4 race. Tribune-Herald.

During the first day of the contested case hearing in Hilo, Pua Case – a Hawaiian cultural practitioner and one of the original legal challengers of the Thirty Meter Telescope permit – asked planner Perry White if he believes Mauna Kea is sacred. Big Island Video News.


Wailuku council race draws candidates with contrasting styles, goals. Maui News.

Some Haiku residents are seeking help and guidance from county officials and landowners to establish a pedestrian and bike path to link Haiku’s two commercial centers — the old Pauwela and Haiku canneries. Maui News.

Record flood was a close call for parts of Wailuku. Levee holds, barely preventing massive destruction, loss of life. Maui News.


Justin Kollar, incumbent, is seeking another term as the county’s prosecuting attorney. If re-elected, he hopes to address drug houses, domestic violence and find ways for drug addicts to get the help they need. Garden Island.

If elected, Lisa Arin promises to tackle the island’s methamphetamine problem, beginning by making sure children are safe in their homes. Garden Island.

Kauai public high schools made big strides during the 2015-16 school year. The Hawaii State Department of Education announced an increase in the number of public high schools and public charter schools in terms of their academic performance; in particular, graduation rates and test scores. Garden Island.

An online petition is circulating, demanding changes to the contract between the County of Kauai and Kauai Humane Society. Garden Island.

On Monday, the second round of Hawaiian Petrel translocation will bring another group of chicks into the borders of the predator-proof fence within the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Garden Island.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearing begins, state investigates anti-Caldwell ads, Molokai ferry ending this month, feds can't enforce fishing worker rules, first whale of the season, new judiciary complex for West Hawaii Island, poll shows most want more Honolulu police oversight, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Thirty Meter Telescope site © 2016 All Hawaii News
After months of preparation and pre-conference hearings, witness testimony for the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case began Thursday in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Testimony got off to a slow, bumpy start Thursday in what is expected to be a weeks-long contested case hearing in Hilo that could determine the fate of plans to build the most powerful telescope in the world at the summit of Mauna Kea. Star-Advertiser.

The first day of the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearing has concluded, and the proceeding is still on its very first witness. Big Island Video News.

A $1.4 billion project to build one of the world's largest telescopes is up against intense protests by Native Hawaiians and others who say building it on the Big Island's Mauna Kea mountain will desecrate sacred land. Associated Press.

Minutes before the start of the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearing, participants gathered outside the Crown Room of Hilo’s Grand Naniloa Hotel for a customary prayer circle. Big Island Video News.


Federal officials cannot enforce a contract being proposed by the commercial fishing industry as a solution to concerns about foreign fishing crews in Hawaii, leaving the industry responsible for enforcing its own rules. Federal and state officials met with vessel owners, captains and representatives from the fleet Thursday at a pier in Honolulu. Associated Press.

The first Hawaii Medical Marijuana Training and Certification conference was held Thursday at the Modern Honolulu hotel. Star-Advertiser.

Job seekers and business owners hoping to learn more about the budding medical marijuana industry attended a certification training conference today at the Modern Hotel in Waikiki. KITV.

Hawaii's eight medical marijuana dispensaries have yet to open because of state delays in setting up a tracking system. Hawaii News Now.


Some key state and city leaders are voicing support for another tax extension to help fix rail’s latest financial problems, even though the project’s board chairwoman said earlier this year that state lawmakers likely would reject such a move. Star-Advertiser.

Nearly three-fourths of Oahu voters surveyed for The Civil Beat Poll say the Honolulu Police Commission should be given greater authority to suspend or dismiss the chief of police and to investigate police misconduct.

The state Campaign Spending Commission is taking a close look at an anti-rail political action committee that's planning to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars criticizing Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Hawaii News Now.

Charter amendment: Honolulu voters to weigh in on term limits. KHON2.

A state judge this week dismissed drunken driving and hit-and-run charges against Honolulu police officer Brent Sylvester because the prosecutor had been unable to present certain key witnesses to testify against Sylvester in court. Star-Advertiser.

A vital piece of equipment, purchased for a growing Leeward community, isn’t being used there and firefighters want to know why. KHON2.

Twice as many electrical light poles — 13 — were vandalized to tap into the electrical system at Kakaako Waterfront Park than previously estimated, leading to the ongoing, indefinite daily closure of the park at 6 p.m., according to the Hawaii Community Development Authority. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Oahu’s Inmates Are Facing Some Seriously ‘Inhumane’ Conditions. The feds stepped in once before. Hawaii needs a mix of expanded facilities and a decrease in prisoners to avoid losing control again. Civil Beat.

Of the four primary industrial markets on Oahu, all except Windward Oahu posted a rise in vacancy rates. Pacific Business News.

A longtime Moiliili business landmark is about to meet the wrecking ball, and stores and restaurants are preparing to leave. Hawaii News Now.


For more than 20 years, residents, judges and attorneys have been calling for a new Kona courthouse. On Monday, the groundbreaking for the $90 million Kona Judiciary Complex will begin at 2:30 p.m. to celebrate seeing that wish turn into reality. West Hawaii Today.

The owner of Hawaii Nui Brewing on the Big Island is looking to sell his business, he confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Commentary: The trial of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi could be a symbol of many things. Star-Advertiser.


Maui County Council candidates were critical of Mayor Alan Arakawa’s decision to suspend the community planning process, and said there were other ways to find solutions instead of halting it altogether. Maui News.

Pacific Whale Foundation spotted their first whale of the season today, Oct. 20, 2016, off the coast of Lahaina in West Maui. Maui Now.

Vehicular access to Kanaha Beach Park will be blocked by two locked gates beginning Nov. 1 from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., but a permitting process is in the works that would allow fishermen and divers access after hours, county officials said Wednesday. Maui News.


County officials want Kauai residents to be able to go to every part of the island. Garden Island.

Sandra Combs is the Republican candidate to represent District 14, which covers Hanalei, Princeville, Kilauea, Anahola, Kapaa and Wailua Houselots. Her platform includes improving traffic congestion, fighting the drug epidemic on Kauai and improving the quality of veteran services. Garden Island.

Nadine Nakamura is the Democratic candidate to represent District 14, which covers Hanalei, Princeville, Kilauea, Anahola, Kapaa and Wailua Houselots. If elected, she hopes to find ways to alleviate traffic congestion, protect cultural and natural resources and address affordable housing. Garden Island.


The Molokai ferry will make its last Lahaina-to-Kaunakakai run on Oct. 28. Maui News.

A ferry that runs between Maui and Molokai will be decommissioned by the end of the month after reporting a nearly 50 percent drop in ridership from January to July. Associated Press.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Lawmakers mull fishermen work conditions, county employees take witness stand in Kenoi trial, poll finds support for rail, Kauai beefs up security at county events, Honolulu homeless threaten children's center, Maui ethics board dismisses councilman's case, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ohia lehua © 2016 All Hawaii News
The state Board of Agriculture on Tuesday approved a permanent quarantine for transport of ohia plant parts from Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii lawmakers held a meeting to discuss conditions in the Hawaii longline fishing fleet and heard from an observer who described what it's like to live on the boats. Associated Press.

Lawmakers, officials from the fishing industry, advocacy groups and state officials convened at the Hawaii state Capitol on Wednesday for more than three hours to come up with solutions to address allegations of poor working conditions aboard Hawaii longline fishing vessels. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers endeavored Wednesday to find ways to improve the working conditions of foreign crew members on U.S. commercial fishing boats and address allegations of human trafficking. Civil Beat.

State lawmakers delved into ways to improve work and pay conditions for the mostly foreign workers on longline fishing boats. KHON2.
Hawaiian Electric Co. is now offering customers the option of enrolling in a program that will charge residential customers less for power used during the day — when solar energy production is highest — and more at night. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation says its Highways Maintenance staff removed more than 200 signs from DOT jurisdiction in the last month alone. KITV.

So many political campaign signs have been cropping up along state right of ways that the Hawaii Department of Transportation has issued a reminder that it’s a no-no. Civil Beat.

Hawaii International Film Festival executive director Robert Lambeth confirmed Wednesday that he will leave his post in 2017 to move to California and care for his ailing mother. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Voters Don’t Love Rail, But They Still Want The Job Done. Supporters of building the train’s route all the way to Ala Moana Center far outnumber people who want to cut the rail line short. Civil Beat.

A Honolulu charter amendment on the Nov. 8 ballot aims to give the Honolulu Police Commission more authority to rein in problem officers, providing it with subpoena power to compel witnesses to testify and force the disclosure of sensitive information. Civil Beat.

The chairwoman of the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center, located in the heart of the enduring Kakaako homeless encampment, suggested in January that the center close in the face of a 30 percent drop in revenue over the past two years, according to an email that Loretta Yajima sent to her state landlord and some lawmakers last month. Star-Advertiser.

Diamond Head Road is one of the most scenic drives on Oahu. But if you look away from the ocean, you can spot tents or hanging clothing deep in the brush. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Wright Reconstruction Will Displace 1,500 Anxious Tenants. Plans call for the public housing project to be rebuilt. Current residents have been promised interim housing and a chance to return. Civil Beat.

A judge has ruled in favor of a group of Honolulu property owners who challenged the city's residential tax on homes valued at $1 million or more. Hawaii News Now.

The state Department of Health has confirmed hepatitis A has sickened another food service worker on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Former Honolulu police Sgt. Anson Kimura is going to jail for two months for accidentally shooting a woman in a bar while off duty. Star-Advertiser.

A firearm missing from the Oahu Community Correctional Center has been recovered and a person of interest in the incident has been arrested. KITV.

A Marine Corps helicopter struck a power line and made an emergency landing on the North Shore on Tuesday night. There were no injuries to the flight crew or civilians. Star-Advertiser.


Current and former aides to Mayor Billy Kenoi testified at his criminal trial Wednesday as the state sought to build a theft case against the mayor. Star-Advertiser.

All county purchasing cards are supposed to have codes preventing the user from buying alcohol, Hawaii County Finance Director Deanna Sako said Wednesday during Mayor Billy Kenoi’s theft trial. Tribune-Herald.

Day two of the felony theft trial against Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi consisted of four witnesses, mainly Hawaii County employees, testifying against their boss. Hawaii News Now.

More county workers took the stand on day two of the criminal trial for Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi in Hilo. KHON2.
Trial has been set for early 2017 for a former Hawaii Police Department officer alleged to have fatally struck a cyclist in March 2015. West Hawaii Today.

A $1.4 billion project to build one of the world's largest telescopes is up against intense protests by Native Hawaiians and others who say building it on the Big Island's Mauna Kea mountain will desecrate sacred land. Associated Press.


The county Ethics Board has declined to investigate a complaint against Council Member Don Couch over his purchase of an affordable-priced home because the allegations were “vague,” exceeded the statute of limitations and did not cite a specific Code of Ethics violation that the board could act on. Maui News.

The County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation will be implementing its plan to restrict overnight vehicle access to Kanahā Park starting Nov. 1, 2016. Maui Now.

Maui County will be holding a free, drive-thru hard drive and backup tape destruction and disposal service from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the county building. Maui News.


The Kauai County Council voted 5-to-1 to pass a bill that sought to appropriate funds from the general fund to pay for extra security at county-hosted events. Garden Island.

On Wednesday, the Kauai County Council voted 6 to 1 to pass Resolution No. 2016-57, which proposed making changes to projects funded by a $13.8 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER Grant. Garden Island.

The Garden Island is asking the same five questions of all 13 Kauai County Council candidates, to help residents decide who to vote for on Nov. 8.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hawaii County Mayor Kenoi's trial begins, poll shows Caldwell leading for Honolulu mayor, legislative panels tackle fishing employees' rights, Maui hospital wants $5.6M, snow dusts Mauna Kea, court allows candidate on two ballots, state goes online to seek workers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Pool photo HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald
Mayor Billy Kenoi stands with his attorneys, Richard Sing, left, and Todd Eddins, during his trial Tuesday in Hilo Circuit Court. Pool photo HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald
Mayor Billy Kenoi, on trial for allegedly stealing public funds, waited as long as two years to reimburse Hawaii County for expenses that included large amounts of alcohol and a hotel stay for a nephew, prosecutors said Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi’s attorney portrayed him as a 24/7 workhorse for the county on the opening day of testimony at Kenoi’s trial on theft and records tampering charges Tuesday, but prosecutors said he crossed the line by using his government-issued purchasing card for lavish personal spending, including large amounts of alcohol. Star-Advertiser.

VIDEO: Trial Of Mayor Billy Kenoi Begins. Big Island Video News.

One of the biggest trials in Big Island history kicked off Tuesday, as Mayor Billy Kenoi sought to fight off charges of theft over his misuse of a government credit card. Hawaii News Now.

Day one of Hawai'i County Mayor Billy Kenoi's felony theft trial began with opening statements Tuesday in Hilo. KITV.

Opening arguments and witness testimony began Tuesday for the criminal trial of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi in Hilo for his alleged misuse of his county issued credit card, also known as a pCard. KHON2.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi is on trial for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars in county funds to pay for alcohol and other personal expenses. Civil Beat.

The mayor of Hawaii County charged Heineken beer and Crown Royal whiskey to his government credit card at a drug store and passed off the purchases as official business, a state prosecutor said Tuesday. Associated Press.


Concerned about ongoing threats to Hawaii’s freshwater resources, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono held a hearing at the state Capitol on Tuesday about efforts to maintain the health of the state’s watersheds and opportunities for further collaboration. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers are set to hear from state officials, fishing industry leaders and others about the allegations of human trafficking and poor working conditions aboard U.S. longline vessels, according to a House news release. Three legislative committees are facilitating a public informational briefing that’s slated for 11 a.m., Wednesday, in Room 309 at the Capitol in Honolulu. Civil Beat.

A group of Hawaii lawmakers is holding a public meeting to discuss conditions among the Hawaii longline fleet. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s commercial fishing industry leaders are not finished fighting the fourfold expansion of a U.S. marine monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Civil Beat.

Angela Kaaihue’s name will remain on the special-election ballot as a Democratic candidate for the 1st Congressional District to complete the term of the late Rep. Mark Takai. Star-Advertiser.

Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto on Tuesday rejected a lawsuit seeking to remove Angela Aulani Kaaihue’s name from the special election ballot for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District. Civil Beat.

The state is turning to the Internet in hopes of landing qualified workers for highly skilled, high-paying jobs. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige has appointed retired public school principal Darrel Galera to the state Board of Education. Star-Advertiser.

Six companies have been issued violations by the state Department of Health for not submitting payments and reports under Hawaii’s Deposit Beverage Container law. Star-Advertiser.

A diverse group of nonprofits including the Sierra Club of Hawaii, Unite Here! Local 5, Hawaii Appleseed Center and the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation has organized a series of community meetings this month focused on environmental, economic and social justice. Civil Beat.

A state biosecurity plan says the brown tree snake could cause as much as $2 billion each year in damages if introduced to Hawaii. Associated Press.


Less than three weeks from Election Day, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell leads challenger Charles Djou 48 percent to 41 percent, according to The Civil Beat Poll.

A state judge has ruled that the city’s Residential A tax classification is unconstitutional, a decision that possibly could leave the city scrambling to make up lost money this year and needing to find millions in revenues in subsequent years. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu voters will be asked in November to decide whether to change the rules governing the city’s Affordable Housing Fund. Proposed Charter Amendment No. 5 would loosen restrictions on the fund to make it easier for developers to build low-income rental housing. Civil Beat.

A Honolulu City Council committee has given its preliminary endorsement to forcibly acquire eight Kakaako streets claimed as private property by two local brothers who charge the public to park on the shoulders of the otherwise public roadways. Star-Advertiser.

Cars and wooden spools fill the paintball field between the Keehi Lagoon and Nimitz Highway. But by next summer, it will be home to homeless families living on Oahu. KITV.

Median sales prices for Oahu homes surged last month when compared with September 2015, according to a report released Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

For Sen. Sanji Abe’s grandson, the presence of his grandfather’s Japanese go game set among the Honouliuli internment camp artifacts serves as an indication that Abe had expected a long confinement. Star-Advertiser.


Wet weather over the Big Island overnight reached the summit of Mauna Kea and left a dusting of snow this morning. Star-Advertiser.


Maui hospital executives requested up to $5.65 million as they deal with a one year transition delay of Hawaiʻi Health Systems Maui Region hospitals to Maui Health System, LLC, a Kaiser Permanente affiliated hospital system. Maui Now.

Officials with Maui County’s three public hospitals asked state legislators Monday for $5.65 million to hire additional nurses and doctors as part of a new plan that they hope will improve gaps in staffing and services through July 1, 2017, when operational control of the hospitals will be transferred to health care provider Kaiser Permanente. Maui News.

An update on proposed Lahaina Small Boat Harbor ferry pier improvements will be hosted by state Rep. Angus McKelvey and state Sen. Roz Baker, who represent West Maui, and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources on Thursday. Maui News.


The Elections Division of the Office of the County Clerk is informing the public that early voting services will be temporarily relocated to the Lihue Neighborhood Center for the 2016 General Elections. Garden Island.

Chick No. 8 was a surprise addition to the ‘A’o (Newell’s shearwater) colony at Nihoku predator-proof enclosure, but it wasn’t a shock when the baby seabird fledged on Sunday. Garden Island.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

State abuse notifications violate federal law, Kenoi trial starts today, $8.3M in rail change orders, more on feral cat poop problem, REITs cost millions in tax losses, Thirty Meter Telescope hearing Thursday, Maui wastewater overflow, Kauai water project, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Halema‘uma‘u Crater
Kilauea crater overflow, courtesy Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Kilauea Volcano’s summit lava lake has deposited fresh lava onto the floor of Halema‘uma‘u Crater for the first time since spring 2015. Tribune-Herald.

The procedures the state has used for years to notify thousands of Hawaii families suspected of child abuse or neglect in less serious cases do not meet U.S. regulations and must be changed, according to the preliminary findings of a federal investigation. Star-Advertiser.

Two years ago the state Legislature wanted to know the value of a Hawaii tax deduction that benefits real estate investment trusts, or REITs. Now they know, and it’s way higher than they previously estimated. Star-Advertiser.

Feces from Hawaii's stray cats threatens seals: Video. Pacific Business News.

A replacement has been found for Jim Williams, who resigned from the Hawaii state Board of Education last month. Gov. David Ige on Monday appointed former public school teacher and principal Darrel Galera. Civil Beat.


Honolulu rail leaders approved $8.3 million in leftover change orders Thursday — cost increases related to delays and premature starts that hit the project’s first 10 miles. Star-Advertiser.

Following Monday’s meeting with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board of directors, chairwoman Colleen Hanabusa told KHON2 she wants a complete overhaul to fix a crumbling critical component to the rail.

Honolulu voters will be asked in November to decide whether to change the rules governing the city’s Affordable Housing Fund. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is expected to nominate former Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Steven Levinson to the Honolulu Police Commission. Civil Beat.

HPD: Officers' actions before Kunia shooting were appropriate. Hawaii News Now.

An elementary school serving mostly military families on Schofield Barracks now bears the name of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, who was remembered Monday during a ceremony at the campus as a staunch supporter of education and the military. Star-Advertiser.

Teachers and administrators met at Radford High School for their first ever technology summit, Monday. Hawaii News Now.

School just got cooler for students at Jefferson Elementary in Waikiki. The Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association donated 32 air conditioners and fans that'll help fend off the campus's blistering heat. KITV.

Almost a century ago, Kakaako, with its dusty streets and dilapidated houses, seemed to be asleep, just awakening to the fact that business was encroaching on its boundaries. Civil Beat.

Jon McKenna, who abruptly departed from his position as the top executive of Associa Hawaii just a few weeks ago, is now with his former property management company’s chief competitor, Hawaiiana Management Co., his new company confirmed to Pacific Business News.


A jury was seated Monday in the trial of Mayor Billy Kenoi, clearing the way for opening statements that will start today in Hilo Circuit Court. Honolulu Circuit Court Judge Dexter Del Rosario, who is hearing the high-profile case, said he expects closing arguments to be held Oct. 31. Tribune-Herald.

On Hawaii Island, jury selection has wrapped and opening statements for the trial of Mayor Billy Kenoi will take place Tuesday. KHON2.

We will live stream court proceedings, however the signal may be cut off when the court goes into recess or has private bench conferences with the attorneys. When the trial resumes, our coverage will continue. KHON2.

Attorneys with the University of Hawaii at Hilo have accused Thirty Meter Telescope foes of waging a campaign to disrupt and delay the contested case hearing with the aim of having the case overturned on appeal. Star-Advertiser.

The start of witness testimony in the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case was delayed until Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

VIDEO: TMT Opponents Asked About Attorney Withdrawal. Big Island Video News.

Kim wants say in nominations: Flurry of last-minute Kenoi posts to county boards raises concerns. West Hawaii Today.

A former police officer was found dead on Sunday, two days before he was scheduled to change his plea in an assault case. West Hawaii Today.


A new classroom building at a crowded Maui campus is still empty, nearly three weeks after a blessing ceremony. Hawaii News Now.

A wastewater overflow of approximately 4,600 gallons occurred on Friday, Oct. 14, at 3 p.m. along South Kīhei Road. Maui Now.

Pavement striping will prompt alternating lane closures on Mokulele Highway between North Kihei and Kamaaina roads this week, according to the state Department of Transportation. Maui News.


The water department is planning a $3.5 million project to make the dispersal of water from the Kapaia Reservoir more efficient. Garden Island.