Friday, August 23, 2019

Almost half of schools have no AC, Kaiser files TRO against Queens, union boss indicted, 7 sent to hospital after smoke fills Hawaiian Airlines cabin, nude sculptures irk Lanai neighbors, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Governors Office
Gov. David Ige visits school PC:Governors Office
Gov. David Ige’s campaign to cool 1,000 classrooms exceeded its goal in September 2017, but some of those systems, powered by electricity from the sun, are already on the fritz. Just over half, or 6,200, of the 11,000 classrooms statewide have air conditioning. Star-Advertiser.

DOE Leans On Schools To Cool Their Own Classrooms. Schools with the infrastructure to support new air conditioning units will be tasked with paying for and installing units on their own, instead of relying on the DOE. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s public schools now have faster way of getting AC into classrooms. The state Department of Education is employing a new streamlined process for schools to get air conditioning units into their classrooms faster. Hawaii News Now.

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Kaiser Permanente filed a temporary restraining order Thursday to block the Queen’s Health Systems from directly billing its members while a federal court determines whether or not the hospital is unfairly charging patients. Star-Advertiser.

Kaiser Permanente files federal TRO against Queen's Medical Center's health system. Kaiser claims it is to protect patients from being over charged for medical services. KITV.

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Clinics Worry New Immigration Rules Are Pushing Patients To Avoid The Doctor. An upcoming Trump administration policy would deny green cards to people who use public benefits like Medicaid. Local health care clinics are feeling the ripple effect. Civil Beat.

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Former union boss charged in massive fraud, embezzlement indictment. Brian Ahakuelo lead the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260 until he was ousted three years ago after the union was placed under trusteeship. Hawaii News Now.

Fed indictment: 70 counts against former IBEW Local 1260 union boss and family. A federal indictment has been filed after a three-year investigation of a former electrical union boss and two family members who worked under him. KHON2.

Former head of local union IBEW charged with 70 counts of fraud. Court records show they allegedly spent over $3 million on personal trips, vehicles, restaurant bills, and to pay family members for work they did not do. KITV.

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Police Shootings Board Still Unsure On Public Disclosure. The board went into a closed-door session to talk about how open to be with its reports. Civil Beat.

NOAA Says Intense Coral Bleaching Event Likely. NOAA and the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources are asking for everyone’s help in trying to be proactive and to minimize any additional stress put on corals. Big Island Now.

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Police at Mauna Kea give out 610 tickets. Hawaii County police assigned to the areas around the protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope have issued 610 citations in their weeklong stepped-up traffic enforcement effort, and also arrested seven people for offenses such as drunken driving, driving without a license and contempt of court, police announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Increased law enforcement activity on Maunakea nets more than 600 violations. Tribune-Herald.

610 Citations, 7 Arrested In One Week On Saddle Road.  Police assigned to the Thirty Meter Telescope opposition encampment have stepped up traffic enforcement efforts on Daniel K. Inouye Highway. Big Island Video News.

Frustration mounts as police hand out hundreds of traffic tickets at Mauna Kea. Since August 15, Hawaii County police have issued 610 citations to drivers near the intersection of Saddle Road and Mauna Kea Access Road, where hundreds of TMT protesters are still camped out. Hawaii News Now.

Down for the count: Maunakea study counts visitors, impacts. A study of public and commercial tour capacity on Maunakea is proceeding, even though tourism on the mountain has been at a standstill for more than a month. West Hawaii Today.

Fourth annual Hawaii Island Festival of Birds canceled. The organizers of the annual Hawaii Island Festival of Birds have announced the cancellation of this year’s event, citing difficulty accessing forest reserves around Maunakea. West Hawaii Today.

UH Regents Delay Vote On Mauna Kea Rules To November. The administrative rules would govern activities on Mauna Kea. Civil Beat.

UH Regents Again Delay Mauna Kea Rules Decision, Now Set For November. This is the third time the Regents’ consideration of the proposed rules has been rescheduled.  Big Island Video News.

Oahu

7 taken to hospital after Hawaiian Air plane fills with smoke before making emergency landing. Seven passengers were taken to hospitals Thursday after smoke filled the cabin and cargo hold of a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Oakland about 20 minutes before the aircraft made a dramatic emergency landing and evacuation at Honolulu’s airport. Hawaii News Now.

HECO seeks 4.1% rate increase to help pay for Oahu customers. HECO says the average customer using 500 kilowatt hours a month would pay about $9 more a month. Hawaii News Now.

Final work being done to reopen Arizona Memorial, raising visitors’ hopes. The National Park Service, which oversees the memorial, said it plans to issue a statement next week with a specific date. Star-Advertiser.

State inspectors find 3-foot-long iguana in Waipio Gentry. State Department of Agriculture inspectors found the lizard on Board of Water Supply property in a tree near Kanoelani Elementary School.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Settlement reached in cyclist death. A settlement appears to have been reached in a wrongful death case filed by the family of a cyclist fatally struck by an on-duty Hawaii Police Department officer in 2015. West Hawaii Today.

County requests more time to complete Hwy 132 work. The county Department of Public Works has requested a three-month extension to complete the reconstruction of Highway 132 in lower Puna. Tribune-Herald.

Sorely Needed Public Housing Set To Open After Toxic Soil Cleanup. Low-income housing is in great demand on Hawaii island, where more than 360 families are reportedly on a county waitlist for housing help. Civil Beat.

Uncle Robert’s Night Market shuts down. Uncle Robert’s Awa Bar and Farmers Market held its last Night Market for the foreseeable future on Wednesday as the popular event has been shut down indefinitely. Tribune-Herald.

Uncle Robert’s Night Market Closes Indefinitely. The popular Kalapana Night Market at Uncles Awa Club in Pāhoa is closed for business until further notice. Big Island Now.

Maui

Maui police seek other possible victims of officer accused of abusing power. The Maui Police Department is trying to find out if there are more victims of Officer Brandon Safeels. The four-year veteran of the department is accused of abusing his power to hit on women. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Community Correctional Center riot report release date uncertain. Department: But it will be made public. Maui News.

Cancellation of more weekend visits at Maui Community Correctional Center possible. No other state facility has this problem. Maui News.

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Maui Public Works Deputy Director Resigns. Stephen Welling will be leaving Maui to return to the Mainland. Maui Now.

‘This is history in the making’ as Mahi Pono set to begin first plantings. Company narrows list of crops to grow on old HC&S sugar fields. Maui News.


Kauai

‘Refocusing Tourism’. Visitors average about 28,000 a day on Kauai. That’s one of the factors that the Kauai Tourism Strategic Plan 2019-2021 is taking into account as voluntary members of the community work together in an attempt to mitigate “overtourism.” Garden Island.

Lanai

‘Horrendous’ Nude Sculptures On Lanai Taken Down After Public Outcry. Residents were appalled that the small island’s management company had put them so close to a church. Civil Beat.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Big changes coming to the Ala Wai, Supreme Court mulls Native Hawaiian homesteads backlog, Honolulu rail could sap electricity as it passes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Kayaker on the Ala Wai ©2019 All Hawaii News
The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday voted by a narrow 5-3 margin to approve a measure allowing Mayor Kirk Caldwell to move forward with the contentious $345 million Ala Wai flood mitigation project. The project being spearheaded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is supposed to protect the areas around the Ala Wai Canal - and Waikiki specifically - from heavy flooding during a large-scale storm by building a series of detention basins along the Ala Wai watershed including Manoa, Palolo and Makiki, as well as walls on the sides of the canal. Star-Advertiser.

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Court hears arguments in DHHL trust case. The Hawaii Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments in a breach-of-trust lawsuit against the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands that has dragged on for 20 years. Star-Advertiser.

2,000+ native Hawaiians say state failed to award homesteads in timely manner. The Supreme Court still needs to make a ruling on how damages would be awarded. KITV.

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Awareness of State Sunscreen Ban Is High, But Work Still Needs To Be Done. That’s according to a new survey from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Hawaii Public Radio.

Researchers Analyzing eDNA In Water Samples Brought Back From Papahanaumokuakea. Scientists are using an established DNA technique to discover just what lives in the deep coral reefs of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

16 states are hosting tax-free shopping on school supplies. Should Hawaii be next? Last legislative session, state lawmakers considered proposals to create a general excise tax holiday for retailers who sell school supplies, only if they passed on that discount to shoppers. Hawaii News Now.

The Fattest Paychecks In Hawaii Government Don’t Always Go To The Top Bosses. More than 14,000 employees have been added to Civil Beat’s salary database, including many who earn more than the governor. Civil Beat.

Champion Of Legal Aid To Hawaii’s Poor Announces Retirement. After a 50-year career in public interest law and advocacy, Hawaii Appleseed Center co-founder Victor Geminiani announced on Wednesday that he will step down as the agency’s longtime executive director. Civil Beat.

Can This New Hawaii Venture Become The Stock Fund For Millennials? A Colorado portfolio manager has big plans for a $44 million S&P 500 index fund that he has brought to Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Panel rejects outside lawyers for HART workers. A Honolulu City Council committee on Wednesday rejected a request for $300,000 in taxpayer money to be spent for private attorneys to represent employees of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, or HART. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s New Trains Could Sap Power From Nearby Buildings And Homes. If the trains draw too much power as they speed up to leave stations, it could affect the use of household appliances and other electrical-powered equipment. Civil Beat.

Toxic Runoff At Issue As State Considers New Permit For Kaneohe Boat Facility. Some residents worry contaminated dust will continue to be a problem if maintenance operations start again. Civil Beat.

Long-time tenants of new condo-hotel project site say goodbye. A portion of Kapiolani Boulevard near Ala Moana Center has changed dramatically. And more high rises are on the way. KHON2.

Navy commemorates the 100th anniversary of Dry Dock 1 located at Pearl Harbor shipyard. Navy and local officials commemorated 100 years of history at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard’s Dry Dock 1 Wednesday, noting the incredible World War II accomplishments of civilians working alongside military counterparts, the shipyard’s current necessity, and the continuum of responsibility for an important cultural place. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kim to hold second meeting with Hawaiian leaders. Mayor Harry Kim will hold a second meeting with leaders of the Native Hawaiian community Friday regarding the Thirty Meter Telescope. Tribune-Herald.

‘Our tax dollars’: Soaring costs to state for TMT protest draw concern. Lawmakers are raising major concerns about the rising costs for law enforcement and first responders at the site of the Thirty Meter Telescope protest on Mauna Kea. Hawaii News Now.

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PGV gets OK for new wells. Applications from Puna Geothermal Venture for two new geothermal wells have been approved, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources confirmed Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

Council parses Kona CDP changes. What’s in a word? Plenty, it seems, when it comes to the difference between “shall” and “should.” West Hawaii Today.

Fines pile up for owners of downtown Hilo property. The owners of a downtown Hilo property that has become a homeless encampment have accrued nearly $200,000 in fines after failing to remove illegal structures for the better part of a year. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Testifiers: Action needed now to curb overtourism. Visitor population is nearly 10 percent over island plan’s policy. Maui News.

How to Reduce the Negative Impacts of Tourism. Limiting the number of rental cars on county roads, placing a moratorium on new hotel construction and instilling a “code of conduct” for incoming tourists. Maui Now.

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Work on Wailuku Civic Complex to begin in September. Surrounding road, infrastructure and parking work to begin. Maui News.

Zoning is topic of workshops. Proposed zoning updates for Wailuku town will be the subject of Maui Redevelopment Agency workshops this and next week in town. Maui News.

Woman says she complained to Maui police a year ago about officer accused of inappropriate conduct. The Maui officer who is under criminal investigation for allegedly trying to throw a criminal trial for a woman he arrested for DUI is now facing new allegations — this time from a woman who claims he tried to coerce her after he responded to her 911 call for an assault last year. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Herbicide ban at schools. Kauai schools are working to end herbicide use on campuses after the state Department of Education announced a ban of herbicides at public schools. Garden Island.

Residents may qualify for property tax exemptions. Families that have lived on their land for generations and have no intention to sell, but can’t keep up with taxes based upon soaring property values, would be granted the opportunity to move from their current “residential” or “residential investor” classifications to various others, including homestead. Garden Island.

Resident: Horse carcass needs to go. Kauai County is considering what to do with a horse carcass reported lodged in the rocks at Aliomanu Beach on Monday. Garden Island.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Mauna Kea police price tag tops $3M so far, Caldwell mulls gubernatorial run, Maui jail riot update, chasing nene on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Diamond Head aerial view ©2019 All Hawaii News
Drone captures hidden homeless camps that dot Oahu’s south shore. It’s not until you get a bird’s eye view of the situation that there’s a true understanding of just how entrenched the cliff side encampment has become. Hawaii News Now.

Trash and a homeless camp polluting a popular surf spot. Visitors come from around the world to see Oahu’s beautiful beaches. But heaps of trash and a homeless camp at Diamond Head Beach Park are an eyesore and residents want it cleaned up. KHON2.

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Native Hawaiian homestead case to be heard by Hawaii Supreme Court. Attorneys for about 2,700 Native Hawaiians will appear before the state’s highest court today to argue that the government has failed in its duty to award homestead lots to Hawaiians. Star-Advertiser.

Gabbard on the outside looking in: A breakdown of her presidential campaign. KITV.

Hawaii Senate Staffer Richard Rapoza Dead At 60. He had held many positions with government agencies and public officials in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Caldwell Considering Possible Run For Governor. The Honolulu mayor is looking at other races, too, including City Council and U.S. House. Civil Beat.

Decision on controversial Ala Wai flood plan delayed. Facing opposition from scores of residents, the Honolulu City Council delayed any decision on the controversial $345 million Ala Wai flood mitigation project. Star-Advertiser.

How One Honolulu Neighborhood Is Trying To Keep From Sliding Away. A new committee hopes to help residents get quicker action from city officials. Civil Beat.

Budget Shortfall Forces Kapiolani Community College To Cut Classes, Jobs. The college has seen a 25% decline in enrollment over the last decade and plans to eliminate 329 student employee positions in the coming year. Civil Beat.

Officers called into Nanakuli-Maili neighborhood meeting after heated PVT Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility debate. A lot of people had questions and concerns about the recently released environmental impact statement on that proposed move. KITV.

Complaints Of Unsafe, Unhealthy Housing Conditions Plague Hickam. In a recent survey of military families, the housing programs at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam run by for-profit landlords were among the most widely criticized in the nation. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County police have spent more than $3 million on overtime and fringe benefits so far in connection with the weeks of protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope, and that does not include overtime or other costs racked up by other law enforcement agencies. Star-Advertiser.

Mauna Kea Protest Has Cost Hawaii County Police $3 Million In OT. The county released new figures on Tuesday detailing the cost of policing the protestors. Civil Beat.

TMT standoff costs county $3.2M. Hawaii County has incurred $3.2 million so far in expenses related to ongoing standoff at Maunakea Access Road. Tribune-Herald.

Over $3.2 Million Spent On Mauna Kea, So Far. The state says it will cover the county's costs, "so long as HCPD remains committed to maintaining control of the pertinent roadways." Big Island Video News.

Tab for keeping police, other first responders at TMT protest at $3.5M. The tab for keeping police and other first responders at the Thirty Meter Telescope protest on Mauna Kea are now about $3.5 million, new figures show. Hawaii News Now.

$4 million and counting: The costs of state-county response to TMT protest site. KHON2.

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County debt nears half a billion. The county’s current outstanding debt, including bonds, state revolving loans, bank notes and bonds reimbursable by the Department of Water Supply, now stands at $477.6 million, a 34.4% increase over the $355.4 million debt in 2008. West Hawaii Today.

Half Puna Eruption Survivors Who Were Told They Owe FEMA, Cleared. 35 applicants’ debts were cleared after they appealed FEMA’s possible recoupment decision. FEMA sent 69 letters in total. Big Island Video News.

‘Blood everywhere’: Woman in stable condition after apparent shark attack in Kealakekua Bay. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Public safety director discloses findings on Maui jail riot. Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda briefed state legislators Tuesday on the findings of an internal investigation into a March riot at the Maui Community Correctional Center, reiterating much of what the public already was told in the days following the uprising, which caused more than $5 million in damage to the jail. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Prisons Director: Staff Shortages Are Driving Up OT Costs. Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda also says the final report on the Maui jail riot isn’t quite finished yet. Civil Beat.

DPS director: Final report on Maui jail riots not ready for lawmakers. Riots at the Maui community Correctional Center in March caused million of dollars in damage. Hawaii News Now.

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Commercial beach activities might soon be taking Sundays and holidays off. Mayor wants residents to be able to enjoy the beaches, too. Maui News.

Investigation launched into whether Maui officer offered to throw trial for woman he arrested. Authorities have launched a criminal investigation into whether a Maui police officer offered to throw a drunk driving trial for a woman who says he inappropriately contacted her just hours after she was booked ― sending text messages and calling her ― and pressuring her repeatedly to visit his house. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

DLNR launches nene nesting prevention project on Kauai The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is launching a one year pilot project it hope will prevent nene from nesting near Lihue Airport. KITV.

Chasing nene away. Black and white herding dogs are part of a one-year pilot project on the property, the goal of which is to deter nene from hanging out on the Timbers/Hokuala property, which is adjacent to Lihue Airport. Garden Island.

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Details of cheating in KPD emerge at trial. More details emerged Tuesday about officers who conspired to cheat on a Kauai Police Department test, as a policeman involved in the reported scheme took the stand in the negligent homicide trial of a Kapaa man accused of killing a young woman in a hit-and-run accident. Garden Island.

Real property taxes were due Tuesday. The first installment of real property taxes for the 2019-2020 tax year was due Tuesday. Garden Island.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Parking crackdown, tickets on Mauna Kea, Honolulu cites first 5 illegal vacation rentals, new stadium on fast track, sticker shock for fresh ahi, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Mauna Kea ©2019 All Hawaii News
Hirono tours Mauna Kea protest site. U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono visited the site of the protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope and toured the tent encampment at the base of the Mauna Kea Access Road for several hours Monday morning, speaking with protest leaders and Hawaiian elders who assured her the demonstrations are organized and peaceful. Star-Advertiser.

Hirono spotted visiting with kupuna and kia'i on Mauna Kea. KITV.

Lawmaker Inouye asks Gov. Ige to uphold law in TMT standoff. Hilo Sen. Lorraine Inouye urged Gov. David Ige in a letter to uphold the law and move forward with the Thirty Meter Telescope project despite the current standoff on Maunakea Access Road. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor Kim Hints At “Plan On How To Go Forward” On TMT. Mayor Kim offered insights into the chain of command early on in the Mauna Kea situation, and said he is "going come out very shortly on a plan on how to go forward." Big Island Video News.

After weeks of mostly silence on TMT, Ige offers no details on how conflict will be resolved. Who was in charge when 38 Thirty Meter Telescope protesters were arrested at Mauna Kea? Hawaii News Now.

Parking crackdown, new signs at TMT protest site anger activists. The state Department of Transportation started installing no parking signs along Daniel K. Inouye Highway at Mauna Kea, in a move that’s angering TMT protesters. Hawaii News Now.

Leak in telescope on Mauna Kea fuels renewed controversy. A picture from April of 2018 shows a slow leak of hydraulic fluid was discovered behind dry wall. KITV.

Veteran Astronomer Reflects on Changes, Mauna Kea's Role In Learning. A lot has changed in astronomy since Hawaiʻi astronomer Doug Simons began his career more than 30 years ago. Hawaii Public Radio.

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Ahi prices ‘Higher than New Year’s’. Wholesale buyers at the United Fishing Agency say most are experiencing sticker shock when bidding for fresh ahi. KHON2.

Pearl Harbor destroyer returns after adventurous 92 days at sea. t was an eventful 92 days at sea for the destroyer USS Michael Murphy, which returned Monday to Pearl Harbor and waiting family members. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

City Council is pressured to support Ala Wai flood project. The Honolulu City Council is expected to consider a resolution today that would keep the controversial Ala Wai Flood Risk Management Project moving forward. Star-Advertiser.

City: $224M in federal funds ‘in jeopardy’ if controversial Ala Wai watershed project doesn’t proceed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) plans to build the structures to protect residents from a 100-year storm that could damage 3,000 homes and cause more than $1 billion in damage. Hawaii News Now.

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City issues first 5 illegal vacation rental citations. The city has issued five citations for illegal vacation rental ads culled from online hosting platforms — the first of many expected under a new law that took effect Aug. 1. Star-Advertiser.

Critics Question Former Council Chair’s Ties To North Shore Project. Some residents ask whether campaign contributions and a job factored into Ernie Martin’s support for a controversial Pupukea project. Civil Beat.

New stadium on fast-track to 2023 opening. Suddenly this past legislative session, replacing the stadium got a green light on a wide-open fast lane and a $350 million jump start. KHON2.

Hawaii’s Only Federal Halfway House Is Closing, Putting More Offenders Behind Bars. The city of Honolulu bought the building as a new home for the Sand Island Treatment Center. Civil Beat.

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Officials warn of increased traffic as UH classes get underway next week. Starting Monday, an estimated 20,000 students are expected to resume classes at the University of Hawaii, with the majority expected to commute to the Manoa campus. Star-Advertiser.

Expect a longer commute next week with back to school jam. Your commute will be longer because a new school year starts for 20,000 university students. KITV.

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DOT to take up cheaper option to address traffic near Turtle Beach. The state is taking action to address traffic on Oahu’s North Shore near Laniakea Beach. Hawaii News Now.

New downtown satellite city hall adds services, staff. City officials Monday formally opened the new Downtown Satellite City Hall at the Chinatown Gateway Plaza, a location that will provide twice the space and some added services unavailable at the old site in an underground Fort Street Mall space two blocks away. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Ethics complaint filed against Board of Ethics. The county Board of Ethics finds itself in the unusual position of having an ethics complaint levied against it, along with its attorney. Tribune-Herald.

Kapoho is home to new black sand beaches. New black sand beaches have formed near Kapoho, created by the 2018 eruption of Kilauea volcano in lower Puna. Tribune-Herald.

Buzz for bee industry: Resolution calls for formation of working group. Hawaii County Council on Wednesday will consider a resolution to establish a working group to examine and address challenges in beekeeping on the Big Island by recommending updates to county ordinances. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

New Maui Traffic Cameras Set to Go Online in Next Two Weeks. New traffic cameras recently installed at 10 key intersections on Maui, will be accessible for viewing via the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s GoAkamai.org website within the next two weeks. Maui Now.

County jobless rate for July up for 11th straight month. Rate last fell on Maui in August ’18. Maui News.

Maui Marine Council Names New Executive Director. The Maui Nui Marine Resource Council appointed Christina Lizzi as its new executive director. Maui Now.

Kauai

Tourism report, auditor post on agenda. A couple of items are on the agenda for Wednesday’s Planning Committee meeting. Garden Island.

‘Unforeseen issues’ trouble for Loop Road. Repairs have been ongoing on Loop Road ever since the April 2018 floods wreaked havoc with falling trees and landslides and made it nearly impassable in some places. Garden Island.

Monday, August 19, 2019

TheBus expands routes, Hawaiian practitioner fights Lanai drone landing strip, green building code irks architects, DOE tackles bullying, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
TheBus in Honolulu ©2019 All Hawaii News
TheBus has made changes to dozens of routes across Oahu. The changes went into effect Sunday. Among some of the major routes impacted include the City Express Route A and the Country Express route E. Hawaii News Now.

Windward Oahu bus routes expand. The city expanded several Windward Oahu bus routes and the changes began Sunday, Aug. 18. KHON2.

Hawaii pension fund up 5.8% for fiscal year. Hawaii’s largest public pension fund failed to meet its 7% investment target in fiscal 2019 amid a volatile December and unsettling U.S.-Chinese trade war. Star-Advertiser.

Some Six-Figure Salaries At The State’s Watchdog Agencies. At look at the payrolls of the State Auditor’s Office, Ethics Commission and Ombudsman’s Office. Star-Advertiser.

Board of Education passes new rules for discipline, civil rights. Bullying and harassment will be treated as among the most serious offenses for high school students in Hawaii under a revised discipline code passed by the Board of Education. Star-Advertiser.

A report that faulted Hawaii’s public schools for suspending students far longer than the rest of the country was wrong and the Aloha State is actually near the national norm, according to Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto. That erroneous data formed the basis of a widely publicized report by the American Civil Liberties Union in June claiming that Hawaii’s suspension policies were the most punitive in the country. Star-Advertiser.

Trump Weakens Protections For Hawaii’s Imperiled Plants And Animals. The revised Endangered Species Act regulations flabbergasted environmentalists who are concerned about warding off more extinctions. Civil Beat.

DBEDT Releases Latest Hawaii Data Book. The 2018 edition contains plenty of factoids on the state and its people. Civil Beat.

Invasive sponge found to feed on own bug juice. An invasive species of sponge common throughout Hawaii packs its own lunch, scientists have found. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

6 candidates ‘seriously interested’ in Honolulu mayor’s race. Several big-name candidates have emerged as serious contenders for Honolulu mayor with now less than a year to go until Hawaii’s 2020 primary election day. Star-Advertiser.

How A Design Detail Caused A Multi-Million Dollar Headache For Honolulu Rail. Canopy arms, meant to anchor the sail-like fabric covers for the stations, were already plagued with design and construction problems. Then, they started cracking. Civil Beat.

Volunteers prep Arizona Memorial for reopening. Volunteers continue to clean and polish the USS Arizona Memorial in preparation for the as-yet announced reopening of one of the state’s most visited tourist attractions. Star-Advertiser.

The opening of Espacio in Waikiki caters to Hawaii’s strong luxury hotel market. Espacio’s Japan­ese-based owner, Kowa Waikiki LLC, purchased the 88-unit Waikiki Beachside hotel for $25 million and spent $50 million to convert it into an ultraluxury suite hotel with only nine units. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Building a house on Hawaii Island just got a lot more complicated — and more expensive — because the county missed a deadline to enact local exemptions to a strict new statewide energy code. West Hawaii Today.

Residents Say Voices Stifled on Homelessness. County officials hosted a public forum on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2019, at the West Hawai‘i Civic Center, where they presented an overview of a project known as the Kukuiola & Village 9 Affordable Rental Community. Big Island Now.

Facts vs. myths: Debunking oft-cited claims abut TMT Tribune-Herald.

Big Island mayor: Ige made ultimate call to stop arrests at TMT protest. At a key moment in the TMT conflict, as protesters were being arrested at Mauna Kea, Mayor Harry Kim says the governor made the call to pull back law enforcement. Hawaii News Now.

Officials should follow Maui’s example, former mayor says. Another cutting-edge observatory, the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope atop Haleakala, is nearing completion after escaping a similar fate during protests in 2015 and 2017 involving some of the same people embroiled in the TMT protests. Star-Advertiser.

Last week the Hawaii County Council got an update in committee on the status of various post-eruption projects in the Pahoa Recreational Complex. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Surveys find no Rapid Ohia Death along East Maui. Drone, helicopter surveys follow first detection on island. Maui News.

Maui County residents had to make $31.13 an hour to afford two-bedroom rental last year. Maui County Data Book 2018 shows local statistics on population, education, labor, government and more. Maui News.

Hawaiian Practitioner Seeks to Intervene in Proposal for Drone Landing Strip on Lanai. The request is being made by the Research Corporation of University of Hawaii for its Lanai High Altitude Platforms (HAPS) Drone project. Maui Now.

Kauai

Fish, limu returning to restored stream. The Waipa Stream is coming back to life, thanks to a restoration project within the watershed. Garden Island.

Kauai Coffee certified non-GMO. Harvesters are getting tuned up and coffee cherries are transitioning from green to yellow and red as Kauai Coffee Company’s busiest season of the year approaches. Garden Island.

Lanai

Hawaiian Practitioner Seeks to Intervene in Proposal for Drone Landing Strip on Lanai. The request is being made by the Research Corporation of University of Hawaii for its Lanai High Altitude Platforms (HAPS) Drone project. Maui Now.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Hawaii's quiet holiday, politicians line up for 2020, 2022, contests, Honolulu vacation rental operators strive for deal with city, Kauai ex-police chief sues over termination, Maui councilwoman chided by ethics board, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii State Archives
Statehood Day, photo from Hawaii State Archives
Hawaii hits 6-0 as a state without fanfare. State and local government offices are closed today, and that’s about the only way the 60th anniversary of Hawaii becoming a state will be formally celebrated. Star-Advertiser.

With Hawaii’s primary election less than a year away, some big names begin to campaign. With Hawaii’s next primary election less than a year away and the governor’s office up for grabs in 2022, well-known politicians are thinking about future campaigns. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige has more than three years left in his second term as governor, but the race to replace him seems to already be taking shape. Two high-profile candidates are already raising money for the election, which takes place in 2022. Hawaii News Now.

A familiar name appears to be eyeing a run for Honolulu mayor in 2020. Former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa has filed an organizational report for a mayoral candidate committee with the Campaign Spending Commission and has also launched a website. Hawaii News Now.

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Hawaii DOE Releases Revised Data on Student Suspensions. Release of the data comes amid efforts to correct what the DOE says was erroneous counts of students suspensions in the 2015-16 school year. Civil Beat.

Limited Training Options Worsen Hawaii’s Doctor Shortage. Officials estimate the state needs 800 more physicians, but the training pipeline for future doctors would need to expand three-fold to begin filling the gap. Civil Beat.

HMSA, Kaiser earnings rose in second quarter. Hawaii Medical Service Association, with 722,634 members in the quarter that ended June 30, reported a $14.4 million profit, down from $56.8 million a year ago, while Kaiser Permanente Hawaii posted $1.4 million in net income, reversing a $40.4 million year-earlier loss. Star-Advertiser.

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NOAA: ‘The Reefs Weren’t Damaged, They Were Just Gone’. Scientists return from the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument after surveying the underwater aftermath of a major storm last year. Civil Beat.

Hurricane destroyed reefs last year, NOAA finds. Scientists returning from a 22-day expedition to Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument aboard NOAA Ship Rainier on Thursday announced their findings, including the destruction of a significant reef by Hurricane Walaka. Star-Advertiser.

Hurricane Walaka’s legacy: Decimated reefs and invasive algae. Scientists who just completed underwater surveys in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands found significant reef damage caused by Hurricane Walaka last October that could adversely affect Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument for decades. Hawaii News Now.

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TMT law enforcement costs slowly being made public. The Honolulu Police Department spent $162,351 to assist the state’s law enforcement efforts on Mauna Kea where demonstrators have been blocking the road leading up to the construction site of the Thirty Meter Telescope for the past month. Star-Advertiser.

The cost of Honolulu Police sending law enforcement backup to Mauna Kea? Over $160K. The cost covers overtime, airfare, and shipping for vehicles. KITV.

Big Island police incident commander described ‘volatile’ day at Mauna Kea protest. Court documents offer more insight into the tense moments before and after 38 kupuna were arrested in a Thirty Meter Telescope protest at Mauna Kea on July 17. Hawaii News Now.

Decommissioning Mauna Kea Telescopes Not As Easy As Switching Off The Lights . Three of the thirteen telescopes on Mauna Kea are set to be decommissioned before the planned Thirty Meter Telescope is built. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Mauna Kea Management Board on Tuesday approved an action item that would establish commercial tour permittee stargazing areas, equipment storage and laydown areas, and traffic delineation in the mid-level area of the mountain. Big Island Video News.

Oahu

The city and the Kokua Coalition agreed Thursday to work together on a plan to allow so-called 30-day vacation rental operators to continue. The Kokua Coalition, also known as the Hawaii Vacation Rental Owners Association, had requested a temporary restraining order to stop the city from enforcing its new vacation rental ordinance that went into effect Aug. 1. Star-Advertiser.

Settlement progress reported in legal challenges to vacation rental law. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Rate Commission Weighs $2.75 Rail Fare In Seeking Public Comment. The Honolulu Rate Commission is considering whether rail fares should be lower or higher than a ride on TheBus. Hawaii Public Radio.

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Estate of Hawaii celebrity Jim Nabors goes to auction. Estate Liquidators Hawaii and Oahu Auctions present the Auction for the Estate of Hollywood celebrity Jim Nabors. KHON2.

Memorabilia, collectibles from Jim Nabors’ estate to be auctioned off. Hawaii News Now.

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Owners of Makaha no-kill shelter sentenced. In 2016, the shelter was raided and more than 300 dogs were confiscated by officials with the Hawaiian Humane Society who said the animals were living in deplorable conditions. Star-Advertiser.

Operator of no-kill shelter to serve a year behind bars for animal cruelty. Hawaii News Now.

State scrambles to eradicate population of coqui frogs found on Oahu. In less than two months, 16 coqui frogs have been found in Palolo Valley ― the largest population found on Oahu so far. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Salary Commission nixes big raises. The county Salary Commission on Thursday rejected across-the-board average 6.1% raises for county officials, but settled on a 1.25% cost-of-living adjustment instead.  West Hawaii Today.

Commission grants petition for contested case over Alii Drive development. The Leeward Planning Commission on Thursday granted a petition for standing in a contested case over a 50-unit residential community proposed across from Pahoehoe Beach Park on Alii Drive. West Hawaii Today.

Southwest to begin Hilo service in January. Southwest Airlines will begin offering flights from Hilo early next year, it was announced Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

Expanded Southwest Airlines Service, Including To Hilo, Goes On Sale. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Ethics Board chides Kelly King over biofuel tax comments. Panel: Member who abstains from vote should not be part of discussions. The opinion, approved by the board in a vote Wednesday afternoon, centered on an ethics complaint against King, who as vice president and co-founder of Pacific Biodiesel, spoke in detail about her biofuel production business and the impact of a proposed 12 cent a gallon tax on biodiesel during council discussions in April. Maui News.

Move-in for senior affordable rentals is February. Kahului Lani is now accepting applications for future tenants. Maui News.

Input Sought on Proposed Wailuku Zoning Updates. The Maui Redevelopment Agency is hosting three workshops in August for the public to help shape the next generation of development in Wailuku. Maui Now.

Lanai, Molokai focus of renewable energy projects. Maui Electric Co. has been focusing on Lanai and Molokai renewable energy projects amid Hawaii’s ambitious green energy goal of 100 percent renewable by 2045. Maui News.

Kauai


Former Kauai Police Department Chief Darryl Perry is suing the county. He is suing for wrongful termination, defamation and several other claims related to an investigation into his conduct that his lawsuit says was inappropriate and intentionally designed to harass. Garden Island.

Southwest expands flights. Southwest has announced inter-island flights to and from Lihue Airport. Garden Island.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Dispute over Mauna Kea road ownership, Honolulu ramps up vacation rental inspectors, ethics board dings Puna councilwoman, Coco Palms still a go, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Mauna Kea access road checkpoint ©2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Who Owns Mauna Kea Access Road? During an informational briefing held Wednesday on Oahu, the state senate questioned Hawaiian Home Lands officials about the ownership of the mountain road. Big Island Video News.

Questions arise over Mauna Kea road. Hawaii Sen. Kai Kahele (D, Hilo) questioned whether the state Department of Transportation has legal jurisdiction over Mauna Kea Access Road during a legislative briefing at the state Capitol on Wednesday, setting up what could potentially develop into a larger legal issue for the Thirty Meter Telescope and other telescope sites atop Mauna Kea. Star-Advertiser.

State's control over Mauna Kea Access Road could be in jeopardy. Lawmakers grilled the Department of Hawaiian Homelands stating, documents that shows the road is within DHHL's jurisdiction. KITV.

‘Why Do Stars Explode?’ And Other Questions Scientists Hope To Explore With The TMT. Scientists are already jockeying for time slots for ambitious research projects on the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope and another giant telescope being constructed in Chile. Civil Beat.

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New immigration policies expected to hurt Hawaii families and economy. Some believe a new federal crackdown on immigration could hurt Hawaii’s economy. Hawaii News Now.

Queen’s Health Systems has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit from the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. Kaiser says Queens has been charging its patients excessive and unreasonable rates ever since their contract ended in May. Hawaii News Now.

Some ‘Reef-Safe’ Sunscreens May Not Be Safe After All. Mineral-based sunscreens are viewed as an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical sunscreens, but could still be harmful in large concentrations. Civil Beat.

BOE expected to adopt changes to student misconduct rules. The action comes nearly a year after amendments were first considered by the board. Tribune-Herald.

Southwest Airlines is aggressively expanding service to the Hawaiian islands in January, more than doubling the number of its interisland seats and increasing its trans-Pacific seat capacity by 50%. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

More inspectors hired to tackle problem of illegal rentals. The city Department of Planning and Permitting is beefing up staffing, hiring up to six new temporary inspectors to help enforce a new and tougher vacation rental ordinance. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Adds Inspectors To Enforce Short-Term Rental Law. The city says the workers are temporary. Civil Beat.

As vacation rental cancellations mount, some say they’re not getting refunds. As the city’s new vacation rental law causes more cancellations, some visitors say they’re not getting their money back. Hawaii News Now.

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City wants funds to hire law firm for subpoenaed rail workers. Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration is seeking $300,000 to hire lawyers to represent the Honolulu rail authority and its current and former employees in connection with the federal investigation of the city’s $9.2 billion rail project. Star-Advertiser.

A retired district court judge was called before a federal grand jury last week to testify in an ongoing probe into the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office. Retired District Court Judge David Lo spent more than two hours inside the grand jury room before being wheeled out by an FBI agent. Hawaii News Now.

Katherine Kealoha Still Stands To Collect $680K From Grandmother, Uncle. Gerard and Florence Puana are still on the hook for the verdict in a civil case that happened before the Kealohas were convicted on criminal charges stemming from the same situation. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Ethics Board issues reminder to council in Kierkiewicz case. The county Board of Ethics on Wednesday finalized an order requiring Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz to file an after-the-fact written disclosure of a possible conflict of interest stemming from a vote she took earlier this year. West Hawaii Today.

DPS promotes Hilo sergeant to fill new West Hawaii position overseeing Kona, Kohala courts. Deputy sheriffs assigned to West Hawaii’s courts now have a lieutenant based in Kona, although the legislator who helped create the position isn’t happy the post had to be filled by someone from Hilo. West Hawaii Today.

New webcam monitors pool in Halemaumau. The U.S. Geological Survey set up a webcam to continuously track the development of a pool of water within Halemaumau Crater on Kilauea. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Senate Committees to Hold Maui Briefing on Maui Correctional Center. The Hawaiʻi Senate Ways & Means Committee and Public Safety Committee will conduct an informational briefing to hear from the Department of Public Safety and receive an update on the emergency appropriation for Maui Community Correctional Center and the current state of the facility. Maui Now.

Final EIS for Hana pier dismantling is accepted. Gov. David Ige has accepted final environmental impact statements for the Hana pier deck removal and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ industrial and business park in Pulehunui, according to the latest edition of “The Environmental Notice” published by the Office of Environmental Quality Control earlier this month. Maui News.

150 room expansion for Kihei hotel planned. Maui Coast Hotel to use adjacent vacant lot. Maui News.

Kauai

Council, mayor honor government watchdog Glenn Mickens. For decades, and without fail, one of the island’s most prominent government watchdogs, Glenn Mickens, showed up at County Council meetings on Wednesdays. Garden Island.

Coco Palms rebirth still alive. The Utah private-equity company that has taken over the ruins of the former Coco Palms Resort in Wailua says it is moving ahead with plans to rebuild the property as a hotel and can meet an Aug. 31 county deadline to submit 26 different building permit applications. Garden Island.