Monday, December 5, 2016

Obama and Abe to visit Pearl Harbor, Native Hawaiian constitution gains supporters, Menor to lead Honolulu City Council, Big Island inauguration today for mayor, council, three candidates chosen to replace Tsuji, Maui has highest crime rate, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Facebook photo
Obama and Abe May 2016 Facebook photo
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Pearl Harbor with U.S. President Barack Obama at the end of this month, becoming the first leader of his country to go to the site of the Japanese attack that propelled the United States into World War II. Associated Press.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Pearl Harbor later this month, becoming the first Japanese head of state to ever visit the site of the surprise attack. President Obama will accompany Abe on the visit, which is scheduled for Dec. 27. Hawaii Public Radio.

World War II veterans and Navy brass gathered Sunday to celebrate the restoration of a weather forecasting center on Ford Island that was used as a flight control tower during the Dec. 7, 1941, attack. Star-Advertiser.

The December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago resulted in 54 civilian casualties on O’ahu mostly caused by friendly fire. Hawaii Public Radio.

A campaign to bring about a ratification vote for the draft Native Hawaiian constitution has received a boost with a pledge of support from an association of more than 100 Native Hawaiian organizations. Star-Advertiser.

The Senate leadership has reshuffled some of the key committee assignments as it readies for the start of the 2017 legislative session in January. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu City Council Chairman Ernie Martin is expected to lose his leadership gavel to Councilman Ron Menor in the new year under a reorganization plan expected to garner the support of a majority of the nine-member panel. Star-Advertiser.

A new bill aimed at treating Uber and Lyft drivers more like traditional cabbies was approved 9-0 by the Hono­lulu City Council on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

The costs of Honolulu’s rail project could go as high as $9.5 billion under one scenario in an updated financial plan for the project released by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Friday. Civil Beat.

One of Hawaii’s eight medical marijuana dispensary licensees announced this week that it raised $10.9 million in equity financing and has completed construction of its offices and design of its Honolulu dispensary on Young Street. Star-Advertiser.


Three candidates — Moana Kelii, Stacy Higa and Christopher Todd — were chosen by party members during a Saturday morning voting session as candidates for the House seat vacated by the death of Rep. Clift Tsuji. Tribune-Herald.

Moana Hokoana Keli`i, Stacy Higa and Chris Todd have been chosen from a list of seven Democrats. Governor David Ige will now choose one of them to fill the late Rep. Clift Tsuji's seat. Big Island Video News.

Fellow lawmakers, friends and family gathered to honor the life of the late state Rep. Clift Tsuji on Friday, remembering his booming voice, fairness as a committee chairman tackling divisive topics and deep love for his family and district. Associated Press.

Not everything old is new again, but the inauguration set Monday for a mayor who’s returning to office after eight years, a majority of returning County Council members and a re-elected county prosecutor means there will be a lot of familiar faces around county government. West Hawaii Today.

The developer of a $225 million biomass plant on the Big Island of Hawaii that is about 50 percent complete filed a civil complaint this week against Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., NextEra Energy Inc. and Hamakua Energy Partners LP for alleged anticompetitive and illegal conduct related to the termination of the developer’s power purchase agreement. Pacific Business News.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo
is mulling ways to boost a low 49 percent occupancy in its newest residence hall, a problem that has forced the school to dip into reserve funds in order to pay back debt from the building’s construction. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County reported the highest statewide rates for total, violent, and property Index Crimes, as well as rape, aggravated assault, and larceny-theft, according to a the State of Hawaiʻi’s Annual Uniform Crime Report for 2015. Maui Now.

A little-known lavender farm more than 4,000 feet up the slopes of Haleakala is quickly becoming the most productive olive farm on the island and possibly the only commercial tea farm early next year. Maui News.


The Kauai Resource Center will be closed temporarily starting Dec. 14 as the county transitions to a new vendor and the permitting, contracting and mobilization processes for the new contract are completed. Garden Island.

The owner of The St. Regis Princeville Resort and the Makai Golf Club on Kauai’s North Shore is selling its Starwood Hotels and Resorts-managed property, the master developer of the Princeville at Hanalei confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Services today for late state Rep. Tsuji, attorney general whittles rape test kit backlog, Hanabusa to lead freshman class, Obama nixes Pearl Harbor visit, direct Japan flights coming to Kona, Maui homeless rousted, Kauai inaugurates council members, Honolulu streets condemned, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Rep. Clift Tsuji © 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaii lawmakers and residents are gathering to remember the late Big Island lawmaker Rep. Clift Tsuji, who died last month. Associated Press.

A memorial service for the late state Rep. Clift Tsuji  will be held on Friday, Dec. 2 in the House chamber at the state Capitol. Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., followed by a short program at 10:30 a.m. Hawaii News Now.

As a mark of respect for the late Hawaii State Representative Clifton Tsuji, Gov. David Ige has ordered that the flags of the United States and State of Hawaii shall be flown at half-staff at all state offices and agencies, as well as the Hawai'i National Guard, from sunrise to sunset on Friday, Dec. 2, and from sunrise to sunset on Sunday, Dec. 4. KITV.

The attorney general’s office says a working group has come up with a timeline to whittle down a backlog of untested rape kits. The plan is to test as many as 50 kits each month starting next year. KHON2.

Hawaii will receive $5.74 million to fund preschool in the state’s public charter schools, including Hawaiian language immersion programs. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii public schools will aim to graduate more students, enroll more graduates in college, retain more teachers, improve test scores and educate more special-education students in regular classes by 2020 under a revised strategic plan that officials say is designed to better support student success. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama is no longer expected for the 75th Pearl Harbor Commemoration, an 11-day series of events to mark Dec. 7, 1941. Star-Advertiser.

Freshmen Democratic House members Tuesday unanimously elected U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii as their class representative, a new position that is part of a change in the House Democratic leadership structure. Star-Advertiser.


The city has a green light to proceed with condemning eight streets in Kakaako that are a tangled mess of competing ownership claims and parking rights. Star-Advertiser.

The city can now initiate action to claim eight private Kakaako streets that have generated complaints about traffic being blocked by parking spots a company has rented out. Civil Beat.

Activists Fear Thomas Square Could Become A ‘Revenue Cow’. The downtown Honolulu park has long been the site for political and cultural events, as well as free services for the needy. Civil Beat.

To honor the late U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center at the Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park in Waipio will soon bear the congressman’s name. Star-Advertiser.

A police officer escorted former congressional candidate Angela Kaaihue out of a Honolulu City Council meeting Thursday after she loudly protested the renaming of an aquatic center in honor of the late Congressman Mark Takai. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu City Council on Thursday approved four resolutions authorizing the payment of up to $150,000 to retain the services of three outside law firms to represent Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha in four lawsuits. Civil Beat.

Manoa Botanicals LLC, one of eight Hawaii firms licensed to open medical marijuana dispensaries, has raised $5 million in its second round of equity financing, bringing the total amount raised for the Oahu company to $10.9 million. Pacific Business News.


Gov. David Ige Thursday announced from Honolulu the reopening of the federal inspection service at the Kona International Airport at Keahole, paving the way as the state’s second international gateway. West Hawaii Today.

Customs and immigration checks are being set up at Kona International Airport in time for Hawaiian Airlines to begin operating nonstop flights there from Japan. Associated Press.

Kona International Airport will once again service flights from Japan on Dec. 20 with the re-establishment of a U.S. Customs station, a move that Gov. David Ige says will improve the overall health of the state of Hawaii by restoring direct flights from Tokyo to a Neighbor Island. Pacific Business News.

The State announced the re-establishment of the Kona International Airport yesterday with the arrival of the first foreign flight from Japan scheduled in less than 3 weeks. Hawaii Public Radio.

It was a brisk, windy, rainy day at the Mauna Kea Recreation Area on Thursday, but it was nice and cozy inside after several dozen people crowded into the newly renovated dining hall to celebrate the grand opening of the county’s overhaul of the former state park. West Hawaii Today.

Officials unveiled the latest round of improvements to the Hawaii County-managed Mauna Kea Recreation Area Thursday. Big Island Video News.

A planning process that will guide development from Wainaku to Waipio Valley is nearing its final stretch after seven years of meetings and talk-story sessions. Tribune-Herald.

An attorney for an off-duty police officer acquitted of assaulting his 72-year-old upstairs neighbor is considering taking legal action against the county. West Hawaii Today.

Jaylin Kema pleaded guilty to manslaughter Thursday morning in the death of her 6-year-old son, Peter Kema Jr. The case is the most notorious missing child-turned-murder investigation in the state’s history, and Peter Boy became the statewide poster child for abused and missing children. Tribune-Herald.

Jaylin Kema pleaded guilty to manslaughter today in connection with the 1997 death of her 6-year-old son, “Peter Boy” Kema. Big Island Video News.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a winter storm warning for the summits of Hawaii’s Big Island as wind and snow engulf the high peaks. West Hawaii Today.


State Department of Transportation crews cleared out a homeless encampment in the Kahului Harbor breakwater area Wednesday. Maui News.


Five incumbents, one returning councilmember and one new face to the Kauai County Council were inaugurated Thursday. Garden Island.

Hawaii Dairy Farms and Friends of Maha’ulepu met Thursday on Oahu to discuss a settlement to a pending Clean Water Act violation lawsuit. Garden Island.

The Kauai Visitors Bureau’s annual meeting and luncheon is scheduled 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at Kauai Marriott Resort at Kalapaki Bay. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Ohia disease to be managed, thousands of ballots not counted, tourism up, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard explains Trump meeting, telecom company sues PUC, feds pay $2M in Honolulu police officer death, new ocean safety patrol for Maui, unexploded ordnance collected, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ohia blossom © 2016 All Hawaii News
After more than a year of emergency response efforts, collaborators working to stop the spread of rapid ohia death are shifting to a long-term research and management strategy. Tribune-Herald.

More than a thousand absentee ballots mailed in for the general election were not counted. Despite lingering questions about the process, elections officials will once again push for an all mail-in election. KHON2.

Hawaii’s visitor industry is hurtling toward its fifth banner year of arrivals and spending gains, with the momentum expected to continue into 2017. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority says the number of travelers to the islands increased 4.3 percent in October compared to the same month last year, setting a record for the month. Associated Press.

Sandwich Isles Communications, which provides phone and internet service to about 3,600 residents of Hawaiian Home Lands, is suing state regulators in the hopes of restoring the flow of about $1.36 million in monthly federal subsidies that were suspended last year while federal regulators scrutinized the company’s finances. Star-Advertiser.

A new study says a Hawaii criminal justice program praised nationally for improving parole and probation is not a “silver bullet” for reducing recidivism and lowering costs for supervising high-risk probationers. Civil Beat.

A Honolulu attorney has sued the Hawaii Department of Taxation in a case that could establish how transparent state agencies must be about their communication with the Legislature. Civil Beat.

Pilot in helicopter crash seemed lost, report says. Associated Press.

As Americans remember the attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is offering an up-close look at two Japanese mini submarines involved in the attack. Hawaii News Now.

The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation has donated $50,000 to Pacific Historic Parks in honor of the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

A bill to award Filipino World War II veterans with the nation’s highest civilian honor is one step closer to becoming a reality. Hawaii Public Radio.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard wrote an opinion-editorial article that was published Wednesday in The Nation about why she met with President-elect Donald Trump. KITV4.

Hawaii residents got some reprieve this hurricane season following a record-breaking 2015 season that saw 15 storms impact the Central Pacific. West Hawaii Today.


The federal government has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit over the death of Honolulu Police Officer Garret Davis. Star-Advertiser.

The increasing interest in Hawaii’s third-string solar program is caught on a snag as the city, the utility and solar contractors learn more about battery technology. Star-Advertiser.

A Chuukese couple is suing Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, where their 9-month-old son died after a series of visits to the hospital’s emergency room in 2015. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Police Department officials said Wednesday hundreds of fireworks violations are being reported on Oahu before fireworks are permitted between 9 p.m. Dec. 31 and 1 a.m. Jan. 1. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu company that’s backed by Chinese investors has purchased another property that would be part of its redevelopment project that includes a 400-unit mixed-use high-rise tower on a block across the street from the Walmart and Walgreens flagship stores in Honolulu, Pacific Business News has learned.

Starting next spring, Honolulu shoppers will start to see more local beef in their market. Hawaii News Now.


Forum tackles unexploded ordnance in Waikoloa. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. is still in talks with Hu Honua Bioenergy LLC about completing construction of a biomass power plant in Pepeekeo, according to the utility’s president. Tribune-Herald.

A judge on Wednesday dismissed four allegations against the Hawaii Island Humane Society filed as part of the ongoing legal dispute with Big Island Dog Rescue. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island’s state senators will lead three committees in the 2017 legislative session. Tribune-Herald.

The Big Island is celebrating its latest efforts to reduce homelessness with the launch of a $2.5 million housing project in Kailua-Kona. Associated Press.


Workers and volunteers were in full force Tuesday afternoon preparing for Thursday’s grand opening of the long-awaited Hospice Maui Hale, which will provide comfort and spiritual support for patients in their last days. Maui News.

Hearing on food establishment rules set Tuesday at UH-MC. Amendments to sanitation regulations among updates offered. Maui News.


Ocean Safety Bureau Roving Patrol Program begins today. ‘We’re here to save lives’ Garden Island.

A pod of false killer whales spent a record 11 consecutive days circumnavigating Kauai and Ni’ihau in November. Garden Island.

Arthur Brun is looking forward to beginning his term on the Kauai County Council. Garden Island.


Expeditions, known for its ferry service between Maui and Lānaʻi, launched service aboard its newest vessel today, the Expedition Six. Maui Now.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Cargo fees could jump 55% over next three years, Tulsi to join Standing Rock protest, new Senate leaders announced, gearing up for Pearl Harbor's 75th, vandalism plagues Kakaako homeless project, Mayor-elect Kim completes Cabinet, candidates line up to fill Tsuji's House seat, sugar industry shutdown to close Maui electric plant, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Disney
Moana, courtesy Disney
Disney’s animated movie “Moana” debuted to critical acclaim and box office success over the Thanksgiving weekend, but some people in the South Pacific dislike how it depicts their culture. Associated Press.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, is expected to join as many as 2,000 veterans from across the country at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to protest an oil pipeline that tribal leaders say threatens their water supply and cultural heritage sites. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard will join military veterans in North Dakota next week as they show support for protesters trying to block construction of an oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Tribune-Herald.

State fees imposed on goods unloaded at Hawaii harbors would increase by 55 percent over the next three years under a plan tentatively approved by the state Department of Transportation to provide additional cash for construction of a major new cargo terminal at the former Kapalama Military Reservation. Star-Advertiser.

Tourism from Japan to Hawaii is expected to hit visitor industry targets in 2016 as the removal of an airline surcharge cut costs for travelers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Senate leaders Tuesday unveiled the chairs and vice chairs of the 15 committees that will shape what bills become laws next session, which starts in January. Civil Beat.

When Hawai‘i’s legislature convenes its next session in January, the state House of Representatives will have a new chair of the Agriculture Committee. Hawaii Public Radio.

A change in Hawaii law is giving adopted families a better chance in discovering their roots. Hawaii News Now.

A Jordanian-born Palestinian who was imprisoned in the United States for putting a bomb on a Hawaii-bound flight in 1982 has been relocated to the West African country of Mauritania. Associated Press.

Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor still intrigues 75 years later. Star-Advertiser.

Three of the heroes of Pearl Harbor took on the aura of stars as the survivors recounted some of their Dec. 7, 1941, experiences at the USS Arizona Memorial visitor center Tuesday and as the much-anticipated 75th anniversary of the landmark attack draws closer. Star-Advertiser.

Virtual reality tours to let visitors witness Pearl Harbor attack. Pacific Business News.


Kakaako Waterfront Park had to be closed four hours early every day starting in October after vandals destroyed light poles to tap into electricity, and now the park’s water system may have been broken into — shutting off water to bathrooms, showers, fountains and the 12 families at the state’s new homeless shelter. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu officials have yet to fully address allegations — including misuse of funds —involving Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve despite assurances from bureaucrats and a federal court order, according to the leaders of a nonprofit group that advocates for the preserve. Civil Beat.

Windward residents will be updated at an informational meeting Thursday night on the upcoming construction of an intermediate shaft at the Honolulu Board of Water Supply Kapaa Water Tank. Star-Advertiser.

City officials are gathering input on a proposal for a dog park and training facility at the Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park in Waipio. Star-Advertiser.

Some people would love to see the venerable Kaimuki venue reopen for live shows or classes and have even formed a Friends of Queen Theater organization. Civil Beat.

A California developer plans to build a 430-unit condominium high-rise tower in the growing Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako, Pacific Business News has learned.

Democratic Party officials from state House District 2 will see at least a few familiar faces when they meet Saturday to select three nominees to replace the late Rep. Clift Tsuji. Tribune-Herald.

Less than a week before he takes office, Mayor-elect Harry Kim put the finishing touches on his Cabinet, pulling new blood into the departments of Planning and Environmental Management and naming an aide to Gov. David Ige as his right-hand man. West Hawaii Today.

On Tuesday, the County of Hawaii marked another step in its efforts to reduce homelessness on the Big Island with the blessing and grand opening of Hale Kikaha, a micro housing project in the Old Kona Industrial Area. West Hawaii Today.

A blessing and opening was held on Tuesday for the Hale Kīkaha micro unit housing project in Kona. Big Island Video News.

Assistant police chief Paul Kealoha steps away today after 31 years. West Hawaii Today.

Prominent business and community leader Barry T. Mizuno died Saturday following an illness. He was 68. Tribune-Herald.


Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. provided 1,265.5 megawatt hours of power to Maui Electric Co. in the third quarter, the second-to-last quarter that the sugar company will be providing electricity to Maui residents. Maui News.


Questions about potential logging in the Lihue-Koloa Forest Reserve were just a few of the concerns raised Tuesday night about the plan to build a bridge over Keahua Stream. Garden Island.

KipuKai Kuali’i says he’ll run again for County Council seat. KipuKai Kuali’i plans for 2018 race. Garden Island.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative’s Board of Directors on Tuesday appointed director David Iha to complete the unexpired term of former director Dennis Esaki, who resigned in October. Garden Island.

The owner of a Kauai property that includes Kilauea Falls is suing one of his neighbors for allegedly entering the property and cutting down some trees to get a better view of the waterfall. Star-Advertiser.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Kilauea remains active, Haleakala National Park to require paid reservations, state wants to lure physicians assistants, Hawaii Republicans regroup, Congress blasts overpriced Army program, one finalist for Big Island police chief, Native Hawaiians celebrate and protest, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

 USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Kilauea explosion, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
A small explosion occurred at the summit of Kilauea volcano just before noon Monday. Big Island Video News.

State lawmakers and health officials are looking at new ways and incentives to train and hire more physician assistants to help alleviate the “severe shortage” of primary care doctors in the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai’i Republicans lost key races for Honolulu Mayor and the last GOP seat in the State Senate.   GOP leaders are now focusing on local races in 2018 and developing a strategy to win. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii’s soon-to-open medical marijuana dispensaries could have at least one place to send cannabis for testing. The state Department of Health is reviewing an application from PharmLabs Hawaii LLC, an expansion of a San Diego-based marijuana laboratory testing company called PharmLabs LLC. Tribune-Herald.

Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey (D-10, West Maui, Maalaea, North Kihei) announced that he will re-introduce a bus safety bill during the 2017 legislative session to prevent a similar accident from happening in Hawaii. Garden Island.


A Fort Shafter program that expanded Army training and interaction with Asia-Pacific nations — at double the cost — has come under scrutiny by Congress, in part because of perceived similarities to the Marine Corps. Star-Advertiser.

Local officials have hatched a plan that they hope will keep visitors happy and traffic headaches at a minimum during events starting later this week that commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. Star-Advertiser.

Services For The Needy Generate Hope, Complaints In Chinatown. Can the area pull off the balancing act of helping the homeless while still allowing businesses to thrive? Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige joined University of Hawaii officials and legislators Monday to celebrate the groundbreaking for a long-awaited administration building at UH West Oahu that will also house classrooms and laboratories for health care programs at the Kapolei campus. Star-Advertiser.

It’s been more than a decade since a storm caused the Manoa Stream to overflow, spilling water down the valley and flooding the surrounding neighborhood, University of Hawaii campus and Noelani Elementary School.  Civil Beat.

A Kauai company that helps manage cattle for other owners has bought Oahu’s only slaughterhouse as part of a plan to expand the supply of locally produced beef. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Some Diamond Head residents are urging the foundation operating the former Doris Duke home, now the Shangri La Center for Islamic Arts and Culture, to back away from its $2.5 million plan to dismantle a breakwater fronting the opulent property of the late tobacco heiress. Civil Beat.


Only one candidate will be considered by the Hawaii County Police Commission to succeed Police Chief Harry Kubojiri, who is retiring at the end of the year. Deputy Police Chief Paul Ferreira was the only individual from among 13 who applied by the Nov. 22 deadline who met the minimum qualifications. Tribune-Herald.

Native Hawaiian communities in Keaukaha and Panaewa are gearing up to fight a planned composting facility adjacent to the Hilo landfill, a move that could jeopardize a key component of the county’s plan to close the landfill and recycle more of its waste. West Hawaii Today.

The former warden of the Big Island’s minimum-security prison has filed a lawsuit alleging that she was wrongfully fired from her job. Civil Beat.

Two grinning fathers passed each other between the outdoor playground and the multipurpose football and soccer field Monday at the grand opening of Waimea District Park. West Hawaii Today.


Sunrise at Haleakala National Park, one of the biggest visitor draws on Maui, will require paid reservations starting in February, as part of efforts to cut down on early-morning crowds that regularly exceed 1,000, park officials announced Monday. Maui News.

Beginning on Feb. 1, 2017, visitors in personal or rental vehicles wishing to view sunrise at Haleakalā National Park will need to make sunrise viewing reservations ahead of time at Maui Now.

Celebrating Haleakala’s past while planting for the future. Maui News.

Dispute threatens Manele Golf Course with possible closure. Land Use Commission meeting debate centers around the claim that drinking water used to irrigate a golf course. Maui News.


The deadline for the re-certification of Additional Dwelling Units outside the residential zoning district has been extended. Garden Island.

Keohokui Kauihana said the first step to recognize Hawaii as a sovereign nation from the United States was realized on Monday. Kauihana was among dozens of people who gathered for Hawaiian Independence Day at Anahola Beach Park on Monday. Garden Island.

The building that once housed the Kapaa police substation has been removed from Kapaa Beach Park. Garden Island.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Supreme Court won't hear Hawaii spiritual marijuana case, fired Kulani prison warden sues, new book lays bare Hawaii politics, a post-sugar Maui, Kahaluu Lagoon still polluted, $100M sewer reclaim project planned, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Oklevueha Native American Church Facebook photo
The Supreme Court won’t take up an appeal from a Native American church in Hawaii that wants to be exempt from federal marijuana laws. Associated Press.

Hawaii hotel occupancy saw a slight boost during the week before Thanksgiving, mainly on the Neighbor Islands, but the statewide average daily room rate rose by 7 percent, according to the weekly report from Hospitality Advisors LLC and STR Inc. Pacific Business News.

Will Trump Be Able To Undo Papahanaumokuakea? The president lacks the express authority to revoke a national monument designation but Congress can do it. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Since the days of George Ariyoshi running for governor, when the question “Who you going to call?” was asked, Rick Tsujimura was the Hawaii political ghostbuster who answered. Tsujimura, the insider’s insider, remembered those campaigns in a new, interesting political book, “Campaign Hawaii,” published by Watermark Publishing. Star-Advertiser.


Two years after the Department of Health warned residents to stay out of Kahaluu Lagoon and the channel leading to Kaneohe Bay because tests indicated raw sewage from cesspools was likely polluting the water, there’s no indication that the water quality will improve anytime soon. Star-Advertiser.

When Jesse Souki leaves the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on Wednesday, he’ll be the latest in a string of about a dozen prominent personnel to leave a rail agency that’s grappling with vacancies and high turnover. Star-Advertiser.

City Managing Director Roy Amemiya said Friday that Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration did not delay the announcement of Honolulu Zoo Administrator Baird Fleming’s resignation until after the Nov. 8 general election to ensure a key City Charter amendment won passage. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Tops For Mortgage Debt. The high cost of housing “helps explain why it’s the most maxed-out metro for housing debt” among the 100 most populous metro areas. Civil Beat.

Honolulu councilman proposes bill to establish AED requirement for all city, newly-constructed buildings. KHON2.

Fund-raising is a continuing challenge for all non-profit organizations. And a recent gathering in Honolulu highlighted several trends that have developed in the pursuit of donations. Hawaii Public Radio.

To honor the late U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, an Iraq War veteran, for his service and commitment, a City Council measure seeks to rename the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center at the Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park in Waipio after him. Star-Advertiser.


The fired former warden of Kulani Correctional Facility is suing the state Department of Public Safety, claiming she was wrongfully terminated from the position. Tribune-Herald.

It’s not the kind of project that inspires a community celebration, but a $100 million-plus upgrade to the Kealakehe sewer plant could help the environment while sending treated wastewater to thirsty North Kona landscapes. West Hawaii Today.

The state is paying more than $2 million to have two geothermal wells plugged in Pahoa on the Big Island. Associated Press.

A planned East Hawaii Organics Facility is raising concern in the Panaewa community. Big Island Video News.

After nine days of exhaustive questioning of a half-dozen witnesses in a contested case hearing for the Thirty Meter Telescope, some TMT supporters are now privately describing the lengthy proceedings as a “filibuster” that will stall the project, and may even effectively block the $1.4 billion telescope from ever being built in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

If you’re getting a Christmas tree at Hooluana Tree Farm this season, be sure to bring your boots. Tribune-Herald.


With the final harvest nearing an end at Maui’s Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company, we asked company executives what will happen to the landscape as the island enters a post-sugar operation. Maui Now.

The sun-baked, wind-blown sugar cane that Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. burns, harvests and mills arrives here, where soft raw sugar crystals form more than several-story-high mountains of golden sweetness. Maui News.

Dispute threatens Manele Golf Course with possible closure. Land Use Commission meeting debate centers around the claim that drinking water used to irrigate a golf course. Maui News.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands will hold public hearings next month in Maui County on proposed administrative rule changes. Maui News.


After he is sworn in to the Kauai County Council next month, Derek Kawakami said he will strive to find compromises between differences of opinion among councilmembers. Garden Island.

Nakamura, Morikawa, Tokioka tabbed for roles. Legislators named to committees. Garden Island.

Commentary: With input now, we can still shape the future of Kauai. Garden Island.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Solar demand increases, more high rises for Honolulu, Kenoi interview emphasizes accomplishments, Kauai girds against ohia fungus, Molokai water restrictions lifted, Christmas trees arrive, Maui Sugar Cane Train back for the holiday, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy King's Hawaiian
Hawaii represents at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, courtesy King's Hawaiian
More than 400 Hawaii band members, along with 200 hula dancers braved the chilly streets of New York protected by sand-filled dump trucks and bomb-sniffing dogs as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade went off without a hitch today. Associated Press.

courtesy King's Hawaiian
courtesy King's Hawaiian
Hundreds of Hawaii keiki braved 40-degree weather in New York for the 90th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. KHON2.

Most of the 108,000 Christmas trees have arrived in the islands just in time for Black Friday sales. Star-Advertiser.

Demand for rooftop solar systems is growing again despite last year’s reduction in incentives. Star-Advertiser.


A former corrections officer at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center is accused of having relationships with two inmates and lying about it. Hawaii News Now.

Development incentives tied to the city’s rail system combined with strong housing and tourism demand have cranked up efforts to build residential or hotel towers mauka of Ala Moana Center near the transit line’s envisioned last stop in urban Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Chinese investors, through a Honolulu company, plan to develop a 400-unit mixed-use high-rise tower on a block across the street from the Walmart and Walgreens flagship stores in Honolulu. Pacific Business News.


Mayor Billy Kenoi
Says Aloha. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state Department of Transportation is preparing a “transportation corridor study” for the Hamakua Coast that could impact 50 miles of highway between Hilo and Waimea. Tribune-Herald.

In an October 13 talk story held in Kona, DOT deputy director Ed Sniffen says archaeological sites have stalled the speed of construction of the Queen Kaahumanu Highway. Big Island Video News.

Mokuaikaua Church was selected to participate in a national grant-making program providing a planning grant and in-kind professional services, which is leading to $250,000 in capital grants. West Hawaii Today.

A community sailing canoe, built with the help of a crowdfunding campaign, was set on fire earlier this month, said one of the builders, who believes the damage was intentional. West Hawaii Today.


The Sugar Cane Train is coming back to Lahaina town this holiday season for the first time in two years starting Friday. Maui News.

Kahului state Rep. Justin Woodson will take over as chairman of the state House Higher Education Committee, and East Maui-Molokai-Lanai Rep. Lynn DeCoite will be vice chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee, according to an announcement Tuesday of appointments to House committee leadership positions. Maui News.

Maui ocean safety crews have reopened several beach parks in Kihei after a shark sighting at Kamaole Beach. KITV.


Boot cleaning stations at trailheads, encouraging people to wash clothing and boots between hikes, and installing a washing station at the port for vehicles and equipment are just a few ideas for preventing the spread of Rapid Ohia Death to Kauai, according to Sheri Mann, head of Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife. Garden Island.

An informational meeting on the current bridge construction project over Keahua Stream at the Keahua Arboretum is scheduled Tuesday at Kapaa Middle School. Garden Island.

The Department of Parks and Recreation has scheduled its third community meeting regarding the development of a master plan for the expansion of a popular North Shore beach park. Garden Island.

Greg Allen, developer of Hokua Place, said he doesn’t think a two-week extension for the comment period of the general plan discussion draft matters. Garden Island.


Water restrictions for hundreds of users of two Hoolehua water tanks on Molokai were lifted Wednesday by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Maui News.