Thursday, September 29, 2016

Performing dolphin trade criticized, rail components already deteriorating, state has at least 100 brothels, $8.3M for clean drinking water, Hawaii Fire Department keeps chlorine leak secret, Maui marijuana dispensaries advancing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Dolphin encounter in Hawaii © 2016 All Hawaii News
Animal rights activists are upset after three live dolphins were shipped via FedEx from Honolulu to Arizona, but the organization that shipped the animals says it was safe and legal to do so. Hawaii News Now.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will allocate $8.3 million to the state for improving aging drinking water infrastructure in light of improvements that the Department of Health has made in managing its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. Star-Advertiser.

An additional 39 plants and 10 animals are at risk of extinction in Hawaii and will now be protected under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Prosecutors are calling the scourge of sex trafficking a form of modern-day slavery that touches every state in the nation, and they’re working to draw connections between active investigations around the globe at a summit in Waikiki. Associated Press.

Sex trafficking happens at hotels, homes and with street prostitution, and authorities estimate the state has at least 100 brothels. Hawaii News Now.

For the first time, the Hawai‘i Tourism Conference featured a session on LGBT travel. The islands have long been a destination for gay visitors, but state tourism officials have been slow to advertise it. Hawaii Public Radio.

Millions of people visit Hawai’i each year and tourism officials say more and more of them want an authentic experience when they stay here. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Candidates Are Getting Flooded With Surveys This Year. As special interest groups, labor unions and the media try to nail them down on issues, office-seekers decide which ones to respond to. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau wants to get New Yorkers to take a bite out of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

A new review out by the VA Office of the Inspector General says conditions at VA hospitals in the Pacific are improving.  The report says the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System, which includes Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and Saipan, had resolved all but 21 unprocessed travel benefit claims as of August 2016. KITV.

Two of the state’s highest-performing public elementary schools were recognized Wednesday as National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Parts of the rail guideway are cracking and snapping even before the first stretch is finished, and money-saving efforts may be behind the problem, new reports show. Star-Advertiser.

Charles Djou will not participate in a Honolulu mayoral debate with Kirk Caldwell on PBS Hawaii this fall, but the explanation for that depends on which press release you’re reading. Civil Beat.

Not So Public: What Happens When A Cop Goes On Desk Duty? The department refuses to disclose portions of many of its policies to the public, including the one on use of force. Civil Beat.

The parents of a five-year-old boy who walked away from school without anyone noticing have filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Education. KHON2.

The Honolulu City Council will take a final vote on a 400-foot condominium-hotel tower across from the Hawai‘i Convention Center next week after a compromise was reached Wednesday on the amount of affordable housing the developer must provide. Star-Advertiser.

Fujifilm Corp.’s Hawaii regional office is closing at the end of the year, and the Central Oahu building that housed the office is up for sale, a company spokesman confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Hawaii


A potentially dangerous chlorine gas leak from an industrial tank in Hilo sickened two people last week, but the Hawaii County Fire Department issued no public warning. Star-Advertiser.

A joint investigation continues into the cause of a Sept. 22 chlorine gas leak at BEI Hawaii in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Game Management Advisory Commission members slammed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for having “no respect for the people” of Big Island hunting community. Big Island Video News.

The Hawaii Board of Ethics will hear a complaint in November that Mayor Billy Kenoi’s use of a county-issued credit card violated the Code of Ethics. West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Transportation is evaluating workaround measures to increase the capacity of Highway 130. Tribune-Herald.

Protocols, paperwork, grants all play part on police crack down on impaired drivers. West Hawaii Today.

The macadamia felted coccid is the latest Hawaii Island invasive species to go to Washington. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui Wellness Group LLC - one of the island's two groups issued the first medical marijuana dispensary licenses in Hawaii - plans to begin selling product from its dispensary location in Central Maui by early January, a spokeswoman said Tuesday. Maui News.

PharmLabs Hawaii LLC is installing and calibrating equipment in its main Hawaii lab in Kahului this week that soon will be available to medical marijuana licensees for testing of their cannabis for purity and potency, the company said in a news release last week. Maui News.

Maui County is contributing money and resources for the eradication of coqui frogs.  $1.2 million has been allotted to the Maui Invasive Species Committee to increase efforts to stop the spread of coqui during over a five-year plan. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai

Kauai receives $3 million to upgrade water systems. Garden Island.

The Kauai Police Department and Life’s Choices Kauai are teaming up to collect unused or expired prescription medication and other drugs on Drug Take Back Day. Garden Island.

Molokai

Sea Link of Hawaiʻi, the ferry that runs between Maui and Molokaʻi filed a request with the Public Utilities Commission to stop operations. Maui Now.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Gay tourism touted, new beach bacteria signs coming, human trafficking groups meet, UH-Hilo enrollment drops again, sex abuse at Oahu prison investigated, Molokai ferry struggling, Coco Palms rebuild planned, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Gay pride parade, Hilo © 2016 All Hawaii News
The rainbow is already a major tourism brand for Hawaii, but industry experts say connecting with the LGBT community could put a pot of gold at the end of it. Star-Advertiser.

State to roll out new signs warning of water pollution. KITV.

In recent years, Hawaii’s state-run highways and roads have held firm as some of the worst in the nation, the Reason Foundation’s latest annual report shows. Star-Advertiser.

Prosecutors from a dozen states and eight countries are meeting in Waikiki to talk about the global problem of sex trafficking. Associated Press.

The federal prosecutor in the “Wonder Blunder” case wants to submit as trial evidence to a jury the alleged scammer’s guilty plea in a similar case in Pennsylvania. Star-Advertiser.

The Navy investigated a case of a sailor who didn’t salute as the national anthem played during a recent morning flag-raising at Pearl Harbor. Associated Press.

Oahu

The Caldwell administration is seeking to award a $50 million contract to convert yellowish high-pressure sodium lights to white-ish light-emitting diodes (LED) islandwide. Civil Beat.

Laid-Back, Aging Manoa Is No Longer A Haven For Young Families. The community near the University of Hawaii is still friendly, quiet and rainy, but rising housing prices bring changes. Civil Beat.

The list of Hawaii adult corrections officers accused of sexually assaulting female inmates has grown. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday that it was letting go of 15 editorial employees effective Oct. 17. Pacific Business News.

Oahu Publications plans to cut 15 jobs at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, a move that will trim the newsroom of about 110 editorial employees by more than 10 percent. Civil Beat.

$5.4 million contract for new jail site involves more than just scouting. KHON2.

After only two years of service, Mokulele Airlines will end its service out of Kalaeloa Airport in southwest Oahu. Associated Press.

A lawsuit filed against developer D.G. “Andy” Anderson alleges he is operating a Haleiwa restaurant without legal permits and continuing to let treated wastewater contaminate nearby waters. Star-Advertiser.

Several Hawaii residents are suing the property owners of a North Shore restaurant for allegedly violating permitting law and polluting Haleiwa by using an improper septic system. Civil Beat.

NOAA is apologizing to the public over how the carcasses of three sea turtles were handled. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii


Overnight parking will likely soon become a thing of the past in the county lot situated between Kuakini Highway and Likana Lane. West Hawaii Today.

Fall enrollment at the University of Hawaii at Hilo declined for the fourth consecutive year, prodding administrators to revamp recruitment materials in hopes of attracting — and retaining — more students. Tribune-Herald.

A balloon was floated at the planned site of the Thirty Meter Telescope in the summit area of Mauna Kea during a site visit on Monday. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Progress continues on the long-awaited Kihei high school, with a $21 million contract awarded last week for infrastructure work, but costs continue to climb and the completion date keeps being pushed back, now to 2022. Maui News.

After strong opposition from the Kaanapali community over the most recently proposed site for a million-gallon treated wastewater storage tank, the county Department of Environmental Management is looking into different locations for the tank as it works to deal with a lawsuit over injection wells at the Lahaina wastewater treatment plant. Maui News.

The Philippine Consulate will conduct a mobile outreach on Molokai and Maui in early October, visiting Molokai on Saturday and Sunday, and Maui on Oct. 15 and 16. The outreach will provide on-island services for Philippine passport renewal, dual citizenship and authentication. Maui News.


Kauai

The Kauai County Planning Department and developers of the Coco Palms Resort have agreed on some changes tied to redevelopment permits to ensure the iconic hotel is rebuilt. Star-Advertiser.

Nineteen political candidates from the state legislative offices, Kauai County Council, and prosecuting attorney attended a political coffee hour Tuesday morning at the Lihue Neighborhood Center. Garden Island.

Alakai O Kauai Public Charter School still needs a home. While the school was unanimously approved by the Hawaii State Charter School Commission in August, it still needs land and a building. Garden Island.

Molokai

A ferry service on Moloka‘i is struggling to stay afloat and may have to shut down. The company that has been operating the service for nearly 30 years says low ridership and competing air fares are to blame. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hanauma Bay finances questioned, 'Wonder blunder' plea change coming, Star-Advertiser lays off 15 newsroom staff, contested case parties visit Thirty Meter Telescope site, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hanuma Bay © 2016 All Hawaii News
The nonprofit Friends of Hanauma Bay says the city continues to “intentionally and persistently” misuse money collected at the site to pay for operations at other East Honolulu facilities despite court mandates requiring the money be used at the nature preserve only. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and city officials are under fire from a nonprofit organization for “the continuing misuses of admission fees paid by visitors to Hanauma Bay.” Civil Beat.

A man accused of scamming the University of Hawaii out of $200,000 for a Stevie Wonder concert that never happened is scheduled to change his plea. Associated Press.

Pacific Fleet officials investigated an active-duty naval reservist from San Diego who failed to stand and salute during the playing of the national anthem on Sept. 19 at Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is introducing a new virtual reality tour experience using 360-degree live action footage that instantly drops the viewer into Hawaii from anywhere around the world. Hawaii News Now.

The number of Hawaii public school students taking Advanced Placement exams continued to climb this year along with the number of students scoring well on the college preparatory tests, according to results released this afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

WalletHub has struck again, and Hawaii’s union for teachers is calling for change. The finance and credit website ranks Hawaii 51st in the nation when it comes to best and worst states for teachers (the analysis includes the District of Columbia). Civil Beat.

Only 215 Hawaii Inmates Were Tested For Valley Fever In Arizona. About 1,400 Hawaii prisoners are incarcerated in Arizona, but only a fraction have been tested for a disease common in the Southwest. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Department of the Interior has finalized a rule that creates a pathway to federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. The process began two years ago, and included thousands of pieces of testimony from listening sessions across the state and on the mainland. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Democrats and Republicans gathered Monday around the state to watch the first Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton presidential debate, but it’s unclear whether anyone heard anything new that would move a vote from one candidate to the other. Star-Advertiser.

Prosecutors from eight countries and 13 states and the District of Columbia are convening this week in Waikiki to discuss solutions to sex trafficking. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is laying off 15 newsroom employees. Star-Advertiser.

A community group has filed a complaint with the Hawaii Office of Environmental Quality Control seeking to suspend an environmental review process for building a replacement facility for the crumbling Oahu Community Correctional Center. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Fire Department says some of its computers may have been infected with malcious software. KHON2.

The Howard Hughes Corp. plans to develop a new 42-story, 751-unit mixed-use condominium high-rise tower in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako next to its 466-unit Aeo mixed-use tower that’s currently under construction, the Texas-based developer told Pacific Business News on Monday.

Several Hawaii residents are suing the property owners of a North Shore restaurant for allegedly violating permitting law and polluting Haleiwa by using an improper septic system.  Civil Beat.

An Oahu restaurant owner is accused of knowingly dumping sewage and putting the public in danger. The lawsuit, which is filed by Hawaiian Princess Abigail Kawananakoa, also blames the city and state for not stopping the contamination. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii


Parties in the contested case for the Thirty Meter Telescope toured the summit of Mauna Kea on Monday morning. Tribune-Herald.

Environmental groups team up, draft letter to get word out about coral-safe sunscreen options ahead of Ironman. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiian immersion students still can ‘opt-out’ of tests in English. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Maui Bus will expand its Kula Villager Route No. 39 in response to Upcountry community requests for more service, Maui County officials said Friday. Maui News.

Japanese-American soldiers may have taken off the uniform when they left the front lines of World War II and returned to Maui, but they never stopped serving. Maui News.

Kauai


With less than two months until the General Election, Kauai candidates can be seen along the island’s main roads, waving and smiling at passing cars. Garden Island

The Kauai Workforce Development Board is accepting public comment on the Local Area Plan for Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act. Garden Island.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Self-governance advanced for Native Hawaiians, road-use charge may replace gas tax, Maui battles coqui frog, crime drops at UH Manoa, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Department of the Interior hearings, file photo © 2016 All Hawaii News
In what’s being described by some as a historic step toward Native Hawaiian self-governance, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced Friday that it has finalized “a pathway” that would formally recognize such an entity. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced Friday that it finalized a rule for creating a government-to-government relationship with Native Hawaiians — if they choose to form their own government and if they want such ties. Associated Press.

State’s child abuse letters may violate law. Star-Advertiser.

The state may do away with gas taxes and replace them with a road use charge, depending on the results of a proposed statewide trial program. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii’s longline fishermen are back at sea in search of more ahi after extending their quota limit through an agreement with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Ron Taketa’s term on the Honolulu Police Commission expired nine months ago, yet Mayor Kirk Caldwell has yet to reappoint or replace him. Civil Beat.

The number of reported sex offenses, motor vehicle thefts and liquor law violations at the University of Hawaii at Manoa declined in 2015 from the previous year while the number of drug-related violations on campus significantly increased. Star-Advertiser.

The number of homeless military veterans on Oahu fell 44 percent between January and August, while the number of veterans becoming homeless each month also shows an encouraging decline. Star-Advertiser.

All areas on Oahu are being considered for a new facility that would replace the aging and overcrowding current Oahu Community Correctional Center in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kalihi, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

A class-action lawsuit filed in federal court last month alleges that 72 Oahu homeowner associations and two law firms acting as their agents unlawfully foreclosed on 160 homes beginning in September 2010. Star-Advertiser.

The city is rethinking its policy on Kalakaua Avenue street closures in Waikiki in response to complaints that some past events haven’t merited disruptions to the nation’s fifth-most lucrative retail street. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Profanity-Laced Video Shows Mayor Partying Hard At Conference Party. The mayor of Hawaii County, who is accused of buying booze and other items with taxpayer money, appears to be heavily intoxicated.  Civil Beat.

Guests in a hospitality room at the Hawaii Congress of Planning Officials Conference on Kauai got an impromptu earful they hadn’t planned on — courtesy of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi. Tribune-Herald.

Several dozen people packed into a room at the Hawaii Community College Palamanui Campus Saturday to discuss new proposals aimed at reducing crowds at popular manta ray viewing sites in West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The Maui Invasive Species Committee is tripling to quadrupling resources and working crews devoted to eradicating coqui frogs from the heavily infested Maliko Gulch area over the next five years, officials said. Maui News.

Two weeks after a powerful rainstorm forced the Wailuku River to jump its banks and fill up his home with mud and debris, Wayne Wong remains on edge, his ravaged dwelling now sitting dangerously close to a newly widened riverbed.  Star-Advertiser.

More than 500 people participated in the 12th Annual Town Clean Up in Lahaina over the weekend, according to event organizers. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has begun the third year of testing an experimental laser system to prevent endangered seabirds from colliding with power lines. Garden Island.

The trial for a man accused of beating a monk seal has been continued. Garden Island.

The private access road to Mahaulepu Beach will be closed to the public starting Monday at the recommendation of the state Department of Health, and some locals are questioning the motives. Garden Island.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

We interrupt your daily news blog to ....

We interrupt your daily aggregate news blog to take a short break. There may be sporadic coverage over the next two weeks, for which I apologize.

In the meantime, this would be an excellent time to add a few bucks to the tip jar, to help keep the news coming.

All Hawaii News is a labor of love. I've been doing this day in and day out for more than six years now. Advertising is kept to a minimum.

Small contributions from loyal followers help pay to keep All Hawaii News online. A donation no matter how modest is seen as a vote of confidence in my efforts.

How to donate:

  1.   Click the donate button at the top right of the page.
  2.   Donate using a major credit card or PayPal account.
  3.   Send an email to nclauer@gmail.com to get your name and/or link on the sponsor list. (otherwise, your gift will remain anonymous)
Mahalo to everyone who clicks, comments or contributes to All Hawaii News. I can't do it without you!



Nancy Cook Lauer

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hawaii incomes rise, new rules for fish auction following expose on slavery conditions aboard ships, slow medical marijuana card processing, feds may fine Honolulu $16M for wasting grant money, Maui seawall plan nixed, electric and water rates may increase, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Grocery clerks in Hawaii © 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaii incomes are on the rise, but so is the state’s cost of living and especially the housing costs, which remain the highest in the country. That’s the latest from the U.S. Census Bureau, which released its annual American Community Survey for 2015, including data on income, poverty housing, housing and health insurance. The 2015 median household income, including single-member households, was $73,486, which was close to $4,000 more than 2014, while the median family income rose to $83,823 — more than $4,500 over the previous year. Star-Advertiser.

Advocates urge state to speed up medical marijuana card processing. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Fish Auction will ban any longline vessel from selling catch at its Pier 38 location beginning Oct. 1 if the boat owner or captain doesn’t use a new universal crew contract designed by the local fishing industry that’s supposed to protect against illegal working conditions. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii longline industry leaders say they have formed a task force and hired an expert on slavery in response to media reports about human trafficking, forced labor and poor working conditions aboard some of their boats. Civil Beat.

Starting Tuesday, Hawaii’s longline fishing industry is implementing a multi-pronged system it says will help protect crew from labor abuse, mistreatment and substandard working conditions. KHON2.

Some Native Hawaiians have joined thousands of American Indians in protesting the development of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. Star-Advertiser.

courtesy U.S. Fidsh and Wildlife Service
I'iwi, USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed listing the iiwi, a red honeycreeper unique to Hawaii, as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, the agency announced Monday. Civil Beat.

The native iiwi bird may soon be listed as a “threatened” species. Star-Advertiser.

Fewer than 2,500 ‘i’iwi, or scarlet honeycreepers are left in the world and the birds might be receiving new federal protections. Garden Island.

Oahu

The City and County of Honolulu may have to pay nearly $16 million to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for allegedly wasting federal grant money from 2012 to 2015. Civil Beat.

Two bills designed to tweak the city’s new private transportation vehicle ordinance governing taxis and ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft will get their first airing before the Honolulu City Council Budget Committee on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Several Honolulu police officers are facing disciplinary action after a police chase of a "most wanted" suspect last month ended in a multiple-vehicle crash on the H-1 Freeway. Hawaii News Now.

Broken elevators a constant problem in district court building. KHON2.

Atlantis Resorts is expanding to Hawaii with its first project in the United States located on vacant oceanfront parcels of land near Disney’s Aulani hotel at Ko Olina Resort in West Oahu, the master developer of Ko Olina confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Parking spots are notoriously hard to come by in some parks of Honolulu. But on Friday, an array of designers, artists and activists took over four of the city’s scarce public parking stalls and turned them into something more: miniature parks designed to make people rethink the city’s public spaces. Civil Beat.

A construction firm working on the $20 million renovation of the Maile Sky Court Hotel in Waikiki has been fined $767,095 for failing to comply with labor laws. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

Hawaii Electric Light Co. plans to request a 6.5 percent rate increase. West Hawaii Today.

For the first time in six years Hawaii Electric Light Co. wants to raise base rates for Big Island customers. KITV.

The Makalei Fire Station is sporting a temporary sign honoring the memory of Daniel R. Sayre, who lost his life while hiking along Pololu Valley in 1997. The Hawaii County Council on Wednesday will sign a resolution making that sign more permanent. West Hawaii Today.

An elderly Puna woman is suing Hawaiian Airlines and a Puna company that contracts baggage handling and wheelchair service, alleging she was taken for a rough ride by a porter at Hilo International Airport. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

One seawall showdown on Maui has come to an end after an unexpected reversal by the state on Monday.  The state Department of Transportation agreed to stop its multi-million dollar shoreline improvement project in Olowalu. The announcement comes after eight days of protests along Honoapiilani Highway. Hawaii News Now.

The Public Utilities Commission has issued a decision and order for Hawaii Water Service Co. Inc. to increase water rates by about 20 percent over present rates for Kaanapali hotels and condominium owners. Maui News.

Fifty-five new wayfinding signs promote health by encouraging walking and exploration of Wailuku Town’s hidden and well‐known treasures. Maui Now.

Kauai
Hawaii chapters of the Surfrider Foundation are teaming up with the Department of Health as the state changes its approach to public education on water quality. Garden Island.

There is an idea floating around the county to convert the Kapaa Neighborhood Center into a police substation, and some residents aren’t happy about it. Garden Island.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Human bones moved to Mauna Kea by TMT protester, facial recognition in Hawaii tourism ads, rape test kit results lag, Kauai police continue body cameras, Kenoi rushes to finish projects as trial looms, Maui gay resort gets new owner, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
An ahu atop Mauna Kea © 2016 All Hawaii News
The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is investigating a case in which someone allegedly disinterred human remains and put them in a shrine at the proposed site of the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea on the Big Island. Civil Beat.

A Hilo man says an ahu built at the Thirty Meter Telescope site atop Mauna Kea should be protected after he deposited human remains there. Palikapu Dedman, who is facing potential criminal charges, told the Tribune-Herald he placed iwi, or bones, belonging to an ancestor on the stone altar last September and then again earlier this month after realizing the first set of bones were missing. Tribune-Herald.

The world of personal advertising isn’t quite there yet, but Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and Expedia are inching closer. They will roll out the “Discover Your Aloha” campaign on Sept. 26, which uses facial recognition software to personalize Hawaii advertising content. Star-Advertiser.

State and federal lawmakers are promising to improve conditions for hundreds of foreign fishermen working in Hawaii’s commercial fleet, and at least one company has already stopped buying fish from the boats following an Associated Press investigation that found the men have been confined to vessels for years without basic labor protections. Associated Press.

All four of Hawaii’s county police departments have failed to comply with a Sept. 1 statutory deadline requiring them to report to the attorney general’s office the number of untested rape kits they have in storage and the dates the forensic evidence was collected from alleged victims of sexual assault. Star-Advertiser.

Two top bond rating agencies last week upgraded their credit ratings for the state of Hawaii by a notch to the second-highest possible, a change that will allow the state to pay less interest when it borrows money later this month to finance state construction projects and to refinance debt. Star-Advertiser.

A Tennessee man was arrested Friday for allegedly making death threats against U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Civil Beat.

The Democratic Party of Hawaii followed through on Wednesday on its promise to sue a bigoted politician who is attempting to run for Congress as a Democrat in one race and as a Republican in a separate race. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The work to build Honolulu rail’s first 10 miles of elevated pathway is costing Kiewit Infrastructure West at least $100 million, according to a former project consultant with knowledge of the situation. Star-Advertiser.

Mayoral candidate Charles Djou has chastised Mayor Kirk Caldwell for eliminating a program designed to reduce the overuse of ambulances by chronic 911 callers. Star-Advertiser.

Chinatown Tries To Hang On To Tradition, Even As It Changes. Young professionals are moving to Chinatown to take advantage of the cheaper rents as well as new bars and restaurants. Civil Beat.

First wave-produced electricity in U.S. goes online in Hawaii. Associated Press.

The state health department confirmed a new case of hepatitis A today in a food service worker on Oahu. The infected person worked at Chart House Waikiki. The latest case brings the total of confirmed hepatitis A cases in the outbreak to 271. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

More than two years behind schedule and at least $228,000 over budget, the Ka'u gym project is becoming the gunk on the track slowing Mayor Billy Kenoi’s sprint to untie as many maile lei as he can before leaving office in early December. West Hawaii Today.

The criminal trial of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi will go forward after a judge refused to throw out charges, including felony theft, stemming from his alleged misuse of his county credit card. Star-Advertiser.

The prosecutor in Mayor Billy Kenoi’s theft case said during a pretrial hearing Friday in Hilo he plans to call an FBI forensic accountant as an expert witness to go through the mayor’s personal and family finances. Tribune-Herald.

A judge has denied Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi's motions aimed at getting the theft case against him thrown out. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi will go on trial in October for theft relating to alleged misuse of his county credit card. KHON2.

Hawaiian Springs, which currently utilizes a well in Keaau, has submitted a proposed plan with the Hawaii County Planning Department for the “Pahala Town Square &Hawaiian Springs Facility.” Tribune-Herald.

Maui

West Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey and South Maui County Council Member Don Couch are calling on Gov. David Ige to stop - at least temporarily - construction of a seawall near Olowalu intended to prevent a section of Honoapiilani Highway from being washed away. Maui News.

Representative Angus McKelvey (West Maui, Māʻalaea, Kīhei) sent a letter to Governor David Ige on Friday, asking him to suspend the Department of Transportation’s work on the Honoapiʻilani Highway seawall near Olowalu.  Rep. McKelvey said he made the request, “so a cooling off period can be used to ensure that the concerns of the community are given a fair hearing.” Maui Now.

Wesley Lo, the chief executive officer of public hospitals in Maui County who helped shepherd a public-private partnership measure through the state Legislature, will be leaving his post Oct. 31, creating a leadership void as the hospitals make an operational transition to Kaiser Permanente in July. Maui News.

The Maui Sunseeker, the north Kihei shoreline resort known for catering to the LGBT community, has a new owner and a new name. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kauai Police Department plans to keep its officers outfitted with body cameras. Garden Island.

Progress on a project to create a 5.3-megawatt hydropower plant on state-owned land on the Kokee Ditch Irrigation System has been halted. That’s because the developer failed to meet construction deadlines, and the state withdrew the right to use the property, according to an Aug. 31 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order terminating the permit exemption. Garden Island.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and a few other public officials have intervened in a complaint at a state-owned housing complex, resulting in the promise of flooring upgrades, but questions still linger. Garden Island.

Genki Sushi reopens to wave of loyal customers. Garden Island.

The Department of Hawaiian Homelands is looking into a cache of cars abandoned south of Anahola Bay, brought to light by cleanup crews with Surfrider Kauai’s Net Patrol. Garden Island.