Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Honolulu computer glitch causes statewide problems, Hirono recovering from second cancer surgery, Biki bike-sharing begins in Honolulu, Maui Hawaiians win quiet title dispute, unexploded ordnance presents Big Island development problem, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu Hale © 2017 All Hawaii News
An attempt Tuesday to reboot the mainframe computer that runs the state system to renew driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations failed, forcing people to face a third consecutive day of delays on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono’s surgery to remove part of her rib Tuesday was successful, and she is in recovery, according to staff from her office. The operation was the second of two surgeries planned since Hirono was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer earlier this year. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono is recovering from a second surgery following her kidney cancer diagnosis. KHON2.

Papahanaumokuakea National Monument Review Opposed in Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

University of Hawaii President David Lassner’s six-figure salary last year ranked at the low end of pay for public university leaders, according to a new report released Tuesday night by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Star-Advertiser.

More than 5,000 residents of Hawaii’s Second Congressional District (rural Oahu and the Neighbor Islands) participated in U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s interactive “Telephone Town Hall” on hurricane and disaster preparedness Monday evening. Garden Island.

Oahu

After about five years of preparation, “Biki” — Honolulu’s first major bike-share rental system — finally gets rolling across town today. Star-Advertiser.

The city-sponsored Bikeshare Hawaii program gets underway today — minus about 10 docking stations within Kapiolani Park because of a dispute over whether they should be allowed there. Star-Advertiser.

Crews were busy putting about bikes in place in time for Wednesday's roll out. KITV.

Due to computer mainframe issues, the city Department of Customer Services has made the decision to partially close the city’s driver licensing centers on Wednesday, June 28. KHON2.

The city says driver licensing centers will be partially closed on Wednesday, June 28 due to computer mainframe issues. KITV.

Homeless And Community Service Workers Considered For Park Cleanup. Honolulu City Council members hear ideas for employing the homeless and getting “free labor” from court-ordered workers. Civil Beat.

What to do with recent skeletal discoveries is the question to be discussed by the State Historic Preservation Division and the Oahu Island Burial Council during a meeting Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Special Permits Near Honolulu Rail Line Attract Proposals For Big Hotels. Developers can build higher and denser as long as the city finds that their projects promote “transit-enhanced neighborhoods.” Civil Beat.

As speeding cars and pedestrian safety remains on the mind of some Pearl City residents, a national traffic expert is examining ways to make Oahu's roads safer. Hawaii News Now.

Charley’s Taxi has received a "Certificate of Excellence" from TripAdvisor, becoming Hawaii’s first and only taxicab company to receive the recognition from the online travel site. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

The Monday morning malfunction of a City and County of Honolulu mainframe computer has become a statewide problem for anyone seeking to obtain or renew a driver’s license, register a motor vehicle or get a state identification card. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. David Ige plans to veto a bill intended to help businesses extend their leases on state land. The bill, introduced by Rep. Mark Nakashima, was one of eight bills introduced this past session aimed at addressing economic revitalization in Hilo. None of the others passed. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County mayor wants to coordinate the military cleanup of unexploded ordinance in the Former Waikoloa Maneuver Area in order to lift federal funding restrictions for affordable housing. Big Island Video News.

A town hall meeting on Monday night unleashed new outrage and fresh questions about an unauthorized construction project at the Punaluu Boat Launch over the weekend. Hawaii News Now.

Local businesses along Pawai Place in Kona’s Old Industrial area joined Hope Services and police officers for a street cleanup Tuesday morning. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing Kihei Satellite Office will be closed for about 3 1/2 weeks beginning Monday for expansion work, the county Department of Finance has announced. Maui News.

A 2nd Circuit Court jury returned a verdict Friday in favor of a Native Hawaiian family in a case involving Makila Land Co.’s attempt to quiet title a 3.4-acre kuleana parcel in Kauaula Valley in Lahaina. Maui News.

Kauai

A computer issue that began Monday on Oahu is affecting services at Kauai’s Department of Finance Driver Licensing division. Garden Island.

Jeff Stone, developer of the proposed Princeville Lodge, has withdrawn the project’s shoreline setback application. Garden Island.

Hofgaard Park is closed to allow the County of Kauai Housing Agency to start construction on access improvements aligned with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Garden Island.

Kapaia swinging bridge to be repaired. Volunteers needed; meeting near site is today. Garden Island.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hawaii reacts to travel ban ruling, Matson workers could strike, more than 5k welcome Oprah, Honolulu airport woes continue, Punaluu dredging draws ire, more news fro all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin courtesy photo
Students, visiting professors and others from six predominantly Muslim countries with legitimate ties to the United States will be allowed to travel to Hawaii but face an uncertain future once they arrive, state Attorney General Doug Chin said Monday following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin on Monday said "immigration into the United States should not be restricted due to religion or national origin" after the U.S. Supreme Court decided to reinstate part of Donald Trump's travel ban. Pacific Business News.

Both President Trump as well as officials from the State of Hawaii are seeing positives in today’s U.S. Supreme Court order on the second travel ban issued by the White House in March. Big Island Video News.

The Supreme Court is allowing President Donald Trump to forge ahead with a limited version of his ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries to the U.S. Associated Press.

The Supreme Court's decision to partially reinstate President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban has left the effort to keep some foreigners out of the United States in a murky middle ground, with unanswered questions and possibly more litigation ahead. Associated Press.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday announced it would partly reinstate President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban, a decision the White House called a "victory", but one that Hawaii's attorney general is calling a "compromise." Hawaii News Now.

State Attorney General Doug Chin was encouraged that the compromise decision does not block those with direct ties to the US from traveling from those six mostly Muslim countries. KITV.

=====

Hawaii will soon have less influence in setting national policies that affect everything from commercial fishing to endangered species in nearly 1.5 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean. Gov. David Ige’s administration twice missed deadlines to submit to federal officials a list of names to fill two at-large terms that expire in August on the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. Civil Beat.

Despite a steady drumbeat of negative news surrounding President Donald Trump and his policies, Republicans in Hawaii remain steadfast in their support for him. Civil Beat.

Matson Inc. sailors and firemen are threatening to strike if they are unable to reach a contract agreement with the company. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

State officials are trying to involuntarily transfer the sheriff’s lieutenant overseeing law enforcement at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation. Star-Advertiser.

Newly released records show that Honolulu Police Commissioner Loretta Sheehan was an early target of police chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, a city prosecutor, who has described Sheehan as being “racially insensitive.” Civil Beat.

The Navy is extending the public comment period on a proposal to spend $1.2 million to reduce potential exposure to chemicals at a Barbers Point landfill where asbestos and burned waste were dumped between 1942 and 1997. Star-Advertiser.

Ige’s veto could delay stadium plan even further. The bill, which would create the Office of Public-Private Partnerships within the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, was supposed to be part of a bold statement about changing the way the state does some of its business and Aloha Stadium was seen as a showcase example. Star-Advertiser.

Group pushes for closer look at impacts to Haunama Bay, one of Oahu’s top tourist destinations. KHON2.

A Kapolei High School counselor who pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution is scheduled to be sentenced in court on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

One Man’s Quest To Revive A Forgotten Kalihi Park. Robert Silva has spent two years restoring a taro patch in a small park that was once a gathering spot for Hawaiian royalty. Civil Beat.

Fireworks on the Fourth is a quiet affair in contrast to noisy New Year’s Eve celebrations in Hawaii. With so few buying firecrackers, only one retailer will be selling them for Independence Day celebrations. Star-Advertiser.

A former employee of a company whose subsidiary publishes Hawaii Business, Honolulu Magazine and other periodicals stole more than $3.8 million from her former employer by depositing checks from advertisers into accounts of phony businesses she created, according to a federal grand jury indictment. Star-Advertiser.

Fidelity National Financial Inc., one of the nation’s largest title insurance companies, is the new majority owner of Honolulu-based Title Guaranty. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

A boat tour operator is being accused of unpermitted excavation at Punalu‘u that includes damage to the remnants of a historical pier. Tribune-Herald.

The Ka’u community is in disbelief after managing to prevent a man’s apparently unpermitted effort to create new boat ramp over a historic structure along the shoreline of Punaluu beach. Big Island Video News.

Some Hawaii island residents are outraged after a tour operator apparently started demolition work at a boat ramp along a historic shoreline in Punaluu without permission. KHON2.

Aina Lea Inc., developer of The Villages at Aina Lea, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

More than 5,000 people welcomed Oprah Winfrey to her very first appearance on Maui as she lead a special conversation designed to inspire Hawaiʻi residents – already ranked the healthiest state in the nation by the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index – to lead even healthier, happier, more productive lives. Maui Now.

‘How do you shift the paradigm?’: Oprah Winfrey shares her philosophy for healthy living. Thousands flock to MACC to hear from former talk show host. Maui News.

Maui County officials are looking for historical artifacts that help tell the story of the county's government. KITV.

The county clerk is asking for the public’s assistance to help gather artifacts and materials that tell the history of the County of Maui government. Maui Now.

Kauai

Principal Mahina Anguay and her staff are celebrating Waimea High School’s six-year accreditation following a positive report from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Garden Island.

Some Kauai lawmakers aren’t surprised Gov. David Ige is thinking about vetoing a bill that will take away lifeguards’ protection against lawsuits who protect state beaches. Garden Island.

Lanai

After rolling layoffs for the last few years during hotel renovations, Lanai residents are enjoying 3.4% unemployment, three points lower than this time last year.  This weekend will be a particularly exciting on Lanai, priming for the July fourth holiday with the Pineapple Festival  on Saturday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Aquarium bill, 14 others, face Ige veto; Onizuka memorabilia moving to Honolulu; Kona crab catch limits mulled; Kauai mayor returns budget unsigned; Big Island chief judge Ibarra retiring, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News
Yellow tang © 2017 All Hawaii News
Gov. David Ige said Friday he will likely veto a bill that would severely curtail and eventually end the aquarium fish collecting trade in Hawaii, stating it would be premature to consider a ban before more studies are done. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige plans to veto 15 bills, including a proposal backed by environmental groups seeking to phase out the catching of aquarium fish in Hawaii. The governor similarly intends to veto a bill that critics feared would give public worker unions too much power. Civil Beat.

Governor Has Signed 48 Bills Into Law. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige plans to veto a bill that would forbid issuing new aquarium fishing permits. Associated Press.

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council recommended lowering the 2017 annual catch limit for main Hawaiian Islands Kona crab of 3,500 pounds. The previously recommended ACL for this fishery was 27,600 pounds. Maui Now.

Travel agents named Hawaii as the “destination with the highest client satisfaction” in TravelAge West’s Western Agents’ Vote of Excellence competition. Star-Advertiser.

A politically connected ship repair company has finally succeeded in a years-long lobbying campaign to get lawmakers to sweeten a special tax credit to subsidize the company’s relocation from state-owned waterfront land to make way for a new container terminal. Star-Advertiser.

The Board of Education has set aside $114,500 to cover merit-based raises ranging from 2 to 3.75 percent for senior Department of Education executives. Star-Advertiser.

On Saturday, pediatricians will be the last of the Hawaii Medical Service Association’s primary care doctors to undergo a change by which they will be paid a fixed monthly rate per patient in a practice instead of being reimbursed for each procedure or patient visit. Star-Advertiser.

The state unveiled a new website Friday aimed at helping track the hundreds of sex assault kits that still haven't been tested for DNA. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu


The agency overseeing the island’s financially troubled rail transit project is losing another key leader. Brennon Morioka, who’s worked nearly 4-1/2 years as the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s deputy executive director, submitted his resignation earlier this month. Star-Advertiser.

In a countersuit filed Thursday, the Blood Bank of Hawaii accuses the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation of acting “in bad faith” and “recklessly subjecting Hawaii’s blood supply to grave but unnecessary risks.” Star-Advertiser.

The Navy agreed it needs to do more to evaluate fuel and water flow modeling beneath and around the Red Hill fuel storage facility before a Dec. 8 deadline for a finalized fuel tank upgrade plan. Star-Advertiser.

Houses and condominiums here are being snapped up at a feverish pace as the summer home-buying season kicks off.  Star-Advertiser.

Oahu youths holding golf identification cards will be able to play golf for free at any of the six city-owned courses starting July 1 under a bill expected to be signed by Mayor Kirk Caldwell in the coming days. Star-Advertiser.

A year after the Ellison Onizuka Space Center closed its doors in Kona, the country's first Asian-American astronaut's legacy lives on through a new exhibit in Moilili. Hawaii News Now.

Japanese Cultural Center to get Onizuka memorabilia moved from Kona after airport expansion. Star-Advertiser.

The Board of Water Supply is responding to multiple main breaks that happened early Sunday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Several coastal areas were inundated with water Saturday as this month's round of king tides reach close to record levels. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Chief Judge Ibarra to retire after 28 years on bench. West Hawaii Today.

Should tourism helicopters fly only over the ocean instead of neighborhoods to decrease their noise? Or will that endanger lives — and the tourism industry? Tribune-Herald.

Fear of rat lungworm disease impacts Hawaii Island produce market. West Hawaii Today.

UniEnergy Technologies is planning to install a grid-scale energy storage system on the Big Island of Hawaii later this year. Pacific Business News.

Officials with Hawaii island’s Department of Water Supply said this week that North Kona consumers are largely ignoring the notice for mandatory 25 percent reduction in water use issued in January. Associated Press.

Maui

Five new contracts totaling nearly $8.3 million were awarded last month for air-conditioning and ventilation projects at Maui County public schools. Maui News.

An environmental impact statement preparation notice has been posted for a renewable energy conversion and sludge processing project at the Wailuku-Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility. Maui News.

The sustainability of the Waiehu Municipal Golf Course is on the agenda of the County Council’s Parks, Recreation, Energy and Legal Affairs Committee at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers in Wailuku. Maui News.

VIDEO: Count Down to July 1st Maui Hospital Transition. Maui Now.

Kauai

County budget returned unsigned; council version goes into effect July 1. Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said the newest version of fiscal year 2017-2018 budget does not adequately prepare the county for a sustainable future. Garden Island.

Two Hawaiian men at the center of a dispute to determine rightful ownership of 17 acres of Coco Palms resort property will be in court on Wednesday to hear the state’s response to their claim of kuleana land. Garden Island.

A lack of resources and a change in monitoring criteria caused the Environmental Protection Agency to mandate the state Department of Health’s Hawaii Beach Monitoring Program. The newly formed Beach Monitoring Program was aired out Wednesday at a meeting on Kauai. Garden Island.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hawaii Gov. David Ige releases list of bills he may veto

Hawaii Gov. David Ige
(Press Release) Gov. David Ige has notified legislative leaders and key lawmakers of the 15 bills that are listed on his Intent to Veto list. The Hawaii State Constitution requires the governor to notify the Legislature of the bills he intends to veto by June 26.

On July 11, any measure that the governor has not signed or vetoed will become law.

Links to bills can be found here.

INTENT TO VETO LIST:

SB 1240        RELATING TO AQUATIC LIFE

This bill requires the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to define “sustainable” and establish a policy for sustainable collection practices through take limits. This bill also prohibits the DLNR from issuing new aquarium fish permits to use fine meshed traps or fine meshed nets and prohibits the transfer of permits after five years.

Rationale: There is concern that the science does not support the claims made by the bill. It will be premature to ban aquarium collection before doing the necessary studies. The DLNR is committed to working with all stakeholders to come up with a better solution.

SB 410          RELATING TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

This measure broadens the scope of collective bargaining negotiations by requiring negotiations on the implementation of terms and conditions of employment, including making these violations grievable by employees who disagree with such working conditions.

Rationale: This bill directly impacts the ability of state departments to effectively manage its workforce by negating management rights to direct its workforce and requiring union consent on such matters as assignment, transfer and discipline.

SB 562          RELATING TO TORT LIABILITY

This measure requires the Attorney General to defend any civil action or proceeding brought in any court against a county, based on any negligent or wrongful act or omission of a lifeguard who provides lifeguard services at a state beach park.

Rationale: This bill is objectionable because it requires the Attorney General to defend the counties for any civil action or proceeding, without exception.

HB 1414       RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION

This bill requires the auditor to investigate and report on problems with the Department of Taxation’s tax system modernization project.

Rationale: The Department of Taxation is awaiting findings and results of an independent verification and validation of the tax system modernization project. The audit would be redundant. The auditor stated that the audit may not yield useful results due to the difficulties tied to investigating a project that is incomplete and undergoing implementation.

HB 1309       RELATING TO GRANTS

This measure requires the Director of Finance to seek repayment of operating grants appropriated by the legislature if the grantee discontinues the activities or services approved in the grant.

Rationale: This bill is contrary to the intent of Chapter 42F, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, which authorizes the legislature to appropriate general funds to nongovernmental organizations through various state agencies. The Director of Finance does not have the capacity to monitor all grantee programs, and relies on each state agency to enforce the provisions of the grant application and contract between the agency and grantee.

SB 722          RELATING TO EFFICIENCY MEASURES

This measure requires the Director of Finance and a selected state department to develop and implement the efficiency measures pilot project as part of the state’s budget system.

Rationale: Imposing additional requirements for data collection on our state budget system requires re-programming older software on mainframe computers at a time when the state is upgrading its IT systems to cloud-based applications. Limited state resources would be better spent updating our budget IT programs into cloud-based applications.

SB 713          RELATING TO BUDGET DOCUMENTS

This measure requires the six-year program and financial plan and budget to include information on tax expenditures.

Rationale: There is uncertainty in quantifying future revenue loss attributed to certain tax expenditures as changes to tax laws usually elicit changes to taxpayer behavior. Further, there is a lag in the availability of certain tax expenditure data, which would not align with the preparation of the annual budget documents submitted to the Legislature.

HB 1588       RELATING TO GENERAL OBLIGATION FUNDS

This measure prohibits the issuance of general obligation bonds to finance the repair and maintenance of capital assets where the repair and maintenance costs incurred add value to, and prolong the life of the assets for a period of less than ten years.

Rationale: This measure aims to more closely align the financing of debt with the depreciation of the state’s assets. However, like many other state and county governments, Hawai‘i is faced with a growing number of deferred maintenance projects and a limited pool of operation funds for such projects. Further, the record-keeping necessary to ensure compliance with the tiered structuring of the debt could not be done within existing resources, and would therefore increase the costs of the state’s debt management program.

SB 1074        RELATING TO THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HAWAII STATE CAPITOL

This measure appropriates funds to the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts to plan and coordinate the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Hawai‘i State Capitol.

Rationale: Current provisions of state law establishing the Works of Art Special Fund under 103-8.5, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, are very specific and do not allow for the financing of a celebration of this nature.

SB 1073        RELATING TO THE STATE FOUNDATION ON CULTURE AND THE ARTS

The measure appropriates funds to the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts to support its artist fellowship program.

Rationale: Current provisions of state law establishing the Works of Art Special Fund under 103-8.5, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, are very specific and do not allow for the financing of an artist fellowship program.

HB 523         RELATING TO RECYCLING

This measure authorizes the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) to establish a recycling pilot program for the onsite collection of recyclable materials at buildings and facilities.

Rationale: The amount of waste produced is insufficient to merit having an onsite recycling pilot program. The Department of Accounting and General Services regularly recycles cardboards and paper, and janitors recycle the limited amount of bottles and cans produced.

HB 2              RELATING TO AGRICULTURE

This bill authorizes the placement of “tiny homes” of 500 square feet or less of living space within the state agriculture district of Hawai‘i County. These “tiny homes” will be used by farm workers or their immediate families on land currently being used for agricultural production.

Rationale: The Hawai‘i County Zoning Code (HCC Chapter 25) already allows for a “farm dwelling” as a permitted use of agricultural-zoned lands. By Zoning Code definition, a “farm dwelling” means a single-family dwelling located on or used in connection with a farm, or if the agricultural activity provides income to the family occupying the dwelling.

HB 727         RELATING TO MOTORCYCLES

This measure allows the operator of a motorcycle or motor scooter to proceed cautiously between stopped lanes of traffic and on the shoulder lane of highways. The intent is to alleviate congestion and reduce the risk of injury or loss of life.

Rationale: There is concern that this will compromise road safety. The shoulder lane is designed to accommodate stopped vehicles and emergency vehicles on highways, and bicycles on arterial roadways. While the intent of the bill is to reduce risk or injury or loss of life, there is concern that allowing shoulder lane use to these types of vehicles will instead create more danger for the operators of these vehicles.

HB 575         RELATING TO PUBLIC LANDS

This bill establishes a process for the re-leasing or re-negotiation of a lease for public lands classified as commercial or industrial use near the end of the lease. The bill permits the Department of Land and Natural Resources to extend public land leases to school or government entities without recourse to auction, with certain exceptions.

Rationale: There is concern that section 2 of this bill is special legislation and is in violation of Section 5 of Article XI of the Hawai‘i State Constitution. It limits application of the bill to commercial and industrial lands only, without distinguishing these lands from other public lands under lease.

HB 627         RELATING TO PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

This measure establishes the Office of Public-Private Partnerships within the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, and appropriate funds for a state public-private partnership coordinator position.

Rationale: There is concern that the lone position of a state public-private partnership coordinator will not be sufficient to adequately coordinate interagency collaboration, maintain analysis reports, and develop future public-private partnership opportunities. Having one office manage all public-private partnership contracts, proposals, and negotiations for the state may create a bottleneck that will slow the progress for agencies already involved in these partnerships.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Tsunami's effect on seabirds, Hirono to undergo second cancer surgery, Kauai missile test fails, Honolulu rail budget approved, Kona homeless camp nears sweeping, Maui golf course under review, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy NOAA
Albatross in Northwest Hawaiian Islands, NOAA
A new study takes a closer look at the tsunami’s devastation in the islands suggests the episode is a window into the future of what seabird populations face in a world of climate change, sea level rise and increased storm surges. Star-Advertiser.

A recent study examined the impacts of a 2011 tsunami on birds in the Pacific -- and the results aren't favorable for wildlife. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige is facing a political quandary as he nears Monday’s deadline for deciding the fate of a bill that would eventually end the catching of aquarium fish in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Hawaii is experiencing another round of king tides, the highest tides of the year, which usually occur around the winter and summer solstices. Star-Advertiser.

Sen. Mazie Hirono invited Island News to talk about her health issues as she deals with stage four kidney cancer. She'll soon undergo surgery to remove a rib where a second tumor was found. The senator expects a full recovery. KITV.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono will undergo surgery Tuesday to remove a lesion on her seventh rib where a second tumor was found by doctors. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono is preparing to undergo another surgery in her ongoing battle with stage four kidney cancer. Hawaii News Now.

A lawmaker is asking the state attorney general to consider litigation against pharmaceutical manufacturers over the opioid crisis that has resulted in overdose deaths and addictions. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmaker urges Hawaii to take action against makers of addictive painkillers. KHON2.

The Department of Education says there’s currently no policy on how schools are told to deal with a student with head lice. KHON2.

Hawaii continued to see drops near or above 20 percent in new foreclosure lawsuit filings during March and April, according to the latest data from the state Judiciary. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii-based nutrition and health products company Cyanotech Corp. on Thursday reported a net loss of $1.2 million, or 21 cents per diluted share, for the fiscal year that ended March 31, compared to a loss of $4.4 million, or 79 cents per diluted share, for the previous year. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The Honolulu rail’s operating budget will increase 11.5 percent to $34.9 million from $31.3 million for the next year, according to a budget approved Thursday by the board that oversees the troubled development. Civil Beat.

In 2015, amid mounting costs, Honolulu rail leaders boasted that their efforts to obtain lower bid prices were paying off. A decision to break up a big nine-station construction contract into three smaller ones trimmed the price of that work by more than $40 million. Star-Advertiser.

At a Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board meeting Thursday, members were confronted by critics about inflated ridership projections. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu is paying back $1.45 million in federal funds spent to upgrade a senior housing complex after an audit raised questions about how the money was spent. Civil Beat.

Sandwiched between a couple homes off Ohai Street in Wahiawa is a homeless encampment with a notorious reputation. Hawaii News Now.

Bikeshare Hawaii will launch Biki, Honolulu’s new bikeshare program, on Wednesday at the state Capitol. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Word of a county plan to permanently relocate homeless from the Old Kona Airport Park has made its way down the beach and into the bush, falling on the ears of many who would be made unwilling wayfarers by the proposal’s execution. West Hawaii Today.

A bill allowing farmers markets at several Hawaii County parks needs more time to ripen, the County Council decided Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPA requires the County of Hawaii to close large cesspools in Pahala and Naalehu. Big Island Video News.

Big Island low-income senior citizens will no longer receive fresh weekly produce deliveries. Civil Beat.

A Big Island Juggler With Leukemia Faces Deportation. Graham Ellis has been teaching circus skills to island children since 1981. Now he’s being swept up by Trump’s tougher new immigration rules. Civil Beat.

Maui

The Council’s Parks, Recreation, Energy and Legal Affairs Committee will host a meeting next week to consider options for the Waiehu Municipal Golf Course. Maui Now.

A project to install a recycled wastewater irrigation system at Waipuilani Park in Kihei is concerning condominium residents, who irrigate a portion of the park themselves and say that the project is a needless cost to the county. Maui News.

Kauai

A new defensive missile that could one day defend Hawaii against North Korean attack failed to intercept a target Wednesday night in a test off Kauai, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency said it failed to intercept a ballistic missile during a test off Hawaii. Associated Press.

Five projects with a combined price tag of nearly $70 million are on tap with the state’s Department of Transportation that may alleviate some congestion in the Wailua/Kapaa Kuhio Highway Corridor. Garden Island.

The Hawaii State Department of Health issued a Notice to Proceed to Acquire and Cultivate Marijuana to Green Aloha Ltd. Wednesday, becoming the first and only production center on Kauai to receive the go-ahead. Garden Island.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources announces the dates for the opening of the black-tailed deer hunting season on the island of Kauai. Garden Island.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hawaii still tops for homeless, Obama in town, Honolulu police chief selection delayed, monk seal in road slows Maui traffic, no cool schools for Big Island, Maui hospital lawsuit dismissed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Homeless in Hawaii © 2017 All Hawaii News
Hawaii still has the highest per capita homeless population in the country “but things have started to gel” in the islands, according to the western regional coordinator for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Health gave the green light Wednesday for two more production facilities to begin growing medical marijuana, despite not being able to sell the drug to consumers yet. Star-Advertiser.

Expert: Amid delays, patient died waiting for medical marijuana relief. Hawaii News Now.


Legislation to ban certain sunscreen chemicals in Hawai’i stalled in the final days of the 2017 session.  But, state lawmakers are already starting their push to pass the bills next year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Former President Barack Obama in the islands for unannounced visit. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s congressional delegation on Wednesday introduced federal legislation to reinstate Medicaid coverage for eligible Micronesians living and working in the United States. Civil Beat.

Hawaii will experience another round of exceptional king tides Friday and Saturday as some of the highest tides of the year will again be enhanced by higher-­than-normal sea levels. Star-Advertiser.

How HECO Is Trying To Modernize Its Electric Grid. Hawaiian Electric is drafting a new strategy after regulators rejected an earlier $736 million proposal in part because it didn’t serve solar users well. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines’ baggage fee revenue declined in the first quarter even though the state’s largest carrier transported more passengers than in the year-earlier period. Star-Advertiser.

Island Air is suffering through growing pains as it continues to reinvent itself with new aircraft and additional routes. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

The selection of a new police chief has been delayed again, this time because the entity initially selected to help the Honolulu Police Commission make the pick backed out, Commission Chairman Max Sword said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Ex-Honolulu Police Chief’s Fight For Legal Fees Turns Nasty. Police Commissioner Loretta Sheehan says the former chief’s attempt to have her removed from the case is “baseless.” Civil Beat.

Search for Honolulu’s next police chief delayed after consultant backs out. KHON2.

Retired police Chief Louis Kealoha wants Honolulu Police Commissioner Loretta Sheehan disqualified from considering any matters that involve him, arguing she’s been critical of him and the police department in the past. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Public Safety on Wednesday released a report on the latest on where to replace the current Oahu Community Correctional Center. Civil Beat. Report here.

A homeless camp that had been hidden in the mangroves along the Ala Wai Canal is beginning to emerge as more and more people are moving in. Hawaii News Now.

The Environmental Protection Agency, state Department of Health, the Navy and the Defense Logistics Agency are holding an “open house” tonight to update the public on the status of the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility. Star-Advertiser.

North shore residents are fed up that nothing is being done to fix the heavy traffic near the famous "Turtle Beach" at Laniakea. Now, a campaign is shifting blame for the congestion to the turtles. Hawaii News Now.

Attorney General’s office seeks answers to city’s new Bikeshare program. KHON2.

Biki bike pushback at Kapiolani Park. KITV.

A woman whose pet store was connected to a Waimanalo puppy mill owned by her father is getting the chance to avoid conviction for tax evasion. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

The state’s plan to cool 1,000 classrooms by this fall won’t initially benefit many schools on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

The cleanup at Old Airport Park is posing more of a logistical challenge than the new administration anticipated when it made the project a priority soon after assuming office. West Hawaii Today.

Lottery decides waiting list for Kona housing development. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Island Family Medicine Residency Program has done exactly what planners hoped — its graduates now plan to practice medicine in Hawaii; two in Hilo, one in Honolulu. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A renewable energy startup company will break ground on old sugar land this summer. Star-Advertiser.

A new energy crop will soon be tested on former sugar plantation lands in Central Maui. Alexander & Baldwin is teaming up with a California-based business to grow pongamia trees on 250 acres near Kihei. Hawaii News Now.

The state Employees’ Retirement System and the Hawaii Health Systems Corp., which operates the state’s public hospitals, formally agreed to drop a lawsuit this week over benefits for about 1,500 employees at three Maui County hospitals. Star-Advertiser.

Lawsuit dismissed, clearing the way for transfer of hospitals. Maui News.

A monk seal came up partially on the road on the Honoapiilani Highway in Olowalu Wednessday afternoon, slowing traffic on the busy thoroughfare that connects West Maui to the Central Valley.  Police and volunteers responded to the report in an effort to protect the animal from oncoming traffic. Maui Now.

Gov. David Ige on Wednesday announced the nomination of Mr. Lee A. Ohigashi to the Maui County seat on the State Land Use Commission for a term beginning June 21, 2017 and ending June 30, 2020. The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate. Maui Now.

Kauai

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard will host a telephone town hall at 4 p.m. Monday on hurricane and disaster preparedness. Garden Island.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

'Cool Schools' funds coming from green energy program, legislative leaders see rail as Honolulu's problem, $50M for Maui medical upgrades, Ellison to spend $75M on Lodge at Koele improvements, 3k free Oprah tickets from HSMA, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Gov. Ige visits school, courtesy photo
Gov. David Ige will sign a bill Thursday that pulls one-third of the money from the state’s dormant $150 million green energy loan program to help lower electric bills at Hawaii’s public schools. Star-Advertiser.

Board of Education members expressed frustration Tuesday that the Department of Education has yet to take advantage of a law passed four years ago authorizing development of underused public school lands to pay for campus upgrades. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan to qualify for federal funding under the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Obama administration law that hands more control to the states for measuring student achievement. Civil Beat.

House Speaker Scott Saiki made it clear. The City of Honolulu is responsible for completing the rail transit project. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii on Tuesday filed a supplemental brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that a new memo issued by President Trump renders his controversial travel ban both unnecessary and unlawful. Hawaii News Now.

The CEO of Cardax Inc. said the selection  of the company's astaxanthin compound CDX-085 to take part in the National Institute on Aging's anti-aging interventions testing program will have positive implications for the Hawaii-based business. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

FBI probe investigating police chief now zeroing in on city prosecutor, too. Hawaii News Now.

The future of state deputy sheriffs at Honolulu's airport is unclear, but officials said they're committed to trying to work out a new deal. Hawaii News Now.

State transportation leaders say they want deputy sheriffs to keep working at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport — but that they’ll need to reach a new deal with public safety officials in the next six months to accomplish that. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation is speaking out about its decision to release deputy sheriffs from patrols at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. KHON2.

Renters are the newest group trying to cash in on the profitability of Oahu’s vacation rental market by subleasing all or part of their units to visitors. Star-Advertiser.

A nonprofit organization that runs a state park on Kaneohe Bay is continuing to offer kayak rentals to paying customers of all ages despite being told to stop by the state. Civil Beat.

When enterococci bacteria levels go beyond a safe limit, the State Department of Health puts up signs warning beachgoers of the contamination. But, some environmentalists want an improvement in the warning system. Hawaii News Now.

New water-quality rules will affect developers, contractors, designers, businesses and homeowners planning to file grading or building permit applications, according to city officials. Star-Advertiser.

Authorities are investigating a diesel spill in the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. is seeking to cut energy consumption at three of its commercial buildings on Oahu through a partnership with energy efficiency company Carbon Lighthouse. Pacific Business News.

The Waikiki Aquarium is looking for marine life enthusiasts to share their passion and knowledge with young keiki. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

A former Kamehameha Schools Hawaii administrator is suing Kamehameha Schools, the trustees of the estate of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop and one of the school’s senior administrators, alleging she was wrongfully terminated after 23 years of employment. Tribune-Herald.

The Big Island community showed its aloha spirit when it came together to replace stolen swim gear donated to soldiers who train at Kawaihae harbor. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A health care provider plans to spend more than $50 million on three Maui hospitals in the biggest privatization effort in Hawaii history. Star-Advertiser.

HMSA and Sharecare are giving away 3,000 tickets to see Oprah Winfrey at a “Live Your Best Life” event Monday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center to promote Sharecare’s health and wellness digital platform. Star-Advertiser.

Maui was ranked number four best places to visit, behind first place New York City, 2nd place Philadelphia, and third place Honolulu on a list compiled by US News and World Report. Maui Now.


Kauai

A mongoose--an unwelcome visitor--was reported on Kauai’s North Shore over the weekend, and it’s triggered an investigation from the Kauai Invasive Species Committee. Garden Island.

Hawaii’s new beach water quality monitoring program will be presented to the public at a meeting at 6 tonight at the state Department of Health Kauai District Health Office conference room. Garden Island.

Kauai Junior Lifeguard program nearly full. Garden Island.

Lanai

Pulama Lanai, the company created by billionaire Larry Ellison to manage his Hawaii operations including two Four Seasons Resorts on Lanai, plans to spend $75 million on an expansion and upgrade of The Lodge at Koele, which has been closed for two and a half years, that will reduce the hotel’s room count and expand its restaurant while adding spa and fitness facilities. Pacific Business News.

Pulama Lanai is seeking approval for a $75 million project to upgrade and “refresh” the nearly 25-acre Lodge at Koele, located northeast of Lanai City on Keomuku Highway. Maui News.