Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hawaii remains in drought, Honolulu lame duck mayor loses council clout, Osprey coming to military bases, former Governor Waihee, others settle $1.3M burial plan lawsuit, mail-in ballots raise voter intimidation concerns, Maui ranchland sold, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii cattle (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Although frequent rain has returned to parts of Hawaii, more than half the state remains in drought. Star-Advertiser.

Extremely dry conditions in parts of Hawaii are forcing some ranchers to reduce their herds as they struggle to grow grass to feed cattle. Associated Press.

Former Hawaii Gov. John Waihee and three associates have agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle claims by the state Attorney General that they helped to illegally divert some $30 million from funeral and burial plans sold to thousands of Hawaii residents. Hawaii Reporter.

The public school teachers union plans to wait for the Hawaii Labor Relations Board to decide whether an imposed contract violated members' rights before proceeding with legal or other action. Star-Advertiser.

A CNBC special report named Hawaii the second-to-worst state in the nation for business in 2012. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Medical Service Association continued its profit streak in the second quarter, posting a $9.4 million net gain, up from $5.8 million in the year-earlier period. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for Aug. 16. Associated Press.

Oahu

The Honolulu City Council voted 7-2 on Wednesday to override Mayor Peter Carlisle's veto of a bill banning all commercial activity at Kailua Beach Park, putting to rest the controversial subject -- at least for now. Star-Advertiser.

Bill 11 enforcement begins immediately as council passes override. KITV4.

The Honolulu City Council unanimously approved two resolutions Wednesday designed to encourage Mayor Peter Carlisle's administration to reverse unpopular cuts of city bus service. Star-Advertiser.

The Navy has completed plans for basing up to 24 tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft and 27 Cobra and Huey helicopters at the Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps base, but questions persist over how much noise the aircraft will create for area homes. Star-Advertiser.

Rising electricity and gasoline costs were the main drivers of an increase in consumer prices in Honolulu during the first half of this year. Star-Advertiser.

Concerns Of Voter Intimidation Raised In Cachola Victory. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Republican Party is calling into question the qualifications of Chris (Kalani) Manabat, the Democrat candidate for House District 40, “to serve his community based on his dishonesty with the voters and lack of work experience.” Civil Beat.

Despite denials from Hawaiian Electric Company that customers are being overcharged due to a billing system change, a Nanakuli man went to drastic extremes Wednesday to prove he's being ripped off. Hawaii News Now.

A unique ceremony marked the change of command for a Hawaii based unit. KHON2.

Hawaii

Osprey aircraft tactical training will commence as early as 2014 at Pohakuloa Training Area, a U.S. Marine Corps official said Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

For the first time on Hawaii Island, more voters opted to vote early, rather than report to their precincts on primary election day. Tribune-Herald.

The artist’s rendering will soon become reality at the long-awaited Hawaii Community College at Palamanui, thanks to the recent release of state general obligation bonds. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution putting Ooma atop the list of open space to be purchased next. West Hawaii Today.

The head of Hawaii County elections apologized for voter delays, saying much of the problems were caused by communications breakdowns. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's chief elections officer says Big Island precinct chairs will be interviewed to find out how many primary polls opened late and why. KPUA.

Maui

The Hawaii Supreme Court struck down on Wednesday a 2010 ruling by the state water commission, paving the way for more water to flow through a river and three streams on Maui. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Supreme Court vacated Wednesday a state Commission on Water Resource Management ruling in a dispute over surface waters the so-called Na Wai Eha, or four great waters of Maui. Maui News.

Bio-Logical Capital LLC will acquire the 4,500-acre Hana Ranch in East Maui for an undisclosed price from Hana Ranch Partners LLC, the two companies said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

The owners of Hana Ranch have reached an agreement with Bio-Logical Capital, the company that has been seeking to purchase the east Maui parcel of land for months. Civil Beat.

Bio-Logical Capital -- which describes itself as a land investment, development and conservation company -- has signed a sales agreement to purchase the 4,500-acre Hana Ranch in rural East Maui. Maui News.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said Hawaii is an ideal place for federal 9th Circuit judges, lawyers and other court officials to continue learning, as he spoke Tuesday afternoon to a gathering of Maui attorneys. Maui News.

Kauai

There were no shortage of ideas for improving the Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor Wednesday when more than 200 people overflowed the Waimea Neighborhood Center at the informational meeting hosted by Sen. Ron Kouchi and Rep. Dee Morikawa. Garden Island.

Approval to release state grant funds to start work on a juvenile restorative justice program was deferred after discussion Wednesday at a special meeting held by the Kaua‘i County Council. Garden Island.

A report on the results of a recent waste assessment conducted in county offices showed a significant increase in waste diversion activities since the last assessment was made in 2009. Garden Island.