Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Honolulu rail in court, Catholic priest child sex charges hit Hawaii, UH probes Stevie Wonder fiasco, school superintendent gets poor review, Maui hotels at top of sun and fun resort lists, kauai wildfire almost contained, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

HART courtesy photo
Honolulu rail project commences, courtesy photo
Federal Judge A. Wallace Tashima heard two hours of arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit that seeks to stop work on the city's $5.26 billion rail project, but gave no clear indication of how he will rule in the case or when. Star-Advertiser.

A federal judge from California is now the central figure in a legal fight that could decide the fate of the controversial $5.26 billion rail project and perhaps even determine who will be Honolulu's next mayor. Civil Beat.

The fate of Honolulu’s elevated-rail transit project is now in the hands of a federal judge. Pacific Business News.

Opponents of the Honolulu Rail Transit Project got their final day in Federal Court today and expect a decision in a few weeks. Hawaii Public Radio.

A standing room only crowd packed a courthouse inside the Prince Kuhio Federal Building Tuesday as U.S. District Judge A. Wallace Tashima heard oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by opponents of the city's $5.3 billion rail project. KITV4.

Rail had its day in federal court in an environmental challenge that could derail or delay the project. KHON2.

Did the city break environmental laws in the planning of the rail project? A federal judge is considering that right now and his decision could affect the future of the rail. Hawaii News Now.

Will Honolulu’s pricey and controversial rail project ever be built or will it be derailed in court? That could depend on what Ninth Circuit Court Judge Wallace Tashima decides in the next few weeks. Hawaii Reporter.

Rep. Cynthia Thielen and Sen. Robert Kouchi would appear to be the state's wealthiest lawmakers. Civil Beat.

Working Families for Hawaii has spent more than $70,000 supporting Democratic candidate Mazie Hirono, including nearly $34,000 on radio spots bashing former Democratic primary candidate Ed Case. One would think that a super PAC that has emerged as third biggest outside spender in Hawaii’s U.S. Senate race would be anything but anonymous. Civil Beat.

The Board of Education Tuesday gave Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi an overall rating of "fully meets expectations" in her first evaluation since being appointed to the position in September 2010. Star-Advertiser.

On the eve of a Board of Regents session to discuss the Stevie Wonder concert fiasco, University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood said Tuesday that athletic director Jim Dono­van was on his way out before the ill-fated venture. Star-Advertiser.

A day before the University of Hawaii Board of Regents meets behind closed doors to discuss the investigation into UH's failed Stevie Wonder concert and Jim Donovan's re-assignment as athletics director, it's unclear how much of the probe UH will make public. Hawaii News Now.

State roundup for Aug. 22. Associated Press.

Oahu

A Honolulu police officer on trial for theft and tampering with government records was found not guilty Tuesday afternoon on all thirteen counts. KHON2.

University of Hawaii-West O‘ahu officials have been giving out the wrong address for their campus for the past six months, but an estimated 1,800 students and 60 faculty still showed up for the first day of classes Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Are public agencies allowed to censor comments on their social media pages and can they be held liable for deleting comments made on their social media pages or for banning users? Hawaii Reporter.

Two gun advocates who run a charity called the Hawaii Defense Foundation are suing the city because they claim the Hono­lulu Police Department has censored, removed and banned their comments from HPD's Facebook page. Star-Advertiser.

A resident of Mayor Wright Homes, who fought to make sure everyone had hot water at the public housing project, is now in hot water himself.  Fetu Kolio is being evicted. KITV4.

The push to keep the North Shore country has lost one of its chief advocates. Civil Beat.

A local affordable-housing developer has arranged to buy the former Honolulu Advertiser property in Kakaako, and envisions putting up two moderate-priced condominium towers on the site while preserving the historic News Building. Star-Advertiser.

The producers of “Hawaii Five-0” will move from their soundstage at the former Honolulu Advertiser building once the show’s third season wraps production next spring, but exactly where is the question. Pacific Business News.

Carlisle paid price at polls for beefing with Cayetano. Star-Advertiser.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs announced Monday its acquisition of the Gentry Pacific Design Center, located in the 500 block of Nimitz Highway in Honolulu. KITV4.

Hawaii
The child sex abuse scandal surrounding the Catholic Church has hit close to home, with fingers of accusation pointing at a priest revered in the local community. Tribune-Herald.

The family of a New York teen swept out to sea while hiking on the Big Island filed a wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday, claiming tour guides were negligent for leading a group of teenagers to a dangerous area. Associated Press.

The draft environmental assessment for the Kapi‘olani Street extension will be available for comment Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County is moving forward with development of a park in Pahoa village with funds previously set aside for a regional community park in Hawaiian Paradise Park. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Occupancy at Maui hotels during the first half of the year ranked third-highest among more than 38,000 "island and sun" properties worldwide, according to a new report by Honolulu-based Hospitality Advisors. Maui News.

County of Maui was selected as a finalist for the 2012 Healthiest Employers contest, hosted by the Pacific Business News. Maui Now.

Kauai

Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho and Deputy County Attorney Justin Kollar squared off Tuesday night at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall for a debate in front of an audience of about 200. Garden Island.

Crews continued to fight high winds and dry conditions to contain the Koke‘e brush fire that is now reported to be 85 percent contained. Garden Island

The Koke‘e State Park Advisory Council will renew its work to review and comment on the Koke‘e and Waimea Canyon State Parks Master Plan. Garden Island.