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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hawaii could ban Kona spearfishing, boaters fight licenses, Democrats sue to keep Thielen off the ballot, Pro Bowl returns, Honolulu firefighters fight over mayoral endorsement, bed and breakfasts to be limited on Molokai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Ornate butterflyfish (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
West Hawaii’s shores could soon be the first in the state to become off limits to scuba spearfishing. Tribune-Herald.

50 Oahu boaters gathered in Aiea for the first of five public hearings on whether boaters should have a safety certificate or license. But the idea didn't go over well. KHON2.

A proposed rule requiring power boat operators to complete a boating safety course faced fierce opposition Wednesday at a packed meeting at the Hawaii Big Game Fishing Club at Honokohau Harbor. West Hawaii Today.

Laura Thielen
State Democrats have authorized the party to file a legal challenge to prevent Laura Thielen, a director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources under former Gov. Linda Lingle, from running for the state Senate as a Democrat. Star-Advertiser.

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, filed her nomination papers today for the U.S. Senate race. She's taking on former Congressman Ed Case in the primary, and if successful, will be pitted against former Gov. Linda Lingle or former State Senator John Carroll. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii needs to move away from identity politics, says a former Congressman now vying for the Democratic Party’s U.S. Senate nomination. West Hawaii Today.

The National Football League has given its embattled Pro Bowl a one-year reprieve for 2013, challenging its players and Hawaii to demonstrate how the 73-year-old all-star game can be made viable for the future. Star-Advertiser.

The National Football League said Wednesday that the 2013 Pro Bowl will be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, and league officials said they were working with the players to make the game more competitive. Pacific Business News.

Nearly a year after Gov. Neil Abercrombie equated a $4 million fee to keep the NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii to a "bribe," the governor has changed his tune. KITV4.

In 2011, 26 Hawaii non-profits received needed dollars and cents from the NFL Charities Pro Bowl Grant Program. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Honolulu officials abandoned a bus rapid transit system nearly a decade ago after public support waned and a new mayor took office. Civil Beat.

Honolulu's job market is improving, but at a slower pace than in the best-performing mainland cities, according to a report released Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

A rift between organizations representing firefighters and former firefighters widened Wednesday with Honolulu Fire Chief Kenneth Silva joining the finger-pointing. Star-Advertiser.

Firefighter retirees and union membership are at odds over endorsement of Ben Cayetano in Honolulu mayoral race. Civil Beat.

Retired Fire Chief Says Since Political Endorsement of Cayetano for Mayor, He's Received Threats, Retaliation; Current Chief Denies Tie. Hawaii Reporter.

Former teamsters leader Mel Kahele filed papers to run for the Honolulu City Council spot currently held by Tom Berg. KHON2.

The Honolulu Museum of Art received a 346-thousand dollar check from the State today for investing in an energy efficient cooling and ventilation system. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii

The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii is under fire from the state auditor's office for poor management and lack of transparency. Civil Beat.

Administrators restricted access to Kona Community Hospital Wednesday morning after receiving a threat. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A Regional Haze Implementation plan for Hawaii will be the focus of discussion during a public hearing on Maui tomorrow (Thursday, May 31, 2012) hosted by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Maui Now.

South Maui residents worried about extra traffic and potential development blurring the boundary between Kihei and Kahului urged Maui County Council members Monday to resist the inclusion of several hundred acres of land in Puunene in the urban growth boundaries of the draft Maui Island Plan. Maui News.

A meeting tonight in Lahaina called by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will help shape the restoration of Moku'ula, a political and spiritual center of Hawaii and home of ancient chiefs. Maui News.

Governor Neil Abercrombie announced the release of $250,000 for the planning and design of a community center on two acres of land in Nahiku on Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Hanalei Watershed Hui is inviting the public to a  June 6 meeting to address what is going on with Hanalei Bay Watershed. In addition, the hui is reminding the public the Hanalei Watershed Management Plan is ready for review and comment. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i beekeepers could sleep in peace, knowing the Garden Isle is the only major Hawaiian island free of the small hive beetle, a serious pest to honeybees. Until last week. Garden Island.

Molokai

A bill was signed into law last week that establishes new regulations for short-term rentals, also known as transient vacation rentals, in Maui County. Molokai Dispatch.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

U.S. Senate candidates face off in Honolulu, campaign in Hilo, mixed economic forecast, Big Island zipline maker at fault, Japan won't dump radioactive waste in Northern Marianna Islands, more Hawaii news for smartphone and web

Ed Case, Mazie Hirono
U.S. Senate candidates squared off today in the first of only five debates between the Democrats. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono on Tuesday said easing visa restrictions for Chinese visitors could fuel tourism in Hawaii, but former U.S. Rep. Ed Case, who also favors the legislation, said the bill's lack of prog­ress in Congress suggests Hirono is not effective. Star-Advertiser.

Ed Case did not wait terribly long to try and score debating points against Mazie Hirono at a candidate forum Tuesday on tourism. Civil Beat.

It was a first for the candidates vying for U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka's seat. Tuesday, they participated in a forum together at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. KHON2.

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Linda Lingle
There aren’t many Republicans in the Democratic stronghold known as Hilo, but almost 200 came out Tuesday for the headquarters grand opening and birthday bash for former Gov. Linda Lingle, the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka. West Hawaii Today.

Former Gov. Linda Lingle mingled among her East Hawaii supporters at the opening of her Hilo headquarters. Tribune-Herald.


The state Council on Revenues on Tuesday kept a 12 percent growth forecast for the fiscal year that ends June 30, but lowered the revenue projection for next fiscal year, which will prompt the Abercrombie administration to scale back state spending. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Council on Revenues on Tuesday kept its revenue growth projection for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, at 12 percent. Pacific Business News.

The Council on Revenues revised its State General Fund revenue forecast today…with mixed reviews on what to expect in the months and years ahead. Hawaii Public Radio.

A 2011 state law meant to generate as much as $220 million in new tax revenues has fallen far short of target, causing the state Council on Revenues today to forecast a 2.2% drop in next year’s total tax take. Hawaii Reporter.

The Council on Revenues forecasts the state has about $100 million less to work with next year. KHON2.

Japanese investors appear to have abandoned plans to dump millions of tons of debris from last year's tsunami disaster on a pristine island in the Northern Mariana Islands. Civil Beat.

State roundup for May 30. Associated Press.

Oahu

A federal review completed last month found Honolulu has improved its city bus and Handi-Van services since their last federal evaluation three years ago, but there's still work to be done. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Peter Carlisle said Tuesday that his support for the city's rail proj­ect is "unequivocal," drawing a brighter line than former managing director Kirk Caldwell, who has called for a review of the proj­ect's station locations, architecture and visual impact. Star-Advertiser.

Anthony Guerrero Jr., a retired vice chairman of First Hawaiian Bank   and chairman of the board of Oahu Transit Services, has joined the board of Move Oahu Forward, a group of Honolulu business leaders who support the city’s rail transit project. Pacific Business News.

Officials have set their sights on Hawaii's military housing for a new program they hope will cut energy waste and save the government nearly a half-million dollars a year in electricity costs. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Seven candidates for Hawaii County Council on the Big Island are taking advantage of public financing through a three-election-year pilot program in its second year. Civil Beat.

South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford has big plans for the site of a new community college at Palamanui. West Hawaii Today.

Tradewinds Forest Products LLC recently started harvesting eucalyptus trees planted in Hamakua in the late-1990s to send to Asia. West Hawaii Today.

The builder of a zip line course in Paukaa near Hilo, where one worker was killed and a co-worker critically injured when a tower collapsed Sept. 21, failed to ensure ground anchors and a guy cable system could support the weight of a tower, zip lines and human riders, the state said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The state has accused the builder of an East Hawaii zip line platform that collapsed last year, killing a construction worker, of serious violations of workplace safety laws.Tribune-Herald.

Richard Crowe, co-founder of the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s astronomy program and astronomer-in-residence at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, was killed Sunday in a bizarre Jeep accident near Chinle, Ariz. He was 60. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Gov. Neil Abercrombie released $250,000 for the Nahiku Community Center. Maui News.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said "the true test of our patriotism" is taking care of our soldiers in battle and at home. Maui News.

Kauai

The Hanalei Watershed Hui is inviting the public to a  June 6 meeting to address what is going on with Hanalei Bay Watershed. Garden Island.

It couldn’t have started in a worse place, said a volunteer who helped fight a brush fire in a remote area in the Na Pali-Kona Forest Reserve Monday. Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hawaii Supreme Court to get new justice, Democratic Party convention raises neutrality issues, taser suits denied, Oahu wind energy construction begins, meetings to address Kauai forest reserves, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copryright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii Supreme Court (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Sometime in the next few weeks, Gov. Neil Abercrombie is expected to name a second associate justice, this one to replace James Duffy Jr., who retires Thursday. Civil Beat.

The executive board of the teachers union will meet this weekend to determine its next steps after teachers approved a contract proposal that they previously rejected and which the state says is no longer valid. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii professional employer organizations plan to carry their fight against a recently-passed bill that would impose tighter restrictions and higher fees on their industry to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations next week. Pacific Business News.

The Abercrombie administration, in a major policy shift, will award most of the $10 million in federal money the state receives this year to help cover medical costs for the poor at the state's public hospitals. Star-Advertiser.


Daniel Akaka
Delegates to Hawaii Democrats’ state convention Sunday (May 27) gave multiple ovations to U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka, 87, who retires in early 2013 after 36 years in the U.S. Congress. Civil Beat.

A cheerful and gentlemanly U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-HI, gave a classy farewell speech on Sunday as he addressed more than 600 Democrats at their convention for one final time before leaving the U.S. Senate. Hawaii Reporter.

Resolution Asks Top Democrats to Remain Neutral, But U.S. Sen. Inouye Promotes Two Congressional Candidates at Convention. Hawaii Reporter.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye has transferred more than $875,000 since January 2011 to help keep the U.S. Senate under Democratic control. Star-Advertiser.

The theme for the Democratic Party of Hawaii's state convention this year, which concluded Sunday after three days at the Sheraton Waikiki, was "I am a Democrat because ..." Civil Beat.

As U.S. Senate Election Nears, Inouye Mocks Lingle’s 'Bipartisan' Claims. Hawaii Reporter.

Following the many jibes made at their party and candidates during Hawaii Democrats’ convention over the weekend, the Hawaii GOP has issued more press release responses. Civil Beat.

Rising wages may finally become part of Hawai`i’s gradually improving economy. The latest forecast shows increasing incomes for the next two-years. Hawaii Public Radio.

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided that it will not review the appropriateness of stun guns used by police on suspects in cases involving a Maui woman an a woman from Washington state. Associated Press.

Oahu

The contractor building the state's largest wind energy project on Oahu's North Shore has started heavy construction on the facility that will supply the electricity needs of an estimated 14,500 homes. Star-Advertiser.

A group is protesting recent developments at a Kunia farm.KHON2.

At the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, they honored those who've served in our military - past and present, living and dead. As F-22 fighter jets passed overhead with a missing man flyover, attendees reflected on both peace and preparedness. Hawaii News Now.

More than 40,000 residents and visitors packed into Ala Moana Beach Park and Magic Island to experience the annual Lantern Floating Ceremony. KITV4.

Stefanie Jefts said she grew up in Hawaii, but last year was the first time she participated in the Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony at Magic Island. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

A $1 million Waimea project, for which Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Friday he had released funding, won’t be going ahead after all. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo's Memorial Day commemoration featured an address by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who said that “until today” the governor had traditionally spoken on Memorial Day at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe, Oahu. Tribune-Herald.

Help is on the way for some 65 vacant units in Hilo’s Lanakila Homes Public Housing Complex on Kapio`lani Street. KPUA.

On Sunday, a group of about 20 veggy-loving volunteers gathered in downtown Hilo to give new life to land once sacrificed to development. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Meetings will be held Wednesday on Lanai and Thursday on Molokai to provide the opportunity for public input on the development of the 2012 to 2017 State Historic Preservation Plan. Maui News.

Mayor Alan Arakawa defended Maui on Friday as not only a great place for a vacation but also as a place to do serious business. Maui News.

Workers are needed to serve as precinct officials for primary and general elections this year, according to the Maui County Clerk's Office. Maui News.

Retiring principal: Maui High’s ‘great systems’ to continue. Maui News.

Kauai

State officials will be hosting two public informational meetings on the proposed restoration of wetland and associated coastal upland habitat within the Mana Plain Forest Reserve on Kaua‘i’s Westside. The meetings will be held tonight in Puhi and Wednesday evening in Kekaha. Garden Island.

A Hawaiian monk seal captured on Kaua‘i earlier this month after biting a fish hook was released back into the wild last week, according to state officials. A seal captured on O‘ahu around the same time as the Kaua‘i seal wasn’t so lucky, and was euthanized. Garden Island.

Molokai

A coming rate increase for Maui Electric Company (MECO) customers will mean a 3.16 percent increase for ratepayers in Maui County. That means a typical Molokai household using 400 kilowatt hours of electricity per month will pay an extra $5.25 on their monthly bill, for a total of about $193. Molokai Dispatch.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hawaii beaches in top 10, Supreme Court mulls Hawaiian burials, rail, Maui ups property taxes, water rates, Kaneohe Bay Marines leave war behind, Japanese bird crowding out Mauna Kea natives, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Kahanamoku Beach Waikiki (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Three Hawaii beaches made this year's list of top 10 U.S. beaches, but the top spot went to Coronado's 1.5-mile stretch of sand and sea in San Diego. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's Democrats will be holding their state convention over the weekend. Associated Press.

No one living on a Neighbor Island has ever been elected to represent Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District — and it's a safe bet voters will keep this streak going in November. Civil Beat.

The head of Hawaii's beleaguered historic preservation division is under fire for lack of leadership for failing to resolve problems that have led to a threat by the federal government to revoke the agency's certification. Civil Beat.

Attorney General David M. Louie announced today that Wesley Choi, a former employee of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, was sentenced yesterday by Judge Richard K. Perkins in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit to two ten-year terms of imprisonment and two five-year terms of imprisonment for his involvement in a scheme to defraud the State of Hawaii. Hawaii Reporter.

The State’s Broadband Initiative has a goal of delivering ultra high-speed internet service throughout the islands to transform how families, businesses and institutions connect to one another and to the world.  Think Tech and the Hawai’I Venter Capital Association sponsored a panel discussion  today titled, “The Need for Speed.”  Hawaii Public Radio.

Six Hawaii public schools have been recognized in The Washington Post’s "2012 High School Challenge Index," which highlights the nation’s top nine percent of schools for effectively preparing students for college success. KITV4.

The State Insurance Division has approved a rate hike request from HMSA. KHON2.

Oahu

A lawyer for a Native Hawaiian whose ancestors are buried in Kakaako asked the Hawaii Supreme Court on Thursday to order the city to stop work on the $5.27 billion Hono­lulu rail system until it completes an archaeological survey to determine whether the project will disturb Hawaiian remains. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Supreme Court is wrestling with the Honolulu rail system's possible track through Native Hawaiian burials after an hour-long oral argument Thursday morning. Civil Beat.

A powerful ally with more than 300,000 members nationwide and thousands of preservation partners in all 50 states has filed an amicus brief yesterday in support of a federal lawsuit challenging the validity of the city's Environmental Impact Statement for its $5.3 billion elevated steel on steel rail project. Hawaii Reporter.

Pacific Resource Partnership, the membership organization that has conducted "push polls" attacking both Honolulu City Council Member Tom Berg and former Gov. Ben Cayetano, released a poll on Wednesday that shows Cayetano losing ground in the Honolulu mayor's race, leaving him statistically tied with Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle. Hawaii Reporter.

Honolulu mayoral candidates Ben Cayetano and Kirk Caldwell bought a handful of TV commercials this week, according to Civil Beat's review of the public files. Civil Beat.

Mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano says he is consulting with attorneys on whether to sue to stop what he calls a smear campaign by a pro-rail interest group. Star-Advertiser.

Families of Waikele bunker explosion victims file lawsuits. Hawaii News Now.

Eight years of continuous war in Iraq and Afghanistan are over for the 3rd Marine Regiment's 3,000 Marines at Kaneohe Bay. Star-Advertiser.

Kaneohe Bay Marines marked the end of an era with a ceremony to commemorate their sacrifices and achievements. KHON2.

Circuit Judge Karen Ahn heard arguments on the request by city prosecutors to keep confidential the video and defense documents seeking the dismissal of a murder charge against federal special agent Christopher Deedy in the shooting. Star-Advertiser.

Amy Asselbaye, who abruptly stepped down from her prominent position as Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s chief of staff last October, is one of four partners who have opened a new coffeehouse in Hawaii Kai. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Hawaii County schools are set to get $26.2 million to modernize and repair their facilities, part of a $116 million bond issue directed to help rural schools meet federal Race to the Top standards. West Hawaii Today.

An invasive Japanese bird has wiped out tens of thousands of native birds at the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge on Hawaii island, two University of Hawaii researchers have found. Star-Advertiser.

A total of 57 electric vehicles (EVs) are on Big Island roads, according to new data provided this week by the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association.Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A resolution that would increase property taxes across the board and increase the minimum tax by $100 was approved by the Maui County Council on Wednesday morning. Maui News.

The Public Utilities Commission has approved an interim rate increase of 3.2 percent, effective June 1, for Maui Electric Co.'s customers on Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Maui News.

Mayor Alan Arakawa signed a bill Wednesday to establish new regulations for short-term rentals. Maui News.

A new master plan through 2030 will be unveiled tomorrow (Friday, May 25, 2012) for pedestrians and bicyclists in central Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

On Wednesday, the Kaua‘i County Council introduced a bill to ban smoking at county parks, including the multi-use path on Kaua‘i’s Eastside. Garden Island.

Gov. releases $26.8M for education facilities; none for Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

GOP urged to support Native Hawaiian rights, Arizona secretary of state apologizes in Obama birth certificate issue, teachers approve contract but Abercrombie says too late, 2nd lawsuit in prison deaths, Honolulu mayoral debate features rail, mongoose captured on Kauai, more Hawaii news

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Native Hawaiian protest in Honolulu file photo (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, the only Native American in Congress, said Wednesday that Republican opposition to federal recognition for Native Hawaiians is based on misunderstanding and arrogance. Star-Advertiser.

The Pele Defense Fund, a group that led a successful legal fight in the 1990s to win Native Hawaiians access to private land for hunting, is now rallying hunters together for a class action lawsuit against the state to stop its efforts to eradicate game animals and fence off land. Associated Press.

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett has apologized for any embarrassment he caused his state when he revived a widely discredited conspiracy theory about President Barack Obama’s birthplace by requesting verification that the president was born in Hawaii. Associated Press.

Hawaii teachers have approved by a 2-to-1 margin a contract agreement they had previously rejected, even though the governor has said the offer is no longer valid. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii teachers voted two-to-one in favor of the tentative contract agreement they rejected by the same margin in January, according to results released by the union Wednesday afternoon. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association said Wednesday that two-thirds of its members have ratified a January labor agreement the state has said is no longer valid. Pacific Business News.

The family of another Hawaii prison inmate murdered in his Mainland prison cell has sued the state and private prison operator Corrections Corporation of America. Hawaii Reporter.

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, Human Rights Defense Center and a private law firm in San Francisco filed a wrongful death lawsuit in state court Wednesday on behalf of the family of Clifford Makaio Medina against the state of Hawaii and private prison operator Corrections Corp. of America. Star-Advertiser.

The number of tropical cyclones predicted for Hawaii this year is down, but preparations for them are up under new building standards adopted by the state last month. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Restaurant Association is working on a guide designed for people who are interested in opening a restaurant in Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Candidate for Congress Esther Kiaaina filed nomination papers Wednesday morning. KHON2.

State roundup for May 24. Associated Press.

Oahu

The two candidates who support the city's planned rail system saved most of their barbs for each other as the three hopefuls vying to be Honolulu mayor faced off Wednesday night in the first live televised debate of the campaign. Star-Advertiser.

Mayoral Hopefuls Sharpen Attacks in First TV Debate. Civil Beat.

Campaign spending violations are being raised this election season. Some call for a closer look into the past campaign of former Gov. Ben Cayetano. KITV4.

On the eve of the first televised debate in the 2012 mayoral campaign, the Pacific Resource Partnership on Wednesday launched a two-pronged attack against anti-rail candidate Ben Cayetano. Civil Beat.

Three candidates for Honolulu mayor traded jabs during Hawaii News Now's televised debate on Wednesday night. Hawaii News Now.

A new poll shows more people are still against the rail project than are for it. KHON2.

It's common for surfers to jockey for position at the many world famous surf breaks on Oahu's North Shore. But competition is also heating up on land, as lunch wagons flock to the 7-mile stretch of sand and surf. KITV4.

Recently released home and condo statistics for Oahu and statewide provide insight into a dynamic housing market that continues to show movement in a variety of aspects. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii

Will he run, or won’t he? Even Harry Kim doesn’t know. The former two-term mayor said Wednesday he’s undecided over whether he would seek a third term. Tribune-Herald.

Acting Environmental Management Director Dora Beck on Wednesday confirmed that the administration put a stop to hauling Hilo garbage to the West Hawaii landfill after it became public, not because of a predetermined schedule for what she called a “pilot project.” West Hawaii Today.

A state Department of Land and Natural Resources plan would enclose 12,000 acres of Ka‘u forest, allow for the reintroduction of the Hawaiian crow and find ways to add more public access to the area, according to a draft environmental assessment released Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Construction on the Saddle Road extension, which would take the cross-island route from Mamalahoa Highway to Waikoloa Beach Drive, could begin as soon as 2017, according to an environmental impact statement preparation notice released Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The electricity bill for a typical household on Maui will rise by $6.60 a month starting June 1 under an interim rate increase announced Wednesday by Maui Electric Co. Star-Advertiser.

Island Air said Wednesday it will add two flights a day between Honolulu and Kapalua Airport on Maui starting June 15, bringing its total daily flights to 12. Star-Advertiser.

A council committee Tuesday concluded its review of the draft Maui Island Plan's growth boundaries for the Wailuku-Kahului region, one of several regions the committee has to review before the end of the year. Maui News.

Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa deflected criticism of an upcoming conference for federal judges that is to be held at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, saying Tuesday that it is Hawaii's turn to host the gathering for the appeals court circuit that includes the state and that "Hawaii has proven itself as a place to hold serious face-to-face meetings and conferences." Maui News.

An 18-year veteran of the Maui Police Department was arrested Tuesday accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl, according to Maui police. KITV4.

Kauai

A live mongoose, believed to be the first captured on Kaua‘i, was caught in a mongoose trap Wednesday by the Kaua‘i Invasive Species Committee at the Marriott Kaua‘i Lagoons. Garden Island.

The organization fighting invasive species on Kauai said Wednesday a live mongoose has been captured on the island for the first time, raising concern the animals may already be established on the island and could jeopardize endangered species there. Associated Press.

A small but concerned and vocal crowd brought many questions about a proposed landfill to a Hanama‘ulu meeting on Tuesday. Garden Island.

Molokai
Pier cruisers and ferry boarders can expect some changes over the next year as the state Department of Land and Natural Resources improves upon Kaunakakai’s existing ferry facilities. Construction is slated to start next month, and will last about a year. Molokai Dispatch.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Federal court denies reapportionment injunction, Hawaii Democrats work behind the scenes to kill party neutrality resolution, Arizona satisfied with Obama birth certificate, Abercrombie requires union labor on all state projects, Oahu tops in traffic jams, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

U.S. District Court Honolulu
Hawaii elections will proceed as scheduled this year as a federal panel of judges Tuesday refused to intervene and stop the state from moving forward with a reapportionment and redistricting plan approved in March. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's elections can move ahead as planned under political boundaries that exclude nonresident military personnel, a panel of federal judges ruled Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Three federal judges say a constitutional challenge to Hawaii’s redistricting plan isn’t strong enough to go forward and risk jeopardizing the state’s primary and general elections this year. Associated Press.

A three-judge panel, which included U.S. District Judges Michael Seabright and Leslie Kobayashi from Hawaii and U.S. Circuit Judge Margaret McKeown from San Diego, has refused to grant a motion for preliminary injunction that would have forced the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission to redraw its 2012 plan so it included 108,000 non permanent resident military and their dependents and non permanent resident students. Hawaii Reporter.

In a 55 page decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Honolulu has ruled against a group of plaintiffs who had sought to delay Hawaii's upcoming elections over a constitutional challenge. KITV4.

See the reapportionment decision here.

The state of Hawaii has verified President Barack Obama's birth records to Arizona's elections chief after a nearly three-month back and forth that Arizona officials said could have ended without the incumbent's name on its November ballot. Associated Press.

A resolution demanding party neutrality until after the primary elections will be debated at the Democratic Party of Hawaii convention this weekend is causing quite a stir among party members – even in the highest political circles. Hawaii Reporter.

Candidates running as Democrats in Hawaii this year must pay $500 a minute to address party delegates at the annual convention this week. Civil Beat.

A new poll shows Ed Case and Mazie Hirono neck-and-neck in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. KHON2.

The fight to represent the Democratic Party in the upcoming November elections for Hawai‘i’s second U.S. Senate seat is stuck on a technical tie, according to the latest poll results by a private company. Garden Island.

Former U.S. Rep. Ed Case said Tuesday that U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono has not adequately outlined her public-policy positions and is avoiding debates in their Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Republican Rep. Barbara Marumoto, the second most senior member of the state House of Representatives behind Speaker Calvin Say, will not return to the chamber after her term expires this year. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie issued a directive to use project labor agreements for major state projects. KHON2.

Scientists at the University of Hawaii have created a new type of anti-cancer drug that's taken orally. Hawaii News Now.

An environmental group on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service to force a decision on whether it will put a population of rare dolphins living near Hawaii on the endangered species list. Associated Press.

Oahu

Honolulu had the worst traffic congestion among American cities in 2011, with drivers wasting an average of 58 hours stuck in gridlock, according to a study released Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

City attorneys worry that a bill designed to ban commercial activity at two beach parks in Kailua might violate the separation of powers doctrine and be vulnerable to legal challenges. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu mayoral candidate Kirk Caldwell is calling for a "critical last look" at the downtown and Kaka­ako portions of the city rail proj­ect, including possible last-minute design revisions to answer residents' concerns about the elevated rail guideway. Star-Advertiser.

Former acting mayor and longtime rail proponent Kirk Caldwell called reporters to his Nimitz Highway headquarters Tuesday afternoon for what his campaign promised would be a "major statement" on the proposed 20-mile system. Civil Beat.

Eight years of continuous war in Iraq and Afghanistan are over for the 3rd Marine Regiment's 3,000 Marines at Kaneohe Bay, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

Surveillance videos at a Waikiki McDonald's restaurant show a State Department special agent identifying himself as a law enforcement officer before he was attacked by the man he's charged with murdering, the special agent's lawyer said Tuesday in urging a state judge to make public the video and defense court documents. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu city officials have repeatedly fined Kahala's most famous real estate investor for violations at his Kahala Avenue properties. Civil Beat.

State officials on Tuesday granted the developer of a proposed 12,000 home master-planned community in Ewa extra time to file legal documents, pushing back what was supposed to be a major decision on the controversial development's fate. Civil Beat.

Hoku Corp. said Tuesday that it halted construction at its Idaho polysilicon plant last month and laid off 100 employees there as it explores “restructuring alternatives.” Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Drilling at Puna Geothermal Venture is almost done. Tribune-Herald.

Nearly 9,400 acres of pristine Paauilo ranch land is up for sale at an asking price of $16.8 million. Tribune-Herald.

Council Chairman Dominic Yagong is taking up the cause of local game hunters who are feeling increasingly pushed aside as wilderness is fenced off and game animals are shot from the sky. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County’s Mass Transit Agency estimates that its $1 bus fare enacted last July will raise about $500,000 this fiscal year, down slightly from original projections. Tribune-Herald.

Even if the trend of a quiet Central Pacific hurricane season continues in 2012, forecasters are again cautioning residents not to be complacent. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa is set to sign a bill establishing new regulations for short-term rentals. Maui News.

Community groups and a South Maui resident have filed appeals with state and county agencies to put the brakes on two megamall shopping complexes planned in Kihei, mauka of the Piilani Highway-Kaonoulu Street intersection. Maui News.

The state Land Use Commission voted 6-1 Monday to approve a reclassification of a little more than 545 acres in Central Maui to make way for A&B Properties' plans to develop the Wai'ale master-planned community. Maui News.

Maui County Council Member Mike White filed nomination papers Monday for re-election to his Makawao, Haiku and Paia residency seat. Maui News.

Kauai

After reviewing the results of water quality tests on Kalapaki Beach over the last four days, state Department of Health officials have approved a partial reopening of the beach. Garden Island.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. announced Tuesday the appointment of Frederick Kamuela Cobb-Adams, a former executive with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), as the county’s new housing director effective June 1. Garden Island.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Arizona comes looking for Obama birth certificate, Hirono ducks debates, Honolulu parking meters accept credit cards, EPA to cap utility emissions in shadow of Kilauea, wetter weather next winter, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

White House courtesy photo
Obama birth certificate White House courtesy photo
Two men who identified themselves as being from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Phoenix arrived at the state Department of Health on Monday, requesting verification of President Barack Obama's birth certificate, a state spokeswoman said. Star-Advertiser.

The so-called "birther" movement did not die off completely when President Barack Obama placed his "long-form" birth certificate on the White House website in April 2011. Civil Beat.


U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono on Monday declined an offer from Hawaii Pacific University to participate in a forum on Thursday with former congressman Ed Case in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Ed Case has accepted an invitation by Hawaii Pacific University to debate Mazie Hirono this Thursday (May 24), with time and place yet to be determined. Civil Beat.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann has picked up the endorsement of some Maui County executives, past and present. KHON2.

Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard is officially seeking higher office. KHON2.

The deadline for the next round of campaign spending reports could move up a couple of weeks from the existing July 31 due date. Civil Beat.

The National Weather Service says Kauai and Oahu are more likely to recover from drought during the upcoming rainy season from October through April. Associated Press.

Rainfall during Hawaii's wet season was definitely wet for the western part of the state, but most areas of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and the Big Island of Hawaii had below normal rainfall, according to the National Weather Service. Hawaii News Now.

Drought lingered in West Hawaii through another dry winter and is returning this summer to more deeply ravaged, already water-stressed places. These next five months aren’t expected to bring any real reprieve, especially for leeward areas, said Kevin Kodama, senior hydrologist for the National Weather Service. West Hawaii Today.

Oahu

A state judge is scheduled to hear a request today by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and other news organizations to argue for the release of defense documents and surveillance tapes filed by a State Department special agent charged in a fatal shooting at a McDonald's restaurant in Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

New parking meters that accept credit and debit cards along with coins will be installed next month around the Civic Center, part of a pilot project to replace all meters on Oahu with the technology. Star-Advertiser.

No one can put up a tent in City parks on Oahu without a permit, under a law that went into effect last year. But a Honolulu City Council member is pushing for an exemption at Hanauma Bay. KHON2.

The developer of a proposed 12,000-home master-planned community in Ewa has asked state officials to delay Tuesday’s final decision on whether its project can move forward by a month. Civil Beat.

Schuler Homes LLC will ask the Hawaii Land Use Commission    for more time on its Hoopili project case. The LUC is expected to make a decision on Tuesday on the planned 11,750-home subdivision on 1,554 acres of land in Ewa. Pacific Business News.

More than 500 hotel workers at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki are in their second year of working without a contract. Hawaii Public Radio.

Charles Alan Pflueger, head of Pflueger Auto, one of the state’s largest auto dealerships, pleaded guilty on Friday in federal court to tax fraud after he cut a deal with prosecutors. Hawaii Reporter.

The Missile Defense Agency's 280-foot-tall Sea-Based X-Band Radar returned to Ford Island on Monday after being at sea during North Korea's failed April 13 rocket test. Star-Advertiser.

A state work crew on Monday began picking up large and tiny remnants of a floating dock system that washed ashore at Kalaeloa last weekend and turned a leaf blower into a vacuum cleaner to collect the smallest bits of Styrofoam from endangered plants and tide pools. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources mobilized quickly Monday to remove large amounts of Styrofoam that washed ashore on Feedlot Beach at Campbell Industrial Park about a week ago. KITV4.

Hawaii has known of Genshiro Kawamoto for nearly a quarter century now, but still little is known about the famously reclusive real estate mogul. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposes to cap emissions at three Hawaii Island electrical plants to improve visibility at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, even as Kilauea continues to be the largest contributor to haze on the island. West Hawaii Today.

A renewable energy company that plans to burn locally grown eucalyptus trees to generate 10 percent of th Big Island's electricity needs signed an agreement Monday to sell the power to Hawaii Electric Light Co. Star-Advertiser.

Hu Honua Bioenergy took another big step toward the start of operations with the announcement Monday that it has signed a power purchase agreement with Hawaii Electric Light Co. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island and State briefs. Associated Press.

Maui

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals plans to return to Maui for its annual conference in August, but unlike its 2010 meeting this one is raising eyebrows on the heels of the General Services Administration scandal over a lavish 2010 conference in Las Vegas. Star-Advertiser.

An upcoming conference on Maui involving federal judges from throughout the western U.S. and its island territories has two Republican senators trying to disrobe the event as being too lavish for taxpayers. Civil Beat.

On average, Maui residents can expect to pay about 4 percent more for water under a proposed rate increase for the county Department of Water Supply, department Director Dave Taylor said Friday. Maui News.

Mokulele Airlines is expanding its interisland operations by returning service between Honolulu and Kapalua Airport in West Maui for the first time in three years. Star-Advertiser.

A $26 million project to widen Piilani Highway from two to four lanes between Kilohana and Wailea Iki drives is moving ahead as a collaboration between the state Department of Transportation and developers of the Makena Resort and Honua'ula projects in South Maui. Maui News.

Kauai and Maui will receive $400,000 to create 20 temporary positions dedicated to the cleanup and repair of public structures, homes and land damaged by the heavy rains that inundated Hawaii in March, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Senator Daniel K. Akaka, U.S. Representative Mazie K. Hirono and U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa announced today. Hawaii Reporter.

Kauai
Agriculture is alive and well on the Garden Isle. Pacific Business News.

Officials announced on Monday that Kaua‘i and Maui will get a combined $400,000 to clean up damage from heavy storms that hit Hawai‘i in March. Garden Island.

United States Coast Guard Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate Buddy Gilbert never realized how fast four years would pass. Garden Island.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hawaii historic preservation agency may have misspent state funds, federal panel could decide reapportionment injunction today, Kapiolani Community College instructors miss paychecks, Hana Highway to be fixed soon, elections Commission to consider Big Island complaints, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
King Kamehameha statue, Hilo (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii's historic preservation agency was given more than $600,000 by the Legislature in the past year to beef up staff in order to avoid losing its federal certification. But the State Historic Preservation Division didn't spend any of that money on new hires. Instead it bought iPads and new cars and extended the contract of a private company. Civil Beat.

A three-judge federal panel could decide as early as Monday as to whether to grant an injunction stopping new legislative maps in the upcomng election. Even if they don’t, the case will still move to trial after the 2012 election, potentially impacting elections in 2014. Hawaii Reporter.

Deputy Attorney General Brian Aburano predicts chaos if a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court throws out redistricting maps for Hawaii's House and Senate precincts. KITV4.

A new state program to begin this fall will offer people an alternative route to public school leadership, allowing those who have strong management skills but perhaps no classroom experience to serve three-year "residencies" as vice principals before becoming eligible to apply to be principals. Star-Advertiser.

After the Democratic Party of Hawaii "postponed" the first and long-awaited U.S. Senate candidate primary debate between Congressman Ed Case, D-HI (2002-2007) and Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, D-HI, this Friday, Case said told Hirono he still wants to debate on Thursday as scheduled. Hawaii Reporter.

Three well-known leaders remain mum on the issue of same-sex marriage: U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, a Democrat, and Republicans Linda Lingle and Charles Djou. Civil Beat.

Elvis may have left the building 40 years ago, but he will be remembered in January at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center where he originally performed the first concert ever broadcast globally via satellite to an audience estimated at 1.5 billion. Star-Advertiser.

Research shows a drastic drop in the numbers of reef sharks around populated islands -- including Hawaii. KITV4.

Oahu
Some instructors who teach noncredit courses at Kapiolani Community College say they have not been paid in several months and are owed as much as $4,000 each, but have hesitated to speak out because as "casual hires" they have no job security. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Department of Energy is providing $500,000 to a project testing wave energy in Oahu's Kaneohe Bay. Hawaii News Now.

It may be one of the most coveted ZIP codes in Hawaii, but many of the houses there are abandoned. The man who owns them is rarely seen in the neighborhood. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser said Friday that it will begin printing a Hawaii edition of USA Today next week that will condense the newspaper’s usual four sections into two and include two pages of local news. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii
Hawaii County is planning its first evacuation drill for a disaster at Puna’s nearly two-decades old geothermal power plant. Tribune-Herald.

The state Elections Commission will hear concerns about Hawaii County’s Elections Office at its May 30 meeting, according to one of its commissioners. West Hawaii Today.

West Hawaii’s pristine coastal waters are home to an estimated 200 manta rays threatened more by entanglement in fishing line and gear than hunting thanks in part to a 2009 state law, said Keller Laros, a local diver and Manta Pacific Research Foundation co-founder. West Hawaii Today.

A challenge has faced Hawaii Volcanoes National Park ever since it acquired the 115,653-acre Kahuku unit in 2003. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

East Maui residents are pleased that finally next month more than $10 million in repair work will begin along portions of Hana Highway and its surrounding areas that suffered damage from soil erosion and landslides from severe stormy weather in March. Maui News.

Maui’s Energy Future Comes Into Focus. Maui Now.

Kauai

The fate of the Hanama‘ulu branch Post Office was to be decided by May 15, but no decision has been issued yet. Garden Island.

A new flight school is now operating at the Lihu‘e Airport. Garden Island.

Molokai

Molokai’s Kanemitsu Bakery is appealing $90,000 in fines from the Department of Health. Hawaii Public Radio.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hawaii tourism, jobs, construction picking up, Honolulu rail project clears hurdles, teachers union Labor Board hearings end, pay raises in Honolulu council, bonuses in Maui's, Big Island ag report shows cash crops rule, sewer spill closes Kalapaki Beach, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Honolulu hula (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii residents will see their incomes grow slightly in 2012 and pick up more in following years as hiring and business profits improve, according to a University of Hawaii forecast released Friday. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent in April from 6.4 percent in March, reaching its lowest level in more than three years, the state reported Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

The long-running construction industry slump on the neighbor islands is finally reaching bottom, setting the stage for expansion over the next several years, according to a report released today by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii hotel rates rose nearly 8 percent last week on higher occupancy, according to a report by Hospitality Advisors LLC and Smith Travel Research. Pacific Business News.

The U.S. Chamber plans to spend at least $500,000 this year in support of Linda Lingle's bid for the U.S. Senate. Civil Beat.

Mainland PACs made the biggest splash this week with local political ad buys, spending more than $152,000 on Hawaii TV networks, according to Civil Beat's latest sweep of public files. Civil Beat.

After 10 months of hearings, the Hawaii teachers union wrapped up a prohibited-practice case Thursday before the Hawaii Labor Relations Board, where it argued that the state's decision to impose a contract in July violated members' rights. Star-Advertiser.

The 10-month-old case over whether Gov. Neil Abercrombie was wrong in imposing a new contract on teachers is finally coming to a head, clearing the way for negotiations to resume. Civil Beat.

A state program that provided Hawaii motorists with $4,500 toward the purchase of plug-in electric vehicles has ended earlier than expected because high consumer demand depleted the fund. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

A federal judge has dismissed a number of claims from a lawsuit that alleges the $5.27 billion Hono­ulu rail proj­ect would have a harmful effect on recreational and historic sites. Star-Advertiser.

The city has won federal approval to produce the first sections of elevated guideway for the 20-mile Honolulu rail system. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu officials celebrated a federal court ruling on the rail project Thursday that reduced the number of disputed recreational and historic site claims. Civil Beat.

A U.S. District Court of Hawaii judge has ruled that Oahu’s rail-transit project will impact fewer than 10 recreational and historic sites, not the more than 40 locations cited by plaintiffs in a lawsuit. Pacific Business News.

Ninth Circuit Court Senior Judge A. Wallace Tashima, who is overseeing a federal lawsuit filed by seven plaintiffs against the City & County of Honolulu and the FTA challenging the validity of the Environmental Impact Statement for the city's $5.3 billion elevated steel on steel rail system, ruled in favor of the defendants today on one motion. Hawaii Reporter.

Proposed pay raises for Honolulu elected officials are “unaffordable” and should be rejected by the City Council, according to a resolution introduced by Council chairman Ernie Martin. Hawaii Reporter.

Tom Apple, provost of the University of Delaware, was unanimously selected as the next chancellor of the University of Hawaii's flagship Manoa campus Thursday after two UH regents said their initial dissenting views were changed during private discussions among the regents. Star-Advertiser.

Milestones are being marked by Hawaii's private-school community as something of an end of an era for two campuses that built their brands on single-gender education. Star-Advertiser.

The federal agent charged in a fatal shooting at a Waikiki McDonald's restaurant claims he was performing his duties as a law enforcement officer and is immune from prosecution. Associated Press.

The City and County of Honolulu has a new solar energy system paid for 3 years ago with federal America Reinvestment and Recovery Act --- or ARRA funding. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu prosecutors are asking a state judge to keep sealed a request to dismiss a murder charge against a State Department special agent and its supporting exhibits, which include surveillance videotapes of the fatal shooting at a McDonald's Waikiki restaurant last year. Star-Advertiser.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating a series of violent and disturbing death threats against Duane ‘Dog' Chapman and his family, according to sources close to the Chapman family. Hawaii News Now.

It's been decades in the making. But in just a few months, the University of Hawaii West Oahu's new campus will open in Kapolei. KHON2.

Hawaii

Big Island farmers have more than 42,700 acres of land in crop production, but only a small portion of that product enters the local food supply. Tribune-Herald.

West Hawaii’s four main agricultural areas constitute 37.2 percent of the 42,700 acres in crop production on the entire island, but the majority of the crops grown here do not contribute to the island’s food supply. West Hawaii Today.

If another State Historic Preservation Plan is created, the State Historic Preservation Division needs to take action on its contents — not shelve it, Big Island residents voiced Thursday in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

As friends, family and loved ones seek to heap praise — and lei — on high school graduates this weekend, they are likely to feel their pocketbooks getting a little lighter than usual. Tribune-Herald.

West Hawaii Today was honored recently at the 27th annual Hawaii Publishers Association’s Pa‘i Awards in Honolulu. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Five Maui County Council members have continued a practice of giving pay bonuses to office staff members, according to records released for the first three quarters of this fiscal year. Maui News.

Maui County and state officials are working together to help start the first community center for the people of Nahiku. Maui Now.

Maui County paramedics will hold open houses at their stations during Emergency Medical Services week from Sunday to May 26. Maui News.

Kauai

County officials closed Kalapaki Beach Thursday morning after a substantial sewage spill Wednesday evening at the Lihu‘e Wastewater Treatment Plant on Ninini Point Street above Kaua‘i Lagoons Golf Course. Garden Island.

Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs were on Kaua‘i Wednesday and Thursday to hear from the community, in two forums that were dominated by interest in poi mills and taro farms. Garden Island.

Who in their right mind would envision a garden with at least 50 different kinds of vegetables and fruit trees facing Kaua‘i’s windward coast? Garden Island.

Molokai

New leadership at Molokai Ranch hopes to get a fresh start with the community as they bring sustainability to the forefront and develop and share their ideas for the island. Molokai Dispatch.