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Friday, September 28, 2012

Cayetano unveils 'FAST' rail alternative, Hawaii Supreme Court won't reconsider rail ruling, Inouye asks Lingle to take down video, Lanai group won't learn Ellison's price, UH awash in PR, Big Island archeological study delays park, Navy cruiser gets reprieve, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Ben Cayetano
Cayetano's FAST rail alternative
Former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano is proposing a $1.1 billion plan to add express buses and contraflow lanes as an alternate solution to a $5 billion rail line to ease traffic on Oahu.Associated Press.

Honolulu mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano unveiled a transportation plan Thursday that features new Bus Rapid Transit routes, high-tech traffic signal systems to instantly respond to traffic snarls and plans for two-lane underpasses to ease the flow of traffic on Kapiolani Boulevard and other thoroughfares. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano presented his alternative–to-rail transportation plan today, saying the mix of expanded bus service, a two-mile extension of the airport highway viaduct, traffic underpasses beneath congested intersections and other features will cost $4.1 billion less than the planned elevated rail line. Hawaii Reporter.

Honolulu mayoral candidate and former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano on Thursday formally unveiled his mass-transit plan, which he touted as being a cheaper, better and more flexible alternative than the city’s $5.16 billion rail project. Pacific Business News.

Instead of being a candidate running against something, Ben Cayetano is now a candidate running for something. Civil Beat.

After waiting months to reveal deeper details about his traffic plans Honolulu mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano announced his bus rapid transit plan today.  But his opponent says it's too little too late. Hawaii News Now.

It's called FAST, for Flexible Affordable Smart Transportation, and mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano said Thursday it will be one-fifth the cost of rail. KITV4.

The mayor and city council chairman say mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano's bus rapid transit plan would not get federal backing for the current round of funding the rail authority has applied for. KHON2.

Cayetano's FAST website. click here.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle and City Council chairman Ernie Martin reacted quickly and negatively to Ben Cayetano's plan for a new Honolulu transportation plan. Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawaii Supreme Court on Thursday denied a request by the city to reconsider the court's unanimous Aug. 24 ruling that stopped construction of the $5.26 billion rail project. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Supreme Court on Thursday denied a City and County of Honolulu motion for the high court to reconsider its ruling on the city’s controversial $5.16 billion rail project. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii's peak summer tourist season is coming to a close, but visitor traffic is holding its own into fall. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye on Thursday asked Republican Senate candidate Linda Lingle to pull down a web video touting a relationship between the two, and said the video has given him the incentive to actively campaign for Lingle's opponent, Democrat Mazie Hirono. Civil Beat.

A national grant that provides training, test prep and incentives helped four Hawaii high schools make big gains in the number of students taking — and passing — Advanced Placement exams in 2012, officials announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii has hired two public relations firms with contracts worth $150,000  to supplement the work of 13 PR people already on the UH system payroll.  More than 30 other UH public relations staffers work on other UH campuses and at different UH schools statewide. Hawaii News Now.

The Navy said the Pearl Harbor cruiser USS Port Royal and three others based elsewhere that had been slated for early retirement in March will be kept on duty for an undetermined length of time. Star-Advertiser.
 
Oahu

The company hoping to sell alcohol at the Honolulu Zoo has two more weeks to come up with a better plan. KHON2.

A new device that could rid Kaneohe Bay of invasive algae by 2015 was shown off Thursday by the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

The latest attack ad from the Pacific Resource Partnership that features footage of Honolulu mayoral candidate Kirk Caldwell raises questions about whether either of the two parties violated Hawaii's campaign spending laws. Civil Beat.

How much can the Pacific Resource Partnership spend on ad time in a single week? Here's a hint: it's a hefty fraction of the $1.3 million the pro-rail trade group spent airing TV ads before the primary.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Hawaii County is about to embark on an archaeological survey of its 784-acre Kawa Bay property, a process likely to add months to plans for an oceanfront park there and push any eviction of several Native Hawaiians laying claim to the property into the new year. West Hawaii Today.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie releases funds to bring more doctors to Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

The Public Utilities Commission’s public hearing on Hawaii Electric Light Co.’s rate increase and biofuel surcharge proposals is a month away, and all sides are digging in for what could be an explosive meeting. Tribune-Herald.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources will vote Friday  on a management plan for the Ka`u Forest Reserve. Big Island Now.

Maui
Federal and state authorities are trying to locate, track and hopefully sink at sea a floating dock that could be tsunami debris from Japan, a state Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman said today. Maui News.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is coordinating with NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard to identify the current location of a 30 by 50-foot floating dock that was last seen on Wednesday, Sept. 19, by fishermen off the north coast of Molokai. Hawaii News Now.

Plans are under way to renovate the Lahaina Center on Front Street into Maui's first outlet shopping center by next summer. Maui News.

Maui's tourism industry ended a strong summer with both increased visitor arrivals and spending in August, according to new data released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Maui News.

Kauai

The annual Legislative Forum hosted by the state Council on Developmental Disabilities wrapped up an unusual week that had four political events crammed into four days. Garden Island.

A federal lawsuit claims teenage employees working at a Panda Express in Kapa‘a were groped and demeaned. Garden Island.

Taxpayers’ money that has already been approved to be spent on private attorneys’ fees on matters related to POHAKU (Productive Optimism Helps All Kaua‘i) diversionary program keeps snowballing: It is now at $35,000. Garden Island.

Lanai

Lanaians for Sensible Growth, which was given approval by Hawaii regulators to intervene in the case of the transfer of utilities to Lanai owner Larry Ellison, have been denied access to confidential documents, including the price of the sale. Pacific Business News.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Most Hawaii families are the mom and pop type, state mulls federal waiver for welfare-to-work, unions can force employees to campaign, Kauai drought brings disaster declaration, Molokai man's DNA lawsuit explored, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii mom (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Almost three quarters of all families in Hawaii are literally "mom and pop" operations, according to a new analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Pacific Business News.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s administration is considering whether to accept a waiver that would allow states to develop their own welfare-to-work programs under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program with a decision expected by the Department of Human Services as soon as November. KITV4.

Unions and corporations are prohibited by federal law from coercing employees to make financial contributions to candidates, but UPW's attorneys argued — and the three Republican appointees to the FEC agree — that employees can be required to participate in activities such as sign-waving, telephone banking and canvassing for candidates as they did in 2010 for congressional candidate Colleen Hanabusa. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu Democrats will meet Saturday to act on a complaint against state Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz that could lead to his censure. Civil Beat.

Hawaii has no official plan for dealing with Japanese tsunami debris that has begun showing up in offshore waters, no task force to help coordinate federal, state and city response efforts and virtually no funding to deal with the issue. Civil Beat.

The Federal Aviation Administration has put up money to help search for the best site in Hawaii for a commercial spaceport, and to study the environmental impacts of launching and landing commercial spacecraft from Hawaii airports. Star-Advertiser.

A team from the University of Hawaii's accrediting agency that visited earlier this month supports a plan to form a working group to review "delegations of authority" in the wake of a botched benefit concert, and wants to be apprised of any report or legislation resulting from the concert fallout, according to a draft synopsis of the team's conclusions. Star-Advertiser.

The aftermath of the Stevie Wonder blunder has caught the attention of the agency that accredits the University of Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Epic Talent LLC - the company that took a $200,000 deposit on the promise of staging a Stevie Wonder concert at the University of Hawaii in August but had no authority to do so -bills itself as “reliable consulting source for accessing big name entertainment for public concerts, corporate events and fundraisers around the world” amd promises to look out for their “clients’ best interests.” Hawaii Reporter.

With less than a week before the 11th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention opens on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at the Hawaii Convention Center, registration has hit 600 participants during the three-day event. Hawaii Reporter.

Today the Army is shutting down regular operations to focus everyone’s attention on a “silent enemy”. The stand down day will train soldiers of all ranks in preventing suicide,  the Army’s fastest growing threat, and military leaders are asking for everyone’s help. Hawaii Public Radio.

Former state lawmaker Kenneth Koon Leong Lee 'compassionate,' 'tough'. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for September 27. Associated Press.

Oahu

Mayoral candidates Kirk Caldwell and Ben Cayetano will meet in a live, televised setting on two consecutive nights next week, the only chances the public will have to see the two candidates face off against each other on television before the Nov. 6 general election. Star-Advertiser.

The pro-rail group that spent more than a million dollars this election season has launched its first ad since the primary election. KHON2.

Roads, sewers and homelessness. That's what's on the minds of leading contenders for Tulsi Gabbard’s vacant Honolulu City Council seat. Civil Beat.

Green thumb or not, Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto has been busy recently working to transform another one of his Kahala Avenue home lots into a public garden — this one a Japanese tea garden. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Hawaii County is adjusting its game plan for the Nov. 6 general election in order to avoid the problems that plagued the primary. Tribune-Herald.

The state Department of Transportation won’t be starting construction on Queen Kaahumanu Highway this month, and just when construction will begin is unclear. West Hawaii Today.

When it comes to politics, Russell Ruderman and Daryl Smith might as well be from different worlds. Tribune-Herald.

State House District 3: Race features community activist, former teacher and man of ideas. Tribune-Herald.

A worldwide shrimp breeder is moving its headquarters from Florida to the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority and expanding its Hawaii operations. Tribune-Herald.

A 12-year-old dolphin at Hilton Waikoloa Village gave birth to a female calf that seemed to instantly recognize her mother. Associated Press.

Maui

The Maui Planning Commission unanimously approved Tuesday a permit for the University of Hawaii Maui College to expand its ongoing investments in renewable, photovoltaic energy. Maui News.

An environmental group wants to put an end to cane burning on Maui. StopCaneBurning.org says smoke from operations at HC&S, Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar company, is making residents sick and could potentially cause life-threatening illness. On Wednesday, the two sides met to discuss concerns at the HC&S office in Puunene. Hawaii News Now.

Officials at Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company responded today to a cane burning petition presented by members of an opposition group on Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i County Council candidates have already gone through a series of public meetings during this year’s election season, but Tuesday night was the first time they participated in a debate leading to Nov. 6 General Elections. Garden Island.

The U.S. Agriculture Department has designated Kaua‘i County as a natural disaster area due to a “severe” drought, which has lasted for more than eight straight weeks during the growing season. Garden Island.

Federal officials said Wednesday that based on wind and currents, the floating dock suspected of being 2011 tsunami debris from Japan could be headed toward Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

A list of recommended rules that would regulate commercial boating and commercial surf activities at Hanalei Black Pot Beach Park were presented to the mayor on Wednesday. Garden Island.

Molokai

A Molokai man has filed a lawsuit seeking to use DNA to prove his ancestry so he can qualify for the Hawaiian homelands program. Star-Advertiser.

A Molokai man has filed a lawsuit seeking to use DNA to prove his ancestry so he can qualify for the Hawaiian homelands program, which leases land at almost no cost to Native Hawaiians. Associated Press.

Kukui nuts have long been used by Hawaiians for food and medicinal purposes, but it may soon be also used for fuel –specifically, biodiesel fuel. Wayde Lee, who created the Molokai Sustainable Farming Project (MSFP) last year, has been exploring biodiesel initiatives that he said may lead to economic stability and energy security for Molokai farmers. Molokai Dispatch.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Public fights sealing Hawaii court records, Hanabusa-Djou debate for 1st Congressional, man seeks DNA confirmation of Native Hawaiian blood, Oracle sailing team not training off Lanai after all, Kauai councilman-prosecutor fight intensifies, Hawaii County Council battles its attorneys, UH backlash continues, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii Supreme Court building (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
A proposal to seal court records that have been expunged is getting a lot of push back, with the majority of people who submitted formal comments saying the records shouldn't be kept secret. Civil Beat.

In their first debate before a large audience this election, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa repeatedly questioned challenger Charles Djou's voting record when he briefly represented Hawaii in Washington, D.C. Civil Beat.

Hanabusa
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said Tuesday that her top priority would be job creation to help with the nation’s economic recovery if she is re-elected to Congress in November, while former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, her Republican opponent, said he would focus on the federal government’s $16 trillion debt. Star-Advertiser.


Djou
Former Congressman Charles Djou, running for his old job as the U.S. representative for urban Honolulu, has made being a dad part of his pitch to voters. Civil Beat.

On Tuesday, September 25th, Hawaii Public Radio hosted a candidate forum for the First Congressional District in HPR’s Atherton. Incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa faced challenger and former Congressman Charles Djou. Hawaii Public Radio.

Candidates for Hawaii's first congressional district squared off in a debate on Tuesday.KHON2.

A man who says he’s at least half Native Hawaiian but doesn't have the records to prove it is suing the state for not accepting DNA test results as evidence of his ancestry. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines, state's largest carrier, which collected $32.6 million in baggage fees through midyear, is well on its way to eclipsing the record $56.6 million it collected in 2011. Star-Advertiser.

Southwest Airlines may be a step closer to flying from the Mainland to Hawaii, but the airline says it is not ready to publicly discuss a timeline as to when that might happen. Pacific Business News.

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is partnering with Hawaii’s state Department of Education to give Isle students in public and private schools, as well as home-schooled students, the opportunity to create a design that will decorate one of the airline’s Boeing 737-800 airplanes. Pacific Business News.

A research team has returned from research in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands with new information on opihi reproduction. Associated Press.

Researchers say preliminary evidence reveals that female ‘opihi or limpets live higher on the rocky shore than their male counterparts. Maui Now.

A state Senate committee plans to press the University of Hawaii about its contract and tenure procedures, as the scale of its Stevie Wonder concert inquiry expands. The committee chair says loose ends revealed in the first hearing need more investigation, including something known as instant tenure. KHON2.

A marathon Senate panel meeting Monday on a botched benefit concert revealed a dysfunctional UH leadership team, embarrassed the university and raised serious governance and operational concerns, onlookers said. Star-Advertiser.

Senate hearings on the University of Hawaii's Stevie Wonder debacle are finally letting the public in on key information that UH leaders wrongfully sought to keep to themselves. Star-Advertiser.


The former chair of the University of Hawaii Manoa Faculty Senate said the performances of UH President MRC Greenwood and Board of Regents Chair Eric Martinson before a special State Senate committee Monday were "terrible" and did not restore confidence in the university. Hawaii News Now.

State roundup for September 26. Associated Press.

Oahu

Hawaiian Electric Co. has completed the second and final phase of a project to upgrade transmission equipment in urban and East Honolulu that includes "smart controllers" that will allow the utility to more quickly detect outages and restore power to customers. Star-Advertiser.

Off the Beat: Deception at Honolulu Hale. Civil Beat.

The city's Department of Planning and Permitting will hold separate community workshops to present the Downtown and Kalihi neighborhood transit-oriented development draft plans. KITV4.

Hawaii

Council Chairman Dominic Yagong and the civil attorneys whose job it is to represent the county continued sparring over representation Tuesday, when Yagong abruptly canceled an executive session scheduled to discuss defending the county against a high-stakes lawsuit. West Hawaii Today.

The primary contest for County Council District 1 saw five candidates face off in the Aug. 11 primary, with just 93 votes separating the two finalists, Valerie Poindexter and Chelsea Yagong. Tribune-Herald.

More than 4,500 Hawaii County voters have either changed their addresses or registered anew since the August 11 primary registration deadline, but it's not clear when they will receive confirmation of their voter status. Hawaii Public Radio.

Repairs to Milolii landing are completed and a prefinal inspection is scheduled for Thursday morning, said Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman Deborah Ward. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Developers of the planned Honua'ula luxury golf community in Wailea say they're still committed to building the required affordable housing units tied to the project despite telling the state Land Use Commission there are no immediate plans to start construction in the near future. Maui News.

The Maui County prosecutor's office is declining prosecution of nine people who were arrested on suspicion of gambling offenses when police vice officers executed search warrants at a Wailuku residence last month. Maui News.

Kauai

Citing distorted news releases and alleged lies from a defense attorney’s press release, the Kaua‘i Office of the Prosecuting Attorney has made recordings related to a civil lawsuit available to the public. Garden Island.

The nine candidates running for one of the seven seats at the Kaua‘i County Council went through a battery of quick-fire questions Monday evening at the Historic Waimea Theater. The forum attended by approximately 60 people and hosted by the West Kaua‘i Business Association was the first of four events scheduled in four days this week. Garden Island.

Lanai

Oracle Corp.’s sailing team is canceling plans to train in Hawaii this winter for next year’s America’s Cup race in San Francisco, the team’s general manager said Tuesday. Associated Press.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

UH takes hot seat for Stevie Wonder blunder, Oracle racing coming to Lanai, Honolulu mayoral candidates debate, Hawaii SAT scores lag historically low national numbers, Hawaii County elections lawsuit can't find a judge, union settlement at Turtle Bay, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii state Capitol (c) 2012 all Hawaii News


University of Hawaii officials were grilled for more than six hours Monday in a hearing that sought answers on a Stevie Wonder fundraising concert that never was. Civil Beat.

Amid tough questions Monday night from state senators, Board of Regents Chairman Eric Martinson pledged greater transparency in tackling the fallout from the botched Stevie Wonder concert and said the body would play a role in making sure a similar debacle doesn't happen again. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood was grilled by more than two hours by a special State Senate committee Monday looking into the botched Stevie Wonder concert and its aftermath. Hawaii News Now.
University of Hawaii
UH President MRC Greenwood
University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood said she felt political pressure to let then-athletic director Jim Donovan keep his job, but instead the school offered him a position that he had neither asked for, nor wanted, at an annual salary of $211,000 for three years. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii's Stevie Wonder concert fiasco was the product of a systematic breakdown and not the fault of a single university official, internal UH documents show. Hawaii News Now.

Presidents of public universities with top-tier intercollegiate football programs must walk a  “very difficult and treacherous pathway,” University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood said as she walked that pathway at a state Senate investigative committee hearing yesterday. Hawaii Reporter.

Senators finally called it a night at seven o'clock this evening, after listening to six hours of testimony regarding the Stevie Wonder concert scam, and the re-assignment of former UH Athletics Director Jim Donovan. KHON2.

Hawaii's SAT scores continue to lag behind the national average. Star-Advertiser.

David “Kawika” Crowley has a lot to say about Tulsi Gabbard, his opponent in Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional race, but it appears he won’t have a chance to say it to her face. Tribune-Herald.

State roundup for September 25. Associated Press.

Oahu
For part of a mayoral forum Monday, candidates Kirk Caldwell and Ben Caye­tano veered away from discussing the city's $5.26 billion rail project and talked about issues on the minds of the largely elderly audience. Star-Advertiser.

During a Monday forum sponsored by the Kokua Council, both candidates for Honolulu mayor said they would support the direct funding of senior services by the city. KITV4.

Honolulu Mayoral Candidates Kirk Caldwell and Ben Cayetano squared off in their first meeting since advancing from the primary election. KHON2.

When it comes to the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium, neither of Honolulu’s two mayoral candidates fully support the state’s plan to replace the dilapidated structure with a volleyball arena or concert venue. Civil Beat.

The Kaimana Beach Coalition released more emails this weekend that raises questions about the influence of a group that it is at odds with. KITV4.

The 16 candidates running to fill Tulsi Gabbard’s vacant Honolulu City Council seat range from an English professor to a Department of Transportation office assistant. Civil Beat.

The city of Honolulu will unveil draft proposals for transit-oriented development along the planned rail line in Kalihi and downtown Hono­lulu in public workshops today and Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

A tentative settlement was reached Monday night on a new contract covering workers at Turtle Bay Resort. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu’s new online system for residential solar power system building permits started off with more than 300 permits issued during the first day alone. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu is one of the largest U.S. cities not to put fluoride in its water supply, but it's been nearly a decade since the issue was last up for public debate. Civil Beat.

Robertson Properties Group’s final environmental impact statement for its proposed mixed-use project for the site of the former Kamehameha Drive-in across from Pearlridge Center in Aiea has been accepted by Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting. Pacific Business News.

The Navy's Blue Angels said aloha to Kaneohe in typical fashion Monday — with six jets flying wingtip to wingtip in a diamond pattern and trailing smoke as they screamed by in a low flyover just before 2:30 p.m. Star-Advertiser.

The National Weather Service posted a high-surf advisory throughout the day as waves with faces taller than 20 feet pounded the North Shore. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii


It’s been little more than two weeks since two fired elections workers filed suit against County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi and Council Chairman Dominic Yagong. But it’s already clear no Hilo judge is going to hear the lawsuits. West Hawaii Today.

County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi said Monday that she has replaced Arlene Boteilho, made acting elections program administrator after the firing of Pat Nakamoto in January, with Elizabeth Lehua Iopa. Tribune-Herald.

South Kona’s recent spate of burglaries provided ample fodder for debate and marked a bright line between philosophies when the two candidates for prosecuting attorney faced off Friday at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. West Hawaii Today.

Previous scientific studies of Hawaii Island’s fresh water resources have shown some of what scientists thought they knew about water here was wrong. West Hawaii Today.

A North Hawaii bridge and intersection will get a makeover, under a Department of Transportation proposal that got the environmental go-ahead this week. West Hawaii Today.

Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School faculty, staff, parents and community members elected the school’s first governing board on Sept. 6. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Halting the controversial Kihei shopping centers that have come under scrutiny by the state Land Use Commission could also jeopardize 250 affordable housing units promised to Maui County five years ago. Maui News.

The Mahinahina Water Treatment facility in West Maui was up and running as of early Sunday morning after crews repaired a broken waterline sooner than expected. Maui News.

Kauai
Hundreds of fans are expected to turn out Saturday for "Kauai Remembers Blue Hawaii," a commemorative event sponsored by the Kauai Visitors Bureau and the County of Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Commercial parking lots across from Tunnels Beach are no longer in operation after the state found three land owners to be in violation of land use within the conservation district. Garden Island.

Following the buzz over the statewide Public Land Development Corporation’s series of heated meetings last month, the Kaua‘i County Council will discuss Wednesday a resolution introduced by its rookie council member, echoing what the public present at those meetings has overwhelmingly asked Gov. Neil Abercrombie throughout the state: Repeal Act 55. Garden Island.

Lanai

ORACLE Racing is proposing the use of Kaumalapau Harbor on the island of Lāna‘i as a temporary base of operations for sea trials, training, and related research to support  the development of a high-performance boat for competitive sailing events. Maui Now.

Monday, September 24, 2012

New tool to detect tsunami debris radiation, no gambling to fix Hawaii budget, state Senate to begin UH probe today, Waikiki Natatorium in Abercrombie's sights, Hamakua fights GMO, 6k Maui residents oppose sugarcane burning, Lingle stumps in Kona, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources
Dead Hawaiian boobies trapped in tsunami debris Hawaii DLNR courtesy photo
A new hand-held radiation detector demonstrated Sunday will help the city of Honolulu respond to any flotsam contaminated by the leak at the Japanese nuclear plant in the wake of last year's earthquake and tsunami. Star-Advertiser.

The Smiths Detection RadSeeker, an advanced radiation detector, arrived  Friday at the Honolulu Emergency Services Department, just days after debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan was found near our shores. KITV4.

DLNR worker clears tsunami debris
 A large plastic bin is the first confirmed piece of marine debris from last year’s Japan tsunamis to arrive in Hawaii, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Friday.Associated Press.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is working with its federal partners to locate and track the floating dock last reported north of Molokai. KITV4.

The PFM Group — the mainland firm that produced The Study of the State Tax System — also advises that Hawaii not approve a lottery or other forms of gambling. The Hawaii Tax review Commission will meet Wednesday to discuss proposed recommendations to the Hawaii Legislature later this year. Civil Beat.

A special state Senate committee will hold its initial briefing on concerns about how finances are handled at the University of Hawaii. Associated Press.

As the State Senate's Special Committee on Accountability prepared to hold its first briefing Monday afternoon into the University of Hawaii's Stevie Wonder concert fiasco, UH President M.R.C. Greenwood tried to minimize criticism of UH leadership during private meetings, sources said. Hawaii News Now.

Former University of Hawaii Athletics Director Jim Donovan plans to testify before state lawmakers Monday that UH offered him a "take it or leave it" deal for his controversial new job, sources said. Hawaii News Now.

For the first time, Hawaii high school students in expository writing, biology, U.S. history and Algebra I classes will take standardized end-of-course exams this school year to test their mastery of the subjects. Star-Advertiser.

As the school year gets rolling, the state Ethics Commission is reminding public school teachers and coaches that they may not give their students private lessons for pay, as the longtime tennis coach at Mililani High School recently learned the hard way. Star-Advertiser.

State Department of Agriculture officials and a Seattle nut and chocolate treat manufacturer are trying to interest local farmers in growing cashews, saying Hawaii’s climate is well suited for the kidney-shaped nut, which can fetch hefty prices. Star-Advertiser.

Scientists using advanced mathematical models to examine the distribution of open-ocean animals in the North Pacific have concluded that rising ocean temperatures could lead to a significant shift in critical ocean habitats. Star-Advertiser.

With more visitors and more residents across the Hawaiian Islands there are also more people hiking. That also means -- more search and rescue missions for hikers who are lost, injured or otherwise in distress. Hawaii Public Radio.

Native Hawaiian artwork is on display in the hearing room of a Senate committee in Washington, D.C. Associated Press.

State roundup for September 24. Tribune-Herald.

Oahu

Gov. Neil Abercrombie decided to take the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium back from the city in July to build a volleyball arena. The challenge for top city officials was how to keep the media and public from finding out about it. Civil Beat.

For months, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has intended to take the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium back from the city to build a world-class volleyball arena. Civil Beat.

"Hawaii Five-0" kicked off its third season Sunday in true Hawaiian style — with the beauty and warmth of the ocean, sky, breezes and beach matching the spirit and exuberance of the fans and actors. Star-Advertiser.

Community support is sought for Waikiki 20/20, an upcoming planning conference aimed at setting a vision for the next two decades in the district, which is one of the most densely populated communities in the state as well as its top tourist destination and economic center. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi hoped to receive a thorough briefing on the financial picture for the city’s $5.2 billion rail project from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation department on Wednesday, but instead she and other committee members were left with more questions. Hawaii Reporter.

After sitting down with Honolulu mayoral candidates Kirk Caldwell and former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano on Friday, I got some more insight into how they think when it comes to mass transit to help ease the city's traffic woes. Pacific Business News.

National campaign adopted on Oahu hopes to reduce homelessness. KHON2.

Hawaii

Lingle attempts to woo West Hawaii voters at forum; Hirono a no-show. West Hawaii Today.

An Idaho dairyman who bought the largest dairy in the state is growing genetically modified corn on state leasehold land in Hamakua, and a number of residents are upset about it, saying it violates the Hamakua Agriculture Plan. Tribune-Herald.

A hefty group of community members, many frustrated by intermittent or restricted access to a trail heading to Papaikou Mill Beach, voiced support at a public meeting Friday for a resolution that would have Hawaii County acquire the privately held path through eminent domain. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. wants to renegotiate its power purchase agreements with renewable energy providers. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A group of Maui residents who oppose sugar cane burning has circulated a petition to more than 6,000 people asking Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. and the state Department of Health to stop allowing smoke to pollute the air in publicly accessible areas, an announcement said. Maui News.

Maui County Council members voted 8-0 Friday to adopt a resolution asking state lawmakers next year to consider a bill requiring the labeling of genetically modified food products. Maui News.

West Maui residents and visitors are being asked to conserve water until Monday after a broken waterline shut down the Mahinahina Water Treatment Facility, a county Department of Water Supply spokeswoman said. Maui News.

Maui County Council members gave final approval Friday to a bill to establish new zoning for restricted industrial uses. Maui News.

Kauai

University of Hawaii students, engineers and faculty are building a satellite that will be controlled by UH students on the ground and will serve as the key payload on a rocket lifting off from Kauai's Barking Sands in September 2013. Star-Advertiser.

‘Being Out At Work On Kaua‘i’ community forum scheduled for Oct. 4. Garden Island.

Ground for the Pi‘ilani Mai Ke Kai Hawaiian Homes Subdivision, Phase II was celebrated Wednesday and was attended by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and a host of dignitaries. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Police Department officers were busy, monitoring traffic and doing free infant car seat safety inspections along Olohena Road fronting the Kapa‘a Middle School Friday afternoon. Garden Island.




Friday, September 21, 2012

Honolulu homeless counted, Land Development Corp. regroups, rail funding delayed, Kauai prosecutor sued, Big Island grass-fed beef study launched, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Honolulu homeless (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Escorted by Honolulu police officers and social workers, about 200 volunteers surveyed homeless people in Waikiki, urban Honolulu and the Leeward Coast. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu's homeless have a new place to turn to for help with finding a job and securing a roof over their head. There's a new IHS Service Center. KHON2.

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
(c) 2012 All Hawaii News
A new homeless shelter on the Waianae coast will give people both a place to live and work. KHON2.

Non-candidate political committees — from both Hawaii and the mainland — together spent at least $960,000 this week on TV ads endorsing or opposing candidates in the state's hottest races. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has purchased a fourth round of television advertising for former Gov. Linda Lingle's Republican campaign for U.S. Senate, bringing the business group's investment in Hawaii to more than $1 million. Star-Advertiser.

Former Gov. Linda Lingle, who's running for the U.S. Senate, and Charles Djou, running to reclaim his 1st District seat in Congress, appeared at the forum to answer questions posed by the board at the Sheraton Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

The board of the Public Land Development Corporation met for the first time Thursday since a series of heated public meetings throughout the islands brought out nearly 700 protestors. The overriding message: Abolish the PLDC. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has urged the Public Land Development Corp. to adopt a strategic plan that defines its priorities and scope, warning that public "suspicion and supposition" would continue without such a plan. Star-Advertiser.

The departure of Jim Boersema, Gov. Neil Abercrombie's communications director, at the end of this month adds to the growing number of top aides and other officials who have left the administration. Civil Beat.

Jim Boersema, Gov. Neil Abercrombie's communications director, will leave the post at the end of September. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate last month was the lowest since 2009. KITV4.

The state Health Department and a special task force set up by Gov. Neil Abercrombie wants to restore many of the mental health cuts like those faced by providers like Hale Na'au Pono. Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii has retained a second downtown law firm in the wake of the Stevie Wonder concert debacle, the school confirmed Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for September 21. Tribune-Herald.

Oahu

Uncertainty about the outcome of the Honolulu mayoral election may have prompted the Federal Transit Authority to delay its decision on whether to award federal funds to the city for its planned rail transit project. Star-Advertiser.

The recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling against the Honolulu rail project's burial inventory plan delayed the federal funding application and raised new questions in the nation's capital, city leaders said Thursday after meetings in Washington. Star-Advertiser.

The race for Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney has been heating up over the last 4 months … and now… the race is even more contentious with only six weeks left before the November 6th General Election. Hawaii Public Radio.

The employment and housing divisions of the Institute for Human Services now have room to expand and better serve homeless and struggling community members around Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi hoped to receive a thorough briefing on the financial picture for the city’s $5.2 billion rail project from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation department on Wednesday, but instead she and other committee members were left with more questions. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii

The state Office of Elections plans to send one of its senior staff members back to Hilo on Nov. 6 to assist Hawaii County on election day. Tribune-Herald.

County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong has called a special meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday to discuss lawsuits filed recently by two election workers who were fired in January. Big Island Now.

Hawaii Beef Producers has joined a trial by Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative, a social investment fund co-founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, to study the development of large-scale grass-fed beef production on the Big Island. Pacific Business News.

The Big Island’s unemployment rate dropped in August, following the same trend as both the state and nation, state officials said Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

A judge on Thursday granted a motion to dismiss all defendants from a civil lawsuit claiming the county has intentionally failed to abide by the “lowest law enforcement priority” of adult personal use of marijuana, in effect dismissing the case. Tribune-Herald.

A public meeting tonight will test the waters for possible eminent domain action over access to Papaikou Mill Beach. Tribune-Herald.

State Rep. Clift Tsuji, D-South Hilo, Panaewa, Puna, Keaau, Kurtistown, announced Thursday that he was admitted to Hilo Medical Center last week with pneumonia, but he is expected to be released in a few days and to make a full recovery. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The County of Maui is proposing to extend the shoreline protection at the Wailuku-Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility. Maui Now.

As federal energy officials wrap up a statewide listening tour of sorts this week on potential environmental impacts of achieving Hawaii's ambitious clean-energy goals, Maui County residents are hopeful their staunch opposition to "Big Wind" has been made clear. Maui News.

Hawaiian Electric Co. estimates that it will be opening up 50 to 70 percent more room on a typical circuit for photovoltaic systems and reducing the number of costly interconnection studies on Maui by "changing to a different kind of standard," said a HECO official Tuesday. Maui News.

The owner of Kaunakakai's iconic Kanemitsu Bakery -- makers of the famed "Molokai bread" for the past 75 years -- says he may be forced to shut down his family's business following another failed health inspection Wednesday. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai Councilman Timothy Bynum this week filed a lawsuit against the prosecutor and the County of Kauai saying that Shaylene Iseri-Cavalho violated his civil rights by falsely suing him for breaking zoning laws. Civil Beat.

A deputy prosecuting attorney has filed suit in 5th Circuit Court against her employer for retaliation, seniority and salary issues. Garden Island.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. held Thursday evening the first community meeting of a process that could take at least two years to decide the future of Hanalei’s Blackpot Beach Park. Garden Island.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources invites fishermen and ocean gatherers of Ni‘ihau, Lehua Rock, Ka‘ula and the Na Pali Coast to a talk story and mapping session aimed at helping to identify important use areas. Garden Island.

Molokai

A floating menace could be the biggest piece of tsunami debris Hawaii has seen yet. Hawaii News Now.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chinese tourists coming, possible tsunami debris arrives, Big Island welfare recipients double, census shows, Lingle disagrees with Romney, F-22 Raptors arrive, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Waikiki International Market (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Japan has its Golden Week, and now China is gearing up for its Super Golden Week. The convergence of Chinese National Day and the Mid-Autumn Festival this year will give many Chinese more than a weeklong holiday starting later this month. Star-Advertiser.

Former Gov. Linda Lingle said Wednesday that she does not agree with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's characterization of people on government assistance as dependent and entitled, describing many as "driven, hard-working individuals who are actively working to better the situation of their ohana." Star-Advertiser.

The controversy over Mitt Romney's dismissal of the "47 percent of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes" shows no sign of disappearing. Civil Beat.

State and federal officials are investigating the origin of a large blue container that may be debris from the March 2011 tsunami that struck Japan. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Health is working on a new placard system designed to let people know how clean restaurants are. Hawaii News Now.

The state is going after boat owners who moor illegally at Hawaii harbors, a problem costing the State thousands of dollars in lost revenue. KHON2.

State roundup for September 20. Associated Press.

Oahu

A bill that would repeal the discount given to companies that recycle materials and dispose of nonrecyclable residue at Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill or the HPOWER waste-to-energy plant moved out of the City Council's Budget Committee Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

There was a sense of frustration among members of the Honolulu City Council's Budget Committee on Wednesday after a hearing featuring the transit authority's Chief Financial Officer Diane Arakaki. KITV4.

Honolulu's application for federal funding is behind pace on the rail authority's own timeline, and the mayoral election may be part of the reason why. KHON2.

Five Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptors roared off Honolulu Airport's reef runway one after another Wednesday, the thrust vibrating the air as the final jet rocketed nearly vertically 24,000 feet into a blue Hawaii sky. Star-Advertiser.

Former Honolulu police officer Richard Raquino pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Wednesday afternoon to lying to the FBI when agents asked him if he had revealed the identity of an undercover police officer. Star-Advertiser.

A former U.S. service member arrested in Honolulu for allegedly sending emails from Thailand threatening to kill Vice President Joe Biden is expected to withdraw his not guilty plea. Associated Press.

Kahuku Residents Protest Treatment of Iwi. Civil Beat.

Honolulu is one of the 100 best cities for young people, according to America's Promise Alliance. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii

More than twice as many Hawaii County households were on welfare last year as were in 2010, and a full 17.4 percent received food stamps, according to data released late Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. West Hawaii Today.

A final measure to show the county’s support of a four-year West Hawaii college passed first reading Wednesday morning, despite dissenting votes from three East Hawaii council members. West Hawaii Today.

Members of the State Elections Commission expressed frustration with troubled County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi at Tuesday’s monthly meeting as state elections officials made plans to send a key staffer back to the Big Island to help troubleshoot on Election Day. KPUA.

Baker Tom’s closing shop. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

University of Hawai’i Maui College’s Liko A’e Native Hawaiian Leadership Program is the recipient of a $4.7 million, three-year grant from the US Department of Education. Maui News.

The state says no asbestos was found at two Maili playgrounds that were demolished. KHON2.

The big trucks rumbled to life Tuesday evening near Kahului Airport, churning up dust and beginning the slow haul of "superloads" of wind turbine pieces to Ulupalakua. Maui News.

A sign-waving rally was held Monday afternoon at the intersection of Piilani and Mokulele highways to mark the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement and to show solidarity with the "Occupy Monsanto Global Protests" worldwide. Maui News.

Kauai

Gov. Neil Abercrombie is not getting many kudos from Kaua‘i residents lately. Heavily criticized for signing Act 55 last year, Abercrombie was booed several times at a meeting at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi Wednesday evening, attended by approximately 200 people. Garden Island.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie brought his Cabinet to the Garden Isle on Wednesday for a listening session. What he heard was loud and insistent: Repeal Act 55, the legislation that created the Public Land Development Corporation. Civil Beat.

Four months after criminal charges were dropped against him in 5th Circuit Court, Kaua‘i County Councilman Tim Bynum filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday, claiming constitutional violations, abuse of abuse of power and malicious prosecution. Garden Island.

Molokai

The future of Kanemitsu Bakery on Molokai is up in the air after the 75-year-old shop failed another health inspection today. KHON2.

New Molokai Fruit Stand markets local produce. Molokai Dispatch.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

China invited to RIMPAC, Hawaii DOE tackles budget, more water for upcountry Maui, thieves break into Lingle Hilo campaign HQ, feds investigate Wahiawa senior center, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

military exercises
RIMPAC Hawaii military exercises courtesy photo
The U.S. military has invited China to participate in the next Rim of the Pacific naval exercise off Hawaii in two years after equivocating on the issue during the multinational war games this summer. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Education is preparing for some tough spending decisions as it faces the specter of federal budget cuts, a so-so economic picture and the roll-out of key new initiatives that could carry big price tags. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi says Gov. Neil Abercrombie's demand to set aside 5 percent of the department's discretionary budget as a contingency plan would hurt the district. Civil Beat.

All public elementary schools in the state will be accredited by 2019, under an ambitious plan approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Four years ago, less than a third of young people in Hawaii between ages 18 and 29 voted, the lowest youth turnout in the nation. But grassroots organizations in Hawaii want 2012 to be different. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s State Environmental Council has come up with a draft of revised rules for the state’s environmental review process and is asking the public to submit comment on the new rules. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for September 19. Associated Press.

Oahu

Pro-rail group's poll claims mayor race is close. KHON2.

A Wahiawa senior center already under federal investigation may have received illegal kickbacks from a construction company, according to documents obtained by Civil Beat.

Employers turned out in force at Tuesday's job fair at the Neal Blaisdell Center, anxious to fill a growing list of openings. Star-Advertiser.

The Public Land Development Corporation could help resolve the longstanding morass over what to do with the Waikiki Natatorium. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said on Tuesday that it will now be faster and simpler for many residential and some small commercial customers to get approval for photovoltaic installations without worrying about the need for a costly interconnection study. Pacific Business News.

A Honolulu City Council Committee considered a measure yesterday to implement a “no kill” policy for unwanted animals at the Hawaiian Humane Society. Hawaii Public Radio.

A strange sighting in waters off Windward Oahu prompted the first real test for Hawaii's tsunami debris response team. Hawaii News Now.

More than 20 native plants and insects on Oahu have been added to the list of federal endangered and threatened species, joining 437 threatened and endangered species already designated in Hawaii — the highest number of any state in the nation. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu police major facing federal extortion charges is asking that his GPS monitoring device be removed from his ankle for medical reasons. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

The state Senate and House candidates at Tuesday’s forum may differ on how to reinvigorate the Big Island’s economy and what the top priorities should be during this legislative session. However, they all agree that no matter who wins, something must be done immediately to lower electricity costs. West Hawaii Today.

While U.S. Senate Candidate Linda Lingle has been busy campaigning and fundraising around the state, a hungry thief broke into her Hilo campaign headquarters. Hawaii Reporter.

Big Island residents should soon find it easier to install solar panels. Tribune-Herald.

The County council Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability Committee advanced a bill banning night drilling at Puna Geothermal Venture. Stephens Media.

The federal prosecutor filed court papers Monday charging Hawaii island rancher Daniel R. Rocha with providing the 14 mouflon rams that went by helicopter to a ranch on Maui in December 2009. Star-Advertiser.

Despite their different backgrounds, and competing campaigns, Oliver “Sonny” Shimaoka and Margaret Wille may have more in common than they think. Tribune-Herald.

State elections, meeting raises new charges, challenges. KITV4.

Maui

Maui County's Department of Water Supply announced Tuesday that it had found added water capacity in Upcountry that can be used to eliminate the area's longstanding list for new water meters that dates back to 1994. Maui News.

The Maui Department of Water Supply today presented a plan to resolve the Upcountry Water Meter Priority List within the next two to three years. Maui Now.

Maui's newest 2nd Circuit Court judge was described by a handful of speakers as fair, honest, jovial, pragmatic and a man of integrity. Maui News.

"Superloads" of wind turbine components began making their way Tuesday evening from a staging area near Kahului Airport to a wind farm site on Ulupalakua Ranch land.Maui News.

Kauai

One of the most significant developments proposed in Hanalei Bay since the building of the Princeville Hotel (now the St. Regis Resort), is meeting staunch opposition from a rapidly growing group of people, despite attempts from developers to assure that they are doing the right thing. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Police Department worked with officials from the State Department of Land and Natural Resources to remove an illegal camp site in Hanapepe and its resident on Thursday. Garden Island.

For just a few minutes Tuesday, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. experienced the meaning of his office. Garden Island.