Friday, June 14, 2013

No surprise: Hawaii more than half Asian, accused Army spy faces court martial, Honolulu rail could have double the cars, fewer trips, drones on the Big Island, federal court rules against Department of Education in Maui disabled student case, dead monk seal found on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

census Asian majority
Honolulu Spam Jam (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
A state analysis of U.S. Census data released Thursday shows Hawaii has by far the largest share of Asians and the smallest share of whites in any U.S. state’s total population. Associated Press.

Immigrant families from Asia, a relatively high rate of interracial marriage and the fact that many white people who move to the islands are retirees are likely factors behind Hawaii leading the nation, by far, in the portion of residents of Asian ancestry, a population expert says. John Butler, associate dean of academic affairs at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Shidler College of Business, said the U.S. Census Bureau figures won't surprise most people here. Star-Advertiser.

Census: Hawaii Has Largest Share Of Asian Population. Civil Beat.

Asians account for more than half of Hawaii’s population, according to information released today by the US Census Bureau. Big Island Now.

An Army officer who worked for U.S. Pacific Command is on trial in Hawaii, accused of illegally possessing and passing classified national defense information, the Army revealed Thursday. Major's case is third in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

As a high-ranking Army intelligence officer, accused spy Seivirak Inson had immense access to the military secrets of the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii. Now, the 43-year-old Major is facing court-martial proceeding for attempting to hand over some of those secrets to the Cambodian government. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii plans to undergo a substantial energy efficiency initiative that aims to more than double the energy efficiency in state and county buildings through additional energy savings performance contracting with the private sector. Pacific Business News.

An intensive year-long community planning process to assist the electric utilities in coming up with five-year energy plans for Oahu, the Big Island and Maui County needs more time, some members of the planning committee say. Civil Beat.

State roundup for June 14. Associated Press.

Oahu

Rail officials are considering doubling the capacity of Oahu's future passenger trains to accommodate more people per stop — but the proposal would also halve the number of trains planned for the line. Star-Advertiser.

Beneath the feet of attendees at the historic Kawaiahao Church, there is a basement full of baskets, many of which are stacked atop one another. They contain the exhumed human remains of 660 long dead believers, and many of them have been there for years. The bones, or iwi, believed to date from the 19th century, were dug up from a broad plot of land on the side of the church. Civil Beat.

One dollar. That is the amount of compensation private contractor AC Kobayashi Inc. billed the University of Hawaii each month under a “Pre-Construction Services Agreement” to build the university’s new West Oahu campus. That’s $1, plus as much as $60,000 a month for reimbursable expenses over 18 months ending Dec. 31, 2010. Hawaii Reporter.

Two managers at Kapiolani Community College, including the woman who used to be in charge of investigating personnel complaints at UH's second-most-populated campus, have filed discrimination complaints against KCC Chancellor Leon Richards. Hawaii News Now.

Completing a two-year, $135 million construction project, Michaels Development Co. has delivered on its promise to renovate the once-dilapidated Kuhio Park Terrace, which even has a new name, the Towers at Kuhio Park. The mammoth face-lift — awarded to Michaels and its development partner Vitas Group in September 2009 — marks the first mixed-financed, public-private housing partnership in the state. Star-Advertiser.

A former Waianae public charter school clerk pleaded not guilty in Circuit Court on Thursday to felony charges that she stole $19,750 from the school. Star-Advertiser.

Plans to build a Foodland in Hawaii Kai suspended. KHON2.

Hawaii

A county project estimated to cost $50,000 ballooned to $146,913, leaving one would-be bidder crying foul. West Hawaii Today.

The highest bid at a foreclosure auction for more than 5,800 acres of sugar plantation land on the Big Island was $12.2 million and now a confirmation hearing for sale of the WWK Hawaii Holdings land is scheduled for June 27. Pacific Business News.

Hamakua Springs volunteering hundreds of acres for testing drones. KITV4.

There’s less than a month remaining until Independence Day festivities kick off in Kailua-Kona, culminating with a community parade and fireworks display over Kailua Bay. However, the Kailua-Kona Community Parade Association, the group that makes it all possible, still needs to raise about $5,000 to put on the annual parade and fireworks display for a fifth straight year, said Barbara Kossow, the association’s Independence Day activities and sponsorship coordinator. West Hawaii Today.

The future of Hawaii’s Volcano Circus remains to be determined six months after the Windward Planning Commission last tabled the matter of revoking a permit for its location in Kalapana Seaview Estates. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The state Department of Education failed to provide a Maui special-needs student with a free appropriate public education when it excluded the boy's father from participating in a meeting that changed the student's school placement for the first time in six years, a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Education can't put the burden on parents to ensure that children with learning disabilities get what is due to them from the state’s public schools, according to a significant U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision issued Thursday. Civil Beat.

Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission members approved a nearly $2.9 million budget Wednesday for the fiscal year beginning July 1. And, while the spending plan continues operations for another year at a "bare minimum," according to commission Executive Director Michael Naho'opi'i, the budget doesn't address a new source of funding. That would be needed to stem the rapidly depleting remainder of a $44 million trust fund established for commission operations in 1994 during the federal government's cleanup of Kahoolawe. Maui News.

After months of searching for a qualified candidate to fill the newly created county auditor position, members of the Maui County Council Budget and Finance Committee on Wednesday unanimously supported the appointment of the man they think is right for the job. Maui News.

The Halemau'u trailhead parking lot will be closed Tuesday through June 25 while work is done on disabled accessibility improvements, Haleakala National Park officials announced. Maui News.

Kauai

A Hawaiian monk seal found dead on Kauai’s Westside appears to have died of natural causes, according to Jamie Thomton of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Garden Island.

The Kauai Humane Society is closing on Saturdays, starting July 7, a move to help reduce operating costs, which have increased over the last three years. KHS is also laying off one position, and cutting back on part-time hours. Garden Island.