Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Honolulu council tackles Stairway to Heaven, mistrial in Deedy case, gay marriage special session decided tomorrow, Osprey over Hawaii, tuition freeze proposed, GMO debate rekindles, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii hiking trails
Stairway to Heaven
On Monday, Honolulu City Council members Joey Manahan, Kymberly Pine and Ikaika Anderson planned to hike the “Stairway to Heaven,” which has been off-limits to the public for years. Manahan, who heads the city’s Parks Committee, has been exploring the possibility of reopening the stairway to hikers. But in doing so he’s inadvertently stepped into a bureaucratic quagmire that could keep one of Oahu’s most alluring trails off the maps of hikers — at least officially. Civil Beat.

Calls for and against a special session to consider a bill on gay marriage are increasing as lawmakers and Gov. Neil Abercrombie continue internal debate on whether to return before the regular session in January. House Democrats are to meet Wednesday to discuss the matter and inform the governor whether they have the votes to pass a bill. Such a measure has enough support in the Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Larry Silva, the bishop of Honolulu, is urging all Catholics in Hawaii to contact their state legislators to let them know how they feel about same-sex marriage — and he hopes they don't feel good about it. Civil Beat.

A state lawmaker says he will introduce a proposal to freeze tuition at the University of Hawaii. Associated Press.

On the first day of the 2013-2014 academic year, several Univeristy of Hawaii students, along with state Rep. John Mizuno, passed out copies of a proposed bill to dozens of students at the Campus Center. The measure he plans to introduce during next year's legislative session calls for a tuition freeze throughout the UH system for the 2014-2015 academic year. Star-Advertiser.

It’s never good news when sharks attack. It’s even worse when someone dies from a shark bite. But when eight shark attacks are reported in a single year, it could be devastating to Hawaii’s tourist-rich economy.Hawaii Reporter.

The Marine Corps’ distinctive MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft will make its first appearance Wednesday over Hawaii as the USS Boxer Amphibious Ready Group heads through the region on a deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

Journalists, recovering journalists and other talented actors, singers and dancers put on the show Gridiron 2013: #SequesterThis over the weekend. Hawaii Reporter.

State roundup for August 27. Associated Press.

In brief | State briefs 082713.Associated Press.

Oahu

A mistrial declared Monday in the seven-week Christopher Deedy murder trial sets the stage for a rematch that could see many of the same arguments play out again if a new jury is selected next summer. Civil Beat.

A mistrial was declared Monday after a Circuit Court jury could not reach a verdict on whether State Department special agent Christopher Deedy should be convicted or acquitted of second-degree murder for a 2011 shooting in Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

A judge declared a mistrial Monday after jurors said they couldn’t unanimously decide whether a federal agent is guilty of murder in the early-morning shooting of a customer at a McDonald’s restaurant in Waikiki. Associated Press.

Weeks after the high profile murder trial of a U.S. State Department special agent began in Honolulu, jurors told Circuit Court Judge Karen Ahn they were unable to come to a unanimous verdict and a mistrial has been declared in the case. Hawaii News Now.

On Monday Oahu Circuit Court Judge Karen Ahn declared a mistrial in the Christopher Deedy murder case after jurors told her they could not agree on a verdict, even if they had more time to deliberate. KHON2 News spoke with a juror on Monday night, on the condition that the juror remains anonymous.

It’s been one of the most highly publicized trials in recent memory. During the past two months, barely a day went by when there wasn’t something about the Christopher Deedy murder trial on television or in the newspaper. KHON2.

Bus No. 13, which travels from Liliha to the University of Hawaii with stops in Chinatown and Waikiki, has been restored to full service as of Sunday. KITV.

The first traditional Hawaiian dry-stacked stone marker or ahu used to designate an ahupuaa (land division) in an ongoing project, erected July 27 at Castle Junction, was destroyed Saturday afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu-based startup that developed a technology to help battle a massive global counterfeiting problem was recognized by the World Economic Forum on Monday with a prestigious award that counts firms like Google, Twitter and Kickstarter among past recipients. Star-Advertiser.

In a classroom for preschoolers, a group of adults is trying to revive a language that is foreign to their ear but not to their heart. The language is Okinawan, or "Uchinaaguchi," as it is pronounced in the language itself. Star-Advertiser.

A Retiree Tries Not to Get Burned in Hawaii's White-Hot Solar Market. Civil Beat.

Local experts say a new report by Homes.com indicating home sale prices in Honolulu have surged by 23% in the past year doesn't paint an accurate picture of the current housing market.  Analysts say that would mean an average increase of over $100,000 and that's not what their data shows. Hawaii News Now.

Recently, approximately 50 new unit victim advocates from across Hawaiian Army units were certified after completing an 80-hour Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Prevention certification course on Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii

Hawaii Island’s food fight is about to get even more messy. After sitting on the sidelines during the last three months, South Kona/Ka‘u Councilwoman Brenda Ford has entered the debate over genetically modified organisms with her own bill that would ban all transgenic crops, including modified papaya. Tribune-Herald.

A member of the Salary Commission has resigned in protest of Hawaii County’s requirement that members of boards and commissions file financial disclosures, sparking a debate about whether the disclosures serve the best interests of the county. West Hawaii Today.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard came to Kealakehe High School Monday afternoon prepared to talk about how the federal government works, from how the three branches balance each other to how she got her first piece of legislation passed as a freshman legislator. West Hawaii Today.

You won’t find any “Under New Management” signs hanging out front, but seven Hawaii Island public schools welcomed new principals as the academic year got under way this month. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Lawmakers say the effects of sequestration are not immediate. Gabbard, Hanabusa, Schatz attend Maui event. Maui News.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard offered a balanced perspective on the debate between national security and civil liberties brought about by the revelations of the National Security Agency's surveillance program derived from the leaks of highly classified material by Edward Snowden. Maui News.

One of U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz's "missions in life" is to make sure lawmakers of every party understand that climate change is a problem and it should be addressed immediately.  Maui News.

Haleakalā Ranch kicks off its 125th anniversary year with a historical exhibit about Upcountry ranching. The year-long exhibit opens on Tuesday, Sept. 3, at the Hui Noʻeau Visual Arts Center on Baldwin Avenue in Makawao. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Charter Review Commission is considering a proposal that may significantly affect how elections — and campaigning — for Kauai County Council members are conducted. The commission heard a report Monday from a special Committee on County Districting, which proposes dividing council elections into five district seats and two at-large seats. Garden Island.

After many years of providing a prime spot for barbecues and gatherings, the two northernmost pavilions at Lydgate Beach Park were demolished last week due to safety concerns, but new ones will be built by the year’s end, according to county officials. Garden Island.

The Kiahuna Golf Course on Kauai’s South Shore is on the market for $13.75 million, according to Paul Kyno of Sleeping Giant Sotheby’s International Realty, which is marketing the course. Pacific Business News.

Enrollment at Kauai Community College changed from a deficit to an increase within a matter of minutes Monday. When the doors to the Puhi campus opened for the fall semester, the initial student estimate showed a decline from a year ago. But by midmorning, unofficial estimates indicated 1,463 students registered. Garden Island.