Friday, August 2, 2013

Hula good for your health, Abercrombie staff donates to campaign, federal court won't consider judge letter in rail lawsuit, Obama names Punahou classmate ambassador, Maui Ritz-Carlton timeshare going hotel, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii hula (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Learning hula can lower blood pressure for people with persistent hypertension and help rehabilitate patients after heart attacks or cardiac surgery, according to research presented Thursday at the American Psychological Association's convention at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated a former classmate from Punahou School as an ambassador of the United States to the Office of the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva. Star-Advertiser.

Since taking office to fanfare in the United States and in India, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Hindu faith hasn’t been a prominent part of her national image. Civil Beat.

Three dozen employees of the Abercrombie administration, including a lot of cabinet directors and their deputies, have donated money to their boss's re-election. Civil Beat.

Hawaii hotel rates climbed 10 percent higher across the Islands last week in comparison to the same week last year, while occupancy changes were mixed, according to the latest report from Hospitality Advisors LLC and Smith Travel Research. Pacific Business News.

National Weather Service officials in Hawaii say preliminary data shows the center of Tropical Storm Flossie never hit land when it passed through the state this week. Associated Press.

State roundup for August 2. Associated Press.

Oahu

As a pivotal hearing on the city's planned rail project approaches, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced Thursday that it won't consider a recent, eyebrow-raising letter from federal judges in Hawaii critical of the project. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is addressing two hot button hiking trails Lanikai Pillbox and Maunawili Falls in windward Oahu. Residents living at the foot of both trails have complained about excessive crowds, illegal parking, vandalism and safety concerns. KHON2.

Some well-meaning and creative additions to the graves of loved ones at the orderly Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery are resulting in some undignified disorder at the final resting place for 10,411 veterans and dependents. Star-Advertiser.

A McDonald’s security guard testified Thursday that Kollin Elderts bullied and irritated a customer before the confrontation that escalated to State Department special agent Christopher Deedy fatally shooting Elderts at the Waikiki fast-food restaurant. Star-Advertiser.

Here are two indisputable facts: Kollin Elderts is dead. Christopher Deedy shot him. But whether Deedy, a U.S. State Department special agent, gets convicted of murder is a question that largely centers on Hawaii’s self-defense law. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Changing requirements by Medicare and insurance companies are putting burdens on hospitals to prove the care they provide is high quality, North Hawaii Community Hospital Board Chairman Bob Momsen said Thursday evening. West Hawaii Today.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo moved a step closer Thursday to a rezoning that would make it easier to erect housing and commercial facilities on 312 acres that includes the campus and surrounding land, despite concerns over the county surrendering a future connector road slated to run through the campus. West Hawaii Today.

The Windward Planning Commission voted in support of a new commercial development proposed for Pahoa on Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

Maui
Just a week before he was scheduled for spinal fusion surgery, Baraka Kanaan was ordered off of an airplane on his hands and knees. The Maui native, partially paralyzed from a 2000 car accident is suing Delta Air Lines aftr it refused to provide him with a lift and other wheelchair accommodations, even after he arranged for those services ahead of time. Hawaii News Now.

A 50-room hotel will replace unsold time-share units at Maui’s former Ritz-Carlton time-share and condominium resort in Kapalua under a plan by the property’s new owner and management firm. Star-Advertiser.

Hana Ranch Partners’ proposed sale of thousands of acres of Hana Ranch land on Maui to Bio-Logical Capital for some $35 million is in serious doubts after a lawsuit was filed by one of the owners against his partners to stop the sale from closing. Pacific Business News.

A court hearing has been postponed until September on a motion to judicially dissolve the embattled nonprofit Wailuku Main Street Association Inc./Tri-Isle Main Street Resource Center. Maui News.

If anyone has suffered storm-related damage from Tropical Depression Flossie, they are asked to report it to the Maui County Civil Defense Agency to ensure the county has complete information on damage. Maui News.

A contract dispute between DISH Network and Raycom Media has led to the loss of CBS and NBC channels for DISH customers in Hawaii, according to an announcement. Maui News.

Kauai

Bill 2491, the GMO bill, goes to the council’s Economic Development Committee Monday, when council members will begin working on the bill, discussing flaws and strengths, and potentially propose amendments. Garden Island.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday that it will invest $5 million in a Kauai-based biofuels energy project. Hawaii BioEnergy, established in 2006 by three of the state’s largest landowners, will use the funding to develop and test a cost-effective photosynthetic open-pond system to produce algal oil at its research facility near Lihue, according to a DOE release. Garden Island.