Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Capitol mess, more liability for party hosts under new Hawaii Supreme Court rule, HuffPost-Civil Beat venture goes live today, HECO to shut Honolulu plant, Maui to tackle feral cats and chickens, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii state Capitol (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
A $4.5 million repair job is causing more problems along with concerns over public safety at the state capitol. Hawaii News Now.

A party host can be held liable for serving alcoholic drinks to a minor who dies from alcohol poisoning, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in announcing a new rule of law for Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Over the next year, Civil Beat will examine the reasons behind the high cost of living and how it affects Hawaii's submerged middle class. There are those who say don't worry. Be happy. Lucky you live Hawaii. But others note there are real impacts. Even for a middle-class that manages to scrape by, the cost of paradise often catches up to us late in life.

The federal government plans to have administrative rules in place by April to help clarify its oversight role of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, a top Obama administration official said Tuesday. If adopted, the rules would be the first established since the law creating the Hawaiian home lands trust was enacted by Congress and signed by President Warren G. Harding nearly a century ago. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has reached the point — passed it long ago, some would say — at which outside intervention is required to force a fix of its myriad problems. Star-Advertiser.

Organizers say for the first time in 12 years since the Native Hawaiian Convention began, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is not a partner and isn't present either. Hawaii News Now.

Perhaps underestimating the public's skepticism about diving into another potential quagmire in the Middle East, Sen. Brian Schatz in the course of a weekend embraced the idea of doing something about Syria, then downshifted to join the ranks of those calling for debate. Civil Beat.

After a heat wave led schools in the Midwest to shut down last week, teachers and students in Hawaii are renewing their call for air conditioning the state's public schools, gearing up for a rally on Sept. 26. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Health Systems Corp. General Counsel Alice Hall has been named acting president and CEO of the state’s public hospital system. Pacific Business News.

For University of Hawaii researcher Angel Yanagihara, a painful encounter with box jellyfish 16 years ago, during a swim off Oahu, ultimately led to a journey this week with Diana Nyad for the renowned distance swimmer's historic trek across the Florida Strait. Star-Advertiser.

Three months ago we announced Civil Beat’s partnership with the Huffington Post. Today, we are proud to introduce HuffPost Hawaii. (The site will go live at 6 a.m. Hawaii time.)

Our colleagues at HuffPost Hawaii are recruiting bloggers to write on a new website. The interest from AOL (owner of the Huffington Post) in the Hawaii market is recognition of the relevance of our local community, the importance of local voices, and the viability of local advertising. Our intellect and ideas, however, are valuable. Although it’s a $2.9 billion company, AOL’s policy is to not pay Huffington Post bloggers. Hawaii Independent.

Aloha! I'm here for the launch of our newest edition, HuffPost Hawaii. We are delighted to be partnering with Honolulu Civil Beat, a beacon of journalism in Hawaii focusing on public affairs and investigative reporting, with deep roots in the local culture.

State roundup for September 4. Associated Press.

Oahu
Hawaiian Electric Co. will deactivate its 59-year-old Honolulu Power Plant in January as part of its strategy to increase the use of renewable energy and reduce Hawaii's dependence on imported fossil fuel, company officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said Tuesday that it plans to shut down its Honolulu power plant on Jan. 31 as part of its strategy to ramp up the use of renewable energy and decrease the state’s dependency on imported fossil fuel. Pacific Business News.

Kapiolani Community College Chancellor Leon Richards, whose campus has faced a number of recent management problems, spent nearly four and a half months traveling out of state on official business in the last year and a half, a Hawaii News Now investigation has found.

There was no permit to dispose of the dredging material spilled on a key section of the westbound side of the H-1 freeway in Aiea on Saturday afternoon, causing a four-hour traffic jam, city officials said Tuesday. Honolulu City officials are investigating SER Silva Equipment Rental for the spill. Star-Advertiser.

The trucking company that spilled its load on the H1 Freeway on Saturday is being cited by the city -- but not for the crash. Hawaii News Now.

A group of University of Hawaii students is weeks away from launching their own satellite. KITV.

Hawaii

Tourism and agriculture. Two of the island’s economic engines that work well together. That’s according to proponents of a measure that would create a “minor” agritourism classification to make it easier for small farmers to engage in a practice already enjoyed by large agricultural operations — giving tours to visitors, usually for a fee, and selling related agricultural and nonagricultural products at a gift shop. West Hawaii Today.

A Hawaii Island educator is set to hitch a ride aboard the world’s largest flying telescope. Randi Brennon, a teacher at Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences in Pahoa, will participate in a weeklong program that will allow her to observe research aboard NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), which is essentially a modified Boeing 747 jet carrying a 17-ton, 2.7-meter telescope. Tribune-Herald.

Hokulia developers resumed some construction work at the project earlier this year without hiring an archaeological monitor and in violation of several agreements and preservation plans, according to a July letter from the state Historic Preservation Division. Development officials are back on track to resolving the issues, though, Hawaii Island Archaeological Branch Chief Theresa Donham said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County is a step closer to replacing large-capacity cesspools in the Lono Kona subdivision along Kalani Street, thanks to a $4 million grant and a $2.4 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. West Hawaii Today.

A protest was held outside the DLNR building on Kilauea and Kawili in Hilo on Wednesday. About 20 to 30 hunters and other recreation users of Mauna Kea demonstrated against the state’s policy of eradicating sheep on the mountain. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi is in Taiwan promoting business, agricultural, educational and cultural ties. Big Island Now.

Maui

A public forum focusing on issues surrounding feral cats and chickens on Maui, will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the J. Walter Cameron Center Auditorium in Wailuku. Maui Now.

Maui Electric Company hosts the first of two community meetings tonight to provide information and updates on the Māʻalaea to Kamaliʻi 69kV Transmission Line Project, company officials said. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kauai residents will take to the streets of Lihue Sunday to march in support of county Bill 2491. If passed, the controversial bill — co-introduced in June by Kauai County Council Members Gary Hooser and Tim Bynum — would allow the county to govern the use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms on the island. Garden Island.

Ke Kula Niihau O Kekaha, a Hawaiian language charter school on Kauai’s Westside, will soon be powered by the sun. The school’s nonprofit organization, Aha Punana Leo, recently received a $180,060 capital improvement grant to plan, design and construct a new 30-kilowatt photovoltaic system at the school. Garden Island.

Only about 1 percent of Kauai is above the ocean surface, states Dr. Chuck Blay, who co-authors an updated edition of “Kauai’s Geologic History.” Garden Island.

Lanai

The company managing billionaire Larry Ellison's investments on Lanai is matching Maui County grants in support of small businesses on the island. The Mayor's Office of Economic Development said Tuesday Pulama Lanai's chief operating officer offered to match the office's small business revitalization grants to Lanai businesses. Associated Press.