Tuesday, September 17, 2013

FBI releases files on Sen. Daniel Inouye, Matson to pay for molasses cleanup, Honolulu rail restarts, Omidyar only Hawaii resident on Forbes wealthy list, Kauai investigates auditor, Sam Choy returning to Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Sen. Daniel Inouye (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Newly released FBI files on Dan Inouye show that the Hawaii senator was subject to several anonymous death threats during his long service in Washington. He was also accused of accepting bribes to help Matson Navigation control shipping to Honolulu, and to secure a military research center at the University of Hawaii. Civil Beat.

The FBI on Monday publicly posted its documents on the late Hawaii senator in The Vault, the bureau's online reading room, which also contains once-private files on other prominent politicians, celebrities, gangsters and fugitives. The trove provides a fascinating window into the FBI's intelligence operations and reveals the kinds of threats Ino­uye experienced during his remarkable political career. Star-Advertiser.

Newly released FBI files reveal numerous death threats against Senator Daniel Inouye dating all the way back to the 1950s. Hawaii News Now.

FBI Files: Honolulu Agents Kept On Short Leash During 1989 Investigation Into Senator Daniel Inouye’s Alleged ‘Payoff’ From Matson. Mauitime News.

Download and read the 22 documents on Daniel Inouye at the FBI Vault.

Articles following Inouye's death in December at All Hawaii News.

Congress has just a few voting days left to pass a budget plan that will avert a government shutdown before it faces another major hurdle — the looming debt ceiling — in mid-October. This double-whammy could have major implications for Hawaii, including for local schools and universities that are highly dependent on federal funding.  Civil Beat.

Forbes on Monday released its annual list of the top 400 richest Americans, which included one Hawaii resident: eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. While most of the top names and rankings didn't change from a year ago, the majority of the elite club's members saw their fortunes grow over the past year, helped by strong stock and real estate markets. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for September 17. Associated Press.

Oahu

After a nearly 13-month delay caused by a lawsuit, construction restarted on the state's largest public works project following a blessing in the Ewa fields. The columns are the most visible sign that the rail line is advancing. Sixteen of 422 columns planned for the East Kapo­lei-Aloha Stadium segment had been erected when work was halted. There will be about 50 between East Kapolei and Fort Weaver Road. Star-Advertiser.

Matson Inc. will pay for the cleanup of a 1,400-ton spill of molasses into Honolulu Harbor that killed thousands of fish and other marine life, CEO Matt Cox said Monday. Pacific Business News.

Matson will not pass on cleanup and damage costs for last week's spill of 233,000 gallons of molasses into Honolulu Harbor to its customers or to taxpayers, according to the shipping company's president. Star-Advertiser.

The same day Hawaii lawmakers opened up their investigation into the massive molasses spill that has killed more than 25,000 fish, the head of the company responsible for the environmental disaster said Matson Inc. is footing the bill. Civil Beat.

Matson Inc., the shipping company that spilled 233,000 gallons of molasses into Honolulu Harbor earlier this month, has pledged to pay all the costs stemming from the disaster that has devastated marine life there. Hawaii Public Radio.

One week after 233,000 gallons of molasses leaked into Honolulu Harbor, the sticky intruder is sticking around, still visible and killing fish. Hawaii News Now.

Two Oahu Community Correctional Center guards face a criminal trial next month over the beating of an inmate. Adult Corrections Officer Kevin Ignacio is accused of repeated punching prisoner Jeffrey Diaz in the head and face while fellow prison guard Ismael Castro is accused of kicking Diaz. Hawaii News Now.

Businesses sink in aftermath of molasses spill. KHON2.

There are 168 hours in a week. But in Honolulu, a minimum wage worker would need an extra nine to afford housing. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii

One employee is under investigation and another has apparently quit his moonlighting real estate practice after a summer of turmoil in the county Real Property Tax Division. Finance Director Nancy Crawford, who oversees the division, said Monday that procedures have always been in place to ensure there is no conflict of interest between the public duties of the 43 staff members and their professional and personal lives. But a formal conflict of interest policy was not put into writing until June. West Hawaii Today.

Last week, the National Park Service took a step toward getting permanent protections for the Keauhou aquifer by requesting the state’s Commission on Water Resource Management to give the area a water management designation. The aquifer runs from just north of Kona International Airport to south of Keauhou, and from the coastline to Hualalai’s summit. West Hawaii Today.

Naniloa Volcanoes Resort intends to seek support in federal bankruptcy court to continue business operations with the intent of eventually finding a buyer for the Hilo property. David Farmer, bankruptcy trustee for Hawaii Outdoor Tours Inc., which holds the state lease and operates the resort, said that he has received two letters of intent to purchase the 65-acre property for $12 million and $14 million, respectively. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

Maui shopping center Lahaina Gateway has been repossessed by a lender for a second time in two years, giving the property its fourth owner since opening five years ago. Lahaina Gateway is the largest retail complex in West Maui and is anchored by Foodland Farms, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Office Max. Star-Advertiser.

Celebrity local chef Sam Choy has not had a restaurant on Maui in more than a decade, but he is planning his return. Maui News.

More than $3 million for runway drainage improvements at Molokai Airport and more than $1 million for runway lighting at Lanai Airport are part of a package of grants for Hawaii from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Transit Administration, Hawaii U.S. Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz said last week. Maui News.

A Final Environmental Assessment was filed with a finding of no significant impact for the proposed Kahoma Village Project in West Maui. According to the FEA, the 203-unit project was proposed by Stanford Carr Development, on behalf of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. Maui Now.

Kauai
The Kauai County Council met with county and private attorneys behind closed doors Monday  to discuss an investigation of personnel matters and to consider disciplinary measures involving County Auditor Ernesto Pasion. The executive session was one more in a string of sealed meetings held by the council on the matter. While official details have been shrouded under personnel issues and attorney/client privileges, Pasion has received much support lately from some community members. Garden Island.

The Pacific Missile Range Facility was under heightened security after Monday’s shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard in D.C. that left 13 people dead. Garden Island.