Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hawaii nears special session on gay marriage, surf's up, but sand is down, dealing with tsunami debris, cattle call on Hawaii Island, Honolulu one of top Conde Nast cities, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News
Honolulu gay marriage rally file photo (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Support for gay marriage is growing. Hawaii voters are split over making same-sex marriage legal in the islands, with 44 percent in support and 44 percent opposed. When Civil Beat asked voters where they stood on the same issue in April 2012, a majority (51 percent) said they did not believe same-sex couples should have the legal right to get married. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Pastors Roundtable, declaring that God's word is the highest law in the land, issued a statement Monday urging Hawaii to uphold traditional marriage. The message from the round table, which includes Pastor Wayne Cordeiro of New Hope Christian Fellowship, Bishop Larry Silva from the Diocese of Hono­lulu and Kahu Curt Kekuna from Kawai­aha‘o Church, comes as state House and Senate leaders prepare for a special session on gay marriage next week. Star-Advertiser.

With one week left before a special session that could legalize same-sex marriage, opponents are ramping up their lobbying efforts. A new TV ad was released Monday to state their case. The public can expect a lot of lobbying through rallies and sign waving, but also a good amount of money from outside sources. KHON2.

Legislation to fund pay raises for government professional and scientific employees will be introduced by House Republicans during the Special Session scheduled to convene on Oct. 28. Hawaii Reporter.

Ocean Safety personnel participated in 14 rescues and took hundreds of preventive actions as high surf pounded the north and west shores of Oahu on Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Government officials, beach cleanup activists and environmental experts have gathered in Honolulu this week to discuss how to deal with trash in the ocean. Associated Press.

It's been more than two years since a horrific, earthquake-generated tsunami wrecked much of Japan's eastern coast, claiming thousands of lives and sucking millions of tons of debris into Pacific waters. Yet despite government researchers' best efforts, it's not clear how much of that debris remains scattered across the ocean or exactly where it will wind up. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for October 22. Associated Press.

Oahu

A handful of oceanfront residents of Sunset Beach sweated out another anxiety-filled day Monday as high surf in combination with high tides continued to threaten homes above an eroded beach at Ke Nui Road. Large waves out of the northwest actually pushed some new sand onto the beach Sunday and Monday, but the homes are far from being secure as they sit dangerously close to a newly carved cliff that drops 20 feet to the beach. Star-Advertiser.

NOAA Sea Grant Coastal Storms Program
NOAA
Two of Oahu's most popular beaches are experiencing erosion at unprecedented levels. Kuhio Beach in Waikiki and Sunset Beach on Oahu's North Shore are more than 40 miles apart, but the growing winter swells and extreme tides have caused rapidly shifting sands in both spots. HuffPost Hawaii.

A new state law is creating friction between the City and County of Honolulu and Kailua residents who are concerned about their eroding beach. Act 120 was signed into law this June.  It prohibits removing sand from Hawai'i's coastlines with a few exceptions, including if it is used for the replenishment or protection of public shorelines, but only if the restoration efforts won't cause water quality issues. Hawaii News Now.

About 1,000 East Honolulu residences receive their drinking water from Aina Koa Water Well II, where broken chlorination equipment led to trace amounts of E. coli bacteria found in water samples taken in the area last week, Hono­lulu Board of Water Supply officials said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu is among one of the Top 10 Cities in the United States, according to the Conde Nast Traveler 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards. Honolulu ranked No. 4 on the list, with a readers’ choice rating of 79.5. Pacific Business News.

The fired former head of one of the Hawaii's largest charter schools was arrested Monday and has been charged with stealing more than $100,000 from the school. An investigation by Hawaii News Now first raised questions about spending by Jeff Piontek at Hawaii Technology Academy early last year.

A former Waipahu elementary school principal was ordered to pay a fine after pleading no contest to record-tampering charges Monday in Circuit Court. The state attorney general's office had charged Florentina Smith in June with two counts of tampering with a government record, a misdemeanor. The state alleged she authorized $200 stipends to each of nine staff members for training sessions that they did not attend. The state alleged the crimes were committed Nov. 12 and 19, 2011, while Smith was serving as principal of August Ahrens Elementary. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

It’s a cattle call of a different color. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is renewing its call for hunters to participate in a lottery to help eradicate feral cattle from the Puu Oo area of the Hilo Restricted Watershed, near mile marker 22 of Saddle Road. The deadline to sign up has been extended a week after a less-than-enthusiastic response from area hunters. West Hawaii Today.

A medical marijuana group, the Alternative Pain Management Club of Hawaii, has cancelled a meeting it said was scheduled for today with County Prosecutor Mitch Roth, but a spokesman said the group plans to establish a “medical cannabis transfer station” — with or without the blessing of local law enforcement. Tribune-Herald.

The Naniloa Volcanoes Resort could soon be in new hands. On Nov. 6, a federal bankruptcy judge will consider a motion to sell the troubled Hilo hotel following the submission of sealed bids last Friday, said David Farmer, the Naniloa’s bankruptcy trustee. Tribune-Herald.

The Leeward Planning Commission signed off last week on a Kohala resident’s plan to open a home business. Rebecca Jacobs filed the special permit request with the Planning Department, seeking permission to open an acupuncture clinic in her Hookela Place garage. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A public presentation on a proposed county integrated waste conversion and energy project will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the University of Hawaii Maui College's new science building, 'Ike Lea. Maui News.

A Maui-based company is seeking approval from state regulators to take over water and sewer services from the Navy at the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station. Kalaeloa WaterCo. is proposing to raise rates for customers in the area now known as Kalaeloa to pay for "massive capital expenditures" it says are needed to upgrade the aging infrastructure it would inherit if its proposed acquisition is approved by the Public Utilities Commission. Star-Advertiser.

A $10,000 challenge grant was awarded to the Kite Surf Pro World Championship Tour to produce a second consecutive annual tournament at Ho’okipa Beach Park next month, county officials announced. Maui Now.

Kauai
A regional ocean observation network has installed its first-ever wave detection buoy off Kauai just in time for the winter wave season that rolled in during the weekend. The bright yellow buoy, moored three nautical miles off Hana­lei in more than 700 feet of water, is ideally suited to gauge Hawaii's winter swells, which typically move in from the northwest. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai County officials will ask the state for a bigger slice of Hawaii's hotel room tax. Visitor-related expenses cost the county $44.2 million in fiscal year 2012, including nearly $25 million in operation expenses such as police and fire calls, said County Council legislative assistant Ashley Bunda. Kauai County receives $13.7 million in hotel tax money and would like to see that doubled to $27.4 million. Associated Press.

Part of the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye’s dream is being fulfilled, and a part of the dream is still being worked on. The Kauai Community College celebrated the opening of its Daniel K. Inouye Technology Center during a dedication and blessing ceremony honoring the support and advocacy provided by the late Senator Friday afternoon. Garden Island.

Molokai

Sixty Molokai residents traded in their old refrigerators - some 20 years old - for new more energy-efficient ones Tuesday - for $250. Maui News.