Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hawaii shipping costs climb, University of Hawaii halts projects, first female lieutenant governor dies, more windmills for Oahu, Maui Mall for sale, HMSA raising some rates, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii shipping fees
Matson courtesy photo
For a third consecutive year, the cost to ship goods by Hawaii's dominant ocean cargo transportation company will rise about 5.5 percent, adding to the cost of most things consumed in our isolated island state. Matson Inc. let customers know Monday that it will raise shipping rates effective Jan. 5. The cost to ship a container to Hawaii from the mainland will rise by $175. An associated terminal handling charge will rise by $50 per container. Star-Advertiser.

Matson Navigation Company, Inc., is planning to raise its shipping rates for containers moving to and from Hawaii by about 5.5 percent next year. The company is tacking on an extra $175 for each westbound container and $85 for each eastbound container starting on January 5. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Medical Service Association plans to raise rates by an average 7.5 percent for 14,300 individuals who were earlier notified their policies would be canceled at year's end because they did not meet the minimum requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act. Star-Advertiser.

New building projects will be halted across the University of Hawaii system for three years under a moratorium the Board of Regents is imposing to redirect resources toward a repair and maintenance backlog that has swelled to nearly a half-billion dollars. The construction freeze, approved unanimously at a regents meeting held last week on Maui, takes effect immediately. But it comes with several exemption criteria that regents want to apply to 13 planned projects statewide. Star-Advertiser.

The state Campaign Spending Commission is making it easier to follow the money in political campaigns with a greatly enhanced website and an app that shows campaign contributions and expenditures in easy-to-understand graphs and charts. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii League of Women Voters wants the state’s new health insurance website to include links and information that encourages residents to register to vote. Civil Beat.

State Rep. Mark Takai won a key endorsement in his bid for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District seat Monday when U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth threw her support behind her former student government colleague. Star-Advertiser.

The woman charged with implementing the Affordable Care Act in Hawaii through the insurance exchange Hawaii Health Connector will step down amidst controversy over its failed launch. Coral Andrews, executive director of Hawaii Health Connector for the past two years, said Friday she will not seek to renew her contract. She will leave her post Dec. 6. Hawaii Reporter.

The Public Safety Department started serving so called “Heart Healthy” meals to Hawaii inmates last year. Prisons director Ted Sakai says the new diet was adopted to address soaring medical costs in the prisons. Civil Beat.

JEAN Sadako King, Hawaii's first female lieutenant governor and one of the state's most prominent political activists, died Sunday evening, according to family and friends. She was 87. Star-Advertiser.

Jean Sadako King, the first woman elected lieutenant governor in Hawaii, has died. She was 87. King passed away Sunday at her home in Honolulu after a bout with pancreatic cancer, said her granddaughter Tina Lance. Associated Press.

Oahu

Champlin-GEI Wind Holding’s wind farm, named Na Pua Makani, could add 15 additional turbines to those already installed around Kahuku. But since Champlin, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., lost its original 2008 bid, 42 towering wind turbines have been erected in an area of Oahu famous for big waves and rural lifestyles. Turbines from the new project, along with the existing wind farm, would hem the small town of Kahuku in on three sides. Civil Beat.

Forest City Hawaii is planning to build a $140 million, 499-unit mixed-use apartment rental complex in West Oahu, near the Foodland-anchored Kapolei Village Center, Jon Wallenstrom, president of Forest City Hawaii, told Pacific Business News.

If you think your water bill is soaring, take a look at what the Honolulu Board of Water Supply had to pay a consultant for its customer billing system. Hawaii News Now has learned that the board is paying contractor EMA Inc. of Minnesota nearly $3.5 million, even though the company was initially hired in 2008 for about $800,000.

When Does an Attack Become a Hate Crime? Civil Beat.

Lyle Galdeira, former TV newscaster and reviewer on the popular television show "Cheap Eats," died early Monday morning. Galdeira, 59, awoke Monday shortly after midnight complaining of difficulty breathing. City Emergency Medical Services Division personnel tried to revive him, but he died, his family said. Star-Advertiser.

Former Hawaii television anchor/reporter Lyle Galdeira died Monday morning following health complications at a Honolulu hospital. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii
The successful bidder for the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort has complained about hotel property being removed prior to the sale being finalized. Tower Development Inc. President Ed Bushor wrote in federal bankruptcy court that he witnessed “truckloads” of items being taken on Nov. 18 from the Hilo hotel, including lamps, paintings and boxes of files. Tribune-Herald.

Real Estate Brokers have called it the third largest privately-owned old-growth koa forest on the planet, and its up for sale, listed at $22 million. Big Island Video News.

A 19-year-old female student who claimed she fought off an attempted knifepoint sex assault in a bathroom on the University of Hawaii at Hilo campus has recanted her story, police said Monday. Capt. Robert Wagner of the Hilo Criminal Investigation Division said an investigation was opened Monday into possible charges of filing a false police report, but the young woman, who is from Oahu, had not been charged. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Alexander & Baldwin announced that it has agreed to sell Maui Mall in a transaction anticipated to be finalized by early 2014. Maui Now.

The Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission announced Thursday a new collaboration with the University of Hawaii Maui College as part of an ongoing sustainable energy program for the island. Maui News.

Kauai

County officials announced Monday that Kauai-based Pacific Blue Construction, LLC will begin refurbishing all the structures at Lydgate Beach Park. Garden Island.