Thursday, November 21, 2013

Inouye honored with Medal of Freedom, Hawaii County Council raises tobacco sale age to 21, state art foundation director resigns after photo brouhaha, Maui mayor, Monsanto, sign pesticide agreement, luxury Honolulu homes spared proposed tax burden, Senate to probe State Hospital, sexual harrassment lawsuit against DLNR, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

White House courtesy photo
Obama honors Inouye, others with Medal of Freedom
The late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye was among 16 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom presented Wednesday, 50 years after the death of the award’s founder, President John F. Kennedy. President Barack Obama awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor to Inouye and 15 others, including former President Bill Clinton and iconic talk show host Oprah Winfrey, in a star-studded and often poignant celebration at the White House. Star-Advertiser.

Senator Daniel Inouye becomes only second recipient of both Medal of Freedom, Medal of Honor. Hawaii Reporter.

Irene Inouye reacts to Presidential Medal of Freedom for Sen. Inouye. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie will likely face increased pressure for the state to intervene in the debate over genetically modified organisms now that two counties are moving to restrict GMO crops. Star-Advertiser.

The executive director of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts has opted to resign after the group’s recent, admitted misuse of a photo of a Hawaiian icon, according to the foundation chairwoman. Star-Advertiser.

Local artists and supporters of the arts, including several Native Hawaiians, are outraged over what is described as the "desecration" of a photograph in the collection of the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. Civil Beat.

State Hospital employees talked Wednesday about serious injuries from assaults at the mental health hospital in Kaneohe due to lack of staff, support and training. The comments came during a news briefing by state Sens. Clayton Hee and Josh Green announcing hearings to investigate the matter sometime after Thanksgiving. Star-Advertiser.

Assaults on Mental Health Workers Spur Hawaii Senate Investigation. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Honolulu City Councilman Joey Manahan's attempt to raise the minimum value to $1.5 million for residential properties to be appears to be failing. The Council Budget Committee on Wednesday voted 4-1 to strip out Manahan's proposal to increase the threshold for the new Residential A tax class to $1.5 million, leaving the original limit of $1 million in place. Star-Advertiser.

With Rep. Tom Brower agreeing to put down his sledge hammer and hang up his cape, we decided to take a look at his 2013 voting record on bills relating to housing and the houseless. Hawaii Independent.

OliverMcMillan Pacific Rim LLC began construction Wednesday on its 388-unit, 45-story Symphony Honolulu mixed-use condominium tower at the corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and Ward Avenue, across from the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood. Pacific Business News.
There have been several different high-rise building ideas for the mauka-Ewa corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and Ward Avenue, but none progressed to construction — until now. A San Diego-based developer held a groundbreaking ceremony and blessing Wednesday at the site of its planned 45-story condominium tower named Symphony Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii public company with major financial power and development experience is going to be the new dominant owner of commercial property in Kailua, though the firm said it won't be moving fast to redevelop what is still largely a bedroom community. Alexander  &  Baldwin Inc. is buying nearly all the Oahu real estate owned by Kaneohe Ranch Co. and the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation -- roughly 650 acres -- in a $373 million deal announced Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu has a chief medical examiner on the job for the first time since October 2009. Dr. Christopher B. Happy took over as the head of the city Department of Medical Examiner this week, city officials said. Star-Advertiser.

KHON2 News has learned that HECO and solar power companies have come up with a solution to a slowdown in residential solar installations.

As wood beams and logs wash up onto Hawaii's shores, most recently on Sunday on Kauai and another last week on Kailua Beach Park, the debris is usually recycled or just left on shore, but one man is turning them into tikis. At 87, he's been carving out works of art for decades, but this one's different. KITV.

Hawaii

Hawaii County will join a small handful of local governments nationwide — and become the only county in the state — raising the tobacco sale age to 21, under a measure unanimously passed by the Hawaii County Council on Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

A former state parks employee on the Big Island has filed a sexual harassment and sex discrimination lawsuit against the Department of Land and Natural Resources and her former supervisor. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor Billy Kenoi said he expects to make a decision on Bill 113 next week. The Hawaii County Council passed the bill, which restricts genetically modified crops, Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

The International Lunar Observatory Association is planning to build a global headquarters and research center in Waimea. The project, estimated to cost between $2 million and $3 million, will provide a central location for ILOA to manage and operate its four lunar missions, now in development. West Hawaii Today.

In the holistic learning model — a blend of STEM and Hawaiian spirituality that is being piloted at Ka Umeke Kaeo public charter school with the hope that it will later expand to other Hawaiian immersion and charter schools — students adapt an indigenous worldview to understand scientific processes. Civil Beat.

Officials, coaches and parents of Big Island Pop Warner football and the Panaewa Alii team are in what one parent called “crazy fundraising mode” to try to get their midget team to the Pop Warner Super Bowl — the league’s national championship — in the wake of disclosure of embezzlement of $100,000 or more in league travel funds.Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa has signed a pesticide disclosure agreement with agricultural giant Monsanto. The county said Wednesday the deal requires Monsanto to disclose what types of restricted-use pesticides it's using and how much. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa has signed a pesticide disclosure agreement with agricultural giant Monsanto. The county said Wednesday the deal requires Monsanto to disclose what types of restricted-use pesticides it's using and how much. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa announced that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Monsanto, “obtaining assurances from the company that they will engage in safe practices involving restricted-use pesticides.” Maui Now.

Mayor Alan Arakawa has signed a memorandum of understanding with Monsanto, obtaining assurances from the bioengineering company that it will engage in safe practices involving restricted-use pesticides, according to a Maui County announcement. Maui News.

Maui's three homeless shelters served 1,557 people last fiscal year, but experts estimate there are likely twice that number still staying in cars, parks and beaches across the county. Maui News.

Kauai
The fight against drunken driving is one that Kekaha resident Kira Seabury and at least three generations of her family has been engaged in for the last decade. Garden Island.