Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Coral reef damage and global warming alarm Hawaii scientists, Oahu environmental activist attacked, opposition mounts to military man heading University of Hawaii, Dems changing rules on filling vacancies in Legislature, hula STD app changes name, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Fourspot butterflyfish with rice coral © 2014 All Hawaii News
Armed with mounting evidence that the disease attacking Kauai's coral reefs is spreading, state aquatic officials Tuesday said they're stepping up their response to the problem. What's more, officials said they want everyone in Hawaii to be on the lookout for the black-band coral disease and report any discoveries to its "Eyes of the Reef" website. Star-Advertiser.

Access Eyes of the Reef website here.

A year and a half after a U.S. Geological Survey report described Kauai’s coral disease outbreak as an “epidemic,” the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Tuesday it will lead an investigation to identify research and treatment options. Garden Island.

DLNR courtesy photo Hawaii
Coral disease
Hawaii needs to prepare for diminishing supplies of freshwater, dying coral reefs, stronger storms, rising sea levels and fewer native species, according to the third U.S. National Climate Assessment, a comprehensive report on the long-term effects of climate change on regions throughout the country. Civil Beat.

A federal report released Tuesday says Hawaii and other U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands are at risk of climate changes that will affect nearly every aspect of life. Associated Press.

Scientists and state officials are continuing to monitor a coral disease that’s quickly spreading across the north shores of Kauai. Hawaii Public Radio.

Which Hawaii Senators Got the Most Bills Passed? Civil Beat.

Retired Lt. Gen. Frank Wiercinski's decades-long military career was top of mind for students who protested a forum where he made his first public appearance Tuesday night as one of two finalists vying to be the next president of the University of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

There were protestors and pointed questions at the first of several "talk story" public forums with the finalists for the President of the University of Hawai'i system. Two men in the running for UH's top position, Interim President David Lassner and Lt. General Francis Wiercinski. Hawaii News Now.

A veteran former University of Hawaii administrator who wanted to be UH president said she might still be a candidate for the job if the Board of Regents hadn't changed the rules during the search process. Hawaii News Now.

The Native Hawaiian Roll Commission certified more than 125,000 people on its official register, completing a major first step for Native Hawaiians to form their own independent government that could seek federal recognition and the return of land to the Hawaiian people. Associated Press.

A mobile app called “Hula,” which is used to provide information about sexually transmitted diseases, will change its name after complaints that the use of the word was culturally insensitive to Hawaiians, the app’s owner said Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz continues to use his significant money advantage over Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to inundate Hawaii airwaves with messaging that he hopes will keep him in office well beyond 2014. Civil Beat.

Are Hawaii hospitals among the nation's best or worst for patient safety? It depends on which study you choose to believe. Pacific Business News.

Could HECO Fade Like Evening Newspapers and Ma Bell? Civil Beat.

Oahu

Environmental activist Carroll Cox was attacked Tuesday by two masked men armed with pipes in the Kalaeloa area not far from a property that he has been investigating for illegal use and improper dumping, Cox said. Star-Advertiser.

Environmental activist Carroll Cox said he was attacked by two masked men armed with a metal pipe as he investigated illegal dumping and questionable leases in Kalaeloa. Hawaii News Now.

More gaming machines could be deemed “illegal” through a City Council bill that is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday morning at Kapolei Hale. Bill 30 is scheduled for second reading, so it’s still a ways off from becoming law.  But it does open the floor for discussion. KHON2.

Oahu's housing market has been on a four-year upswing in sales volume, but that trend is now flirting a bit with a slowdown as relatively low inventory and high prices take a toll on buyers. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: The Senate confirmed Brian Tamamoto to one of HCDA's two "small business" seats on April 24. The thing is, Tamamoto's company is a subsidiary of Kobayashi Group, a major developer ($3 billion worth so far) and anything but a small business. Hawaii Independent.

Within the next month the University of Hawaii and the Aloha Stadium Authority hope to get a better picture of future stadium prospects from two disparate studies. Star-Advertiser.

Whole Foods Market is the newest addition to the Ward Village redevelopment. The upscale grocer said Tuesday it has signed a lease to open another Hono­lulu store, which will be built as part of a mixed-used project at the site of the former Nordstrom Rack, existing Office Depot and a surface parking lot. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The Hawaii County Democratic Party leadership has unanimously approved new rules governing how to fill vacancies in the Legislature, following a controversy last year filling the District 5 post vacated by former state Rep. Denny Coffman. West Hawaii Today.

Former Hawaii Tribune-Herald Publisher Jim Wilson filed last week to run in the District 6 election, starting his first foray into politics since leaving the fourth estate more than a decade ago.

Studying magma before it erupts is a big challenge for geologists for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the molten rock sometimes sits inaccessible miles below the earth’s surface. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

After nearly six weeks of deliberations and a clash between Mayor Alan Arakawa and County Council budget committee Chairman Mike White, the council budget committee Monday recommended approval of a $604 million county budget, which includes lower property tax rates but is 8 percent more than the current fiscal budget. Maui News.

The family of a Kihei woman who died in an airplane crash on Lanai is suing the companies that owned and operated the plane and the estate of the pilot, who also died in the crash, for negligence. Maui News.

Kauai

Work began Tuesday morning to remove diseased and termite infested Norfolk trees lining the Haleko Road entrance to the Kukui Grove Center. Garden Island.