Friday, May 9, 2014

Hawaii internment camp to be national park, shorter men live longer, charter schools struggle for approval, Health Department cites Big Island landfills, Honolulu cracks down on ag houses, UH presidential hopefills visit Maui and Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

National Park Service
Honouliuli Internment Camp, courtesy National Park Service
The National Park Service said Thursday it wants to make the former Honouliuli Internment Camp, now weedy and overgrown, a historic site as a new unit of the national park system, or a national monument. Star-Advertiser.

The National Park Service on Thursday proposed making the former Honouliuli Internment Camp on Oahu either a monument or a historic site. The park service plans to hold meetings this month and next to get the public's feedback. Associated Press.

In a report released Thursday, the National Park Service found that the former Honouliuli Internment Camp in Waipahu is a nationally significant historic site, a big step toward designating the area as a national monument.  The draft study evaluated 17 sites in Hawaii to determine what should be included in the national park system, and concluded that both the Honouliuli Internment Camp and the U.S. Immigration Station qualified as nationally significant. Civil Beat.

National Park Service
Honouliuli Internment Camp
A former internment camp where Japanese and European Americans were incarcerated during World War II could soon become a National Monument or Historic Site, the first ever in Hawai'i. Hawaii News Now.

Read the report here.

Size really does matter when it comes to living longer. In the largest, most detailed and longest study on aging, a team of Hawaii researchers discovered shorter men live longer. Hawaii News Now.

You're a Japanese male and you have some crazy notion about wanting to be taller. Better think again. A Honolulu-based research study published this week found a connection between short height and longer life in men of Japanese ancestry. Star-Advertiser.

Over the past few months, six prospective Hawaii public charter schools sought approval from state commissioners to move forward with their plans to develop alternative, publicly funded places of learning. But the state’s eight-member Charter School Commission denied four of the applications on Thursday for reasons ranging from insufficient planning to failure to integrate Hawaii’s culture into the learning model. Civil Beat.

A group of concerned state lawmakers has called together advocates for people with disabilities to increase public awareness of the services health care providers are obligated to provide patients who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf and blind. Star-Advertiser.

A massive molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor last fall led Hawaii lawmakers to introduce legislation designed to prevent a repeat disaster. But the proposals they crafted failed to survive the 2014 legislative session. Star-Advertiser.

A massive molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor last fall led Hawaii lawmakers to introduce legislation designed to prevent a repeat performance. But the proposals they crafted failed to survive the 2014 legislative session. Associated Press.

For her very first congressional campaign commercial, Hawaii Senate President Donna Mercado Kim takes a novel approach. Civil Beat.

A national organization promoting the labeling of genetically modified foods has opened an office in Honolulu. The Center for Food Safety has also established a local political action committee and will get involved in state elections this summer. Associated Press.

The State’s 4 County Mayors addressed members of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai’i today during a luncheon in Honolulu.   It was the first event of its kind hosted by the Chamber and some members said it provided a fresh perspective.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Profile: Scott Enright earned his bachelor's degree in psychology and philosophy from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, but somehow ended up having a long career in agriculture. "You know, it certainly wasn't planned," said Enright, who is chairman of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture and thus de facto director of the state Department of Agriculture. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

The city is cracking down on what it says are illegal houselike buildings in a remote agricultural subdivision in the foothills of Kunia where residences are prohibited. Star-Advertiser.

Bus riders tired of homeless sleeping on benches. Hawaii News Now.

An infestation of bedbugs has become so rampant at the Oahu Community Correctional Center that officials announced a plan Thursday to shut down a housing module for fumigation and temporarily relocate more than 100 inmates. Star-Advertiser.

An arraignment of individuals charged with various crimes in connection with sweepstakes machines was held Thursday in Circuit Court. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Hawaii County has been fined more than $350,000 by the state Department of Health for alleged solid waste permit violations at the Hilo and West Hawaii landfills. Tribune-Herald.

The April 30 indictment of Waste Management of Hawaii Inc. and two of its officials shouldn’t have an impact on its lifetime contract to run the West Hawaii landfill or the current selection process for a waste-reduction facility to replace the Hilo landfill. West Hawaii Today.

An associate degree in marine science is one of the programs that could be offered when Hawaii Community College — Palamanui is up and running next year. Kenneth Fletcher, University of Hawaii Center at West Hawaii director, told residents in Waikoloa Wednesday night that many opportunities exist to link higher education with businesses. West Hawaii Today.

State officials say it will take about $2.1 million in capital improvements to help transition Kiholo State Park Reserve to a wilderness park, and estimate annual operating, maintenance costs at about $555,000. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

David Lassner and retired Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, both seeking to become president of the University of Hawaii system, offered slightly different visions for the future of the University of Hawaii Maui College in separate public appearances at the college Thursday. Maui News.

The Hawai'i Health Connector has been a costly mistake, and the state government should immediately seek a waiver from the federal Affordable Care Act's requirement for the state to have an online insurance exchange, said Michael Gold, president and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Medical Service Association. Maui News.

Sugar production at Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. on Maui, the state's last sugar plantation, plummeted 83 percent in the first quarter of the year compared to last year due to "extremely wet conditions," Alexander & Baldwin reported in its first quarter report Thursday. Maui News.

Kauai

By their own accounts, Francis “Frank” Wiercinski and David Lassner were on different paths in life. Garden Island.