Friday, May 23, 2014

Waikiki beach named best in the U.S., Maui GMO foes struggle with signatures, Kauai campers evicted, gubernatorial candidates weigh in on UH president search, preschool plan falls short, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Duke Kahanamoku Beach © 2014 All Hawaii News
A tourist-friendly beach named for a Hawaii surfing legend has been dubbed the best public beach in the United States in this year’s Dr. Beach ranking. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, a well-groomed crescent of blond sand and palm trees near the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, beat out more than 600 other beaches for the distinction. Associated Press.

The Duke Kahanamoku Beach in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort has topped this year's list of the nation's best beaches, according to "Dr. Beach," the self-proclaimed foremost beach expert in America. Pacific Business News.

The two leading Democrats in the governor's race weighed in on the University of Hawaii Board of Regents' search for a new UH president Thursday, after questions were raised about the search process and its outcome. Hawaii News Now.

State Sen. David Ige said Thursday that if voters elect him governor this fall he will work to change how public schools are managed, starting with the statewide Board of Education, whose members are appointed. The Democratic gubernatorial candidate fielded an array of questions before an audience of about 60 concerned citizens and campaign supporters who attended Civil Beat’s monthly Civil Cafe event.

After watching Kentucky's hemp seed importation quandary unfold last week, Hawaii plans to apply for a Drug Enforcement Administration permit to prevent delays in its own plan for industrial hemp. Star-Advertiser.

The reduced funding lawmakers set aside this session for Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s universal preschool plan will serve 220 fewer 4-year-olds than planned, establishing prekindergarten classes at 18 instead of 30 public schools next school year. Star-Advertiser.

Equality Hawai‘i Foundation, hoping to spark more efforts to prevent bullying, released poll data Thursday showing that voters think it's an important issue and that Caucasians in Hawaii are the ethnic group most likely to report being bullied. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa touts her local roots and sympathy for the middle class in her first ad of the 2014 Senate campaign season. Civil Beat.

Bryan Earl Jeremiah has been campaigning as a Republican for state House District 41, but after learning he had an extensive criminal rap sheet, elected Republican leaders asked the 51-year-old on Wednesday to withdraw. Hawaii Reporter.

The neighbor islands, which lagged behind Oahu in economic growth for much of the past five years, have closed the gap and are poised for continued improvement this year and next, according to a report scheduled for release Friday by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. Star-Advertiser.

Mike Gold, president and CEO of Hawaii Medical Service Association, says that despite drawing criticism from some lawmakers in the past few weeks, he’s received largely positive responses since recommending that the state do away with the Hawaii Health Connector’s health insurance exchange for small business owners. Tribune-Herald.

Meetings will be held statewide to receive public input on the potential inclusion of the Honouliuli Internment Camp into the National Park System. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Federal officials propose spending $200 million to erect walls around the Ala Wai Canal and build upland detention ponds to protect Waikiki and other areas from a major rainstorm that could cause catastrophic flooding. Civil Beat.

The city received 14,316 applications for Section 8 rental assistance during a one-week open application period that ended at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

The City and County of Honolulu is moving forward with building bike-friendly infrastructure to coincide with the arrival of rail transit in the urban core in less than 5 years. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state is reminding the public that it will be enforcing a ban on alcohol at the popular Kaneohe sandbar this Memorial Day weekend. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu market probably won’t see a new office tower built anytime soon, according to one local real estate expert, who noted that this will cause existing landlords to enjoy this next upswing in the market. Pacific Business News.

Navy officials said Thursday they are still not certain that 27,000 gallons of jet fuel leaked from an underground storage tank at Red Hill in January, noting that other factors may have caused a discrepancy in what they had expected to find in the tank and what was actually measured. Star-Advertiser.

The historic former Marks Estate is losing its steward and two 90-something sisters who call the stately Nuu­anu property home, after a tangled financial affair that involves what the property owner claims is a $40 million masterwork painting that he can’t sell to save his beloved estate. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Slow but steady wins the race seems the motto for Hawaii County’s economy, as it builds incrementally toward levels lost during the Great Recession. That’s according to a report being released today by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, known as UHERO. West Hawaii Today.

Burglaries, drivers speeding in residential neighborhoods and Tasers were among concerns voiced by citizens to police commanders during a meeting Thursday at the Hilo Police Station. Tribune-Herald.

The new owners of 252 acres of South Kohala land hope to have the utilities in place for the first 195 home sites in 2015. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The Maui County clerk has rejected more than half of the 9,768 signatures on an initiative petition submitted by the SHAKA Movement seeking a moratorium on genetically modified crops. Star-Advertiser.

The SHAKA Movement is about 3,700 signatures shy of placing a citizens' initiative on the Nov. 4 ballot for a moratorium on genetically modified organisms in Maui County. Maui News.

The National Park Service's plan to cut down the number of tour bus companies allowed in Haleakala National Park from 18 to four may have upset commercial operators, but one Upcountry resident said the downsizing is "long overdue." Maui News.

The Maui Humane Society's board of directors announced that it has appointed Sandra "Sandy" Shelby as its new chief executive officer. Maui News.

Hāmoa Beach Among Top 10 on Dr. Beach’s 2014 Picks. Maui Now.

Kauai

Campers at Anahola Beach Park were told to vacate or face arrest on Thursday. Garden Island.

For nearly four decades, a long-term plan for a bypass road located mauka of Lihue and Hanamaulu was spelled out on the county’s books. Garden Island.

A 107-year-old metal siphon running along the Kekaha Ditch has seen better days. Garden Island.