Friday, June 6, 2014

Chinatown to get an entrance, first stretch of Honolulu elevated rail erected, Hawaii Supreme Court to mull Big Island marijuana laws, Superferry docks linger in harbor, endorsements for candidates, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Honolulu Chinatown © 2014 All Hawaii News
Despite being one of the oldest Chinatowns in the country, Honolulu's lacks an entry arch or any other significant landmark. That will soon change.Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Thursday picked up the endorsement of the Iron Workers Union Local 625 and the Iron Workers Stabilization Fund. The union represents 2,000 workers statewide. Star-Advertiser.

An ironworkers union is endorsing Gov. Neil Abercrombie in his bid for re-election as Hawaii governor. Associated Press.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann was endorsed by two unions in his bid to become Hawaii’s next governor. The Hawaii Independent Party candidate was endorsed Thursday by the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers and the Hawaii Sheet Metal Workers Union Local 293. Associated Press.

The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers on Thursday endorsed former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann for governor, a show of confidence in Hannemann's independent campaign. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz is stepping up his television ad buys as the Aug. 9 primary draws closer. Schatz spent nearly $80,000 in just two weeks, buying hundreds of spots on all Hawaii’s major TV stations and Time Warner Oceanic Cable, according to public records kept by the stations. Civil Beat.

Ad Watch: Duke Aiona Plays the Ohana Card. The GOP gubernatorial hopeful says leadership is about the next generation. Civil Beat.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs continues to push forward with its state mandate to guide the process to establish self-governance for Native Hawaiians. Hawaii Public Radio.

Five hundred laborers brought to Hawaii from Thailand over four years beginning in 2003 by the Beverly Hills-based farm labor contractor, Global Horizons, Inc. to work on six farms will see some financial relief. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday announced a multi-million dollar settlement reached in a class action national origin and race discrimination lawsuit the agency filed in 2011 against six farms. Hawaii Reporter.

Oahu

The first stretch of guideway for the island's elevated rail system is now up between columns, offering a clearer glimpse of what the project will eventually look like as it takes shape in the farmlands of West Oahu. Rail officials, state and local elected leaders, and construction managers gathered Thursday at the site of the proposed controversial Ho'opili community development in Ewa to laud the new guideway work. Star-Advertiser.

A bill in the U.S. Senate would enable Hawaii to open a new veteran health care facility on Oahu. Associated Press.

Hawaii's two U.S. senators are co-sponsors of legislation that would give Hawaii another health care facility for veterans, possibly built in Leeward Oahu and named after retired Sen. Daniel Akaka. Star-Advertiser.

Almost one year after they were sold to an equipment dealer, three barges that once were used to load and unload passengers on the now-defunct Hawaii Superferry are still floating in Honolulu Harbor, but they could be on their way out. Pacific Business News.

Federal officials are in Honolulu to help decide whether they will give a standard recertification to a somewhat obscure local transportation planning agency -- and if they don't, the move could cost traffic-plagued Oahu up to $15 million in annual federal highway dollars, local officials have warned. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu police gave out more tickets-per-mile along King Street in the last four years for drivers using cell phones or texting than any other roadway on Oahu, according to data uncovered by Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

There have been at least two recent victories in what electric car advocates say has been a long uphill battle to make the vehicles viable on Hawaii Island. West Hawaii Today.

Circumnavigating Hawaii Island is something many residents and visitors might take for granted, soaking in the views and experiences in a wide range of landscapes unlike anywhere else in the world. But for those who drive the most popular and affordable types of electric vehicles (EVs), it’s a trip that can’t be done. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to consider an appeal of a lower court’s rejection of a lawsuit over the Hawaii County ballot initiative making  personal use of marijuana the “lowest law enforcement priority.” Big Island Now.

The Hawaii County Council took a step toward expanding Ahalanui Park in Puna and Kipapa Park in North Kona earlier this week. Tribune-Herald.

Curbside garbage pickup is coming to Hawaiian Ocean View Estates within the next few weeks, following approval of a special permit Thursday by the Windward Planning Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island builder Scott Watson and his partner had big dreams when they purchased a coastline property in Ninole and set about building what they called “the ultimate playground for the rich and famous” Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Amid of the recent scandal surrounding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and subsequent resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki last week, ongoing dissatisfaction with VA services on Maui also is coming to light. Maui News.

Incumbent Office of Hawaiian Affairs Maui Trustee Carmen "Hulu" Lindsey will be challenged by Mahealani Wendt, the former head of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. in the fall election. Maui News.

A Maui man who sued the county over allegations he was pressured to stop working on a Facebook page is running for mayor. Associated Press.

Volta Industries LLC has opened two electric vehicle charging stations at the Whalers Village in Kaanapali, the company announced Thursday. Maui News.

Kauai

A coalition of concerned Kauai organizations and individuals will kick off a series of public events Saturday in protest of Rim of the Pacific — the biennial international military war games — which returns to Hawaiian waters later this month. Garden Island.

The Department of Water has installed a temporary low-capacity submersible pump to its Kalaheo deep well, to provide supplemental water service to the Kalaheo area until full restorations are completed. Garden Island.