Monday, June 23, 2014

Cost of living mars Hawaii retirement dreams, feds to hold hearing today on Native Hawaiian recognition, Abercrombie to announce likely vetoes today, Apache helicopters arrive, gubernatorial candidates oppose Kakaako condos, famed Molokai mule guide dies, UFO landing pad for Puna, Wow Wie, Michelle! and more top news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Waikiki retirees © 2014 All Hawaii News
Cost of living spoils Hawaii’s retirement rank. The expense of the 50th state lands it at 46th on a recent list for post-career life. Star-Advertiser.

What would a Native Hawaiian government look like? No one knows. But as of Monday morning, federal officials are gathering public input on whether the United States should establish a government-to-government relationship with Hawaii’s indigenous community, starting with a hearing at the State Capitol. Civil Beat.

There are efforts by the Governor of the State of Hawaii, the Hawaii State Congressional Delegation, State of Hawaii Legislators and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to seek State and Federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. Over the next few weeks, the US Department of Interior will hold public meetings in Hawaii and Indian country to solicit input on how this should proceed. Hawaii Independent.

The deadline has arrived for Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie to tell lawmakers which bills he plans to veto. Those potential vetoes must be announced on Monday. Associated Press.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed 16 bills into law Friday afternoon on proposals ranging from modernizing the electric grid to stopping police officers from having sex with prostitutes in the line of duty. Several of the proposals dealt with protecting children from harm and restoring justice to victims of Internet crimes. Associated Press.

Governor’s Travels: Island Trips, Economy Travel and Obama Abercrombie took five trips in January and February, including a weeklong stay in Washington, D.C. Civil Beat.

Sixty five percent of Hawaii’s public school principals are predicting a drastic drop in math and reading test scores the coming school year, in one case by as much as 50 percent. Hawaii Reporter.

Commentary: Hawaii's 2014 election has drawn refreshing competition at the top of the ballot, with most action set in motion by the death of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. Down the ballot in legislative races, however, are reminders of how far our state must come to restore our once-vibrant democracy. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Does the AJA Vote Still Matter? Support of Japanese Americans has historically been critical to win elections in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Eight of the U.S. Army’s most advanced attack helicopters arrived in Hawaii on Friday for this summer’s Rim of the Pacific joint exercises, after which half of those Apache Guardians will be sent deeper into Asia as part of the Army’s Pacific Pathways initiative. Stars and Stripes.

After nearly a decade on the LPGA tour, Michelle Wie has finally won the first major tournament of her career. The Punahou grad finished -2 over the weekend to become the champion of the 69th U.S. Women's Open Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Hawaii News Now.

Michelle Wie’s big win at the U.S. Women’s Open is the talk of the town and lots of people were glued to the TV Sunday morning to watch her play. KHON2.

Oahu

State transportation leaders still can't say for sure that their proposed Ewa-bound Zipper Lane is officially dead, but they are moving ahead anyway with H-1 freeway improvements in Central Oahu that no longer include such a contra-flowed traffic lane. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state Sen. David Ige both say they do not support giving the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs the authority to develop high-rise condominiums near the waterfront at Kaka­ako. Star-Advertiser.

The Navy confirmed more tiny holes in a leaking storage tank in Red Hill that appears to be a cause of the release of an estimated 27,000 gallons of jet fuel in January. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The Hawaii Electric Light Co. is using a new timeline for approving another geothermal power project for Hawaii Island as it attempts to address issues raised by the state Public Utilities Commission and an independent observer. Tribune-Herald.

Candidates for the House District 5 seat and the County Council District 6 slot tackled taxes, garbage, GMO labeling and other issues at a candidate forum Saturday in Kealakekua. West Hawaii Today.

With illegal signs cluttering walkways, little enforcement of existing laws and too many people wandering around lost, Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille is asking for public input before she drafts a revision to the county sign code. West Hawaii Today.

Kawaihae Harbor will have a new home for vessels by the end of next month. That’s assuming all goes as planned as contractors finish up a new floating dock, trailer parking and wash down area at the Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor. West Hawaii Today.

Last-minute changes to make University of Hawaii at Hilo’s new Student Services Building wheelchair accessible delayed the facility’s opening by about a year and racked up just under $230,000 in additional expenses. Tribune-Herald.

If all goes as planned, E.T. may soon be calling Puna home. A UFO landing pad and star visitor sanctuary is set to be dedicated Friday on land accreted by the 1983 lava flow fronting Uncle Robert’s Kawa Bar in Kalapana. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A 2nd Circuit judge is being asked to consider whether Neldon Mamuad is qualified to remain on the ballot as a mayoral candidate, following a preliminary ruling last week that he should be disqualified. Maui News.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie released $19.5 million Friday for the state's purchase of Lipoa Point, with West Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey calling it a "huge" step toward the public acquisition of the scenic coastline area as open space free of development. Maui News.

The effort to preserve and utilize the Palauea Cultural Preserve marked a beginning earlier this week with a blessing on the nearly 21-acre site in Makena that sits among multimillion-dollar homes. Maui News.

Kauai

A vision to boost the island’s agriculture and food industries by creating a centralized processing facility may not be such a good idea after all, according to a county study conducted through the Office of Economic Development. Garden Island.

Coco Palms was a popular destination for movie stars, including Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. Before history-making memories were made, a story of another sort — with an even deeper history — took place. “I exhumed 81 skeletons all buried sitting down and facing east with their arms crossed over their chests,” said Valentine Ako, who was contracted to excavate for the construction of buildings Two and Three of the iconic Coco Palms resort in the early 1950s. Garden Island.

Although the County Council has not acted yet on a line-item veto by Mayor Alan Arakawa involving restrictions on funding for the county Department of Environmental Management, the department announced Thursday that there will be reductions in county landfill hours and no refuse collection on county holidays, effective Aug. 1. Garden Island.

Molokai

For 40 years Buzzy Sproat, wearing his signature black cowboy hat, led the mule rides down to the remote Kalau­papa peninsula on Molo­kai, regaling visitors with stories and whistling elaborate tunes. Star-Advertiser.