Monday, June 9, 2014

Hawaii Island tent city a microcosm of native governance, Ige mulling GMO, Maui GMO foes advance amendment, lieutenant governor candidates campaign, $604M budget for Maui, state pension examined, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Native Hawaiian camp at Puhi Bay © 2014 All Hawaii News
What do Native Hawaiians want? It depends whom you ask. West Hawaii Today.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
© 2014 All Hawaii News
The squeals of children just released from school and thuds of hammers tightening tent poles fill the Puhi Bay shoreline in Keaukaha. It’s summer, and Native Hawaiian families are moving to the sea. West Hawaii Today.

State Sen. David Ige said Saturday that he would reconsider his opposition to GMO labeling in Hawaii and look to a Vermont law signed in May as a possible solution. Star-Advertiser.

Clayton Hee officially opened his campaign headquarters Sunday in the race for lieutenant governor. Dozens of supporters, including former Gov. Ben Cayetano and Honolulu City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, greeted the candidate at the headquarters in Nuuanu. Hawaii News Now.

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, a Democrat, has spent nearly $40,000 to run two ads nearly 100 times in the past two weeks, according to Civil Beat research. Both ads aim to remind voters who he is. Civil Beat.

As the incumbent, Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui finds himself in the position of campaigning for a job he never sought in the first place. Star-Advertiser

Many of the top-notch Hawaii teachers who work with the state’s most struggling students will no longer get the annual bonuses they have long received as a perk for helping turn around underperforming schools. Civil Beat.

Hawaii is making its sex education classes for middle school students opt-in, responding to critics by giving parents responsibility to affirm they want their children to be taught the course. Associated Press.

Will Hawaii Ever Climb Out of Its $27 Billion Hole? Taxpayers could see important services cut or higher taxes if they have to pay even more for pensions and health care benefits for retired public workers. Civil Beat.

Hawaii pension officials aren’t the only ones promising taxpayers increased openness when it comes to the financial condition of the state’s public retirement system. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s pension and retiree health care funds are like a giant black hole in the state’s future. It’s growing bigger, getting closer and threatening to swallow important public services if we don’t figure out how to get rid of it. Civil Beat.

Drug poisonings, or overdoses, have overtaken motor vehicle accidents in recent years as the leading cause of fatal injuries in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser

Nearly one in five of Hawaii’s waitlisted patients—that is, those remaining in a hospital after the need for acute care ceases—have an infectious disease, according to discharge data analyzed by the Hawaii Health Information Corporation (HHIC), the state’s premier healthcare data collector and analyzer. Hawaii Reporter.

The so called “Stevie Wonder Blunder” case in which Marc Hubbard, 44, of Mecklenburg, N.C., and Sean Barriero, 44, of Miami were charged with conning the University of Hawaii out of $200,000 after falsely claiming to be Stevie Wonder’s agents, is taking two of Hawaii’s top law enforcement to Spain next week. Hawaii Reporter.

Oahu

The Honolulu Ethics Commission is recommending a city employee be suspended up to three days for operating a side business expediting building permits. Associated Press.

City transit officials appear to finally be gaining speed in approving Honolulu's much-anticipated new Handi-Vans — months after the vehicles first started arriving on island, and as clients voice concerns about a recent fire that destroyed a van minutes after its passengers escaped. Star-Advertiser.

The median price of a single-family home on Oahu rose 8 percent in May, while the median price for a condominium increased 13 percent, according to statistics released Saturday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Unemployment is inching downward and construction and other markets are showing signs of life. But the number of people lining up to receive state supplements for food purchases just keeps increasing. West Hawaii Today.

A report published in this month’s issue of GSA Today notes the presence of plastiglomerate on Kamilo Beach, formed by melted plastic mingling with beach sediment, basalt fragments and other types of debris. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Citing their willingness to compromise and save taxpayers money, Maui County Council members Friday approved a $604 million county budget for fiscal 2014-15, with it set to take effect July 1. Maui News.

A Maui group that wants to ban genetically modified crops has been given a green light by election officials to advance their proposal. Associated Press.

A petition calling for a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically engineered organisms in Maui County has received the required number of signatures to advance for potential placement on the upcoming election ballot, county officials announced today. Maui Now.

While he awaits sentencing on four felony charges, Nelson Waikiki Jr. is among candidates who have filed to run for Maui County mayor. Maui News.

Kauai

As head of an agricultural group, Jerry Ornellas said he's aware of the challenges of maintaining a more than 20-mile-long ditch and tunnel water system in East Kauai — a system formerly operated by East Kauai Water, a business associated with Lihue Sugar Plantation. Star-Advertiser

Kauai County Councilman Ross Kagawa admits the past year and a half has been a tough one. Garden Island.

Turk Tetsuo Tokita, who earned two Purple Hearts fighting for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II and became a trusted political ally on Kauai to four Demo­cratic governors, died Saturday in Lihue. He was 94. Star-Advertiser.