Friday, June 27, 2014

Honolulu homeless measures panned, Medicaid families receive erroneous cut-off notices, state panel investigates dirty politics in Honolulu mayor race, Kauai feral cats kill endangered seabirds, Land Board to vote on Thirty Meter Telescope today, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


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Honolulu homeless © 2014 All Hawaii News
Top officials in Mayor Kirk Caldwell's administration say they worry that two bills that would prohibit lying and sitting on all Oahu sidewalks and ban defecating and urinating in public areas might not pass constitutional muster. Star-Advertiser.

Two measures issued by Mayor Kirk Caldwell and passed by the city Council's Zoning and Planning committee would make it illegal to sit or lie down on sidewalks, or urinate and defecate in public in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

It was standing room only as dozens spoke their mind about five controversial bills regarding the homeless Thursday. KITV4.

At least 4,582 Quest families received erroneous notices earlier this month saying their coverage would end Monday. Hundreds of Quest recipients have been flooding the state Medicaid offices for answers. Star-Advertiser.

The Campaign Spending Commission is reviewing recently released email correspondence of Pacific Resource Partnership's 2012 campaign against mayoral hopeful Ben Cayetano to determine whether the group committed any violations that could warrant further investigation, the state agency's attorney said Thursday. At issue is whether all of the consultants who appeared to be working on the anti-Cayetano campaign were properly listed on spending reports filed by PRP's political action committee. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission launched an investigation Thursday into the Pacific Resource Partnership’s involvement in the 2012 Honolulu mayoral race. PRP, an advocacy group for union carpenters and contractors, spent $3.6 million during that election cycle, almost entirely on an effort to derail former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano’s bid for mayor. Civil Beat.

The race for the Democratic Senate nomination is heating up with U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa spending $175,175 on 335 TV advertising spots running through the Aug. 9 primary election. Civil Beat.

Hawaii might be the only place left in the country where an endorsement from President Barack Obama can be looked at as a positive. Brian Schatz’s latest TV spot in his campaign against U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa puts both arms around the Hawaii-born president, and refuses to let go until the viewer clearly understands just how much his endorsement means to the senator. Civil Beat.

One of the fiercest critics of the effort to create a new federal relationship with a future Native Hawaiian government offered a gift of lei to the government officials who have been blasted in public hearings this week. Beginning Friday on Lanai, the federal officials will hold hearings on each of the major neighbor islands. Star-Advertiser.

With one set of reforms undergoing major changes and another set due to kick in despite widespread opposition, teacher evaluations are becoming an issue in the Hawaii governor’s race. Civil Beat poll numbers show a surprising shift toward David Ige, the teachers union-backed gubernatorial candidate, in the Democratic primary race against sitting Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who aggressively pushed for the new evaluations as part of a 2013 contract deal that soured many educators on him. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Blue-washing the colonization and militarization of “our ocean” How U.S. Marine National Monuments protect environmentally harmful U.S. military bases throughout the Pacific and the world. Hawaii Independent.

Legislators concerned about governor's pending veto list. Hawaii Reporter.

Reynolds Recycling is scheduled to reopen its redemption centers Friday after receiving a $707,514.20 check from the state Department of Health on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

All 35 Reynold’s Recycling redemption centers will reopen Friday after shutting down for one day over a reimbursement spat with the state. The state owed the company more than a million dollars for containers collected for the month. Reynolds is the largest recycler of beverage containers in the state and has been in business in Hawaii for more than 30 years. KHON2.

Eugene Tian, chief economist for Hawaii's state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, says that while cable station CNBC used consistent methodology in its report that names Hawaii the second worst state for business, he also points out that the state saw a net increase of new businesses in 2013 and has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at 4.4 percent. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Aloha Stadium's current 50,000 seating capacity would decrease by 30 percent to 40 percent if the recommendation of a consultant hired to study the facility's future is adopted. Foley & Lardner LLP, a New York law firm, recommended "a new 30,000- to 35,000-seat stadium on the lower portion of the stadium site," as part of a 35-page comprehensive site summary unanimously accepted Thursday by the Aloha Stadium Authority. Star-Advertiser.

The state has opened an investigating into a potential illegal landfill at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Heights campus, just as a former staffer is alleging that the dumping has been going on for decades. Hawaii News Now.

The Army laid out a worst-case scenario Thursday for downsizing that includes the removal of nearly 20,000 soldiers and civilian workers on Oahu with an associated loss of $1.4 billion in income over the next six years. "Such deep reductions are not envisioned," the Army says in a report. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources will consider granting a sublease for the Thirty Meter Telescope today at its meeting in Honolulu. The nearly 20-year sublease would set the stage for construction of the $1.3 billion telescope on Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Council plans to dip into open space funds to stave off a lawsuit caused by a 1999 misstep by the county Planning Department. West Hawaii Today.

A popular community in Kalapana Seaview Estates built illegal structures and cut down protected trees on state land, according to a report filed earlier this month with the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Tribune-Herald.

The Big Island’s elevators are getting long-needed inspections, and rules set to go into effect this month provide more stringent reporting standards. Starting June 30, permits must be posted conspicuously inside elevators and each machine must have a written maintenance control program. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Plans for replacing the grass at the War Memorial Stadium with artificial turf have been nixed due to its high cost, a county official said Tuesday. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kauai Chamber of Commerce and its partners will host the first Kauai election 2014 political forum at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall on Tuesday.  The forum is for the office of United States senator. U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz will be the candidates in the forum, which is free and open to the public. Garden Island.

Feral cats on Kauai have been filmed killing endangered seabirds. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says footage shows cats pulling a Newell's Shearwater and a Hawaiian Petrel out burrows and killing the birds. Associated Press.

The Department of Water will release its 2014 water quality reports online starting July 1. A report for each of the nine water systems, covering from Jan. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2013, will be accessible on DOW’s website at www.kauaiwater.org. Garden Island.