Thursday, June 19, 2014

Obama administration moves toward Native Hawaiian recognition, state Ethics Commission to watch lawmaker spending, millions to move Waikiki homeless, Maui blogger disqualified from mayor's race, Kauai bill targeting crop research fails, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Native Hawaiian protest file photo © 2014 All Hawaii News
After years of inaction, the federal government is considering formal recognition of Native Hawaiians, even as Native Hawaiians in the state work on creating a sovereign government themselves. The U.S. Department of Interior announced Wednesday that it will take a first step to consider re-establishing a government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community. That process begins with a procedure known as Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, or ANPRM. West Hawaii Today.

The U.S. Department of the Interior on Wednesday announced it’s moving forward on a rule-making process for re-establishing a government-to-government relationship with Native Hawaiians. Civil Beat.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
File photo © 2014 All Hawaii News
In a move that already is stirring controversy, the Obama administration is taking the first steps in a long process that could eventually lead to the federal government's recognition of a future Native Hawaiian governing entity. But some are questioning whether the action is premature and whether the president has the authority to re-establish a government-to-government relationship without going through Congress, as backers of the so-called Akaka Bill unsuccessfully tried to do for more than a decade.Star-Advertiser.

The federal government announced Wednesday it will take a first step toward recognizing and working with a Native Hawaiian government at a time when a growing number of Hawaiians are questioning the legality of the U.S. annexation of Hawaii. Associated Press.

Native Hawaiian recognition took a major step when the Obama Administration said it will consider procedures to re-establish a political relationship with Hawaiians. Hawaii News Now.

There's excitement, applause and also some words of caution after the federal government took the first steps toward possibly establishing a government-to-government relationship between the United States and Native Hawaiians. KITV4.

The US Department of Interior today announced the first step in the process of a possible “government-to-government” relationship between the United States and the native Hawaiian community. Big Island Now.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
© 2014 All Hawaii News
U.S. Government Solicits Public Opinion on Hawaiian Governance. After the Crabbe-Kerry letter, the U.S. Department of the Interior is considering how and whether to establish government-to-government relations with the Hawaiian people. Hawaii Independent.

The US Department of the Interior today announced a first step to consider re-establishing a government-to-government relationship between the United States and the native Hawaiian community. Maui Now.

The federal government is considering whether the Native Hawaiian community should be treated as its own government. U.S. Department of the Interior officials said Wednesday they are taking a first step to consider re-establishing a government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community. Garden Island.

The federal government took a first step toward reestablishing a government to government relationship between the United States and Native Hawaiians. It would be similar to the tribal status of Native American Indian groups. Hawaii Public Radio.

The federal government announced Wednesday that it will take a first step toward possibly recognizing and working with a separate government of Native Hawaiians. Maui News.

A conflicted state Ethics Commission voted Wednesday to provide guidance to state lawmakers on the use of their annual legislative allowances, reminding lawmakers that using taxpayer money for personal expenses is prohibited by the state ethics law. Star-Advertiser.

The state Ethics Commission voted 3-2 on Wednesday to approve new guidelines for lawmakers to follow in an effort to tighten up how they have been using their annual allowance of almost $12,000 apiece. Civil Beat.

Janet Grace, Republican challenger to State Representative Tom Brower, today called on the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, to ban the use of legislative office funds to purchase sledgehammers and other weapons or instruments that could be used to bring harm to property or individuals. Hawaii Reporter.

Two people are getting paid, but just one of them is actually working. That’s essentially what’s happening in dozens of cases with the state Dept. of Education. Employees are put on leave with pay pending investigation while a fill-in does their work. This double-whammy for taxpayers can drag on for years KHON2.

A nonprofit that advocates for gun control says Hawaii has the second to the lowest gun death rate in the nation. Associated Press.

Smartphone use, video conferencing and hiring part-time corrections officers should be considered to ease staff shortages that have caused a rise in canceled visitation days at state prisons, a state senator said Wednesday. Sen. Will Espero, chairman of the Senate Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee, also suggested moving visitation days from weekends to a weekday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Prison System Faces More Scrutiny. Director Ted Sakai struggles to satisfy lawmakers' questions on why inmate visitation days are getting canceled. Civil Beat.

The state is suing a member of a state licensing board to recover $1,940 in fines after the board member failed to file two years of financial disclosure statements. Star-Advertiser.

A father and daughter from Chuuk are having to pay $1,250 in fines for attempting to smuggle 60 pounds of giant clam meat into Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Mayor Kirk Caldwell rolled out his revamped plan to deal with the homeless issue on Oahu on Wednesday, with a goal of helping more than 400 homeless individuals and families find permanent housing in the next two years via $47.2 million in various funding sources approved recently by the City Council. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell unveiled a more aggressive strategy Wednesday for tackling the homeless problem, which includes moving as many as 440 homeless people into permanent housing in the next two years. Civil Beat.

Homelessness in Waikiki is the number one complaint from many of the 200-thousand visitors there on any given day.  That, according to city officials, who are stepping up their efforts to address the problem. Hawaii Public Radio.

City leaders unveiled a two-part plan to tackle a growing and complex homelessness issue that will require increased law enforcement presence and additional housing to cater to those in the most need. Hawaii News Now.

Starting Monday, the 71,000 drivers who maneuver Kalanianaole Highway each day in East Oahu and the 25,000 drivers who use Kamehameha Highway in Waipio and Mililani will face roadwork — and lane closures — expected to last into 2016. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has yet to name the city's $5.16 million rail project, and there appears to be no plans in the near future to give it a branded name. Pacific Business News.

The number of assaults committed by teenagers at Hawaii's Youth Detention Center in Kapolei tripled between 2010 and 2013, and officials blame the high number of mentally ill kids behind bars as one reason for the spike in beatings. Hawaii News Now.

A Kalihi charter school can keep its doors open despite a budget shortfall of more than $400,000 on the condition that its director and governing board resign, according to a Hawaii Charter School Commission decision made on Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Halau Lokahi Public Charter School will cease to exist at the end of this month unless its governing board and director agree to resign and turn over all financial records, the Charter School Commission decided Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Big Island coffee and macadamia nut growers will benefit directly from a package of agriculture bills Gov. Neil Abercrombie will sign today. The legislation largely boosts funding to fight invasive species, with $500,000 allocated to subsidize the purchase of fungal sprays to fight coffee berry borer beetles and $360,000 for combating another insect threatening macadamia nut orchards. Tribune-Herald.

Early arrivals to Onekahakaha Beach Park in Keaukaha on Wednesday morning were unhappy to discover that thieves made off with many of the park’s copper water spigots during the night. Tribune-Herald.

A $2,278,800 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration will help improve security at Hilo International Airport, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said Wednesday in a written statement. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

MAUIWatch founder Neldon Mamuad–one of seven people running for Maui County Mayor this year–got a bad break today when Maui County Clerk Danny Mateo voided his official nomination papers, saying Mamuad didn’t meet the deadline in filing his financial disclosure form.  Maui Time.

After being on paid administrative leave for nearly five months, Glenn Correa has given up his $114,770-per-year job as director of the county Department of Parks and Recreation, according to an email sent late last week to department employees. Maui News.

The Maui County Council has scheduled a Monday meeting to consider overriding Mayor Alan Arakawa's line-item veto of the fiscal 2015 county budget. Maui News.

The state Department of Agriculture has confirmed a small infestation of the invasive little fire ant at a hotel in the south Maui resort area of Wailea. Maui Now.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College’s Hawaiian Studies Program, E Hoʻoulu Lāhui, joined together in a special blessing ceremony at Palauea in South Maui on Tuesday. Maui Now.

Kauai

A county bill aimed at taxing crop-research land separate from other agricultural land was deferred on Wednesday until Aug. 20, killing any chance of it going into effect during fiscal year 2015-2016. Garden Island.

The redevelopment of the iconic Coco Palms Resort on Kauai, which will be branded as a Hyatt resort, could mean up to 1,970 new jobs and $230 million infused into the Garden Isle’s economy, according to an economic impact report done by the project's developer. Pacific Business News.

Arnold Leong seeking to address, cut county waste. Garden Island.