Monday, June 30, 2014

Schatz attacks Hanabusa attack ad, Honolulu homeless may get one-way ticket to mainland, fight for breastfeeding rights, Maui mayor stifles staff, nursing homes not inspected, groups fear disclosure veto, turtle selfies banned, NASA test flight, brown water on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Senate race 2014
Brian Schatz, Colleen Hanabusa
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz on Saturday knocked U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa for what he called the first negative advertisement in their Democratic primary, a postcard that reminds voters of Schatz's support for the Bipartisan Budget Act, which extended cuts in Medicare. Star-Advertiser.

A Disregarded Request From a Beloved Senator Shakes Up Hawaii’s Primary. New York Times.

The state has failed to inspect more than a third of Hawaii's 45 nursing homes within the time frame required by federal law, reflecting an oversight gap that some experts say could come at the expense of the facilities' vulnerable residents. Concerned about the problem, the federal government is threatening to fine the state as much as $121,000 if the timeliness requirements are not met by the end of September. Star-Advertiser.

Many Candidates Vie for Three At-Large Seats on OHA Board. In all, five posts are up for election this year for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees, which is increasingly under the spotlight. Civil Beat.

How much federal money goes toward Native Hawaiian programs? About $34.9 million per year, according to our preliminary analysis. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii's health insurance exchange is making a final push to capture a share of the small-business market as the bulk of groups renew policies in July. Despite significant computer glitches that initially stunted its growth, the Hawaii Health Connector is aggressively marketing the Small Business Health Options Program, known as SHOP, the piece of the Affordable Care Act intended to increase insurance options for workers. Star-Advertiser.

Just when they’re needed to help students master newly required skills, librarians seem to have become a low priority at many schools, particularly at the elementary level. Civil Beat.

Two members of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents have resigned after state lawmakers unanimously passed a bill requiring public financial disclosures from people serving on more than a dozen state boards and commissions. Associated Press.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate State Senator David Ige is criticizing  the governor’s notice of intent to veto SB2682, which would require the disclosure of financial statements by members of 15 state boards and commissions,  including the Public Utilities Commission, University of Hawaii Board of Regents, Board of Education, Hawaii Community Development Authority, Board of Land and Natural Resources and others. Hawaii Reporter.

Commentary: League of Women Voters Debunks Governor’s Take on Disclosure Bill. The organization doesn't accept the idea that women would be harmed by the law, and hopes it would help the governor vet nominees. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Governor’s Veto Threat on Bill Shows This Is Not a ‘New Day’ Neil Abercrombie's argument that a transparency bill will harm women is sexist. Civil Beat.

Respect the Locals: Sea Turtle Selfies Are Uncool — and Illegal State, federal officials remind public that harassing honu is against the law and can result in a fine. Civil Beat.

Oahu

A year after the state declined to start up a pilot program to send the homeless back to the mainland, the business community in Waikiki might step up and fill the void. Rick Egged, president of the Wai­kiki Improvement Association, said his organization will be looking to establish some sort of airfare fund in response to a plea from providers of homeless services. Star-Advertiser.

A homeless mother is fighting for her right to breastfeed in public. The woman says the Oahu shelter she is staying at told her to cover up or get out. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu’s homeless are most visible in Kakaako, Waikiki, and Chinatown but they are everywhere throughout the state, in the parks and bushes and at the beach. Several of Hawaii’s political candidates have made addressing Hawaii’s homelessness and lack of housing a top issue this election. Hawaii Reporter.

The deadline for comments on the Kawainui-Hamakua master plan is Monday, and environmental and neighborhood groups are joining forces over concern that the proposed development will damage the natural resources and character of Kailua. Star-Advertiser.

The concrete barriers at popular Laniakea Beach were supposed to be a temporary fix to help keep the traffic flowing along Oahu's famed North Shore, but six months after workers installed them, it's unclear how long "temporary" will be. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday approved granting the $1.3 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project a sublease for land on Mauna Kea. In concept anyway. While the board voted in favor of the agreement, it won’t go into effect until several contested case hearing requests are resolved. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources voted to approve The University of Hawaii at Hilo's sublease of land on the summit of Mauna Kea for the $1.3 billion Thirty Meter Telescope, but the approval is on hold until the board hears several contested case requests are resolved. Pacific Business News.

The first group of 60 minimum-security inmates are expected to arrive at Hawaii island's Kulani Correctional Facility after it reopens this week, easing some of the crowding in the state's prison system. Star-Advertiser.

The dean of the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy said Friday that he will be stepping down at the end of the year. John Pezzuto, who helped launch the college at the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 2006, is moving on to the Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York, where he will serve as professor and dean. Tribune-Herald.

Some day, tanks at aquaculture farms around the state and nation could be teeming with millions of colorful fish to help stock the nation’s aquariums. At least that’s the dream for Syd Kraul and others who have attempted to strike the fine balance needed to rear species such as angelfish and yellow tang in captivity. But that day isn’t today. West Hawaii Today.

Women of the Womb do a chant to open communication during the launch of the Hawaii Star Visitor Sanctuary and UFO landing pad Friday afternoon in Kalapana near Unle Robert's Awa Club. The event was part of the weekend long Ho'ohana "A Sustainability Talk Story." Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The mayor of Maui ordered an end to direct communication between his staff and members of the Maui County Council. Mayor Alan Arakawa last week directed all county civil service employees, administration directors and staff to stop communicating verbally or in writing with council members or staff. The employees were instead directed to send communications through the office of the mayor and the managing director’s office. Associated Press.

For nearly two decades, Hana residents have known exactly where to go when they have had an after-hours medical emergency - the Hana Health hale where American Medical Response paramedics live. Maui News.

The state’s first flashing yellow arrow traffic signal has been installed on Maui and will be activated at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, June 30, 2014, county officials announced. Maui Now.

Kauai

NASA officials are calling Saturday’s experimental test flight off the coast of Kauai a success, despite a malfunction of the saucer-shaped vehicle’s gigantic parachute. Garden Island.

A mysterious brownish-green plume off Kauai has prompted the state Clean Water Branch to issue a brown-water advisory for the coastal waters between Moloaa and Anahola bays. Star-Advertiser.

The federal government is considering whether the Native Hawaiian community should be treated as its own government and is seeking input from the Kauai community. Public meetings on Kauai are from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Waimea Neighborhood Center and from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Kapaa Elementary School. Garden Island.

Molokai

The Native Hawaiian community on Molokai added its voice to the growing chorus of those who are rejecting a federal proposal that could lead to a formal U.S. relationship with a potential Native Hawaiian government. Star-Advertiser.