Friday, July 18, 2014

Tropical Storm Wali to bring wet weekend, Schatz, Hanabusa, claim other lacks experience, RIMPAC lures prostitutes, hiring freeze at UH Manoa, eight want to be Maui police chief, state House sets Obamacare hearing, OHA won't fight Thirty Meter Telescope, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA 5 a.m. satellite image of Tropical Storm Wali near Hawaii

The first tropical storm in the Central Pacific could bring heavy downpours to the state this weekend.  The Central Pacific Hurricane Center said at 5 a.m. Friday, Tropical Storm Wali was located about 970 miles east-southeast of Hilo. It was moving northwest at 12 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour with higher gusts. Hawaii News Now.


Wali is weakening as it approaches Hawaii and is not expected to be a tropical storm for much longer. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz on Thursday night tried to undercut U.S. Rep. Colleen Hana­busa's main political strength — her legislative experience — by claiming that she often talks about her record in the state Senate because she has not been very active in Congress. Hanabusa countered by suggesting that Schatz has embellished his record in the Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Democratic Party U.S. Senate Candidates, Brian Schatz and Colleen Hanabusa, passionately debated policy points in their final statewide, televised prime-time debate before the primary election. Hawaii News Now.

 When the Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise is here, so are more prostitutes. Hawaii News Now.

House Committees to Hold Informational Briefing for Updates on Hawaii Health Connector. Hawaii Reporter.

A company aiming to provide easier access to sexually transmitted disease test results and other medical records announced a new name Wednesday after facing protests by Native Hawaiians for using the word hula. Associated Press.

Plumes of vapor from e-cigarette users can be seen all around Hawaii, on the beach, at the bus stop and even in restaurants. E-cigarettes are pervasive, sometimes controversial and, for now at least, unregulated. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The board overseeing Oahu's rail transit project has agreed to nearly $6 million in added costs as it rushes to acquire dozens of properties by the end of 2014 and aims to ensure all of the rail line's foundations are structurally sound. Star-Advertiser.

The Board of Directors for Honolulu’s $5.2 billion rail project approved an additional $6 million for two city contracts Thursday. But they didn’t do so easily, grilling city project managers and contractors about the necessity of spending more taxpayer money. Civil Beat.

Homelessness and high housing costs top the list of concerns of the four candidates running for the District 4 seat on the Honolulu City Council, perhaps the most competitive of four Council races this year. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii Manoa plans to place a hold on new hires. Chancellor Tom Apple said 50 to 70 positions will go unfilled this year as the university looks to reduce spending by $10 million. Hawaii News Now.

Ho Farms, a 50-acre farm on Oahu’s North Shore known for its speciality tomatoes, plans to move its headquarters to Central Oahu after more than two decades in Kahuku as part of effort to help revitalize the economy and agricultural production in the area, the state senator heading up the initiative told Pacific Business News.

Some 3,000 men and women are expected to try to become Honolulu Police Department officers during a recruitment drive slated to begin next week. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Candidates for Senate District 4 and County Council districts 1 and 9 laid out their platforms in Waimea Thursday night. In a speed-dating format, candidates moved from table to table and had face to face discussions with about 50 residents on topics ranging from roads to agriculture. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County is hearing mixed reviews from its effort to crack down on property owners suspected of abusing the agricultural tax break, according to the real property tax division chief. Tribune-Herald.

Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have decided not to pursue a contested case hearing for the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) project despite voicing concerns over the project during a meeting on Tuesday. Hawaii Independent.

It’s back to the drawing board for developers of Hawaii Island’s first Holiday Inn, after a County Council committee Thursday balked at their plans to construct signs ranging up to almost four times those allowed by the county sign ordinance. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Eight people have requested applications for the job of Maui County police chief, which will be vacant when Chief Gary Yabuta retires at the end of the month. Maui News.

The vessel Prodiver Maui sank in waters by Molokini Crater on Wednesday morning, July 17, the Coast Guard confirmed. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Kauai Humane Society may ban non-neutered dogs from Freddie’s Dog Park. Garden Island.

A Kapaa women who took an iPad that belonged to the County Council pleaded no contest to a second-degree theft charge on Thursday in 5th Circuit Court. Garden Island.