Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hawaii gets homeless tips from New York as Honolulu mayor signs strict new measures, Department of Education struggles with spending cuts, elections officials plan for lava flow, Health Department hears water quality concerns, Molokai dispute over outsiders, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Honolulu homeless © 2014 All Hawaii News
The Hawai’i Interagency Council on Homelessness brought trainers in from New York to help with the state-wide implementation of Housing First.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Moments before signing into law a bill making it illegal for people to sit or lie on Waikiki sidewalks, Hono­lulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Tuesday he is leaning toward supporting a separate proposal that would apply the same ban in business districts of six other Oahu neighborhoods. Star-Advertiser.
copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
© 2014 All Hawaii News

Three bills aimed at combating a growing and complex homelessness issue on Oahu were signed into law Tuesday and will go into effect immediately. Hawaii News Now.

Three new bills were signed into law Tuesday, and some are expecting the new measures to make a big difference with Hawaii's homeless problems. KITV4.

Opinion: New houseless bills won’t help. The city's “compassionate disruption” strategy does more to hide the houseless problem from tourists than it does actually solve the underlying problems that lead to houselessness. Hawaii Independent.

After struggling at multiple meetings over how to reduce the Department of Education's operating budget by $25 million, the state school board Tuesday approved wide-ranging spending restrictions that will touch everything from special-education positions and athletics programs to per-pupil spending and bus transportation. Star-Advertiser.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann has raised thousands of dollars in his bid for governor, but he has more debt than any of his competitors. Civil Beat.

Should We Raise the Retirement Age for Judges and Justices? The question is one of five constitutional amendments before Hawaii voters Nov. 4. Others address disclosing the names of judicial nominees and qualifying for special purpose revenue bonds. Civil Beat.

A psychiatric technician told a state Senate investigative panel Tuesday that his supervisor threatened to fire him after he made public comments about unsafe working conditions at the Hawaii State Hospital, but the supervisor said the employee "got mixed up." Star-Advertiser.

As the state Department of Health works on the first update to its water quality plan since 1990, most people commenting during a public meeting Tuesday were concerned about a single aspect of the multifaceted plan — the impact of wastewater on water quality and what should be done about it. West Hawaii Today.

Cesspools will have to be converted to septic tanks - at a cost estimated at more than $10,000 - within 180 days of the sale of residential properties if proposed revisions to the state Department of Health administrative rules are accepted by the governor. Maui News.

Hawaii vets have experienced some of the longest waiting times in the nation before they can get in to see a primary care doctor — 145 days was the average although veterans officials have recently said that initial wait time has come down considerably. Civil Beat.

Alan Oshima, the incoming head of Hawaiian Electric Co., will be a community-focused leader, and plans to be pounding the pavement meeting and working with the stakeholders and community members, much like former HECO Executive Vice President Robbie Alm did, before he retired last year. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

A former civilian defense contractor is being sentenced for divulging military secrets to his Chinese girlfriend and keeping classified documents at his suburban Honolulu home. Benjamin Bishop will be sentenced in federal court on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

September marks the fourth month in a row that Oahu residential customers will need to put a little extra toward their electricity bills. The bill this month for a typical household using 600 kilowatt-hours went up from August by 78 cents to $218.96, according to data released this week by Hawaiian Electric Cos., the state's largest utility provider with service to Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Hawaii County and state election workers are preparing for the possibility that voting could again be disrupted in lower Puna as a lava flow continues to advance toward populated areas. Tribune-Herald.

While residents of the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision may be spared by the June 27 lava flow from Kilauea Volcano, a helicopter overflight makes one thing clear: If the lava doesn't stop now, it's headed directly toward Highway 130. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island coffee farmers offered split opinions Tuesday afternoon on a pair of resolutions that call on the state Legislature to enact “truth in labeling” laws regarding the labeling of coffee blends. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Billy Kenoi has nominated former Hilo County Councilman Donald Ikeda to the Windward Planning Commission. Ikeda, 73, is unabashedly pro-growth, a stance he explained to the County Council Planning Committee during his confirmation hearing Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

What would the completion of the new Hilo High School gymnasium be without another delay? On Saturday, Sept. 13, the school community was set to recognize the grand opening of the long-anticipated facility. But with five days to go, those plans were put on hold. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A judge’s ruling allows Maui County to print ballots that ask voters about a proposed moratorium on genetically engineered crops. Monday’s decision dissolves a temporary restraining order after those who support genetically modified organisms sued to remove the measure. Associated Press.

With 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo dissolving a temporary restraining order Monday, an initiative proposing a genetically engineered organism farming moratorium can remain on the Nov. 4 election ballot. Maui News.

HGEA Chief Shares Views on Hospital Financial Crisis. Randy Perreira: “It’s about the money. Maui Weekly.

Kauai

Top County of Kauai officials say something must be done to correct current policies that allow some lower ranking employees, particularly those within the Kauai police and fire departments, to earn more than department heads. Garden Island.

Retired auto dealer James Pflueger was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, Sept. 17 for recklessly causing the deaths of 7 people when his Ka Loko dam breached on March 14, 2006. However, the sentencing will be delayed and is now scheduled for Oct. 15 at 8:30 a.m. in Kauai’s Fifth Circuit Court. Hawaii Reporter.

News that retired Oahu car dealer James Pflueger sold his Kilauea property has long time litigants cheering that a decade of fighting may be coming to an end. Garden Island.

Molokai

A confrontation that turned ugly in waters off Molokai is now in the hands of the Maui Prosecutor. The incident happened in May and came to light in a story you only saw on KHON2 News. According to the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), the fight involved residents from Molokai and divers from Honolulu.