Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Honolulu airport third-worst, Say residency unresolved, Kona woman fights for judgeship, sewer spill on Sand Island, Kauai councilwoman wants GET tax for buses, hearing to be held on Ebola, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii government
Honolulu International Airport, courtesy Hawaii state government
Hawaii's main airport is the third-worst in North America in a recent survey of travelers. Honolulu International is not as bad as top-ranked LaGuardia International Airport in New York, or second-ranked Los Angeles International Airport, according to users of online travel site www.sleepinginairports.net. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii politics is in transition in the wake of the death of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and the retirement of U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka. The churn at the top has caused political uncertainty that might take several election cycles to settle. Here's a rundown of potentially competitive state House and Senate campaigns, which is based on information provided from political analysts, party strategists, campaign consultants and lawmakers. Star-Advertiser.

After nearly three decades in Hawaii politics, in a career that has seen roughly as many dramatic wins as huge losses, Mufi Hannemann has not lost his self-confidence. Civil Beat.

State House Speaker Joseph Souki said the House will not take up a challenge to former Speaker Calvin Say's residency before the November elections. Six Palolo voters have questioned whether Say lives in the Palolo state House district he has represented since 1976 or whether he actually lives with his family in Pauoa Valley. The voters lost a legal challenge in Circuit Court but plan to appeal. Star-Advertiser.

The speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives says the chamber will not immediately consider a request to investigate Rep. Calvin Say’s residency qualifications. In a letter dated Oct. 17 to Lance Collins, the attorney for six Palolo residents who argue that Say no longer lives in District 20 and so should not represent them, Speaker Joe Souki said it would be “inappropriate” to address the “numerous assertions” made in Collins’ letter. Civil Beat.

Hawaii House Speaker Joseph Souki says the Legislature will not immediately resolve claims about the residency of Rep. Calvin Say. Say had been challenged in court by six Palolo voters who claim his main residence is outside the district. Say has represented the Palolo district for more than three decades. Associated Press.

As hospitals across the country prepare for a potential Ebola case, Hawaii officials are working on new guidelines to keep the state safe from the deadly virus. The director of Hawaii's Department of Health will also outline the state's strategy at a hearing this week at the state Capitol. Hawaii News Now.

Local officials are ramping up efforts to keep people in Hawaii safe from the Ebola virus. A new treatment protocol to deal with Ebola in Hawaii may be released later this week at a hearing at the State Capitol. KHON2.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has vacated a federal district court’s judgment in Jackson v. Abercrombie. The lawsuit challenged Hawaii’s 1998 ballot decision to give the Hawaii Legislature the authority to restrict marriage to one man and own woman. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s highly celebrated technology and cybersecurity czar started a new job Monday as the U.S. Treasury Department’s deputy assistant secretary and chief information officer. Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia spent the past three years helping the state develop and implement a 12-year plan to pull itself out of the dark ages and into the information age. Civil Beat.

Oahu

More than 100 workers and a dozen private contractors are scrambling to repair the critical Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant that was flooded by Hurricane Ana, which left behind 20 million gallons of untreated sludge that overwhelmed the plant Sunday morning and left it without power. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Rep. Karen Awana sharply criticized a plan Monday that calls for using a rural property on the Waianae Coast as a place to store and dispose of a large cache of illegal fireworks. The commercial-grade fireworks are the remnants of a stash that was involved in the 2011 explosion at a Waikele storage bunker that killed five people. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii will be examining dumped chemical weapons in deep water off the south coast of Oahu for the last time to see what effects they have on seawater, marine life and sediment. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell plans to hold three public town hall-style meetings this week to address the affordable housing crisis on Oahu. Pacific Business News.

The videotape beating of a bystander by a Honolulu police officer has prompted a crackdown on bad behavior within the HPD's elite crime reduction units. Hawaii News Now.

Opinion: Why It’s So Difficult to Prosecute Domestic Abuse in Hawaii. Honolulu's prosecutor weighs in on domestic violence and actions that he's hoping will help ease the situation. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

An army of public officials rushed to the defense of Margaret Masunaga, a Hawaii County deputy corporation counsel, after the Hawaii State Bar Association deemed her unqualified to be a district judge. West Hawaii Today.

A plan to open a recycling redemption center in the Seaview Center subdivision has some neighbors concerned. West Hawaii Today.

The leading edge of the June 27 lava flow remained at a standstill Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County is providing early walk-in voting in Puna in case the June 27 lava flow interferes with Election Day. Tribune-Herald.

A University of Hawaii professor submitted a stinging critique of the planned expansion of a West Hawaii fish farm. The final environmental assessment, which included Frazer’s comments, was released several days ago. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The Island of Maui was dethroned from its top spot as the best island in the world after earning the accolade for 20 consecutive years between and 1993 and 2013 in the annual ranking conducted by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. Maui Now.

Some Maui residents are not happy about the Health Department's new rules on cesspools. They claim the rules do not consider the interests of rural communities on the Neighbor Islands, where the vast majority of cesspools in the state are located. Hawaii Public Radio.

About 1,100 free-roaming and feral cats loiter around Kanaha Beach Park and surrounding areas in Kahului, according to a December survey, and researchers say "serious management attention" should be paid to control the cat population in that region. Maui News.

Researchers are concerned about the number of cats near a Maui wildlife sanctuary that's home to endangered birds. A survey in an area that includes Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary found more than 1,000 free-roaming and feral cats. Associated Press.

Kauai

Kauai County Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura says more must be done to ensure that the county’s public transportation system remains viable and becomes a key part in alleviating traffic congestion throughout the island. A proposal that Yukimura is slated to introduce during Wednesday’s County Council meeting could allow for one of those funding sources to be a county surcharge tacked on to the state’s 4 percent general excise tax, which is levied on business activities in Hawaii and is reflected on many consumer purchases, including food and groceries. Garden Island.

The state Department of Health is requesting access to Grove Farm Company property in Mahaulepu in an effort to pinpoint how large amounts of bacteria are ending up Waiopili Stream. Garden Island.

The state Intermediate Court of Appeals dealt a setback to the owner of a former North Shore commercial boatyard owner in his attempts to prove the County of Kauai had revoked his operation permit for a false purpose. Garden Island.

Friends of Mahaulepu will host a public meeting Thursday to discuss legal remedies concerning Hawaii Dairy Farms’ proposed $17.5 million, 578-acre dairy in Mahaulepu Valley. Garden Island.

Kahoolawe
Promised Land: ‘Where Beauty is Alongside the Ugliness’ SECOND OF THREE PARTS: As they sweat through the monumental task of restoring an island decimated by ranching, goats and bombs, workers' efforts are infused with respect for its history and significance to Native Hawaiians. But at least one activist questions whether it's worth all the effort. Civil Beat.