Friday, October 31, 2014

Sweeping new police powers block media lava access, Kauai minister wants his peyote back, Maui GMO foe accused of buying votes, Honolulu rail work stifles businesses, Ige picks up Abercrombie votes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
National Guard blocks lava access © 2014 All Hawaii News
Dozens of Hawaii National Guard members in combat gear arrived in Pahoa Thursday to help local officials man checkpoints and patrol the area. But the efforts to restrict access to this small town 20 miles southwest of Hilo is causing friction between the civil authorities and journalists here to cover the disaster. At issue is a new law that gives local authorities sweeping powers in times of natural disasters. Civil Beat.

More than 80 members of the Hawaii Army and Air National Guard deployed this morning in Puna to assist police as the June 27 lava flow continues its relentless march in Pahoa. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii National Guard is deploying troops to a rural Hawaii town as lava makes a slow crawl toward a major road and threatens to further isolate the community that got its start during the lumber and sugar-plantation heyday. Associated Press.

Local media, national press and now onlookers are all descending on sleepy Pahoa town in hopes of catching a view of the lava flow. The road block on Pahoa Village Road is as far as non-residents can come. The lava is not visible from the roadblock yet but the smoke is. KITV4.

The leading edge of the lava flowing out of Kilauea Volcano came within 156 yards of crossing Pahoa's main road Thursday — and less than a half-mile from cutting off Highway 130, the main artery for the 8,200 residents of lower Puna. Then, at 5 p.m., the front of the 13.5-mile-long river of lava suddenly stalled. Again. Star-Advertiser.

The June 27 lava flow stalled at its front Thursday outside a Pahoa home while activity continued about 400 yards upslope. Tribune-Herald.

VIDEO: Evening Lava Flow Update – Thursday, Oct. 30. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials say the Puna lava flow's leading edge has not moved at all since Thursday morning.  Officials say that while the front has stalled it is still active upslope.  Meanwhile the front has shown signs of widening with breakouts along the flanks or margins. Hawaii News Now.

The molten lava creeping down the hill in Pahoa is consuming everything in its path.  Electric company officials feared the wooden utility poles in the path of the lava would burn down on contact, cutting off power to the area.  So workers with Hawaiian Electric Light Company sought advice from experts at UH Hilo and the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.  They settled on a design that would wrap the pole in a heat resistant coating. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ten miles from Pahoa, a rural Big Island town that is being menaced by a stream of lava from Kilauea volcano, there’s another community that was almost entirely swallowed by the molten rock nearly 30 years ago. Today, a few dozen recently built homes sit on Kalapana’s rolling black fields — offering a glimpse of life after lava. Associated Press.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ige and Abercrombie
Many political donors and interest groups that had supported Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the past have gravitated toward state Sen. David Ige since the Democratic primary, a shift that has benefited Ige's campaign both politically and financially. Star-Advertiser.

Medical marijuana advocates are applauding a new law that aims to improve housing protection by voiding provisions in state rental agreements that had allowed a tenant's eviction based on their status as a registered medical marijuana patient. Star-Advertiser.

Homelessness is on the decline across the United States, just not in Hawaii. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued its latest estimates on homelessness Thursday based on its annual point-in-time count. Civil Beat.

The number of homeless counted annually in Hawaii has climbed 18 percent since 2010 while the national tally has dropped steadily, according to a report released Thursday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Star-Advertiser.

Enrollment at Hawaii public schools dropped slightly this year, mostly due to a later entry age for kindergarten that took effect this school year. Star-Advertiser.

The way to get lower rates in Hawaii is to start directly substituting solar energy for oil, especially with bigger solar projects that end up being cheaper than oil, the former chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission told Pacific Business News on Thursday.

Opinion:  Preschool amendment fails our children. While early learning programs are vital to our childrens' futures, the current proposal (Ballot Questions 4) to allow public dollars to fund private preschool operations is not the way we ought to go about creating those programs. Hawaii Independent.

Oahu

North Shore Races Heat Up As Election Nears. Campaigns turn ugly as candidates divided on ideology and development controversies battle for two coveted seats. Civil Beat.

A federal judge approved a $1.5 million settlement Thursday between the families of five men who died in a 2011 fireworks explosion and fire at a Waikele storage bunker and the company that held the master lease to the Navy's former munitions bunker complex. Star-Advertiser.

Waikiki's Fort DeRussy Beach Park now has nightly closure hours. The city advisory Board of Parks and Recreation on Thursday set the closure for 2 to 5 a.m. in an effort to allow the city to enforce its laws on the state-governed beach where homeless campers have taken advantage of a jurisdictional loophole to avoid being cited for violating city regulations. Star-Advertiser.

As construction for rail moves down its planned route along Kamehameha Highway, so does its impact on businesses. Some Aiea companies are complaining about a sudden drop in customers. But are HART officials listening? KHON2.

Out at the Hoakalei Country Club in Ewa Beach, near the 18-hole golf course's clubhouse, may be something that definitely doesn't belong: the hastily buried remains of a Japanese aircrew whose dive bomber went down Dec. 7, 1941, during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The finish line for the Laaloa Avenue extension has been pushed back to the end of the year, but the stalled Mamalahoa Bypass project to the south appears closer to moving ahead. West Hawaii Today.

A retired Hawaii County economic development specialist has been appointed to the state Agribusiness Development Corporation board of directors, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Thursday. Day Day Hopkins will assume the seat representing Hawaii County. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Did a supporter of the Maui ballot initiative calling for a temporary moratorium on GMO farming offer to buy votes to help get the measure passed? That’s what the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office is currently looking into. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Health has confirmed four additional cases of measles on Maui and Kauaʻi, bringing the total number of confirmed measles cases in these two separate clusters in Hawaiʻi to seven, and the total reported cases for the year to nine. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. is working with the state Commission on Water Resource Management to comply with a mediated agreement to return diverted water to Iao Stream, a company official said Thursday. Maui News.

Kauai

The defendant in a drug possession case against a Native American church that was dismissed in February was in 5th Circuit Court again on Monday to ask for an order that the police return property held in evidence, including ceremonial peyote. Jesse Shane Johnson, 38, minister for Beauty Way of the Four Directions of the Native American Church of Hawaii, had a felony narcotics case against him dismissed on Feb. 28. The decision included a court order to the Kauai Police Department for return of evidence. Garden Island.

Police are urging parents to inspect Halloween candy. The warning is in part due to a marijuana-coated candy that is gaining popularity in states where marijuana and marijuana edibles are legal. Garden Island.

The number of regular students in kindergarten to 12th grade in Maui County public schools declined 2 percent from last school year to 19,818 students, but the number of kindergartners plummeted even more - 31 percent - likely due to new age requirements that took effect in August. Maui News.

Hawaii landed at the bottom of a list by an agency that recently ranked each state in political engagement, and that’s not surprising to some Kauai residents. Garden Island.