Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Coral reef health debated, Hawaii's high cost of living, DOE wastes $1M on unused timeclocks, Honolulu council candidate sues over election, barrier redirects lava, hospital woes continue, two sue over Waikiki beach widening, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Endemic mamo Hawaiian sergeant fish on coral reef © 2014 All Hawaii News
A new study found just one-third of Hawaii’s coral reef ecosystems are dominated by healthy corals and calcareous algae. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii has the most frugal consumers, but it also has the highest percentage of people spending more than they make, according to a new release from WalletHub. Pacific Business News.

Living Hawaii: Where the Rent Is Too Damn High. Islanders pay far more on average than in any state in America to live in rentals — and that's just the beginning. Civil Beat.

While Gov.-elect David Ige's transition team sifts through more than 800 applications for administration positions and works to put together his Cabinet before taking office Dec. 1, one appointment to a powerful, high-profile position remains unsettled - the chairperson of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Maui News.

At the Kapolei state building, in the break room of a Department of Education office, behind the recycling and the to-be-filed pile, are stacks and stacks of timeclocks –- nearly $1 million worth of them. The machines are still nicely boxed, all taped up and just sit, collecting dust and cobwebs. KHON2.

President Barack Obama said this year's recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom — including the late U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink of Hawaii — made the world stronger, wiser, more beautiful and more humane. Obama praised the 18 artists, activists and lawmakers receiving the award at a White House ceremony Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: Hawaii Needs To Stop ‘Scam Artist’ Prison Guards. Correction officers calling in sick are costing taxpayers millions of dollars in overtime and preventing families from visiting inmates. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Defeated Honolulu City Council candidate Tommy Waters, who lost the 4th District seat to Trevor Ozawa by 41 votes, wants the Hawaii Supreme Court to order either a recount by hand of the 4,455 "blank" votes recorded in the election — or a new election. Star-Advertiser.

Tommy Waters is seeking a recount of ballots cast in the Honolulu City Council District 4 election that ended with Trevor Ozawa beating him by 41 votes. Star-Advertiser.

A man injured while surfing and another who became a quadriplegic after diving from a so-called “booze cruise” filed lawsuits against the state on Monday, blaming their injuries on a project to widen an eroding section of Waikiki beach. Associated Press.

In the first lawsuits of their kind, two Oahu men allege that the state's efforts in 2012 to resupply Wai­kiki Beach with sand raised the seafloor and left them with permanent and debilitating injuries. Star-Advertiser.

A deputy city prosecutor who lost track of a misdemeanor negligent homicide case more than a year ago was suspended without pay for four days earlier this month. Civil Beat.

The number of rooftop solar permits Honolulu issued in October fell by 58 percent from the prior year. Still, the solar industry is hopeful sales will rebound this month and next after Hawaiian Electric Co. said earlier this month it is working fast to get more solar systems approved. Star-Advertiser.

The owner and the operator of a 733-foot cargo vessel that ran aground near the entrance of Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor in 2010 have agreed to pay $840,000 for causing damage to coral. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

A ridge created by the June 27 lava flow as it advanced downslope in the previous months has created a barrier that scientists and officials say is sending a breakout away from the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision in Puna. West Hawaii Today.

“Catastrophic cuts to services” are on the horizon if legislators don’t provide more funding this year, says the head of East Hawaii’s public health care system. Hawaii Health Systems Corp.’s East Hawaii operations are expected to see a revenue shortfall of $29 million in the coming year out of a total operations budget of $160 million, said East Hawaii Interim CEO Dan Brinkman. The following year, the shortfall is predicted to balloon to $35 million. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Volunteers collected 3,075 cigarette butts at Kalama Beach Park on Saturday as part of the American Cancer Society's 39th annual "Great American Smokeout." Maui News.

Kauai

First Deputy County Attorney Mauna Kea Trask
has been nominated by Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. to lead the county’s legal department once County Attorney Al Castillo resigns next week. Garden Island.

Kauai’s mayor is nominating the county attorney’s replacement to be a man who’s currently serving as a deputy county attorney.  Associated Press.

Around 900 residents of Makaweli, Kaumakani and Pakala are still waiting for water. A pump in the water system owned and managed by Gay & Robinson failed Saturday and it was hoped it would be repaired Monday. Garden Island.