Friday, November 21, 2014

Fisherman's Wharf demolished, unemployment back to pre-recession levels, group sues over ahi rules, military says marine exercises not hurting wildlife, sharks studied off Maui, Oahu to ease second homes, Hawaii council names new leaders, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

All Hawaii News
Fisherman's Wharf in better days
The iconic Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant building in Honolulu, which stood along Ala Moana Boulevard for nearly seven decades, was demolished on Thursday to make way for a redevelopment of the property. Pacific Business News.

courtesy Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Fisherman's Wharf, courtesy OHA

The former Fisherman's Wharf restaurant at Kewalo Basin was demolished Thursday morning as part of a redevelopment plan by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii hotels, which set a record of $4.06 billion in total hotel revenue for the first nine months of the year, achieved the nation's second-best average daily rate and revenue per available room behind New York. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in October, from 4.9 percent during the same month a year ago, the state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

The state's jobless rate declined in October for the third month in a row to hit a six-year low of 4.1 percent, matching its lowest level since the early stages of the recession. Star-Advertiser.

A new report from State Budget Solutions, a national nonprofit organization focusing on states’ fiscal responsibility, warns it’s time for newly elected state officials in Hawaii and throughout the country to address unfunded liabilities in the retirement system. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii’s holiday sashimi could be in short supply this year if conservation groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity, get their way in a lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday. Civil Beat.

Environmental groups on Thursday sued the National Marine Fisheries Service to challenge a new rule for fishing bigeye tuna, a popular species for sushi and fish steaks. Associated Press.

Environmental groups sued the National Marine Fisheries Service on Thursday to challenge a new rule for fishing bigeye tuna, a popular species for sushi and fish steaks. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Hawaii says it collected more than $6.5 million in fines and penalties this fiscal year. U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni says the collections included nearly $5.7 million from criminal cases and more than $800,000 from civil cases. Associated Press.

The head of Hawaii's troubled health exchange says he wants more oversight for the institution. Executive Director Jeff Kissel says he plans to expand the scope of some of the contractors that verify how well the Connector website is functioning. Associated Press.

A Department of Land and Natural Resources worker serving time for child pornography charges will soon be released from prison, and will go back to working for the state. At the time of his arrest earlier this year, Randy Honebrink was the education coordinator for the department’s aquatics division. KHON2.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is appointing an interim CEO to take the place of Mike McCartney, who is leaving office to become the new governor's chief of staff. Atlantis Adventures CEO Ronald Williams takes over on Friday. Associated Press.

Oahu

Plans to ease up the rules to allow for more secondary dwellings on Oahu's residential lots got mostly positive public feedback at a hearing before the City Council Zoning and Planning Committee on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

A resolution allowing property owners to rent out ohana units — currently reserved for family members —  to the general public was moved forward Thursday by the Honolulu Zoning and Planning Committee. Civil Beat.

A Honolulu City Council Committee passed a Resolution today that would enable the Administration to develop rules to build more affordable rental housing for lower income residents. Hawaii Public Radio.

A plan to set aside city parking stalls for car-sharing vehicles has won a preliminary approval from the Hono­lulu City Council Budget Committee. Star-Advertiser.

A quarantine on the movement of pigs was issued for Oahu on Thursday following the outbreak of a serious swine disease never before seen in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Nuuanu Reservoir will be open for fishing for one day next month, the Board of Water Supply has announced. The board wants anglers to help remove fish from the reservoir in advance of an improvement project slated for mid-2015. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

A West Hawaii majority emerging from the Nov. 4 election is poised to name Kona Councilman Dru Kanuha chairman and Hamakua Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter vice chairwoman. West Hawaii Today.

Red Cross volunteers will be going door-to-door on Friday to survey Pahoa residents in the immediate evacuation area of the June 27 lava flow. West Hawaii Today.

Lava activity along the upper reaches of the June 27 flow has remained “fairly consistent” during the last few days, Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said Thursday. Breakouts were as close as 4 miles from Apa‘a Street that morning with little to no activity seen closer to Pahoa. Tribune-Herald.

Puna lava flow breakouts develop near abandoned geothermal well site. Hawaii News Now.

Since early September, UH-Hilo’s Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization Laboratory has worked in partnership with Civil Defense and the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, outfitted with a high-resolution camera to map the flow. Tribune-Herald.

Conventional wisdom holds that shield volcanoes like Mauna Loa and Kilauea don't blow their tops like Mount St. Helens. But new research is bolstering the little-known fact that Kilauea can explode and did so to deadly effect as recently as 1924. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

A total of 24 tiger sharks off of Maui are now being tracked with satellite tagging devices as researchers with the University of Hawaiʻi continue to study their movement following an increase in the number of unprovoked shark bite incidents last year. Maui Now.

An unprecedented spike in shark attacks over the past two years prompted state officials to fund a study to tag and track the movement of tiger sharks in the waters off Maui. Hawaii News Now.

The state Land Use Commission declined Thursday to schedule a hearing or issue a declaratory order to address neighbors' complaints about development of the Central Maui Sports Complex. Maui News.

The Maui Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved needed zoning changes to move the long-awaited West Maui Hospital and Medical Center one step closer to reality. Maui News.

Kauai

The U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor says community concerns that the Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise and Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility are negatively impacting marine life are unfounded. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council, by a 4-2 vote, passed a measure on Wednesday that will separate agricultural lands on Kauai into three categories — pasture, diversified agriculture and biotech research — when county officials are calculating real property tax assessments. Garden Island.