Friday, November 28, 2014

Hawaii crackdown on public housing, court tosses Hawaii County GMO law, Land Use Commission erred in Kona development, Health Department probes Navy's Red Hill fuel leak, Maui tourist spending up 20%, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy U.S. Housing and Urban Development
Halekauwila Place in Kakaako, courtesy HUD
A federal and state crackdown has prompted increased evictions from public housing projects across the state, with more on the way. Sources said the feds are using FBI and IRS agents who could bring federal criminal charges against fraudulent tenants at 5,500 federal housing units across the state. Hawaii News Now.

A state employee has been charged with stealing state funds while working for Gov. Neil Abercrombie's office. Roxanne Kamalu was charged in a grand jury indictment Nov. 13 with second-degree theft and use of a computer in the commission of a separate crime. Star-Advertiser.

Seven University of Hawaii campuses have been awarded $69 million in grants for Native Hawaiian programs, from preschool through higher education. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson, Pacific Air Forces commander, will be the keynote speaker at the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7. Star-Advertiser.

The State Department of Health is leading a study on the 27,000-gallon fuel leak at the Navy’s Red Hill underground storage facility in January.  A task force subgroup is developing a report to the state Legislature due next month. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii

Oversight of genetically modified crops in Hawaii remains the state’s kuleana, a federal judge ruled Wednesday when invalidating Hawaii County’s law restricting the use of transgenic plants. Tribune-Herald.

The Land Use Commission did not follow state law when it reverted land under a South Kohala development from urban to agriculture, the Hawaii Supreme Court said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Pahoa Village Road was reopened to through traffic between Apa‘a Street and Post Office Road on Wednesday. The approximately 0.5-mile section of the road was closed to nonresidents Oct. 26 as the June 27 lava flow entered Pahoa. Tribune-Herald.

A former county councilman has lost his civil lawsuit against the county. Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara ruled Monday Stacy Higa and wife Janice owe the county and former Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida more than $10,000 in legal fees to defend themselves from the lawsuit. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui visitor spending for October jumped 20.1 percent, compared with last year, to $312 million, buoyed by a 6.9 percent increase in visitor arrivals to the island, according to Hawai'i Tourism Authority preliminary data released Wednesday. Maui News.

A total of 15 acres of open space along Hana Highway on the Kipahulu side of Hana town have been placed in conservation in an agreement between the landowners and the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. Maui News.

Kauai

It took all of two nudges with an excavator Wednesday to topple the half century-old pavilion at Hanamaulu Beach Park. Garden Island.