Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Permits required for Kaena Point, Air Force to stay strong in Hawaii, Rosen to head state hospital group, Big Island man busted with 85 marijuana plants, electric rates drop on Oahu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Panorama of the Ka'ena Point Trailhead (also the end of the Dillingham Highway) on O'ahu's North Shore (past Mokule'ia Beach). You can park here and continue to Ka'ena point on foot just a few miles up!
Kaena Point panorama, courtesy Alaska Dave
After consulting with a community advisory group, the Department of Land and Natural Resources will implement a vehicle access permit system for the roads at Kaena Point State Park Reserve’s Mokuleia section. Civil Beat.

Ignoring signs, damaging natural resources and causing erosion. That's what the Department of Land and Natural Resources says careless drivers are doing at Ka'ena Point. KITV4.

Kaena Point has long been a favorite place for off-roading. Now, the state is hoping to get a better handle on vehicles in the area. In the coming weeks, a gate will be put up that can only be opened by people who have permits. KHON2.

Hawaii Department of Human Services officials say that their plan to reduce funding for medical coverage for roughly 7,500 adult migrants from the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands will save the state roughly $21.5 million while maintaining vital health care coverage. Star-Advertiser.

The Air Force is reducing its ranks overall due to budget cuts, but staffing in the Pacific will remain at 100 percent due to the re-balance to the region, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The Air Force’s top boss said Monday she hopes to make all jobs in the service open to qualified women in the next year and a half. Seven jobs in the service are closed to women, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told reporters during a visit to Hawaii on Monday. Associated Press.

Opinion: Hawaii stands to lose nearly 50,000 people, more than 25,000 jobs and $1.35 billion in total economic impact by 2020, if we do not step up to keep thousands of soldiers and their families here in the islands. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Health Systems Corp. announced Monday afternoon that Linda Rosen, M.D., M.P.H., will be its new chief executive officer. She will start her new position with HHSC on Dec. 16. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Health Systems Corp.'s board of directors has appointed Linda Rosen as chief executive officer of the public hospital system effective Dec. 16. Star-Advertiser.

New car and light truck registrations will rise about 8.8 percent in 2014, according to a forecast from the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The Arizona Memorial ticket scandal has been brewing for a year but so far, the man at the center of the controversy, Frank Middleton, remains on the job. Two internal reports by the National Park Service show that Middleton and other memorial officials were aware that tickets intended to be distributed to the public for free were being diverted to tour companies that charged visitors anywhere from $39 to $89. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu customers will see the lowest electrical rates in more than a year this month as residential bills dropped more than $10 due to reductions in fuel prices. Star-Advertiser.

Sources tell Always Investigating that Honolulu city bus workers were involved in a long-time scheme to clock in and out for a staffer who barely showed up. The timecard scheme is said to have taken place at a maintenance yard of TheBus and centers around a mechanic. KHON2.

A plan to allow more Oahu homeowners to create second dwellings on their lots is gaining momentum at Hono­lulu Hale. Star-Advertiser.

Last summer, developers of seven new luxury condo buildings at Ala Moana held a groundbreaking for their $300 million project. Amid calls for more affordable developments in Kakaako, these “ultra luxury” towers are rising quietly without the need for public hearings or any units set aside for moderate or low-income people. That wouldn’t happen under Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s proposed islandwide housing strategy. Civil Beat.

A march, rally and sit-in were held at University of Hawaii's Manoa campus Monday to protest proposed budget cuts rumored to target teaching assistants and other areas that affect graduate students. Star-Advertiser.

The YMCA of Honolulu is making another move to get out of the housing business on Oahu by offering to sell or lease two historic Manoa residence halls occupied by University of Hawaii students. Star-Advertiser.

The YMCA of Honolulu Central branch across from Ala Moana Center will temporarily close on Feb. 28 for a redevelopment project that will result in a smaller Y building next to a 128-unit condominium on its 1.8-acre property on Atkinson Drive. Pacific Business News.

Homeowners in the Ewa communities of Ocean Pointe and Hoakalei are complaining that the man-made recreational lagoon serving their communities contains algae. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Farmers will have to dedicate their property to agricultural use a minimum of three years to get tax breaks, under a bill to be considered today by the County Council Finance Committee. West Hawaii Today.

A perennial battle between aquarium fish collectors and conservationists will be played out in County Council chambers today, as a council committee takes up a measure regulating the transport of fish off-island. West Hawaii Today.

A 26-year-old Naalehu man accused of possessing 85 marijuana plants and 52 pounds of dried marijuana will stand trial on a half dozen felony charges, a Kona District Court judge ruled Monday afternoon. West Hawaii Today.

The June 27 lava flow offered little for geologists and Civil Defense officials to observe Monday around Pahoa as it focused its activity miles upslope from the town it has left on edge for the past few months. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

For years, Hawaii's public hospitals have relied on state subsidies to offset the rising cost of health care. That’s especially true on the Neighbor Islands.  But now hospitals are receiving less funding from the state, and on Maui, administrators are looking at other options. Hawaii Public Radio.

Now that the state has completed its acquisition of Lipoa Point from Maui Land & Pineapple Co., the state Department of Land and Natural Resources is calling on the public to be diligent stewards of the land. Maui News.

The Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety today announced the promotion of five fighters including Firefighter III Chad Pacheco to the rank of Captain. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Kauai Invasive Species Committee confirmed that an unfamiliar plant growing along Kuhio Highway near Kalihiwai Bridge is an invasive mule’s foot fern. Garden Island.

A construction zone accident has led to a lawsuit seeking medical and other damages. Narciso Nicolas, of Honolulu, is suing William Waialeale and his employer, Robert’s Tours and Transportation, Inc., for injuries incurred while working on Kokee Road in 2012. Garden Island.