Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fishing changes coming, FBI probes Honolulu Police Department, rail audit to be revealed, lava viewing area to open, shops close in path of lava, rooftop solar slides, albatross eggs moved off Kauai missile range, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Fish rules workshop © 2014 All Hawaii News
Fisheries management officials are considering changes that could have profound effects on the catch and sale of popular island fish — from yellowfin ahi to deep-water species such as opakapaka and onaga. State and federal officials last weekend held the last of seven community meetings around the islands to discuss fish-related proposals that will be taken up separately next year by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council. Star-Advertiser.

The union for Hawaii public school teachers says some of its members are being caught up in lengthy investigations for alleged misconduct that 7 out of 10 times results in clearance of wrongdoing by schools — but their reputations are maligned in the process. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaiian Homes Commission on Tuesday approved sweeping changes to the basic framework for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands' controversial month-to-month land leasing program, authorizing reforms intended to make the process more transparent and more fair. Star-Advertiser.

The state’s Early Intervention Program helps more than 2-thousand disabled children up to age 3. Proponents want to reinstate the program to include all children who need help. Hawaii Public Radio.

Opinion: Do Public Agencies Have to Keep Reasonably Accurate Records? A recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling may condone foot-dragging in the maintenance of public records. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The federal criminal case against the man accused of stealing Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha's mailbox has been dismissed and the FBI might now be looking into the Honolulu Police Department's handling of the case. Star-Advertiser.

The FBI has been asked to investigate how the Honolulu Police Department handled a case involving HPD Chief Louis Kealoha, his stolen mailbox and his wife’s estranged uncle, who was accused in the crime. Civil Beat.

The board of directors for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, the agency charged with overseeing the construction of the city's $5.16 billion rail transit system, will hear the results of an audit of HART's finances on Thursday. Pacific Business News.

The number of rooftop solar permits Honolulu issued in November fell by 50 percent from the prior year, marking 19 months of year-over-year decline for the solar industry. Star-Advertiser.

Seven proposed solar farms recently announced by Hawaiian Electric Co. are projected to raise Oahu residents’ electricity bills in the long run. That’s in part because natural gas, which Hawaii is planning to import in coming years, is expected to drive down overall electricity rates, making the solar pricing less competitive. Civil Beat.

Coffee grown at Waialua Estate Coffee Farms and roasted at the Old Waialua Sugar Mill were placed under quarantine on Tuesday due to a coffee berry borer infestation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The active front of the June 27 lava flow continued marching down the steepest path of descent Tuesday, still headed in the direction of the Pahoa Marketplace, albeit moving a bit slower than in days past. Tribune-Herald.

The first shops began to shutter, while many others prepared to follow suit, Tuesday at Pahoa Marketplace as the June 27 lava flow continued its approach less than a mile away. Tribune-Herald.

An area for viewing cooled lava will open in Pahoa on Wednesday, even as a breakout from Kilauea Volcano continued advancing toward a shopping center and prompted the closure of a gas station. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

In addition to recently terminated Programming Director Shawn Michael, four additional former Akaku employees appeared at the Dec. 15, 2014 meeting of the public access cable channel’s board of directors to call for an independent investigation of management practices at the station. Maui Time.

Saving Hawaii’s Native Crows — on Maui. The Maui Bird Conservation Center is doing incredible work, but federal budget cuts are slowing the birds' return to the wild. Civil Beat.

The authors of a new Maui law banning the cultivation of genetically modified organisms won standing Monday to intervene in a federal lawsuit challenging the measure. Maui News.

Proponents of the recently passed GMO Initiative on Maui have been given the green light to intervene in a federal lawsuit challenging the measure, attorneys confirmed. Maui Now.

Kauai

Dozens of Laysan albatross eggs will be relocated to Oahu from Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility today in a first-of-its-kind attempt to establish a new colony of the nesting seabirds on Hawaii’s most populated island. Garden Island.

U.S. Navy officials on Wednesday plan to transport some 45 Laysan albatross eggs in need of refuge to a Windward Oahu site from a nesting area at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in West Kauai. Star-Advertiser.