Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hawaii is healthiest state, health exchange faces $2.5M shortfall, lobbyist laws lacking, Honolulu police chief to be questioned after mistrial, waste-to-energy incinerator delayed, Molokai fishermen attack Oahu boat, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii is the healthiest state in the country, claiming the top spot for two years straight in America's Health Rankings, released annually by United Health Foundation. Star-Advertiser.

In a place where sunshine and the outdoor lifestyle have long been treasured, it’s no surprise that Hawaii once again comes out on top of the rankings for the healthiest state. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Health Connector's top executive confirmed that the state's online health insurance exchange currently faces a $2.5 million budget shortfall during the fiscal year that ends in June 2015. Pacific Business News.

CGI Group Inc., the embattled information technology vendor for the Hawaii Health Connector, will continue its contract with the state's health insurance exchange for at least another year. Star-Advertiser.

NextEra: Efficiency, Expertise and a Penchant for Getting What it Want. The company looking to buy Hawaii's electric utilities will likely seek to own and operate sustainable energy projects, experts say. But that will require the approval of state regulators. Civil Beat.

Robert K. Lindsey Jr. of Hawaii island was unanimously selected chairman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees on Tuesday, and he didn't waste any time responding to criticism leveled at the agency by a former member. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay resigned Tuesday after a two-year tenure marked by failed efforts to stop the university’s athletic department from losing money. Associated Press.

Aniruddha Sherbow, 44, was sentenced Monday to 33 months in federal prison after threatening to “beat” and “decapitate” U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.Hawaii Reporter.

Opinion: The Problem With Lobbyists — and Their Regulators. The state's lobbyist law still falls short of providing accountability and transparency. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Embattled Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha should face tough questions next week from the people who control the fate of his job. If he doesn’t, state lawmakers are poised to rewrite the rules to ensure there’s more accountability for him and his department. Civil Beat.

Officials with the Honolulu Marathon say security will again be increased for the race that has already attracted nearly 30,000 entrants. Associated Press.

Hawaii

A planned waste-to-energy incinerator for Hawaii County is almost five months behind schedule, after the three finalists for the project asked for more time to complete their proposals. West Hawaii Today.

An intersection that has been a thorn in the side for South Kona drivers is showing signs of the transformation to come. West Hawaii Today.

‘It’s been a long time coming’; Hilo High’s new gym open for competition Tribune-Herald.

The June 27 lava flow advanced another 225 yards as of Tuesday morning but it wasn’t clear yet which path of steepest descent it might favor. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Makila Land Co. is seeking to develop 11 agricultural lots on 214 acres north of 186 acres of oceanfront at Launiupoko that the landowner sold to Maui County for $13 million earlier this year. Maui News.

The Maui Planning Commission unanimously approved Tuesday a special management area permit for the Cove Beach Village project, a 32-unit apartment complex located on an acre along Kanani Road in Kihei. Maui News.

The Federal District Court in Hawai’i will decide if the Maui County ballot initiative on Genetically Engineered Crops is legal. In his ongoing series, Hawaii Public Radio’s Wayne Yoshioka asked Maui residents on both sides what actions can be taken to resolve this issue.

Kauai

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. has nominated two-year Kauai resident Allan Parachini for the county Charter Review Commission. Garden Island.

A Hanalei man fined by the county for running a non-permitted bed and breakfast pleaded no contest to the criminal charges Tuesday in 5th Circuit Court. Ed Ben-Dor, 63, received a second fine for illegally operating a single family transient vacation rental outside of a visitor destination area. Garden Island.

Kauai residents and visitors may have to wait a little longer before they can see the Hokulei Village shopping center in Lihue come to fruition. Garden Island.

Molokai

A growing dispute between Oahu and Molokai fishermen leads to arrests and indictments. Four Molokai men are out on bail Tuesday night accused of boarding a Honolulu boat and attacking everyone on board. Hawaii News Now.

Friends of a Molokai fisherman are scrapping plans for a memorial service now that he was rescued after being missing at sea for nearly two weeks. Star-Advertiser.