Monday, March 30, 2015

Kauai chickens boast pre-contact DNA, Maui garbage crisis nears, Hawaii House urges audit of public hospital system, undersea cable a NextEra plan, rail review back before council, Big Island mayor uses county credit card at hostess bar, B&B crackdown on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Kauai feral chicken © 2015 All Hawaii News
Kauai chickens, pre-contact fowl have same DNA. Star-Advertiser.

A controversial measure that would have required monthly disclosure of pesticide use in Hawaii has died in the Legislature, essentially ensuring that the public won’t be able to find out details about what pesticides are being sprayed in the state and where. Civil Beat.

The House Health Committee is calling for a management and financial audit of the corporation that operates the state's network of private hospitals, citing concerns that the network that includes the Hilo and Maui Memorial medical centers is in a "financially perilous" situation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii legislators will consider a bill that would ban sex trafficking and treat people who are forced into prostitution as victims instead of criminals. Associated Press.

State lawmakers have made an initial push to bring Brazilian jiu-jitsu into Hawaii’s schools. Tribune-Herald.

According to the Department of Accounting and General Services, there’s no policy that forbids Hawaii government employees from using personal email accounts – like Gmail or Yahoo! – for official government business. But if a private email account is used for work, those emails can become public records that may need to be saved or potentially released through public records requests. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s chief academic officer is leaving the state Department of Education next month for a job in Washington, D.C. Ronn Nozoe, Hawaii DOE deputy superintendent since 2010, has been appointed to serve as deputy assistant secretary for policy and programs in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. DOE, school officials announced Friday. Civil Beat.

Undersea cable project sparked NextEra Energy's interest in buying Hawaiian Electric Co. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The Honolulu City Council has scheduled a special session for April Fools' Day to consider measures that would signal its support for extending the rail tax, if that's what's needed to complete the island's 20-mile public transit project. Star-Advertiser.

Officials at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation like to tout transparency, but City Councilman Trevor Ozawa thinks they can do more. This week Ozawa introduced a resolution to encourage HART to televise its public meetings through Olelo Community Media or other public access channels. The meetings could also be streamed online. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Despite strict rules against using county-issued credit cards for personal purposes, and a prohibition against purchasing alcohol with them, Mayor Billy Kenoi charged $892 on his county card at a Honolulu hostess bar one December day in 2013. Kenoi said Friday that he reimbursed the county for the expense on his purchasing card, or pCard, in March 2014. West Hawaii Today.

If a set of bills in the Legislature continue on their present course, Makalei will have an advanced life support ambulance and personnel to fill a critical gap in emergency services in that fast-growing North Kona area. West Hawaii Today.

The county has put Puna traffic cameras online at punatraffic.com, which monitors traffic monitoring service for the lower Puna to Keaau area, according to a statement. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The threat of another Maui County trash crisis surfaced Friday when Department of Environmental Management officials renewed a request for $700,000 for the department's Solid Waste Division. Maui News.

Maui’s only acute care hospital is considering eliminating cardiology and a birthing unit to cope with a $28 million cut to the state hospital system’s budget for the Maui region. Associated Press.

Randall Brokaw knows the clock is ticking for a possibly century-old Chinese wall, with ties to the venerable Dr. Sun Yat-sen, before it is destroyed or crumbles away in old Wailuku town. Maui News.

While the state Department of Defense is attempting to achieve "shrine status" with its ambitious expansion and improvements to the Maui Veterans Cemetery in Makawao, the existing cemetery was showing signs of wear and tear last week. Maui News.

Maui residents want lower energy bills, greater regulation of electric utilities and transparency and open communication with the public, according to a recent study by the Maui Economic Development Board. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai County has been telling owners of illegal short-term rentals to cease operations. The county sent notices to 320 people operating vacation rental, bed and breakfast and homestay businesses without proper permits. Associated Press.

For nearly 23 years, Alexis Boilini and Michael Levy have welcomed people from all over the world into their home. Garden Island.