Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hawaii out of compliance on Obamacare, ethics board delays Kenoi pCard case, sharks love Maui, monk seal feasts on scraps in video, two few marijuana dispensaries, Honolulu TV station sold, Kakaako affordable housing delayed, Molokai seeks money for ferry, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo by Occupy Hilo Media all rights reserved
Mayor Billy Kenoi, attorneys at Ethics Board, courtesy Occupy Hilo Media
The state attorney general said it was unusual — and unnecessary — for the three-member Hawaii County Board of Ethics appointed by Mayor Billy Kenoi to postpone hearing a complaint about Kenoi's $129,000 in county purchase-card spending until the AG's office finishes a separate criminal investigation. Star-Advertiser.

photo courtesy Occupy Hilo Media
Hawaii County Board of Ethics, courtesy Occupy Hilo Media
The Hawaii County Board of Ethics deferred a citizen’s petition filed against Mayor Billy Kenoi because of use of his county-issued credit card for personal expenses. The board voted 3-0 Wednesday to wait until the state Attorney General’s Office completes its investigation of the matter before proceeding with the complaint. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii's ethics board wants the attorney general to conclude an investigation into Mayor Billy Kenoi's questionable credit card expenses before proceeding with its own inquiry. Associated Press.

Gov. David Ige acknowledged Wednesday that Hawaii is out of compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act and is at risk of losing $1 billion in Medicaid funds if Washington does not accept the state's plan to remedy the ailing Hawaii Health Connector. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii organization formed to spur the public acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co., is causing the state’s largest utility to question the involvement of the groups, companies and organizations that were allowed to the intervene in NextEra Energy Inc.'s proposed $4.3 billion acquisition case before Hawaii regulators. Pacific Business News.

Some lawmakers had wanted 26 medical marijuana dispensaries to be licensed. Compromise whittled it down to 23 then 16. But the conservatism has some medical marijuana experts questioning the math. Hawaii News Now.

Opinion: Gov. David Ige and former Gov. Neil Abercrombie differ on something more important than style. They approach policymaking in diametrically opposed ways. Civil Beat.

The Agriculture Department has developed the first government certification and labeling for foods that are free of genetically modified ingredients. Associated Press.

Oahu

The Hawai’i Community Development Authority withheld a final decision on a project proposed by a major Kaka’ako developer to build affordable housing. Hawaii Public Radio.

The city plans to open the King Street bike track to cycling in both directions Friday, coinciding with national Bike to Work Day. Star-Advertiser.

A Shangri La museum official says the fence it erected a year ago to prevent young daredevils from diving into shallow water in front of Doris Duke’s Diamond Head mansion has failed to stop the risky behavior. So now the foundation that owns Shangri La is seeking permits to take down the massive lava rock breakwater that created the harbor basin near Cromwell’s Beach in 1937. Civil Beat.

Hawaii ABC-network affiliate KITV is being sold by New York-based Hearst Television to California-based SJL Broadcast Management. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama’s presidential library will be built on Chicago’s South Side, but his foundation plans to develop “joint programs” with the University of Hawaii and other “local partners,” Obama’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

The embattled principal at Honokaa High and Intermediate was removed from the school through the end of the year. Tribune-Herald.

State regulators are reminding the public that new rules will slap heavy fines on those who introduce new wildlife to the islands. Laws that went into effect Feb. 27 lay out fines up to $25,000 and seizure of equipment, aircraft, vehicles and vessels used in the violation. West Hawaii Today.

With video. He’s known as B-18 and for the past week this endangered Hawaiian monk seal has been spotted repeatedly swimming in and around boats at Honokohau Small Boat Harbor. He’s feeding on fish scraps that have been thrown overboard. This has prompted the state Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation to remind people that it is against the law to dispose of fish scraps in state waters. West Hawaii Today.

IRONMAN will forfeit nearly $2.8 million to the U.S. government for running an illegal lottery that gave competitors a chance to compete in the historic world championship triathlon on the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Sharks love Maui, but scientists aren’t ready to explain why. MauiTime.

Kauai

Good news for Kauai’s economy: more tourists are visiting the island, and they are spending more, too. Garden Island.

Molokai

Possible financial aid is in sight for the Molokai ferry, whose recent losses in ridership and funds have forced company president David Jung to consider a shutdown as early as June. Molokai Dispatch.