Monday, June 1, 2015

Sea turtle nesting season begins, retailers urge veto of theft bill, good news for Hawaiian language immersion schools, Kenoi aides use pCards, rules unpopular in homeless shelters, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Young honu green sea turtle © 2015 All Hawaii News
Wildlife officials are asking the public to be mindful of Hawksbill and green sea turtles as they begin their 2015 nesting season along Maui beaches this month. Maui Now.

Some Hawaii retailers and industry advocacy groups are pushing back against a proposed law that nearly doubles the monetary value of goods that suspected thieves can steal before they are charged with a felony. Pacific Business News.

Yet more confirmation that housing is really, really expensive in Hawaii. The National Low Income Housing Coalition has released a report saying that folks in our state need to earn $31.61 per hour to afford a “modest” two-bedroom apartment. According to the report, that makes Hawaii more expensive than any other state, even second-place California and third-place District of Columbia. Civil Beat.

The state has agreed to fund nearly $880,000 worth of settlements on behalf of the Department of Education, including several wrongful termination cases, a lawsuit alleging mistreatment of a special education student, and compensation for 300 educational assistants stemming from a payroll dispute. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian language immersion schools received good news from lawmakers last week, as five U.S. senators introduced a measure to preserve endangered Native American languages such as olelo Hawaii. Garden Island.

Oahu

Want to Fill Up Your Homeless Shelter? Ditch Some of the Rules. Next Step shelter's lenient approach leads to a higher occupancy rate than other Oahu facilities. But some question whether that's best for the long term. Civil Beat.

The revised plan by Haseko to create a recreational lagoon rather than a marina along the makai border of its Ewa Beach property won a thumbs-up from the Honolulu Planning Commission last week. Star-Advertiser.

It has been more than a decade since the city approved the building of a cemetery in Hawaii Kai. Those plans haven't gone anywhere since then, but work has begun once again, and that has some Hawaii Kai residents concerned. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Kai residents who thought there had been a halt last year to a decade of dumping of construction debris on vacant preservation land are alarmed the landowner has resumed the practice. Star-Advertiser.

The Navy command overseeing the hospital ship involved in a mishap that damaged the USS Arizona Memorial’s dock has sent investigators to Hawaii to probe what happened. Associated Press.

Hawaii

Mayor Billy Kenoi’s executive assistants charged nearly $143,000 on their county-issued credit cards — including airfare for a local surfer, a helicopter ride for visiting dignitaries, and wine that was gifted during a trip to the state Capitol — since the start of his administration. Tribune-Herald.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s announcement to open pre-clearance operations at Narita International Airport in Tokyo would help the tourism industry and bring relief to Honolulu International Airport, the Hawaii Tourism Authority says. Pacific Business News.

Kona International Airport could soon be receiving international arrivals under a plan to staff U.S. Customs officers at 10 foreign points of departure. West Hawaii Today.

This summer, Kona coffee farmers will have a new tool in the fight against coffee berry borer. Legislation was approved last year to give farmers $500,000 in subsidies for spray. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Most short-term rental home applications are approved by the county Department of Planning without a hitch, but the Maui Planning Commission denied a petition last week to convert two farm dwellings in Launiupoko into vacation rental units. Maui News.

As hundreds of people paid tribute to veterans during a Memorial Day service at the Maui Veterans Cemetery, a Hawaii National Guard official said that a $6 million cemetery expansion project will honor veterans' sacrifices even more. Associated Press.

Kauai


Starting Thursday, motorists using the intersection at Umi and Hardy streets will need to seek alternate routes and allow extra time to reach their destinations. Garden Island.