Friday, June 5, 2015

USS Arizona reopens, $130M lost on defunct Hawaii Obamacare, Hanabusa moves on, mining dust-up on Big Island, Maui residents fight sugarcane smoke, Native Hawaiian Roll Commission must release enrollment list, Ellison's Lanai resort plans, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy U.S. National Park Service
USS Arizona Memorial courtesy photo
National Park Service officials plan to reopen tours to the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor starting at 7:30 a.m. Friday, after more than a week of repairs to the site’s floating dock and brow. Star-Advertiser.

Repairs to the USS Arizona Memorial's floating dock and brow are nearly complete. The Navy says it anticipates having the repairs finalized by Friday morning. Hawaii News Now.

The state is walking away from a $130 million investment in the Hawaii Health Connector and permanently moving the insurance exchange to the federal Obamacare program. Star-Advertiser.

Is Colleen Hanabusa Through with Politics? The former congresswoman has been named to the board of directors of Hawaii Gas, her second prominent appointment in less than a week. Civil Beat.

A Circuit Court judge has ordered the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission to make public the list of those who have registered to participate in the nation-building campaign funded by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which filed the lawsuit with help from the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, hailed the ruling as a victory for open government. Star-Advertiser.

A state court has ordered the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission to release the enrollment list it is using to form a Hawaiian government. The lawsuit was filed in Circuit Court in Honolulu in February by the nonprofit, conservative Judicial Watch and the libertarian-leaning nonprofit Grassroot Institute of Hawaii after the two groups were not able to obtain the roll information through an open records request. Civil Beat.

All that infighting between the Chess Club, the Opihis, the Tokuda Four and the few nonaligned Hawaii state senators has finally concluded. For now, anyway. On Thursday the Senate released its list of committee assignments following the palace coup of Oahu’s Donna Mercado Kim last month by Ron Kouchi of Kauai. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Hawaiian Telcom officials said Honolulu 911 system was working normally Thursday night after fixes were made when the emergency system was experiencing technical problems. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu has a new man in charge of running elections, tracking legislation and making sure the public is kept in the loop on important City Council decisions. The Honolulu City Council voted unanimously earlier this week to appoint Glen Takahashi to a six-year term as city clerk. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu City Council passed two measures yesterday to provide financial assistance for businesses hurt by construction of O’ahu’s rail transit system. Hawaii Public Radio.

A University of Hawaii professor said he was harassed by his department because his criticisms of GMOs. Hawaii News Now.

The concrete barriers that have blocked cars from parking at popular Laniakea Beach for the past year and a half must be removed under a new court order — but it’s not certain yet that they’ll stay gone for good. Star-Advertiser.

The hills above Kahuku have proven to be a prime place to harness power from the wind. One wind farm has already been planted and another could go up soon. It’s a plan that have some residents concerned. KITV4.

A bill to create a special fund for the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park won City Council approval Wednesday as several user groups and residents insisted that revenue generated at the complex should be directed back to its upkeep and maintenance. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

A communication breakdown became apparent Wednesday evening at a community input meeting involving proposed cuts to East Hawaii’s safety net hospital system. Facing a $7 million shortfall in the next fiscal year, Hawaii Health Systems Corp.’s East Hawaii Regional Board voted last month to propose cuts to East Hawaii’s Home Care Services, one wing of adult inpatient psychiatric care at Hilo Medical Center, and a reduction in the number of long-term care beds at all facilities. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County says it is revising its procedures regarding pre-employment medical examinations and urinalyses. Star-Advertiser.

The board that controls the roads in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates has successfully petitioned to intervene in administrative hearings over expansion of mining activities in the neighborhood. West Hawaii Today.

When their eight-month stay in a dome on Mauna Loa ends June 13, six crew members participating in the longest Mars habitat study hosted in the United States will leave their simulated red planet in a Chinook helicopter and “re-enter” Earth’s atmosphere by skydiving with the Army’s Golden Knights parachute team over Kailua-Kona. Tribune-Herald.

Last year, an election season helped fuel the bang of Kailua-Kona’s Fourth of July celebration. But that political fervor won’t add to the kitty this year for the fireworks show that is launched over Kailua Bay. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui residents are calling for Maui's last sugar cane plantation to stop burning fields, claiming the smoke is causing adverse health effects. Associated Press.

Maui residents file complaints over severe cane burn smoke. KHON2.

A finding of no significant environmental impact has been issued for Lokahi Pacific's 16-unit Mokuhau affordable housing project. Maui News.

The median price of a single-family home on Maui last month rose by 13 percent on flat sales, while condominium prices fell slightly by less than 1 percent on fewer sales, when compared to the same time last year, according to data compiled by the Realtors Association of Maui. Pacific Business News.

Kauai

Keeping Kauai prepared. Multi-agency exercises taking place all week. Garden Island.


Lanai

Plans to build a controversial third resort on Lana'i have been removed from a key Maui County planning document, but hundreds of acres of homes, a university campus and film studio are still planned for the island's future. Hawaii News Now.

The Maui County Council Planning Committee has made significant revisions to the Lanai Community Plan that members hope will assuage residents' concerns about development on the island owned by billionaire Larry Ellison. Maui News.