Thursday, July 9, 2015

Army cuts to be announced for Hawaii, finance director cleared in Kenoi pCard use, Ellison's Island Air $35M in the red, Honolulu mulls 500 Kakaako homeless, Native Hawaiians sue over Mauna Kea access, legal fees upped to $2.25M in Maui wastewater case, tax refunds still lagging, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Soldiers at Pohakuloa Training Area © 2015 All Hawaii News
Army personnel cuts are being announced for Hawaii, Alaska and Georgia — among other locations — according to Alaska’s congressional delegation. How many soldiers will be cut in Hawaii has not been announced. Star-Advertiser.

The possibility of the U.S. Army eliminating nearly 20,000 soldier and civilian jobs from Hawaii's Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter is extremely unlikely to be fully realized, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

The U.S. Army is transferring its western medical headquarters to Hawaii from Washington state, bringing 61 jobs and a command position for a general officer. Pacific Business News.

Island Air, downsizing in the wake of mounting losses, is now nearly $35 million in the red through its first two years under the ownership of billionaire Larry Ellison. Star-Advertiser.

State still needs to process nearly 8,000 tax refund requests. Hawaii News Now.

Friend or Foe? Kathryn Xian Has Become a Problem for Anti-Trafficking Advocates Hawaii human-trafficking activists say Kathryn Xian’s in-your-face style is hindering progress and hurting the victims they are trying to help. Now, she’s in danger of losing her seat on a statewide task force working to find solutions to the issue she’s so closely identified with. Civil Beat.

Oahu

State and city officials are promising to work together to ease a growing homeless population in Kakaako, where an estimated 500 people are living in tents and makeshift structures. Star-Advertiser.

For the first time in its history, the Hawaii Community Development Authority waded into the issue of homelessness Wednesday as it held an open discussion on the burgeoning encampment in Kakaako. Civil Beat.

The Hawai’i Community Development Authority heard from major stakeholders in Kaka’ako today on the homeless encampments there. Hawaii Public Radio

Gov. David Ige has given the nod to plans to purchase upscale 25-story downtown office building Alii Place to provide more office space for state workers, but the $90 million purchase is not a done deal quite yet. Star-Advertiser.

Two Hawaii Health Systems Corp. hospitals on Oahu will have to lay off 64 workers and temporarily freeze admissions, officials said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has overturned a former circuit judge’s order disqualifying two city deputy prosecutors from a high-profile gambling case involving sweepstakes machines.Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu businessman Albert Hee says the two-hour, twice weekly massages he has been getting for the past 20 years have a legitimate business purpose because they “allowed me to function as CEO” of Waimana Enterprises Inc. Star-Advertiser.

If you feel your neighborhood has gone to the birds, then you’re likely to support a bill introduced by Councilmember Carol Fukunaga that would create a permitting system for homeowners with 10 or more birds. KITV4.

Hawaii
Hawaii County Finance Director Deanna Sako was cleared Wednesday of any wrongdoing in Mayor Billy Kenoi’s misuse of his county-issued credit card, while the county Board of Ethics reopened a case against Kenoi that it had deferred pending an investigation by the state attorney general. The Ethics Board is now in disagreement over whether it should continue its investigation into Kenoi’s pCard use or wait for Attorney General Doug Chin to complete his criminal investigation. West Hawaii Today.

The Board of Ethics on Wednesday dismissed a complaint against Mayor Billy Kenoi and his former campaign manager Kimo Alameda, after receiving assurances from the county Human Resources Department that Kenoi wasn’t involved in Alameda’s appointment as executive of the Office of Aging, and that Alameda had the requisite two years supervisory experience. West Hawaii Today.

A lawsuit has been filed in Federal District Court alleging that the Office of Mauna Kea Management and other state agencies are restricting cultural and religious practices on the mountain. Big Island Now.

Photographers who share a passion for capturing imagery on Mauna Kea are uniting in opposition to proposed rules that will restrict access to the scenic mountain. Big Island Video News.

Kona Community Hospital began a construction project Wednesday to renovate and expand its emergency department. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The Maui County Council approved raising compensation to $2.25 million on Tuesday for private legal counsel to defend against a lawsuit in which the county faces millions of dollars in fines over its use of four injection wells at its Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility. Maui News.

Kauai

An audit of Kauai County’s Department of Human Resources found hiring practices lacking, potentially creating a situation in which personnel decisions regarding unskilled laborers can be made on something other than merit. Garden Island.

More than 100 Native Hawaiians gathered at the Anahola Clubhouse Tuesday to hear Colleen Hanabusa trace the history of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, putting in context the significance of a pair of newly proposed federal rules that aim to govern its enforcement. Garden Island.

A plan to allow the county to recover fuel expenses incurred during search-and-rescue operations is on the fast-track for final approval after it was unanimously passed by the Public Safety Committee on Wednesday. Garden Island.

Gov. David Ige has yet to sign rules intended to create Hawaii’s first Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area for Haena on the north shore of Kauai. The seven-month delay has irked those who fought for the past several years to convince the state Board of Land and Natural Resources to take action to ensure the sustainability of the near-shore ocean resources there by implementing a program based on culturally rooted practices. Civil Beat.