Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hawaii crops suffer from drought, $15.4M settlement in Honolulu molasses spill, almost half state's private-sector workers lack sick days, county council to mull pCard audit, 400 protest Maui Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, Filipino vets want their due, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Produce at a Hawaii farmers market © 2015 All Hawaii News
Experts at the National Weather Service are forecasting the heat to go through summer and into fall. It’s bad news for everyone, especially for local farmers who say the sun has been burning up a lot of their crops. KITV4.

Research crews will leave Ford Island this week to explore the staggering depths of the ocean around Hawaii, which humans have never seen before. Star-Advertiser.

An estimated 42 percent of Hawaii’s private sector employees, or 184,237 workers, don’t receive any paid sick days, according to a new report released Wednesday by a national advocacy group pushing for federal and state laws requiring employers to provide minimum sick leave benefits. Star-Advertiser.

More than 260,000 Filipinos and Filipino-Americans, including 300 from Hawaii, answered President Franklin Roosevelt’s call to liberate the Philippines 74 years ago, but unlike the nisei soldiers or the African-American Tuskegee Airmen, many feel they have not received adequate recognition for their wartime efforts. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Matson has agreed in a settlement with the state to pay $15.4 million for a massive molasses spill at Honolulu Harbor and to end its molasses operation in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

A major shipping company has agreed to pay more than $15 million to compensate for a 2013 molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor, Hawaii’s attorney general said Wednesday. Associated Press.

The state and Matson Navigation Co. have agreed on a $15.4 million settlement. The Hawai‘i-based shipping company was responsible for a leak in 2013 that released more than 230,000 gallons of molasses, devastating coral and marine life in Honolulu Harbor. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced the hiring Wednesday of a Bay Area consultant with decades of transit experience to improve oversight of the city’s $6 billion commuter rail line. Civil Beat.

Honolulu’s Department of Emergency Medical Services will continue a pilot program that has personnel working 12-hour shifts. After ongoing discussions, the United Public Workers union told KHON2 it reached an agreement with the city to continue the extended shifts.

Hawaii

Hawaii County residents will get their first chance to weigh in on an audit of the county’s purchasing card program next week, when the County Council Finance Committee takes up the issue. West Hawaii Today.

Mauna Kea Thirty Meter Telescope protesters file complaints against police, DLNR. Tribune-Herald.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is gearing up to enforce a new emergency rule that restricts nighttime access to the Mauna Kea summit area. Star-Advertiser.

Running an observatory can cost millions of dollars each year, and yet the astronomy business is not for-profit. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii County residents plan to celebrate the county’s first officially recognized Hawaiian Restoration Day on Friday with celebrations on both sides of the island. West Hawaii Today.

Five Big Island farmers signed up to help the U.S. Department of Agriculture better understand and manage the impacts feral swine are having on natural resources and human health and safety. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

About 400 protesters on a beach in front of a Maui resort blew conch shells on Wednesday to demonstrate against a trade agreement being negotiated by ministers from 12 Pacific Rim nations. Associated Press.

Economic ministers from 12 nations, including the United States, are holding talks on the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership on Maui. And their gathering has attracted protesters opposed to the trade treaty. Hawaii News Now.

A coalition of advocates for the environment, labor, health and native Hawaiians are gathered on Kāʻanapali Beach near the Westin today to speak out against negotiations involving the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Maui Now.

The Maui Planning Commission deferred action Tuesday on a proposed mixed-use campground facility in Lahaina for commercial and homeless campers, suggesting that the developer confer with neighbors who oppose the project. Maui News.

Christopher Benjamin will take over day-to-day management of Alexander & Baldwin Inc. as its new chief executive officer, beginning Jan. 1, succeeding Stanley Kuriyama, who will retire as CEO but continue to serve the company as A&B's executive chairman of the board. Maui News.

Kauai

With two cases involving Kauai police officers being investigated, a conflict of interest in one prompted Kauai County Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar to turn it over to the state Attorney General. Garden Island.

A recipient of the Kauai Police Department’s 2010 Top Cop award has been charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant and inattention to driving, according to the state’s Department of the Attorney General. Garden Island.