Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Hawaii's restaurant inspection database fails, hotels busy, Ige signs farm-to-school, overdose bills, legislators trim spending after ethics rules, UH athletics in the red again, turmoil atop Mauna Kea, Molokai ferry seeks as-needed schedule, federal money for coffee berry borer, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii restaurant inspection placard © 2015 All Hawaii News
One year after requiring restaurants to display safety inspection placards for their patrons, and after spending nearly $170,000, the Hawaii State Department of Health is going back to the drawing board to launch a restaurant database the public can access online. Pacific Business News.

While Hawaii's hotel market started the year slowly, the pickup seen in March has continued and led to a record-setting May. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige signed a farm-to-school bill Tuesday that is intended to increase the amount of local food students eat in Hawaii’s public school system and boost their understanding of its importance. Civil Beat

Gov. David Ige on Tuesday approved a bill designed to help reduce the number of drug- and alcohol-related deaths in Hawaii by encouraging bystanders to call for help when they witness an overdose. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii ranks 40th among states for its overall “fiscal health,” according to a national study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The study, released Tuesday, measured fiscal solvency of the 50 states based on short- and long-term debt and other “key fiscal obligations,” such as unfunded pensions and health care benefits. Civil Beat.

How Hawaii Lawmakers Spend Up to $13,000 a Year — Each. A review of this year’s spending shows legislators are much less inclined to spend public money on questionable expenses. Civil Beat.

Donald Horner, who has led the state Board of Education since 2011, announced Tuesday he is stepping down as its chairman this month. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige will be selecting a new chair for the state Board of Education after Don Horner announced plans on Tuesday to step down from the position later this month. Civil Beat.

New Hawai’i Homelessness data reveals a growing population that is older and mentally or physically disabled. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has conditionally approved 4,176 out of roughly 5,700 customers with rooftop solar energy systems waiting to be connected to its grid who were stuck in the queue since October, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

Abnormally warm ocean temperatures are creating conditions that threaten to kill coral across the equatorial Pacific, north Pacific and western Atlantic oceans, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday. Associated Press.

Services for former Lt. Gov. Nelson Kiyoshi Doi, who died May 16 in his home in Wai­mea, Hawaii, will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Oceanside Luau Grounds. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

The University of Hawaii athletic department’s deficit for the just-concluded fiscal year is expected to be the biggest in its history. By the time the annual audit is concluded this fall, UH said it expects to report a deficit of $4.2 million-$4.4 million for the fiscal year that concluded June 30. Star-Advertiser.

Your home is your castle, but under a proposal put forth by City Councilmember Carol Fukunaga, your street might also turn into paid parking. KITV4.

City Council chairman Ernie Martin and Gov. David Ige met Tuesday to discuss the homeless situation in Kakaako. They’re trying to come up with a plan to move the homeless out of the area. KHON2.

Hawaii

Protesters of the Thirty Meter Telescope say they are being unfairly targeted by the state’s proposed “emergency” rules restricting access to Mauna Kea’s summit. Tribune-Herald.

The attorney for the Mauna Kea Hui claiming to have been “denied access to exercise their religious, cultural and traditional practices on Mauna Kea” has sent a letter challenging the legalities to the Attorney General of the State of Hawaii, Douglas Chin. Big Island Video News.

The state is taking direct aim at the Thirty Meter Telescope protesters by proposing an emergency rule that prevents them from camping near the Mau­na­kea Visitor Information Station, TMT foes said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

A proposed “emergency rule” on the BLNR’s Friday meeting agenda is aimed at breaking up the encampment of protesters on Mauna Kea—the only thing stopping the Thirty-Meter Telescope from being built right now. Hawaii Independent.

State officials are proposing emergency rules that would prohibit camping and restrict nighttime access on Mauna Kea. Hawai‘i’s Board of Land and Natural Resources plans to vote on the issue this Friday. But opponents say the new rules unfairly target TMT protesters and would violate the rights of cultural practitioners. Hawaii Public Radio.

In addition to the state Land Board, the Office of Mauna Kea Management also is proposing new access rules for Mauna Kea, though they are not in direct response to the ongoing protests. Tribune-Herald.

The first observatory placed atop Mauna Kea will now be one of the first to come down, the University of Hawaii announced Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Hawaii County could soon see more money from Washington to fight the coffee berry borer that has threatened signature coffee brands in Kona and elsewhere on the island. West Hawaii Today.

Delays in widening Queen Kaahumanu Highway are hitting the pocketbook of the county Department of Water Supply, which is trying to coordinate laying water lines with the roadwork. 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.

Parade Staging Criminal Trespass Case Forwarded to Prosecutor. Maui Now.

A state lawmaker from south Maui plans to draft a bill for the next legislative session to appease both residents who oppose the burning of cane fields and the company that burns them. Associated Press.

The secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said Tuesday during a special visit to Maui that he supports the building of a one-stop facility where Maui veterans can receive medical and psychological services and assistance with benefits. Maui News.

Kauai

More than seven months after his son was killed after being struck by a car and then hit again by a responding police officer, the father is still seeking answers. Garden Island.

Molokai

The Molokai ferry is moving ahead with plans to seek Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approval to operate on an "as needed" basis for voyages between Maui and Molokai. Maui News.