Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Transgender birth certificates easier in Hawaii, Mauna Kea access reopened, pCard audit almost complete, Laniakea Beach barriers coming down, Honolulu taxi companies fight Uber, telecom exec stole $4M, solar panel woes on Molokai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaiian fishponds © 2015 All Hawaii News
Governor David Ige signed three bills into law today relating to Water Resource Management that deal with hydroelectric facilities, water scalping and Native Hawaiian fishponds. Maui Now.

Gov. David Ige signed a bill Monday that will allow transgender men and women in Hawaii to more easily change the gender on their birth certificate. The new law eliminates the requirement that someone must undergo gender reassignment surgery before officially making the switch. Associated Press.

Gov. David Ige signed a bill Monday that will allow transgender men and women in Hawaii to more easily change the gender on their birth certificate. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige signed a bill Monday that will allow transgender men and women in Hawaii to more easily change the gender on their birth certificate. Garden Island.

Gov. David Ige has appointed Central Pacific Bank President Lance Mizumoto as the new chair of the Board of Education. Civil Beat.

A federal jury in Hawaii has found the president of a telecommunications company guilty on charges that he illegally used $4 million in corporation money over a decade and underreported his income tax. Associated Press.

A federal jury found Honolulu businessman Albert S.N. Hee guilty Monday of concealing from the Internal Revenue Service that his company deducted as legitimate business expenses money it paid to cover his personal expenses and of filing false tax returns for not claiming the payments as personal income. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

A court order issued last week gives the state until Aug. 7 to remove the concrete barriers that block access to an unimproved parking area across from Laniakea Beach. Star-Advertiser.

The investigation of the June 29 assault on state Rep. Tom Brower at a growing Kaka­ako homeless encampment has moved from the state attorney general's office to the Honolulu Police Department, but Brower still has not decided whether to pursue criminal charges. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council’s history is pockmarked with ethical lapses when it comes to how members spend their annual contingency allowances. A Civil Beat review of nearly $180,000 in expenses during the 2015 fiscal year, which ended June 30, shows significant improvements have been made.

Honolulu’s largest taxi dispatch companies are gearing up for what’s expected to be a protracted fight to convince the City Council to make Uber and other ride-booking companies adhere to the same regulations all cabs must follow. Civil Beat.

A company is slowing down its proposal for a new thrill ride on Oahu's south shore. Waikiki Beach Activities is delaying its plan to install two zip lines over the lagoon at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii state and local policymakers are holding a town hall meeting Tuesday to discuss new restrictions on Maunalua Bay proposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Civil Beat.

A town hall meeting will be held Tuesday to discuss the future of Maunalua Bay. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is proposing that the bay become part of an expanded Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. KHON2.

Honolulu officials are calling for stricter enforcement of Oahu's new plastic bag bans as environmentalists complain the law has too many loopholes. Associated Press.

Hawaii

The Office of Mauna Kea Management on Monday afternoon reopened the Mauna Kea Access Road, which was shut down last month following protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope. Additionally, Gov. David Ige is planning to sign the new emergency rule that prohibits camping and restricts public access on the mountain, according to spokeswoman Cindy McMillan. Tribune-Herald.

The access road leading to the summit of Mauna Kea was reopened Monday afternoon after damage caused by protesters forced officials to shut down the road for more than two weeks. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii reopened the road leading up to the summit of Mauna Kea at 3 p.m. Monday after finishing remedial work and grading, according to a press release. Civil Beat.

The State is moving to restrict activities on Mauna Kea in response to Native Hawaiian protests over the Thirty Meter Telescope project. Hawaii Public Radio.

Cynthia Marlin, the 47 year old resident of Pahoa who was arrested Sunday after allegedly striking an Office of Mauna Kea Management ranger vehicle with her own car, was back on the mountain Monday evening. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County officials are working against a Wednesday deadline to respond to findings of a draft audit into their use of county credit cards, known as pCards. West Hawaii Today.

In response to numerous complaints about squatters living in vacant, bank-owned homes in Puna, Hawaii County Councilman Greggor Ilagan formed a task force and is seeking public input in an effort to find a solution. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A $2.8 million project to remove and replace a badly deteriorated pier adjacent to the Māʻalaea Small Boat Harbor new ferry terminal building began on Tuesday. Maui Now.

Public comments are being solicited for a proposal to continue allowing catamaran boarding at Maluaka Beach fronting the Makena Beach & Golf Resort. Maui News.

Jeffrey Pearson, an engineer and water official with the County of Maui, got a big boost to his resume last week when Governor David Ige announced that he’d soon take over as deputy to the chairperson of the state Commission on Water Resource Management as well as chief executive officer to the Commission. MauiTime.

Maui's drinking water quality is "very, very good" and is "much, much cleaner" than regulations require, Maui County Department of Water Supply Director David Taylor says. Maui News.

Wailuku businessman Joe Blackburn is launching his third campaign for the Maui County Council's Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu residency seat. Maui News.

Kauai
Members of the public will have an opportunity to weigh-in on whether to repeal Kauai County’s barking dog ordinance. Ordinance No. 967, which went into effect in March 2014, provides penalties for dog owners who fail to keep their animal quiet. Garden Island.

Kauai County will pay a police sergeant $100,000 in damages under a conciliation agreement that settles a case in which the sergeant said she suffered retaliation after alleging sexual harassment by an assistant chief. Star-Advertiser.

A blessing to mark the completion of Kekaha Gardens’ Kaleimanu Park was held last Friday. Garden Island.

Molokai

The Hawaiian Island of Molokai is facing serious issues when it comes to the inability of the utility’s grid to accommodate more rooftop solar photovoltaic systems. Pacific Business News.