Monday, August 10, 2015

Native Hawaiian march draws thousands to Waikiki, Monsanto lobbyist hired to head Maui agency, medical marijuana dispensary businesses vie for limited licenses, feds take Health Department to task on grants, Oahu residents cite homeless growth, Maui hospitals attract suitors, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Walter Ritte
Hawaiian march in Waikiki, courtesy Walter Ritte
Thousands of demonstrators, many carrying Hawaiian flags, marched through Waikiki on Sunday in an appeal to government to protect Hawaii’s natural resources for future generations. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands of Hawaiians mobilized in Waikiki on Sunday for the “Aloha Aina Unity March” — a massive show of strength that organizers hope to translate into ongoing political actions. Civil Beat.

Thousands of Aloha Aina advocates marched down Waikiki on Sunday striving to send a message to visiting astronomers and tourists. Hawaii News Now.

Medical marijuana dispensaries won’t be operating for another year, and the state Department of Health isn’t even accepting applications for licenses to grow and sell marijuana until January. But potential licensees are already acquiring land, entering partnerships and raising money to boost their chances of obtaining one of the eight licenses that will be available. Civil Beat.


Hawaii is at risk of losing federal water infrastructure improvement funds if the state doesn't start lending the money to counties more efficiently. Associated Press.

Year after year, the Hawaii Department of Health has failed to spend tens of millions of federal dollars earmarked for shoring up Hawaii’s drinking water infrastructure, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Star-Advertiser.


On the fifth floor of the Hawaii State Capitol Friday, state and federal officials inked a 2015 Hawaii Catastrophic Hurricane Plan as the islands face another potential tropical storm. Civil Beat.


Oahu

Oahu residents overwhelmingly believe the island’s homeless problem has gotten worse over the past year and is hurting both the overall economy and their own quality of life, according to a new Hawaii Poll. Star-Advertiser.


Residents say they like the idea of homeless shelters in places such as Sand Island, and even say they’re willing to have a temporary shelter in their own neighborhood, if it helps ease the overall problem, according to a new Hawaii Poll. Star-Advertiser.


Both Governor David Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell sat down with Hawaii News Now and the Star-Advertiser to discuss the results of the poll on homelessness in Hawaii.

The National Park Service on Friday said it was naming the superintendent of national parks in the Seattle area to oversee the USS Arizona Memorial, which has been rocked by alleged ticket sales even though people aren’t ever supposed to pay to visit the solemn site honoring World War II dead. Associated Press.

Two hospitals serving some of Oahu's most vulnerable patients are in financial crisis. Leahi and Maluhia hospitals have frozen admissions and are cutting staff. They're also reducing the number of available beds by 25-percent, a decision that will have a broader impact for medical care around the island. Hawaii Public Radio.

The cautionary context for Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s imminent plan to convert Oahu’s 50,000, 2,300-kelvin, high-pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights to brighter, bluer, 4,000K LED lamps — despite public pleas that he consider a cost-neutral and less harsh, 2,700-to-3,000K alternative — certainly calls for some review. Civil Beat.


It's no secret that The University of Hawaii Athletics Department has been losing money for years. Now, the question is will its new athletic director be able to change that fact? KITV4.


Hawaii

A dispute over who should build a senior living center in Kailua-Kona has one party warning there could be a glut of such units for seniors, or the area could end up having no new units at all. West Hawaii Today.

A report of shifting crime levels and complaints about officers on Mauna Kea were talked about Friday during the Hawaii County Police Commission meeting in Waimea. West Hawaii Today.

One year after Tropical Storm Iselle made landfall on Hawaii Island, its lasting impact may be one of better preparedness in the event of future storms. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Two major Hawaii health care organizations are preparing their proposals to manage the state's public hospitals on Maui. Pacific Business News.


The head of the Maui region of Hawaii Health Systems Corp. told PBN Friday it was disappointed that the United Public Workers union filed a complaint for an injunction to block its path towards privatization. Pacific Business News.


Carol Reimann, who had been community and government affairs manager for Monsanto Hawaii, has been named director of the Department of Housing and Human Concerns, Mayor Alan Arakawa announced Friday. Maui News.

In a move that’s sure to keep the county’s anti-Monsanto/GMO activists buzzing for months (but perfectly illustrates the very tight bonds that connect local government with big business), Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa has appointed Carol Reimann to be the new Housing and Human Concerns Director. MauiTime.

Despite criticism from activists against genetically modified organisms, Carol Reimann does not expect her experience working for Monsanto Hawaii will affect any decisions she makes in her new job as director of the county Department of Housing & Human Concerns. Maui News.

Preserving the historic character of bridges along Hana Highway, some of which are more than a century old, is a top concern as the state finalizes a comprehensive plan to maintain those landmarks. Maui News.

Maui Electric Co. is moving into large scale - "first of their kind on Maui" solar ventures with plans to purchase a total of 5.7 megawatts of photovoltaic power from projects in Lahaina and Kihei. Maui News.

County crews continue to respond to waterline breaks in South Maui and Haʻikū. Maui Now.

Kauai

Swim at your own risk. No plans for lifeguard towers at Kalapaki Beach. Garden Island.

The Kauai Creative Technology Center, a project of the Kauai Economic Development Board, will provide a multipurpose creative technology facility for workforce training, a hub for film and music industry professionals, as well as an audio and video resource center for members of the community. Garden Island.