Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hawaii attorneys barred from helping medical marijuana dispensaries, artist chosen for Abercrombie portrait, ACLU seeks homeless-rousting injunction, Big Island mayoral race kicks off, Honolulu warned in 2010 about low rail estimate, more on the Mauna Kea tent removal, more government and political news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii lawyers can’t help clients apply for high-stakes medical marijuana dispensary licenses authorized under a new state law, according to a formal opinion of the Hawaii Supreme Court Disciplinary Board. Attorneys can provide legal advice regarding the state’s newly enacted medical marijuana dispensary law, but shouldn’t provide legal services to help establish or operate businesses because that would assist in committing a federal crime, the board said. Civil Beat.

The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts has unanimously approved a plan to have Maui artist Kirk Kurokawa paint the official portrait of former Gov. Neil Abercrombie that will hang in the governor’s chambers at the state Capitol. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii regulators are concerned about NextEra Energy Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Co.’s inability to meet deadlines when submitting responses to information requests, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

Two Hawaii organizations dedicated to helping Native Hawaiian children will receive $1.6 million in federal grants from the U. S. Department of Education. Garden Island.

Report: Hawaii Has 2nd-Lowest Obesity Rate. But the islands’ obesity rate has more than doubled since 1990, and its diabetes rate increased last year. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i is asking a federal judge to immediately stop the city from conducting homeless encampment sweeps in Kakaako. A hearing on the matter is set for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in U.S. District Court. Star-Advertiser.

A group of homeless individuals filed a motion in federal court Monday to seek an immediate halt to the city’s enforcement of the stored property and sidewalk nuisance ordinances. Civil Beat.

The City and County of Honolulu continued enforcement of its sidewalk nuisance ordinance in Kaka’ako today.   Meanwhile, a panel discussion on building more affordable housing to ease homelessness was conducted. Hawaii Public Radio.

The city was warned in 2010 of rail’s costs. Former Gov. Ben Cayetano cites a state report predicting the project’s price tag would balloon. Star-Advertiser.

A program designed to draw more customers to struggling businesses along Honolulu’s rail line is not working. KHON2.

Better customer service, competition for the airport contract and tighter safety regulations are some of the ways Honolulu’s taxi system could be improved, critics say. Star-Advertiser.

Known as the Whitmore Project, a plan is taking shape to turn Lake Wilson into a major source of power for farmers who take up residence in Central Oahu. KITV4.

Expatistan, which compares prices of a wide array of consumer goods, transportation, rent and other things, ranks Honolulu as the seventh-most expensive city in America and the 17th most expensive city in the world. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Former Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann on Monday became the first candidate to formally announce he’s running for Hawaii County mayor. West Hawaii Today.

State Department of Land and Natural Resources officers have removed a large tent used by Thirty Meter Telescope opponents to camp on Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

The large tent that housed the around-the-clock vigil held by opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope was confiscated overnight by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Big Island Video News.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has confiscated a big tent atop Mauna Kea that people protesting the Thirty Meter Telescope project had built there. Civil Beat.

Nineteen state conservation officers with support from Hawaii County police Monday dismantled a tent erected near the Mauna Kea Visitors Center, enforcing a rule aimed at stopping protesters from camping. Star-Advertiser.

Law enforcement officers are sweeping part of the island for marijuana growing operations and checking on medical marijuana permits. West Hawaii Today.

A Hilo towing and used auto parts company is contesting a citation and fine from the state Department of Health. The DOH said Monday in a written statement it’s fining Ken’s Towing Service Inc. $7,500 for allegedly operating a vehicle salvage facility without a permit and obstructing a DOH inspection. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Construction design flaws and repeated brown-water incidents prompted Maui County to issue one of its longest stop-work orders for a construction project earlier this year for a development in Kapalua. Maui News.

The state hopes that planting native trees and shrubs and enforcing ungulate controls will help restore a native dryland forest and critical ecosystem that once spanned Haleakala's leeward slope from Makawao to Kaupo. Maui News.

Makila Land Co. is proposing to develop 150 rural residential lots of a half-acre to 1 acre on 271 acres in Launiupoko. Maui News.

A Maui police officer accused of exposing himself to women and children and masturbating in front of them earlier this year has been charged with nine counts of sexual assault in the fourth degree. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai
Kauai’s test results were in the top five of the statewide Hawaii Smarter Balanced Assessment scores recently released.  Garden Island.

The junk cars, rusted appliances and wild boar carcasses that make up an illegal dump along the Anahola coast are still ripening in the sun nearly three months after the state agency that manages the land said it would work to clean it up. Garden Island.