Monday, October 12, 2015

Transparency a problem for Hawaii Gov. Ige, lieutenant governor wants more responsibility, death with dignity petition gathers names, two-year-old issues surface for Maui mayor, weakened ethics bill advances on Big Island, Lanai short of affordable housing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. David Ige at 2014 inauguration, courtesy photo
Gov. David Ige made open government an important part of his campaign for governor. But since assuming the governorship 10 months ago, Ige has fallen short on some of his key campaign promises when it comes to government transparency. Star-Advertiser.

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui  is pushing for a bill in the Legislature that will change the election process for lieutenant governors. Instead of running separately, the governor would select a lieutenant governor as a running mate. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations continues to smooth out the process of keeping elevators safe and up to code. Tribune-Herald.

Death With Dignity’ for Hawaii? An online petition aims to persuade House Speaker Joe Souki to take up physician-assisted suicide at the Legislature. Civil Beat.

A government council says Hawaii’s longline fishing fleet is suffering a big economic impact because of quotas and that in turn means consumers are paying a high price at the market. KHON2.

Oahu

Ansaldo Honolulu JV, the firm that won the largest contract in state history to deliver rail’s train cars and signaling system, recently understaffed key job positions at a “critical juncture” of the transit project, according to the agency overseeing rail. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu City Council idea to provide property tax breaks to businesses suffering from construction of the rail project is being panned by the Caldwell administration for lacking specific details. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell often gets showered in mochi, manapua and mangoes. But he also gets treated to an occasional free meal or gift basket. While some of these goodies come from colleagues on neighbor islands — such as Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, who gave Caldwell some lychee and guri guri ice cream in June — other gifts come from well-heeled business types, a review of his gift log shows. Civil Beat.

A “God bless the military” sign is staying up at the Marine base in Kaneohe, despite cries from a religious freedom group that the message is unconstitutional. Star-Advertiser.

Friday was supposed to be the last day of the Kakaako homeless encampment. But the remnants of what was once the biggest homeless community in Honolulu will remain until Tuesday, as the city’s maintenance crew needs an extra day to finish the cleanup work. Civil Beat.

Large homeless camps along the Kapalama Canal and in Kakaako are being swept away, but to where? Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture hopes to start construction in about a year on its 150-acre, $23 million Kunia Agricultural Park project in Central Oahu, which would afford 23 lessees the ability to farm and live on the property. Pacific Business News.

Family and friends say 25-year-old Colin Cook lost most of his leg in a shark attack off Oahu’s North Shore. Associated Press.

Hawaii

A weakened bill attempting to tighten county ethics standards is trudging toward its eighth hearing this year before the Hawaii County Council, as council members work to hack off all the offending pieces. West Hawaii Today.

An East Hawaii developer says he hopes to jump-start the economy along the Hamakua Coast with a new, multiuse project rooted in the property’s history. Meanwhile, some neighbors of the 9-acre parcel in Hakalau are awaiting a decision regarding their request that the county purchase the land to preserve it as a park. Tribune-Herald.

Following a strong showing at a public listening session last month, proponents of a ratepayer-owned electric utility on Hawaii Island continue to push what they see as a superior alternative to the proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaii Electric Light Co. by Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc. Tribune-Herald.

While it’s not clear where it will be placed, University of Hawaii at Hilo still plans to buy a new teaching telescope after being told to remove its tiny observatory from Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

The emergency rules enacted by the State of Hawaii restricting access to Mauna Kea have been invalidated by the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit. Judge Ronald Ibarra made the ruling Friday. Big Island Video News.

You can see the imposing mass of Mauna Loa from space. It encompasses more than half of Hawaii Island, rises 13,680 feet above the Pacific, and is so heavy it depresses the ocean floor below it almost 5 miles. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A secretly recorded conversation exposes unguarded talk among four officials in the administration of Mayor Alan Arakawa in March 2013 - more than a year before Arakawa would seek re-election for an unprecedented third four-year term. Maui News.

It's no secret that film producer Ryan Kavanaugh was generous to Mayor Alan Arakawa and those close to him, which was something the mayor discussed publicly during the March 9, 2013, Mayor's Kokua Ball at the King Kamehameha Golf Course clubhouse in Waikapu. Maui News.

The agency that measures air quality from pollutant-producing businesses is fining Maui County along with seven businesses and two Kauai agencies for failing to pass air quality tests. Associated Press.

An old Pioneer Mill cane haul road is being planned as a new roadway to relieve congestion on Honoapiilani Highway, where southbound traffic is expected to increase by 50 percent over the next five years, according to construction plans. Maui News.

The Upcountry water meter priority list has gone from 1,887 properties in 2013, when the list was closed, to 1,765 as of Friday, about a year after the water department began issuing meters to long-waiting applicants. Maui News.

Kauai

A pair of state lawmakers said a pay raise resolution passed this week by the County Council probably won’t amount to much any time soon. Garden Island.

There’s a new sugar plantation on Kauai. The waving fields of cane cover 7 acres, and they represent one new-but-old facet of the broad diversity of agriculture on the island. Garden Island.

Lanai

Lanai residents frustrated with the shortage of affordable housing on the island confronted Mayor Alan Arakawa during his administration's annual community budget meeting Thursday night on Lanai. Maui News.