Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Native Hawaiian elections near end as opponents appeal to U.S. Supreme Court, Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani addresses South China Sea in Honolulu, CDC coming to study dengue, Oahu solar panels capped, Maui mayor wants $1.8M for homelessness, Four Seasons Resort Lanai remodeling, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Native Hawaiian protest in front of governor's mansion ©2015 All Hawaii News
Opponents of an election designed to be a significant step toward Native Hawaiian self-governance are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block votes from being counted in what they argue is an unconstitutional, racially exclusive process. Associated Press.

An election for delegates to a proposed convention is set to conclude November 30th, though concerns about the process persist among members of the Hawaiian community. Na’i Aupuni, an organization founded to help establish a path toward Hawaiian self-determination. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii Board of Agriculture voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward on rules that would ban wild animals from being brought to Hawaii for use in circuses and fairs. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii and its low rate of gun-related violence — even in the face of a remarkable surge in gun ownership here — has gotten the attention of one national publication that writes about the raging gun debate in America. Civil Beat.

Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani on Tuesday expressed his support for the U.S. Navy’s sailing of a warship close to one of China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea. Associated Press.

In his first visit to Hawaii as Japan’s defense minister, Gen Nakatani said it is important for the international community to “work more effectively” together to protect freedom of navigation, but he said Japan won’t be patrolling disputed islands in the South China Sea. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Last month, with little fanfare, the state Public Utilities Commission announced it will cap new residential and commercial solar projects at 25 megawatts or about 4,500 new systems on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Solving the housing crisis is not going to be easy or cheap, in part, say development experts, because of city officials’ longtime neglect of Honolulu’s basic infrastructure, particularly sewers. Civil Beat.

Three dogs and a cat became the first animals to be cleared for the new Sand Island transitional shelter Tuesday as the city tries to make it easier to get homeless pet owners off the street. Star-Advertiser.

You might think you know where the wealthiest people in Hawaii live. After all, the area of Oahu’s South Shore from Kahala to Portlock is consistently ranked as the state’s wealthiest area, with some of the highest real estate prices in the Islands. Pacific Business News.

Some elderly and disabled residents say they are trapped after the elevators in their seven story building stopped working. KHON2.

When real estate agents have open houses in Honolulu these days, they are putting out their usual signs. But more and more agents seem to be placing signs on sidewalks or on the city property between the sidewalks and the curbs. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

As Hawaii County dengue cases approach 100, a top CDC official is set to arrive on island next week to assess the handling of the outbreak here. West Hawaii Today.

A team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control will visit Hawaii island next week to assess the development of the dengue fever outbreak and review state and county efforts to contain the spread of the virus, Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said Tuesday night. Star-Advertiser.

The Big Island’s tourism industry appears to have been spared the bite from the ongoing dengue fever outbreak, but some worry that could change if the number of infections from the mosquito-borne illness continues to rise. Tribune-Herald.

The U.S. Labor Department says an unregistered farm labor contractor deprived migrant workers picking coffee on the Big Island of federal protections such as minimum wage. Associated Press.

A woman is barred from work as a farm labor contractor for operating an unregistered company after a federal investigation. The U.S. Department of Labor filed its allegations on Nov. 3 against Tomasa Rincon-Ibarra, who was doing business as Tomasita Farm Service in 2011. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Mayor Alan Arakawa is recommending nearly $1.8 million be spent on mobile, lightweight and durable portable shelters for the immediate housing needs for Maui's homeless. Maui News.

Heeding a call to ease the island's pent-up demand for more housing, the Maui Planning Commission recommended approval Tuesday of A&B Properties' proposed Wai'ale South development in Central Maui. Maui News.

Maui County's unemployment rate for October fell a half-percentage point compared to October 2014 to 3.6 percent, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported Thursday. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative that has powered Kauai since 2002 is launching a one-year pricing plan that will offer 300 select households a 25 percent discount on electricity between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day. Civil Beat.

The stoplight at Kuamoo Road and Kuhio Highway has been throwing a wrench into Eastside traffic flow since Saturday, when heavy rains caused a short in the system. Garden Island.

Lanai
The Four Seasons Resort Lanai has started taking reservations for early 2016, following a multimillion-dollar renovation led by owner Larry Ellison that shut down both of the island's main hotels earlier this year. Pacific Business News.