Monday, November 23, 2015

Sea cucumber limits sought, lawmakers back teachers in ethics dispute, Pear Harbor trail improvements coming, Big Island tax changes spur questions, Maui planning department likes new development, Kauai 911 system to get upgrades, more government and political news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Sea cucumber © 2015 All Hawaii News
After a commercial operation was discovered overharvesting sea cucumbers earlier this year, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is seeking to regulate the catch and consumption of the marine creature throughout the state. Molokai Dispatch.

Several lawmakers have pledged to help the teachers union in its dispute with the state Ethics Commission over a ban on free trips for teachers who organize out-of-state student field trips. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s public worker pension fund already has teams of lawyers pursuing lawsuits over investment losses where improper or fraudulent activities by publicly traded companies allegedly reduced the fund’s earnings, and the $14 billion retirement fund is ramping up to pursue possible new legal claims. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Health Connector’s board of directors plans to vote Wednesday on a plan to accelerate the transition of the beleaguered online insurance marketplace to the state beginning Dec. 1. Civil Beat.

Hawaii regulators’ upcoming evidentiary hearings regarding NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co. will be televised live on cable on Olelo Community Television. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii received a grade of “C” on the latest March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card. Star-Advertiser.

The Pentagon agency that recovers missing American war dead said it plans to more than double this fiscal year the number of identifications it made last year — possibly fulfilling for the first time a mandate previously set by Congress. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

If history repeats itself it will be several more months before the verdict is in on whether the Federal Transit Administration is effectively overseeing major public transportation infrastructure construction in the western United States, including Honolulu’s $6.6 billion commuter rail project. Civil Beat.

City officials are proposing several short- and long-term projects to revitalize the Pearl Harbor Historic Trail after residents expressed concerns with improving the trail’s safety and infrastructure. Star-Advertiser.

The new Sand Island facility opened its doors to the homeless last week, but as of Saturday, it’s nowhere near full. KHON2.

A MV-22 Osprey crash at Bellows Air Force Station that killed two U.S. Marines was caused by pilot performance and an improper survey of the landing zone, according to an investigation released Monday by the Marines. Hawaii News Now.

Residents in Kahaluu alerted KHON2 of a problem in their neighborhood of huge pieces of a major road missing.

Hawaii

The Hawaii County property tax office is being deluged with phone calls following mailings this week to more than 40,000 property owners telling them about a new ordinance that requires them to file state income taxes in order to qualify for their county homeowner’s exemption. West Hawaii Today.

An Adventist Health representative has begun studying the financials of East Hawaii’s publicly funded hospital system, as his nonprofit organization continues making overtures to the economically troubled health care facilities. Tribune-Herald.

The growing dengue fever outbreak on Hawaii's Big Island isn't a reason to cancel vacation plans to the Aloha State, an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. Associated Press.

Big Island residents should now have a better idea where dengue cases are located. Hawaii County Civil Defense has begun publishing on its website a map of the island with pins showing where the confirmed and suspected cases are located. West Hawaii Today.

As Hawaii County continues its “Fight the Bite” campaign to get a handle on Hawaii Island’s dengue outbreak, reaching out to homeless residents is an especially important step, said county Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira. Tribune-Herald.

State health officials say the outbreak of Dengue Fever could last for months and are urging the public to take precautions. Hawaii Public Radio.

The idea that the moon could serve as a viable location to site and operate an observatory was discussed at the Galaxy Forum Hawaii 2015 in Waimea. Big Island Video News.

Maui

The Maui County Department of Planning is recommending approval of land-use measures to make way for A&B Properties' 123-acre Wai'ale South project on fallow sugar cane fields in Central Maui. Maui News.

Mayor Alan Arakawa's homeless initiative that will provide temporary sanctuaries for people living on the streets and at the beach was called "amazing" by one homeless person at a health fair Friday, while other homeless people expressed concerns about locations of the sites and access to transportation. Maui News.

More than 30 portable air-conditioning units have been installed at Maui County public schools this school year alone, in an immediate response to the public outcry over the excessive heat in public school classrooms during the record-high temperatures numerous days early in the school year. Maui News.


Adding bus service between Queen Ka'ahumanu Center and Kahului Airport every half hour, extending hours of service on popular routes and doubling the number of bus stops on Maui are all part of a plan county officials hope will improve bus service for riders. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kauai Police Department is going to get a new 911 and records management system, which brings with it a $2.3 million price tag. Garden Island.

Skeptics of the upcoming Nai Aupuni elections sought clarity at Wilcox Elementary School Friday night. Garden Island.