Wednesday, November 4, 2015

U.S. Rep. Takai faces surgery for pancreatic cancer, Gov. Ige flies to Seoul and Tokyo, election officials want more money and easier voter registration, air conditioners for Oahu schools, Hawaii County passes ethics bill, Maui mulls county manager government, petrels protected on Kauai, dengue fever fears rise, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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U.S. Rep. Mark Takai on Facebook
U.S. Rep. Mark Takai’s doctors have confirmed he has pancreatic cancer, and the congressman will undergo surgery at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., next week to remove a tumor in his pancreas. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Congressman Mark Takai revealed Tuesday that a tumor in his pancreas is malignant. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Mark Takai says he will have surgery to remove a small cancerous tumor in his pancreas next week. Associated Press.

Gov. David Ige will be traveling to Seoul and Tokyo through Nov. 12. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige will be traveling to Seoul, South Korea and Tokyo, Japan from Nov. 3 through Nov. 12. Garden Island.

County and state election officials advocated for major voting reforms — including all-mail elections and automatic voter registration — during a joint legislative briefing Tuesday at the state Capitol that included members of the Senate Judiciary and Labor and House Judiciary committees. Star-Advertiser.

If you’re evicted from state-run public housing for any reason in Hawaii, you can’t go back — ever. But now the Hawaii Public Housing Authority, which manages over 6,000 units statewide, is looking to change the rule in light of the state’s homelessness crisis. Civil Beat.

Getting a view into Hawai‘i’s current state of health may be a little easier thanks to a new website from the State Department of Health. The Hawaii Health Data Warehouse is a collection of information gathered from surveys conducted year round. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Travelers in air-travel-dependent Hawaii can now apply for faster, easier security checks at a new kiosk at Honolulu Airport. The Transportation Security Administration opened the new application site for its PreCheck expedited security program last week at the airport’s Interisland Terminal. Star-Advertiser.

Even as Wahiawa’s homeless count appears to have doubled over the past 11 months, state Rep. Marcus Oshiro maintains that efforts underway could serve as a template for other rural communities struggling to address island homelessness. Star-Advertiser.

The Board of Water Supply of the City and County of Honolulu has withdrawn as an intervenor taking part in the regulatory review of NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co., according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

A mysterious closed-door meeting of the Honolulu Ethics Commission was cancelled Tuesday just hours before it was scheduled to begin. Last week, the Ethics Commission announced it would hold a special session Tuesday night to talk with the agency’s attorney about “personnel and management matters.” No other details were given. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Education has received a final shipment of 100 portable air conditioners that officials say will go into five West Oahu schools as part of an ongoing effort to cool more classrooms. Star-Advertiser.

When a patient aboard a city ambulance allegedly attacked two medics outside Queen's Medical Center a week and a half ago, one of them had to begin an anti-AIDS cocktail. Hawaii News Now.

The group that filed a complaint with the state, claiming labor violations at Ala Moana Center’s Ewa Wing expansion, is raising more concerns. KHON2.

Former University of Hawaii football coach Norm Chow, who was in the fourth year of a five-year contract when he was fired over the weekend, will receive nearly $340,000 for his termination, the university confirmed Monday. Pacific Business News.

On Sept. 25, the state Board of Land and Natural Resources approved a one-year special use permit to Mark Hixon, a professor of marine biology at the University of Hawaii, for the deployment and study of artificial reef modules in the Hanauma Bay Marine Life Conservation District and Waikiki. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

As Hawaii health officials wrestle to contain a dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island, a review of how the state handled a 2001 outbreak on Maui reveals some of the challenges in store. Tribune-Herald.

Kona Community Hospital says it is being “overwhelmed” by phone calls from Big Islanders concerned about dengue fever. West Hawaii Today.

Without the support of the public, state health officials fear the current outbreak of dengue fever on the Big Island could be here to stay. On Tuesday, the state Department of Health confirmed the mosquito-borne virus so far has infected 11 people, with many possible cases remaining to be verified. Tribune-Herald.

An ethics bill now on its way to Mayor Billy Kenoi lost many of its stricter provisions during an arduous trip through the County Council, but sponsor Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille says it’s still tough enough to do the job. West Hawaii Today.

Before the candidates for ‘aha delegate spoke at the Moku O Keawe Alliance forum in Panaewa on Sunday, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement President and CEO Michelle Kauhane gave an overview of Kana’iolowalu and the Na’i Aupuni process. Kauhane, herself an Oahu candidate for delegate, also explained the federal rules for a government-to-government relationship, as proposed by the Department Of The Interior.Big Island Video News.

Should Kona International Airport host Hawaii’s first commercial space flights? That’s a question that could be brought before Big Island residents close to the new year following the completion of a draft environmental assessment for a proposed spaceport certification. Tribune-Herald.

More than a year after Department of Land and Natural Resources officials said work was set to start on the north side of Honokohau Harbor, the improvements have not begun. West Hawaii Today.

The County Council’s unanimous approval Tuesday of no-parking zones around Manini Beach marks the beginning of a strategy that supporters hope will bring state assistance with parking for the beach and Kealakekua Bay area. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Testifiers encouraged Maui County Council members Monday to study the possibility of having a county manager form of government, as initially put forward in a resolution by Council Chairman Mike White. Maui News.

The County Committee on Public and Intergovernmental Affairs will reconvene on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 1:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber to further discuss a county manager form of government instead of one run by a mayor. Maui Now.

The burn of a 75-acre sugar cane field 3 miles southeast of Kahului brought smoke and haze to Central Maui Tuesday morning, but Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. received only two direct complaints, said General Manager Rick Volner. Maui News.

An association for a 19th-century Maui cemetery where several influential Hawaii figures are buried is suing federal and state agencies over a planned expansion project at a neighboring veterans' cemetery. Maui News.

Na Hale O Maui, which had been placing families in affordable homes through rehabilitating foreclosed homes, has returned to its original business model and has begun building its first home, John Andersen, executive director of the nonprofit group said Friday. Maui News.

Kauai

A 67-foot military-funded rocket that blasted off a rail launcher at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai at sunset Tuesday in Hawaii’s first satellite launch failed shortly after takeoff. Star-Advertiser.

What sounded like a successful liftoff soon turned into a realization that something went wrong. Shortly after liftoff at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday from Barking Sands, Kauai, ORS-4 – the rocket carrying a satellite – malfunctioned. It was designed and built by University of Hawaii faculty and students. KITV4.

A historic project more than 30 years in the making took place on Kauai’s North Shore on Monday when 10 downy endangered Hawaiian Petrel chicks were flown by helicopter to a new colony protected by a predator-proof fence at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Garden Island.

Endangered Hawaiian petrels now have a predator-proof place to live on Kauai. Civil Beat.

A Kauai elementary school was scrambling for substitute teachers Tuesday, a day the school's principal made controversial comments about their performance. Six of the 27 teachers at Kekaha Elementary School called in sick, according to the Department of Education. Hawaii News Now.

The halls of Kekaha Elementary School were missing a key fixture Tuesday — teachers. Garden Island.