Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Hawaii population growth slows, contempt motion filed in Native Hawaiian election, Hoopili development approved, rich and famous vacation on Maui, Obama climbs Honolulu trail, corrections officers charged with smuggling drugs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Awaiting theBus © 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii’s population grew by about 11,000 people in 2015 to more than 1.43 million, an increase of a little less than 1 percent. Star-Advertiser.

The Native Hawaiian self-governance campaign run by Na‘i Aupuni came under attack once again Tuesday as foes formally asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block its election end run. Star-Advertiser.

The plaintiffs in Akina v. Hawaii on Tuesday filed a motion for civil contempt at the U.S. Supreme Court, naming Nai Aupuni, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission and other defendants. Civil Beat.

Opponents of a now-canceled election are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop efforts to send all of the candidates to a convention for Native Hawaiian self-governance. Associated Press.

A definition in the interim administrative rules for medical marijuana dispensaries posted this month could cost Kauai dispensary investors millions of dollars in utility and construction costs. Garden Island.

Commentary: What has it meant to Hawaii, in the last seven years, to be the birthplace of the 44th president? Star-Advertiser.

Some people on the Koko Head Crater Trail got an unexpected thrill Tuesday morning as they met President Obama while on a hike. KHON2.

Oahu

Hawaii’s highest court cleared the way Tuesday for a controversial master-planned Hoopili community with 11,750 homes on 1,526 acres of prime farmland on Oahu’s Ewa plain. Star-Advertiser.

In a 4-1 ruling, the Hawaii Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a challenge to a state Land Use Commission decision that allowed for the development of more than 1,500 acres of prime farmland on Oahu. Civil Beat.

D.R. Horton - Schuler Homes’ long-planned 11,750-home master-planned Hoopili project in Ewa in West Oahu is moving ahead after the Hawaii State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Texas developer, saying that the state Land Use Commission properly reclassified the 1,525 acres for the project from agricultural to urban, according to a ruling Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Rail officials have awarded Nan Inc. — not Watts Constructors — the contract to build the final trio of stations along rail’s first 10 miles, even though Watts had submitted the lowest bid for that work. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation awarded the contract for the Kamehameha Highway Stations group to Nan, Inc. on Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Five corrections officers -- including two supervisors -- are accused of smuggling drugs and other contraband to inmates at Oahu Community Correctional Center, the state's largest jail, sources told Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa’s student-run radio station will install a new transmitter and antenna on Tantalus on Oahu in January. The new equipment will increase the station’s power from 3,000 watts to 7,000 watts and extend its reach to more than 870,000 listeners. Pacific Business News.

A federal jury has concluded the state and its Transportation Department’s airports division discriminated against a former Honolulu International Airport employee by not doing enough to stop her from being sexually harassed by a co-worker. Associated Press.

The owner of Affordable Casket and Moanalua Mortuary was sentenced Tuesday and immediately began serving 30 days in prison for stealing from customers. Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii men's basketball team was put on three years of probation Tuesday by the NCAA after an investigation found former coach Gib Arnold violated ethical conduct rules and provided false or misleading information. Associated Press.

Hawaii

Two of the most problematic county boards and commissions — the Board of Ethics and the Transportation Commission — are finally on their way to being filled following months of missed meetings because of a lack of a quorum. West Hawaii Today.

The number of cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island continues to climb. Yesterday the Hawaii Department of Health confirmed 170 cases locally acquired since September. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ohia wilt, also known by the more disturbing moniker “rapid ohia death,” so far has claimed hundreds of thousands of Hawaii’s most iconic tree. Today, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and its state and federal partners are expected to announce a new awareness campaign tasked with spreading the word about ohia wilt and how Hawaii residents can do their part to slow the disease’s spread. Tribune-Herald.

Some holiday traditions on Hawaii Island are being reconsidered in light of a newly identified disease killing mature ʻōhiʻa trees. For example, the annual Native Species Wreath Making Workshop hosted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources on December 19th went ʻōhiʻa-free this year, due to the onset of Rapid Ohia Death, or ROD. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Gov. David Ige's supplemental budget for the 2016 Legislature contains some big ticket items for Maui County, including $29 million for the widening of Hana Highway in Kahului, $8 million for improving a holding room area and gates at Kahului Airport and $4 million for the lengthening of the Lanai Airport runway. Maui News.

Officials are working to get a $6 million project to expand Maui’s only cemetery for veterans back on track before burial space runs out. Associated Press.

The "regulars," Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Aniston, currently are on the island, based on jets parked at Kahului Airport. Maui News.

With an average daily rate of $412, Wailea had the highest hotel room rate in Hawaii during the Christmas period, a survey from CheapHotels.org said Monday. Maui News.

Kauai

The Young Brothers Community Advisory Board distributed more than $17,000 to eight Kauai nonprofits Monday afternoon at the Nawiliwili Port. Garden Island.