Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ige job approval at 48 percent, one year into office; homelessness big issue as legislative session begins Wednesday; no indication 12 Marines used life rafts but were wearing special gear; feral parakeets damage crops; Molokai ferry suffering from cutbacks; aerial hunting begins on Maui; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Gov. David Ige © 2016 All Hawaii News
About half of Hawaii voters have a favorable impression of Democratic Gov. David Ige, but just one year into his administration, a significant chunk of people say he is not doing a good job. A statewide survey of registered Hawaii voters found that 48 percent approve of the job Ige is doing, while 41 percent disapprove. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s rampant homelessness clearly has the attention of island voters who aren’t pleased with how Gov. David Ige is handling the crisis, according to the latest Hawaii Poll. The poll found that 56 percent of registered voters statewide say Ige is not doing a good job on homelessness, while 34 percent approve of his handling of the crisis. Star-Advertiser.

Rep. Gene Ward, a Republican representing Hawaii Kai in the state House, is urging his colleagues to oppose the position of House leadership and Gov. David Ige regarding payments to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Civil Beat.

The list of entities interested in becoming charter school authorizers in Hawaii is growing, as the state Board of Education prepares to weigh in on the increasingly contentious relationship between charter schools and the commission created in 2012 to oversee them. Civil Beat.

With the GOP presidential nomination still up for grabs, some say Hawaii's Republican Party could wind up having a greater say in who gets the nod. Hawaii News Now.

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Military personnel were working around the clock Monday, still on the search for the 12 missing Marines off Oahu's north shore. Recently three of four life rafts that were aboard the aircrafts were retrieved -- but the outcome is the same -- no survivors spotted. KITV4.

The 12 Marines missing after two choppers crashed off Oahu were wearing sophisticated life-saving gear that's being factored into how long officials think they can survive in the open ocean. Hawaii News Now.

All four life rafts confirmed to be aboard the two aircraft have been recovered. There is no indication from the sightings that any survivors have been aboard any of the life rafts. KHON2.

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People living in Hawaii, California and New York are the most likely to live paycheck-to-paycheck, even though the states have among the highest income levels. Star-Advertiser.

No one in Hawaii seems to have calculated the combined direct and indirect costs of all energy consumption for island farmers. But Matthew Loke, a visiting researcher at UH-Manoa’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, cited data from the 2012 Agricultural Census indicating that direct energy costs made up 9.3 percent of farm production costs in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Rising parakeet population imperils farms, native plants. Associated Press.

Three Hawaii hotels on Maui and the Big Island retained their Five Diamond rating from AAA on the organization’s 2016 list of the 118 hotels that have earned the rating, including six hotels that earned the rating for the first time this year. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

A new Hawaii Poll done in December and earlier this month shows Oahu voters are most concerned now with homelessness, the city’s rail project, the economy and traffic, in that order. Star-Advertiser.

Enforcement of city codes to crack down on illegal vacation rentals on Oahu will escalate with the hiring this month of five inspectors to form a unit tasked with investigating housing and zoning code violations. Star-Advertiser.

A number of Honolulu-based high-tech startup companies opened their doors last week to attendees from the 2nd annual East Meets West Conference. Hawaii Public Radio.

A local nonprofit is seeking a special liquor license for Queen’s Beach in Waikiki to speed up possible approval for a National Football League event slated for Jan. 29-30. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

As they prepare for the regular legislative session that starts Wednesday, state lawmakers representing West Hawaii are balancing their priorities between statewide and local issues. West Hawaii Today.

The 2016 legislative session doesn’t begin until Wednesday, but a couple of East Hawaii lawmakers appear to be getting a head start. Tribune-Herald.

As Hawaii Island’s dengue fever outbreak marches on, some isle residents have been critical of efforts by state and county agencies to contain the mosquito-borne virus. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Public access to some state forest reserves and natural area reserves on Maui will be restricted while the state conducts aerial shooting to control populations of feral cattle, pigs, goats and deer. Maui News.

Kauai

The final version of a plan to manage the monk seal population in the Hawaiian Islands has been released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, but officials on Kauai have been using many of the strategies outlined in the plan for years. Garden Island.

Kauai County is looking at solidifying rules as enforcement officials shut down transient vacation rentals operating illegally. Six illegally operating single-family transient vacation rentals have been closed outside the visitor destination area so far this year. In fiscal year 2015, officials shut down 71. Associated Press.

Molokai

Since the Molokai ferry began cutting its routes last September, the athletes and local commuters who once rode the boat now have mostly turned to air travel. Maui News.