Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hawaii unveils online restaurant inspection tool, Honolulu rail transit head quits amid cost overruns, parents of downed Marine blame military for Honolulu helicopter crash, seed industry drops out of Kauai pesticide study, Maui mayor quizzed on land holdings, busy day today for Hawaii Legislature, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Food inspection placard in Hilo restaurant front © 2016 All Hawaii News
Online tool to access restaurant inspection data, via Hawaii Department of Health. Get link here.

Launched on Monday by the state Department of Health, a restaurant inspection website is intended to supplement the state’s color-coded restaurant inspection placard program initiated in July 2014. Reports on all of Oahu’s food establishments are now available, and the department wants to add reports for eateries on the neighbor islands by the end of the year. Star-Advertiser.

You can now look up restaurant food safety inspection results through an online tool created by the state Department of Health. Civil Beat.

A new website published by the Hawaii State Department of Health lets foodies inspect how Hawaii restaurants and other food service organizations fare in food safety inspections. The website rolled out Monday with data from 7,000 Oahu inspection reports to start, and will be expanded. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii State Department of Health has launched a new online portal that lets consumers see how Hawaii restaurants and other food service organizations fare in food safety inspections, starting first with Oahu inspection data. KHON2.

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After decades of tough-on-crime policies, Hawaii is one of four states that solve their prison crowding problem by shipping inmates out of state, usually to facilities run by for-profit companies such as Corrections Corporation of America and The GEO Group.  Civil Beat.

Women would be able to obtain a year’s supply of birth control pills under a bill aimed at improving access to contraception and reducing unintended pregnancies. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers prepare for a heavy voting day Tuesday and cleanup Thursday, which is the deadline for bills to pass third reading in their non-originating chamber in order to “cross back” to the originating chamber. Civil Beat.

With less than a week to go before the state Department of Health announces the names of Hawaii's first medical marijuana dispensary owners, applicants are rushing to meet last-minute requirements for background checks. Associated Press.

Will ‘pot’ become too pricey? Some fear dispensaries will limit access and be cost-prohibitive. Tribune-Herald.

In hopes of keeping the ferry issue afloat, the state Senate passed a resolution last year asking transportation officials to study whether Washington state’s ferry system could be used as a model for Hawaii. After seeing no action, the Legislature appears to be ready to do the same again, though this time with a mandate and funding to go with it. Tribune-Herald.

State Sen. Sam Slom will undergo coronary bypass surgery this week, according to his office. Slom, the only Republican lawmaker in the 25-member Senate, was hospitalized last week. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Don Horner, former CEO for First Hawaiian Bank, is the first political casualty in Honolulu’s struggle to rein in cost increases on its $6.6 billion commuter rail project. Civil Beat.

Don Horner, who once oversaw the state’s largest financial institution, will no longer help oversee the state’s largest public works project. Horner tendered his resignation to Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday as the rail agency’s volunteer board chairman, as the transit project faces rising costs and growing uncertainty. Star-Advertiser.

Don Horner has resigned as chairman of the board of the Honolulu Area Rapid Transit Authority.  He submitted his resignation to Mayor Kirk Caldwell today….after a meeting of about 20 minutes at Honolulu Hale. Hawaii Public Radio.

Despite the resignation of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's chairman, the rail transit system still faces significant challenges and critics said that even more changes are needed. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu’s rail budget has ballooned over the years. When the project began in 2008, it was estimated at $4 billion. In 2012, that number shot up to $5 billion, and then $5.2 billion two years later. Currently, the project is $2.5 billion over its original budget at $6.5 billion. KHON2.

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The parents of a Hawaii Marine killed in the Jan. 14 crash of two helicopters off Oahu’s North Shore say the CH-53E Super Stallions shouldn’t have been flying because of safety concerns over worn-out Marine Corps choppers. But beyond that, Mike and Lisa De La Cruz say they are angry and maintain that the Marine Corps wasted lots of time in trying to make a recovery at sea that has yielded remains identifications for nine of 12 aboard — but not their son. Star-Advertiser.

Lower-income residents in Honolulu live shorter lives than people in similar circumstances elsewhere in the nation, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

State lawmakers passed a bill providing additional funds to combat rapid ohia death. But they are not ready to write the check just yet. Tribune-Herald.

Every Big Island judge has recused, or removed, themselves in the felony theft case against Mayor Billy Kenoi, which led to the assignment of Oahu Circuit Court Judge Dexter Del Rosario. That is also true in the case of where a man allegedly burned the Big Island Drug Court, which is being handled by Maui Circuit Court Judge Rhonda Loo. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A Kihei resident is asking the Maui County Board of Ethics to seek more information from Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa on possible income from his holdings in Arakawa Farms and three Omaopio Road parcels. Maui News.

Kamalani, a new residential community in north Kīhei, will begin accepting sales applications for its first neighborhood on Sunday, April 17, 2016.  Maui Now.

A crew from Sea Engineering Inc. of Oahu takes a core sample at Maalaea Small Boat Harbor on Friday morning. The sample will help determine the size and depth of new pilings scheduled to be set at the harbor. Maui News.

Kauai

Two seed industry employees have dropped out of a Joint Fact-Finding group that was charged by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and Kauai County to evaluate the environmental and health impacts of agricultural pesticide use on Kauai. Civil Beat.

The county is still replacing sand that’s eroding near Pono Kai in Kapaa, even though they just completed a $950,000 project to restore the integrity of the seawall. Garden Island.