Friday, May 27, 2016

Average hurricane season expected, Hanabusa pulls nomination papers for Congress, DOT superintendent fined $3k for using state workers and equipment, nonprofits get more from state budget, Maui software company goes bust, Green dinged on financial disclosure error, rental costs increase, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Wikipedia photo public domain
Damage from Hurricane Iniki in 1992, public domain photo
Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecasters Thursday said to expect anywhere from an average to an above-average hurricane season, with an outlook that calls for an equal 40 percent chance of either a normal or above-normal season and a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season. Star-Advertiser.

After a record-setting hurricane season fueled by a strong El Nino in 2015, federal forecasters said Thursday the 2016 central Pacific hurricane season will likely be only slightly above average as La Nina conditions take over. Associated Press.

In the wake of a record-setting hurricane season fueled by a “Godzilla” El Nino, Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecasters say this season will likely be near or above normal as La Nina conditions take hold. West Hawaii Today.

Weather officials say Hawai‘i will see normal to above normal activity this hurricane season, predicting between four and seven tropical cyclones. Hawaii Public Radio.

Seven tropical cyclones are predicted for the upcoming hurricane season that runs June 1 through Nov. 30. Garden Island.

Will 2016’s hurricane season be as storm-filled as 2015? KHON2.

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Hawaii lawmakers budgeted significantly more state money for nonprofits and community groups this year compared to last, but the process of choosing who got what remains murky. The Legislature approved 104 grants in aid totaling $36.7 million for fiscal 2017, which starts July 1. Lawmakers winnowed this down from 276 applications for $147.6 million. Civil Beat.

Former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa has begun the process in Hawaii to run for the congressional seat that will be left vacant by U.S. Rep. Mark Takai. The Hawaii Office of Elections said Hanabusa was issued nomination papers on Thursday. That's the first step candidates take when running for office. Associated Press.

More homeless people than ever — 14,954 — sought homeless services across the islands in the 2015 fiscal year, representing an increase of 4.7 percent, according to a study released Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s tourism industry continues to break records, as April drew more visitors than any previous April.Star-Advertiser.

Fourteen of Hawaii’s 25 state senators and 14 of the 51 state representatives did not hold fundraisers during the 2016 session. Civil Beat.

Students with head lice, or ukus, will not be sent home from school, which is raising concerns that the infestation could spread. KHON2.

Oahu

A lease agreement to operate horse stables that a state lawmaker describes as the last remnant of paniolo culture in East Honolulu ends next week, prompting supporters to call for needed upgrades. City officials, meanwhile, are weighing whether to close down Koko Crater Stables, which spans 10 acres in Koko Crater Botanical Garden. Star-Advertiser.

An upcoming clean energy event in Hawaii will feature a 100 percent renewable energy microgrid that utilizes an electric vehicle charging station, biomass gasifier, battery storage, solar panels and a microgrid controller, event officials said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

The developer of a proposed wind farm on Oahu has unveiled a new plan for the project that calls for fewer, but taller turbines. Associated Press.

A study conducted by the National Low Income Housing Coalition states that, among other things, Hawai'i has the highest hourly wage needed to afford a two bedroom apartment. KITV4.

The Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association’s Charity Walk raised $2 million and seeks applications from local nonprofits over the next couple of weeks. Pacific Business News.

In the past 18 months, the Institute for Human Service has moved 388 homeless back to the mainland through its airline relocation program, which enrolls only clients who have support systems in their home states and requires participants to pay for half of their tickets. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

State Sen. Josh Green has paid a $300 administrative fine and submitted an amended financial disclosure form in an agreement with the state Ethics Commission. West Hawaii Today.

A Big Island state roads superintendent who allegedly drew upon government workers and equipment after his personal pickup truck blew a tire has been fined $3,000 by the state Ethics Commission. West Hawaii Today.

The average Hawaii County renter earns less than half of the income needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment, newly released data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows. Tribune-Herald.

The final phase of the Pahoa roundabout project opened Monday, marking the end of a much-maligned detour route and the beginning of new traffic patterns in the area. Tribune-Herald.

The new man at the helm of Hawaii County Civil Defense is an old hand at emergency management for the state. That’s allowing a smooth transition for Ed Teixeira, former vice director of state Civil Defense, now called the Emergency Management Agency. West Hawaii Today.

A Puna-based public charter school hopes to appease some of its recent financial problems by delaying payments — such as rent — until late July, after its first allocation of 2016-17 fiscal year per-pupil funding arrives. Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Maui

In the past 10-plus years, the Maui rental market has become more challenging. A  modest, two-bedroom rental rental under 800 square feet in a rural area like Ha‘ikÅ« that would have gone for $1,200 a month a few years ago would now rent for upwards of $1,600 a month. Maui Now.

A mixed-use development cleared a hurdle Tuesday when the Maui Planning Commission accepted its final environmental assessment. Maui News.

A once ginormous value for a small Maui software company has vanished after the firm named Code Rebel Corp. filed for bankruptcy last week in a Delaware court. Star-Advertiser.

Second Circuit Judge Richard Bissen will discuss Hawaiian cultural issues in the courts as the featured speaker at the annual membership dinner of the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce. Maui News.

Kauai

For about 25 minutes Thursday, Gov. David Ige outlined recent goals and achievements of his administration, the Legislature and the team of Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. Garden Island.

The number of visitors coming to Hawaii rose 3.4 percent in April compared to the same month a year earlier. But the Hawaii Tourism Authority said Thursday tourist spending dropped more than 1 percent to $1.1 billion during the month. Garden Island.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) secured $12 million in defense funding for Kauai for fiscal year 2017. Garden Island.