Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hanauma Bay named America's best beach, no proof agribusiness pesticides harmful in Kauai report, new judge sought for Thirty Meter Telescope case, four seek state Democratic party chair, Kahuku Village opposes wind farm, DOT deputy fined for sending contracts to husband's firm, Hawaiian Airlines pilots picket, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hanauma Bay © 2016 All Hawaii News
For the second year in a row, a beach in Hawaii has been selected as the best beach in America by a Florida professor who’s made a career ranking and studying beaches around the country. This year’s top spot goes to Hanauma Bay, a picturesque nature reserve with gin-clear, turquoise water and abundant sea life. Associated Press.

Hawaii's Hanauma Bay on Oahu has been named America's best beach on an annual top 10 list compiled by coastal science professor Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach. Associated Press.

Laying bare the complex politics of reconciliation and contrition, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday rejected the idea of visiting Pearl Harbor to reciprocate for President Barack Obama's historic trip to Hiroshima later this week. Associated Press.

Jacce Mikulanec, Tyler Dos Santos-Tam, Florence Kong Kee and Tim Vandeveer are vying to replace Stephanie Ohigashi as chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. The election will be held at the party’s state convention this weekend at the Sheraton Waikiki. Civil Beat.

Democrat Colleen Hanabusa will make a bid to return to the seat she once held in the U.S. House of Representatives representing urban Honolulu, according to sources who have discussed the race with her. Star-Advertiser.

A former deputy director of the state Department of Transportation has paid a $13,000 administrative fine to resolve allegations that she violated the state ethics code when she apparently took action on a dozen state contracts with a consulting firm that employs her husband. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture plans to spend up to $2.5 million to install energy efficiency and renewable energy systems at its facilities across the state.Pacific Business News.

Have an idea for how to improve public education in Hawaii? The Department of Education is asking for public input as it undergoes a review of its multi-year strategic plan — a document that lays out goals for public education in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Federal forecasters at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu are announcing the hurricane forecast for the 2016 season. Officials with the National Weather Service will give a briefing Thursday outlining the probability and frequency of tropical cyclones in the waters around Hawaii. Associated Press.

Oahu

Gov. David Ige’s administration says it will move forward on plans to construct a skilled nursing facility on the edge of the University of Hawaii’s Windward Community College campus in Kaneohe, despite rising opposition from the school’s leadership associations and the college chancellor. Star-Advertiser.

One of the biggest uncertainties for Honolulu’s commuter rail project — aside from concerns that there’s not enough money to build it — is how much it will cost to relocate utilities along the proposed route. Civil Beat.

Roughly 24 residents gathered at Kahuku Village Association Community Center on Wednesday evening to voice their concerns about a proposed 25-megawatt wind project, the second wind farm near the North Shore community. Star-Advertiser.

A windward Oahu wind farm could end up with the tallest turbines in the state. The proposed project is forced to make changes, and the Kahuku community found out what could be going up in their neighborhood. KITV4.

The city’s busiest DMV is getting ready to close and reopen in a new location. Council members want to make sure taxpayers are getting the best deal. KHON2.

With less than two weeks to go before the filing deadline, the race for Honolulu mayor has officially attracted eight candidates. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro made it official. He’s running for re-election. Civil Beat.

The National Park Service and the nonprofit group Pacific Historic Parks on Wednesday launched an effort to win grant money to preserve historic Pearl Harbor battleship moorings. Associated Press.

Dozens of Hawaiian Airlines pilots picketed Wednesday for a new collective bargaining agreement a week after voting to allow union representatives to call for a strike if necessary. The pilots gathered outside Honolulu International Airport. Associated Press.

Naked man gives Honolulu airport 4th security fence breach. Associated Press.

The origins of Hawaii’s eclectic cuisine will be explored in a new TV series on PBS hosted by Hawaii’s own Chef Ed Kenney, who owns and operates four Oahu restaurants. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Former 3rd Circuit Court Judge Riki May Amano is facing another hurdle to her overseeing the Thirty Meter Telescope’s next contested case hearing — the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

In a surprise turn of events, the University of Hawaii filed a motion Wednesday asking that Judge Riki May Amano be replaced as hearings officer of the upcoming Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearing. Star-Advertiser.

The question of privatization continues to hover over the East Hawaii Region of Hawaii Health Systems Corp. Tribune-Herald.

Maui


Despite concerns about traffic, the 1,600-acre Waikapu Country Town project advanced Tuesday as the Maui Planning Commission formalized its comments on the development's draft environmental impact statement. Maui News.

The Makani Kai Air Cessna crash that led to the death of state Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy three years ago off Molokai's Kalaupapa peninsula could have been prevented, according to a report by the National Transportation Safety Board. Maui News.

Kauai

There isn’t enough data to conclusively connect pesticide use on Kauai to the health of the environment and of the community, according to the group that spent 15 months researching the subject. Garden Island.

Hawaii needs to do a better job of determining the health and environmental effects of the chemicals that genetically modified seed and coffee companies spray on their crops, according to the final joint fact-finding report commissioned by the state and Kauai County. Civil Beat.

The vehicle weight tax has increased only twice on Kauai since it was imposed in 1978, but it’s been steadily producing money for the county. Garden Island.

Nene and farming will be the topic of conversation at the Kilauea Community Center Thursday at a public meeting hosted by The Kauai Nene Habitat Conservation Plan. Garden Island.

Lanai
The thrice-delayed Lanai Community Plan is returning to the full Maui County Council after passing through the Planning Committee on Tuesday. Maui News.