Friday, May 13, 2016

Hawaiian Airlines gets second Tokyo flight, rail costs increase again, IBEW head won't retire during investigation, more on Honolulu police chief probe, Kauai to regulate homestays, Maui struggles to name liquor chief, tourism president touts millennial market plan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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The University of Hawaii was awarded $20 million to combine Native Hawaiian knowledge with modern geological data to figure out exactly how fresh water flows in Hawaii. The grant from the National Science Foundation will give the university funding to study water sustainability throughout the state. Associated Press.

University of Hawaii Gets $20 Million To Study Fresh Water Aquifers. The award, from the National Science Foundation, will be used to better map the flow of water through Hawaii’s aquifers. Civil Beat.

Barack Obama’s decision to make a first-of-a-kind presidential visit to Hiroshima, Japan, later this month prompted U.S. Rep. Mark Takai to invite Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, to make a similar first-of-a-kind visit to Pearl Harbor for the 75th anniversary of the attack on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Friday announced that Hawaiian Airlines has been awarded a second route from Haneda International Airport in Tokyo to Hawaii, potentially bringing more visitors to the state. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Airlines has been awarded an additional route to Haneda International Airport in Tokyo. The U.S. Department of Transportation made the announcement Friday morning, according to a statement from Sen. Brian Schatz. KITV4.

A national report released Wednesday ranked Hawaii's state court system No. 1 in the country for providing support to those with limited English proficiency. Associated Press.

U.S. Rep. Mark Takai of Hawaii has introduced legislation that would provide money for families to increase accessibility in their homes for kupuna who may need wider hallways for wheelchairs, handlebars in showers or ground-floor bathrooms. Civil Beat.

Young Brothers Ltd.’s interisland cargo shipments keep showing incremental growth. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s blood supply is particularly vulnerable should there be a widespread outbreak of mosquito-borne illnesses such as Zika or dengue fever on the islands. Civil Beat.

Hawaii hotel occupancy fell statewide by 1.9 percentage points during the first week of May, taking Hawaii hotels to 73.2 percent occupied, according to Hospitality Advisors and STR’s weekly report. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The official cost estimates for Honolulu’s rail transit system have grown by nearly $350 million in recent months, raising more concerns that the city’s new five-year rail tax extension won’t be enough to finish the project. Star-Advertiser.

Drivers should start mentally preparing for lane closures because rail construction crews are nearing their work to extend the concrete guideway over the H-1 Freeway in Aiea. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell received his first major endorsement for his re-election campaign from the Hawaii Construction Alliance. Hawaii News Now.

The criminal defense attorney hired by the Honolulu police chief and his prosecutor wife said he expects a federal grand jury to return indictments in the ongoing investigation surrounding possible wrongdoing within the Honolulu Police Department. Star-Advertiser.

The key witness in the federal probe into the police chief and his wife, a deputy city prosecutor, is a police officer who was related by marriage to the power couple. Hawaii News Now.

Brian Ahakuelo, head of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260, used union funds for personal expenses over the last three years, according to a list of allegations assembled by the parent union. Star-Advertiser.

The embattled head of a Hawaii electrical workers union is being accused of using union money on personal first-class travel, hotel accommodations, and to pay for his son's attorney fees in a felony case. Hawaii News Now.

Two days after announcing his retirement, the head of the IBEW Local 1260 has changed his mind. KHON2.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced Thursday that he has appointed local businessman Peter Adler to serve on the city and county’s Ethics Commission. Civil Beat.

The parking crunch in Kakaako could be getting a lot worse. There’s a plan in the works to create a lot of new housing, but it may not come with a lot of parking stalls. KHON2.

Hawaii

A Hawaii County budget review held Thursday evening at the West Hawaii Civic Center was part numbers for future spending, part update covering ongoing projects and partly a look back on eight years of West Hawaii priorities. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation recently submitted permit applications for a 30-unit expansion to the Mohouli Heights Senior Neighborhood, according to its executive director. Tribune-Herald.

New tourism chief looks to millennials for growth. West Hawaii Today.

Scuba diving is popularly connected with the Navy SEALS, not the Marines and Army. But two veterans from each service have become skilled divers, exploring this week the Kona Coast through the Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba, or SUDS. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The Liquor Control Commission is scheduled to re-interview four candidates for director of the Department of Liquor Control on May 24, an official said Wednesday. Maui News.

A request for an additional $1.9 million this fiscal year for the county Department of Fire and Public Safety received initial approval Wednesday from the County Council's Budget and Finance Committee. Maui News.

With Kaiser Permanente set to take over three public hospitals in Maui County in less than two months, the national health care provider announced new leadership Wednesday for its Maui Health System. Maui News.

The Maui County Council's Budget and Finance Committee voted Wednesday to recommend adoption of a resolution giving county ocean safety officers a 16 percent pay raise as part of an arbitration decision earlier this year. Maui News.

A Maui High School English teacher who had also served as head football coach pleaded no contest Thursday to five counts of indecent electronic display to a child. Star-Advertiser.

A former teacher and head football coach at Maui High School, David Bui, pleaded no contest today to five counts of indecent electronic display to a child. Maui Now.

Maui County residents and tourists are being advised to stock up on mosquito repellent because of an expected increase in the number of people infected by the Zika virus coming to the county this summer, said the state Department of Health county district health officer. Maui News.

Kauai

Council members voted to recommend passing a bill that aims to define and regulate homestay operations on the island during a planning committee meeting Wednesday. Garden Island.

The developers of a planned beachfront time-share resort on Kauai say they would like the project to open under a Hyatt Hotels Corp. brand. Pacific Business News.

Some of these kids have never ridden an escalator before, said Trisha Page, special events and bookings manager at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club Thursday morning. Garden Island.