Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Coral bleaching to continue, Hawaii teens well-behaved, Caldwell lets rail budget pass without signature, HGEA union wants Dems, GOP squabbles, Honolulu police chief sues, Big Island loves theirs, Coco Palms comes down, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Damaged coral with ornate butterflyfish © 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaii is expected to experience coral bleaching a third year in a row, as the globe is experiencing the most widespread coral bleaching event on record, scientists said Monday at the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Palau President Tommy Remengesau added his voice Monday to those calling on President Barack Obama to expand the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument fourfold so that it protects nearly 600,000 square miles. Civil Beat.

Not much relief for our coral reefs. Scientists provided troubling information Monday that coral bleaching and death rates over the past two years have been the worst, most widespread they've seen. KITV4.

After the most powerful El Nino on record heated the world’s oceans to never-before-seen levels, huge swaths of once vibrant coral reefs that were teeming with life are now stark white ghost towns disintegrating into the sea. Associated Press.

Here’s a look at what coral is, what role it plays in human life and what might happen if more of these important ecosystems are lost. Associated Press.

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More of Hawaii’s children are growing up in poverty, but island teens are making healthier choices, with far fewer getting pregnant or abusing alcohol and drugs in recent years, according to a report issued today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Star-Advertiser.

All public elementary, middle and high schools in Hawaiian Electric Co.'s service area will receive new technology to monitor their energy levels through a collaboration involving the utility company, the Hawaii State Department of Education, Energy Excelerator and Stem Inc., a California software company. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii’s biggest labor union overwhelmingly wants Democratic incumbents to keep their seats this election, but was silent on several state races. The Hawaii Government Employees Association, which represents more than 42,000 state and county workers, announced its picks Monday for the Aug. 13 primary. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Sticking Up For GOP Values Or Tearing The Party Apart? The Hawaii GOP’s deep divisions are driven by frustration and disagreement over how to overcome Democrats’ stranglehold on power in the islands. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Monday signed a fifth proclamation on homelessness, extended the crisis status until August. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Is There No Hate In The 808? Hawaii and Alaska are the only states with no organized hate groups. That doesn’t mean they are free of hate crimes. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday allowed key fiscal bills to become law without his signature, citing a disagreement with the Honolulu City Council over whether it has authority to oversee the budget for the contentious rail project. Star-Advertiser.

From Leis To World Travel: The City Council’s Invisible Spending In addition to their allowances of $20,000 apiece, Honolulu City Council members can access a protocol fund controlled by Ernie Martin. It’s not easy to find out how that money’s spent. Civil Beat.

O’ahu’s escalating 8.3 billion dollar rail transit project is in deep financial trouble.  Now, lawmakers controlling the City’s budget are weighing-in. Hawaii Public Radio.

Embattled Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his city deputy prosecutor wife, Katherine Kealoha, are suing the city, the Honolulu Ethics Commission and the commission’s former executive director and former investigator. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s police chief and his wife say a federal grand jury targeting them can be traced in part to what they call “vindictive and illegal investigations” by the Honolulu Ethics Commission, and they’re suing to set the record straight. KHON2.

Coping with ongoing issues tied to homelessness in the state’s tourism hub is a primary focus of a three-way Democratic primary for the District 22 House seat, which includes Waikiki and Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

The city, cracking down on unauthorized activities at an off-the-grid agriculture development in Kunia, recently issued a dozen citations to owners of the 854-acre project and expect to send out more in the coming weeks, including those for illegal residential use. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

It was another stellar year for Police Chief Harry Kubojiri, according to his annual performance evaluation released Monday by the Hawaii County Police Commission. West Hawaii Today.

The Hilo Women’s Imaging Center has resumed regular mammogram procedures after receiving provisional certification from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County Council members gave final approval Friday to bills that would provide the Department of Water Supply with enough money to build a new Iao water treatment plant. Maui News.

Haleakala National Park's next commercial-free day will be Tuesday, allowing Native Hawaiians to conduct traditional cultural practices in the park, Haleakala park officials said. Maui News.

Man seeks to build wheelchair-accessible camp. Maui News.

Kauai

On Monday, a bulldozer and a construction crew replaced cars and tourists as they took to the 46-acre property, cleaning up overgrown trees and salvaging the inside of cottages. The long-awaited demolition of Coco Palms Resort, which was destroyed by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, is under way. Garden Island.

Three baby Hawaiian monk seals have entered the world on Kauai’s shores this year, and Jamie Thomton, Kauai’s marine mammal response coordinator, said there shouldn’t be any more this season. Garden Island.