Friday, June 10, 2016

Hawaii Supreme Court rules for more open police disciplinary records, National Park Service improperly demolishes historic Pearl Harbor home, depression and vaping rises in teens, Honolulu $1.4B short on retirement funds, lava heading to ocean, sugar workers laid off, feral cats infecting endangered nene, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Honolulu police officers don’t have an absolute right of confidentiality regarding their disciplinary suspension records, and that their privacy interests should be weighed against the public interest in determining whether to release their names and details of their misconduct. Civil Beat.

The National Park Service said Thursday it demolished a historic home at Pearl Harbor without consulting historic preservation authorities as required. Associated Press.

Nearly 1 in 3 high school students in Hawaii report feeling depressed on a regular basis, and 1 in 6 students say they have seriously considered attempting suicide — statistics that haven’t improved in the past five years, according to new survey results released Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii On The Hill: Keeping The Islands On Washington DC’s Map. The third annual event sponsored by Sen. Mazie Hirono and Chamber of Commerce Hawaii shows off island businesses in the nation’s capital. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard issued a statement Thursday saying there has been “speculation that I might be interested in becoming Chair of the Democratic National Committee,” but said she isn't interested. Civil Beat.

When the filing deadline for Hawaii elections closed Tuesday, it turned out that Brian Schatz was facing 11 challengers in his re-election to the U.S. Senate. But many of the candidates are political also-rans who have lost previous races for a variety of seats, or they are first-time contenders. And none currently holds any office, let alone much of a campaign fund. Civil Beat.

Colleen Hanabusa, a former Hawaii congresswoman who is running for a congressional seat in the upcoming election, said she will step down as chair of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board of directors when her campaign heats up. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii, which was ranked the No. 5 state in solar energy installations just two years ago, has failed to make the top 10 for the second straight year, according to a new report. Pacific Business News.

A former University of Hawaii- Manoa scientist is leading a NASA-funded, $15 million project that aims to take the study of coral reefs to whole new heights. Star-Advertiser.

NASA takes 23,000-foot view of the world’s coral reefs. Associated Press.

Ocean currents that might have carried radioactive materials from Japan to Hawaiian shores never made direct contact with the near-shore environment of the Hawaiian Islands, and so ocean water and sediment samples collected by the researchers off Oahu never showed a spike in cesium levels. West Hawaii Today.

Oahu

Honolulu is short more than $1.4 billion in what it must pay to cover future public-employee retirement benefits. And, according to city financial reports, Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration has not set aside any money to cover that shortfall in Honolulu’s account at the Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System. Civil Beat.

A proposal by Best Hospitality LLC to build a 350-foot tower on a Waikiki site with a 25-foot height limit will have to complete a more arduous round of city vetting. Star-Advertiser.

A planned condominium-hotel project at the former Kyo-ya Restaurant site on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki is still aiming to start construction in the second quarter of 2017, with a completion date estimated for the end of 2019, according to its recently published final environmental assessment. Pacific Business News.

Opinion: Oh, man. Rod Tam. He’s back, like one of those viruses that hang out at the base of the spine and flare up when defenses are down. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Almost half of Big Island public high school students have tried electronic cigarettes, according to data from a survey released Thursday by the state Departments of Education and Health and the University of Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Developers of Hualalai Kai, a senior housing project planned for Hualalai Road, are asking for a pass on a long list of permit fees and concurrency requirements to help keep their project affordable. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii airline Island Air has hired 22 employees to accommodate its new daily service to Kona International Airport on the Big Island. Pacific Business News.

Lava could again reach the ocean if breakout from P‘u ‘O‘ continues flowing. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. has laid off 158 employees so far, as the company winds down its sugar operations this year. Maui News.

The Maui Police Department issued a total of 1,596 citations during a two-week Click It Or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign that ran from May 23 to June 5, 2016. Maui Now.

Kauai

The connection between nene and feral cats is the subject of a new study, published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases, which focuses on the prevalence of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii among Hawaii’s state bird. The study found that 21 percent of nene have tested positive for past infection on Kauai. Garden Island.