Thursday, August 4, 2016

Coral damage minimal, Uber and Lyft to be regulated on Oahu, rail favored in poll, Maui's $600k garbage shortfall, alcohol coming to Wailua Golf Course, Yamane named Honolulu ethics director, polystyrene task force mulled, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Coral with tropical fish © 2016 All Hawaii News
Most of the coral around Hawaii hasn’t changed dramatically, according to initial reports from researchers aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s ship, Hi’ialakai. Garden Island.

The tally of cases in the largest hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii in decades jumped by more than 45 percent in a week, according to the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser.

The outbreak of Hepatitis A in the islands has now sickened 135 people, the state Health Department said Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has given Hawaii’s Department of Health $3.7 million to fight infectious diseases. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The Honolulu City Council voted 8-1 Wednesday to approve a bill that imposes new regulations on operators of Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing vehicles and, to a lesser extent, traditional taxicab drivers. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council approved a bill to regulate ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft on an 8-1 vote Wednesday in a victory for taxi companies that ended months of discussion. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu City Council passed a bill to regulate taxicab and internet-based companies today following a year of discussion and debate. Hawaii Public Radio.

Voters Aren’t Happy About Rail, But Still Want It Fully Built. A majority of those surveyed say they want the route to go all the way to Ala Moana Center as originally planned. Civil Beat.

The wide range of prices for the contract to build the latest major stretch of rail has the Honolulu City Council chairman worried that costs could rise — and he wants to know what project officials plan to do to keep costs in check. Star-Advertiser.
Yamane

Onetime acting state auditor Jan Yamane this week was appointed executive director and legal counsel for the Honolulu Ethics Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Jan Yamane is the new executive director and legal counsel of the Honolulu Ethics Commission. Civil Beat.

New Honolulu Police Commission member Loretta Sheehan said Wednesday the panel should exert more effort in investigating controversies involving police officers as well as Police Chief Louis Kealoha, who is the subject of a federal investigation. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s nominee for a fresh face on the Honolulu Police Commission, former prosecutor Loretta Sheehan, was confirmed by the City Council on Wednesday morning — but not unanimously. Civil Beat.

Newly confirmed Honolulu police commissioner Loretta Sheehan says she wants the body to investigate mounting allegations against embattled Police Chief Louis Kealoha immediately. Hawaii News Now.

There’s a new member of the Honolulu Police Commission, and in the midst of a lot of questions about Chief Louis Kealoha’s leadership, Loretta Sheehan is not holding back her opinion. KHON2.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell is taking heat from his political opponents who say he hasn’t done enough to lessen homelessness and increase affordable housing in Honolulu. Civil Beat.

Oahu’s newest homeless shelter, scheduled to open in Kakaako in late September, uses a new approach designed to quickly get homeless families off the streets and into long-term housing. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii regulators have approved The Howard Hughes Corp.’s (NYSE: HHC) $20 million plan to upgrade Kewalo Basin Harbor in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako, an official with the state confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Oahu Publications, the publisher of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and a number of other Hawaii publications, trimmed its staff this week, eliminating eight nonunion employees who worked for several of the company’s titles, including MidWeek. Civil Beat.

A University of Hawaii engineering professor was arrested this afternoon for possession and distribution of child pornography. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Sixty percent of Hawaii Island residents support building the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea, according to a new poll. That’s almost identical to a poll conducted last October that found 59 percent of Hawaii Island residents and 62 percent of residents statewide in favor of the $1.4 billion project. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii island residents continue to show strong support for the Thirty Meter Telescope, according to a public opinion poll commissioned by the nonprofit that aims to build and run the $1.4 billion project atop Mauna Kea. Star-Advertiser.

A resolution to create a packaging waste task force received mixed reviews Wednesday at a Hawaii County Council meeting two months after a proposed ban on polystyrene food containers was tossed in the trash. Tribune-Herald.

The winning bid for the single most expensive part of the ongoing $170 million Kona International Airport upgrade is now under protest. West Hawaii Today.

The public will be afforded opportunity to speak on behalf of several types of endangered species, which may be harmed due to operations at two wind turbine facilities on Hawaii Island. West Hawaii Today.

A new crosswalk and flashing lights will soon crop up on Manawalea Street near the Montessori school in Kailua-Kona, with an assist from county property taxpayers. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

To assist with a $600,000 budget shortfall, county fees may change in October for commercial businesses bringing uncontaminated greenwaste along with grease trap and contaminated cooking oil to the landfill. Maui News.

When Maui County voters head to the primary polls to cast their ballots for the South Maui residency seat on the Maui County Council, they'll have four candidates to choose from. Maui News.

The Commission on Water Resource Management will be performing work on the waterfall at the Waihe‘e Ditch siphon where it crosses Wailuku River*.  The Commission has asked Wailuku Water Company, LLC (WWC) to reduce the amount of water to Wailuku River, in order to perform the work and provide a safe work environment. Maui Watch.

Kauai

After a lengthy debate about depoliticizing the police department and policy making, the Kauai County Council Wednesday decided to expend up to $15,000 for special counsel to represent the police commission. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council referred a bill to committee Wednesday that would allow additional rental units in the Lihue Planning District, citing a need for fairness for other parts of the island. Garden Island.

A measure that would allow the sale of alcohol on Wailua Golf Course was passed on first reading by the Kauai County Council Wednesday, but some members of the public expressed concerns about promoting the intoxicant at a public facility. Garden Island.

Bob Bartolo was frustrated with traffic and finding labor for his business as he met with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard during “Tulsi in Your Town”at Ha Coffee Bar. Garden Island.