Friday, August 19, 2016

Hawaii bids fond aloha to U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, Honolulu rail chief resigns, Ige extends homeless emergency again, Maui to get roundabout, ballots mailed too late, Predator drones off Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Rep. Joy San Buenaventura
Takai memorial service, courtesy Rep. Joy San Buenaventura
Dignitaries including U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Gov. David Ige and Hawaii House Speaker Joseph Souki shared fond memories of U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, his intense work ethic, his love of his family and his dedication to public service. Star-Advertiser.

The state Capitol fell silent Thursday morning as the late Congressman Mark Takai’s casket was carried into the rotunda accompanied by a traditional chanter offering a sad, haunting kaniku, or song of mourning. Civil Beat.

Friends and colleagues remembered the late U.S. Rep. Mark Takai as a warm public servant who never gave up when facing adversity, paying their respects in a ceremony at the state Capitol as a soft rain fell and palm branches swayed in the breeze. Associated Press.

The State of Hawai’i said goodbye today to Congressman K. Mark Takai who passed away at age 49 last month from Pancreatic Cancer. Hawaii Public Radio.

In a Thursday service for U.S. Rep. Mark Takai at the Capitol, state and national leaders join hundreds of other people to grieve and share memories. Photos. Civil Beat.

Mourners paid their respects Thursday to the late U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, whose body lay in state Thursday at Hawaii's Capitol for a day before his memorial service. Pacific Business News.

There were tears, but mostly happy memories shared Thursday at a moving service honoring late Congressman Mark Takai. KHON2.

KITV's Brenton Awa was there for today's memorial service and he says folks from Hawaii to Washington were there to remember U.S. Rep. Mark Takai.

Candidates have started filing to run in the special election that will determine who serves the remaining two months left on the late Congressman Mark Takai’s term in office. Civil Beat.

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Gov. David Ige on Thursday extended his original 2015 emergency proclamation on homelessness for the sixth time to more quickly bring homeless projects online — and officials in California are taking notice, Hawaii’s homeless coordinator said. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige has issued a sixth emergency proclamation on homelessness, ensuring that the state remains in a crisis mode for a full year. Civil Beat.

In one of the more peculiar outbursts of the Hawaii political season, Republican congressional candidate Angela Aulani Kaaihue has issued a news release rejecting “this local dumb mentality” and offering to withdraw from her race if Gov. David Ige and “his Japanese constituents” will settle a lawsuit over land her family owns in Waimalu. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that it plans to stop contracting with for-profit prison companies, a decision that will affect some 20,000 federal inmates. But Yates’ directive won’t have any bearing on lucrative contracts that for-profit prison companies have with states, including Hawaii. Civil Beat.

The office of U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) is accepting applications for this year’s Schatz Seniors High School Internship Program. The Schatz Seniors program provides a hands-on learning opportunity about the U.S. Senate and encourages students to be advocates in their schools and communities. Garden Island.

Oahu

Amid rail officials’ seeming inability to stay ahead of skyrocketing costs and calls for greater accountability, the project’s top executive resigned Thursday after more than four years leading the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

The board of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and its executive director Dan Grabauskas agreed to part ways Thursday morning, as HART looks for a fresh start for the city’s behind-schedule, over-budget rail project. Civil Beat.

Dan Grabauskas, the embattled head of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, resigned from his position as executive director and CEO on Thursday morning. Pacific Business News.

The head of Honolulu’s Rail Transit Project resigned today. Hawaii Public Radio.

During Dan Grabauskas' tenure as CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, the rail authority completed nine miles of the guideway, despite a year-long legal delay and massive cost overruns. Hawaii News Now.

Dan Grabauskas’ resignation as Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s executive director and CEO comes in the midst of a lot of turmoil for the rail project, and while a recovery plan is being prepared for the federal government. KHON2.

With rail leader Dan Grabauskas on his way out, many are wondering what's next for the largest infrastructure project in state history. Hawaii News Now.

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A group of Schofield Barracks soldiers who returned Thursday from what are increasingly rare deployments to the Middle East — at least for Hawaii — provided sustainment, distribution and personnel for logistics support to U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Qatar and Kuwait. Star-Advertiser.

Some Oahu pharmacies are seeing a surge in hepatitis A vaccine requests after state officials this week reported the source of the ongoing outbreak, which has sickened 206 people with the virus. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii law school students are getting ready for one of world’s biggest environmental conferences next month, which will be held in the United States for the first time. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

The Hawaii County Elections Office found a staggering 771 completed absentee ballots in its mailbox Monday, prompting County Clerk Stewart Maeda to issue a reminder for people to mail their ballots earlier next time. West Hawaii Today.

The once-iconic Kona Village Resort is set to reopen by 2019, after an agreement made public Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

The state of Hawaii aims to finish building a new immigration facility at Kailua-Kona's airport one month before Hawaiian Airlines launches direct flights there from Tokyo. Hawaii News Now.

Riders praise new paratransit system, gripe about price. West Hawaii Today.

An “all-gender” bathroom movement at the University of Hawaii’s flagship campus has been “the norm” at UH-Hilo for years, campus administrators say. Tribune-Herald.

A deficiency notice issued to Ka‘u Learning Academy earlier this summer has been resolved, staff at the state’s Public Charter School Commission said last week. Tribune-Herald.

In light of increased rabbit sightings during the past few months, the Big Island Invasive Species Committee stepped up outreach efforts to let people know about the dangers of the animals creating an established population. Tribune-Herald.

A new slate of tools has been made available so members of the public, especially those sensitive to vog, can keep an eye on conditions around the island and learn ways to protect themselves. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A roundabout will be replacing the four-way-stop intersection at Kamehameha Avenue and Maui Lani Parkway, an area that can see more than 20 cars backing up at stop signs especially before and after school and during the afternoon rush hour. Maui News.

The Department of Parks & Recreation will be placing all overnight camping permits at Kanahā Park on an indefinite hold next month while the park undergoes a clean-up as part of its Master Planning Process. Maui Now.

An experimental Department of Water Supply program could make it easier for residents to add plumbing units without having to purchase expensive and sometimes larger-than-necessary water meters. Maui News.

Maui residents could see an increase of imported cases of Zika virus this fall after three more residents returned home sick from Zika-infested areas over the past three weeks, state Department of Health officials said Wednesday during a community meeting at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku. Maui News.

Kauai

Two Predator drones were tested on Kauai this summer as ballistic missile trackers as the U.S. Missile Defense Agency seeks to expand its launch detection capabilities without adding costly and sometimes diplomatically unacceptable land-based radars abroad. Star-Advertiser.

Kanani Fu, County of Kauai housing director, said the county averages about 620 applicants who qualify for vouchers every year for the past four years. Currently, there are 607 applicants who qualified for housing vouchers. Garden Island.

Treatment center gets going. Nearly 50 volunteers clean up the 'Fields of Dreams' Garden Island.