Friday, August 5, 2016

Hawaii children in poverty, Ige support tepid on Oahu, group wants EPA to revoke state pesticide oversight, state posts bacteria warning signs on Kauai, RIMPAC pau, mixed results for plastic bag ban, Thirty Meter Telescope hearing today, Kaiser $40M in to Maui hospital buyout, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Children paddleboard in Hawaii © 2016 All Hawaii News
One-third of children in Hawaii would be living below the poverty line without federal and state help, according to a new report from a Washington, D.C. group that studies the impact of assistance programs like Social Security. Associated Press.

The first U.S. president from Hawaii has 60 percent of Oahu voters viewing him in a positive light, according to The Civil Beat Poll. Obama is viewed negatively by 36 percent. By contrast, Gov. David Ige’s positive and negative numbers are nearly identical — 41 percent and 42 percent respectively.

A nonprofit environmental law firm is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to revoke the Hawaii Department of Agriculture‘s authority to investigate and enforce federal pesticide law. Civil Beat.

A law that President Barack Obama signed last Friday will require mandatory labeling of bioengineered food products across the country no later than two years from now, and while some in Hawaii believe it's "a step forward," others think it's a "slippery slope" that lets seed companies off the hook for testing genetically modified products. Maui News.

 Campaigning in Maine on Thursday, Donald Trump called for restrictions on immigrants from the Philippines and other countries with high rates of terrorism — and earned a rebuke from Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz in the process. Civil Beat.

The monthlong Rim of the Pacific 2016 maritime exercises have wrapped up in Hawaii with a number of firsts, and impacts near and far. Star-Advertiser.

Photos: In one of the final exercises of the Rim of the Pacific war games, American and Japanese forces made an amphibious landing at Kaneohe Bay. Civil Beat.

An Army officer who has infantry combat experience; was director for Russia on the joint staff; speaks Italian, Russian and French; was a foreign area officer with a focus on Eurasia; and has degrees from Princeton and Yale universities took command of more than 12,000 Hawaii soldiers Thursday as the new head of the 25th Infantry Division. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's state tourism agency is hiring a New York firm to help it attract sporting events to the islands. The Hawaii Tourism Authority said Thursday it's awarding a one-year $200,000 contract to Ascendent Sports Group. Associated Press.

First Hawaiian Inc. visited the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square today to celebrate its initial public offering on The Nasdaq Stock Market. Maui Now.

A new program called "self-supply" allows households to supply electricity to their own homes and stay connected to the grid. But it doesn't allow customers to get reimbursed for exporting energy to the grid. Associated Press.

Oahu

For the past year, shoppers on O‘ahu have not received single-use plastic bags at the checkout line. But in many grocery stores, thicker plastic bags that are considered reusable are still allowed. That’s a problem for environmentalists who are calling on the city and county to propose a better ban. Hawaii Public Radio.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell's re-election campaign spent more than $524,000 from July 1 to July 29, much of it for political advertising, according to state Campaign Spending Commission reports filed Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Campaign contributions are starting to flow to mayoral contender Charles Djou, who has an edge in the political polls. Hawaii News Now.

A posted warning about potential health risks tied to high bacteria levels in Keehi Lagoon’s waters has prompted several canoe clubs to withdraw from competing in the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association State Championship regatta on Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

Anthony DeLuze keeps his ancestors’ traditions alive in 21st century Hawaii by growing the staple crop taro on a suburban plot sandwiched between wings of a sprawling shopping mall.But the aquifer that hydrates the starchy vegetables sits under 20 enormous underground tanks the Navy uses to store fuel for military ships and aircraft. One tank leaked tens of thousands of gallons of jet fuel into the ground in 2014, worrying DeLuze the tanks are a threat to his farm’s natural springs and well. Associated Press.

Hawaii

The Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearing starts up again in Hilo today with a packed house of newly approved hearing participants and a variety of motions by TMT foes ranging from disqualifying the state attorney general’s office from advising the hearings officer to vacating the entire process. Star-Advertiser.

Participants in the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case have filed a flurry of motions ahead of today’s meeting in Hilo, from declaring Mauna Kea sacred to ongoing challenges to Riki May Amano’s selection as hearings officer. Tribune-Herald.

East Hawaii residents have a chance to discuss hot-button issues including homelessness and the Thirty Meter Telescope on Tuesday with Gov. David Ige. Ige will be in Hilo for the town hall “community connection” meeting from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the UCB Building (301) at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island residents commented to state education leaders Wednesday at a meeting designed to gather feedback on proposed updates to Hawaii’s current “joint strategic plan” — a multiyear, plan-of-action to meet a series of statewide education goals. Tribune-Herald.

The developer of a long-delayed mixed-use master-planned community in Kohala on the Big Island has withdrawn from a planned initial public offering that was expected to raise $27.5 million. Pacific Business News.

The $3.5 million sale of the ancient, 59-acre Kauleoli fishing village south of the Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park cleared escrow Thursday, ensuring the area will be preserved in perpetuity. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii said it has already invested $40 million as it prepares to take over three Maui County public hospitals. Star-Advertiser.

The chairman of the panel that oversees three Maui County public hospitals said Wednesday that he is "pretty confident" that a settlement will be reached between the state and the United Public Workers union "pretty soon" that would allow the transfer of operations to Kaiser Permanente to resume. Maui News.

When Central Maui voters head to the primary polls to cast their ballots for the 8th District representative in the state House of Representatives, they'll have two candidates to choose from. Maui News.

Kauai

Warning signs are now standing guard at the Waiopili Stream near Gillin’s Beach, alerting beachgoers of contaminated water in the area. Garden Island.

Overcrowded jails, incarceration rates, prosecuting police officers and extensive plea bargaining were topics at the Kauai candidates forum, county prosecutor session Thursday. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council has decided to spend up to $15,000 in taxpayer money on special counsel to represent the police commission should a legal battle against the mayor go to the Hawaii Supreme Court. Associated Press.

A $130,000 remodeling and expansion project to the Philippines Cultural Center started Thursday under the supervision of Sweat Construction, the Kapaa-based general contractor. Garden Island.