Monday, August 1, 2016

Hawaii short 625 teachers, Honolulu to pay kissing lesbian couple $80k in lawsuit, homeless dollars go to people in houses, challenger says Tulsi's out of touch, serious charges dropped against Maui telescope protesters, EPA pushes for dirty water warning signs on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hundreds of teaching positions across Hawaii’s public schools remain unfilled as the new school year gets underway today for more than 180,000 students. The Department of Education says 100 teacher vacancies were filled over the summer, leaving 625 positions as of last week that need to be filled for the 2016-17 academic year.  Star-Advertiser.

Air conditioning is delayed for some hot schools while education officials push for lower prices. Associated Press.

How The Quest For Clean Energy Sunk HECO’s Biggest Deal Ever. Hawaii political leaders and regulators didn’t think selling Hawaiian Electric to a mainland company would help get the utility off oil. Civil Beat.

The lion’s share of state dollars earmarked since April to provide direct, immediate aid in tackling Hawaii’s homeless crisis has gone to keeping struggling families in their homes versus getting homeless people off the street. Star-Advertiser.

The state of Hawaii knows its technology infrastructure is behind the times. Now government officials are reaching out to the tech community for help. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is broadening its annual Hawaii Tourism Conference into a weeklong international gathering that draws visitor industry attendees from across the globe. Star-Advertiser.

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has qualified to be on the Hawaii ballot in November. Johnson, a former Republican governor of New Mexico, is running with vice presidential partner Bill Weld, a former Republican governor of Massachusetts. Civil Beat.

A Maui mom thinks U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has lost touch with her district, and she’s challenging her in the Aug. 13 Democratic primary. West Hawaii Today.

An environmental group has filed a complaint with federal officials over Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council Executive Director Kitty Simonds’ role in orchestrating opposition to the proposed expansion of the marine monument around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The Honolulu City Council is on track to approve an $80,000 settlement for a lesbian couple who sued the city contending a Honolulu police officer harassed and arrested them after he saw them kissing in a North Shore grocery store. Civil Beat.

Land development-related growing pains in the quickly changing West Oahu region are a key issue in the Honolulu City Council District I race, where the incumbent faces challenges from three contenders. Star-Advertiser.

On the 173rd anniversary of Sovereignty Restoration Day (La Hoihoi Ea), supporters of two different paths toward self governance for kanaka maoli gathered Saturday to kukakuka (have a discussion) at Thomas Square in Honolulu. Civil Beat.

It’s been a while since Hawaii residents have seen gas selling for under $2 per gallon. But that will change this weekend as Par Hawaii, which is unveiling its new Hele brand, drops its price for regular unleaded gasoline to $1.99 at the first station to undergo the change as part of a grand opening event. Pacific Business News.

It's the second largest solar farm planned on Oahu and a major contributor to the state's clean energy goals. But neighbors say the Waianae Solar photovoltaic facility is one of the dirtiest they've seen. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

Prosecutor’s race heats up: Roth, Kagami emphasize markedly different approaches. Tribune-Herald.

State Sen. Russell Ruderman and challenger Hawaii County Councilman Greggor Ilagan were running about neck and neck in spending as they neared the home stretch of their campaigns. Tribune-Herald.

Napoopoo Road intersection work causing backups, lost business, owners say. West Hawaii Today.

More than five years after a tsunami tore into Anaehoomalu Bay, breaching Kuualii pond, crews are expected to begin this month replacing the wall at the fishpond as well as removing sand from the pond to build up the beach. West Hawaii Today.

There’s a dustup in the local Democratic Party over an official’s endorsement of a candidate in a nonpartisan County Council race. West Hawaii Today.

The vitriol surrounding accusations that the Hawaii Island Humane Society planned and engaged in a smear campaign against Big Island Dog Rescue seeped into Third Circuit Court Friday, where Judge Ronald Ibarra rejected an attempt to have the case dismissed. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Ing’s account, police report at odds. A citation for not having vehicle insurance that was issued to state Rep. Kaniela Ing shows he was driving his car when he was stopped for having an expired safety sticker and delinquent vehicle tax, according to a source who has knowledge of the traffic crime citation. Maui News.

The most serious charge lodged against six of the eight protesters arrested nearly a year ago in Kula during the transportation of construction materials for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope were dismissed Friday in 2nd Circuit Court. Maui News.

Four candidates vie for Gladys Baisa’s vacant Upcountry council seat. Maui News.

The high cost of construction bids has pushed back the installation of air conditioning in at least four Maui County schools, which means some students heading back to class Monday will have to bear the heat a bit longer. Maui News.

Kauai

Federal environmental officials are strong-arming the state into posting warning signs advising poor water quality at Mahaulepu and Gillin’s Beaches. Garden Island.

Federal environmental officials are requiring the state of Hawaii to post warning signs about poor water quality at two Kauai beaches. KITV.

Plea bargains, said Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar, are a balancing act. Garden Island.

James “Jimmy” Tokioka (D-15) is seeking his sixth, two-year term as a state House representative for Kauai. Garden Island.

Raised in Palolo, Oahu, Thomas Oi hopes his 26 years as a land surveyor will land him a seat at the state House. Garden Island.