Friday, September 9, 2016

Fighting coral bleaching, Djou's 911 vote at issue in mayoral campaign, high food costs, environmental director's qualifications back in court, Thirty Meter Telescope protesters stand with Standing Rock, raises for UH brass, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Damaged coral with ornate butterflyfish © 2016 All Hawaii News
Establishing a network of no-take protected coastal zones, restrictions on lay gillnets and a ban on commercial fishing of parrotfish are among the actions being considered to help Hawaii’s coral reefs fend off the lethal effects of ocean warming and climate change. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii officials on Thursday proposed a series of steps to fight coral bleaching that's threatening the state's reefs, including new marine protected areas, limits on fishing and controlling polluted runoff from land. Associated Press.

How Fishing Interests Infiltrated Conservation’s Biggest Event. The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council advocates most often for Hawaii’s fishing industry, but yet it managed to become a voting member of the World Conservation Congress. Civil Beat.

The largest environmental symposium is underway this week in Honolulu. And the more than 9,000 participants are doing their best to go green. Hawaii Public Radio.

Newly released federal data confirms the cost of food in Hawaii is significantly higher than it is on the mainland. A government defined "thrifty food plan" for a family of four in Hawaii costs $1,161 a month, about $500 more than the same amount of food costs a family of four on the mainland, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture figures. Associated Press.

The state has proposed a $39 million biosecurity plan to be implemented over the next decade that seeks to bolster its fight against invasive species. Associated Press.

Most of the University of Hawaii’s more than 200 executives are eligible for merit-based raises totaling approximately $800,000 under criteria approved Thursday by a Board of Regents committee. Star-Advertiser.

A class-action lawsuit was filed as a result of the hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii that affected about 250 people since June. Garden Island.

Oahu

Mayoral candidate and former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou says his 2010 vote on funding for Sept. 11, 2001, first responders has been mischaracterized by Mayor Kirk Caldwell in a campaign ad now running on television. Star-Advertiser.

A scalding new TV spot by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell attacks former Congressman Charles Djou for not supporting a bill funding benefits for 9/11 first responders — a charge that Djou calls “disgusting” and a “clear misrepresentation of my record.” Civil Beat.

Charles Djou received the backing of two members of the Honolulu City Council Thursday. Civil Beat.

The holding company for Japan’s second-largest bank has put up $1.3 billion in financing for four prominent Hawaii hotels owned by Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts that total 3,461 rooms, Pacific Business News has learned.

The city is working to notify homeless people — and formerly homeless people — that their constitutional rights may have been violated as part of the city’s homeless crackdown. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu's newest police commissioner is getting praise for holding Honolulu's police chief accountable. Hawaii News Now.

Bringing Kaneohe Bay Coral Back From the Brink. Coral bleaching is a reality. The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is looking for ways to keep our reefs alive despite it. Civil Beat.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew stopped in Honolulu to meet with business and community leaders for a roundtable discussion following his trip to the G-20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou, China. Pacific Business News.

Teachers at Castle High School have been cleaning their own classrooms and taking out the trash themselves because the school has not been able to hire janitors. KHON2.

The Hawaii Department of Public Safety is revising a visitation policy at the Oahu Community Correctional Center, a move that it says will give more options to families and friends of inmates. Civil Beat.

Families of inmates at Oahu Community Correctional Center will be able to schedule visits once during the week instead of waiting for the traditional visitation days of Saturdays and Sundays, but will no longer be able to touch them. Star-Advertiser.

North King Street focus of $8M repaving, pedestrian safety project. Hawaii News Now.

A deputy attorney general has been arrested for driving under the influence. Hugh Jones was arrested just after 8 a.m. Thursday on the H-3 Freeway near the Harano Tunnel. KHON2.

Hawaii

The qualifications of county Environmental Management Director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd are again in question, following an Intermediate Court of Appeals opinion Thursday that vacates a lower court judgment favoring her and kicks the case back down to Circuit Court. West Hawaii Today.

Native Hawaiians who oppose construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea are seeing reflections of their cause in the waters of the Missouri River. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota have been protesting a new oil pipeline planned to cross the river upstream from their reservation, stirring fears of contamination of their drinking water source and damage to sacred sites. Tribune-Herald.

Taking one step closer to a permanent quarantine on transport of ohia plants from the Big Island, state Department of Agriculture officials concluded a series of public hearings Wednesday night. Tribune-Herald.

Emotional testimony was delivered Wednesday evening in favor of – and against – new federal rules concerning Hawaii’s spinner dolphins. Big Island Video News.

Maui

The state Public Utilities Commission is seeking written public comment on the Molokai ferry's petition to surrender its certificate to operate between Lahaina and Kaunakakai. Maui News.
http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/623652/Comment-wanted-on-ferry-closure.html?nav=5161

Three environmental groups and the University of Hawaii have collaborated to form a citizen science and coastal water quality monitoring program to supplement data collection by the state Health Department in hopes of protecting reefs and maintaining nearshore water quality in West Maui. Maui News.

Maui teachers and administrators see positives in the country's new education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, but how it will translate to Hawaii's classrooms is still to be determined. Maui News.

Kauai

Rental applications are being accepted for the second phase of Kaniko’o. The affordable housing community for seniors in Lihue is set for completion in the next few months. Garden Island.