Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hawaii incomes rise, new rules for fish auction following expose on slavery conditions aboard ships, slow medical marijuana card processing, feds may fine Honolulu $16M for wasting grant money, Maui seawall plan nixed, electric and water rates may increase, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Grocery clerks in Hawaii © 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaii incomes are on the rise, but so is the state’s cost of living and especially the housing costs, which remain the highest in the country. That’s the latest from the U.S. Census Bureau, which released its annual American Community Survey for 2015, including data on income, poverty housing, housing and health insurance. The 2015 median household income, including single-member households, was $73,486, which was close to $4,000 more than 2014, while the median family income rose to $83,823 — more than $4,500 over the previous year. Star-Advertiser.

Advocates urge state to speed up medical marijuana card processing. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Fish Auction will ban any longline vessel from selling catch at its Pier 38 location beginning Oct. 1 if the boat owner or captain doesn’t use a new universal crew contract designed by the local fishing industry that’s supposed to protect against illegal working conditions. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii longline industry leaders say they have formed a task force and hired an expert on slavery in response to media reports about human trafficking, forced labor and poor working conditions aboard some of their boats. Civil Beat.

Starting Tuesday, Hawaii’s longline fishing industry is implementing a multi-pronged system it says will help protect crew from labor abuse, mistreatment and substandard working conditions. KHON2.

Some Native Hawaiians have joined thousands of American Indians in protesting the development of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. Star-Advertiser.

courtesy U.S. Fidsh and Wildlife Service
I'iwi, USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed listing the iiwi, a red honeycreeper unique to Hawaii, as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, the agency announced Monday. Civil Beat.

The native iiwi bird may soon be listed as a “threatened” species. Star-Advertiser.

Fewer than 2,500 ‘i’iwi, or scarlet honeycreepers are left in the world and the birds might be receiving new federal protections. Garden Island.

Oahu

The City and County of Honolulu may have to pay nearly $16 million to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for allegedly wasting federal grant money from 2012 to 2015. Civil Beat.

Two bills designed to tweak the city’s new private transportation vehicle ordinance governing taxis and ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft will get their first airing before the Honolulu City Council Budget Committee on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Several Honolulu police officers are facing disciplinary action after a police chase of a "most wanted" suspect last month ended in a multiple-vehicle crash on the H-1 Freeway. Hawaii News Now.

Broken elevators a constant problem in district court building. KHON2.

Atlantis Resorts is expanding to Hawaii with its first project in the United States located on vacant oceanfront parcels of land near Disney’s Aulani hotel at Ko Olina Resort in West Oahu, the master developer of Ko Olina confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Parking spots are notoriously hard to come by in some parks of Honolulu. But on Friday, an array of designers, artists and activists took over four of the city’s scarce public parking stalls and turned them into something more: miniature parks designed to make people rethink the city’s public spaces. Civil Beat.

A construction firm working on the $20 million renovation of the Maile Sky Court Hotel in Waikiki has been fined $767,095 for failing to comply with labor laws. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

Hawaii Electric Light Co. plans to request a 6.5 percent rate increase. West Hawaii Today.

For the first time in six years Hawaii Electric Light Co. wants to raise base rates for Big Island customers. KITV.

The Makalei Fire Station is sporting a temporary sign honoring the memory of Daniel R. Sayre, who lost his life while hiking along Pololu Valley in 1997. The Hawaii County Council on Wednesday will sign a resolution making that sign more permanent. West Hawaii Today.

An elderly Puna woman is suing Hawaiian Airlines and a Puna company that contracts baggage handling and wheelchair service, alleging she was taken for a rough ride by a porter at Hilo International Airport. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

One seawall showdown on Maui has come to an end after an unexpected reversal by the state on Monday.  The state Department of Transportation agreed to stop its multi-million dollar shoreline improvement project in Olowalu. The announcement comes after eight days of protests along Honoapiilani Highway. Hawaii News Now.

The Public Utilities Commission has issued a decision and order for Hawaii Water Service Co. Inc. to increase water rates by about 20 percent over present rates for Kaanapali hotels and condominium owners. Maui News.

Fifty-five new wayfinding signs promote health by encouraging walking and exploration of Wailuku Town’s hidden and well‐known treasures. Maui Now.

Kauai
Hawaii chapters of the Surfrider Foundation are teaming up with the Department of Health as the state changes its approach to public education on water quality. Garden Island.

There is an idea floating around the county to convert the Kapaa Neighborhood Center into a police substation, and some residents aren’t happy about it. Garden Island.