Thursday, September 29, 2016

Performing dolphin trade criticized, rail components already deteriorating, state has at least 100 brothels, $8.3M for clean drinking water, Hawaii Fire Department keeps chlorine leak secret, Maui marijuana dispensaries advancing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Dolphin encounter in Hawaii © 2016 All Hawaii News
Animal rights activists are upset after three live dolphins were shipped via FedEx from Honolulu to Arizona, but the organization that shipped the animals says it was safe and legal to do so. Hawaii News Now.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will allocate $8.3 million to the state for improving aging drinking water infrastructure in light of improvements that the Department of Health has made in managing its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. Star-Advertiser.

An additional 39 plants and 10 animals are at risk of extinction in Hawaii and will now be protected under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Prosecutors are calling the scourge of sex trafficking a form of modern-day slavery that touches every state in the nation, and they’re working to draw connections between active investigations around the globe at a summit in Waikiki. Associated Press.

Sex trafficking happens at hotels, homes and with street prostitution, and authorities estimate the state has at least 100 brothels. Hawaii News Now.

For the first time, the Hawai‘i Tourism Conference featured a session on LGBT travel. The islands have long been a destination for gay visitors, but state tourism officials have been slow to advertise it. Hawaii Public Radio.

Millions of people visit Hawai’i each year and tourism officials say more and more of them want an authentic experience when they stay here. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Candidates Are Getting Flooded With Surveys This Year. As special interest groups, labor unions and the media try to nail them down on issues, office-seekers decide which ones to respond to. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau wants to get New Yorkers to take a bite out of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

A new review out by the VA Office of the Inspector General says conditions at VA hospitals in the Pacific are improving.  The report says the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System, which includes Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and Saipan, had resolved all but 21 unprocessed travel benefit claims as of August 2016. KITV.

Two of the state’s highest-performing public elementary schools were recognized Wednesday as National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Parts of the rail guideway are cracking and snapping even before the first stretch is finished, and money-saving efforts may be behind the problem, new reports show. Star-Advertiser.

Charles Djou will not participate in a Honolulu mayoral debate with Kirk Caldwell on PBS Hawaii this fall, but the explanation for that depends on which press release you’re reading. Civil Beat.

Not So Public: What Happens When A Cop Goes On Desk Duty? The department refuses to disclose portions of many of its policies to the public, including the one on use of force. Civil Beat.

The parents of a five-year-old boy who walked away from school without anyone noticing have filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Education. KHON2.

The Honolulu City Council will take a final vote on a 400-foot condominium-hotel tower across from the Hawai‘i Convention Center next week after a compromise was reached Wednesday on the amount of affordable housing the developer must provide. Star-Advertiser.

Fujifilm Corp.’s Hawaii regional office is closing at the end of the year, and the Central Oahu building that housed the office is up for sale, a company spokesman confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Hawaii


A potentially dangerous chlorine gas leak from an industrial tank in Hilo sickened two people last week, but the Hawaii County Fire Department issued no public warning. Star-Advertiser.

A joint investigation continues into the cause of a Sept. 22 chlorine gas leak at BEI Hawaii in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Game Management Advisory Commission members slammed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for having “no respect for the people” of Big Island hunting community. Big Island Video News.

The Hawaii Board of Ethics will hear a complaint in November that Mayor Billy Kenoi’s use of a county-issued credit card violated the Code of Ethics. West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Transportation is evaluating workaround measures to increase the capacity of Highway 130. Tribune-Herald.

Protocols, paperwork, grants all play part on police crack down on impaired drivers. West Hawaii Today.

The macadamia felted coccid is the latest Hawaii Island invasive species to go to Washington. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui Wellness Group LLC - one of the island's two groups issued the first medical marijuana dispensary licenses in Hawaii - plans to begin selling product from its dispensary location in Central Maui by early January, a spokeswoman said Tuesday. Maui News.

PharmLabs Hawaii LLC is installing and calibrating equipment in its main Hawaii lab in Kahului this week that soon will be available to medical marijuana licensees for testing of their cannabis for purity and potency, the company said in a news release last week. Maui News.

Maui County is contributing money and resources for the eradication of coqui frogs.  $1.2 million has been allotted to the Maui Invasive Species Committee to increase efforts to stop the spread of coqui during over a five-year plan. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai

Kauai receives $3 million to upgrade water systems. Garden Island.

The Kauai Police Department and Life’s Choices Kauai are teaming up to collect unused or expired prescription medication and other drugs on Drug Take Back Day. Garden Island.

Molokai

Sea Link of Hawaiʻi, the ferry that runs between Maui and Molokaʻi filed a request with the Public Utilities Commission to stop operations. Maui Now.