Monday, September 5, 2016

Sunscreen is killing coral reefs, Jane Goodall addresses World Conservation Congress, Djou beats Caldwell in campaign money, Sam Choy battles to keep his brand, Kenoi attorneys block email release, Maui mulls charging for rescues, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Kona beach scene © 2016 All Hawaii News
State officials called for a united effort in battling the negative effect of oxybenzone, a common sunscreen ingredient, on coral reefs during an afternoon media briefing at the World Conservation Congress at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Star-Advertiser.

Fearing cancer, many beachgoers slather their bodies with sunscreen in hopes of blocking the sun’s sometimes deadly rays. While the practice may be good for humans, it’s deadly for coral reefs. Civil Beat.

Jane Goodall sure knows how to draw a crowd. On Saturday, the famed primatologist packed hundreds in of adoring fans into a large ballroom at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu for the International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress, the largest environmental symposium in the world. Civil Beat.

Hawaii received grim news Sunday when the International Union for Conservation of Nature declared that 38 plant species found only on our islands had gone extinct and that hundreds more were on the brink. Civil Beat.

On Sunday at an all-star panel at the World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Kathryn Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space, described the Earth’s atmosphere as a “thin veneer” and an “ocean of air” that looks as slim as the peel of a tangerine. Civil Beat.

Former Harvard biology professor E.O. Wilson is one of the world’s most respected and revered conservationists alive today. So you might find it curious that his biggest fear isn’t climate change or the ongoing mass extinction that decimates an estimated 150-200 species every day. Nope. It’s Donald Trump. Civil Beat.

Hawaii-based marine biologists Randall Kosaki, Richard Pyle and Brian Greene plan to name a colorful, newly discovered fish species after President Barack Obama. Civil Beat.

About two dozen protesters assembled peacefully outside the Hawaii Convention Center Saturday with a message to those meeting inside: The U.S. military is destroying the planet. Civil Beat.

The World Conservation Congress in Honolulu is making a concerted effort at being green and could set a new standard for the tourism industry here. The International Union for Conservation of Nature event underway now through Saturday is taking ambitious measures to reduce paper, eliminate plastic, avoid food waste, decrease energy use, ramp up recycling and take other sustainability measures that are likely to set a new standard for Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s hepatitis A outbreak, which has sickened 241 people so far, is the worst in the country since 2003 and a sharp reversal from the downward trajectory of the disease in recent decades. Star-Advertiser.

Under Hawaii’s civil asset forfeiture program, law enforcement agencies can seize property suspected of being connected with criminal activity, even if they don’t obtain a conviction or file a criminal charge. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

While Mayor Kirk Caldwell received more votes in last month's primary, Charles Djou raked in more money. Filings with the state Campaign Spending Commission show Caldwell's campaign received $57,000 in contributions in the two weeks before the Aug. 13th election.  In that same period, Djou's campaign received nearly three-times as much: $167,000. Hawaii News Now.

More than a year after three controversial measures tied to the last undeveloped phase of Haseko’s 1,100-acre Ewa Beach development were introduced, the City Council is still trying to reach a resolution on certain issues. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Friday finalized its decision to award Hawaiian Airlines a daytime slot to fly from Honolulu International Airport to Haneda Airport in Tokyo, according to U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono. Pacific Business News.

A Hawaii union says it has filed a complaint with the Environmental Protection Agency over reports of unsafe working conditions after discovering mold at a Waikiki hotel that’s under construction. Associated Press.

Hawaii

County attorneys are seeking to keep the contents of 40 emails, most of them sent in the month after Big Island newspapers reported Mayor Billy Kenoi’s misuse of his county-issued credit card, secret. Tribune-Herald.

Roughly 40 scientists, researchers and business people will convene at Kilauea Military Camp at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the feasibility of the implementation of one or several groundbreaking technologies to curb the mosquito population across the state — if not eradicate it. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County is seeking a state Department of Health permit for a full-scale composting facility — the first in Hawaii — before breaking ground next year. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald issued a memo to chief judges statewide after ads appeared on the Big Island depicting state Judiciary personnel endorsing a candidate for county prosecutor. West Hawaii Today.

In addition to picking from an assortment of local, state and national candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot, Big Island voters will help decide three ballot questions — two to amend the state constitution and one to amend the Hawaii County charter. West Hawaii Today.

Local chef Sam Choy is disputing an Oahu restaurant’s right to use his name “royalty-free” despite the chef having no connection to the restaurant. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The Maui Demolition & Construction Landfill that has been operating on 15 acres at the corner of North Kihei Road and Honoapiilani Highway for the last 20 years stopped accepting construction debris Wednesday, a landfill official confirmed Friday. Maui News.

Nearly half of the 250 people surveyed by the Maui County Fire Department supported the idea of billing people who require helicopter and mountain rescues by firefighters. Maui News.

The Maui County Council approved a resolution Friday for the county to acquire more than 250 acres near the world famous "Jaws" surf break in East Maui for nearly $9.5 million. Maui News.

The final touches are currently being applied to the nonprofit Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute, which will work on developing rehabilitation facilities for endangered turtles, expanding an existing coral bank at the aquarium and providing marine sciences educational opportunities. Maui News.

Brown Water Advisories have been issued for Baldwin Beach Park and Honokahua Bay on Maui due to recent rains. Maui Now.

Kauai

New technology that could help out Kauai’s endangered forest birds is on the horizon, but questions remain. Garden Island.

Kauai residents are invited to comment on a bill that would allow alcohol sales on the Wailua Golf Course. The Kauai County Council will host a public hearing on Bill No. 2635 at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, which made it legal for alcohol to be consumed on the course. Garden Island.

Kauai Humane Society is reeling after an Alaska Airlines decision to end its pet transfer program was announced Friday. Garden Island.