Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Federal government to study Hawaii fish populations, Thirty Meter Telescope attorney quits, Native Hawaiians discuss sovereignty, ethics violation filed against Maui County Council member, mongoose captured on Kauai, Ige wants to change pension plan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photos
Oscar Elton Sette off Maui in 2004, courtesy NOAA
Federal officials are embarking on a study of seven Hawaii fish species to assess the overall health of their populations. Associated Press.

State and federal fishery officials have struggled for decades to determine how many deep-sea bottomfish like onaga and opakapaka are in Hawaiian waters, basing stock assessments on the amount of groupers and snappers caught by commercial fishermen. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige’s administration plans to propose changes in the public employees pension fund next year as part of a larger effort to reduce the unfunded liabilities in the pension and health funds. Star-Advertiser.

The latest batch of WikiLeaks references Hawaii’s own Tulsi Gabbard. Civil Beat.

President Obama's recent decision to support a unified Native Hawaiian government is just one of the hot button issues on the discussion table at this week's annual Native Hawaiian Convention in Waikiki. KITV.

Hawaii’s veterans are receiving health care more promptly than in the past, but the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs continues to struggle to hire and retain enough medical staff to meet the burgeoning need for services, according to a recent government report. Civil Beat.

The Kaiser Permanente Fit Rewards program is offering Kaiser Permanente members a chance to earn a free gym membership in 2017. The program creates a financial incentive for members to meet their health and fitness goals for the year. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Mayor Kirk Caldwell formally thanked landlords who accepted some 860 homeless military veterans on Oahu as tenants in the past 18 months, but pushed them on Tuesday for even more help to rescue remaining homeless former service members. Star-Advertiser.

Forensic evidence collected from potentially hundreds of sexual assault victims may have been rendered inadmissible in court because the Sex Abuse Treatment Center in Honolulu has kept evidence kits at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children rather than sending them to a law enforcement lab for storing. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers and advocates expressed outrage Tuesday after learning that HPD failed to disclose it's destroyed more than 1,000 untested sex assault evidence kits since 1992. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Office of Environmental Quality Control has extended the commenting period for the state’s plan to build a replacement facility for the crumbling Oahu Community Correctional Center. Civil Beat.

About 25 personal memorials have been placed on land called sacred in Waianae and the state is having them removed by the end of the year. The Ku’ilioloa Heiau at Kane’ilio Point at Poka’i Bay once served as a school of navigation and a blessing site for voyagers. Hawaii News Now.

Ala Moana Center is taking a closer look at all its railings in the wake of a deadly fall. KHON2.

A video camera was found inside a staff-only restroom at Kapolei Middle School, according to the Hawaii Department of Education. KITV.

Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach, a new hotel brand for the isles, is recruiting about 100 workers in preparation for its Dec. 8 opening in the former Waikiki Trade Center office building. Star-Advertiser.

A three-level suite at The Pinnacle is to be auctioned by Heritage Luxury Real Estate Auctions on Oct. 18. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

The six original petitioners in the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case will represent themselves in hearings that start next week after their attorney withdrew as counsel, citing scheduling conflicts. Tribune-Herald.

The case against the Thirty Meter Telescope suffered a setback after the attorney representing the Mauna Kea Hui petitioners walked away a week before the contested case hearing is set to begin. Star-Advertiser.

After almost 30 years of government work, Hilo County Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi is ready to start his own business once he leaves the council in December. West Hawaii Today.

Construction has kicked off on an initial phase of a delayed affordable-housing project on Hawaii island where monthly rent for some apartments will be as low as $384. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Health announced Tuesday afternoon that the first laboratory-confirmed case of travel-related Zika virus was detected on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

Kona coffee farmers say a strong crop yield is likely despite an unusually dry winter brought on by the most recent El Nino and its stabilizing influence on weather patterns over the main Hawaii Islands. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

An ethics violation claim has been filed against Maui County Council Member Don Couch over questions about his qualifications for an affordable home he and his wife purchased in Kihei while also buying a market-priced home in Waikapu in a three-month span nine years ago. Maui News.

Kauai

A young mongoose that stowed away to Kauai aboard an Aloha Air Cargo shipment from Oahu was captured at Lihue Airport on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Maluhia Road, from the Tree Tunnel to the Ala Kino’iki Road junction, will be closed on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. to allow the Department of Public Works to do tree trimming and remove dead branches. Garden Island.

Lanai

The Lana’i Culture and Heritage Center has launched a website showcasing the island’s iconic landmarks and locations through history, photos and video. Maui News.