Monday, October 3, 2016

Hawaii tourism breaks record, ferry feasibility study, yellow-faced bee added to endangered species list, bail bond companies stiffing state, DOT backs off Kauai bird protection plan, mayor's campaign aide gets city contracts, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

© 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Tourists on Hawaii beach © 2016 All Hawaii News
The number of tourists visiting Hawaii hit a record for the month of August by topping 780,000 people. The Hawaii Tourism Authority said Friday 3.1 percent more travelers came to the islands in August compared to the same month last year. It marked the 19th straight month of gains. Associated Press.

The number of visitors to Hawaii last month rose 3.1 percent from last year to the highest level ever for an August, and spending increased by 5.2 percent to more than $1.3 billion for the month, according to preliminary statistics released Friday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

August turns out to have been a third month of higher visitor arrivals despite low airline seats to Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

The U.S. Maritime Administration has agreed to help finance a feasibility study for establishing a publicly financed Hawaii ferry service, a plan that may reignite public debate over one of Hawaii’s hot-button transportation and environmental issues. Star-Advertiser.


Federal authorities on Friday added seven yellow-faced bee species, Hawaii’s only native bees, for protection under the Endangered Species Act, a first for any bees in the United States. Associated Press.

Biosecurity plan formed to protect Hawaii from invasive species. KHON2.

The official general election registration “deadline” for this year is Oct. 10, despite falling on the Columbus Day federal holiday. For people who opt to mail in their voter registration forms, the Office of Elections said forms must be postmarked no later than Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

Bail bond companies that pledged bail money as guarantees that their clients would appear for criminal court proceedings now owe the state more than $2.4 million in forfeited bail bonds after the offenders failed to show up for their court dates, according to data provided by the Hawaii State Judiciary. Star-Advertiser.

Supporters of proposed rules that would allow for groups such as nonprofits and universities to approve and oversee Hawaii’s public charter schools say the move would strengthen charters without eroding standards. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development is giving $350,000 to the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii to investigate and fight housing discrimination. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s campaign spokeswoman has been awarded tens of thousands of dollars worth of city contracts, but apparently doesn’t get paid for her campaign work. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayoral Candidates Vie For Coveted Kupuna Vote. The city’s high cost of living and public safety are on the minds of AARP Hawaii members, who shared their concerns during a “tele-town hall” Saturday morning. Civil Beat.

At the Kalaeloa Heritage Park, there is a story about almost everything. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii
Two new wells are being proposed in North Kona to increase water capacity at higher elevations, with the goal of reducing the use of water sources closer to sea level. West Hawaii Today.

Opinion: Was Civil Beat Right To Publish The Billy Kenoi Party Video? Addressing some key issues raised by readers about the publication of a video showing the Big Island mayor giving a profanity-laced toast. Civil Beat.

A site visit was made to the summit of Mauna Kea on September 26, as part of the second Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearing now underway. Objections to the way the site visit was carried out have already been filed by opponents of the TMT project. Big Island Video News.

The Affordable Care Act is triggering clinics on Hawaii Island to consider expansion, a fulfillment of plans made when the federal law passed. Tribune-Herald.

Bringing farmers, tourists together: First AgriTourism Symposium slated for Oct. 15. Tribune-Herald.

The wife of a well-known marijuana activist who spent more than four years in federal prison after his Downtown Hilo marijuana ministry was raided is now making a last-ditch effort to prevent her own incarceration. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Council member Don Couch is the target of an ethics violation complaint filed by Haiku resident Sean Lester with the Maui County Board of Ethics. In documents received on Sept. 23, 2016, Lester alleges Couch purchased a home in Waikapu and a condo in Kihei in 2007. He states that Couch did not meet the “affordable income criteria” for the condo and implies that Couch improperly received and failed to disclose rental income derived from the house. Maui Watch.

A Community Connection public forum with Governor David Ige is planned on Maui on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016 at the University of Hawai‘i, Maui College Pā‘ina Cafeteria in Kahului. Maui Now.

As sugar operations wind down this year, an elevated scale to weigh sugar and molasses will be closed, and that will prompt some Maui businesses to look elsewhere to weigh their containers before shipping them on barges. Maui News.

Kauai

Hawaii Department of Transportation has taken an unexplained step back from developing a Kauai County Seabird Habitat Conservation Plan, and the gears of the entire process have slowed. Garden Island.

Road safety measures and extending the deadline to apply for building permits will be discussed Wednesday during the Kauai County Council meeting. Garden Island.

Building bridges. Division of Forestry and Wildlife plans to connect with public on Keahua Stream construction. Garden Island