Monday, November 28, 2016

Supreme Court won't hear Hawaii spiritual marijuana case, fired Kulani prison warden sues, new book lays bare Hawaii politics, a post-sugar Maui, Kahaluu Lagoon still polluted, $100M sewer reclaim project planned, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Oklevueha Native American Church Facebook photo
The Supreme Court won’t take up an appeal from a Native American church in Hawaii that wants to be exempt from federal marijuana laws. Associated Press.

Hawaii hotel occupancy saw a slight boost during the week before Thanksgiving, mainly on the Neighbor Islands, but the statewide average daily room rate rose by 7 percent, according to the weekly report from Hospitality Advisors LLC and STR Inc. Pacific Business News.

Will Trump Be Able To Undo Papahanaumokuakea? The president lacks the express authority to revoke a national monument designation but Congress can do it. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Since the days of George Ariyoshi running for governor, when the question “Who you going to call?” was asked, Rick Tsujimura was the Hawaii political ghostbuster who answered. Tsujimura, the insider’s insider, remembered those campaigns in a new, interesting political book, “Campaign Hawaii,” published by Watermark Publishing. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Two years after the Department of Health warned residents to stay out of Kahaluu Lagoon and the channel leading to Kaneohe Bay because tests indicated raw sewage from cesspools was likely polluting the water, there’s no indication that the water quality will improve anytime soon. Star-Advertiser.

When Jesse Souki leaves the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on Wednesday, he’ll be the latest in a string of about a dozen prominent personnel to leave a rail agency that’s grappling with vacancies and high turnover. Star-Advertiser.

City Managing Director Roy Amemiya said Friday that Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration did not delay the announcement of Honolulu Zoo Administrator Baird Fleming’s resignation until after the Nov. 8 general election to ensure a key City Charter amendment won passage. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Tops For Mortgage Debt. The high cost of housing “helps explain why it’s the most maxed-out metro for housing debt” among the 100 most populous metro areas. Civil Beat.

Honolulu councilman proposes bill to establish AED requirement for all city, newly-constructed buildings. KHON2.

Fund-raising is a continuing challenge for all non-profit organizations. And a recent gathering in Honolulu highlighted several trends that have developed in the pursuit of donations. Hawaii Public Radio.

To honor the late U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, an Iraq War veteran, for his service and commitment, a City Council measure seeks to rename the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center at the Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park in Waipio after him. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The fired former warden of Kulani Correctional Facility is suing the state Department of Public Safety, claiming she was wrongfully terminated from the position. Tribune-Herald.

It’s not the kind of project that inspires a community celebration, but a $100 million-plus upgrade to the Kealakehe sewer plant could help the environment while sending treated wastewater to thirsty North Kona landscapes. West Hawaii Today.

The state is paying more than $2 million to have two geothermal wells plugged in Pahoa on the Big Island. Associated Press.

A planned East Hawaii Organics Facility is raising concern in the Panaewa community. Big Island Video News.

After nine days of exhaustive questioning of a half-dozen witnesses in a contested case hearing for the Thirty Meter Telescope, some TMT supporters are now privately describing the lengthy proceedings as a “filibuster” that will stall the project, and may even effectively block the $1.4 billion telescope from ever being built in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

If you’re getting a Christmas tree at Hooluana Tree Farm this season, be sure to bring your boots. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

With the final harvest nearing an end at Maui’s Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company, we asked company executives what will happen to the landscape as the island enters a post-sugar operation. Maui Now.

The sun-baked, wind-blown sugar cane that Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. burns, harvests and mills arrives here, where soft raw sugar crystals form more than several-story-high mountains of golden sweetness. Maui News.

Dispute threatens Manele Golf Course with possible closure. Land Use Commission meeting debate centers around the claim that drinking water used to irrigate a golf course. Maui News.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands will hold public hearings next month in Maui County on proposed administrative rule changes. Maui News.

Kauai

After he is sworn in to the Kauai County Council next month, Derek Kawakami said he will strive to find compromises between differences of opinion among councilmembers. Garden Island.

Nakamura, Morikawa, Tokioka tabbed for roles. Legislators named to committees. Garden Island.

Commentary: With input now, we can still shape the future of Kauai. Garden Island.