Monday, November 21, 2016

Tulsi meeting Trump for job consideration, Speaker-emeritus Say residency cleared, friends remember former Kauai councilman Byum, new rules could hamper homeless efforts, unexploded ordnance found on Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard © 2016 All Hawaii News
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, will be meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team Monday for a possible top job in the new administration, according to a report. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team Monday for a possible top job in the new administration, a source said. CNN.

Commentary: Hawaii’s congressional delegation: 4 ambitious politicians jockeying for advantage. Star-Advertiser.

State Rep. Calvin Say’s legal battles over his residency appear to have been settled. The Hawaii Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ruled in Hussey v. Say that the state House of Representatives “is the only body” that can decide whether the speaker emeritus satisfies the constitutional residency requirements of a sitting member. Civil Beat.

Members of Hawaii’s Board of Education say they’re frustrated with the state’s perennial teacher shortage, which has again resulted in hundreds of public school classrooms being staffed this school year with emergency hires and substitutes lacking proper teaching credentials. Star-Advertiser.

The CEO of Hawaiian Electric Co. says the utility remains committed to 100 percent renewable-energy dependence despite having a climate change denier as the nation's incoming president. Associated Press.

Eight Hawaii homeless shelters estimate they would be forced to collectively eliminate 662 beds under changes proposed by the state Department of Human Services. Star-Advertiser.

Other States Are Shrinking Prison Populations — Why Not Hawaii? The Justice Reinvestment Initiative approved in 2012 was supposed to be a game-changer in the islands. It hasn’t been. Civil Beat.

Hawaii could improve on its laws to combat drunken driving by imposing tougher penalties for people who drive drunk with a child in the car, according to a new report by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Department of Accounting and General Services Director Douglas Murdock, who serves as the state comptroller, is stepping down today, the governor’s office announced. Gov. David Ige has appointed Roderick Becker, the state deputy budget director since December 2014, to replace Murdock. Civil Beat.

In a ghost town of dead coral off a remote Pacific island, scientists have found a bit more life. Associated Press.


Oahu

While some Honolulu rail leaders are encouraged by President-elect Donald Trump’s pro-infrastructure rhetoric, others are wary of how the new administration might react to a transit project that’s over budget, behind schedule and technically in breach of its federal funding deal. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate continues to drop, according to new numbers released in November, but this poses a challenge for new businesses popping up on Oahu. KHON2.

Jesse Souki, who held executive positions at several state agencies, could become the next head of the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency regulating development in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako, the HCDA said this week. Pacific Business News.

City Emergency Services and Fire Department officials have agreed to compile a report looking into the feasibility of consolidating ocean safety services. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: It’s Time To Get Real About The Honolulu Zoo. The fifth director in six years has resigned, days after voters agreed to steer property taxes to a fund to help the zoo. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

The Honaunau Rodeo Arena improvement project is finished, and on Saturday South Kona celebrated. Big Island Video News.

Mayor Billy Kenoi and Councilwoman Maile Medeiros David joined the South Kona rodeo community Saturday to celebrate the new and improved Honaunau Rodeo Arena. West Hawaii Today.

State and federal researchers confirmed that a giant ohia tree near Laupahoehoe was killed by rapid ohia death, marking the first known case of the plant disease in Hamakua. Tribune-Herald.

Widening of Highway 19, Queen Kaahumanu Highway, is likely to take a year longer than initially expected. West Hawaii Today.

Construction for a portion of a frontage road that will run along Queen Kaahumanu Highway is expected to begin today. West Hawaii Today.

A Public Meeting on a Draft Environmental Assessment for new roads in and around Fern Acres was held last week at the Mountain View Elementary School cafeteria. Big Island Video News.

Cooperative exercise center offers classes, studies, support. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Another workforce housing project has had prospective affordable homebuyers pre-qualify for home loans through a developer-approved lender — despite the Maui County Code calling for such vetting to be done by the applicant’s choice of lender. Maui News.

The state Department of Health will be holding a public information meeting Tuesday on its proposal to update rules regulating businesses that generate or handle hazardous wastes and used oil in Hawaii. Maui News.

The Kīhei Maui Self Storage facility is closed due to the discovery on Thursday afternoon, of a piece of unexploded ordnance in a storage unit. Maui Now.

University of Hawaii at Manoa researchers discovered “unparalleled” nitrate levels in Kuau Bay linked to adjacent sugar cane fields, the lead author of a recent study said Thursday. Maui News.

Improving wastewater treatment systems, reducing nitrogen and phosphorous within injection wells and changing the public’s perception of recycled water are key areas the county should consider, according to a former county wastewater operations superintendent. Maui News.

A team of University of Hawaii scientists has completed an intensive study of nearshore ecosystems around Maui that paints a clear picture of the impact of discharged treated wastewater. Star-Advertiser

The crop that once defined Hawai‘i is facing its final harvest. Next month, Hawai‘i Commercial & Sugar Company will close its operations. For many, the industry was more than just a place to work—it represented an entire way of life. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai

Those who knew Tim Bynum say he was a gentle giant who genuinely cared about the island. Bynum, who served on the Kauai County Council for four terms, from 2006 to 2014, died Friday at the age of 62. Garden Island.

Gary Hooser may no longer have a seat on the Kauai County Council, but he’ll continue trying to make a difference in the lives of island residents. Garden Island.

The access road leading to Mahaulepu Beach should be open again in early December, according to the state Department of Health. Garden Island.