Monday, December 12, 2016

Ala Wai to be disrupted by repair work, Hawaii union clout dims, Maui mulls charging for county parks, passes 12% raises for officials, Kauai council to repeal failed GMO bill, Kim to investigate unpermitted sea wall, HMSA revamps payment protocol, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Ala Wai jogger © 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaiian Electric Co. is proposing to spend an estimated $14 million to replace two old high-voltage cables that run across the bottom of the Ala Wai Canal with new lines installed deeper underground. Star-Advertiser.

As Trump takes aim at unions, labor's clout has dipped in Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

A former teacher and the teachers union are teaming up to ensure that Hawaii Board of Education meetings will continue to be videotaped for those who cannot attend. Civil Beat.

Sandwich Isles Communications Inc., the politically connected Hawaii telecommunications company that provides services on Hawaiian home lands, is being warned that its Federal Communications Commission authorization to operate may be revoked. Star-Advertiser.

Fisheries Commission Takes Steps To Keep Observers Safer. The last-minute agreement represented one of the week’s few accomplishments, but more action on tuna is expected next year. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Medical Service Association has decided to phase in a major overhaul of its payment system to doctors. The state’s largest health insurer, with 3,000 doctors in its network, is changing the way it reimburses its primary care physicians to a fixed monthly rate for each patient in a practice, instead of paying them based on the number of patients they see and the number of services they provide. Star-Advertiser.

It’s well known that Hawaii faces a critical housing shortage. As Pacific Business News reports, different challenges exist at all price points. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu
A record number of students are earning undergraduate degrees within four years from the University of Hawaii at Manoa — the result, officials say, of nearly a decade of initiatives aimed at better supporting student success. Star-Advertiser.

Rural commuters in Windward Oahu who rely on TheBus are getting some relief after enduring several years of scaled-back service, but it remains to be seen whether they’ll keep those gains in the long term. Star-Advertiser.

A federal measure known as the 21st Century Cures Act that could boost grant funding by millions of dollars per year for the University of Hawaii Cancer Center has won approval from Congress, and President Barack Obama is expected to quickly sign it into law. Star-Advertiser.

Starting Monday, Thomas Square will close to the public for six months. The park will be undergoing maintenance and improvements. KHON2.

New Kakaako condos debut urban community associations. Star-Advertiser.

Some students at Shafter Elementary School have been using the library and cafeteria as classrooms since last school year while three portable rooms have sat vacant on the campus for about two years, leading an area legislator and parent to question the state Department of Education about the delay. Star-Advertiser.

Some residents displaced five months ago by Tropical Storm Darby are back home in a Honolulu neighborhood. Associated Press.

Despite Oahu’s tight inventory driving median home prices up, the luxury real estate market is still strong, according to Hawaii real estate experts. Pacific Business News.

Commentary: Financial fumbling makes difficult task of paying for rail even more onerous over time. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Marathon is not just a race, but a spectacle. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Marathon is more than a race. It’s an exhibition, festival, visitor attraction and business — and it’s huge. Pacific Business News.

Lance Mizumoto resigned last week from his position as vice chairman and chief operating officer of Central Pacific Financial Corp. and its subsidiary, Central Pacific Bank, the Honolulu-based bank said in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission early Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii
The land board is waiting on the Banyan Drive Hawaii Redevelopment Agency before it decides what to do with the Pagoda property. Here is what new mayor Harry Kim says about the agency and the Banyan Drive situation. Big Island Video News.

Mayor Harry Kim says his administration will check on the status of a nonpermitted seawall built at Lalakea pond following complaints from some park users. Tribune-Herald.

A recent Puna Geothermal Ventures community meeting in Pahoa included some of the usual back and forth between industry watchdog group Puna Pono Alliance and PGV officials, but ended with a handshake and a word of thanks. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County Democrats are proposing new rules for selecting candidates to fill legislative vacancies after some controversy over the process of filling Rep. Clift Tsuji's seat. Associated Press.

The Volcano School of Arts &Sciences is developing plans for a new campus, replacing what it calls inadequate and deteriorating facilities. Tribune-Herald.

Moku Loa, Hawaii Island’s chapter of the Sierra Club, held its annual meeting Saturday evening, with more than 25 people gathering at Wailoa River State Park. Tribune-Herald.

The state Judiciary held the 2016 Self-Help Desk Recognition Awards Friday to celebrate the work of Hawaii Island attorneys who provided free legal information to more than 500 Hawaii Island residents seeking assistance during the past year at the Kona Courthouse in Kealakekua. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Free entry for everyone at Maui County parks could become a thing of the past. Last week, the county Cost of Government Commission heard a suggestion to charge park entry fees for visitors and businesses from Vice Chairwoman Annie Alvarado. Maui News.

The Maui County Salary Commission approved a 12 percent pay increase Friday for Mayor Alan Arakawa, his department directors and their deputies, although a problem with the posted meeting agenda could void the pay hike, at least temporarily. Maui News.

Hawaii's only remaining sugar mill is wrapping up its final harvest, with the last cane haul set for Monday. Hawaii News Now.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources is allowing Alexander & Baldwin to continue diverting East Maui streams, even though the company’s Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. is ending sugar cane production this year. Maui News.

New budget director cites past experience. Araki-Regan has come under fire for her connection to mayor. Maui News.

The County of Maui announced its 2016 Employee Recognition Awards following ceremonies that were held on Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi. Maui Now.

After settling fines and violations in late July 2015 for $500,000 — the largest amount ever levied by the Maui County Department of Planning — Paia businessman Michael Baskin has missed the original deadline for full payment by more than four months. Maui News.

Kauai

When councilmembers gather for the first full council meeting of the new term this week, they are expected to discuss repealing the GMO bill that was recently ruled invalid in federal court. Garden Island.

KCC group attacks illegal dumping. Garden Island.