Thursday, December 8, 2016

Federal Transit Administration extends Honolulu rail finance deadline, Big Island Democrats mull transparency rule changes, workers comp revamp sought, Kauai electric rates fall, Maui leaders join administration, Abe not the first to visit Pearl Harbor,more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Red ohia blooms front Maua Kea this week, Facebook photo
The snowfall is returning to the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on the Big Island.Hawaii News Now.

Shipping ʻōhiʻa plants and plant parts from Hawaii Island is now illegal on a permanent basis, thanks to new administrative rules drawn up to prevent Rapid ‘Ōhi’a Death from spreading across the state. Big Island Video News.

Shipping ohia from the Big Island is now forever banned. Civil Beat.

Delays, Denials Plague Hawaii’s Program To Help Injured Workers. The state is trying to streamline its workers’ compensation system, but critics say wholesale changes are needed. Civil Beat.

Tuna Commission’s ‘Glacial’ Pace Suits Some In Industry Just Fine. Diverse interests always seem to stymie a global organization charged with saving bluefin and bigeye tuna from overfishing. Civil Beat.

A report has been delivered to the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources from a group of experts and organizations with interest in establishing non-commercial fishing licenses in Hawaii. Garden Island.

Not the first: Abe predecessor visited Pearl Harbor in 1951. Associated Press.

The faithful turned out in droves Wednesday to remember Pearl Harbor and the men who valiantly tried to defend it on Dec. 7, 1941, three-quarters of a century ago. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii remembers 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack: Slideshow Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The rail system’s federal partners have again extended the deadline for the city’s crucial rail “recovery” plan, giving local leaders four more months to deal with daunting budget problems but not as much time as they’d hoped. Star-Advertiser.

The Federal Transit Administration has given Honolulu’s troubled rail project until the end of April to submit a plan for how it plans to bridge a shortfall likely to approach $2 billion. Civil Beat.

The Federal Transit Administration has extended the deadline for the Honolulu rail project’s recovery plan, but did not give the agency overseeing construction of the multibillion-dollar project as much time as it requested. Pacific Business News.

In a letter sent to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, the Federal Transit Administration said it’s giving the city a four-month extension to secure more funding for the cash-strapped Honolulu rail project. Hawaii News Now.

The seven-member Honolulu Police Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to make hotel executive Max Sword the chairman of the closely watched panel effective Jan. 1. Star-Advertiser.

A state board is taking more time before deciding whether to approve another condominium high-rise at Ward Village after receiving lots of public testimony for and against the project. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

New rules are being proposed by Hawaii County Democratic Party officials to select candidates to fill legislative vacancies, after a text message between district officers showed the outcome prior to Saturday’s vote of candidates for the House seat vacated by the death of Rep. Clift Tsuji. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Harry Kim has one more major hire to make as he fills out his administration. Ed Teixeira, who started as interim Civil Defense administrator last May, retired Monday, leaving the administrative position vacant for the time being. Tribune-Herald.

It took about a year of arguing with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, but we finally got our hands on Ethan Ferguson’s job application. Ferguson is the DLNR officer accused of sexually assaulting a teenager on the Big Island.  Civil Beat.

Food safety rule amendments that will require every restaurant to have at least one certified food handler per shift, among other changes, will be the subject of a public hearing from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. today at the West Hawaii Civic Center. West Hawaii Today.

The leasehold Pagoda Hilo Bay Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii, known for years as Uncle Billy's Hilo Bay Hotel, could be demolished and be redeveloped into a Hilton Garden Inn under a plan by the owner of the nearby DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Naniloa Hotel, Pacific Business News has learned.

Maui

Familiar faces in Maui County government, including two outgoing council members, are joining Mayor Alan Arakawa’s administration as vacancies open up in some key positions. Maui News.

A dispute over water rights that dominated the last legislative session is expected to continue Friday at a Board of Land and Natural Resources hearing. Civil Beat.

Kauai

The Public Works/Parks and Recreation Committee unanimously approved a bill Wednesday that would allow the sale of alcohol at Wailua Golf Course. Garden Island.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative's rates for its members have fallen by 18 percent since 2008, the Lihue-based cooperative said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Hanalei Watershed Hui is accepting applications from Hanalei residential property owners interested in a funding subsidy to replace aging cesspools with updated waste water systems. Garden Island.

The last of the 20 Hawaiian Petrels brought into the 7.8-acre Nihoku colony this fall fledged, flying safely out to sea Wednesday on Kauai. Garden Island.

The first real estate component of the 450-acre Hokuala Resort master-planned oceanfront community on the site of the former Kauai Lagoons project in Lihue is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2017. Pacific Business News.