Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Obama and Abe to visit Pearl Harbor today, $112M for renewable energy, Honolulu to tax part-time homeowners higher, Kim institutes hiring freeze, 12% raises for Maui officials, lawmaker publishes Hawaii Kai homeless map, new civil defense chief, Kenoi's legacy, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe places a wreath at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 26, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/JAPAN POOL VIA JIJI PRESS /STR)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid wreaths at various cemeteries and memorials Monday ahead of a visit to the site of the 1941 bombing that plunged the United States into World War II. Associated Press.

Putting 75 years of resentment behind them, the leaders of the United States and Japan are coming together at Pearl Harbor for a historic pilgrimage to the site where a devastating surprise attack sent America marching into World War II. Associated Press.

In a solemn, silent tribute, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presented a white chrysanthemum wreath at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific on Monday, bowing his head slightly as a gentle rain fell. Star-Advertiser.

In a gesture that highlights the strength of U.S-Japan relations and how far the two nations have come since World War II, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will join President Obama at the USS Arizona Memorial on Tuesday to mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hawaii News Now.

The historic visit to Honolulu of Japan’s top leader began Monday morning at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Civil Beat.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo paid tribute to fallen warriors at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl shortly after arriving in Honolulu Monday. KITV.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michele Obama thanked hundreds of service members and their families on Christmas Day in his final holiday visit as commander-in-chief to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Commentary: We in Hawaii know Obama’s historic presidency was all the richer because of his Hawaii roots. Star-Advertiser.

Legislation introduced a year ago by two Hawaii lawmakers is now law. “Talia’s Law,” as it is called, seeks to at better protect children from abuse on military bases. Civil Beat.

More than half a million Hawaii residents in commercial health plans will see an average 6.2 percent rate hike Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaiian Electric companies that power Oahu, Maui County and the Big Island have submitted a plan to state energy regulators that lays out how they will achieve 100 percent of their electricity generation from renewable sources by 2040 — five years sooner than the state-mandated goal. Civil Beat.

Eight organizations have banded together on a mission to create more electric options in ground transportation in Hawaii, including the state’s Department of Transportation and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. Garden Island.

The state paid out $112 million in tax credits for renewable energy investment in 2014, the largest state tax credit for the year. Star-Advertiser.

As Hawaii residents eye the fresh ahi sashimi platters traditionally found on holiday dinner tables, major negotiations loom next year over how much tuna commercial fishermen should be allowed to catch. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii researchers say severe birth defects related to the Zika virus occurred in the islands several years before this year’s outbreaks in Brazil and Puerto Rico. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

A Honolulu ordinance that taxes homeowners at higher rates for million-dollar homes that they don’t live in full time will remain in effect after a state judge Friday reversed his October decision that found that the tax classification was unconstitutional. Star-Advertiser.

A state legislator has published a map of suspected homeless people in his district in an effort to raise public awareness of the problem, but some attorneys say the effort could be unconstitutional.Star-Advertiser.

City Councilman Joey Manahan has met with officials at the Honolulu Country Club in an effort to address concerns by Salt Lake residents about foul odors emanating from the waters around the club. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Fire Department said it has been fined $15,400 and told to control workplace hazards as a result of an investigation into the accidental death of firefighter Clifford Rigsbee during a training exercise. Star-Advertiser.

A Waipahu homeless shelter is preparing to close its doors for good. Shelter officials at Lighthouse Outreach Center say new regulations adopted by the state are to blame. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii

Mayor Harry Kim has instituted a hiring freeze while county departments revamp their procedures for selecting job candidates. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Harry Kim tapped a former chief ranger at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to be Hawaii County’s next Civil Defense administrator. Tribune-Herald.

Two Former Big Island Mayors Weigh In on Billy Kenoi's Political Future. Hawaii Public Radio.

A room set aside for welcoming cruise ship passengers at Hilo Harbor will be turned into a security office, frustrating greeters who have waited four years to return to the space. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island tourism numbers are approaching a record high thanks to an ongoing shift in arrivals from cruise ships to airlines. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii House Majority Leader Scott Saiki is calling on the state Supreme Court to speed up the contested-case hearings for the permit to build a giant telescope atop Mauna Kea. Associated Press.

Honokaa anxiously awaits gym's re-opening -- a year from now. Hawaii News Now.

Peaman cited: Race goes on but organizer says he has court date in February. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The 12 percent pay raise approved earlier this month for Mayor Alan Arakawa and his department appointees stands after the Maui County Salary Commission took no new action Friday, despite calling a special meeting after questions arose about the nondescriptive agenda item posted for its last meeting. Maui News.

The proposed new Maui County Service Center in Alexander & Baldwin’s Maui Business Park II in Puunene/Kahului has an estimated price tag of $27 million and would include a number of new occupants. Maui News.

The Dorvin and Betty Leis Charitable Trust announced it is donating a total of $1.25 million to 17 nonprofits on Maui. Pacific Business News.

Leis family is the model for philanthropic giving. Maui News.

The Kihei Community Association has provided about a quarter of the cost for a follow-up study to look into the water quality off South Maui in the context of human health. Maui News.

Kauai

Fire Chief Robert Westerman talks growth, future needs. Garden Island.

There’s another set of hands working in Katherine Muzik’s underwater coral garden named Mala Moana, or “Ocean Garden,” in Hawaiian. Garden Island.