Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Endangered monk seal population recovering, Zuckerberg reconsiders neighbor stance, OHA airs gripes at public meeting, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

via Wiki Commons
Monk seal at Five Fathom Pinnacle, Hawaii, courtesy Kent Backman
Scientists and government officials delivered some rare good news Tuesday about one of the world’s most endangered animals, the Hawaiian monk seal. Civil Beat.

The population of Hawaiian monk seals — one of the world’s most critically endangered marine mammals — has been increasing 3 percent a year for the past three years, federal wildlife officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii residents who have been waiting 16 years for a legal place to buy medical marijuana will have to wait at least several more months. But as of next week, their medicine can start growing. Civil Beat.

The chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on Tuesday addressed dozens of allegations of human resource violations filed against her by OHA employees. Civil Beat.

The Department of Education is installing cameras on buses to keep track of students even when they’re out of the classroom. KHON2.

Lawmaker wants DOE to standardize concussion evaluation. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Board of Water Supply crews this morning have repaired the 24-inch water main that broke on Kalanianaole Highway early Saturday. Officials expect all eastbound lanes to be open by noon Wednesday, the agency said. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu's acting police chief is opposed to using $250,000 in police department funds for a severance payment to outgoing Police Chief Louis Kealoha, according to a letter obtained by Hawaii News Now.

Retiring Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha’s $250,000 severance payment isn’t sitting well with his acting successor. Civil Beat.

House Bill 148, introduced by Rep. Gregg Takayama, D, Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palisades, would allow single-occupant vehicles to use the Zipper Lane for a $1 fee. KHON2.

A state lawmaker plans to introduce a bill on Wednesday to take the next step in redeveloping the Aloha Stadium area. Hawaii News Now.

IHOP is expanding a new restaurant concept called "IHOP Fresh & Go" in Hawaii, which will become the first of its kind in the United States, the franchiseee for IHOP in the state confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

The Hawaii County Council moved no closer to passing new limits on buying alcohol with public funds after a second round of discussion Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

George Yokoyama, community organizer, grant writer and fundraiser, political kingmaker — and Living Treasure of Hawaii — died Sunday at Hospice of Hilo Pohai Malama Care Center following a brief illness. He was 90. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Oceanic Technology Inc., a Honolulu-based open ocean fish farming technology company, has shut down after nearly a decade in business, Pacific Business News has learned.

Maui

In his State of the State address Monday, Gov. David Ige touted the state’s efforts to combat homelessness, saying that more beds for homeless people are being created through a new contract process — a statement contradicted by Maui shelter officials last week. Maui News.

Haleakala National Park visitors are being reminded that the National Park Service’s new reservation system for sunrise viewing will begin Feb. 1. Maui News.

Kamehameha Schools buys Wailuku building. Maui News.

Kamehameha Schools has acquired the former office building of the Wailuku Federal Credit Union on Maui that will be turned into the Maui regional office and community resource center for the state’s largest private landowner, the $11 billion educational-focused trust said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Kauai

Mark Zuckerberg announced today through a spokesman that he is “reconsidering” his quiet title lawsuits filed recently against hundreds of owners or potential owners of land on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he is reconsidering his actions involving quiet title cases on Kauai after filing several lawsuits against kuleana land owners. Maui Now.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to be a good neighbor, but Naoshi Grady didn’t feel any aloha when he says he was harassed and intimidated while using a coastal trail that passes through the billionaire’s 700-acre property on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.