Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Reef fish population ebbs; Legislature to vote on pesticide buffer, university smoking/vaping ban, Oahu homeless, concussion education, more bills; DLNR officer convicted of rape fired; Honolulu looks at distracted pedestrians; Maui's Iao Valley slowly recovering; Kauai monk seal apparently killed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaiian net fisherman © 2017 All Hawaii News
A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says nearly a dozen Hawaiian reef fish species are being overfished. KHON2.

U.S. officials say the first-ever assessment of Hawaii’s reef fish shows that 11 of 27 species are experiencing some level of overfishing. Associated Press.

NOAA: 11 species overfished in Hawaii. Garden Island.

Link to full NOAA report here.

Pesticide bill will be put to a vote. Bill would require farms to implement buffer zones around schools, watersheds, shorelines and hospitals when spraying pesticides. Garden Island.

Hawaii School Board Member Wants Top State Education Job. Darrel Galera is seen as a favorite for the superintendent position because of his relationship with Gov. David Ige. Civil Beat.

Former public school principal Darrel Galera resigned from the state Board of Education on Monday and said he will apply for the superintendent job the board is seeking to fill. Star-Advertiser.

A 1978 amendment to the state constitution mandated that Hawaii’s public schools teach Hawaiian education. Thirty-nine years later, the state’s Department of Education still struggles to offer Hawaiian education programs to the vast majority of public school students. Civil Beat.

A bill to ban vaping and smoking on all University of Hawaii campuses statewide crossed over from the state Senate to the House. Tribune-Herald.

There's a growing call underway to scrap safety checks for Hawaii cars. Hawaii News Now.

Legislature helps fund concussion education. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiian activist Mililani Trask is suing Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Peter Apo, accusing him of violating his responsibilities stemming from alleged incidents of sexual harassment.Civil Beat.

Video blog: Interview With Former Hawaii Governor John D. Waihee III. Civil Beat.

Two rallies last week demonstrated the great divide here over the Presidency of the United States. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

A bill before the Honolulu City Council would prohibit pedestrians from using mobile electronic devices, including cellphones, while crossing a street or highway. Star-Advertiser.

The City's "Department of Planning and Permitting", is presenting the "Oahu General Plan" Tuesday night, addressing the impacts of sea level rise, and climate change. KITV.

A Waikiki group is proposing sweeping changes to parking in the state’s No. 1 tourist district, including raising the hourly rate for metered parking to $3 from $1.50, extending the metered parking hours to 10 p.m. instead of 6 p.m., converting about 300 free parking spaces to metered and issuing reduced-rate permits to Waikiki residents. Star-Advertiser.

State ends lease with Moiliili tow company, eyes rentals for Native Hawaiians.KHON2.

On Friday, the House passed 137 bills, including two measures relating to supporting Oahu’s homeless population. Pacific Business News.

The median sales price for a single-family house on Oahu climbed in February to the second-highest level ever at $755,000, according to data released Monday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu company that makes Hula Brand noodles, shrimp flakes and other dry edibles has violated food safety standards with unsanitary equipment and insect droppings at its plant, the Food and Drug Administration says. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Two close associates of Mayor Harry Kim have joined the administration as contract hires after turning down full-time jobs. West Hawaii Today.

Mokulele Air and Makani Kai Air are two contenders for a new Essential Air Service contract that will cover all commercial flights in and out of Waimea-Kohala Airport beginning later this year. West Hawaii Today.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources announced in a tersely worded written statement Monday it has terminated the employment of Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement Officer Ethan Ferguson. Tribune-Herald.

Big on ideas, but short on funding, the staff at a small Hilo-based aerospace agency are hoping a bill moving through the state Legislature will make the difference. Tribune-Herald.

The contested case hearing for the Thirty Meter Telescope project at Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island concluded on Thursday after 44 days of witness testimony, but a decision on whether TMT officials can proceed with the $1.4 billion project could still be months away. Pacific Business News.

Home prices on Hawaii’s Big Island rose by double digits last month, even as the number of single-family homes sold fell, according to statistics provided by Hawaii Information Service on behalf of Hawaii Island Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Maui

Flood-ravaged Iao Valley is slowly coming back to life six months after powerful stormwater forced evacuations, swept cars and massive boulders downstream and shut down the two parks that help make this spectacular canyon one of Maui’s most popular visitor destinations. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources allowed media access into Iao Valley park March 6 to provide an update on the current restoration process.  Maui Now.

Hazardous conditions following a major flood in September haven’t deterred tourists from trying to visit Kepaniwai Park and Iao Valley State Monument. Maui News.

Kauai

State authorities are investigating what they’ve described as the suspicious death of a 15-year-old endangered monk seal on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

A 15-year-old endangered Hawaiian monk seal known to many Kauai locals was found dead on a beach near Eleele on Feb. 23. Civil Beat.

An oft-spotted, 15-year-old endangered Hawaiian monk seal, known as R4DP, was found dead on a beach near Eleele on Feb. 23. Garden Island.

The Honolulu-based company in the process of redeveloping the iconic Coco Palms Resort on the island of Kauai is also building an affordable housing project as a component of the Coco Palms project, a company executive confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Kauai’s real estate market sizzled last month as the median price for single-family houses soared above $700,000 and the median cost for condos rose nearly 50 percent. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Foodbank has promoted a new branch manager to take care of its Kauai location. Garden Island.