Thursday, March 2, 2017

State issues alert for bee disease, Mayors Caldwell, Kim release budgets, Kona harbor employee fined for ethics violation, Honolulu police embroiled in abuse investigations, residents to police fireworks violations, media access to disasters, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii Department of Agriculture
American foulbrood disease, courtesy Hawaii Department of Agriculture
State agricultural officials are warning Hawaii’s beekeepers to keep an eye out for the re-emergence of a destructive bee disease that once wiped out much of the islands’ honeybee population. Star-Advertiser.

Detection of the destructive and difficult-to-eradicate American foulbrood disease in a Kula beehive recently led the state Department of Agriculture to issue an alert Wednesday. Maui News.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture sent notice to beekeepers across the state Wednesday of a new case of American foulbrood, a bee disease that decimated much of Hawaii’s honeybee population in the 1930s. West Hawaii Today.

A beekeeper recently detected a destructive bee disease, American foulbrood or AFB in a bee hive in Kula, Maui, agricultural officials have confirmed. Several hives on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island were also affected by AFB in February and October, 2016 respectively. Maui Now.

News release on bee disease by state Department of Agriculture is here.

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State Sen. Josh Green introduced more than 10 bills this session relating to homelessness. As of Tuesday, two were headed for a vote on the Senate floor. But neither are quite as ambitious as when they started. Tribune-Herald.

How News Media May Get More Access To Disaster Scenes. After a virtual news blackout as lava flows threatened a town, lawmakers rethink limits on coverage. Civil Beat.

A proposed Hawaii bill aims to speed up the state’s progress toward its ambitious 100 percent renewable energy goal by creating training courses for state and county employees responsible for approving energy projects. Pacific Business News.

Bill would let residents report illegal fireworks with cell phone footage. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers aim to defuse illegal fireworks market. KITV.

A Hawaii bill that sought to change the way commercial fishing licenses are granted died after industry representatives told lawmakers it would wreck the business. Associated Press.

Is Hawaii Ready For Driverless Cars? Waikiki tourists, highway traffic jams, pedestrian problems and unique environmental conditions could pose issues for the new technology. Civil Beat.

For the third month in a row, statewide bankruptcy filings increased from the year-earlier period as the number of cases in February rose 13 percent, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

First-time homebuyers in Hawaii and Florida have among the most obstacles in the nation when it comes to bagging a property, according to a study by Bankrate.com. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Medical Service Association reported a $28.5 million profit in 2016, up from $4 million the previous year. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, on the other hand, said its loss grew to $22.8 million — from $17.4 million — due to caring for seniors and low-income patients, and paying for technology, facilities and member services. Star-Advertiser.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii on Wednesday reported a net loss of $12.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, a 95.3 percent increase in losses compared to previous fourth quarter net loss of $6.5 million. Pacific Business News.

Commentary: Hawaii Moves Too Slow On Asset Forfeiture Reform. Some states are insisting that people must be convicted of a crime before they lose their property. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The $2.45 billion operating budget Mayor Kirk Caldwell plans to unveil today proposes a new trash pickup fee and increases to bus fares and Residential A property taxes for next fiscal year that officials say are needed to fund hikes in nondiscretionary spending — including debt service, employee retirement and collective bargaining. Star-Advertiser.

As they unveil this year’s budget plan, officials in the mayor’s office largely aim to convince state lawmakers that the city cannot cover the added costs to complete the island’s cash-strapped rail project. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Planning Commission gave its approval Wednesday for the city to continue using Oahu’s only landfill until it’s filled to capacity, regardless of when that might be. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Police Department admitted Wednesday it botched the case of a toddler who almost died from apparent abuse at an Ewa Beach day care, but said it was highly unlikely that anyone will ever be brought to justice for the crime. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Police Department plans to do more investigating on three old cases that resulted in serious injury to a child after determining more could have been done during the initial investigations, officials said today. Star-Advertiser.

The mother of a toddler who nearly died is pleading with the Honolulu Police Department for a more thorough investigation into her son’s injuries. KHON2.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority is going ahead with plans for a solar facility to be built in Kalaeloa, which may disrupt nearby Hawaiian cultural sites. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu HomeLoans and Downtown Capital are among local real estate companies in opposition of restrictions for condominiums built in Kakaako proposed by the Hawaii Community Development Authority. Pacific Business News.

A master plan that would guide a monumental resculpting of the state’s biggest park in urban Honolulu and add new uses including sand volleyball courts, an oceanfront amphitheater and a beer garden failed to win support of a state board Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Nothing to negotiate in Aloha Stadium, UH deal. Star-Advertiser.

Starbucks has opened one of only 20 of its Reserve experience bars across the country in Waikiki. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Mayor Harry Kim unveiled a proposed budget Wednesday that ratchets up county spending by $11 million, a scant 2.4 percent, but leaves open the possibility that expenditures could yet increase based on decisions outside his control. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Harry Kim Issues Message On $474 Million Budget. Big Island Video News.

A Hawaii island harbor agent is being fined $1,000 and ordered to repay a parasailing company $238.45 after he arranged free trips from the company, while appearing to offer the company unspecified favors. Star-Advertiser.

Two California shoppers are suing the distributors of Kona Brewing Company saying they were deceived into thinking the beer was made in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Housing units sitting idle in Pahoa for years will be auctioned off instead of renovated. Tribune-Herald.

Advisory signs at Kamakahonu Beach at Kailua Bay came down Friday after tests for pathogen indicators fell below Clean Water Branch thresholds. West Hawaii Today.

A cruise ship scheduled to make a call in Kailua-Kona Wednesday was unable to do so as a result of high, unusual winds associated with a weather system to the west. West Hawaii Today.

The summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa were closed Wednesday after they received a fresh blanket of snow that resulted in whiteout conditions. Tribune-Herald.

It's been a dramatic new year so far for one of Hawai'i Island's most spectacular sights. The Kīlauea Volcano has been continuously erupting for 34 years—but there have been some changes since January. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui

Cooperation among West Maui landowners is key to reducing sediment runoff to reefs, whose coral coverage is down significantly in the region’s northern waters, according to a recent University of Hawaii study. Maui News.

Starting March 1, until funding is exhausted, residents will be able to dispose of one vehicle per year at no processing charge. Maui Now.

Maui County residents will be able to dispose of one vehicle per year for free under a new county abandoned vehicle program. Maui News.

The cost of shutting down Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.’s operations last year was $20 million lower than expected and the company’s sugar operations performed “better than expected” for its last harvest, said the chief executive officer of parent company Alexander & Baldwin on Tuesday. Maui News.

Ohana by Hawaiian Airlines has resumed its service to Kapalua Airport in West Maui, exactly 30 years after the airport opened. Pacific Business News.

After a 24-year hiatus, Hawaiian Airlines made its return to Kapalua Airport on Wednesday. Maui News.

Kauai

Hawaii Dairy Farms may be back to square one with its environmental impact statement, a process that started with the release of its draft EIS in June. Garden Island.

A brown water advisory was issued by the state’s Department of Health, Clean Water Branch Wednesday due to the heavy rains that was accompanied by lightning and thunder Tuesday night. Garden Island.