Monday, April 3, 2017

Legislature looks to ban insecticide chlorpyrifos, Oahu and Maui top destinations for gay travelers, home care inspections fail, Honolulu airport renovations hit snag, Molokai may be first island to go off grid, feral pig disposal at issue in Hilo, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hilo farmers market © 2017 All Hawaii News
Hawaii lawmakers who oversee committees on agriculture and the environment indicated a new resolve last week to ban the commonly used insecticide chlorpyrifos that could be harming the brains of fetuses and young children, as well as farm workers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii produces less than 15 percent of the food it consumes, and some lawmakers want to help change that by studying the feasibility of “vertical farming.” Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers this week will take up clean transportation, disruptive public-records requests and involuntary psychiatric treatment. All bills have to be passed out of their final committees by Friday. Associated Press.

‘Terrible’ Report On Care Home Inspections Is Finally In. Hawaii lawmakers delayed doing unannounced inspections to get reports on the health department workload. Civil Beat.

Legislation aims to repeal interisland electric cable act. Tribune-Herald.

HB 606 gives the counties in Hawaii the authority to enter private property for the purpose of eradicating and/or controlling invasive species or pests. Garden Island.

Beckie Stocchetti has been named executive director of the Hawaii International Film Festival. She will succeed Robert Lambeth effective Aug. 1. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines’ top executives received pay increases in 2016, according to an annual proxy statement filed Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Mark Dunkerley, the airline’s chief executive officer, received a total compensation of $3.7 million last year, a 13.9 percent jump from the $3.3 million he received in 2015. Pacific Business News.

Commentary: State governor’s practice of low expectations mires us from moving forward. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Another major piece of the long-delayed Honolulu Airport modernization program is stuck on a snag, this time involving a pair of smaller airlines that need to move but as yet have no place to go. Star-Advertiser.

A Civil Beat analysis of police disciplinary records from 2014 to 2016 found at least 16 HPD officers who were terminated by police officials but are still going through the process to have that decision reversed. Dozens of officers who are fired or suspended succeed in having the punishment overturned as part of a union-backed grievance process. Civil Beat.

It’s been open only six months, but the Honolulu prosecutor’s safe house for female victims of domestic violence, sex assault and human trafficking already is a flashpoint for criticism locally and nationally. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell again made between $200,000 and $299,999 in 2016 from his side work as a Territorial Savings Bank director, he reported in his annual financial disclosure. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell appointed former Bank of Hawaii executive Peter Biggs as deputy director of the city Department of Budget and Fiscal Services on Thursday. Biggs starts today and replaces Gary Kurokawa, who was tapped to serve as Caldwell’s chief of staff. Star-Advertiser.

A 42-year-old woman who was shot by an off-duty Honolulu police officer in a King Street bar two years ago says in a federal lawsuit that the officer’s supervisors knew the officer had drinking and emotional problems but failed to take steps to prevent him from carrying a firearm. Star-Advertiser.

It was move-in day Tuesday for five chronically homeless people who are part of a massive, all-hands-on-deck effort by the state, city and social service agencies to get 30 homeless people off the street and into Chinatown apartments by June. Star-Advertiser.

Parts of Kailua Beach Park will be closed starting Monday as City and County of Honolulu crews work to remove sand to reduce the risk of flooding. Hawaii News Now.

A California-based English-Japanese bilingual preschool is expanding to Hawaii with its first location planned for Honolulu, the architect working on the project confirmed to Pacific Business News.

A veteran Hawaii architect is seeking to build a 300-foot residential tower in Kakaako and expects it will be subject to the current affordable-housing rules, although those rules could soon change. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers advanced a bill Thursday that could help improve conditions at Sunset Memorial Park in Pearl City after concerns were raised that the cemetery has been neglected and is in disrepair. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii

West Hawaii Republicans came together Saturday in Waikoloa, re-electing Chairman Dave Ross and setting forth plans for strengthening the party. West Hawaii Today.

As Mayor Harry Kim announced late Friday he’s reopened negotiations on a multimillion-dollar composting contract he’d canceled, County Council Chairwoman Valerie Poindexter said she’d still like a council resolution to go forward giving the council authority to hire an outside attorney to look over the contract and make recommendations. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island residents are preparing to meet with Gov. David Ige to address ongoing pollution concerns about a large dairy farm. Hawaii News Now.

Legislators gathered Thursday evening in Kona at a Community Enterprises forum to engage with more than 100 residents on issues that matter to West Hawaii communities. How to pay teachers more money to help them absorb Hawaii’s substantial cost of living was discussed at length. West Hawaii Today.

Now that a grant-funded county program to combat little fire ants has wrapped, Hawaii County invasive species specialists and legislative representatives once again are hoping to secure state funding to address the issue. Tribune-Herald.

Disability advocates are considering a lawsuit against Hilo Medical Center after an Americans with Disabilities Act complaint failed to get the U.S. Department of Justice involved. Tribune-Herald.

Restricting access to popular manta ray viewing sites will radically affect business, many local tour operators said Saturday. West Hawaii Today.

Kaumana residents are worried that feral pig carcasses being dumped near a stream at Akolea Road are contaminating the water — though the state says the problem is being addressed and the public’s health is not at risk. Tribune-Herald.

Keanalele, located in Kiholo State Park Reserve, and commonly referred to as “Queen’s Bath,” gives visitors the rare opportunity to dip into and swim in a lava tube. At least it would, but a sign at the park warns visitors with a $1,000 fine for anyone who enters any cave or lava tube. West Hawaii Today.

There are no clear-cut solutions when it comes to topics of legalizing, decriminalizing or regulating prostitution, but one theme sounded louder than others during a Saturday panel discussion hosted by the Zonta Club of Hilo: Empathy matters. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui is the second-most visited island for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travelers from the United States, but it is top amongst Canadians and third among Australians, according to a study released by the Hawai’i Tourism Authority in March. Maui News.

Saying a law applies to pedestrians as well as drivers, a state appeals court vacated a Wailuku District Court order that had dismissed a charge against a weekly tabloid publisher who was detained when he used his cellphone to videotape a police traffic enforcement operation five years ago. Maui News.

A general map showing possible uses of now fallow sugar fields — including areas for possible biodiesel-producing tree orchards, coffee and cacao crops and livestock-irrigated pastures — was projected on a screen as the former general manager of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. gave a presentation at the Maui Energy Conference last week. Maui News.

Maui County’s Ho’aloha Park is home to hundreds of Hawaiian and Na Kai ‘Ewalu canoe club paddlers, but in recent months it’s been a hot spot for trouble with homeless people and vagrants. Maui News.

A rare sighting of a Whale Shark was observed near Molokini Crater Saturday. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Air Force has agreed to reduce exterior lighting at a mountaintop radar facility on Kauai to better protect endangered and threatened seabirds. Star-Advertiser.

State and federal officials have moved a Hawaiian monk seal on Kauai due to concerns for the animal's safety. Associated Press.

A 10-month-old female Hawaiian monk seal was moved Friday from the Lihi canal in Kapaa to a beach on Kauai’s Westside. Garden Island.

Molokai

Thanks to a new battery storage system, Molokai may be the first Hawaiian island to go entirely off the grid. Hawaii Public Radio.