Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Public input sought on Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument, fewer mainland homeless moving to Oahu, free school lunch program expands, state retirement fund improving, Maui mulls polystyrene foam container ban, firearm purchases rise, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument
The Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument is under review by the Department of the Interior, and the public will be able submit comments. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System achieved its best investment return in nearly three years last quarter and hit an all-time high in assets to further the state’s efforts in whittling down a $12.44 billion shortfall. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of community college students in Hawaii will be able to attend school for free in the fall under a new scholarship program appropriated funding in the two-year, $28 billion state budget lawmakers approved last week. Tribune-Herald.

This upcoming school year, the Hawaii State Department of Education will expand a U.S. Department of Agriculture free meal program, called the Community Eligibility Provision, from 30 public schools to a total of 52 across the state. KHON2.

Some Hawaii public school students who have a negative balance in their lunch accounts may receive a grace period for having insufficient funds. Garden Island.

Lawmakers drastically lower the blood quantum requirements to pass on Hawaiian Homestead leases. KITV.

Shirlene DelaCruz Ostrov, a military veteran and small business owner, is in the running to become the next chair of the Hawaii Republican Party. Civil Beat.

The number of mumps infections has risen by three as of today as the state records its highest number of cases in at least a decade. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Advocates: New fees, laws stemming tide of homeless from mainland. While service providers are still seeing fresh faces daily, the overall number of people showing up on Oahu and quickly ending up homeless is going down. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell is in discussions with a group trying to raise money for a public-private partnership that would establish and maintain a 1-acre playground at the Diamond Head end of Ala Moana Regional Park. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Inaction On Replacing Jail Is A Victory For Justice Reformers. The failure by lawmakers to agree on a plan to replace the overcrowded Oahu Community Correctional Center buys more time to study broader reforms. Civil Beat.

Dozens of Hilton janitors are expecting to receive more than $1.1 million in unpaid wages from Hawaii Care and Cleaning, a contractor for the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Civil Beat.

Dog owners on the Windward side of Oahu say they've been asking for a dog park for more than a decade. This week, Honolulu City Council will consider a resolution to finally establish the island's sixth "off-leash" dog park. KITV.

The city is asking for just under $3 million to fix up exhibits at the Honolulu Zoo some of which are deteriorating at a faster pace than expected. KHON2.

Expansion at Ko Olina fuels tourism boom and boosts businesses. Star-Advertiser.

Tesla Motors will open its third retail store on Oahu this week. Pacific Business News.

Saks Fifth Avenue said Monday that its second Hawaii Saks Off 5th store will open on Thursday at Ala Moana Center. Pacific Business News.

Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc. reduced its first-quarter loss from a year ago using proceeds from a previously reported sale of a Waikiki building in which the company owned a 5 percent stake. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

A Hawaii County councilwoman representing Puna wants local government to admit it has historically discriminated against her district, as well as the district of Ka`u, and to move in the direction of addressing the issue. Big Island Video News.

Authorities are asking for the public’s help in finding out who painted graffiti on rocks within a protected area on one of Hawaii’s most revered mountains. Associated Press.

Graffiti discovered on one of Hawaii’s most revered mountains last month was geared toward protesting the military testing at Pohakuloa Training Area, officials speculated Monday. West Hawaii Today.

Some county services in West Hawaii were impacted after overhead lines were damaged at Kawaihae Harbor. Big Island Video News.

Lava boat tour operators peppered U.S. Coast Guard officials with questions and comments during a public meeting held Monday evening in Hilo regarding the Notice of Proposed Rule Making for the Kamokuna lava ocean entry safety zone. Big Island Video News.

Big Island Country Club golf course going private. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A proposed ban on polystyrene food containers is stirring up a fierce debate on Maui. Hawaii News Now.

An environmental impact statement preparation notice has been prepared for a project to reconfigure Kaanapali Golf Course properties owned by the State of Hawaii Employees Retirement System. Maui News.

Firearms registrations take big jump over previous year. Maui News.

Kauai

Firearm sales on Kauai soar. Dealers report steady stream of customers. Garden Island.