Friday, May 26, 2017

Tourism up, 2 Hawaii beaches make top 10, schools no longer graded, OHA secrecy irks beneficiaries, farm exchange program worries lawmaker, Oahu app replaces Nixle, low-income Maui renters face eviction, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Tourists visit rocky black sand beach © 2017 All Hawaii News
A surge in travelers from the U.S. mainland, Canada and Japan fueled a 7.5 percent increase in visitors to Hawaii last month compared to the same month last year. Associated Press.

Visitor arrivals and spending in the islands increased for the 11th straight month in April, keeping Hawaii on track to reach its sixth consecutive year of record tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s four core visitor markets led to strong tourism gains in April, offsetting declines from all other international markets, according to preliminary statistics from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

Maui, Big Island beaches make annual Dr. Beach top-10 list. Kapalua Bay Beach on Maui came in at No. 2 on the list, while Hapuna Beach State Park on Hawaii island came in at No. 8. Associated Press.

President Donald Trump’s revised executive order on immigration “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination,” a federal appeals court said Thursday in ruling against the travel ban targeting six Muslim-majority countries. Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin is spearheading the state’s effort to block President Donald Trump’s new executive order. Associated Press.

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin said Thursday that not even President Donald Trump is above the Constitution following a Virginia federal appeals court decision against the administration's revised travel ban. Pacific Business News.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that President Trump's controversial travel ban should be kept on hold, maintaining a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocks key elements of the executive order from being enforced. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a nationwide injunction against President Donald Trump’s Revised Executive Order, dated March 6, 2017, banning travel from six Muslim-majority nations. Maui Now.

Hawaii public schools starting this fall will no longer be ranked against each other on how well their students perform on standardized tests and other academic benchmarks. Star-Advertiser.

As it deals with infighting in the boardroom and a criminal investigation into its contract awards, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is facing new questions over the secrecy of some of its investments. Hawaii News Now.

A farm-exchange program which provides housing in exchange for work on organic agricultural operations is the source of growing concern from some state lawmakers. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Honolulu is bracing for some of its highest tides in more than a century in a rare event scientists describe as a test-run for a future of rising sea levels. Star-Advertiser.

City crews have brought in sandbags in anticipation of high surf conditions at Oahu beach parks, where water levels are expected to rise tonight and peak Friday — bolstered by astronomical “king tides.” Star-Advertiser.

King Tides Are Providing A Glimpse Of Hawaii’s Future. Volunteers help to document what happens when some of the year’s highest tides combine with a south swell and ongoing sea level rise. Civil Beat.

Parts of the state's most famous beach all but disappeared Thursday, as a "king tide" coupled with a south swell pushed up surf along Waikiki's shoreline to well beyond the normal high water mark. Hawaii News Now.

The Department of Transportation announced Thursday that it will add a new freeway lane on Moanalua Freeway from Red Hill to the Aiea Heights drive overpass, making more use of the current space by re-striping the area and preserving the amount of road space. KITV.

Beginning in early June, the Hawaii Department of Transportation will be working on the H-201 Moanalua Freeway westbound from the Halawa Interchange to the Aiea pedestrian overpass on the H-1 Freeway. KHON2.

A new emergency messaging app is replacing Nixle. The city announced the HNL Info app at a news conference Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

City says goodbye to NIXLE alerts and came up with their new mobile app. KITV.

A government crackdown on Oahu basil farms and their pesticide use practices has led to a settlement with a Waianae farm that has agreed to pay a $26,700 penalty. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Stadium officials said they are re-examining security plans in the wake of the Manchester concert bombing and other terrorist attacks. Star-Advertiser.

A former Honolulu nightclub is being fined for numerous violations that came to light after a violent clash between bouncers and customers last year. Hawaii News Now.

Three more cases of mumps have been confirmed on Oahu, the state Department of Health announced Thursday. Civil Beat.

The World, a luxury residential cruise ship, has docked at Aloha Tower during its year-long voyage that included stops at the four major islands. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

As the budget process winds down, Mayor Harry Kim is spending considerable time and effort meeting with various groups across the island to discuss the finer points of his office’s proposed $491.2 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. West Hawaii Today.

The county has hired a consultant and selected properties for two new wastewater treatment plants as it works toward complying with a federal consent order requiring the closure of gang cesspools in Ka‘u. West Hawaii Today.

Waikapuna eyed for conservation. Tribune-Herald.

State raising awareness of hala scale. West Hawaii Today.

Part two of a series on the homeless population in North Hawaii, with possible solutions from local nonprofits, churches and community groups for how to tackle the problem. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island leads spending, arrivals gains for Hawaii tourism in April. Pacific Business News.

Maui

Hundreds Of Low-Income Maui Residents May Face Eviction. Their taxpayer-subsidized apartment building was supposed to be affordable for 50 years. But a loophole could end that arrangement far sooner. Civil Beat.

A procedural change in the way the county Department of Liquor Control processes permits to sell alcohol for one-day events is jeopardizing Maui nonprofit organizations’ fundraising efforts, according to a petition circulated via email this week by the Maui Non-Profit Directors Association. Maui News.

The transportation department has accrued some unusual help to manage weeds next to Maui roadways, goats. KHON2.

Maui County Parks are going organic. A pilot project to create pesticide-free county parks is underway on the Valley Isle. Hawaii Public Radio.

In addition to more parking, residents want food trucks, a plaza and a children’s museum in Wailuku town, according to an online survey that concluded earlier this month. Maui News.

With reports of the ocean washing over Honoapiilani Highway in Ukumehame on Wednesday and Thursday, the National Weather Service is warning of possible coastal flooding in Maui County due to record-level spring “king tides.” Maui News.

Kauai

The General Plan will keep land in Princeville zoned as resort. On Tuesday, the Planning Commission voted against the plan’s attempt to take away the resort designation, which it currently has. Garden Island.

Eleven people were arrested in the past two days for illegally camping in Kalalau Valley, according to the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources on Thursday. Garden Island.

Coco Palms takes spotlight at LBA meeting. Man tells legislators they have no authority over property. Garden Island.

State Reps. James Tokioka, Dee Morikawa and Nadine Nakamura, and Senate President Ron Kouchi offered a look at the highlights of the legislative session that wrapped up earlier this month. Garden Island.

‘King tides’ could be norm. Rising water offers chance for citizen science. Garden Island.