Thursday, May 25, 2017

USS Arizona Memorial employee took gifts from tour company seeking tickets, 5-8 tropical cyclones predicted, state sues car makers on airbags, Maui rousts homeless, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy National Park Service
USS Arizona Memorial, courtesy National Park Service
A National Park Service employee at the USS Arizona Memorial accepted gifts from tour operators in violation of ethics regulations, U.S. Department of Interior investigators said Wednesday. The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to prosecute. Star-Advertiser.

Investigators: USS Arizona Memorial Employee Took Improper Gifts. Tour operators gave the worker a jacket and golf course green fees, the U.S. Department of Interior found. Civil Beat.

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The Central Pacific Hurricane Center today predicted five to eight tropical cyclones for the 2017 hurricane season. Star-Advertiser.

After two busy hurricane seasons, brace yourselves for an encore: Forecasters are expecting another above-average year for tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific. Hawaii News Now.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center released its outlook for the 2017 Central Pacific Hurricane Season, which begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. KHON2.

Climate conditions point to a near to above-normal hurricane season in the Central Pacific basin this year, forecasters announced today. Big Island Video News.

On the 25th anniversary of the season that brought devastating Hurricane Iniki to the islands, National Weather Service forecasters are warning of another possible busy hurricane season. Star-Advertiser.

A developing El Nino could result in a slightly busier than normal hurricane season this year, forecasters said today. West Hawaii Today.

For 2017, the outlook calls for a 40% chance of an above-normal season, a 40% chance of a near-normal season, and a 20% chance of a below-normal season, with 5 to 8 tropical cyclones expected to affect the Central Pacific. Maui Now.

Another cyclone season is winding up, and forecasters are predicting more storms than last year. Garden Island.

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Scientists studying sea level rise at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa need your help. Impacts of some of our highest tides of the year are predicted to be seen this week. And the general public is being summoned to document those impacts along the thousand or more miles of coastline across the island chain. Hawaii Public Radio.

More than a dozen settled claims against the state of Hawaii will be paid under legislation signed into law Tuesday by Gov. David Ige. The claims total $17.9 million, an increase of almost $7 million from a similar claims bill last year. Civil Beat.

Hawaii has filed a lawsuit against three major automobile manufacturers for selling cars with dangerous air bags. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is suing auto manufacturers Ford, Nissan and Toyota over air bags that can spew shrapnel when they deploy. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Office of Consumer Protection filed a lawsuit against automakers Toyota, Nissan and Ford for unlawful practices in connection with the marketing and sales of vehicles with Takata airbags to Hawaii consumers. Pacific Business News.

UH Regents want to ensure coaches' salaries don’t go out of bounds. Star-Advertiser.

Maui and Big Island beaches make Dr. Beach's top 10 list. Associated Press.

Oahu

Mayor Kirk Caldwell released his strategy to increase affordable housing on Oahu on Wednesday, packed with new regulations and incentives for developers. Hawaii News Now.

A City Council committee deferred a bill Wednesday that would place tighter restrictions on private sponsorships of parks and other city facilities after the Outdoor Circle raised concerns that the measure does not go far enough to prevent sign clutter and preserve Oahu’s natural beauty. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Sierra Club is pressuring state officials to require massive underground fuel storage tanks operated by the Navy be upgraded faster to protect a critical source of drinking water for Oahu residents. Star-Advertiser.

The Kailua Neighborhood Board passed a motion recently asking the city to revise its feral chicken removal program to focus on trapping roosters. Civil Beat.

The Board of Water Supply wanted feedback on the future of the Haiku Stairs -- and it got it. Nearly 700 suggestions poured in, about two-thirds of them just before Tuesday's close of the public comment period. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture on Wednesday declared little red fire ants eradicated from a Mililani Mauka neighborhood. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Green will become the first medical marijuana dispensary in Hawaii to have a “soft opening” in June, but customers won’t be able to buy products that elicit a high. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii technology startup will receive a federal grant of more than $1 million to research and develop a low-cost data acquisition system. Pacific Business News.

HDOT warns Honolulu airport travelers of limited parking during Memorial Day weekend. KHON2.

A king tide appeared to reign Wednesday along sections of Oahu’s south shore. Star-Advertiser.

Lifeguards and Hotels along Oahu's tourism hot spot are preparing for impacts from an incoming 'king tide' and south swell. Hawaii News Now.

One of the casualties of the King Tides was Hilton’s Friday night fireworks show. KITV.

A street in Mapunapuna is already flooded as businesses prepare for effects from a king tide. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Power’s future taking shape: BioEnergy Hawaii’s waste-to-energy plans clearer. West Hawaii Today.

Hu Honua Bioenergy reached a settlement in its federal antitrust lawsuit against Hawaiian Electric Light Co. and its parent companies, Hawaiian Electric Co. and Hawaiian Electric Industries, over a terminated power purchase agreement. Tribune-Herald.

An election challenge pending since 2014 will have to wait a bit longer before it’s resolved, now that a three-member panel charged with hearing it has eroded to a single member. West Hawaii Today.

The National Science Foundation is sponsoring an ecological observatory that will connect research sites throughout the United States for the next three decades, with one proposed for the Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve. Tribune-Herald.

Beach-goers and oceanfront residents should keep an eye out over the holiday weekend for tides that could rise more than foot higher than normal. Hawaii County Civil Defense spokeswoman Kanani Aton said Wednesday no county park or beach closures are planned, though that could change if warranted. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Police and park rangers cleared out the homeless encampment Tuesday at Baldwin Beach Park that they said had become one of the largest on island. Maui News.

Maui Grown Therapies is aiming to open as early as July, selling lotions, tinctures, oils, capsules and concentrates at its first dispensary in the Maui Lani Village Center, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. Maui News.

Alexander & Baldwin, the parent company of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. that shut down in December, continues to negotiate with prospective buyers of the Puunene Mill. Maui News.

Two school bus companies — one new to the island — will be transporting public school students in Maui’s largest complexes beginning next school year. Maui News.

The Maui News reporters and photographers captured five awards — three of them first-place honors — in the 32nd Hawaii Publishers Association Pa’i Awards that recognizes works of Hawaii’s newspapers and publications. Maui News.

Kauai

The United States Postal Service hasn’t yet scheduled another meeting to talk with the public about closing and relocating the Rice Street post office. Garden Island.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. recently attended the first Japan-Hawaii Economic Summit on the Big Island along with other Hawaii and Japanese leaders. Garden Island.

The Kapahi Bridge is scheduled to reopen this afternoon. Garden Island.

Prepare for ‘King Tides’. Predicted high tides for Kauai. Garden Island.