Friday, June 30, 2017

Hawaii renews challenge to travel ban, Matson workers poised to strike, well failures force Kona water restrictions, $88.3M budget for tourism agency, endangered monk sea births pup on Waikiki beach, Mauna Kea park plan panned, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Waikiki with Diamond Head © 2017 All Hawaii News
Visitor arrivals and spending rose again, making May the third straight month that Hawaii’s four largest visitor markets reported year-over-year increases in both performance categories. Star-Advertiser.

Visitor spending across the Hawaiian Islands increased by 8.7 percent to $1.3 billion last month, compared to May 2016, according to preliminary statistics from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority approved an $88.3 million annual budget Thursday after meeting for more than two hours behind closed doors. Star-Advertiser.

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Hawaii Challenges Trump Administration Again As Travel Ban Takes Effect. Attorney General Doug Chin says the president’s definition of a “close relationship” that would get around the ban is too narrow. Civil Beat.

Hawaii challenges family rules on travel ban. Associated Press.

The state is challenging the Trump administration's definition of the "close U.S. relationship" needed to avoid a travel ban for refugees and those coming from six majority Muslim nations. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin says he's concerned the Trump administration may be violating the U.S. Supreme Court's travel ban ruling. Associated Press.

The Migration Policy Institute estimates there are about 21,000 undocumented immigrants living in Hawaii. The PEW Research Center says this number could be as high as 45,000. Hawaii Public Radio.

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Matson Inc. sailors and firefighters could walk off the job tonight if no deal is reached on a new contract. Star-Advertiser.

A new Hawaii law requires notifying law enforcement when someone prohibited from owning a firearm tries to get a gun permit. Gov. David Ige signed the bill Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Why The Fishing Industry Wants More Say On Papahanaumokuakea. As federal officials sift through public comments on national monuments, supporters of Hawaii commercial fishermen say they merit special consideration. Civil Beat.

About 500 coffee-growing kits imported from the U.S. Mainland are being pulled from shelves at Longs Drugs stores statewide after the Hawaii Department of Agriculture was informed that the product was being sold. Garden Island.

The CEO of an airport in the northern Philippines said officials there plan to start talks with airlines to launch flights between Pampanga province and Los Angeles and Hawaii. Pacific Business News.


Oahu

An endangered Hawaiian monk seal that usually has pups on the less congested island of Kauai decided to have its latest on a crowded beach at Kaimana beach in Waikiki, delighting of scores of visitors. Star-Advertiser.

An endangered Hawaiian monk seal has given birth on a Waikiki beach — the first such birth there in at least several decades. Associated Press.

Hawaiian monk seal "RH58" and her new pup created quite the spectacle at Kaimana Beach on Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

A popular Waikiki beach is drawing even more attention with its high-profile guests. KHON2.

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The Honolulu City Council’s Zoning and Housing Committee approved a bill Thursday that would create a privately run special improvement district to regulate traffic on Waikiki streets. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. and the state Department of Transportation Airport Division Wednesday said the emergency power facility at Honolulu International Airport is in full operation after years of testing. Pacific Business News.

A backup power plant at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport is now in full operation nearly five years later than originally expected. KHON2.

Two startup charter schools looking to open on Oahu will have to wait two more weeks to learn their fates; a third appears headed for rejection. Star-Advertiser.

All of the city’s driver licensing and other customer service operations were back to normal Thursday morning after in-house and contractor technicians were able to make necessary fixes overnight to a days-long computer problem. Star-Advertiser.

KITV President and General Manager Joe McNamara, widely known as “Joe Mac,” resigned his position this week to focus on his health. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

An Emergency Water Restriction notice has been issued for North Kona after a fifth water well went down. Big Island Video News.

The Hawaii County Department of Water Supply has ordered all residents and customers in North Kona to immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs as well as cease all irrigation activities following the failure of yet another water well in the area. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii island Mayor Harry Kim and his idea of turning Mauna Kea into an international peace park were thrashed during nearly two hours of testimony Thursday before the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees. Star-Advertiser.

The world needs a place like Hawaii and a mountain like Mauna Kea, Mayor Harry Kim told the Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island Mayor Harry Kim’s plans for a Mauna Kea cultural park is facing strong opposition from Thirty Meter Telescope protesters. Hawaii News Now.

Two Hilo women are suing the state, claiming its negligence resulted in their injuries when the car they were in struck a boulder on Highway 19 about 20 miles north of Hilo four years ago. Tribune-Herald.

There was no spring slump this year for Hawaii Island tourism. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County officials announced that operations at the Division of Motor Vehicle and Licensing are back up to normal after glitches with the Honolulu mainframe slowed services earlier this week. Maui Now.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs wants faster, stricter protections for central Maui sand dunes after Always Investigating exposed the extent of sand exports and business connections on Oahu. KHON2.

The Department of Environmental Management’s Wastewater Reclamation Division advises customers that the sewer user fee will increase by an average of three percent when rate hikes go into effect on July 1. Maui Now.

Kauai


Kauai Bus announces route, schedule changes. County aims to improve Kauai Bus service with route, schedule changes. Garden Island.

Kauai saw 104,882 guests in May, a 9.8 percent increase from May 2016. Garden Island.