Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hawaii still tops for homeless, Obama in town, Honolulu police chief selection delayed, monk seal in road slows Maui traffic, no cool schools for Big Island, Maui hospital lawsuit dismissed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Homeless in Hawaii © 2017 All Hawaii News
Hawaii still has the highest per capita homeless population in the country “but things have started to gel” in the islands, according to the western regional coordinator for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Health gave the green light Wednesday for two more production facilities to begin growing medical marijuana, despite not being able to sell the drug to consumers yet. Star-Advertiser.

Expert: Amid delays, patient died waiting for medical marijuana relief. Hawaii News Now.


Legislation to ban certain sunscreen chemicals in Hawai’i stalled in the final days of the 2017 session.  But, state lawmakers are already starting their push to pass the bills next year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Former President Barack Obama in the islands for unannounced visit. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s congressional delegation on Wednesday introduced federal legislation to reinstate Medicaid coverage for eligible Micronesians living and working in the United States. Civil Beat.

Hawaii will experience another round of exceptional king tides Friday and Saturday as some of the highest tides of the year will again be enhanced by higher-­than-normal sea levels. Star-Advertiser.

How HECO Is Trying To Modernize Its Electric Grid. Hawaiian Electric is drafting a new strategy after regulators rejected an earlier $736 million proposal in part because it didn’t serve solar users well. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines’ baggage fee revenue declined in the first quarter even though the state’s largest carrier transported more passengers than in the year-earlier period. Star-Advertiser.

Island Air is suffering through growing pains as it continues to reinvent itself with new aircraft and additional routes. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

The selection of a new police chief has been delayed again, this time because the entity initially selected to help the Honolulu Police Commission make the pick backed out, Commission Chairman Max Sword said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Ex-Honolulu Police Chief’s Fight For Legal Fees Turns Nasty. Police Commissioner Loretta Sheehan says the former chief’s attempt to have her removed from the case is “baseless.” Civil Beat.

Search for Honolulu’s next police chief delayed after consultant backs out. KHON2.

Retired police Chief Louis Kealoha wants Honolulu Police Commissioner Loretta Sheehan disqualified from considering any matters that involve him, arguing she’s been critical of him and the police department in the past. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Public Safety on Wednesday released a report on the latest on where to replace the current Oahu Community Correctional Center. Civil Beat. Report here.

A homeless camp that had been hidden in the mangroves along the Ala Wai Canal is beginning to emerge as more and more people are moving in. Hawaii News Now.

The Environmental Protection Agency, state Department of Health, the Navy and the Defense Logistics Agency are holding an “open house” tonight to update the public on the status of the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility. Star-Advertiser.

North shore residents are fed up that nothing is being done to fix the heavy traffic near the famous "Turtle Beach" at Laniakea. Now, a campaign is shifting blame for the congestion to the turtles. Hawaii News Now.

Attorney General’s office seeks answers to city’s new Bikeshare program. KHON2.

Biki bike pushback at Kapiolani Park. KITV.

A woman whose pet store was connected to a Waimanalo puppy mill owned by her father is getting the chance to avoid conviction for tax evasion. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

The state’s plan to cool 1,000 classrooms by this fall won’t initially benefit many schools on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

The cleanup at Old Airport Park is posing more of a logistical challenge than the new administration anticipated when it made the project a priority soon after assuming office. West Hawaii Today.

Lottery decides waiting list for Kona housing development. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Island Family Medicine Residency Program has done exactly what planners hoped — its graduates now plan to practice medicine in Hawaii; two in Hilo, one in Honolulu. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A renewable energy startup company will break ground on old sugar land this summer. Star-Advertiser.

A new energy crop will soon be tested on former sugar plantation lands in Central Maui. Alexander & Baldwin is teaming up with a California-based business to grow pongamia trees on 250 acres near Kihei. Hawaii News Now.

The state Employees’ Retirement System and the Hawaii Health Systems Corp., which operates the state’s public hospitals, formally agreed to drop a lawsuit this week over benefits for about 1,500 employees at three Maui County hospitals. Star-Advertiser.

Lawsuit dismissed, clearing the way for transfer of hospitals. Maui News.

A monk seal came up partially on the road on the Honoapiilani Highway in Olowalu Wednessday afternoon, slowing traffic on the busy thoroughfare that connects West Maui to the Central Valley.  Police and volunteers responded to the report in an effort to protect the animal from oncoming traffic. Maui Now.

Gov. David Ige on Wednesday announced the nomination of Mr. Lee A. Ohigashi to the Maui County seat on the State Land Use Commission for a term beginning June 21, 2017 and ending June 30, 2020. The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate. Maui Now.

Kauai

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard will host a telephone town hall at 4 p.m. Monday on hurricane and disaster preparedness. Garden Island.