Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Honolulu mulls high-rise sprinkler retrofits, WIC program trimmed, DOT dismantles homeless camps, Waikiki flotilla enforcement sought, Maui hospital takeover deemed a success, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News
Honolulu high-rises © 2017 All Hawaii News
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s bill to require that older residential high-rises be retrofitted with sprinklers in the wake of the fatal Marco Polo condominium fire was put on hold Tuesday by City Council members. Civil Beat.

Firefighters and condominium owners Tuesday met before a City Council committee for the first time since the July 14 Marco Polo fire left three people dead and discussed potential incentives for, as well as obstacles in the way of, retrofitting aging residential towers with sprinkler systems. Star-Advertiser.

Dozens of owners of Marco Polo apartments, where three people died recently in a fire that swept through the building, have secondary hallway doors with louvers that boost air circulation into their units but also can help a fire spread more quickly, residents and fire experts say. Star-Advertiser.

Two state agencies are now taking action over asbestos at the scene of the massive fire at the Marco Polo building. KHON2.

The state is cutting dozens of positions at the Women, Infants and Children — or WIC — program aimed at helping low-income mothers and children as part of a revamp officials say is needed to deal with a federal funding decline and higher payroll costs. Hawaii News Now.

A sailor’s computer input error on the Pearl Harbor-based destroyer USS John Paul Jones apparently caused an $80 million missile defense test failure off the coast of Kauai on June 21, according to DefenseNews.com. Star-Advertiser.

State wants to change boating, harbor rules. KHON2.

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council held an unprecedented emergency meeting Monday to approve a letter urging the Trump Administration to maintain 11 marine reserves that are under federal review, including Papahanaumokuakea in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Civil Beat.

Nine-year-old Robbie Bond decided to do something about the threat of budget cuts to public parks — launching Kids Speak for Parks and the website kidsspeakforparks.com as a way for children to speak up and share their experiences at parks and monuments in jeopardy of funding cuts. Star-Advertiser.

An Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee reports money from a Hawaiian princess is helping pay legal fees. Hawaii News Now.

Hurricane Hilary, churning in the Eastern Pacific off Mexico, is expected to crash into a cyclone that's also tracking westward — Hurricane Irwin — sometime in the next 48 hours, the National Hurricane Center said. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Contractors began dismantling several homeless encampments near the H-1 freeway Tuesday, part of the state’s effort to keep areas near roadways clear of illegal encampments. Star-Advertiser.

State Steps Up Its Homeless Sweeps Along Highways. Aggressive new effort comes as officials question if moving people along encourages them to use shelters. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation is leading an effort to remove homeless encampments near major traffic corridors. Hawaii Public Radio.

Additional rescue personnel for the July 4 "floatilla" cost taxpayers $16,000. That led Honolulu's City Council to adopt a resolution calling for regulations against the event Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

It's only been about two weeks since the Fourth of July flotilla but some city and state officials don't want a repeat, and they are doing what they can to make sure that doesn't happen. KITV.

State and city law enforcement officials say they support a call for stiffer enforcement of regulations at the annual, mostly unorganized Fourth of July event known as Floatilla, but also stressed that they are already throwing all the resources they can at the problem. Star-Advertiser.

The state has fined Aloha Petroleum Ltd. $200,000 for fuel tank violations. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Petroleum has been fined $200,000 by the Hawaii State Department of Health for failing to notify officials about a "suspected fuel release" within 24 hours of finding it. Pacific Business News.

Some Hawaii students and other volunteers are getting their feet wet in the medical field, while simultaneously easing the workload for some doctors and nurses. It's all part of a new project at Queen's Medical Center geared toward improving patient’s experiences. KITV.

Honolulu ranks among the top 15 best cities to live, despite a low rank for affordability, according to a new WalletHub study. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Following demolition of the former Hilo Tropical Gardens, Kamehameha Schools officials say they will take a closer look at the management plan for their Keaukaha properties that could help identify future land uses. Tribune-Herald.

What went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again were topmost on the minds of members of the county Water Board on Tuesday as they heard an update on well breakdowns in West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

$5,000 arson reward fund remains on table. West Hawaii Today.

There’s a lot of rubbish in the Big Island’s rain forest gulches, and a Paauilo man is on a mission to remove it. Tribune-Herald.

Two native plant species are thriving today in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. Hawaii Public Radio.

Elson “Bobo” Kanaina Brown, the last member of the legendary band Hilo Hawaiians and son of founder William “Bunny” Brown, died Saturday surrounded by family at his Hilo home after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was 77. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

For five years, two planning guiding documents of Maui County have been at odds when it comes to short-term rental homes. Maui News.

The transition phase of the operational takeover of Maui County public hospitals by Kaiser Permanente subsidiary Maui Health System has ended, and it was a success, said an official with the new management. Maui News.

The transition phase is now complete for the Maui Health System, the Kaiser Permanente subsidiary which took over management of three Maui hospitals (Kula Hospital & Clinic, Lānaʻi Community Hospital and Maui Memorial Medical Center) on July 1st. Maui Now.

Some new enforcement strategies and more participation from Lahaina patrol and other officers contributed to significant increases in citations for seat belt and cellphone violations during the recent Click It or Ticket campaign, police said. Maui News.

The Maui Humane Society announced it has achieved a 92% Live Release Rate for dogs in Fiscal 2017, meaning more than nine out of every ten dogs who entered the shelter were either adopted, transferred to rescue partners for adoption, or returned to their owners. Maui Now.

Every summer, rice coral (montipora capitata) colonies around Maui and in the aquarium’s exhibits spawn shortly after the new moon cycle. Maui News.

Kauai

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. shared his plan for Kauai’s future Tuesday during the Kauai Chamber of Commerce’s 3rd Annual Mayor’s Luncheon held at the Sheraton Kauai Resort. Garden Island.

More than 50 people attended Monday's public hearing, hosted by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, to comment on proposed changes to boating laws and rules at harbors. Garden Island.

A young pueo, or Hawaiian short-eared owl that tangled with a vehicle in late March has died after being hit by another vehicle two months after it was rehabilitated and released back into the wild. Two more were found dead on Kauai’s roads on the same day, according to a press release from the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. Garden Island.