Friday, July 28, 2017

Visitor arrivals and spending increase, Honolulu mayor signs pedestrian crosswalk cellphone ban, bones unearthed at Kona park, Kauai man claiming kuleana land cleared of trespassing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Visitor arrivals and spending grew for the 13th straight month in June, setting new monthly and midyear records and keeping tourism on track for a blistering full-year finish. Star-Advertiser.

Visitor spending increased 8.7 percent to $8.4 billion during the first half of 2017, while arrivals increased 4.3 percent to 4.6 million, compared to the same period last year, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority says spending by visitors surged nearly 9 percent during the first half of the year compared to last year. Associated Press.

Visitors in the first half of 2017 spent a total of $8.4 billion in the Hawaiian Islands, an increase of 8.7% compared to the first half of 2016, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Maui Now.

A report conducted by the Outdoor Industry Association shows that the outdoor recreation economy in Hawaii directly contributes 68,000 jobs, annually generates $7.8 billion in consumer spending, as well as $604 million in state and local tax revenue. Pacific Business News.

Save Beaches Or Property? Climate Change Will Force Tough Choices. A coastal hazard expert briefs Hawaii officials and others about the need to adapt to rising sea levels and warmer temperatures. Civil Beat.

An infusion of more than $1 million in federal money has been promised to support research on marine species in the Pacific Ocean. Garden Island.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet commander said Thursday he would launch a nuclear strike against China next week if President Donald Trump ordered it, and warned against the military ever shifting its allegiance from its commander in chief. Associated Press.

The mental health of alleged terrorist sympathizer Ikaika Kang, a U.S. army sergeant from Waimanalo, is under scrutiny at a time when the deep psychological wounds of war are getting more attention across the country. Civil Beat.

Transgender Army vet deplores president’s messages. Star-Advertiser.

Public comments are sought on the State Environmental Council’s preliminary draft of revised administrative rules for the preparation of environmental impact statements. Maui News.

More than 20 years have passed since the first charter school was authorized here in Hawai’i. Since then, public charter schools have fueled educational innovation to offer students and parents school choice. Next month, two more charter schools will open their doors. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Public Radio’s Board of Directors capped their first meeting of the fiscal year on July 24 by approving a 2017-2018 budget showing revenue of $5.49 million. Garden Island.

The latest forecast for Tropical Storm Irwin and Hurricane Hilary has them staying far to our east, and eventually crossing paths and becoming one storm. It's something called the Fujiwhara effect. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Pedestrians on Oahu can still talk on their cellphone while crossing the street, but texting or using other electronic devices in a crosswalk is no longer allowed under a bill signed into law Thursday by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

It's official. Beginning in October, looking at mobile devices while crossing the street will be illegal. Hawaii News Now.

If you have a habit of using your phone while crossing the street, you might want to rethink soon. KITV.

Make sure you put your phones away when crossing the street. KHON2.

The Honolulu rail board is in final talks to hire as its new top executive a rail technology firm manager who once battled the city over its most expensive rail contract, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation. Star-Advertiser.

Contractor bails on multiple projects, costing city, state millions. Hawaii News Now.

Solar energy projects with the combined capability of powering more than 17,900 homes have been approved to connect to Hawaiian Electric Co.’s grid. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has gotten the green light from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission for its application to purchase energy generated by three solar farms being built by Houston-based NRG Energy Inc. Pacific Business News.

Efforts to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Honolulu this year — the 20th anniversary of when Hawaii’s Brook Lee was crowned — ended this week after pageant officials determined that the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena did not meet the event’s structural requirements. Star-Advertiser.

New details emerge as fire officials review response to deadly Marco Polo high-rise fire. KHON2.

The Honolulu Fire Department has revised the alarm status of the fatal fire at Marco Polo condominium to a 7-alarm fire from a 5-alarm fire after further review. Star-Advertiser.

The estate of prominent lawyer Gary O. Galiher is suing to block a new entity comprising the late attorney’s employees and associates from taking the records and files of the Galiher law corporation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Bones found in Kailua-Kona park. A cultural impact assessment for the Kailua Park master plan from 2010 indicated that ancient, undiscovered burial sites likely still existed in multiple areas within Old Kona Airport Park. West Hawaii Today.

A 3rd Circuit Court judge Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Kapaau man fighting his housing project’s ban on smoking, which includes smoking medical marijuana. West Hawaii Today.

Judge Riki May Amano's recommendation TMT organizers proceed with obtaining construction permits from the state land board has rattled those in opposition of the controversial project atop Mauna Kea. KITV.

Ownership of the Puna Kai shopping center property in Pahoa is expected to change hands this week, and the new owner says construction will begin within days. Tribune-Herald.

Parents who want to homeschool their kids don't encounter any resistance — not even if they're under investigation by state Child Protective Services, a Hawaii News Now investigation has found. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Dealing with feral animals at small-boat harbors and amendments to dive-flag rules were among the subjects testifiers addressed during a Wednesday evening hearing on proposed rule changes to boating laws and rules at small-boat harbors. Maui News.

Since the beginning of the year, DLNR Division of State Parks maintenance staff on Kaua‘i have gathered, bagged, and airlifted 10.92 tons of rubbish from the Kalalau section of the Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park. Maui Now.

A “Talk Story with Gov. David Ige” event, hosted by the Hawaii State Teachers Association, will be held from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Baldwin High School Multipurpose Room in Wailuku. Maui News.

Kauai

A man who claimed kuleana land on the North Shore is no longer facing a criminal trespass charge. Garden Island.

Questions about the Lehua Island rat eradication and restoration project were rampant at a Tuesday meeting in Waimea. Garden Island.