Monday, August 14, 2017

Hawaii growth slows, Hanabusa mulls gubernatorial bid, lab bottleneck closes marijuana dispensaries, battle over Kawananakoa's $200M estate, monk seal moved from Waikiki, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiian Telcom
Undersea cable, Hawaiian Telcom
Testing for the $250 million Southeast Asia–United States undersea fiber cable system is complete, according to Hawaiian Telcom, one of seven investors in the 9,300-mile long cable connecting Indonesia to California, via Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

The state’s top economists are a little less bullish on Hawaii’s economy. The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism cut its growth forecast for Hawaii this year by a half-percentage point and projected the economy will continue to grow at a slower pace for the rest of 2017 and the three subsequent years. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s economy is experiencing positive growth, but at a slower pace than during previous years, according to report by the Department of Business and Economic Development. Pacific Business News.

Leadership from both the state House of Representatives and Senate have been meeting over the last several months to discuss the over-time and over-budget Honolulu rail project, but lawmakers now want to hear from the public as they work toward an agreement on financing. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said Friday she may mount an election challenge to Hawaii Gov. David Ige in 2018. Civil Beat.

A years-long effort to begin taxing dividends paid out to investors by some of the largest commercial property owners in Hawaii was blocked this year by state Sen. Rosalyn Baker, a lawmaker who has received substantial campaign donations from lobbyists and executives who represent some of those same investors. Star-Advertiser.

New Hawaii Salary Database: How Much Do We Pay Our Public Servants? Here’s the first installment of our new Hawaii public employee salary database for fiscal year 2018. Civil Beat.

Growing up in low-income public housing in the Bronx and attending New York City public schools, Christina Kishimoto experienced firsthand the effects of learning in an uneven school system, where resources vary greatly between neighborhoods. Star-Advertiser.

With two medical cannabis dispensaries now selling products, the Hawaii Department of Health is bracing for a surge of patients signing up for the state's medical cannabis registry. Hawaii News Now.

After a one-day delay because of bad weather, a NASA rocket containing experimental payloads from 15 collegiate institutions — including four University of Hawaii community colleges — launched Sunday from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Kaimana the monk seal was swept off to her new home Saturday morning with only a few barks of protest. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaiian monk seal pup born on a Waikiki beach has been moved so that it can remain a wild animal and won't become accustomed to interacting with people. Associated Press.

Video from Civil Beat's live camera, of Kaimana being removed from the beach at around 8am Saturday morning by NOAA officials. KITV.

First rail land trial ends in condemnation. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Transportation is proposing to make several safety improvements along Farrington Highway, including eliminating and relocating some bus stops and crosswalks. Hawaii News Now.

Aloha Green Holdings Inc., one of Oahu’s three licensed medical cannabis dispensaries, said it has sold out its initial stock after just three days in business. Pacific Business News.

If a bill requiring older residential towers to install sprinklers becomes law, the city could offer no-interest loans to condominium owners who might need help to pay their share, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said last week. Star-Advertiser.

Marco Polo get-together like ‘big hug’ after tragedy. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Police Department is finally ready to begin testing body cameras. The pilot project will be rolled out in mid-September. KHON2.

Ex-Cop Sues Honolulu For Not Paying To Defend Him In Assault Lawsuit. The Police Commission rejected Nelson Tamayori’s request for legal aid, but approved it for another officer facing the same allegations. Civil Beat.

With Hawaii’s unemployment rate so low, finding workers can be hard to come by, but the struggle isn’t just felt by employers. KHON2.

An increasingly bitter legal battle over the $200 million estate of Abigail Kawananakoa intensified over the weekend as the 91-year-old Campbell Estate heiress, in a letter transmitted by her longtime partner, accused her former attorney of ignoring her wishes and mismanaging her financial affairs. Star-Advertiser.

The $200 million estate of a 91-year-old descendant of Hawaiian royalty has become the topic of a legal dispute between her lawyer and her longtime partner. Associated Press.

In an explosive letter sent to Hawaii News Now, Abigail Kawananakoa says her longtime attorney is improperly trying to take control of her fortune. Hawaii News Now.

A new tribute to iconic island musician Don Ho was unveiled at the International Market Place Sunday.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County Department of Water Supply has lost yet another water source in North Kona, prompting a revised water usage restriction with the most stringent mandates the department has issued since the saga began in January. West Hawaii Today.

Once again, a fifth water well is down in West Hawaii, leading to a new Emergency Water Restriction notice for North Kona. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County officials say they could be a year away from relaunching an online building permit tracking system. Tribune-Herald.

The County of Hawaii is on the hook for improvements at a Kailua-Kona housing project years after discovering that sidewalks and showers aren’t compliant with federal accessibility guidelines. West Hawaii Today.

David Tarnas, who last year suffered a whisker-thin primary loss in his campaign to unseat state Rep. Cindy Evans, is ready for a rematch. West Hawaii Today.

About a dozen food and bike vendors have set up shop each night at the county-maintained parking lot at the end of Chain of Craters Road, located near the start of the more than 4-mile-long gravel emergency road that leads to the lava flow. Tribune-Herald.

Additional pavilions are in the works for Wailoa River State Recreation Area. Tribune-Herald.

Daughter of deported coffee farmer trying to keep operating afloat while waiting for dad’s return. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Anti-tobacco activists are hoping Maui County will follow Hawaii and Kauai counties in outlawing smoking in vehicles when children are present. Maui News.

Maui’s first state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary to open for business will be closed Monday and Tuesday and will change its operating hours. Associated Press.

Representatives with Hawaiʻi’s first medical cannabis dispensary say lab delays are forcing the business to suspend sales. Maui Now.

‘Bottleneck’ temporarily closes pot dispensary. ‘High demand’ leads to sold-out first batch of certified product. Maui News.

Maui school bus driver Cheryl Kuanoni was recently forced to leave five children behind because of a shortage of buses. KITV.

Traffic congestion and parking in Paia still generate headaches for residents and visitors of the bustling former plantation town hugging Maui’s north shore, but now property crime — especially vehicle break-ins — are a rising concern. Maui News.

Kauai

If Pierre Omidyar gets his way, 699 dairy cows will soon enjoy a glorious view of the Pacific Ocean, framed by a pristine beach. Omidyar, the founder of eBay, wants to build a dairy farm on Kauai. New York Times.

There are 106 vacant positions at the County of Kauai. However, 12 of them are dollar- funded, meaning 94 are vacant funded positions. Almost 30 of them are posted on the county’s website. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council voted Wednesday to approve an access easement in Koloa. Garden Island.

The Kapaa Public Library will be reopening on Tuesday and resuming its normal public service hours. Garden Island.