Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Search on for five crew members of downed Black Hawk off Kaena Point, Ige downplays budget surplus, Honolulu council to consider rail audit, Hawaii representatives jump into Trump fray, Kauai rat eradication on hold, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. David Ige
The state government ended the last fiscal year with a near-record budget surplus of more than $893 million, but Gov. David Ige’s administration is downplaying that seemingly cheery snapshot of the state’s finances. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Honolulu Fire Department are searching this morning for five crew members of an Army Black Hawk helicopter that went down off Oahu’s Kaena Point late Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Rescue crews are searching for an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with five people aboard that crashed about two miles off Kaena Point late Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Coast Guard, Army and Honolulu Fire Department crews are responding to a report of a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with five crew aboard approximately two miles west of Kaena Point, Oahu, Wednesday. KHON2.

Debris Field of Downed Army Helicopter Spotted off Oahu. Maui Now.

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The Hawaii Attorney General’s Office is entering the legal fight over who controls the $200 million trust of Abigail Kawananakoa so that it can protect the interests of Native Hawaiians who are in line to receive a large share of the money when she dies. Civil Beat.

A trustee of Abigail Kawananakoa's estate is calling on the state to investigate allegations of physical abuse of the 91-year-old Hawaiian royalty descendant by her longtime partner. Hawaii News Now.

Members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation were among a growing number of elected officials distancing themselves Tuesday from President Donald Trump following the president’s remarks that again blamed “both sides” for the deadly violence over the weekend at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Star-Advertiser.

Sen. Brian Schatz: Trump Is ‘Not My President’ The Hawaii Democrat tweeted, “As a Jew, as an American, as a human, words cannot express my disgust and disappointment.” Civil Beat.

Bob McDermott, candidate for Hawaii governor, is sticking up for President Trump as the commander-in-chief takes heat for his remarks over the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt on Tuesday announced more than $500,000 is headed to Hawaii state wildlife agencies through the State Wildlife Grants program. West Hawaii Today.

Uncertainty surrounding Obamacare dragged down the financial results last quarter of the state’s two largest health insurers. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

A resolution calling on city Auditor Edwin Young to conduct an economy and efficiency audit of Honolulu’s troubled rail project is to be taken up during a special meeting of the City Council Budget Committee at 9 a.m. today. Star-Advertiser.

As lawmakers grapple with how to pay for a $3 billion shortfall for Honolulu's rail project, supporters are trying to influence them with a new survey and public relations campaign. Hawaii News Now.

The city’s bulky-item pickup program is badly in need of an overhaul, according to a scathing report issued Monday by city Auditor Edwin Young. Star-Advertiser.

Employees of the city’s garbage service abuse overtime, sick time and paid time off, according to a city audit of the Department of Environmental Services bulky item collection service. Civil Beat.

Starting today, those seeking building permits on Oahu might need to pay additional fees and do additional work as new water quality rules take effect, according to a release issued by the Department of Planning and Permitting this week. Star-Advertiser.

Surf, scuba schools skirting the boundaries? KITV.

After community outcry, the Kahala Resort and Hotel has pulled its environmental assessment to expand wedding venue options. Hawaii News Now.

Tension escalates on Haiku Stairs after trespassing hiker reportedly shot by pellet gun. KHON2.

Chinatown Has A New Shelter For The Homeless Mentally Ill. Not everyone is happy about the relocation of the Safe Haven shelter to a new spot four blocks away. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Zoo’s endangered Sumatran tiger, Berani, was euthanized Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Embassy Suites by Hilton, one of three hotels planned for West Oahu and the second of its kind in Hawaii, will open in October. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii County

Endangered coots and stilts that call the Kealakehe sewer treatment plant home will get a little extra protection, thanks to a business seeking to offset bird losses on its own site. West Hawaii Today.

The preservation of Hawaiian Stilts and Hawaiian Coots nesting in the lagoons of the Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant was on the agenda for the Hawaii County Council Environmental Management Committee Tuesday. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County Council members advanced a resolution Tuesday supporting a skate park in Hilo after hearing from skateboarders and Paradise Roller Girls members disappointed with years of delays. Tribune-Herald.

Kona spaceport plan yet unfit for takeoff. West Hawaii Today.

A Kohala Hospital nurse is suing the hospital on claims of discrimination and a hostile work environment. West Hawaii Today.

The Seattle developer that built a Holiday Inn Express & Suites on Hawaii’s Big Island is planning a similar hotel project on a four-acre parcel in Kailua-Kona. Pacific Business News.

Maui

A plan to reduce flood risks at a Maui river isn't sitting well with some who are concerned over the site's historic value. Hawaii News Now.

State Representative Angus McKelvey of Maui is renewing his call for a specific timeline for resolution of the school bus crisis on Maui as frustrated parents want to know when the situation will be resolved. Maui Now.

A typical 10-minute drive to school has morphed into hourlong traffic jams for Lahaina students as the state Department of Education and its new school bus contractor Ground Transport continue to struggle to find bus drivers. Maui News.

It's been just over a month since Kaiser Permanente took over operations at three Maui County hospitals. But the new chief executive officer of the hospitals is already moving on. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai

The Lehua Island rat eradication project is on hold pending two permits, and the state permitting agency wants to make sure details are ironed out before giving the go-ahead. Garden Island.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative on Monday said it filed a proposal with the state Public Utilities Commission that would provide customers with two new options to receive credit when installing a solar system. Pacific Business News.