Friday, September 15, 2017

Hawaii jobless rate hits 10-year low, legislation sought for pension spiking, Honolulu rail board accepts oversight, changes coming to public records and Sunshine Law, Coast Guard cutter leaving Hawaii Island, campaign on for Maui mayor, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii Department of Public Safety
Ige visits Women’s Community Correctional Center hydroponics project, courtesy photo
Hawaii’s jobless rate fell to a 10-year low of 2.6 percent last month.The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Thursday the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point from July.The rate was last this low in April 2007. Associated Press.

Jobless rate at its lowest in 10 years. Star-Advertiser.

Pension Spiking Costs Taxpayers Millions — Now The Push Is On To Stop It. Honolulu City Councilman Joey Manahan urges state to change how it sets retirement payouts to prevent overtime abuse. Civil Beat.

Changes are coming to Hawaii’s records and open meeting laws, affecting how people can find out about public meetings as well as how much they’ll pay for public records. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiian Airlines’ parent company Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: HA) has appointed Abhi Dhar, the previous chief information officer of Walgreens, to its board of directors. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Honolulu Rail Board: What Do You Do With A $2.4 Billion Bailout? A board member expressed concern about new oversight rules, but rail managers say those are “not much of an issue.” Civil Beat.

An environmental consulting firm has found soot and dust containing potentially hazardous byproducts of the deadly and destructive Marco Polo high-rise fire in condo units and common areas, the homeowners association told owners this week in a memo. Star-Advertiser.

Residents of the Marco Polo condominium on Kapi’olani Boulevard are now eligible for low-interest loans following a devastating fire two months ago. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is starting on Monday a daily digital news program, anchored by veteran journalists Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji. The one-minute newscast will feature headlines from the Star-Advertiser and run on the Digital Billboard Network, a network of screens in more than 70 stores across Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Constant Flooding in Mapunapuna Prompts State To Cut Lease Payments. Businesses that rent from DLNR in Mapunapuna can ask for rent reductions when their leases come up for renewal. Civil Beat.

For years, residents have wanted safety improvements for years on this stretch of Leahi Avenue between Monsarrat Avenue and Noela Street, just mauka of Kapiolani Park. But there's one major problem. No one knows who actually owns this stretch of roadway. Hawaii News Now.

The debate over what to do about a fallen seawall on Oahu's North Shore is causing tension in a Sunset Beach neighborhood. Hawaii News Now.

Construction of a four-story student apartment complex being built on the corner of South King and University Avenue is raising safety concerns for some neighbors of the project. Hawaii News Now.

The future of 133 Kaiulani, the 32-story high-rise condominium hotel that was planned to replace the aging King’s Village Shopping Center in Waikiki, is less certain following the filing of a lawsuit in Honolulu 1st Circuit Court on Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

The Coast Guard cutter Kiska is scheduled to pull out of Hilo Harbor for good Saturday en route to its new home in Guam, leaving Hawaii island with only two Coast Guard personnel and prompting concern over how open-water searches and rescues there will be conducted. Star-Advertiser.

A federal after-school program that has been on the chopping block is now almost certain to stay in the 2018-19 school year. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program has been in limbo since March when President Donald Trump proposed to cut it in his 2018 fiscal budget. Tribune-Herald.

A website is about to go live for bird lovers seeking the best spots from Hilo to Kona to see the diversity of the Big Island’s feathered friends. Tribune-Herald.

Six NASA-backed space psychology research subjects are set to emerge Sunday after eight months of isolation together in a Mars-like habitat on a remote Hawaii Volcano. Associated Press.

Maui

Mayor Alan Arakawa suggested the Maui County Department of Liquor Control return to “common-sense rules” Wednesday after his office was inundated by complaints from the community over the past year. Maui News.

Maui County Council Member Don Guzman announced his candidacy for mayor Thursday evening, packing in an enthusiastic crowd of more than 700 supporters at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku. Maui News.

Some West Maui residents believe they have a solution to the nagging issue of traffic jams on Honoapiilani Highway, and it doesn’t have to do with the Lahaina bypass. Maui News.

Kauai

The county is shutting down parking on Black Pot Beach until further notice because of sand erosion, starting today. Garden Island.

Severe erosion issues have forced Kauai County officials to close off a portion of a popular Hanalei beach park to any vehicular traffic, a county spokesperson says. Hawaii News Now.

Students at Kauai Community College can count on new support for academic issues. The University of Hawaii Board of Regents elected Norma Doctor Sparks of Kauai to replace outgoing regent David Iha. Garden Island.

International Coastal Cleanup Day is Saturday. It’s the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Day, and worldwide people will be joining together to pull trash from beaches and catalogue it into a database. Garden Island.

Meet the monk seals. Scientist outlines misconceptions about endangered species. Garden Island.