Monday, September 11, 2017

Seafood found safe after Fukushima disaster, Hanabusa political aspirations questioned, audit blasts Big Island hiring practices, entire island of Kauai loses electricity, hurricane shelters lacking, new rules for boat harbors, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Slicing ahi at Hilo fish market © 2017 All Hawaii News
It’s OK to keep salivating over seafood. A new study from an international research team has found that migratory marine predators in coastal waters near Japan and Hawaii had negligible contamination from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami that caused a Fukushima power plant to release large quantities of radioactive material. Star-Advertiser.

Saving Coral: Researchers in Hawaii are involved in cutting-edge science aimed at countering the effects of climate change on the world’s oceans. Civil Beat.

The Board of Land and Natural Resources Friday approved amendments to a wide range of state boating rules intended to improve management of state small boat harbors and ocean recreation-related activities in state waters. Associated Press.

Reversal by Hanabusa prompts criticism. Colleen Hanabusa said she will soon file papers to form a new campaign committee to run for governor, confirming long-standing speculation in Hawaii political circles that she would challenge fellow Democrat and incumbent Gov. David Ige in 2018. Star-Advertiser.

Immigration and Island Dreamers: The cancellation of DACA could cost Hawaii more than half a billion dollars. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Prison Warden’s Case Shows Firing A Public Worker Isn’t Easy. Despite dozens of sexual harassment and discrimination concerns, appeals board says her prior clean record counts for a lot. Civil Beat.

Twenty-five years after Hurricane Iniki pummeled Kauai, Hawaii has made substantial progress in some ways to prepare for the next major hurricane. But the state remains significantly ill-prepared in other areas, including not having adequate facilities to house everyone who would likely seek public shelter from an Iniki-like storm. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s students are making strides in their ACT college exam scores, though their performance as a whole still trails behind some of their counterparts nationally, according to test score data for the class of 2017 released this week. Tribune-Herald.

Alexander &Baldwin Inc. is about to join a special group of companies — mostly mainland firms — that funnel almost all their profits to stockholders and qualify for a unique tax break known as Real Estate Investment Trusts, or REITs. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

The typical household electrical bill for Oahu residents in September declined 40 cents from the previous month. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Officials Push For $200 Million Ala Wai Canal Makeover. Devastating storms on the mainland are prompting a renewed effort to finally fix the Ala Wai’s potential for flooding that could wipe out Waikiki. Civil Beat.

As the search for Honolulu's next police chief continues, two more names have emerged as candidates. Sources confirmed for Hawaii News Now that Gary Yamashiroya and Paul Putzulu are in the running for the position. Hawaii News Now.

The redevelopment of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority’s Mayor Wright Homes into a mixed-income, mixed-use project would add more than 2,000 new residential rental units to what is currently a 15-acre public housing project near Downtown Honolulu, according to a draft environmental impact statement filed with the state. Pacific Business News.

A $100 million public housing project has been further delayed after Hawaii officials voted to end a partnership with a private developer. Associated Press.

Some investors question claims over partially submersible vessel. Curtiss Jackson, owner and CEO of Semisub Inc., says he expects his partially submersible vessel to start commercial tours in Hawaii’s waters next month. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County’s hiring practices, long a source of complaints of unfairness and favoritism, are sharply criticized in a report released last week by the county’s legislative auditor. West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Transportation might need to keep its options open for how it spends $40 million added to the state’s capital budget for improving Highway 130. Tribune-Herald.

A community forum on Puna roads was held at the Hawaiian Paradise Park Activity Center on Saturday. Big Island Video News.

The Kailua Village Design Commission this week signaled its approval for Kona Brewing Co.’s proposed brewery, recommending only some minor changes to the proposed plan. West Hawaii Today.

One year after its inception, Kona’s bikeshare program is rolling right along. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim recently sat down with Sherry Bracken to discuss his decision to bar a handful of visiting hula halau from staying overnight in county gyms during the Merrie Monarch Festival. Big Island Video News.

Kailua-Kona has been named one of the top foodie towns in the United States, according to a new rankings. Pacific Business News.

Maui

Meeting set to discuss Iao Valley State Monument closure, stabilization. Maui News.

Almost a year has passed since one of the largest floods in Maui County’s history destroyed homes, properties and swept up entire landmasses in Iao Valley. Maui News.

For the first time in four years, Newell’s shearwaters have started laying eggs in an artificially created seabird colony in West Maui. Maui News.

Central Maui, consistently the busiest housing market in Maui County, hit a 12-month-high median housing price at $650,000 in August as median prices countywide held steady at $700,000. Maui News.

Maui’s residential real estate market was mixed in August as the median price and sales of single-family houses rose during the month but condominiums saw decreases in both categories. Star-Advertiser.

Condominium sales dropped 11.3 percent to 110 in August, while the median price decreased 4.8 percent to $400,000, from $420,000 last year, according to statistics by the Realtors Association of Maui. Pacific Business News.

Kaanapali Beach and Lahaina Beach have just been named as two of America’s favorite beaches in 2017. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kauai residents were without power for some time Sunday as Kauai Island Utility Cooperative officials worked to restore an island-wide blackout. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai is suffering. A 2017 suicide epidemic is increasingly worrying police and service organizations with the death toll so far this year already nearly double the number reported in all of 2016 and far higher than any year since at least 2012. Garden Island.

Reflections on the past decade of Hawaiian monk seal conservation will be offered Wednesday at the Princeville Library in a program that will focus on the research and conservation efforts to help the species. Garden Island.

Monday marks 25 years since Iniki pummeled Kauai. Hawaii News Now.

Hurricane Iniki made landfall on Kauai on Sept. 11, 1992. Garden Island.

Actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have sold a Kauai compound above Secret Beach that was once owned by NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for $12 million, according to a report in Variety. Pacific Business News.