Monday, October 30, 2017

Aquarium fish collecting halted; Mauna Kea conflict spurs arrests, peace park plan; Taiwan president visits USS Arizona Memorial; Oahu monster houses, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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School of tropical fish © 2017 All Hawaii News
A Hawaii judge has halted the commercial fishing of reef fish for aquariums until the state reviews the trade's environmental impact. Associated Press.

A new ruling upholds a state Supreme Court ban on Hawaii's aquarium fishing industry and there's no timeline on when it will be lifted. Hawaii News Now.

Aquarium fishing permits in Hawaii are now invalid and illegal, due to a Friday Oahu Circuit Court ruling by Judge Jeffrey Crabtree. Garden Island.

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The U.S. Navy wants approval to continue war games in Hawaii and California waters that include naval ships firing at air targets, Marine battalions practicing amphibious assaults and submarines shooting explosive torpedoes. Civil Beat.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen visited the USS Arizona Memorial on Saturday, providing a very public record of her first trip to Hawaii, which drew strong objections from China. Star-Advertiser.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to stop on Oahu this week, before beginning a two-week trip to Asia. He will travel to Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Hawaii, from November 3-14. KITV.

Three TMT opponents were arrested after they interrupted a land board meeting on Friday, demanding the resignation of one member. Big Island Video News.

A U.S. Navy ship carrying two Honolulu women it rescued from their storm-battered sailboat in the Pacific docked Monday at an American naval base in Japan. Associated Press.

House and Senate leaders will convene an informal working group of lawmakers in the weeks ahead to try to finally develop a viable system for collecting hotel room taxes from Airbnb Inc. and other companies that market transient vacation units across the islands. Star-Advertiser.

State goes after unlicensed aging-in-place facilities. Health Department data show the agency conducted 10 investigations of unlicensed care homes in 2015, 10 in 2016 and 11 through mid-October of this year, with six of those still pending. Star-Advertiser.

Will Regular Classrooms Better Serve Hawaii’s Special Ed Students? Co-teaching — classrooms with both a general and special-ed teacher — is catching on in a state that has one of the lowest “inclusion” rates in the nation. Civil Beat.

Doctors At UH Hyperbaric Facility Complained Months Before It Shut Down. In a letter to university officials, the physicans said they were worried about patient safety and a lack of resources. Civil Beat.

With state’s only hyperbaric chamber inactive, some divers feel uneasy. West Hawaii Today.

Group seeks to rebrand medical marijuana as ‘cannabis’. A local nonprofit trade organization is trying to stamp out use of the term “marijuana” as well as associated slang words that include pot, grass, weed and pakalolo when referring to licensed dispensaries that grow and sell cannabis to registered patients. Star-Advertiser.

The first Pacific Regenerative Medicine Conference will be held Nov. 6-7 at the Hawaii Convention Center. State Sen. Josh Green, an emergency room physician, will deliver a keynote presentation on regenerative medicine in Hawaii’s health landscape. Star-Advertiser.

After more than a century away from the islands, human remains stolen from burial caves in Hawaii and sold to a museum in Germany have finally returned home. Star-Advertiser.

Island Air said in a bankruptcy filing Friday it is in discussions with multiple prospective investors to obtain about $6.5 million in financing. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines took delivery Friday of its first of 18 Airbus A321neo aircraft that it plans to use for West Coast markets. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Lieutenant governor race needs firefight spark. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Waikiki business people and government officials are calling on the Honolulu Police Department and U.S. armed forces to address a recent uptick in serious crimes in the state’s top tourist district, where two military members were victimized this month. Star-Advertiser.

Several Waikiki leaders are frustrated by the holdup in the release of $1 million earmarked this year by state lawmakers to address homelessness in tourist areas, which many say is contributing to the district’s security concerns. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s public defender is reviewing the criminal cases handled by four Honolulu police officers and a deputy city prosecutor to uncover any possible wrongdoing after they were accused of planting evidence, falsifying reports and lying to U.S. investigators in a corruption probe. Associated Press.

Former police chief Louis Kealoha will soon have a new attorney defending him against charges of conspiracy, bank fraud and deception of government investigators. Civil Beat.

Council members offer bills to address ‘monster houses’. Officials with the city Department of Planning and Permitting, which is tasked with enforcing zoning and building violations, say their hands are tied on many of the complaints because they can cite or fine only people who are not meeting code requirements. Star-Advertiser.

Star-Advertiser Employees Rally To Protest Layoffs. More than 30 newsroom staffers have lost their jobs at Hawaii’s biggest newspaper in the past year amid ongoing contract negotiations. Civil Beat.

Tenants, landlord clash at Kewalo Basin harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's new 'Teacher of the Year' hails from Ewa Makai Middle. Hawaii's Department of Education honored Vanessa Ching of Ewa Makai Middle School Friday with the title of "Teacher of the Year." Hawaii News Now.

Several scabies cases reported at Oahu elementary school. The Hawaii Department of Education sent a letter home to parents after several cases of the infection were reported at Makalapa Elementary School in Salt Lake. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Gov. David Ige has tapped Mayor Harry Kim to lead a working group to create a “living monument for world peace” on Mauna Kea. West Hawaii Today.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands wants future landholders and Honomu community members to help plan their new subsistence agriculture development. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County is hiring a consultant to draft a master plan for a park in Hawaiian Paradise Park. Tribune-Herald.

Almost six years after one of the county planning commissions rejected rule changes governing special management areas, which center around shorelines, the Planning Department is trying again. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii solar customers can still receive credit for supplying solar energy to the power grid after the Public Utilities Commission approved new solar incentive programs earlier this month. Tribune-Herald.

The state Land Board approved fining a tour boat operator $42,165 on Friday for damage done to the historic Punaluu Wharf. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii land board voted on Friday to fine the man accused of digging up part of the historic Punalu’u Wharf with a backhoe back in June. Big Island Video News.

Senate WAM Committee Visits East Hawaii. Big Island Now.

Closing the Hilo Landfill. On Hawaii Island, county officials have been talking about the potential closure of the Hilo Landfill for more than three decades. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui

Proposed tax changes cause concern. A Maui Vacation Rental Association official fears that two bills on property tax classifications recommended for approval by a Maui County Council committee could lead to higher property taxes for at least 2,900 property owners in Maui County. Maui News.

Low-income renters fear they’ll be priced out of Lahaina apartments. Some 300 low-income residents at Front Street Apartments effectively face eviction under what they call an “IRS loophole” that enables the property to be converted to market-priced units after 15 years in service. Star-Advertiser.

Audit calls for change to MFD staffing policy. Overtime costs have almost doubled since provision took effect. Maui News.

Sweeping change. ‘Group effort’ offers jobs and more for homeless people in Wailuku. Maui News.


Kauai

Timeshare visitors leave behind billions of dollars. The timeshare industry generated about a billion dollars in economic output just on Kauai and an estimated $5.3 billion in consumer and business spending in 2016. Garden Island.

Nearly $250,000 in federal grant funds were awarded to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney to continue funding its Drug Nuisance Abatement Unit and Sex Assault Prosecution Unit. Garden Island.

The Hawaii Farm Bureau’s 70th annual meeting will be prefaced Monday by the Ag Summit Reception and screening of “Food Evolution” on Kauai. Garden Island.

Footings went in for a $32,000 gazebo at the Kilauea Community Agricultural Center on Thursday, one of the first steps for constructing the little community gathering place within the developing ag park. Garden Island.

Molokai

One-third of the island of Molokai is up for sale and residents want to send a message to its prospective buyer. On Saturday, about 200 community members marched from Mahana to Maunaloa wearing green shirts that read "We Are Molokai Pule O'o" and "Keep Molokai Molokai." Hawaii News Now.

Chicago firm pitches solar panel, battery project for Molokai. 37-acre solar farm could stablize rates now, reduce reliance on oil-generated power. Maui News.