Monday, October 2, 2017

Tropical crops valued at $7.5M, Trump coming to Hawaii, many Big Island sex offenders don't register, Maui top U.S. fall travel destination, nursing home inspections lagging, Papahanaomokuakea coral thriving, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Tropical fruit at Hilo Farmers Market © 2017 All Hawaii News
Tropical crops reaped $7.5M for isle farmers, survey finds. For the first time in nine years, the Hawaii field office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service conducted a survey of tropical crop growers statewide. Star-Advertiser.

The farm gate value for Hawaii’s tropical fruit and specialty crops is estimated at $7.5 million, according to new federal data for the year 2016. All told, 4.4 million pounds of tropical crops were produced in the state last year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Garden Island.

The state last year failed to meet more than half of the federal performance standards for inspections of nursing homes and other health care facilities, continuing a history of poor marks that patient advocates say could signal worsening care. Star-Advertiser.

The state agency charged with providing homesteads for Native Hawaiians produced no new housing units during the year that ended June 30, and closed out the fiscal year with $30 million in unspent federal housing funds. Star-Advertiser.

Airport authority trying again for self-control. Representatives from local airlines and the state Department of Transportation continue to support legislation that would move the state’s 15 airports out from under the DOT and into its own governing body, the proposed Hawaii airport corporation. West Hawaii Today.

The Disturbing State Of Mental Health Care In Hawaii’s Prisons. Despite gains made under Justice Department oversight, care of mentally ill inmates has slipped to troubling levels in recent years. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s new schools superintendent will face an evaluation process that aims to be more fluid and include more input from both education administrators and members of the public. Civil Beat.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to stop in Hawaii during an upcoming trip to Asia. The trip is scheduled to last from Nov 3 through Nov. 14. No further details about the Hawaii stop were released. KITV.

Many details of the Republicans’ proposed overhaul of the federal tax code remain murky, but one piece of the plan that emerged last week would eliminate a deduction worth $2 billion for 200,000 Hawaii taxpayers in 2015. Star-Advertiser.

Hurricane Maria left Puerto Rico in the dark — 95 percent of the island remained without power Saturday — and Hawaii’s energy industry is taking notes on how to prepare the state’s energy system to bounce back if a similar storm were to hit. Star-Advertiser.

Scientists on a 24-day expedition to the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands found most of the coral reefs thriving, but documented a distinct shift from a coral-dominated reef to an algae- dominated reef in an area where several hundred meters of coral bleaching was discovered three years ago. Star-Advertiser.

Updates on activities within the Papahanaomokuakea Marine National Monument will be presented at a public meeting on Oct. 12 in Honolulu. Garden Island.

A 17-year study reveals primary cause of reef fish decline in Hawaii. The findings suggest fishing is more detrimental to reef fish populations than pollution or any other human influences. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Failure to spend money in a timely manner cost the city nearly $2.4 million in federal HOME funds, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development told the Caldwell administration in a letter last month. Star-Advertiser.

Motorists in Kailua can expect to see major slow downs this week as the city begins construction on a new traffic project. On Monday, crews will start reconstructing a busy intersection into a roundabout design. Hawaii News Now.

Watchdog group wants to reconfigure Kapiolani Park trustees. Commercial activity growth in Kapiolani Park is one of the reasons the nonprofit watchdog Kapiolani Park Preservation Society is taking on the city again. Star-Advertiser.

Three guards at Hawaii's largest jail suffered facial and head injuries Saturday night after being attacked by a mob of inmates. Hawaii News Now.

Inmates attacked several staffers at the Oahu Community Correctional Center Saturday night. KHON2.

Noa Botanicals, one of Oahu’s two certified medical marijuana dispensaries, held an open house on Friday. The public was invited to tour the 6,000 square foot space, located at 1308 Young St., before it houses cannabis products. Pacific Business News.

New online archive spans 177 years of isle newspapers. Thanks to a new partnership between the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Newspapers.com, readers can now access a fully searchable online archive of the Honolulu newspapers The Polynesian, The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, The Daily Bulletin, The Hawaiian Star, The Evening Bulletin, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, The Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Almost 1 in 5 Big Island sex offenders is noncompliant with state sex offender registry requirements. As of Sept. 11, 73 of 402 “covered offenders” — those required to register — weren’t in compliance with the state’s registry law, according to figures from the Department of the Attorney General’s Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center. Tribune-Herald.

Proponents of sex offender registries cite public protection and deterrence of repeat sex offenses as justification for sex offender registries that publish the offenders’ names, photographs, home addresses and information about their past convictions. But an Aug. 31 ruling by a federal judge in Denver could, at some point, have implications for how state sex offender registries operate nationwide. Tribune-Herald.

Starting Monday, the 3rd Circuit will fully implement a new procedure that allows criminal defendants who have not been proven guilty to appear unrestrained in court. West Hawaii Today.

If Council Chairwoman Valerie Poindexter has her way, Hawaii County will be the third county in the state to send a non-binding resolution to the state Legislature asking that body to also be governed by the state Sunshine Law, requiring open meetings. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County has big plans for its mass transit system, and it’s time for the public to weigh in. The county has scheduled its first series of public meetings to get input on how best to implement an overhaul that includes a “hub and spoke” design for the Hele-On bus system. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui was rated the most popular domestic destination for Fall travel bookings and beyond, according to the 2017 Fall Travel Trends Survey released by Travel Leaders Group. Maui Now.

Second medical marijuana dispensary opens on Maui. Pono Life Sciences Maui LLC opened its dispensary for appointments after receiving state approval Friday to begin medical marijuana sales. Star-Advertiser.

Maui’s medical cannabis patients will soon have two options to purchase products after Pono Life Sciences Maui LLC was given the green light by the Hawaii Department of Health to begin selling medical marijuana. Pacific Business News.

Maui police responded to 811 Front Street in Lahaina on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, at approximately 10p.m., in response to witnesses who reported that two males approached a monk seal that was sleeping on the shoreline south of the address and attempted to push it back into the water. Maui Now.

Maui police are investigating an incident involving a Hawaiian monk seal. The seals are endangered and protected by federal and state laws. KHON2.

Kauai

No takers for federal funds for cesspool upgrades in Hanalei. Little interest shown in financial program to upgrade cesspools, septic tanks in Hanalei. Garden Island.

Homeless in Lihue police themselves. No solutions reached at county homeless meeting, although all agree action is needed. Garden Island.

Sterilization clinic exceeds expectations. Animal Balance clinic sterilized 657 animals in six days. Garden Island.