Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Northwestern Hawaii Islands eyed for commerce, net neutrality at issue, governor praises Nimitz homeless cleanup, attorney general probes state mental hospital, Kauai’s Na Pali Coast cleared of squatters, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Papahanaumokuakea Northwest Hawaii Islands
Should Papahanaumokuakea Be Open For Business? GOP lawmakers want restrictions lifted on fishing, mining and energy exploration — even though experts say there is no oil and gas there. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Lawmakers Call on FCC to Protect Net Neutrality. Hawaii lawmakers are among those voicing concerns with the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to dismantle landmark net neutrality rules. Maui Now.

Six investigators from the state Attorney General’s Office are looking into how killer Randall Saito escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe on Nov. 12 and made his way to Maui and then California while officials at the psychiatric hospital waited 10 hours to notify authorities, Gov. David Ige said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

They're dirty and they know it': Hawaii State Hospital worker speaks out about killer's escape. A Hawaii State Hospital employee is speaking out about the escape of a psychopathic killer from the facility, saying it underscores the need to "clean house."  Hawaii News Now.

One Senator’s Prescription For Making The State Hospital Safer. Officials say they’re already taking steps to make the facility more escape-proof by adding fences and suspending patient privileges. Star-Advertiser.

Another mental patient is on the run from state custody. Prior to the highly publicized Nov. 12 escape of Hawaii State Hospital patient Randall Saito, acquitted of murder by reason of insanity, another patient under Department of Health custody disappeared, and he remains on the run. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Has Fewer Certified Teachers This Year. Board of Education members want state officials to rethink how they plan to recruit and retain new teachers in the long run. Civil Beat.

HECO, University of Hawaii partner to develop new renewable energy tariff. Hawaiian Electric Cos. and the University of Hawaii have joined forces to create a renewable energy initiative that could help the university achieve its net-zero energy goal and bring more renewable energy resources online. Pacific Business News.

Oahu


Massive viaduct cleanup complete. It cost the state $516,000 to remove 180 homeless people, their belongings and trash from below the H-1 freeway viaduct last month in what Gov. David Ige described Tuesday as a “new approach” to addressing homeless encampments on state land. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii DOT
Crews wrap up Nimitz Viaduct clean-up, hauling out 4M pounds of trash. After nearly a month, the state says it's wrapped up a massive clean-up of entrenched homeless encampments under the Nimitz Viaduct. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Ige: Clean-up of homeless camp on Nimitz Hwy. complete. Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that a clean-up of a massive homeless encampment under the Airport Viaduct on Nimitz Highway is complete. KITV.

State promises regular enforcement to keep homeless out of restricted areas. The state is touting significant progress in keeping the homeless out of public areas, saying the pieces are in place to enforce the law. KHON2.

Kahauiki Plantation-Style Village: Jobs First. Hawai’i’s first public-private rental housing project for homeless families should be completed in 2 months. Hawaii Public Radio.

Advocates in 'race' to keep pimps from preying on homeless teens. Youth outreach experts in Waikiki are battling the clock to reach homeless teenage girls before they fall into prostitution as a way to survive. Hawaii News Now.

20 arrested as police raid suspected game rooms in Punchbowl area. Honolulu police conducted a crack-down on illegal gambling operations in a Punchbowl neighborhood on Saturday, arresting at least 20 people for various warrants and gambling-related offenses. Hawaii News Now.

Former city worker gets jail and probation in sex assault. Fired city parks groundskeeper Harold Villanueva Jr. insisted at his sentencing in state court for misdemeanor sexual assault Tuesday that he did not grab the victim’s buttock. Star-Advertiser.

City asks governor to hold off on Airbnb tax deal. Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the city reached out to the governor, to ask that he not rush into any deal with Airbnb, to collect taxes until the city can come up with a possible enforcement fix. KITV.

Hughes Corp. sues over alleged deficiencies in Waiea tower. As the first residential tower in a proclaimed model 21st-century urban Honolulu community, the ultraluxury Waiea high-rise was supposed to be a showcase for Ward Village. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu solar permits declined 16% in October. In October, the city Department of Planning and Permitting issued 307 permits for solar electric systems, down from 367 in the same month last year, a drop of 16 percent. Star-Advertiser.

Three-bedroom homes on Oahu accounted for nearly half of all single-family home sales so far this year, and more than a third of those three-bedroom homes sold in 2017 were bid up over asking price, an increase of 8 percent from last year, according to a mid-month report by Locations. Pacific Business News.

Demand high for three-bedroom homes on Oahu. Hawaii's housing market remains hot especially for three-bedroom homes. KITV.

Ward Warehouse’s demolition yields a trove of materials for reuse. Storefront doors, restaurant kitchen sinks, light fixtures, railings and maybe even a worn trolley car from inside the former Old Spaghetti Factory are among items being salvaged by Re-Use Hawaii, a nonprofit that recycles construction materials. Star-Advertiser.

Shuttered Snappers seeks protection from creditors. A more than 25-year-old Waikiki sports bar that had been trying to deal with disruptive sewer and storm drain flooding along with a federal sexual harassment lawsuit has filed for bankruptcy after closing two weeks ago. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

New 3rd Circuit Court Judge Robert Kim sworn in; heavy caseload ahead. New 3rd Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim won’t spend his first day meeting co-workers, mingling and filling out HR paperwork — quite the opposite. West Hawaii Today.

Company to expand amphibious tours. Big Island Duck Adventures, a Kailua-Kona company, considers adding more tours on the windward side. Tribune-Herald.

Reporter to be honored for breaking story about former Mayor Billy Kenoi.  West Hawaii Today government reporter Nancy Cook Lauer is being honored for her work in breaking the story of former Mayor Billy Kenoi’s misuse of a county-issued credit card, known as a pCard. Associated Press.

Maui

The Maui Police Department is conducting a citizen survey to evaluate the public’s attitudes and opinions pertaining to the level of law enforcement services currently provided. Maui Now.

Flood-ravaged Iao Valley to finally reopen Wednesday. Just more than a year after major flooding wreaked havoc on parts of the Iao Valley State Monument on Maui, state officials say the park is set to reopen on Wednesday – nearly a month ahead of schedule. Hawaii News Now.

Man accused of harassing interracial teen couple. Two teenagers testified they were “shaken” and “scared” when a stranger used a racial slur and yelled at them while they were waiting for food at a Pukalani restaurant earlier this year. Maui News.

Kauai

Sweeps show improvement in Kauai’s Kalalau Valley. During their latest sweep of Kauai’s Kalalau Valley, state conservation officers cited three campers without permits, dismantled a squatter camp and spotted a handful of illegal camps hidden in the forest. Star-Advertiser.

State’s consistent enforcement cleans up Kalalau. Fewer people are squatting in Kauai’s Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park than there were a few months ago. Garden Island.

Beach, trail cleanups set Saturday. Surfrider Foundation Kauai Chapter and B*RAD Foundation are hosting a cleanup at Donkey Beach, north of Kapaa. Garden Island.

Molokai

Over the next week the voyaging canoe Hokulea is in Molokai as part of its "Mahalo Hawaii" sail. KITV.