Friday, November 17, 2017

Record low unemployment rate, feds charge Maui police with witness tampering, state hospital escapee goes on-air, police get raises, monster house bill advances at Honolulu City Council, Hawaiian Airlines CEO retiring, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Shrinking workforce underlies Hawaii’s best-ever 2.2% jobless rate. Hawaii’s unemployment rate is now at an all-time low and could be the best in the country. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced Thursday that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 2.2 percent, compared to 2.5 percent for September. Garden Island.

How Brian Schatz Is Becoming The Senate’s Chief Science Nerd. From data security to climate change, from net neutrality to telemedicine, the Hawaii senator is front and center on technology issues. Civil Beat.

Hawaii is set to benefit from a $700 billion federal defense bill that passed the U.S. Senate on Thursday. The measure includes investments of more than $300 million for military construction in the state. Pacific Business News.

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A Hawaii psychiatric patient who acknowledges killing a woman nearly four decades ago said Thursday he escaped from his hospital and flew to California to prove he could live responsibly in the community. Associated Press.

Inmate who fled Hawaii psych hospital tells ABC7 escape was 'act of desperation'. ABC-7 News.

'I couldn't believe I actually made it': Hawaii State Hospital escapee speaks out. Island News has obtained a one-on-one interview with Hawaii State Hospital escapee Randall Saito. KITV.

Saito said he escaped to prove his ability to ‘act appropriately’. Escaped murderer Randall Saito said in television interviews Thursday that the Hawaii State Hospital wouldn’t give him a chance — that every time he applied for release, officials made him “sound like a bad guy.” Star-Advertiser.

I’m not a psychopath, okay?’ Saito claims desperation, assaults led to escape. KHON2.

Hawaii State Hospital's neighbors say they don't feel safe in their own homes. Angry Kaneohe residents gathered Thursday night to quiz the state on what's being done to address safety concerns about the Hawaii State Hospital. Hawaii News Now.

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Judge tells Island Air workers they might not get final pay.  Island Air employees have been told by a bankruptcy judge that there is no guarantee they will receive their final paychecks. Associated Press.

Hawaiian Airlines CEO to retire. Mark Dunkerley, 54, said he will step down to attend to family obligations on the East Coast and in Europe and spend a few months reflecting on what he wants to do next. Chief Commercial Officer Peter Ingram, 51, who has been with the company for 12 years, will replace him. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines CEO To Retire In March, Replacement Named. Mark Dunkerley has been one of the longest-tenured CEOs in the airline industry. Civil Beat.

Mark Dunkerley will retire as CEO of Hawaiian Airlines next year and will be replaced by Peter Ingram, the airline’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer, the Honolulu-based carrier announced Thursday.  Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Airlines Thursday announced the planned retirement of Mark Dunkerley, president and chief executive officer, and the selection of Peter Ingram, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, to replace Dunkerley, effective March 1. Garden Island.

Hawaiian Airlines readies for U.S. West Coast expansion. Hawaiian Airlines welcomed to Honolulu the first of 18 Airbus A321neo aircraft that will shortly begin flying between Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast. Garden Island.

Hawaiian Airlines accepted delivery the first of 18 Airbus A321Neo aircraft this week. The fleet will begin service on Jan. 8 on the Hawaiian's existing Kahului-Oakland route. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Council bill to rein in ‘monster houses’ advances. A proposal to place more restrictions on large homes moved out of the committee Thursday, setting it up for a final vote of the full Council on Dec. 6. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council Considers Regulating ‘Monster Homes’. Neighbors complain about homes with 15 or more bedrooms, but they’re defended by a man who said they serve mutigenerational households. Civil Beat.

Opponents, supporters of monster homes clash at City Council. So-called "monster" homes spurred a big debate at Honolulu Hale on Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

A plantation-style village for homeless families begins to take shape. Kahauiki Village, the new long-term, affordable housing project for homeless near Keehi Lagoon, broke ground in July. Hawaii News Now.

Special court that gives homeless a second chance plans to expand islandwide. Hawaii News Now.

Caldwell Nominates Former TV Executive For Police Commission. Dick Grimm, who worked at three local stations, would be the mayor’s sixth appointment to the seven-member board. Civil Beat.

Dick Grimm, who led the Hawaii Foodbank for 17 years before his retirement earlier this year, has been nominated to replace L&L Hawaiian Barbecue founder Eddie Flores Jr. on the Honolulu Police Commission. Pacific Business News.

Authorities had not determined Thursday what caused a rubbish fire under the Nimitz viaduct that damaged fiber-optic lines carrying phone, internet and cable TV service, causing widespread disruptions most of Thursday for T-Mobile, Spectrum and Hawaiian Telcom customers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii police officers are getting raises, the last large bargaining group to have salaries settled for this year as the county begins crafting a new budget for the next fiscal year that begins July 1, 2018. West Hawaii Today.

The HOVE Deep Well in Ocean View has failed, the Hawaii County Department of Water Supply said Thursday. It is the only county water source serving Hawaiian Ocean View Estates and the Ranchos area in Ka'u. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County’s Mass Transit Agency is getting close to occupying its new bus baseyard, about a year after it was initially expected to be complete. Tribune-Herald.

High-profile thefts, crippled fleet among problems plaguing troubled transit division. KHON2.

Hawaii County is cutting security at Old Kona Airport Park, which was intended to ensure homeless didn’t re-establish illegal campsites there after police ushered them out in August. West Hawaii Today.

The chief executive officer of one of Hawaii Island’s first medical marijuana dispensary companies has died. William K. “Billy” Richardson, an Oahu-based venture capitalist recruited during summer 2016 to lead Hawaiian Ethos, died Nov. 10 in his sleep. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui police officers charged in federal witness tampering case. Two Maui Police Department officers are facing federal charges after police say they conspired to force a victim to drop his complaint. KHON2.

Mayor seeking approval to dismiss water director. A falling out between Mayor Alan Arakawa and Department of Water Supply Director Dave Taylor has led the mayor to seek Maui County Council approval for Taylor’s dismissal from his $135,884-per-year job. Maui News.

Panel resolution urges state to maintain affordability of units at Lahaina complex. After hearing heartfelt testimony from worried tenants, a Maui County Council committee recommended passage of a resolution urging the state to save the affordability of the Front Street Apartments, where rent for units could rise to market rates by 2019. Maui News.

The Hawaii State Department of Health says it’s notifying the parents of students and staff members of Lihikai Elementary School on Maui of possible exposure to tuberculosis at the school. Maui Now.

Man ‘spewing hateful things’ leads protest outside church. Iao United Church of Christ targeted for rainbow flag, homosexual pastor. Maui News.

Hokulea’s Voyage To Hana Is A Homecoming For Young Captain. Hana native Nakua Konohia-Lind, 24, will be the youngest captain of the storied voyaging vessel when it sails into East Maui. Civil Beat.

Kauai

Bamboo Grill finds second home at golf course. The Wailua Golf Course has not had much luck with those opening a bar/restaurant there. Usually, it’s followed by closing. Garden Island.