Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Caldwell mulls future of Waikiki Natatorium, tourism officials fined for ethics violations, state pension shortfall increases, voters want more say in government, UH athletics a tax drain, Kauai pesticides studied, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Waikiki Natatorium © 2017 All Hawaii News
Mayor Kirk Caldwell says he’s willing to consider the idea of making improvements at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium that would allow the public to swim in it again, but only if a new proposal being offered pencils out financially and makes sense. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell outlines four alternatives for future of historic Waikiki Natatorium. The City and County of Honolulu is considering four options for the reconstruction of the Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial, with an environmental impact study expected to be released in spring 2019. Pacific Business News.

City outlines potential options for future of Waikiki Natatorium. KHON2.

All the plans for Waikiki Natatorium share one thing: They're costly. Hawaii News Now.

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Honolulu mayor backs governor for re-election. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is throwing his support behind Gov. David Ige. KHON2.

Civil Beat Poll: Power To The People — Voters Want More Control. Respondents support term limits for legislators, all-mail balloting and establishment of a statewide system for initiatives, referendums and recalls. Civil Beat.

State pension fund shortfall rises to $12.95 billion. A preliminary report presented Monday by an independent actuary to ERS trustees showed the deficit in the fund widened from last year’s $12.44 billion, but the funded ratio — what is needed to meet future obligations — improved to 54.8 percent from 54.7 percent. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission has fined Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO George Szigeti and three other tourism officials more than $12,000 for allegedly violating the state’s Ethics Code when accepting and soliciting travel upgrades for business trips. Star-Advertiser.

Tourism authority execs fined for failing to report travel upgrades. The Hawaii Ethics Commission has fined four top current and former Hawaii Tourism Authority executives more than $12,000 for failing to report that they received free travel upgrades from international airlines. Hawaii News Now.

Insurance ‘Hell’ Leaves Many Injured Workers Broken. In Hawaii’s workers’ comp system, people with long-lasting injuries are often forced to battle doctors hand-picked by insurance companies to get treatment. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii won a $23 million federal grant to help improve the well-being of residents at risk due to serious health disparities. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Public Health Institute: Farm to School and Obesity Prevention. The Hawaii Public Health Institute is focusing on childhood obesity prevention in the upcoming legislative session. Hawaii Public Radio.

Charter School Debuts An Online Hawaiian-English Dictionary. Students at the immersion school say the product could prepare them for a vocabulary test. But it’s also designed for the wider community. Civil Beat.

Former Island Air employees will get about $35,000 of their misdirected 401(k) contributions restored to their accounts. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Even with a combined $3.4 million infusion from the Legislature and the Manoa campus, University of Hawaii athletics ran at a $1.7 million deficit for the 2017 fiscal year, according to an independent auditor’s report. Star-Advertiser.

Sweeping The Boat People Of Ala Wai Harbor. Plenty of them are illegally sleeping aboard vessels — only 129 “live-aboard” permits are allowed out of the 747 slips. Civil Beat.

Howard Hughes gearing up to launch public sales efforts at next Honolulu tower. The Howard Hughes Corp. is getting ready to launch public sales efforts next month for its next Ward Village mixed-use tower, the 42-story Aalii, which is being marketed as a building for “smarter living” with units ranging from less than 300 square feet for a studio to nearly 850 square feet for a two-bedroom unit. Pacific Business News.

Aging fuel storage tanks at Red Hill could soon get an upgrade. A newly released study could get the ball rolling on upgrades to the aging fuel storage tanks at Red Hill. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Meeting On The Future Of Mauna Kea. An aha has been convened, bringing together Hawaii Island residents who sometimes find themselves on opposite sides of tough issues facing the mountain. Big Island Video News.

Two new meatpacking facilities might open on the Big Island next year following the success of the Hawaii Island Meat Cooperative’s mobile slaughterhouse. Tribune-Herald.

Arsenic-Contaminated Soil Removal Considered For Hilo Land. There is a potential buyer for the 6.2-acre portion of the former cane plant site near Waiakea Pond, and a Removal Action Report has been drafted. Big Island Video News.

As North Kona approaches the one-year anniversary of its first mandatory water usage restriction, questions about how and why deep well equipment prematurely failed at several sites across the region remain unanswered. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island’s nonnative birds might have found a friend in the coqui frog. A new study on coquis, an invasive species known for its piercing two-tone chirp, noted a connection between the abundance of the small frogs and higher populations of introduced birds in a forest. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Mayor says water chief lacks management abilities. Arakawa cites low morale in his request to terminate Taylor. Maui News.

$14K in Back Wages, Penalties Recovered for Maui Surf Instructors. The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations recovered $14,360.12 in back wages and penalties on a wage complaint made by two surf instructors hired by a Maui business that offers a variety of ocean-related recreational activities. Maui Now.

State puts up delineators to deter illegal parking on Hana Highway. East Maui residents who were frustrated by traffic backups from cars illegally parking on narrow portions of Hana Highway near scenic areas got some relief last week when the state Department of Transportation installed delineators to deter motorists from parking at one popular spot. Maui News.


Kauai

Pesticides remain key concern. The purpose of the briefing to the House Committee on Health and Human Services and the House Committee on Agriculture was for legislators to find out how to help move forward the fulfillment of the 2016 Kauai Pesticide Joint Fact Finding Study Group’s recommendations. Garden Island.

KIUC receives approval for holdover of hydro permit. The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative will be able to operate two hydroelectric facilities after the state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday approved the holdover of a revocable permit for water use at the Blue Hole Diversion.  Pacific Business News.

Dawn of digital dollars. One Kauai property is opening up its sale to digital currencies in the midst of a rapidly changing cryptoasset market that many are still trying to understand. Garden Island.

Molokai

Latest crash underscores risks of airspace around Molokai. National Transportation Safety Board records show that six of the state’s 12 fatal air crashes occurred in and around Molokai, with four of them happening in just the last 14 months. Star-Advertiser.

Plane crash kills former Kahala dentist and his wife. The family of William F. Vogt, 78, and Lynn Vogt, 74, notified the office of his former dental partner, Dr. Derek Takai, that the two were killed in the crash. Star-Advertiser.