Thursday, January 11, 2018

Cesspool replacement challenging, bacteria closes Ala Moana beach, AG Chin seeks $2.5M to counter civil disobedience, Trump tax cuts could lower electricity costs, Hanabusa island-hopping, Peter Boy siblings sue state, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Ending the environmental threat that cesspools pose to Hawaii’s drinking and surface waters presents an enormous challenge — even with more than 30 years’ notice. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Health presented their new report, Relating to Cesspools and Prioritization for Replacement, to a joint committee in Honolulu on Wednesday. Big Island Video News.

Cesspools an ‘impending threat’ to waters. Hawaii legislators were brought up to speed on cesspool replacement Wednesday during a briefing for the House and the Senate on the Department of Health’s cesspool report. Garden Island.

Homeowners express outrage at cesspool talk. Report to Legislature targets Upcountry Maui as potential threat for drinking water wells. Maui News.

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Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin, the state’s chief law enforcement officer, is seeking $2.5 million from the Legislature that he said would be used to respond to potential mass violence or civil disobedience events — and, possibly, demonstrations atop Mauna Kea. Star-Advertiser.

Legislators Push To Create More “Safe Zones” For The Homeless. But critics of legal homeless encampments say the state should emphasize finding permanent housing for people. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who officially launched her gubernatorial bid this week, said she wanted to show support for the neighbor islands during a visit to Hawaii Island on Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

‘The future of the state’: Hanabusa touts Hawaii Island’s potential in bid for governor. West Hawaii Today.

Dialysis patients worry over Hawaii Medical Service Association policy change. On Feb. 1, HMSA said it will stop accepting payments from nonprofits that receive donations from dialysis clinics that treat patients whose medical premiums are paid for by the same charities. Star-Advertiser.

An upcoming HMSA policy change has certain Hawaii dialysis patients worried about how they’ll be able to pay for treatment. KITV.

Trump tax cuts could result in lower electric bills for Hawaiian Electric customers. The new federal tax code has the potential to ease the burden of Hawaii's utility ratepayers by lowering electricity costs across Hawaiian Electric Cos.' service territory. Pacific Business News.

US Marshals Return Escaped Psychiatric Patient To Hawaii. The killer had walked away from the state hospital in November. Associated Press.

Hawaii State Hospital escapee Randall Saito arrived in Honolulu today under the custody of federal marshals. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Marshals escorted a psychopathic killer who escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital and fled to California back to the islands Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Kamehameha Schools official hopeful about settlement talks in abuse case. Kamehameha Schools has presented a “strong, substantial” financial offer in hopes of settling a lawsuit in which more than 30 former students accused a psychiatrist of sexually abusing them decades ago, the institution’s chairman said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Settlement talks are now underway in the Kamehameha Schools sex abuse case. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority on Wednesday released the 2017 Visitor Plant Inventory, which showed that visitor accommodation units statewide increased to 80,336 units, up 1.6 percent, year-over-year, the largest total ever recorded for the state. Garden Island.

Hawaii is leading the way in digital health and other ways to cut costs. Hawaii Public Radio.

First Hawaiian ranked ninth among U.S. banks. First Hawaiian Bank, in its first year of eligibility, cracked the top 10 of Forbes magazine’s 2018 annual list of America’s 100 largest top-performing banks. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

The state Department of Health issued a high bacteria advisory today for Ala Moana Beach Park. Star-Advertiser.

Department of Health Clean Water Branch officials are warning of elevated bacteria levels at a highly popular Oahu beach. Hawaii News Now.

High levels of fecal matter detected at Ala Moana Beach Park. KITV.

Warning signs posted after high bacteria levels detected in Ala Moana waters. Hawaii News Now.

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Hawaiian Electric says crews cleaned up about 95 percent of the estimated 500 gallons of oil that leaked from an underground pipeline in Pearl City Tuesday evening. KITV.

Cleanup underway after oil leaks from underground pipeline in Pearl City. KHON2.

Blue Startups will kick off its 4th annual East Meets West Conference on Feb. 1, with global investors managing over $1 billion expected to attend. Pacific Business News.

Federal investigators say a man who once spent time on Delaware's death row came to Hawaii intending to develop a major prostitution ring — and that he threatened, beat and raped women to force them to cooperate. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Lawsuit filed in ‘Peter Boy’ death. The estate of the late Peter Kema Jr. and Kema Jr.’s siblings are suing the state of Hawaii, the Department of Human Services and Kema Jr.’s parents, claiming the 1997 death of the chronically abused Big Island boy could have been prevented. Tribune-Herald.

The family of "Peter Boy" Kema, the 6-year-old who died at the hands of his abusive parents in 1997 but whose killing would remain unconfirmed for 20 years, has sued the state, saying Child Protective Services workers and the system didn't do enough to protect him. Hawaii News Now.

County hiring practices changing in wake of critical audit. A critical audit of the county Human Resources Department has spurred a bevy of changes to how public employees are recruited and hired. West Hawaii Today.

Retired police detective suing county, captain. A retired Hawaii Police Department detective claims he was falsely arrested and imprisoned early last year, and is suing the county and a police captain. Tribune-Herald.

Lawsuit alleges racial harassment. A Hawaiian Airlines employee stationed at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport filed a lawsuit citing racial harassment and discrimination after discovering a noose and lynch rope near his locker. West Hawaii Today.

The Governor’s Task Force on Rat Lungworm Disease says the problem is spreading, it’s become an “emerging” tropical disease and that unanswered questions need to be addressed with research. Tribune-Herald.

Members of the Governor’s Joint Task Force on Rat Lungworm Disease visited Hilo Medical Center on Tuesday. The group is on the island, learning first hand about the effects of the disease in East Hawaii. Big Island Video News.

State officials are looking to fine a major big island landowner after unpermitted construction work damaged a historic cemetery in South Hilo. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Is This Maui Landowner Getting A Raw Deal From The State? A man who lost his waterfront land may have to pay the state $1 million as part of an eminent domain case. Civil Beat.

Rep. Angus L.K. McKelvey of Maui presented a letter to Gov. David Ige formally requesting that he intervene and stop a Hawaii Department of Transportation proposal that includes last-minute changes to the Keawe Street intersection of the Honoapiilani Highway in Lahaina. Maui Now.

Liquor Commission sends evaluation of director to mayor. Arakawa will need to sign off before report is available to public. Maui News.

The pending sale of Grand Wailea resort on Maui for $1.1 billion will be the highest price paid for a Hawaii hotel and the second highest paid for a hotel in the United States. Star-Advertiser.

Blackstone Group LP is buying the Grand Wailea resort on Maui from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund for a reported $1.1 billion, according to several reports. Pacific Business News.

Kauai


Panel looks at the climate and what could be ahead for Kauai. Threats to species, shorelines and structures, as well as opportunities for innovation were all on the table as the Earth Matters public lecture series opened Tuesday with a panel discussion on climate change and conservation. Garden Island.

West Maui condos face imminent threat from extreme erosion. Hawaii News Now.

The Kauai County Council on Wednesday approved a new lifeguard stand for Poipu Beach Park that officials believe will save lives.  Garden Island.