Thursday, December 20, 2018

Federal recognition for Native Hawaiians advances, Senate panel quizzes University of Hawaii, Oahu hotel occupancy falls following strike, bioenergy plant fined for discharge, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Native Hawaiians guarding the Hokulea ©2018 All Hawaii News
Civil Rights Panel Backs Federal Recognition For Native Hawaiians. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights reversed its 12-year-old opposition, and now supports providing Native Hawaiians similar status to Native American tribes. Civil Beat.

Senators Put UH Finances Under A Microscope. A proposal backed by Gov. David Ige to expand a community college scholarship program to four-year schools is met with skepticism. Civil Beat.

An internal audit has given the University of Hawaii a clean bill of health when it comes to its financial management of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness Legislative Priorities: $218M. The Homelessness Coalition of state, county, faith-based and social services organizations is setting its priorities for the upcoming legislative session. Hawaii Public Radio.

Green: Reclassifying drug treatment as ‘primary care’ could help more addicts into recovery. Hawaii News Now.

Delays, Denials, Wasted Tax Dollars: DOE’s Troubled Treatment Of Injured Workers. A Civil Beat investigation found frequent shortcomings with how Hawaii’s education department handles workers’ comp claims. Civil Beat.

The Hidden Cost of Shipping Your Holiday Package. The Jones Act governs maritime shipping within the domestic United States. In essence, it says that any shipment from one U.S. port to another, it is required to come on a ship built in the United States, owned and operated by an American company, and crewed by American citizens or residents. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii received a C-plus in the Surfrider Foundation’s annual State of the Beach Report Card, which grades 30 U.S. states and the territory of Puerto Rico on policies that address climate change, shoreline erosion and extreme weather. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources has joined forces with various marine and animal protection organizations to make it easier for people to report illegal aquarium collecting activity across the state. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii-based marine and animal protection organizations have joined forces with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources to make it easier for people to report illegal aquarium collecting activity across the state. Garden Island.

NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary reminds the public that humpback whale season in Hawaii is underway. Maui Now.

Oahu

In surprising candor, Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard is expressing concern about the city prosecutor’s potential impact on criminal cases and his attendance at public safety meetings while he faces a federal investigation. Hawaii News Now.

November was not kind to Oahu hotels, with occupancy falling below 80 percent for the first time since March 2017. It didn’t help that workers at four of Waikiki’s major beachfront hotels owned by Kyo-ya Hotels &Resorts and operated by Marriott were involved in a 51-day strike. Star-Advertiser.

A single street in Kalihi has become a dumping ground for abandoned vehicles. Hawaii News Now.

Yoga Gains A Place Behind Bars In Hawaii. Louisa DiGrazia won a $35,000 grant from the Legislature to expand yoga classes throughout Oahu’s correctional facilities. Civil Beat.

HPD wants to issue smartphones to all officers. The smartphone could become an official crime fighting tool for HPD. Police Chief Susan Ballard is pushing the idea to help officers do their jobs more efficiently and safely. KHON2.

HPD officer hit with more domestic abuse charges while out on bail. A Honolulu police officer awaiting trial on multiple counts of domestic abuse was back in state court Monday on more charges. Star-Advertiser.

The Missile Defense Agency has awarded a $585 million contract to Lockheed Martin to design, develop and deliver its Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii. Maui Now.

Hawaii Island

Relief for Puna, cesspool conversion and more neighbor island participation in state government are among an inventory of priorities for five Hawaii Island legislators who briefed the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce at a breakfast meeting Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch is fining Hu Honua Bioenergy $25,000 for discharging industrial wastewater into the ocean Nov. 9 at the biomass power plant under construction in Pepeekeo. According to the DOH, the discharge was intentional and violates state law. Tribune-Herald.

The state Department of Health fined Hu Honua Bioenergy, a renewable energy firm, $25,000 for illegally discharging wastewater last month at its Pepeekeo facility. Star-Advertiser.

Health Officials Cite Hu Honua For Illegal Wastewater Discharge. Big Island Video News.

The Hawaii County Department of Water Supply is proposing to roll back its power cost charge come the beginning of February. West Hawaii Today.

Luquin ‘very close’ to opening new Pahoa restaurant. After a year of delays, a popular Pahoa restaurant will finally open its new location in 2019 after being destroyed last year. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Progress has reportedly been made in Alexander & Baldwin’s attempt to find farming use for the company’s thousands of acres on Maui that were formerly planted in sugarcane. Maui Now.

With some residents noticing an increase in illegal fireworks being set off earlier this year, a community event will be held Saturday to collect donations to help animals distressed by fireworks. Maui News.

Molokai plan wins council approval. Isle residents concerned with zoning guidelines. Molokai residents are “generally very happy” to finally have an updated community plan after 17 years, but they’re concerned about new zoning guidelines that leave “the door wide open” to development that could be opposed by the community. Maui News.

Kauai

Three Department of Land and Natural Resources employees on Kauai have been disciplined for ethics violations. Joseph Borden, the district manager for the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation was forced to resign last week due to falsifying government documents to favor a private contractor, forcing employees to lie on equipment disposal records, and  improperly accepting gifts from contractors. Two other employees, harbor agents Manuel Andrade and Kathy Rosare were fined $2,000 and $1,200 for using State resources for personal business. KITV.

The Kauai district manager for the Department of Natural Resources’ boating division resigned last week after an investigation revealed he falsified documents in order to award dozens of government contracts to businesses run by his friend, according to documents released Tuesday by the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. Garden Island.

Molokai

Molokai plan wins council approval. Isle residents concerned with zoning guidelines. Molokai residents are “generally very happy” to finally have an updated community plan after 17 years, but they’re concerned about new zoning guidelines that leave “the door wide open” to development that could be opposed by the community. Maui News.

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