Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hawaii has clean beaches, ag land in peril, Oahu low unemployment brings down state average, Earthjustice to sue Maui over wastewater, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Waikiki beach (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Hawai‘i’s beaches had the fourth cleanest water in the nation last year, according to an environmental action group’s report released Wednesday. Associated Press.

A national evaluation of two Big Island beaches has found both have a history of exceptional water quality. Tribune-Herald.

Teachers scrambled for news and contacted their union and government leaders Wednesday, two days ahead of the Department of Education's plan to unilaterally impose a 5 percent wage reduction and other contract conditions. Star-Advertiser.

Next week, many Hawaii public workers will receive less take-home pay, but others will see unexpected, if temporary, increases.Hawaii Reporter.

Paycuts and a bigger share of health premium costs are among the changes taking place Friday for most public employees. KHON2.

Two more appointees asked by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to resign say they will not do so. Civil Beat.

Attorneys for Earthjustice announced Wednesday they had filed a notice of intent to sue Maui County over alleged violations of the Clean Water Act at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility. Maui News.

The push to go green in Hawaii has reached the State Capitol. Employees are duking it out in the Battle of the Buildings - a national competition for the title of "most energy-efficient" workplace in the country. Hawaii News Now.

While Hawaii ranks low when compared to other states in terms of federal subsidies for farms, dozens of Hawaii farms and ranches have received funding from the federal government over the last 10 years. Hawaii Reporter.

Supporters of preserving Oahu’s ag land are preparing to rally against the proposed Hoopili Subdivision in the Honouliuli ahupuaa on the Ewa plains. The subdivision is being pushed by U.S. housing developer D.R. Horton Company. Honolulu Independent.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has prepared a new plan for managing the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge on Oahu's North Shore over the next 15 years. Associated Press.

A freshman senator's efforts to preserve undeveloped South Kona state property are culminating in a bill signing Friday. West Hawaii Today.

Each year, the military opens the doors to its commissaries and exchanges to local businesses. Pacific Business News.

A contractor who lost a bid to build part of Honolulu's planned rail line has appealed the decision to the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Star-Advertiser.

This is the year, Maui County officials promised, that the Transportation Department will finally begin building proper shelters and benches at Maui Bus stops. Maui News.

Bullying in local schools was the focus of a Mental Health America of Hawai’i workshop. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Woman Files Lawsuit Over Osteoporosis Drug. KITV4.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hawaii tourism rebounds, new Senate seat unlikely for Big Island, Abercrombie targets prison program, Kauai bids go online, more Hawaii news optimized for your smartphone

shark courtesy photo
Hawaii was the first in the world to ban possession of shark fins meaning shark fin soup will no longer be served in the state. Hawaii News Now

Hawaii's visitor industry continued rebounding in May, and the momentum is expected to build through summer. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii will begin including nonresident members of the military when it redraws political districts, according to a Tuesday vote by the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission that likely denies the Big Island an additional state Senate seat. Associated Press.

Hawaii's 2011 Reapportionment Commission has voted 8-1 to include non-resident military personnel and their families as well as sentenced felons and college students as part of political district populations. Civil Beat.

Governor Neil Abercrombie announced an ambitious effort to cut cost while reducing the number of inmates being sent to the mainland, lowering recidivism, and preventing crime. Hawaii News Now.

For the first time since the escape of four inmates from Waiawa Correctional Facility, the state's Department of Public Safety on Tuesday discussed the investigation. KITV4.

The state's decision to unilaterally impose a contract proposal with wage reductions for teachers is unprecedented in the islands and could prove a test case for future public employee union negotiations, local labor experts said. Star-Advertiser.

Rep. Bob Herkes said he's "obviously disappointed" that Gov. Neil Abercrombie intends to veto a bill that would create a vog task force comprised of state and county officials. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie is appointing new deputy directors to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Department of Accounting and General Services. Associated Press.

An override of Mayor Billy Kenoi's council budget veto is unlikely, County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong told mauka Rotarians Tuesday afternoon. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island police say they've uncovered an unscrupulous and potentially dangerous online ploy that's targeting unsuspecting women.KHON2.

Nearly two years after driving while holding a cellphone was banned on Oahu, many motorists still have a hard time putting down the device and keeping both hands on the wheel. Star-Advertiser.

Deputy county attorney to run for prosecutor seat. Garden Island.

County officials announced Tuesday that solicitations for bids and related documents will be available online starting next month. Garden Island.

A Maui man believes he's set a record as the first person to make a solo crossing from the Big Island to Kauai on a stand-up paddleboard. Maui News.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hawaii governor may veto 23 bills, Honolulu City Council vetoes bills, Big Island developer appeals LUC decision, teachers still unhappy, more top news from the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Abercrombie addresses Legislature (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Gov. Neil Abercrombie notified state House and Senate leaders on Monday that he may veto 23 bills, including a bill intended to protect the state's landmark Prepaid Health Care Act. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday identified 23 bills for possible veto. Civil Beat.

Governor Abercrombie Monday released a list of 23 bills that he may veto. Associated Press.

List of vetoes. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu City Council voted unanimously Monday morning in a special meeting to override some of Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle's vetoes in a battle over control of the budget for the city's $5.3 billion rail project. KITV4.

The handful of townhouses already built on the DW Aina Lea property in South Kohala will "rot on the hill" if the 3rd Circuit Court does not grant a motion to stay a Land Use Commission decision. West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Education is moving to unilaterally put into effect its "last, best and final" contract offer to 12,700 public school teachers, and says pay and time-off provisions that amount to a 5 percent cut will take effect Friday. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Accounting and General Services last week issued a finding of no significant impact for its own proposed new Kona baseyard. West Hawaii Today.

State spending on legal advertisements will top $1 million annually by 2013 under new rates imposed by the Honolulu Star Advertiser since it became only daily newspaper on Oahu, according to state purchasing records. Hawaii Reporter.

Kauai community members can now learn more about county Department of Water projects online. Garden Island.

Eighteen years ago, more than a thousand people gathered for the Independence Day celebration - and fireworks - at the Maui Country Club, recalled former club President John Vail. Maui News.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hawaii cost of living going up with new laws, UH research studied, Army battles environment, dispute raises rail costs, teachers unions unhappy, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

Nene geese (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
The nene geese population at Kauai Lagoons has grown so fast and large the geese now are now considered the threat.  Associated Press.

The cost of living in Hawaii will edge upward on Friday as the new fiscal year begins and brings with it a rise in various state fees and taxes that were needed to help balance the budget in tough economic times. Star-Advertiser.

Some Oahu teachers said Sunday they don't want to strike, but it is not acceptable to ask them to take less pay and require them to contribute more for their health insurance. KITV4.

The Army is shifting at least some high-altitude helicopter training from Hawaii to Colorado — at a taxpayer cost of up to $11 million — following an additional environmental review imposed by the state. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood have both made much ado about the potential of university innovation to drive Hawaii's economy. Civil Beat.

A battle between the Honolulu city council and Mayor Peter Carlisle over who controls the purse for the rail project could cost taxpayers lots of money. KHON2.

It was a happy homecoming for some Hawaii-based soldiers. 135 soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division stationed at Schofield Barracks returned Sunday morning from a one-year tour in Iraq. Hawaii News Now.

The state water commission this week is due to consider an application from the City and County of Honolulu for permission to alter channels in four Oahu streams to accommodate a planned commuter rail line. Associated Press.

Department of Planning Director Will Spence said the most immediate and largest challenges ahead of him are finishing Maui's master plan and streamlining the Planning Department. Maui News.

With the Fourth of July holiday approaching, permits for firecrackers will be sold starting Wednesday, according to the Fire Department, and all types of fireworks go on sale the same day. Tribune-Herald.

Apart from the film festival, Molokai was by no means left off the county budget for projects ranging from parks to water supply. Molokai Dispatch.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hawaii budget now law, cuts expected, Abercrombie town hall meeting and more news from the Hawaiian Islands

The Big Island recently became free of extreme drought for the first time in two years, but forecasters still expect below-normal rainfall levels through the fall. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law Thursday a two-year, $21.9 billion state budget that increases spending to pay higher Medicaid, public worker health care and debt service costs but leaves him with the responsibility for making significant cuts to state programs. Star-Advertiser.

It was billed as "A Community Conversation with Governor Abercrombie." But to many in the overflow crowd who attended, it wasn't a conversation at all. Hawaii News Now.

Another round of severe budget cuts is being drawn up by Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s administration, with department heads being asked to identify $50 million in “fiscal constraints” by early next month. Hawaii Reporter.

By 6pm Thursday over 200 people had packed the Washington Middle School cafeteria wanting to hear from Governor Neil Abercrombie. KHON2.

A couple of frustrated voters interrupted Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s town hall meeting Thursday night, complaining about the state’s homeless problem. KITV4.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Thursday night that he would consider reappointing members of five boards and commissions who just last week he asked to resign. Civil Beat.

You may have to wait a little longer to retire here in Hawaii, thanks to a new bill Governor Abercrombie signed into law Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed into law a bill that makes sweeping changes to the state's underfunded pension system by reducing some government employees' benefits. Garden Island.

Local governments should be wary of depending too much on federal dollars to pay for community services, former Gov. George Ariyoshi warned Wednesday. Maui News.

Hawaii homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage may be eligible for a big chunk of federal assistance. West Hawaii Today.

A day after news broke about plans being canceled for a Makaha Valley "learning community" aimed at improving the lives of Leeward Coast residents, a new reason for the failure emerged. Star-Advertiser.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hawaii geothermal, Maui sewage sought as energy sources, Oahu surf rescues surge, dog fight law gets more bite, Abercrombie appointee controversy continues, Kauai bike path cycles upward, shipping rates going up, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hilo Farmers Market (c) 2011 All Hawaii News

It looks like Oahu’s mango season could be a bust for most people this year. The popular, locally-grown, tropical fruit is in very short supply. KITV4.

A Young Bros. rate increase request first filed in December is finally moving forward. West Hawaii Today.

The state has signed a new, three-year contract with Corrections Corporation of America to house up to 1,900 prison inmates at private prisons in Arizona. Hawaii Reporter.

Why did Gov. Neil Abercrombie choose to ask the members of only five of the more than 150 boards and commissions to resign? Civil Beat.

The chairman of the Aloha Stadium Authority expects as many as seven of its nine members to refuse Gov. Neil Abercrombie's request to resign.  Star-Advertiser.

After receiving a letter from Gov. Neil Abercrombie asking that he resign from the Hawaii Public Housing Authority, Wailea resident Travis Thompson said that he was considering his options but would likely stay at his post. Maui News.

Military personnel and visiting students shouldn't be counted in establishing new County Council districts because they aren't permanent Big Island residents. Tribune-Herald.

Kauai says the results of water quality tests from last year show the county's water meets all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for safe drinking water. Associated Press.

A new law is designed to crack down on dog fighting in Hawaii. Governor Neil Abercrombie signed Senate Bill 1069 on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

A plan to integrate educational facilities and affordable housing for a new community for underprivileged Leeward residents has fallen apart.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. is taking the first steps toward establishing geothermal energy as a means to meet West Hawaii's electrical needs. West Hawaii Today.

Lifeguards from the city Ocean Safety Division provided aid to hundreds of surfers and swimmers who attempted to brave the big waves on Oahu's southern and western shores Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The federal government remains committed to granting $1.55 billion for Honolulu's $5.3 billion planned rail project by October 2012. Star-Advertiser.

A developer's plans to build on more than 1,500 acres of West Oahu farmland has gained unanimous support from the Kapolei Neighborhood Board. Hawaii News Now.

Three days waiting for an answer became five months and $28,000 snowballed into $338,500 for an upcoming stretch of the county’s multi-use path in Kapa‘a.  Garden Island.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Not all Abercrombie appointees to resign, Honolulu wants police, firefighters to consider pay cut, thieves stealing tsunami warnings, lawsuits loom on rail, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

Polynesian canoe (c) 2011 All Hawaii News

Seven double-hulled sailing canoes from Pacific island nations as far as New Zealand were scheduled to arrive on Maui this morning, as part of several visits in the Hawaiian Islands including Oahu, where they will participate in an environmental conference. Star-Advertiser.

The price tag for public employee and retiree health benefits has ballooned to $14 billion over the next three decades — and Hawaii taxpayers can expect to pay more taxes to cover the burden. Civil Beat.

At least one Big Island representative on a state board doesn't plan to give in to Gov. Neil Abercrombie's request to step down. West Hawaii Today.

Three state agency heads and two board members appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie weren't asked to voluntarily resign, unlike 27 of their colleagues who were appointed by former Gov. Linda Lingle. Star-Advertiser.

Federal education officials visited Honolulu this week to review well Hawaii is implementing its "Race to the Top" plans. Associated Press.

Honolulu is asking police and firefighters for pay cuts similar to what other public workers have already endured for the last two years. KITV4.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed legislation aimed at expanding high-speed Internet access around the state. Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed into law several bills concerning community property in divorces, animal cruelty, small claims and consumer contract law. Tribune-Herald.

The fight about who will have final say on spending decisions of the soon-to-be-formed Honolulu Authority for Rail Transportation could be headed to court, after Mayor Peter Carlisle vetoed the operating and construction budgets for the transit authority. Star-Advertiser.

Vandals at some Oahu beach parks have a new target: the large batteries that power many of the emergency sirens that warn residents of hurricanes, tsunamis and other disasters. Star-Advertiser.

Members of Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative on Tuesday said they wish to clarify an important issue related to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s hydroelectic preliminary permitting process. Garden Island

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hawaii students face new graduation rules, Abercrombie appointee battle continues, Superferry for sale, UHH cutting classes,Transit Authority may lose budget, Hawaii County budget battles, more Hawaii news optimized for your smartphone

Hawaii Superferry (c) 2011 All Hawaii News

The federal Maritime Administration has put up for public sale the two high-speed vessels formerly owned by the bankrupt Hawaii Superferry LLC. Star-Advertiser.

ALEC To Release ‘Rich States, Poor States’ Wednesday; Hawaii Listed as 46th Worst. Hawaii Reporter.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie's request that all 28 people he didn't appoint to five key boards and commissions step down has thrown the members into an uproar. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Monday that his request that more than two dozen appointed members of state boards and commissions resign was not a reflection of their service or an issue of personalities. Star-Advertiser.

Will Hawaii care enough about deciding its political districts? Hawaii Independent.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed 15 measures into law. Associated Press.

As Hawaii residents prepare to pay more than double the vehicle weight tax fees and an 80 percent higher state vehicle registration fee, there's no guarantee the money will go for road maintenance. West Hawaii Today.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo has resorted to cutting classes to deal with an anticipated $4 million shortfall in state funding. Tribune-Herald.

Every public high school student in Hawaii would have to pass geometry and complete two lab sciences under more rigorous graduation requirements proposed as the state Department of Education continues to fine-tune its diploma policy. Star-Advertiser.

A little more than a week before the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation takes office, a battle looms as Mayor Peter Carlisle is expected to veto the agency's budget passed by the City Council. Star-Advertiser.

County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong has called an emergency meeting Friday to vote on whether the council should hire an outside attorney to verify the legality of the county budget. West Hawaii Today.

Last-minute executive actions by a county administration that shares legal staff with the County Council are apparently hampering the council's ability to do its work, a situation that could lead to changes sought in the Hawaii County Charter. West Hawaii Today.

Members of the Hawaii-based guided missile frigate USS Reuben James received a warm welcome when they returned to Pearl Harbor Monday morning. KITV4.

A new formula is causing some confusion about Hawaii's bottomfish catch limit. Hawaii News Now.

The state is considering new emergency rules for the Kaneohe sandbar. KHON2.

In the first large-scale project of its kind on Oahu, three plant varieties were planted in a Waialua field Monday morning. KITV4.

The state Department of Transportation will discuss alternatives Wednesday evening to protect the shoreline of Kahului Harbor and to shield a segment of Kahului Beach Road from erosion. Maui News.

The dry, white mudflats at Kanaha Pond Wildlife Sanctuary will eventually be wet again, when the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife replaces a pump that keeps the wetland wet. Maui News.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Hawaii Host Committee needs about 1,200 volunteers in place by next month. Associated Press.

The Fourth of July is still two weeks away, but if you want to celebrate Independence Day on Oahu with firecrackers, you have just a few more days to get a permit. KHON2.

The Mission Houses Museum is hosting a year-long series of lectures, storytelling and tours on Legends, Myths and Fables. Hawaii Public Radio.

Two East Oahu legislators are appealing to the owners of Koko Marina CenterbizWatch and FoodlandbizWatch to reconsider the decision to replace the supermarket with a drugstore chain. Pacific Business News.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hawaiian spirit has no standing in Mauna Kea telescope case, Abercrombie cronies get contract,lobbyists spend $2.5M, Maui taxes decrease, Hawaii farmworker trafficker to get new charges, Hawaii news now optimized for your smartphone

Marines at Pohakuloa Training Area (c) 2011 All Hawaii News

The top U.S. Army commander in the Pacific wants to be sure Hawaii-based soldiers have alternate locations for live-fire training before he’ll write off using Makua -- a valley many Native Hawaiians consider sacred -- for that purpose. Associated Press.

The Pearl Harbor-based guided-missile frigate USS Reuben James is coming home after a five month-long deployment to Asia. Associated Press.

The state last month awarded a $186,387 consulting contract to a company with close political ties to Gov. Neil Abercrombie after rejecting another company’s $96,000 bid because it was submitted 11 minutes late.Hawaii Reporter.

Lobbying organizations in Hawaii spent $2,548,277 to influence lawmakers in just 120 days, from Jan. 1 through April 30, according to figures compiled by the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. Civil Beat.

A guardian spirit of Mauna Kea should not have standing in a pending contested case hearing regarding the Thirty Meter Telescope, a hearings officer found. Tribune-Herald.

Federal prosecutors want to introduce new allegations during the trial for the owners of Aloun Farms that they had a history of subjecting impoverished Thai agricultural laborers to oppressive working and living conditions. Star-Advertiser.

As property taxes have gone down for homeowners in Maui County, data released by the county Finance Department show that an increasing number pay the minimum tax of just $150 per year. Maui News.

Sam Slom, Hawaii's only Republican senator, visited Kona Saturday to give his take on the legislative session that has just passed -- and he wasn't too impressed. West Hawaii Today.

A Honolulu man convicted of slugging his 14-year-old stepson in the face and breaking his nose should have been allowed to raise the defense that he was disciplining the teenager, a divided Hawaii Supreme Court ruled this month. Star-Advertiser.

The final phase for a potential change to Kalaupapa’s air service has begun – three airlines have bid to serve the community with promises to lower airfare, and the comment period from the public ended last week. Molokai Dispatch

Kaua‘i residents who reside north of Anahola Bay on ‘Aliomanu Road have dealt with driving on a narrow strip of asphalt along the coast for years. Garden Island.

If the Nanakuli Neighborhood Board has its way, food and other vendors may be allowed at a popular beach park along the Leeward Oahu coast. Hawaii News Now.

Food trucks are quickly becoming the staple of street corners and they're one of the hottest trends in Hawaii. KHON2.

Drug policy reform advocates in Hawaii joined 15 other states in marking the 40th anniversary of the federal government’s war on drugs. KITV4.

Civil Beat will open a Washington, D.C., office next month, making it the only Hawaii-based news organization with a full-time reporter in the nation's capital. Civil Beat.

The Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project is dedicated to recovering Maui’s endangered forest birds. Hawaii Public Radio.

Getting the first glimpses of the new ShirokiyabizWatch Yataimura, or food village, earlier this week really highlighted just how important food concessions are to Shirokiya’s brand name and its entire operation. Pacific Business News.

Stephen Yamashiro's visionary genius made him a Pro Bowl savior, hula ally and even Hawaii County's greatest mayor, friends, along with a few past adversaries, said in remembering him Saturday. Tribune-Herald.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Native Hawaiians increase, union claims airport mismanagement, Abercrombie fires Aloha Stadium board, Hawaii County to evict native tenants, feds look again at monk seal, honu turtle, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Native Hawaiian fisherman (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
The population of Native Hawaiians in Hawaii jumped by more than one-fifth over the last decade, continuing a resurgence in the once-dwindling numbers of indigenous people in the state, according to new U.S. Census information. Associated Press.

Hawaii County and a landowner trying to sell the county pristine Ka'u oceanfront property have been granted preliminary authority to remove a group of Native Hawaiians living there. West Hawaii Today.

New figures from 2010 U.S. Census show that Filipinos and part-Filipinos now make up the second-largest racial group in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Members of the Aloha Stadium Authority said they were stunned to be asked for their resignations in letters this week from Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Neil Abercrombie is not shying away from his comments last week that paying $4-million to the NFL for future Pro Bowl games is out of whack with the state's priorities. KHON2.

I told you so. That's what Hawaii foreclosure attorneys were probably thinking after the news broke that mortgage giant Fannie Mae said it was converting all of its non-judicial foreclosures into judicial foreclosures, essentially skirting Hawaii's new foreclosure law. Civil Beat.

Certain tax exemptions were previously put in place to de-pyramid or prevent the piling on of GE tax on top of GE tax along the supply chain in things like shipping, construction subcontractors and certain airline costs. That's changing this summer. KHON2.

Mismanagement, inadequate equipment and a staffing shortage are to blame for the actions of dozens of Transportation Security Administration employees at Honolulu International Airport who are being fired for improper bag screening, labor union officials said. Associated Press.

State officials are discontinuing a program that helps low-income seniors pay for Medicare prescriptions. Associated Press.

Kaua‘i’s first woman prosecutor has announced her intent to seek reelection in 2012. Garden Island.

Mayor Billy Kenoi's veto of the amended operating budget has set up a potential showdown between his administration and the County Council, two weeks before the start of the next fiscal year. Tribune-Herald.

Obama administration officials visited Hawaii on Thursday to hear opinions on how it should shape a new national policy on oceans. Associated Press.

The Hawaiian Green Turtle, or Honu, has recovered so well since being classified as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act in 1978 that its federal protection may be removed. Hawaii News Now.

Due to the rapid decrease in the Hawaiian monk seal population, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service has proposed to revise the critical habitat area for monk seals, and is inviting public comment. Molokai Dispatch.

The path to a sustainable food future for Hawai`i involves many things, including an economically viable plan, government and public support, and a fresh perspective. But a key concern for farmers, some say even more so than land, is water. Hawaii Independent.

Military Spouses Get Help with Education and Employment. Hawaii Public Radio.

Global Horizon CEO Mordechai Orian: I am looking forward to my trial. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaiian Telcom plans to close its five retail stores statewide and has notified 103 employees that their positions will be eliminated as part of what the company calls a "re-alignment." KITV4.

Hawaii hotels saw occupancy levels dip during the week ending June 11. Even so, average room rates still were higher than a year ago, according to Smith Travel ResearchbizWatch and Hospitality Advisors. Pacific Business News.

Looking for more sources of revenue through additional lease space, landowner Kamehameha Schools hopes to "revitalize" a block of historic Haleiwa Town that is home to the popular Matsumoto and Aoki shave ice stores — a change prompting some businesses there to rethink their future. Star-Advertiser.

Safeway will be anchor tenant of the Maui Lani Center, across Kaahumanu Avenue from Baldwin High School, the largest grocery retailer in North America announced Wednesday. Maui News.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hawaii gets direct flights to China, rail transit shakes up Honolulu City Council, census shows Hawaii residents living longer, Big Island housing glut, Hawaii County mayor vetoes budget, shipping costs to rise, labor trafficker pleads guilty, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu residents at bus stop (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Hawai‘i’s oldest residents are living longer, with the number of people in the islands over 90 years old nearly doubling during the last decade, according to U.S. Census data released Wednesday. Associated Press.

Almost one in five Hawaii County homes were vacant when census workers made their rounds last year. West Hawaii Today.

With a population density of 87,816 people per square mile, Hobron Lane matches the profile of the state’s highest density areas: It’s a residential zone with a lot of high-rise buildings. Star-Advertiser.

Nonresident military and their dependents should be counted as permanent residents when redrawing the state's political districts, the Oahu advisory council to the state Reapportionment Commission recommended Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's long-sought goal to significantly tap into the lucrative Chinese tourist market is closer to becoming a reality. Star-Advertiser.

Matson is adding a new shipping fee to offset the cost of a new law that suspends general excise tax exemptions, and other businesses are eyeing price hikes. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Billy Kenoi on Wednesday vetoed the County Council-approved budget, claiming some of the council's key budget amendments were illegal. West Hawaii Today.

City Council Chairman Nestor Garcia is stepping down to clear a path for freshman Councilman Ernie Martin to replace him. Star-Advertiser.

City Council members' frustration over how City Council Chairman Nestor Garcia and Vice Chair Breene Harimoto handled appointments to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation was a "major factor" in a leadership shake-up at the council, according to City Council member Ikaika Anderson. Civil Beat.

Opponents and supporters of the city's $5-billion rail transit project faced off Wednesday night at a town meeting sponsored by Ewa and Kapolei's councilman Tom Berg. KITV4.

The Federal Transportation Administration is again pledging their commitment that funding is there for Honolulu's rail transit project. KHON2.

The University of Hawaii will receive $4.3 million to continue a 14-year old program that provides job training and educational opportunities to more than 800 residents each year who live in underserved, rural communities on Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, and Molokai. Molokai Dispatch.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has released another $12.5 million for nine additional safety and security projects at various public schools on Oahu and Maui as part of his New Day Work Projects, designed to create jobs and cash flow, he announced Wednesday. Pacific Business News

A proposal to restore the county's homeowner property tax exemption to 2005 levels was recommended by the Maui County Council Budget and Finance Committee on Tuesday. Maui News.

Donalyn Dela Cruz, Gov. Neil Abercrombie's spokeswoman, is writing and producing a new Hawaii travelogue show. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii farm supervisor has pleaded guilty to confiscating passports from Thai laborers to prevent them from fleeing in one of the nation's largest human trafficking cases. Associated Press.

A Hilo restaurateur and his business partner are suing another Hilo businessman for the return of almost a half-million dollars invested in a proposed subdivision. Tribune-Herald.

Road and sidewalk construction from Ala Moana through Waikiki is causing some confusion for pedestrians. KITV4.

Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May dropped to 6 percent, down from 6.1 percent the previous month and 6.6 percent in May 2010, according to the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Pacific Business News

Recent Maui High School graduates Jimbo Paranada and Marc Paguirigan took second place Tuesday morning at the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals in Dearborn, Mich. Maui News.

Kauai Council scratches cat resolution. Garden Island.

Hawaiian Paradise Park representatives voted Wednesday evening to continue discussions with the county over its plan to build a $5.5 million park in the neighborhood. Tribune-Herald.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hawaii schools to lose funds, Honolulu mayor forgives $1.2M loan, Maui sovereignty group issued warrants, Hawaii Island fire chief steps down, ordnance exploded on Kauai, all the island news

Hawaii soldier walks past Quonset huts (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
They may not know where the money's coming from, but U.S. Army officials Tuesday laid out ambitious expansion and improvement plans while advocating for high altitude flight training and ongoing monitoring of depleted uranium. West Hawaii Today.

For the second time in less than a month, the U.S. Army’s 706th explosive ordnance disposal team flew in from Schofield Barracks on O‘ahu to destroy a device found on Kaua‘i’s shores. Garden Island.

Lightning has knocked out the first large telescope ever built on Mauna Kea, and engineers are working to bring it back online.Associated Press.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle's administration forgave $1.2 million in city loans to the nonprofit elderly day-care center at the heart of a federal investigation into misuse of $7.9 million in grants, a Civil Beat investigation has found. Civil Beat.

Sixty-four campuses will lose extra funds designed to offset costs at small schools because the state Department of Education has lowered the enrollment levels needed to qualify for the money. Star-Advertiser.

The governor has signed bills authorizing two Big Island companies to issue as much as $140 million in special purpose revenue bonds to finance energy ventures. Hawaii Reporter.

Construction subcontractors, subleasors and airlines will temporarily lose their exemption to the state's general excise tax, under a bill signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Associated Press.

Maui County is seeking to intervene as the Public Utilities Commission considers a huge wind power project, called Big Wind, that will be either on Lanai, or Lanai and Molokai both. Maui News.

Three of five members of a Maui Hawaiian sovereignty group indicted last month on federal fraud charges failed to appear in federal court today and bench warrants were ordered for their arrests. Hawaii Reporter.

Mayor Billy Kenoi remained mum Tuesday about whether he will approve next fiscal year's $367 million operating budget. West Hawaii Today.

After more than three decades in the Hawaii Fire Department, including nine years as chief, Darryl Oliveira is "getting out of the way." Tribune-Herald.

Home construction would be made safer and faster under a trio of bills a County Council committee advanced Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

A vote against amending the Hawaii County code to reflect last month's decision to use $1 million of open space fund revenues to balance next year's county budget doesn't put the money back in the fund. West Hawaii Today.

Homeless campers flock to Chinatown. KHON2.

Thousands have been caught and starting July 1 it will cost people busted for driving with a mobile device even more money. Hawaii News Now.

Transportation Security Administration employees told KITV 4 News an unsafe situation persisted at Honolulu International Airport for months because screeners were worried they'll get in trouble for reporting problems. KITV4.

One of the nation's biggest owners of home mortgages has made a move that could add to an already overburdened Hawaii court system's caseload. Star-Advertiser.

Soon the Honolulu Fire Department and the Honolulu Police Department will start up the Fireworks Amnesty Program KITV4.

The state Department of Transportation said last week that it will award around $608,000 in federal funds for four Maui Safe Routes to School projects this summer. Maui News.

The new Hawai’I Symphony Orchestra has officially debuted its name and logo, and unveiled an important new corporate sponsor, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Hawaii Public Radio.

Sowing the seeds of social change through school gardens. Hawaii Independent.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2011 Host Committee is seeking a firm to design and produce virtual exhibits that showcase Hawaii businesses. Pacific Business News

Lepe‘uli Beach, commonly called Larsen’s, has taken center stage over the past couple years because of a controversial fence that finally went up about three weeks ago, blocking off the easiest access to the narrow strip of sand on the North Shore. Garden Island.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hawaii research ship studies Japan radiation, half of Hawaiian Airlines revenue from baggage, TSA fights firing, Honolulu good place to raise family, Maui getting more cops, Aiea to get library, more Hawaii news

Kaimikai-o-Kanaloa courtesy photo
A research ship from Hawaii is carrying an international team of scientists. They're studying the impact of radiation releases in the waters off Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Hawaii News Now.

About 20 percent of the increase in next year's state budget is tied to the cost of putting people back to work on furlough days. Civil Beat.

Hawaii has dropped its appeal to a federal court ruling that lifted a $1,000 limit on donations to political action committees that make independent expenditures, so donors are free to give unlimited amounts of money to such committees. Star-Advertiser.

Last week’s indictment of an alleged electronic sex predator demonstrates the need for parents and children to be vigilant and cautious when going online or using cell phones, Attorney General David Louie said in news conference this morning. Hawaii Reporter.

A union attorney who flew to Honolulu to consult with airport security workers being fired said Monday at least some of those workers will contest their termination. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian, the state's largest airline, raked in $54 million last year from checked-bag fees, or roughly half of its $110 million profit. Star-Advertiser.

The American Cancer Society projects Hawai’i will have 66-hundred new cases of cancer this year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu hits the top ten when it comes to places to live and raise a family, according to Parenting magazine. KITV4.

Aiea residents will be getting a new library. KHON2.

Safeway's Property Development Centers to build Ewa site Pacific Business News

A fungus that kills coconut palms might have taken root along the Puna coastline. Tribune-Herald.

Group that turns fruit destined to rot into food for others uses grant to improve and grow program. Maui News.

A community policing program is restarting in areas on Maui that had been without those resources for several years. Associated Press.

The public is invited to two free presentations by Sue Arnold, founder of the Gray Whale Coalition. Garden Island.

The children of a retired NFL player are suing a North Kohala doctor, claiming the doctor's actions led to their father's death. West Hawaii Today.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hawaii budget cuts imperil reading programs, adult ed, wet weather ahead, Maui, EPA to settle, Hilo pot minister may take plea deal, Mainlanders boost tourism, more Hawaii news

Waikiki Beach (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Mainland visitors helped boost statewide hotel performance in April despite a sharp decline in tourists from Japan. Star-Advertiser.

An upper-level low and increasing moisture will bring the chance of heavy rain and thunderstorms through the state beginning with Hawai'i Island Sunday night and moving west. KHON2.

Thirteen hula halaus danced their way down Kalakaua Avenue Sunday evening.KITV4.

Hawaii is considering whether to start including nonresident members of the military when it redraws political boundaries this summer, a move that could help Republicans get elected in the Democrat-dominated state. Associated Press.

When Gov. Neil Abercrombie on June 9 announced Terry Lock as the state's early childhood coordinator, it was the third high-profile appointment to his administration that did not require approval from the state Senate. Civil Beat.

Two Hawaii state Senators who lost their bid for Lieutenant Governor in the 2010 Democratic primary were granted positions in the current administration of Hawaii’s new Democrat Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Hawaii Reporter.

Federal aid trickles in to island businesses and homeowners still licking their wounds from March's tsunami. Star-Advertiser.

The federal body responsible for managing fisheries around Hawaii and other parts of the western Pacific region is meeting this week to discuss catch limits on deep water bottomfish, opelu, lobster and other species. Associated Press.

Aquaculture is supposed to take the pressure off ocean fish stocks and help avert a global food shortage, but Kohala resident and microbiologist Wendy Minor believes some forms of fish farming may be creating more problems than they are solving. West Hawaii Today.

Maui County is considering a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency over allegations that the county violated the Safe Drinking Water Act and the terms of its injection well permit at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility. Maui News.

Community school principals are developing a plan to save adult education, whose funding will be eliminated in a year, and say higher fees and fewer courses will almost certainly be the result. Star-Advertiser.

A social service program that promotes reading in youth is scrambling to obtain funding to stay alive. Star-Advertiser.

Plans for the West Maui Medical Center appear to have stalled, after a split between the partners on the project. Maui News.

A University of Hawaii accounting professor will have to pay nearly $40,000 if he wants to see how much money the university spends on private law firms. Associated Press.

More than a thousand nonprofits around the state have lost their tax-exempt status this year, and a handful of those are Molokai organizations, according to a list recently published by the Internal Revenue Service. Molokai Dispatch.

For the third time, federal trial for marijuana minister Roger Christie and 13 others has been delayed, while a plea deal may be in the works. Tribune-Herald.

Lately computers have been in the news because they have been hacked -- ones belonging to defense contractors or the personal pages of politicians. KITV4.

The Maui Film Festival launches next week Wednesday, June 15th, with another stellar lineup of films. Hawaii Public Radio.

No, Kujo’s is not closing, said Brenda Jose, the Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol coordinator. Garden Island.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hawaii 'canoe districts' sunk, Abercrombie disses Pro Bowl, state seeks nonprofits' assets, Head Start a go, direct flights to Hilo celebrated, Hanabusa mulls Senate, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

Kamehameha statue draping in Hilo (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Lei draping ceremonies are due to be held in Hilo and Honolulu on Kamehameha Day, while most government offices are scheduled to be closed. Associated Press.

Hawaii's island counties will continue being represented by lawmakers who live there, according to Thursday's vote preventing districts from crossing from island to island. Associated Press.

Hawaii's reapportionment commission should not allow multimember state House or Senate districts, nor should the state allow the return of "canoe districts." West Hawaii Today.

Members of the Maui County Reapportionment Advisory Council unanimously recommended Tuesday not to count nonresident military personnel and their dependents, convicted felons in custody and students living away from home when voting districts are redrawn this year. Maui News.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie threw into question the future of the state's 32-year partnership with the Pro Bowl on Thursday, sharply questioning the $4 million the state annually pays the NFL to hold its popular all-star game here. Star-Advertiser.

The governor is plain wrong when he says civil unions would generate more money in a weekend than the state gets from the Pro Bowl. Civil Beat.

The State Campaign Spending Commission has fined two Hawaii lawmakers.Hawaii News Now.

The state attorney general’s office wants to know whether any of the 1,528 Hawaii groups that lost their federal tax-exempt, nonprofit status this week have assets that could be redistributed to other nonprofit organizations with similar goals. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Thursday introduced the woman he picked to head up the early education of Hawaii's children. KITV4.

The State’s Chief Executive underscored his commitment to Hawai’i’s young children today. He announced the appointment of a cabinet-level official to plan and implement a system for keiki. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hilo's newest pipeline to the mainland opened with great fanfare Thursday as Continental/United Airlines Flight 281 from Los Angeles arrived at 7:31 p.m. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. on Thursday announced his approval of the $269 million budget for Fiscal Year 2012, despite criticizing the final version approved May 25 by the Kaua‘i County Council. Garden Island.

Oahu beat the Neighbor Islands last year for the amount of solar energy per customer installed on Hawaii’s electric grids in 2010, according to a new study by the Solar Electric Power Association, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit dedicated to helping utilities integrate solar power into their energy portfolios. Pacific Business News

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is assessing her grass-roots support and fundraising ability and will decide by August whether to enter the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii's School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene is to offer a doctorate of nursing practice degree next year. Associated Press.

What should the future hold for Kalaupapa after the last Hansen’s Disease patients are gone? The National Park Service is charting the future of the National Historical Park, and asking for public input. KITV4.

Kona Community Hospital's emergency room was evacuated and closed for several hours Thursday morning after chemical fumes apparently sickened 13 people. West Hawaii Today.

Two opinions on a plan for health care on Molokai emerged last week: residents want a patient-centric, easy-to-navigate system with choices, while providers are concerned about finding funding to keep their services available. Molokai Dispatch.

A pocket of the higher-elevation koa forest that once covered the land from Makawao to Kaupo has gained a "higher priority" status for conservation by being designated Maui's fifth Natural Area Reserve. Maui News.

ThinkTech Hawaii and Hawaii Reporter Launch New News Partnership. Hawaii Reporter.

A collective of community groups on Kauai will hold the Seed and Plant Exchange on Sunday, June 12 at Keiki o Ka Aina in Kapaa. Hawaii Independent.