Friday, July 29, 2011

Honolulu preps for Western legislators, UPW mulls strike, Hawaii elevator inspections lag, Maui seeks pickup bed passenger ban, no homeless shuffle for APEC, Big Island removes military, students for redistricting, Senate seeks feedback on Twitter updates, more Hawaii news

Honolulu homeless (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Honolulu has no intention of moving homeless people from Waikiki for November's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, but parks and sidewalks could be temporarily cleared for cleanup, a city official told a group of state legislators Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

With the international spotlight on Honolulu for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, the idea of creating "safe zones" for homeless people has become popular among some state lawmakers. Civil Beat.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum is scheduled to convene in Waikiki in about one hundred days. Hawaii Public Radio.

The expertise of the East-West Center and its importance in relations with the Asia-Pacific region will be on display as lawmakers from 13 Western states gather in Honolulu this weekend. Star-Advertiser.

The state of Hawaii has already spent $1.329 billion of the total $1.824 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds received to date, but just 2,046 jobs have been created. Hawaii Reporter.

With time running out for Congress to reach a deal on raising the debt limit, Gov. Neil Abercrombie began taking steps Thursday to ensure the state would be protected if the government is unable to meet its obligations. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Neil Abercrombie says he has a contingency plan if the federal debt crisis stops the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. spending here next week. Hawaii Reporter.

Three Hawaii Senate committees this past session participated in a pilot project to “tweet” updates and other information during committee hearings. Pacific Business News.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Thursday said he is open to "adjustments or mediation" to resolve the contract impasse with the Hawaii State Teachers Association, but he says the state hasn't received any formal offer. Civil Beat.

The United Public Worker's Union, which is unhappy about proposed pay cuts, is voting on whether to authorize a strike. Hawaii News Now.

Blue collar workers represented by the United Public Workers union appear ready to play hardball in their contract negotiations with the state and the four counties. KHON2.

An art teacher from Kalani High School used his creative side to protest changes to teachers' pay as he marched in front of the state Capitol on Thursday. KITV4.

Most state and county workers in Hawaii saw a $45 to $250 drop in take-home pay this month because they are now paying a larger share of their health insurance costs. Star-Advertiser.

The next time you’re in a building with an elevator, you may want to consider taking the stairs. Garden Island.

Governor Neil Abercrombie Thursday announced Beth Giesting as the state's new Healthcare Transformation Coordinator.Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie will make stops around the island during a visit to Maui on Friday and Saturday. Maui News.

The terms “renewable energy” and “energy efficiency”—previously catchwords for policy wonks at NGO’s and Bay Area progressives—have now entered the demotic as they have become necessary goals for our future environmental and financial survival. Hawaii Independent.

Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning has scaled the first major regulatory hurdle to constructing a $250 million system to help downtown businesses cut their electricity bills. KITV4.

Unlike its state counterpart, the Hawaii County Redistricting Commission has agreed to leave nonresident military families and students out of its population counts when drawing new political maps. West Hawaii Today.

Maui Police, councilor seek to ban passengers in beds of pickups. Maui News.

The Hawaii County Wastewater Division is considering a sewer rate increase. West Hawaii Today.

Under fire for mismanagement, George N. Crabbe, the manager of the Lihue Airport, has turned in his keys, airport ID and official cell phone, according to state transportation department employees. KITV4.

The Palace Theater and Hilo Downtown Improvement Association are presenting a "Town Hall Meeting" with Police Chief Harry Kubojiri and staff Thursday, Aug. 11 at the Palace. Tribune-Herald.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hawaii shark sightings up, Chinatown residents protest crime, Kauai honored for GIS work, Honolulu foreclosures down while buildings vacant, Big Island girds for furloughs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honeybee (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Beetles that pose a serious threat to honeybees have been detected on Maui and Molokai. Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has not achieved the policy goal of aligning five of the state's major boards and commissions with his "A New Day in Hawaii" agenda, but the governor said Wednesday he still believes he took the right approach in asking former Gov. Linda Lingle's appointees to resign. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii public schoolers return to the classroom on Monday, but their teachers have already been there for days and weeks — in some cases months. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island households spend roughly six percent of their income on electricity, which is nearly three times the national average of two percent. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie unveiled the first charging station for electric vehicles in a state owned building Monday. Hawaii News Now.

A coalition of health and human services agencies conducted its annual meeting today. Hawaii Public Radio.

Dozens of people fed up with crime in Chinatown joined forces Wednesday night. Hawaii News Now.

How well do you know your Public Utilities Commission? Hawaii Independent.

The County of Kaua‘i was recognized for its recent work building technological systems that improve public safety efforts. Garden Island.

The Honolulu Reapportionment Commission deferred action on whether to include nonresident populations such as military members and their dependents in the overall island population count for the purposes of redistricting. Star-Advertiser.

Waikiki will be center stage for activity surrounding November's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, but the highest-profile meeting and finale of the seven-day event will take place about 25 miles away at Ko Olina. Star-Advertiser.

Jury selection for the trial of Aloun Farms Owners Michael Mankone Sou and Alec Souphone Sou began Wednesday with more than 100 potential jurors interviewed in U.S. District Court. Hawaii Reporter.

The state is seeking applications from landowners and local land trusts looking for funds to protect forested lands. Associated Press.

Foreclosures in the Honolulu metropolitan area decreased by more than 30 percent during the first six months of the year, according to new statistics from RealtyTrac. Pacific Business News.

Dozens of highly visible commercial properties are sitting vacant in Honolulu and Waikiki. KITV4.

While recorded confirmed shark sightings show an uptick, one researcher claims the only thing increasing is the community's presence and awareness. West Hawaii Today.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. announced Tuesday night at the end of a packed meeting that the county has selected a site for a youth drug treatment center on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Maui County finished the first half of 2011 with a gain of about 80,000 visitors, or 6.5 percent over January-June 2010. Maui News.

Two Hawaii County councilmen have cleared the decks for a potential Dominic Yagong-Billy Kenoi mayoral match-up next year. West Hawaii Today.

Another Hawaii County Environmental Management director bites the dust. Frank DeMarco, the mayor's second appointee to the post, is stepping down. West Hawaii Today.

On Maui, more than 20 dancers took part in a Tahitian dance flash mob. KHON2.

Most Hawaii County offices that serve the public will be closed on Friday, which will be the first county employee furlough day of the new fiscal year. Tribune-Herald.

The cost of living on the islands continues to rise as Young Brothers, Ltd. seeks to increase their shipping rates. Molokai Dispatch.

A sugar glider, a small marsupial that looks like a flying squirrel, was grounded Monday by Honolulu police. Star-Advertiser.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hawaii seeks legal help in teacher dispute, residents swamp Hanabusa office over deficit crisis, tourists decline but spending up, DLNR views Army landing zones, turtle back on Maui beach, more Hawaii news

Blackhawk on Mauna Kea (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources boarded Black Hawk helicopters Tuesday and visited six proposed landing zones on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, but said they weren't ready to comment on the Army's application to train pilots there. West Hawaii Today.

Col. Frank Tate
The state wants $50,000 worth of private legal help in its contract dispute with the public teachers union. Hawaii Reporter.

Last week, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed an executive order that establishes the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness. Hawaii Independent.

The state will receive up to 13-million dollars in matching federal venture capital funding over the next two years. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii residents concerned over the potential loss of Social Security, Medicare and other federal benefits if Congress is unable to reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling flooded a "telephone town hall" by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to seek answers on what to expect if a compromise is not struck by Tuesday.Star-Advertiser.

The number of visitors traveling to Hawaii declined in June for the first time in nearly two years amid rising airfares, but visitor spending continued to rise at a near-record pace, the Hawaii Tourism Authority reported Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's green sea turtle expert felt "great excitement" when he learned this summer that "Maui Girl" had come to nest in Lahaina again. Maui News.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply could raise its rates soon. Even so, Oahu residents will still pay less than for their water than residents in other cities. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Postal Service has announced a list of more than 3,600 post offices across the country it may shut down, including four in Hawaii. KITV4.

One of Matson Navigation Co.’s containerships will be sailing onto U.S. Postal Service stamps starting Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Maui county officials want residents to know a phone survey regarding housing issues on the Valley Isle is not a scam. KHON2.

Darryl Oliveira is retiring as Hawaii County fire chief next Sunday, but he's not going anywhere. Tribune-Herald.

Operation Green Harvest raids this month resulted in one arrest and the removal of $1.38 million worth of marijuana plants on Kaua‘i, county officials said. Garden Island.

An overflow crowd and a panel of experts listen to opening remarks by Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. on Tuesday evening at the Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center during the third meeting in a series about the county’s proposed site for an adolescent drug treatment center on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Faced with its first losing quarter in three years Hawaiian Airlines is raising the fee it charges for luggage on interisland flights. Hawaii News Now.

The Philippine navy's newest and biggest ship, a former U.S. Coast Guard cutter re-flagged as the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, will pull into Pearl Harbor this morning for a brief port visit before heading on to Guam and the Philippines. Star-Advertiser.

Patrick DeLeon, chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye in Washington, D.C., is retiring. Star-Advertiser.

A police narcotics dog in West Hawaii will retire Friday and live out his days in Waimea, according to the Police Department. West Hawaii Today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hawaii farmworker trafficking case in court, angry teachers unfriending Gov. Abercrombie on Facebook, fishing cap raised, orcas a rare Kauai treat, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Fish rules workshop in Hilo (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Hawaii's deepwater grouper and snapper stock has apparently rebounded to the point federal authorities are raising the commercial catch limit by 28 percent for the season that starts Sept. 1. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association is officially "unfriending" Gov. Neil Abercrombie, but it's not stopping there. Civil Beat.

The charges and counter charges that continue to fly between the state and the union are taking both into untested areas according to former Hawaii State Teachers Association executive director Joan Husted. Hawaii Independent.

The state says a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration is not affecting any airport construction projects. KHON2.

The Hawaii Legislature will welcome lawmakers from the 13 Western states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming to Honolulu July 30-August 2. Hawaii Reporter.

Two brothers who run one of Hawaii’s largest vegetable farms are going to trial this week on federal charges they illegally shipped 44 workers from Thailand, housed them in dirty metal containers and forced them to work for little pay. Associated Press.

Statements that Aloun Farm owners Alec and Mike Sou gave federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials after their plea agreements last year can be used to impeach any future testimony they give in a human-trafficking case, a federal judge has ruled. Star-Advertiser.

Two days before the start of jury selection in their high-profile human trafficking case, the owners of Aloun Farms have asked a federal judge to dismiss more than half a dozen charges against them. Hawaii News Now.

The attorneys for the Alec and Mike Sou say a federal law against forced labor is being taken further than ever before...and asked Judge Susan Oki Mollway to throw the case out. KHON2.

The chief justice of Hawaii's federal court said Monday she will likely permit Civil Beat to live blog an upcoming human trafficking trial from inside the courtroom. Civil Beat.

A team of marine researchers was treated to the unusual sight of a small pod of orcas off Kauai during the weekend. Star-Advertiser.

The 14 reptiles turned over to authorities since June 29 have revealed an appetite in Hawaii for illegal, black-market snakes and lizards, which state officials say are likely sneaked in by shipping containers, through package delivery services and even carried by smugglers into airline passenger cabins. Star-Advertiser.

Water customers in Kihei, Wailea and Makena are asked to continue to conserve water this morning after a power outage Sunday knocked out several water sources that primarily serve the South Maui area. Maui News.

Kauai County considers HR department to curb sexual harassment. Garden Island.

Greenways and Trails Law Has Long-Term Goals. Hawaii Public Radio.

A National Park Service team is reviewing plans to preserve the former site of the Honouliuli internment camp. Associated Press.

Hawaiian Airlines says it will begin flying between Honolulu and Sydney on a daily basis all year round to meet higher demand for the service. Associated Press.

Five years ago, after the earth stopped shaking, Kalopa residents found themselves in a nightmare commute. Tribune-Herald.

Part of Kahekili highway was widened in the early 1990s, now residents are meeting to decide what will happen to the rest of the road. KITV4.

This nebula could clear up some questions astronomers have about what happens when a star dies. West Hawaii Today.

Next week, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser is going to start charging for some of its online content, becoming the third Hawaii news outlet to erect such a paywall. Pacific Business News.

When Tim Moyer first noticed the stand of shriveled wiliwili trees on his property above Launiupoko, people told him they were dead and would have to be removed. Maui News.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Public parks, private profits? Big changes coming to Hawaii restaurant inspections, ocean nibbling Kauai development, Maui tech park in the works, Big Island school kitchens clean, electric bills, tuition going up, more news

Oahu North Shore beach (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
A father and son from Oahu have a dramatic fishing tale to tell and video to prove it. They came face to face with a tiger shark while spearfishing on the Big Island Sunday. Hawaii News Now.

Allowing private companies to profit from state parks and beaches may sound like a tough sell in Hawaii. But Act 55, signed into law two months ago by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, facilitates just that. Civil Beat.

Big changes are coming to the way the state Department of Health inspects and evaluates food establishments. West Hawaii Today.

Without union agreement, the state is forging ahead on a pilot program in the coming school year that will substantially change how some public school teachers are evaluated, basing their rating in part on the academic growth of their students. Star-Advertiser.

The state will be applying for the new “Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge” federal grant administered jointly by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Filipino Chronicle.

Hawaii has long been a national leader in the generation and consumption of solar energy, and the state continues to be a concrete example of the growth of the solar energy industry in the United States. Hawaii Independent.

A solar-powered charging station in Honolulu is being used to study the impact electric vehicles can have on electric grids.Associated Press.

Hawaii has been largely successful in preventing snakes from entering the island paradise over the years and avoiding the grave danger they present to tropical birds, colorful plants and the vibrant environment that draws millions of tourists to the state each year. Associated Press.

An advisory committee to help Honolulu find a new landfill site must weigh dozens of possible choices Star-Advertiser.

The Mayor of Honolulu went on the offensive today in the battle of what to do with the city’s wastewater sludge. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu residents will begin paying more for electricity starting Tuesday. KITV4.

When University of Hawaii at Hilo students set pen to checkbook this summer in preparation for the first day of classes on Aug. 21, they will no doubt notice that tuition has once again increased. Tribune-Herald.

Schools on the Big Island keep their kitchens pretty clean. West Hawaii Today.

New plans in the works for Maui high-tech park. Maui News.

Ocean eating Anahola properties. Garden Island.

A Maui-based veterans charity called "highly questionable" by a watchdog group and now under review by the state attorney general's office has dropped its website, but the organization's president vows to resume operations. Star-Advertiser.

Four Punahou graduates are hoping to change the on-line marketplace when buying and selling college textbooks. KHON2.

Kealakehe High students will no longer earn a "D." West Hawaii Today.

The start of direct flights from Shanghai to Honolulu is welcome news for Hawaii tourism industry officials still recovering from the impact of the March 11 Japan earthquake and tsunami as well as state’s persistent economic downturn. Hawaii Reporter.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hawaii group tries to save social studies as teacher labor complaint simmers, 'human hand' actually dried squid, Honolulu rail tax making money, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Abercrombie in Honokaa (c) 2011 All Hawaii News

North Hawaii residents seeking everything from agricultural education to veterans and workplace resources can now save themselves the two-hour round trip to Kona or Hilo. West Hawaii Today.

The state shot back at the teachers union Thursday in its response to a "prohibited practice" complaint, saying the union has a "pattern and practice of bad faith bargaining" and failed to reach an agreement despite months of negotiations and dozens of proposals and counterproposals. Star-Advertiser.

The state's response to a labor complaint from the Hawaii State Teachers Association is brisk, to the point, at times humorous and even gently sarcastic. Civil Beat.

Educators, parents, students and community leaders have come together with hopes of preserving social studies in Hawaii schools. KHON2.

With just 113 days to go before Hawaii hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings, organizers say they are more and more confident that Hawaii may in fact pull off an event for the record books come November. Pacific Business News.

The state plans to begin work to renovate the historic Kauai courthouse building that has been vacant for most of the last five years. KITV4.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Thursday that he expects the University of Hawaii at Hilo to spark a resurgence of Big Isle prosperity that will drive a statewide recovery, adding that he would continue to work to make capital politics less "Oahu-centric." Tribune-Herald.

Revenue from the general excise tax surcharge for the $5.3 billion rail transit project has exceeded the city's recent projections, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation announced Thursday in a news release. Star-Advertiser.

Eligible Hawaii and Pacific Rim farmers and ranchers will soon receive $2.6 million in payments from the federal Department of Agriculture to help offset high shipping costs, U.S. Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka announced Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

Maui community groups represented by Earthjustice have sent Maui County a formal notice of their intent to sue the county for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility into the nearshore waters of West Maui. Lahaina News.

Securing trail easements, constructing sidewalks, and establishing traffic, pedestrian and bike management plans are just a few conditions Parker School and Waimea residents have agreed upon to settle civil litigation over a school expansion project. West Hawaii Today.

On Thursday, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee refused to restore $10.8 million to the East-West Center, voting instead to eliminate funding altogether. Hawaii News Now.

As the very existence of the East West Center is threatened by Republican budget cutters in Congress, the 51-year-old institution has given its president a raise and continues to pay more than $1.5 million a year for a Washington D.C. office. Hawaii Reporter.

Honolulu police and law enforcement officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources have determined that what was reported to be a severed human hand found at Moku Auia Seabird Sanctuary, also known as Goat Island, was actually dried squid. Star-Advertiser.

On the morning of Thursday, July 21, nearly 500 Local 5 members were joined by community, labor, and faith leaders to stage an early morning rally and bed-making skit on the sidewalk fronting the Hyatt Regency Waikiki. Hawaii Independent.

Honolulu could begin work as early as next week to rebuild a bus shelter that was recently temporarily closed because bus riders complained about a homeless woman living there. KITV4.

Hawaii County Council members warmly embraced some of the more controversial proposals of the Cost of Government Commission, which looked for ways to cut Hawaii County's expenses. Tribune-Herald.

It's been more than a year since plans were unveiled to build on the old Kam Drive-In site. Hawaii News Now.

A former Hawaii Marine will become the first living Marine Corps recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War, according to published accounts. Star-Advertiser.

The evidentiary phase of a contested case challenge to plans for an Advanced Technology Solar Telescope atop Haleakala wrapped up Wednesday in Wailuku. Maui News.

Hawaii Delegation Weighs in on 'Epic Battle' Over Nation's Deficit. Hawaii Reporter.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pearl Harbor skull may be Japanese pilot, Honolulu water bills rising, Abercrombie-teacher impasse watershed moment, Maui ponders Native Hawaiian access to telescope site, Kauai councilman cleared, Hawaii County investigates election employee, more island news

East-West Center (c) 2011 All Hawaii News

A funding bill in the U.S. House would eliminate the East-West Center, going above and beyond the budget trimming that Republicans have proposed in previous years. Star-Advertiser.

A human skull discovered during an excavation and dredging project at Pearl Harbor several months ago -- may be from a Japanese aviator who died in the attack on December 7, 1941. KHON2.

The showdown between Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the Hawaii State Teachers Association is a watershed moment in local labor history. Civil Beat.

Expect changes in the near future for Hawaii's charter school system. Hawaii News Now.

Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz's twin brother will implement state Race grant. Star-Advertiser.

The monthly bill for a typical single-family home that uses 13,000 gallons of water would increase by $27.53, or 70 percent, by mid-2015 if the Ho­nolulu Board of Water Supply gets its way. Star-Advertiser.

Beginning next month, the Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant in Ewa will receive additional truckloads of raw sewage sludge from Sand Island as the city begins testing for a long-term plan of hauling waste to reduce intake at the over-capacity Honolulu site. Star-Advertiser.

The Mayor of Honolulu went on the offensive today in the battle of what to do with the city’s wastewater sludge.Hawaii Public Radio.

A Hawaii company has taken a big step forward in its plan to use ocean water to cool downtown buildings. KHON2.

The Sierra Club plans to step in and try to stop efforts to develop a 12,000-home, master-planned community on farmland in Kapolei. Civil Beat.

The Sierra Club’s appeal of the reclassification of land for the Koa Ridge master-planned community is still undecided, due to a last-minute argument from the Hawaii deputy attorney general. Pacific Business News.

Whether the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope is built at Science City or not, the long process of seeking permits has already changed an old policy that excluded Native Hawaiians from entering the 18-acre Haleakala High Altitude Observatory to perform rites. Maui News.

After Years of Bureaucracy Getting in the Way, Kauai's Kilauea River, Wailapa Stream Clean-Up Completed. Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawaii County Clerk's Office has hired an outside investigator to look into allegations a warehouse manager conducted a sign-printing business out of a county warehouse used to store voting equipment. West Hawaii Today.

With the Hawaii County Council close to final approval on revamping its building codes, some residents have begun raising strong objections. Tribune-Herald.

Energy Perspective: A more open discussion is needed between islands. Hawaii Independent.

In a lengthy battle between the island’s utility cooperative and some of its members, the light switch continues to flip up and down. Garden Island.

Honolulu has begun sending out checks for property owners who have agreed to sell their land to make way for rail. KITV4.

The Hawaii County Redistricting Commission has a lot of factors to weigh as it redraws the county's nine council districts. West Hawaii Today.

The chairman of the Hawaii County Democratic Party is considering a run for the Hawaii County Council District 2 seat currently held by Councilman Donald Ikeda. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaiian Humane Society has reinstated a $25 charge with its stray cat pick up policy. KITV4.

The Kauai County Board of Ethics has dismissed a complaint filed against a Kaua‘i County Council member concerning a possible conflict of interest. Garden Island.

On a remote Kapoho road marked only by a hand-painted sign, machete-wielding vandals have laid waste to papaya fields for the second time in a little more than a year. Tribune-Herald.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hawaii AG: Reapportionment count could lose in court, Maui studies telescope impact, Honolulu races landfill deadline, Big Island seeks energy solutions, rail appeal denied, Honolulu Harbor seeks expansion, more Hawaii news

Senate district growth (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
The Hawaii Supreme Court likely would rule that nonresident students, members of the military and their dependents cannot be included in the state's population base for the purpose of redrawing Hawaii's political districts, according to an opinion from the state attorney general. Star-Advertiser.

A state lawyer says a court would likely overturn a decision to include military and students in the population as the state redraws political lines. Civil Beat.

The state Attorney General's office issued an opinion Tuesday afternoon that the state Reapportionment Commission erred when it voted to use the U.S. Census population count as the resident population base for political redistricting. Tribune-Herald.

The appointed State Board of Education is contemplating making changes to high school graduation standards. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bus fares for public school students will rise 50 cents to $1.25 for a one-way ride on Aug. 1. Star-Advertiser.

The people on the bus may go up and down, but the cost of riding a school bus in Hawaii is only going up. Hawaii News Now.

The teachers union is asking for pay and benefits to be restored while they challenge the state's implementation of the state's "last, best and final" contract offer. KHON2

The plight of a West Maui woman who was fired after her employer learned she had obtained a restraining order has helped spur a new state law that advocates say could help protect victims of domestic violence in some work situations. Maui News.

Travel guidebooks call Kipu Falls “a glorious little hidden place” and a “swimming hole extraordinaire.” But the alluring beauty of the waterfall and natural pool conceals a deadly side. Associated Press.

Thirty-one percent of Hawaii Island's electricity is produced from renewable resources and Hawaii Electric Light Co. President Jay Ignacio wants that number higher. West Hawaii Today.

Honolulu has begun the process of trying to extend the life of the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill for solid waste. Star-Advertiser.

For the last five months, a landfill selection committee has been working on finding the next site to dump Oahu's waste. Hawaii News Now.

State Denies Bombardier Rail Contract Appeal. Civil Beat.

The state is moving ahead with plans that would nearly double its cargo handling capacity at Honolulu Harbor. KHON2.

An ancient Japanese tea ceremony took place at the USS Arizona Memorial Tuesday to honor the 1,177 deceased Americans at the memorial, 65 years after the end of World War II. KITV4.

For the second time in a decade, the Sierra Club has dealt a major setback to Castle & Cooke's plans to develop a new community between Waipio and Mililani. Star-Advertiser.

The grilling of experts about the impact of the Advanced Solar Telescope on Haleakala began Monday and is expected to last through Wednesday. Maui News.

Bank of Hawaii has agreed to pay a $9 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit involving claims that the bank had improperly charged overdraft fees on debit card transactions. Pacific Business News.

The city of Portland in Oregon has come up with a solution that could be useful to Honolulu officials who are unable to evict homeless people from city bus stops and shelters. KITV4.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Student Equity, Excellence & Diversity (SEED) office has been awarded a $1.15 million grant—consisting of $230,000 annually over a five-year period through the U.S. Department of Education/TRiO Programs. Hawaii Independent.

Target's new 3.5-acre Hilo store is open, giving East Hawaii the choice of an array of grocery, clothing, electronic and home furnishing products. Tribune-Herald.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hawaii elections program likely passes legal muster, newspaper sues for police records, BOE meets today on bus, food hikes, Verizon 4G expanding, Internet cafes at risk, whales, albatross and other news of the islands

Aloun Farms courtesy photo

On Friday, July 15, 2011, U.S. District Court's chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway considered a number of motions filed by the U.S. Department of Justice and by attorneys for Mike and Alec Sou, the defendants in the Aloun Farms human trafficking case that is planned to go to trial on July 27. Hawaii Reporter.

A vegetable stand on Hotel Street is an extension of the Chinatown supermarket that sits behind it. But it's also violating a city law that sets boundaries on storefront displays.Hawaii News Now.

Work will begin on Midway Atoll next month to remove lead-based paint that dooms 10,000 Laysan albatross chicks each year to a heartbreaking and apparently painful death. Star-Advertiser.

Fewer than 1,500 humpbacks were left in the North Pacific in 1966, the year international whaling was banned. Since then, their numbers have steadily climbed to an estimated 18,000. Garden Island.

Today, the state Board of Education considers a recommendation from a finance committee to raise school bus fares, and other fees. KITV4.

The Senate and House Committees on Education will be holding a joint informational briefing to learn about education reform happening around the country. The committees will also hear recommendations on how to improve Hawaii’s education system. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii County's publicly funded campaign pilot program should continue next year, despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling finding public matching funds unconstitutional. West Hawaii Today.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser sued the Honolulu Police Department Monday, accusing police of breaking the law by refusing to release 911 dispatch tapes of a June 3 shooting spree that left a woman dead and two others wounded. Star-Advertiser.

The deal between Internet service providers, including AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon, and entertainment industry powerhouses to combat online piracy could have a huge impact on cafes, coffee shops, lounges and other businesses that offer wireless Internet access. Pacific Business News.

Alexander & Baldwin and Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative on Monday jointly announced plans for a 6-megawatt utility-scale solar farm on the South Shore. Garden Island.

The final weekend of the fireworks amnesty program on Oahu resulted in a bigger haul than the previous three weekends combined. KHON2.

Former Chief of Staff Eric Ryan says Honolulu City Council member Tom Berg fired him for blowing the whistle on government waste in Honolulu Hale. Civil Beat.

A Japanese tea master is due to perform a traditional tea ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor in honor of Americans who died in the attack on 1941 attack. Associated Press.

At least 3 times a day … Honolulu Police initiate cases of identity theft and related fraud … and many more incidents go unreported. Hawaii Public Radio.

Verizon Wireless customers on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island will be able to surf the web and share files much faster this Thursday when the company's 4G Long Term Evolution network officially launches. KITV4.

Hawaii's six remaining Borders bookstores and nearly 400 others nationwide will be closed in the next several months as the 40-year-old bookseller said Monday that it will liquidate. Star-Advertiser.

About 100 Hawaiian Telcom customers in the Kapalama area might have to go a week without telephone and Internet service. Star-Advertiser.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Honolulu councilman's chief of staff fired for web smears, rules eased for elder homes, new Hawaii tax targets military, federal contractors, new Native Hawaiian governance group sought, more Hawaii news of the day for the web and your smartphone

Hawaii today (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
It is that time of year when the Hawaiian Islands experience the astronomical phenomenon known as "Lahaina Noon." KITV4.

Having agreed on the wording of the definition of a "qualified Native Hawaiian" under the state recognition law, officials are now trying to figure out exactly what those words mean. Tribune-Herald.

Ancient Hawaiians relied on oral traditions to perpetuate their culture and history from generation to generation. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii hopes to generate about $35 million a year by lifting the tax exemption and imposing a 4 percent general excise tax on vendors who sell as much as $1 billion worth of products to federal outposts from military commissaries and office buildings to the shipyard. Star-Advertiser.

At a time when Hawaii's senior population is surging, the state has watered down the main qualification for secondary caregivers at hundreds of adult foster homes, senior advocates say. Star-Advertiser.

A new group reviewing management of Hawaii's charter schools is meeting for the first time this week.Associated Press.

For more than two decades, the limited law-enforcement arm of Hawaii's state government has sought a respected place and function. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council member Tom Berg fired his chief of staff after he escalated a World Wide Web war of words by creating a website accusing a state lawmaker of being a crook. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Rapid Transit Authority has formally notified the City Council that it will begin acquiring public and private real estate along the 20-mile route of the fixed-rail guideway. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaiian Electric Co., Energy Industries, RevoluSun, Hawaii Energy, EAH Housing and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are the sponsoring organizations for the inaugural month-long Kanu Hawaii Energy Challenge. Pacific Business News.

Kapiolani Park was filled with the sound of an instrument that's linked to Hawaii.Hawaii News Now.

A wave of change is rolling into Wahiawa. KHON2.

“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” That was the message Molokai residents gave members of the Maui Charter Commission last week, when more than a dozen community members testified against proposed changes to the Maui County Charter. Molokai Dispatch.

Mayor Alan Arakawa and Maui County Council Chairman Danny Mateo went to South Korea, not sure what they might find across the international dateline in the "Land of the Morning Calm." Maui News.

Seven years later and the county has yet to issue a single permit for the campsites it built for residents and visitors at Lydgate Park. Garden Island.

The Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea remains out of commission, weeks after an estimated 185 gallons of coolant leaked onto two mirrors and two instruments. Tribune-Herald.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Early fundraising shows Hirono leading Case, Hanabusa, Hawaii County employees face monthly furloughs, Kauai garbage fee going up, green energy abounds and more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Mazie Hirono
U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former Congressman Ed Case had strong fundraising performances over the past three months in the Democratic primary campaign for U.S. Senate, according to their campaigns, but Hirono has the early cash advantage. Star-Advertiser.

Ed Case

The final numbers won't be official until late Friday, but preliminary data provided to Civil Beat show U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono leading her top Democratic rivals in fundraising for the U.S. Senate race. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed a bill into law that could make it easier for the cash-strapped state to renovate aging facilities or construct new buildings. KITV4.

A food safety plan passed by lawmakers has been vetoed by the governor.  Hawaii News Now.

In a stunning reversal of his recent, publically-stated intent to veto Senate Bill 1511, Governor Abercrombie signed into law the bill, which will increase lease terms for offshore factory fish farms in Hawaii’s waters from 35 to 65 years. Hawaii Independent.

The state's largest public-sector labor union has agreed to once-monthly furloughs in a separate deal signed Thursday with Hawaii County. West Hawaii Today.

First Wind LLC has completed an environmental impact statement for a proposed 70-megawatt wind energy project on former sugar cane land northeast of Haleiwa that would be the state's largest, generating enough energy to supply 14,500 homes. Star-Advertiser.

The Public Utilities Commission ordered Hawaiian Electric Co. Thursday to seek new bidders to develop half of the large-scale wind energy project proposed for Molokai and Lanai. Star-Advertiser.

Freezing water to make ice in Hawai’i is one of the most energy intensive businesses in the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

A group of local investors is among several on Maui trying to harness the sun's power with the latest technology, photovoltaic, to create enough electricity to power hundreds of homes and businesses without making so much as a puff of smoke, said Doug McLeod, Maui County's energy commissioner. Maui News.

A county trash collection fee for property owners went into effect July 1, adding a few dollars per month to real property taxes. Garden Island.

The hassle of waiting in long security lines will soon be a thing of the past for some Hawaiian Airlines travelers. KHON2.

Authorities now have more resources to help find missing people - two dogs donated to Big Island and Oahu police. KHON2.

They may look cute and cuddly. But don't be fooled by their friendly and playful demeanor.Hawaii News Now.

The number of reports of coqui frogs on O'ahu has doubled in the last year, after more than half the island's agriculture inspectors were laid off. KHON2.

The Big Island Visitors Bureau announced plans for the Big Isle to reclaim its rightful name, and the word "the" would play a central role. No longer will residents live, work and play on "Hawaii's Big Island." From now on, it's "Hawaii, the Big Island." Tribune-Herald.

A Maui accountant who led a long-running Ponzi scheme that cost his investors $8 million was sentenced Wednesday to serve nearly 12 years in federal prison without the possibility of parole. Maui News.

Kaiser Permanente’s ranked highest in employer satisfaction in the 2011 J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Employer Health Insurance Plan Study for its fully-insured commercial health plan, Kaiser announced Thursday. Pacific Business News.

A nonprofit West Hawaii health clinic, started several years ago to recruit doctors to the Big Island, recently earned a profit and is reportedly on the turnaround. West Hawaii Today.

City Transportation Services Director Wayne Yoshioka says the city is not setting a precedent by moving a Kapiolani bus stop because of complaints about a homeless woman who had taken up residence at the shelter near Keeaumoku Street. Star-Advertiser.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hawaii economy upticks, Honolulu bus stop moved because of homeless smell, Big Island needs fire chief, China new tourism target, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Container ship (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
In sharp contrast to what is happening in the U.S. shipping market, Hawaii’s duopoly shipping companies continue to increase their prices for container cargo transported between the mainland United States and Hawaii. Hawaii Reporter.

Young Brothers Ltd.’s application to raise interisland shipping rates will be the subject of a series of Public Utilities Commission hearings to be held this month and next around the state. Star-Advertiser.

State tax collections dropped by 0.9 percent last fiscal year, a smaller decline than the state Council on Revenues had forecast, giving Gov. Neil Abercrombie more cushion in implementing the state budget. Star-Advertiser.

Consumers pulled out their credit and debit cards more liberally last quarter and increased spending at Hawaii hotels and restaurants as the tourism-led recovery continued to gain traction. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie Wednesday approved hiring 10 agricultural inspectors, restoring nearly 40 percent of the positions that were lost due to layoffs in 2009. Pacific Business News.

The state is hiring 10 agricultural inspectors, bringing back some positions that were cut in 2009 -- but none will be added on the Big Island, the state's agricultural breadbasket. West Hawaii Today.

A city bus stop has been temporarily moved so bus drivers and riders can get away from the smell of a homeless woman who's living at a busy Honolulu bus shelter. KITV4.

As of Tuesday, July 12 novelty cigarette lighters can no longer be sold legally in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Plastic bag ban draws small crowd, big passions. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii's state, city and business leaders are aggressively courting China in the months leading up to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting to give its leaders the message that the isles are open for business and travel and that local experts have clean energy and scientific knowledge to share. Star-Advertiser.

A glance through the $137,000 in gifts Hawaii lawmakers received over the past year shows a lot of local items — malasadas, kadomatsu plants and lei haku, to name a few. Civil Beat.

Inauguration lei and an occasional meal were the primary gifts reported by Hawaii County Council members in their annual gift disclosures. West Hawaii Today.

At a recent bill-signing ceremony, state Sen. Clayton was among several Native Hawaiian lawmakers applauding a new law recognizing Hawaiians as the state's indigenous people.Civil Beat.

North Shore residents have been battling with off-road vehicles at Kaena Point for years, and the heated debate over how to curb the illegal activity has passed it's boiling point. KHON2.

Honolulu mayor Peter Carlisle says what's done is done, and that the city council ignored overflow issues at Sand Island wastewater treatment plant.KHON2.

With time running out to choose a new fire chief, the Fire Commission began the search for a permanent replacement. Tribune-Herald.

The county Planning Commission on Tuesday approved a solar farm nearly three times the size of the state’s largest solar facility in operation. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative on Wednesday announced that an insufficient number of valid signatures was submitted on a second petition received by the cooperative on Monday. Garden Island.

Hawaii County has decided it made an error on Queen Liliuokalani Trust's tax bill, and it is refunding $89,991 in property taxes it says the trust overpaid last year. West Hawaii Today.

A blessing and groundbreaking ceremony was conducted today in Ewa Beach for O’ahu’s latest affordable rental housing project. Hawaii Public Radio.

An inflammatory website has hit the Internet that claims State Rep. Kymberly Pine stole money from a constituent then tried to cover it up. Hawaii News Now.

County officials announced Wednesday that Theodore “Teddy” Daligdig III, a retired colonel in the Hawai‘i Army National Guard, has been selected to manage the Kaua‘i Civil Defense Agency. Garden Island.

The Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved a bed-and-breakfast application for the Bamboo Valley Inn in Haiku. Maui News.

Newly seated board members of the Aloha Tower Development Corporation voted to allow the leasehold transfer between the current owners of the marketplace to a company called Hawaii Lifestyle Retail Properties. KITV4.

Former Big Island Mayor Herbert Matayoshi died Monday of heart failure at Straub Clinic and Hospital in Honolulu. He was 82. Tribune-Herald.