Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hannemann 'the one to beat,' military expands Hawaii's $62M remains identity lab, DOT seeks 50 engineers, Kauai taro gets boost, Honolulu surveillance cams raise privacy concerns, more Hawaii news

Mufi Hannemann (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Over the years, former Honolulu Mayor and newly announced congressional candidate Mufi Hannemann has developed the reputation of being a bully. Civil Beat.

Gabbard's Six Unions Didn't Go for Mufi Last Time, Either. Civil Beat.

Hawaii News Now political analyst Dan Boylan said Hannemann is the one to beat. Hawaii News Now.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann is seeking the Democratic nomination to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono he announced Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Contract negotiators for the state made it clear to the teachers union in late April that if it didn't accept a labor savings deal, there would be big consequences, Board of Education member Jim Williams said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Sex, drugs, and education: An inside look at Hawaii’s schools. Hawaii Independent.

The state Department of Health is again offering free flu vaccines to elementary and middle school students at more than 300 schools statewide. Associated Press.

The State Department of Transportation is looking to hire fifty people. KHON2.

In a classic Catch-22, Hawaii law requires elevators to pass an annual inspection, but the state cannot perform the safety tests fast enough to meet demand. Tribune-Herald.


By 2014 the Hawaii-based unit in charge of recovering and identifying remains of Americans listed as missing in action from the nation's wars will be working in a new facility that will increase efficiency and productivity, a military official said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Sen. Inouye Visits JPAC Groundbreaking Site. KITV4.

Several West Oahu residents testified Tuesday night against a political redistricting proposal that would no longer place Makakilo, Kapolei and Ko Olina in the same congressional district. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council is being asked to approve a $1.4 million plan for Honolulu Police to use the traffic cameras to help with security during the economic summit in November. KITV4.

Proposed surveillance cameras raise privacy concerns. KHON2.

The Honolulu City Council is considering a measure that would set aside up to $75 million for artwork that would be incorporated in the $5.3 billion elevated rail transit system. Pacific Business News.

The head of a new organization dedicated to preserving the Second Amendment has sued Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha in federal court after Kealoha denied him in September 2010 a permit to carry and conceal a semiautomatic pistol. Star-Advertiser.

A subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc. is building a refinery on Oahu that will convert algae and other biomass into high-quality gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Associated Press.

Honolulu lifeguards and fire fighters helped bring 315 people back to shore as of Tuesday afternoon as a 12-15 foot swell pounded the South Shore of Oahu. KHON2.


Approximately 50 soldiers from Hilo will deploy to Iraq on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

If you have an injury that requires magnetic resonance imaging, you now have access to the best technology on the neighbor islands, Kona Community Hospital officials say. West Hawaii Today.

The fight to launch a charter school in Laupahoehoe may not be over yet. Tribune-Herald.


Mayor Alan Arakawa said Monday that Maui County should create a new division to focus on sustainability issues, and that adding "sustainability" to the Department of Environmental Management was one of his top priorities for charter amendments. Maui News.

Two Maui legislators are meeting with state officials this week for answers on why a state affordable housing project is 40 per cent empty. Hawaii Reporter.


The Taro Security and Purity Task Force announced last week that it has been awarded a grant of $135,000 a year for two years from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Garden Island.

In light of the recent hurricane that struck the East Coast, county officials on Tuesday urged residents and businesses who have not yet signed up for Connect CTY to do so. Garden Island.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Former Honolulu Mayor Hannemann announces bid for congressional seat, teachers union appeals to Supreme Court, hospital infections secret, Chinatown parties irk residents, Aloha shirt stamps coming, surf's up, more Hawaii news

Hawaii marine scientist (c) 2011 All Hawaii News

A University of Hawaii researcher has come up with a new explanation for how acidification of the ocean disrupts coral growth. Star-Advertiser.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced Tuesday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 2nd Congressional District in 2012. Hawaii News Now.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann will announce today that he will run in the Democratic primary for the 2nd Congressional District, describing himself as a proven and experienced leader who would focus on improving the nation's fiscal policy. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said that while it will be "much more challenging than in the past" to maintain the pipeline of federal dollars to Hawaii, he remained confident that his home state would continue to get its share. Maui News.

The teachers union turned to the state Supreme Court on Monday in its bid to seek relief from the wage reductions and higher health insurance premiums imposed July 1. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Public Kept in Dark about Hospital Infections. Civil Beat.

Unanimous support was delivered today to a state Senate committee for career public defender Karen Nakasone to serve as a state Circuit Court judge. Hawaii Reporter.

The new state agency tasked with developing state lands through public-private partnerships will be a corporation of one. Civil Beat.

While the development purpose of the corporation directly conflicts with DLNR’s conservation responsibilities, the Public Land Development Corporation has been set up to act as a separate entity with influence on DLNR decisions. Hawaii Independent.

A Joint House and Senate Human Services Committee conducted a hearing today to hear from the community how lawmakers can help to protect children …especially runaway and homeless youth … from the many dangers they face in Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

It's the last day for the public's voice to be heard on the three finalists nominated to be the next Bishop Estate trustee. Hawaii News Now.

Aloha shirts will adorn five U.S. postage stamps next year, the U.S. Postal Service revealed over the weekend. Star-Advertiser.

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory in effect from noon Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday for rising surf along south facing shores of all Hawaiian Islands. KHON2.


A growing number of street closures for parties and events in and around Chinatown has the community talking about how much is too much. KHON2.

Residents and businesses in Leeward Oahu are hoping the opening of Disney's new Aulani resort will have a dramatic and positive impact on the area's economy. KITV4.

Three Honolulu men were arrested Monday on charges of trying to extort money from the owners of The Shack Waikiki, federal prosecutors said. Pacific Business News.


Design changes and delays acquiring property are preventing Mayor Billy Kenoi from keeping his promise to put the Laaloa Street extension out to bid as soon as the County Council approved a bond float. West Hawaii Today.

Another vent outburst expected. Tribune-Herald.

Kona company takes fish farm far offshore. West Hawaii Today.

Farmers seeking to lease a portion of the 717 acres of county-owned Paauilo land are invited to an open house-style public meeting Thursday at the Paauilo Gym. Tribune-Herald.


Federal Wildlife Inspectors Seize Birds From Maui Refuge. KITV4.

Joe Blackburn is getting an early start in launching his bid to unseat Maui County Council Member Mike Victorino, who holds the council's Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu residency seat. Maui News.

Updated plans for managing national wildlife refuges on Maui and Molokai are available for the public to review and comment on. Associated Press.


Lush landscaping and gazeboes are about to make Kaua‘i’s only off-leash dog park even more appealing. Garden Island.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hawaii governor, teachers closer to deal, OHA wants secrecy, boat rules, building codes disputed, Maui public housing pricy, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Hawaii is receiving $1.5 million in federal grants to support the protection of threatened and endangered species. Associated Press.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former congressman Ed Case are familiar figures in Hawaii politics, but in their Democratic primary for U.S. Senate they will ask voters to judge them not only by their pasts, but by their potential to lead Hawaii's congressional delegation for the next few decades. Star-Advertiser.

It's hardly viral — just a scant 47 views to its name as of early Sunday evening — but a YouTube video of Gov. Neil Abercrombie speaking with a small group of Kauai teachers on Saturday may offer a bit of hope that the governor and the Hawaii State Teachers Association could return to the negotiation table sometime soon. Star-Advertiser.

Who was in charge when collective bargaining for Hawaii teachers' contract fell apart this summer?  Civil Beat.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Takes Second Shot at Claiming Its Employees Aren't Public Civil Beat.

Fee increases and new safety requirements for state small boat harbors users are back on the table. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii commercial fishermen forced to abide by a government catch quota say they face another potential threat to their livelihood — the relocation of monk seals from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to the main Hawaiian Islands. Star-Advertiser.

As children settle into their classrooms to learn fractions, decimals and long division, public school administrators also will be doing some number crunching. Maui News.

Taking tests does not have to be the bane of students’ lives – in fact, a new program on Molokai may show that regular assessment tests can help students learn more efficiently. Molokai Dispatch.


Disney's Aulani Resort grand opening on Monday. Hawaii News Now.

New name and new management for Waikiki hotel. KHON2.

Researchers at the University of Hawaii are celebrating a breakthrough discovery that could lead to the prevention of at least two types of cancer in certain people. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council to meet Wednesday to discuss fuel tax, electrical and gas projects. Hawaii Independent.

We hear a lot about the homeless and prostitutes on the streets in Waikiki, but strolling down Kalakaua any given evening, those folk are outnumbered by artists and musicians.Hawaii Public Radio.

Hundreds came out to the Hawaii Convention Center to get an education on energy saving, sustainable living or just to see the latest trends in home remodeling. KITV4.

The Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific has been selected as one of 10 rehabilitation hospitals to partner with Berkeley Bionics to conduct trials on eLEGS Pro, a wearable, battery-powered exoskeleton that enables wheelchair users to stand and walk. Pacific Business News.


A sobering new study of America's national parks rates Hawaii Volcanoes National Park "poor" in natural resources and only "fair" in cultural resources. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island presents fairly extensive challenges to a high-speed Internet infrastructure improvement initiative launched by the governor last week. Tribune-Herald.

Convincing the County Council to rethink its approval of new building standards has given bill opponents hope that hurricane-resistant designs and other costly requirements won't be made mandatory. Tribune-Herald.


After months of testimony and written arguments on the proposed Kula Ridge development, state Land Use Commissioners said Friday they expect to be ready to make a decision on the project by November. Maui News.

With rents at the state’s Honokowai Kauhale affordable housing project on Maui starting at $1,000 per month, 49 apartments that have been vacant for at least the past 12 months cost the state a minimum of $588,000 in annual gross income. Hawaii Reporter.


Kapaia bridge towers to be stabilized. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday extended a hand to Japan’s Iwaki City, honoring a request from Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. to make the city ravaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami the Garden Island’s 15th sister city. Garden Island.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Honolulu seeks survelliance cams for APEC, Ka'u biofuel plant advances, hula opposes TMT, Big Island economic recovery lags, stiff tuition hike for UH, tourists alarmed by Chinatown homeless, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Sen. Daniel Akaka courtesy photo
Sen. Daniel Akaka is getting a prestigious award on Maui on Friday. Hawaii News Now.

Vice President Joe Biden repeatedly praised more than 1,000 Kaneohe-based Marines, sailors and other military members — and their families — in a 15-minute address at Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Thursday, then spent about an hour shaking hands with every person who wanted to meet him. Star-Advertiser.

Democrat Ed Case kicked off his East Hawaii campaign for the U.S. Senate on Thursday, telling attendees at a meet-and-greet in Hilo that he would be "so fiercely, emotionally proud" to be introduced on the Senate floor for the first time as "the senator from Hilo."  Tribune-Herald.

Governor Pushing for Native Hawaiian Registry. Hawaii Public Radio.

University of Hawaii officials will begin soliciting feedback next month on their plan to increase annual tuition and fees by $528 next year for a typical undergraduate student at the flagship Manoa campus. Star-Advertiser.

UH president says proposed 46 percent tuition increase is ‘reasonable’ Hawaii Independent.

The teachers union is seeking documents and witness testimony about private conversations members of the state's contract negotiating team had to support the union's claim that threats made about layoffs or higher wage reductions would be part of a coordinated effort to intimidate the union into accepting a deal. Star-Advertiser.

This could be the year that Hawaii's governor gets the blessing to implement new work conditions on public employees without union approval. Or it could be the year the Hawaii State Teachers Association prevails in its protest that his action was unconstitutional and violated collective bargaining rights. Civil Beat.


A Honolulu City Council bill would authorize the use of overt video monitoring on Oahu for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings. Hawaii Independent.

The Honolulu Police Department wants to use existing city traffic cameras and new surveillance cameras to monitor traffic and threats during Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in November. KITV4.

Senator Dan Inouye spoke to the HART Board of Directors, reminiscing about the last go around for rail when the city council voted it down, and he watched federal money go elsewhere. KHON2.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says a plan to protect endangered and threatened species during the construction and operation of a proposed wind power farm northeast of Haleiwa is ready for public review and comment. Associated Press.

The first Oahu public school to receive state funding to construct a photovoltaic system has completed installation of 468 solar panels. Associated Press.

Chinese Visitors Alarmed by Homeless in Chinatown. KHON2.


The contested case hearing for the Thirty Meter Telescope took some unusual turns Thursday, featuring hula, music and a sudden change in venue. Tribune-Herald.

A proposed biofuels plant on the Big Island scored a victory Tuesday, with the state agency tasked with protecting consumer interests giving it its seal of approval.  Civil Beat.

East Hawaii's economic recovery will continue to be slow for the next year or two, according to economists who spoke Thursday in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

A “downbeat” construction industry on the Big Island will diminish gains in the tourism sector, leading Hawaii County on a slow recovery from the recent recession, according to economist Leroy Laney. Pacific Business News

A scant dozen people came out to a public hearing Thursday to support a ban on plastic checkout bags, a stance that also drew two opposing testifiers and overwhelming opposition from 131 people in a mail-in campaign. West Hawaii Today.

An acrimonious dispute between the state Ethics Commission director and a Big Island Charter School has spilled into Circuit Court. Hawaii Reporter.

Darren Rosario has been elected the new Hawaii County Fire Chief. West Hawaii Today.


Overall July visitor arrival numbers show Maui almost keeping pace, with slightly fewer tourists enjoying vacations here compared with the same month in 2010. Maui News.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono is hosting a free event Saturday aimed at helping people deal with the threat of foreclosures and guard against fraud. Maui News.

Nearly half of the restroom at H.A. Baldwin Park collapsed Wednesday afternoon, casting bathroom fixtures off the eroded edge into the sand and lapping ocean below. Maui News.


It’s the type of culturally based restorative justice program that Kaua‘i County Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho has wanted to start since she took office in 1998. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i Academy of Dance and Gymnastics, directed by Michelle Rozon, is celebrating 24 years on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Biden visits, Hawaii sued by gun advocates, Kauai Food Bank fight, Honolulu, Big Island work on district lines, vacation rental changes stall, UH chancellor position in limbo, $1.5M for Native Hawaiians, more Hawaii news

Photo courtesy World Island Paradise

After five deaths in five years, land company blocks access to popular Kauai waterfall. Garden Island.

Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Honolulu Wednesday and visited the USS Arizona Memorial with his daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Star-Advertiser.

Vice President Joe Biden is due to speak to U.S. servicemen and women in Hawaii on his way home to Washington, D.C. from a weeklong trip to Asia. Associated Press.

Saying the 2012 race to fill Hawaii's U.S. Senate vacancy is a battle for the future of the Democratic party in this state, former U.S. Rep. Ed Case kicked off his senatorial campaign in West Hawaii Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono expressed impatience Wednesday to East Hawaii business leaders over the partisan gridlock that she said has stalled legislation important to Hawaii.Tribune-Herald.

The U.S. Treasury Department is awarding more than $1.5 million to help provide loans and financial services to Native Hawaiian families. Associated Press.

The Big Island has been named the top Hawaiian island and is ranked seventh among islands around the world. KHON2.

The outlook for Hawaii's economy through the rest of this year has dimmed based in part on weaker-than-expected visitor arrivals and lower job growth. Star-Advertiser.

Homes that were in some stage of the foreclosure process accounted for more than 21 percent of all residential sales in Hawaii during the second quarter. Pacific Business News.

A public auction of property forfeited to the State of Hawaii will be held on August 27 in the Pikake room at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center. Hawaii News Now.

A firestorm of public accusations made by Hawai‘i Food Bank’s president in recent weeks has engulfed Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank in Lihu‘e. Garden Island.

The non-profit Hawaii Defense Foundation has filed a lawsuit against the Honolulu Chief of Police Louis Kealoha, the Honolulu Police Department and the City & County of Honolulu as well as the State of Hawaii and Gov. Neil Abercrombie for violating the Second and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. Hawaii Reporter.

A pedestrian fatality happened on Oahu early Wednesday morning, just hours before the state released a plan designed to decrease pedestrian injuries and deaths. KITV4.

Just like the state's redistricting panel before it, the Honolulu Council Reapportionment Commission on Wednesday said it will count all residents — military families, students and felons — as it redraws political boundaries. Star-Advertiser.

Central themes of the island's new political boundaries began taking shape Wednesday as the county Redistricting Commission weeded out 14 and kept three proposed maps, another step in the long process of redrawing County Council districts to accommodate population growth revealed by the 2010 census. West Hawaii Today.

A proposal that would require vacation rental operators in Honolulu to include license numbers on any advertising drew a split vote from the city's Planning Commission on Wednesday. Civil Beat.

The 7-member Honolulu Planning Commission did not get the necessary five majority vote to approve or disapprove a proposed measure to enable closer scrutiny of vacation rentals on O’ahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

Just one little change could make life much harder for operators of unpermitted short-term rentals in residential areas, the Maui Planning Commission was told Tuesday. Maui News.

University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Virginia S. Hinshaw will leave her job at the end of the school year, opening the door to debate about the need for a separate administrator to oversee UH's flagship campus. Star-Advertiser.

A full-time resident student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa currently pays $4,200 per semester (up $400 from the year before). Non-resident students pay $11,616 per semester. Those numbers are expected to go up by next year. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii County's decision to charge a $1 bus fare appears to be driving away Hele-On riders accustomed to free transportation. Tribune-Herald.

Harbor growth to create pains. Tribune-Herald.

Business owners concerned over rail property takeover. Hawaii News Now.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hanabusa not seeking Senate, UH tuition could climb, newspaper sues Abercrombie over public records, special session to vet judicial pick, women's prison under investigation, broadband for Hawaii, solar panels for Maui, Lanai, more island news

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa announced late Tuesday she would skip a run for the U.S. Senate and instead seek re-election to her 1st Congressional District seat. Civil Beat.

The state Senate plans to meet in a special session Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 to consider Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s appointment of Karen Nakasone this month to a 10-year term on Oahu’s Circuit Court. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie maintained that disclosing the names of judicial candidates would hamper attracting applicants to the bench, his office said in response to a Honolulu Star-Advertiser lawsuit filed Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Kona Judiciary Complex's lengthy list of potential sites has been winnowed down to seven, moving the much-needed facility closer to opening in 2017. West Hawaii Today.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents will hear details Thursday of three proposals that would raise tuition from about 16 percent to about 46 percent by 2016 for a typical undergraduate student at the Manoa campus. Star-Advertiser.

The Governor launched Hawai’I’s Broadband Initiative today. Hawaii Public Radio.

Abercrombie launches broadband initiative. Governor: Lightning fast Internet by 2018. Garden Island.

Prison Probe Under way At Women's Facility. KITV4.

Fighting farm theft and vandalism is getting a closer look by state officials in the wake of high-profile cases. KHON2.

Honolulu managed to attract three bidders for a new $300 million rapid transit consulting contract, but the winner was the same firm that has already received some $166 million in similar work. Hawaii Reporter.

Sumitomo has reason for not filing rail contract appeal. Pacific Business News.

Maui County awarded contracts this month to install at least 1,000 solar panels on the rooftops of county facilities on Maui and Lanai. Maui News.

The military command charged with finding and identifying Americans missing from past conflicts plans to build a new multimillion-dollar facility on Oahu. Associated Press.

Native Hawaiian Conference to begin Wednesday at Convention Center. Hawaii News Now.

One of five applicants vying to become Hawaii County's next fire chief has withdrawn his name, the Fire Commission announced Tuesday before privately interviewing the remaining candidates.Tribune-Herald.

Two out of the six plenary speakers for a state energy conference expected to draw leaders from more than 20 countries are high-profile board members of Kuokoa. The company was formed last December and hopes to take over Hawaiian Electric Industries. Civil Beat.

The venue for the contested case hearing for the approval of the Thirty Meter Telescope's Conservation District Use Application has been changed. Tribune-Herald.

West Hawaii's second-largest public school just got a little bigger. West Hawaii Today.

After 18 months and some $4 million in renovations — plus another $30,000 a month to lease a temporary location — the Kaua‘i County Council is almost ready to return to its regular home at the Historic County Building in Lihu‘e. Garden Island.

Researchers rescued nine Hawaiian monk seals caught in fish nets and other marine debris this summer during an annual trip to the Northwestern Islands to monitor and help protect the critically endangered species. Associated Press.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Honolulu homeless sweep continues, Maui affordable housing in shambles, school test results released, Hilo religious marijuana trial delayed by jury handouts, Turtle Bay downsized, more Hawaii news

Aloha Festival parade (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Hawaii’s oldest and largest cultural festival, the annual Aloha Festivals , starts Sept. 1 and runs through the entire month — and continues to be among the biggest tourism draws for Waikiki every year. Pacific Business News.

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in November will require more than one-thousand volunteers to assist guests during their stay in Honolulu. Hawaii Public Radio.

Homeless Sweep Under Freeway Uncovers Elaborate Structures. KITV4.

Chief U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway granted a request Monday by federal prosecutors to suspend $48,000 in restitution payments by a man who pleaded guilty to a felony charge related to Aloun Farms bringing in 44 Thai nationals to work at the Kapolei-based agricultural business. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Education released the school-by-school assessment results Monday morning. Civil Beat.

Of the five West Hawaii public schools that made adequate yearly progress, only two -- Innovations Public Charter School and Honaunau Elementary -- met No Child Left Behind reading and mathematics proficiency standards. West Hawaii Today.

A much-delayed lawsuit concerning the Hawaii public school system’s treatment of two autistic girls in the mid-1990’s is set to go to trial in October and could cost the state “millions of dollars” in damages for each of the girls, according to public records. Hawaii Reporter.

An independent investigative committee evaluating conditions at Hawaii's juvenile detention home find shortcomings. Civil Beat.

A former Hilo health clinic will become a 30-bed home for young adults with mental disorders under a land-use request pending before Hawaii County. Tribune-Herald.

A new front has been opened in the fight to keep Honolulu from awarding a $1.4 billion rail contract. Civil Beat.

The Board of Water Supply has postponed a vote on a plan to raise water rates 70 percent by 2015. KHON2.

The majority of testimony at a public hearing Monday was in opposition to a Board of Water Supply proposal to increase water rates by 70% over the next five years. Hawaii News Now.

The owners of Turtle Bay Resort are advancing a new expansion plan for the North Shore property that represents a scaled-back version of a previous owner's plan. Star-Advertiser.

Forty per cent of the units at the state’s Honokowai Kauhale affordable housing project on Maui – 71 of 184 apartments - have been vacant for extended periods of time ranging from months to more than five years, according to interviews and property records. Hawaii Reporter.

The Days Inn-branded Maui Oceanfront Inn, home of Sarento's on the Beach, could be the latest Hawaii hotel to hit the auction block as part of a bankruptcy reorganization. Star-Advertiser.

A marijuana trial got off to a rocky start Monday after prospective jurors were handed fliers featuring the face of jailed pot activist Roger Christie. Tribune-Herald.

If there's a heaven, Lionel "Buddy" Azevedo is on his way there to make sure it's built right. West Hawaii Today.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. has proposed another sister-city relationship with a foreign municipality. Garden Island.

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich spoke about his core values to about 150 applauding TEA Party of Maui members Saturday during a brief campaign tour of Hawaii. Maui News.

Actors wanted for ‘A Jive Bomber’s Christmas’ at Kumu Kahua Theatre. Hawaii Independent.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kona donkeys heading to California, Waikiki topless demonstration draws police, state trust fund bleeding red ink, vacant properties draw squatters, Native Hawaiians push for rights, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kona donkeys (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Up to 120 wild donkeys rescued from taxing conditions in Waikoloa will soon have new homes in California, where they can live out the remainder of their lives protected from harm. West Hawaii Today.

New laws on the state and national levels have expanded the recognition of Native Hawaiians’ rights to self-determination. With that in mind, a sovereignty group on Kaua‘i remains concerned that local law enforcement needs more awareness to avoid interfering with individuals exercising those rights. Garden Island.

Hawaii state lawmakers are due to hold an informational briefing next week on the status of a new body created to generate revenue from public lands. Associated Press.

Faculty leaders at the University of Hawaii's College of Engineering say they have been "stonewalled" for at least six months trying to get details about how the college spends hundreds of thousands of dollars in private donations each year. Star-Advertiser.

The trust fund that pays for Hawaii state and county employees' health insurance ended the 2010 fiscal year nearly $5 million in the red, according to an audit issued late Thursday. Civil Beat.

Hawaii posted the nation’s largest month-to-month percentage increase in employment in July to end the month with a jobless rate of 6.1 percent. Pacific Business News.

Unemployment is down on five of the six major Hawaiian islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Lags Far Behind Other States. Civil Beat.

The public will get a chance to sound off on a proposed Oahu water rate hike on Monday. Hawaii News Now.

The Main Hawaiian Island bottomfish season opens Sept. 1, and the state’s Division of Aquatic Resources wants to more accurately count how many “Deep 7” and other bottomfish are being pulled from the ocean. Molokai Dispatch.

The value we put into our education system is a tricky thing to quantify. Hawaii Independent.

A topless demonstration drew some attention in Waikiki before police arrived and put an end to the bare breasted protest. KITV4.

Waikiki catamaran operators say they fear a state proposal to shift them to a commercial permit system would lead to a bidding process and ultimately put them out of business. Star-Advertiser.

Plan to replenish sand at Makaha Beach. KHON2.

Waikiki's vacant and fallow properties have proved the most vulnerable to homeless people who have been driven out of their favorite public haunts. Star-Advertiser.

The great Hawaii Island battle between man and coqui is over. The little, quarter-sized frogs have won. Tribune-Herald.

A local solar company was awarded one of the largest government contracts in the state. KHON2.

University of Hawaii Maui College will hold a "Launch Celebration" on Friday, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., on its Kahului campus with entertainment, food by the culinary arts program, information tables and college tours. Maui News.

The Philippine Consulate outreach team will be in Hilo Monday to help process Philippine passports and applications for a number of services. Associated Press.

Fighter planes filled the sky over Pearl Harbor Saturday. KITV4.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hawaii tourism chief up for review, Fernanda no threat, fee delay costs roads $19.2M, Big Island seeks fire chief, military contractor settles Kauai sexual harassment suit, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kilauea crowd (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Scientists on the Big Island expect to see more action from Kilauea volcano in the coming days. Hawaii News Now.

A delay in implementing increases in registration fees and vehicle weight taxes means $19.2 million will not be collected this year for highway maintenance and repairs. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Labor Relations Board ruled Thursday that a controversial letter from Gov. Neil Abercrombie to the board was not an unlawful attempt to influence the board's decisions in a dispute between the teachers union and the state. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is due to discuss the performance of the agency's CEO next week. Associated Press.

Waikiki aquarium unveiled its new Northwestern Hawaiian Islands exhibit. KHON2.

Fernanda, which entered the Central Pacific Thursday as a strong tropical storm, is "falling apart" faster than expected, forecasters say. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka was on Maui on Wednesday as chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to listen to ideas on how to create parity for indigenous people living across America, with a focus on Hawaii. Maui News.

One of Kauai's largest employers has settled a federal sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit by two firefighters. Associated Press.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) heard a warning today that the company it chose to build the train is headed for financial ruin, but the warning came from the company that has so far been rejected by the city. Hawaii News Now.

A Big Island businessman has donated $500,000 to help protect native forests in Ka'u and South Kona. Tribune-Herald.

Five finalists are on the short list to succeed Hawaii County Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira, who retired Aug. 1. West Hawaii Today.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo rested its case for the Thirty Meter Telescope on Thursday in the ongoing contested case hearing. Tribune-Herald.

Val T. Iwashita, who has been headmaster at Iolani School for 17 years, said Thursday that he will step down at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. Pacific Business News.

After starting the year showing good gains, occupancy rates at Maui resorts tailed off as the months wore by, and by the end of June the overall occupancy rate for the first half of the year was 72.1 percent, still better than the depressed 68.2 percent of January to June 2010. Maui News.

Hundreds of people lined West Hawaii roadways Thursday to pay tribute to Waimea Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher Camero, who gave the ultimate sacrifice. West Hawaii Today.

Honolulu police are permanently removing their website that featured photos of people arrested for driving under the influence. Associated Press.

Thirty years ago, a group of Hawaiian Language students at U-H Manoa discovered a water system behind the dormitories on Dole Street. Hawaii Public Radio.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

No 4th Senate seat for Big Island, Abercrombie pushes for newer day in Hawaii, Djou off to war, then to congressional campaign, Oahu electric bills rise, water for Maui, buses for Kauai, humane society for Molokai and all the island news

Gov. Neil Abercrombie courtesy photo

Following up on his promises of change, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Wednesday he's delivering results. Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, in a status report on the state’s financial condition, said Wednesday that the state has closed a sizable budget deficit but faces an “undeniable storm” of fiscal challenges that could upend the state’s economic foundation. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie summoned state leaders to Washington Place Wednesday afternoon to tell them that, despite having closed a $214 million deficit for fiscal year 2011, serious budget challenges lie ahead. Civil Beat.

Most Hawaii Departments Spared in $50M 'Restructuring' Cuts. Bulk of savings will come from cheaper health contracts, delaying new debt. Civil Beat.

Seven months after taking office, Governor Neil Abercrombie updated the health of Hawaii's government. KITV4.

Governor Neil Abercrombie says a recent fiscal crisis has been averted, but that more trouble looms ahead. KHON2.

Gov. Abercrombie's Address Aug. 17, 2011. KITV.

Republican Charles Djou said Wednesday he will attempt to retake the congressional seat he lost last year, even though he's being deployed to Afghanistan next month. Associated Press.

Former congressman Charles Djou launched a new bid for Congress on Wednesday with a call for bipartisanship, but the U.S. Army reservist said he would not campaign until late March, when he returns from deployment to Afghanistan. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Reapportionment Commission voted 8-1 Wednesday to include nonresident members of the military and their dependents along with nonresident students and incarcerated felons in the state's population base for the purposes of redrawing political boundaries, with some members citing the inability to accurately extract nonresidents from the population base as their primary reason for including them. Star-Advertiser.

Military data doesn't match Census data, commission finds. Civil Beat.

Representatives from University of Hawaii at Hilo presented the argument for the Thirty Meter Telescope for a third day, with nerves beginning to fray over the pace of the hearing. Tribune-Herald.

Tropical Storm Fernanda moved into the Central Pacific just below hurricane strength overnight with forecasters predicting a weakened storm passing safely south of the islands early next week. Star-Advertiser.

Just think about the possibilities that could come with $510 million in new funding for biofuels production in Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Residential electric rates on Oahu rose to a record high in August, reflecting rising fuel costs and an interim rate hike that Hawaiian Electric Co. began collecting late last month. Star-Advertiser.

It will be another month before the Hawaii County Council renders a decision on updating the island's building code. West Hawaii Today.

Real property tax payments are due on Monday and Maui owners who miss the deadline risk losing their homeowner's exemption. Hawaii Reporter.

The director of Maui’s Department of Water Supply says it’s up to the County Council to set the direction for renewing and expanding the island’s water sources and infrastructure. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Maui County Council was presented three scenarios of the future of the Department of Water Supply on Tuesday. Maui News.

A six-month pilot program to encourage Kaua‘i Community College students to ride The Kaua‘i Bus was launched at the KCC campus in Puhi. Garden Island.

The Molokai Humane Society has experienced an overhaul this year. Molokai Dispatch.

Flags at government buildings around the state will be flown at half staff on Thursday to honor a Big Island Marine killed in Afghanistan. Hawaii News Now.

The latest on the Honolulu rail will be discussed Thursday as city leaders take another look at the $1.5 billion rail contract awarded to Ansaldo Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More Hawaii kids live in poverty, Honolulu sewer, water, refinery failing as APEC nears, Disney halts unprofitable Aulani time-shares, feds can't find rogue monk seal, mahi-mahi in short supply, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii children (c) 2011 All Hawaii News

Fourteen percent of Hawaii children in 2009 were living in families that earned less than the $21,756 federal poverty level for a four-person household — up from 13 percent in 2000 — according to a report from the University of Hawaii Center on the Family released Tuesday evening. Star-Advertiser.

The percentage of Hawaii's children who live in poverty and in single-parent homes have increased in the last decade, according to newly released data that focuses on the recession's impact on youth. Associated Press.

Former Honolulu city councilman and Hawaii congressman Charles Djou is expected to announce today that he will enter the race to unseat U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in a potential rematch of their 2010 race. Star-Advertiser.

Djou's 2012 Congressional Campaign to Focus on Job Creation. Hawaii Reporter.

In his first public response to an escalating labor dispute with the teachers union, Board of Education Chairman Don Horner said Tuesday the board is "fully committed" to supporting teachers and is grateful for the sacrifices they're making during a time of significant budget cuts. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Board of Education on Tuesday postponed its final vote on whether to reduce the number of social studies requirements for high school graduates. Civil Beat.

The State Board of Education began to tackle the big job of transforming Hawai’i’s teacher evaluation system today.Hawaii Public Radio.

The state expects to have an online system ready by Nov. 30 to process applications for civil unions, and to have documents available to couples planning solemnization ceremonies when the civil unions law takes effect Jan. 1. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's public-employee pension fund performed well for the year ended June 30 — more than doubling its actuarial investment yield. Civil Beat.

Walt Disney Company has temporarily stopped sales of time-share units at its new Aulani Resort on Oahu and fired some top mainland executives after discovering it was charging time-share dues here that were not high enough to be profitable. KITV4.

South Kona and Ocean View would no longer be in Rep. Bob Herkes' district, and North Kona's District 6 House seat would be open, under maps being considered by the state Reapportionment Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Local fishermen voiced angry opposition to a proposed expansion of a critical habitat zone to include waters and shoreline around the main Hawaiian islands last week to protect the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Civil Beat.

The Hawaiian monk seal population is about 1,100, of which 200 are living in waters surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands. West Hawaii Today.

A controversial decision by federal officials to “lethally remove” an adult Hawaiian monk seal that was attacking — and apparently killing — pups at Kure Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands had to be put on hold: The seal was nowhere to be found. Garden Island.

Hawaii is to receive a $2.5-million federal grant to repair and reopen an emergency evacuation route for Oahu's Leeward Coast. Associated Press.

The author of the Thirty Meter Telescope's environmental impact statement was grilled for more than three hours Tuesday about the telescope's visual impact during the second day of a contested case hearing in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

The Tesoro Corp.’s refinery in Kapolei has stopped production following a piping component failure Monday. Pacific Business News.

Aging Water System A Concern During APEC Meeting. KITV4.

With sewage levels beyond capacity at the Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant the city began the process of hauling raw sewage out on surface streets to Waipahu. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council members will discuss whether to give final approval to start building the hotel in Laie during a public hearing on Wednesday at 10 a.m. KHON2.

The Maui County Council Planning Committee is looking favorably at tweaking the agricultural zoning law to adjust the law on walls in the setback area. Maui News.

A Hawaiiana-inspired community mural project and engagement program has been funded by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Hawaii Independent.

Kauai County will begin the process of relocating the Kekaha lifeguard tower this week. Garden Island.

The East-West Center in Honolulu has received a grant worth more than $1 million to run a training and exchange program for U.S. and Pakistani journalists. Associated Press.

Maui County officials announced this week that it is ready to install the largest solar panel project in the county’s history. Hawaii Independent.

Mahi-mahi imports have dried up, forcing local restaurateurs to substitute other fishes and leaving food distributors wondering when they can meet customer demand. Tribune-Herald.

A developer seeking classification and zoning changes to allow a new subdivision north of Pualani Estates withdrew that request Tuesday following an outpouring of public opposition before a Hawaii County Council committee in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.