Monday, October 31, 2011

Evolta robots finish Ironman, Akaka OK with new Hawaiian rights bill, candidate Hannemann allowed radio show, school buses costly, Big Island seeks sign restrictions, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Panasonic Evolta Robot courtesy photo
Three Evolta Robots, created by Japanese robot designer Tomotaka Takahashi, finished the 230 km Kona Ironman course Sunday with a combined finish time of 166 hours and 56 minutes, according to organizers. KITV4.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who patiently sought a vote on a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill in the Senate for a decade, has signed off on a more aggressive strategy to advance the idea before he retires in January 2013. Star-Advertiser.

Hannemann Radio Show Doesn't Cross Legal Line. Civil Beat.

Two dozen Japanese-American veterans were given a soldiers sendoff Sunday with flower lei, handshakes and hugs. KHON2.

Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald has guided the state Judiciary through furloughs and budget cuts, and while the Hawaii Supreme Court has made significant rulings under his watch, there have been no sweeping opinions signaling any new directions. Star-Advertiser.

In 2009, Hawaii taxpayers paid Roberts Hawaii $200 a day to operate a bus route serving Kohala Elementary and High schools on the Big Island. Civil Beat.

Hawaii was one of 47 states that lost retail jobs during the recession, but the state fared better than most, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pacific Business News.


Amid criticism that it targets the homeless, a measure that would ban personal property such as furniture, clothing or household goods from being stored in public spaces, including sidewalks and parks, is up for consideration again at the City Council. Star-Advertiser.


Four years after the Hawaii County Council asked for a crackdown on illegal signs, the Public Works Department is offering an update on the county's sign code. West Hawaii Today.

After six months of work, the Hawaii County Redistricting Commission is facing a self-imposed Nov. 10 deadline to create nine council districts with resident populations that vary by no more than 1,021 people. Tribune-Herald.


Motorists should be aware that several streets in Lahaina town will be closed today beginning at 3:30 p.m. for Halloween festivities. Maui News.

Workers have doubled their efforts to maintain greens at the Waiehu Municipal Golf Course, significantly reducing weeds and improving the quality of grass at the course, county parks officials said. Maui News.


County officials have been working for five months on developing a Multimodal Land Transportation Plan for Kaua‘i, which will ultimately be incorporated into the county’s General Plan. Garden Island.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Turtle rider spurs outrage, millions in social services cut, judge won't stop Maui Halloween, House poor launching pad for governors, Superferry haunts Lingle, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii turtle rider courtesy photo
An underwater photo taken of a professional surfer from Hawaii is making waves on the internet and has the full attention of federal authorities. KHON2.

A picture posted late Wednesday night on Hawaii News Now's Facebook page of a surfer riding a turtle has sparked a controversy. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. House Often a Poor Launching Pad for Governor. Governing.

The Hawaii Superferry was a major embarrassment for former Gov. Linda Lingle. Civil Beat.

Family support services, emergency shelter care, recruitment of foster families and training for social workers are among the services being reduced by the Department of Human Services in cutting $5.8 million from its budget. Star-Advertiser.

State law requires that cases of suspected physical abuse of the elderly must be reported to law enforcement, but there is no such requirement in cases of suspected financial abuse, legislators were told today. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka is proposing federal legislation that would increase the nation’s — and Hawaii’s — defenses against invasive species that threaten ecosystems and cause millions of dollars in damage to the agricultural industry. Civil Beat.

The Hawaiian Humane Society and state lawmakers are rethinking how to regulate large-scale dog breeders after a state audit concluded that bills before the Legislature are flawed and that there is no hard evidence that such dog-breeding operations continue to be a problem in the islands. Star-Advertiser.


The Honolulu rail transit project has reached a milestone of sorts with the approval of the first change order that will add $3.9 million to the cost of a rail contract. Star-Advertiser.

The issue of unruly fans at Aloha Stadium is back in the spotlight after a fight during last Saturday's University of Hawaii football game was witnessed by thousands of spectators.  KHON2.

Private Landowners Being Asked To Spruce Up For APEC. KITV4.

Homeless Evicted In Sweep Say They'll Be Back. Civil Beat.


The state's Department of Human Services cut at least $178,000 from three West Hawaii community program providers this week, but the full impact of the cuts remained unclear Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

Working during the pre-dawn darkness this week, 50 volunteers searched Hilo's alleyways, parks and other secluded areas where the homeless go to sleep. Tribune-Herald.

The wekiu bug, a species native to the cinder cones of Mauna Kea, is no longer a candidate for endangered or threatened status. Tribune-Herald.

SPECIAL REPORT: Tsunami Aftermath, the future of Kona village. Hawaii News Now.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently awarded nearly $165,000 to two West Hawaii nonprofits to support direct marketing efforts and increase access to fresh produce in low-income areas. West Hawaii Today.


A judge won't be stopping a Lahaina Halloween celebration. Associated Press.

Second Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo today dismissed a temporary restraining order that sought to stop organized Halloween festivities from taking place on Front Street this year. Maui News.


In these hard economic times, a large chunk of Kaua‘i’s workforce may be a mere paycheck away from becoming homeless. Garden Island.


The proclamation to name the kioea the official bird of Kaunakakai, Molokai, was signed by Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa and Council Chair Danny Mateo on Oct. 25, making it the second district in the state to declare an official bird. Molokai Dispatch.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

63% of Hawaii voters approve of Obama's job performance, discrimination complaint tossed, GreenSun Hawaii to finance energy, UH hikes tuition, Kakaaka to get state's tallest building, Maui explores ag-tourism, more news from all the Hawaiian islands

President Barack Obama courtesy photo

Hawaii voters may feel blue about the direction of the country. But that hasn't affected their love affair with President Barack Obama. Civil Beat.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra dismissed a complaint today filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on April 20, 2011, against six Hawaii farms, saying the government agency that is charged with prohibiting employment discrimination has not been specific enough in its allegations. Hawaii Reporter.

On Wednesday, the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, along with the Hawaii Community Reinvestment Corp., launched GreenSun Hawaii, an energy-financing credit-enhancement program funded by almost $3 million in federal dollars. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii homeowners have yet to benefit from the state's new foreclosure dispute resolution program intended to force lenders to meet face-to-face with homeowners before foreclosing on a property. Civil Beat.

Citing state budget cuts, the University of Hawaii Board of Regents voted 9-3 Wednesday to approve a new round of annual tuition increases that will have UH-Manoa undergraduates paying 35 percent more five years from now. Star-Advertiser.

Republican lawmakers in Hawai’i are outnumbered 8 to 1 … but that hasn’t dampened their spirits as they prepare for next year’s legislative session. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Civil Beat Poll: Hawaii Says Abercrombie Doing Worse Than Expected. Civil Beat.


A private developer would get the chance to erect the tallest high-rise in Hawaii and sell market-rate condominiums as an incentive to build a project in Kakaako that would also provide affordable housing and commercial, civic and community office space near Honolulu's planned rail line. Star-Advertiser.

A small group of APEC protestors spread their anti-globalization message throughout the UH Manoa campus on Wednesday. KHON2.


The construction start date for Phase 2 of the Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening project has been pushed back again.  West Hawaii Today.

The Kohala Center has received a one-year grant from the USDA to expand EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card access to six farmers markets on the Big Island.  Tribune-Herald.


The Maui Planning Commission granted Ali'i Kula Lavender farm a state special use permit Tuesday that allows the working farm to conduct agricultural tourism activities, a growing segment of the visitor industry. Maui News.

After stalling during the middle of the year, visitor head counts in Maui County have started increasing again. Maui News.

A West Maui Shell station has been fined more than $85,000 for underground fuel tank violations. Hawaii News Now.


Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative is determined to pursue two ditch hydropower projects despite the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s unwillingness to permit them. Garden Island.

There will be more dedications and U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said he plans on being at those too. Garden Island.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Big boost in Hawaii tourism spending, interisland mega-yacht coming to Molokai, Honolulu woman wants to ban smoking in public housing, Hawaii supports APEC, seabirds released on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Convict tang congregate on Hawaii coral reef (c) 2011 All Hawaii News

Up to 20 million tons of tsunami debris floating from Japan could arrive on Hawaii's shores by early 2013, before reaching the West Coast, according to estimates by University of Hawaii scientists. Associated Press.

Total visitor spending rose almost 20 percent to top $1 billion in September, as visitors from the West Coast, Japan and Canada increased their average daily spending, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said Tuesday. Pacific Business News

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents is scheduled to approve a proposal that would increase tuition on all campuses over the next five years. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's Future Leaders: Where Are They? Civil Beat.

A disabled woman at a Honolulu public housing complex wants the state to ban smoking at all 6,000 of its housing units across the state, and she's considering legal action to make that happen. KITV4.

The Civil Beat Poll: Hawaii Supports APEC. Civil Beat.


Governor Neil Abercrombie tomorrow will unveil a new plan to create jobs and build new housing in the Kakaakao area of Honolulu. Hawaii Reporter.

State prisoners and Department of Transportation landscaping crews are busy clearing homeless people and their belongings from 17 different areas along Nimitz Highway and the H-1 Freeway that will be seen by delegations attending next month's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Peter Carlisle and City officials today dedicated the Middle Street Intermodal Center, located at the intersection of Middle Street and Kamehameha Highway and adjacent to the existing Kalihi-Palama Transit Facility. Hawaii Independent.

Waikiki merchants are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first wave of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC meeting attendees in less than two weeks. Hawaii Public Radio.

A group that saves prostitutes from sex trafficking fears women working the street could double during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. It said evidence is already out there. Hawaii News Now.

A recent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Ko Olina developer Jeff Stone includes a description of the resort as ‘providing casino facilities.’ KHON2.


Multimillion-dollar state construction projects expected to generate Big Island jobs actually have triggered layoffs. Tribune-Herald

Five years after the Kiholo Bay earthquakes, the Department of Water Supply is down to one final repair project. West Hawaii Today.

A group claiming Native Hawaiian rights to property Hawaii County is trying to buy on Kawa Bay had its case sent back to state court Tuesday, when a federal judge decided he had no jurisdiction over the issue. West Hawaii Today.


The state will pay considerably more for property management services at a troubled Maui affordable housing project under a six-month non-bid contract that took effect last week, according to procurement records. Hawaii Reporter.

Charter Commission members on Monday killed a proposal that would give the mayor powers to hire and fire the fire chief, but they supported a plan to move county ocean safety officers under the authority of the Maui fire department. Maui News.


State workers, environmental groups and students joined forces Tuesday morning at Lydgate Park to release several endangered seabirds back into the wild. Garden Island.


A blessing was held on Molokai on Tuesday for an interisland mega-yacht that will start making regularly scheduled cruise voyages this week. KHON2.

Members of the Hawaii Legislature and guests will be visiting Molokai on Wednesday, Nov. 2 to hear from island residents about a wind farm proposed for Molokai. Molokai Dispatch.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Abercrombie battles low ratings, Perry stirs Birther issue, Solomon chided for grading historic site, Inouye victim of ID theft, Native Hawaiian recognition in appropriations bill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie in Okinawa courtesy photo
Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday accepted blame for his administration's missteps and said he would use his low job approval rating as a spur to regain the public's confidence. Star-Advertiser.

In a press conference Monday ostensibly about a recent trip to Asia but really about his difficult first 10 months in office, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie acknowledged that the actions of his administration have not been wildly popular. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Monday that he could benefit from explaining issues to the public more clearly, but he otherwise plans to keep his administration on its current track, even after several aides resigned in rapid succession and a recent public opinion poll gave him low ratings. Associated Press.

Governor Abercrombie said he will not change his administration's direction despite the results from a poll indicating that he is the most unpopular governor in America. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said he doesn't take personally recent job approval ratings that make him the least popular governor in the nation, but he expressed regret Monday for not explaining issues to the public more clearly. KITV4

Governor Abercrombie says he will not change his direction after a recent poll suggested he was the least popular governor in the country. KHON2.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie met with reporters today to recount his success stories from his travels in Beijing, Okinawa and Tokyo over the past two weeks. Hawaii Reporter.

The Governor briefed the media today on what he called was a successful two-week trip to Asia to boost tourism and business. But as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports … the state’s chief executive also addressed his 30 percent approval rating which is the lowest in the nation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Resuscitating an issue that flared earlier this year, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said in a new interview that he isn’t sure that President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is real. Washington Post.

A new and controversial agency tasked with developing state lands through public-private partnerships will not be grinding to a halt as some state officials had cautioned. Civil Beat.

On October 14, 2011, the Senate Appropriations Committee released a proposed draft of its Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which includes legislation to recognize Native Hawaiians as a federal Indian Tribe. Hawaii Reporter.

A Georgia woman was in court Monday for allegedly stealing Senator Daniel Inouye's credit card information. Hawaii News Now.


After Monday's cleanup of a homeless encampment along Beretania Street, homeless advocates and government officials are now targeting six to 10 other encampments across Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

As the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) approaches, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii Foundation (ACLU) has announced the release of its “First Amendment Toolkit” and a “Know Your Rights” telephone line, 808-522-5906. Hawaii Independent.

A growing group of like-minded citizens called Occupy Honolulu, in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, considers itself a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders, and political persuasions. And they’ve got a lot on their mind. Hawaii Independent.

As many as 50 homeowners on Oahu seeking building permits have been told by the Board of Water Supply that they can't proceed until they install a fire prevention sprinkler system because their homes are too far from the nearest fire hydrant or the water flow from a hydrant is too low. Star-Advertiser.

A developer has refined plans to develop the former Kam Drive-In theater property next to Pearlridge Center in response to community feedback, though some area residents still feel the project, with three residential towers, is too much. Star-Advertiser.

Robertson Properties Group unveiled its revised plans Monday for the former Kamehameha Drive-in property in Aiea. Pacific Business News.


A state senator goes before the Board of Land and Natural Resources Friday, following complaints that she damaged archaeological sites on her land and state property. West Hawaii Today.

Monday afternoon marked the blessing that begins the final portion of the Saddle Road realignment project. West Hawaii Today.

The state is moving ahead with plans to reopen Kulani Correctional Facility and relocate the Hawaii National Guard's program for troubled youths closer to Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong wants to give local construction firms a boost while fixing dilapidated Parks and Recreation structures. West Hawaii Today.

The owners of a Big Island zipline attraction that was the scene of a fatal accident last month has suspended all future operations. KHON2.


Job creation, sustainability and the protection of social services were among the hot topic issues Maui residents brought up with U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono as the congresswoman held "coffee talk" sessions on Maui on Saturday. Maui News.

Ninety-year-old Mary Nicolas can no longer maintain her yard and clean up the rubbish that she says comes from two trees in a next-door county park in Kahului. Maui News.


State election officials should not have allowed a Republican candidate to run in the 2010 election for a Kauai seat in the state House, the state appeals court ruled Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawai‘i Intermediate Court of Appeals on Monday overturned a Fifth Circuit Court ruling last year that dismissed a complaint against a Republican Party candidate who filed at the last minute to run in the 14th District state House race against Democrat Mina Morita. Garden Island.

The county will hold six community meetings next month as part of an ongoing planning process to update its Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Garden Island.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hawaii campaign contributors donate evenly, Native Hawaiians sue to stop Maui Halloween, APEC homeless cleanup continues, Big Island redistricting pits incumbent councilors, zero waste for Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu homeless (c) 2011 All Hawaii News

Capitol lacks enough staff to clean up after homeless. Star-Advertiser.

If you've gone down Beretania Street in Chinatown it's hard not to notice all the tents and makeshift shelters on the sidewalk. But all that will change 7:30 Monday morning. KHON2.

Lawmakers back lottery. Tribune-Herald.

Nearly 10 years later, Lingle, Hirono and Case are together again — running for the same U.S. Senate seat, a contest that could tip the balance of power in Washington and elect a new senator who could serve for a generation. Civil Beat.

GOP, Dems Benefit Equally From Hawaii's Big Donors. Civil Beat.

The Senate Minority is pleased to announce and welcome Lauren V. Rogan as the new full time Director of Research and Legal Affairs for the Senate Minority Research Office (SMRO), effective October 25. Hawaii Reporter.


More than 17 percent of Honolulu’s total personal income comes from outside sources such as dividends, interest and rent payments, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Pacific Business News.

The state needs more input on the widening of Kahekili Highway. But ask Kaneohe resident Kenneth LeVasseur about it, and he'll tell you it's about keeping the country country. Star-Advertiser.

Downtown residents will have a chance to weigh in on the upcoming rail transit stations. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu police held a major training exercise in leeward Oahu Sunday, the final rehearsal before the APEC conference in November. KITV4.


A draft map produced Friday by the county Redistricting Commission puts South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford in the same council district as Ka'u Councilwoman Brittany Smart. West Hawaii Today.


A Native Hawaiian group has filed suit in 2nd Circuit Court seeking a restraining order to stop planned Halloween celebrations in Lahaina. Maui News.

Wailuku has "First Friday," Paia has "Fourth Friday," and soon Makawao and Lahaina hope to have Fridays of their own. Maui News.


The Kaua‘i County Council has unanimously approved a resolution adopting the principles of zero waste as the official waste management policy for the county — at least for the next year. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i County Council member Tim Bynum said the public has been waiting almost 18 years for camping to be allowed at Lydgate Park. Garden Island.


Molokai cannot afford a 6.7 percent electricity rate increase requested by Maui Electric Company (MECO), residents testified during a Public Utilities Commission (PUC) public hearing at Mitchell Pauole Center last week. Molokai Dispatch.

Friday, October 21, 2011

No surfboard for Obama, president's pal stripped of prostitution charge, military beefing up in Hawaii, APEC brings road closures, federal judge to rule on Big Island land fight, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Pohakuloa Training Area (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
A series of ambitious projects to modernize aging training ranges and facilities at the 133,000-acre Pohakuloa Training Area is detailed in a draft programmatic environmental impact statement released this month by the Army. Star-Advertiser.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is one of three bases being considered for an active-duty Air Force MQ-1/9 remote split operations squadron, the Pentagon said Thursday.Pacific Business News.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam could start controlling one of the military's newest and most lethal weapons. Hawaii News Now.

Did Pigs Get a U.S. Marine Colonel Fired? Hawaii Reporter.

A plan to raise money from lawmakers and staff to purchase a $750 board for the president featuring the Hawaii state seal, among other things, was nixed Wednesday. Civil Beat.

The prostitution conviction of Robert R. "Bobby" Titcomb, a close friend of President Barack Obama, will be stricken from his record under an agreement confirmed Wednesday in Honolulu District Court. Star-Advertiser.

If the federal government has its way, it may soon cost more to drive. Hawaii Reporter.

A geography professor from the University of Hawaii at Manoa has led a team of researchers to create a new, interactive online website for rainfall patterns. KHON2.


Oahu residents are being urged to prepare for possible disruptions to their schedules during next month's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting when access to some of the busiest streets in the Ala Moana-Waikiki region will be severely limited. Star-Advertiser.

APEC is on the way, and we’re digging into the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit with all kinds of coverage. Dave Lawrence reports on today's big announcements relating to security. Hawaii Public Radio.

For an entire week, residents who normally park their vehicles along Kahakai Drive just behind the Hawaii Convention Center will be hard pressed to find somewhere else to go. KITV4.

The state is preparing to start construction of a $10.8 million library on the site of the old Aiea Sugar Mill that will replace the community's current library and feature more space for patrons, a local history center and sustainable design. Star-Advertiser.

Dozens of people packed a hearing before the state Land Use Commission Thursday to debate whether a 12,000-home master-planned community near east Kapolei should move forward. Civil Beat.

Chinatown business owners tackle growing concerns over First Fridays, street closures. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaiian Art enthusiasts will have the chance to see the last work of master painter Herb Kane on Friday. Hawaii News Now.


A federal judge could decide as early as Tuesday whether a family claiming Native Hawaiian rights can block the sale of a Kawa Bay property to Hawaii County. West Hawaii Today.

The proposed rehabilitation of the historic Umauma Stream bridge will cost an estimated $35 million, state officials say. West Hawaii Today.


Scientists from the Smithsonian using DNA data sets to outline the evolutionary family tree of the Hawaiian honeycreeper have determined that the 56 species of the native bird evolved from the Eurasian rosefinch. Maui News.

A Kihei teen will join world leaders, business executives and other notables from the Asia-Pacific region when he attends the APEC 2011 CEO Summit in Honolulu next month. Maui News.


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will no longer issue non-mandatory preliminary permits for hydropower projects in the state of Hawai‘i. Garden Island.

Once a month, when time permits, Kurt Leong, a North Shore fireman, dives into the water at Black Pot in Hanalei Bay to help physically challenged Kaua‘i residents do something he can’t live without: Get in the water. Garden Island.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hirono and Case in tight U.S. Senate race, Honolulu misses senior center deadline, Hawaii County elected officials could face drug tests, Kauai cleaning up civic center, APEC group 'ready,' more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Makaha Resort courtesy photo
The Makaha Resort & Spa is poised to close on Oct. 31, according to workers at the hotel. Employees were told the closure is temporary, they said, but no date has been set for reopening. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former congressman Ed Case are in a close race in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey. Star-Advertiser.

Jon Yoshimura, communications director for U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka, is stepping down at the end of the month to take a job with a Honolulu-based solar energy firm. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie is returning to Hawaii from a two-week trip to Japan and China. Associated Press.

Hawaii submitted its proposal Wednesday for how it would spend a $50 million federal grant to improve the state's early education system, saying it plans to institute a quality rating system for child care providers, make reforms to improve outcomes for at-risk students and improve coordination among multiple state agencies. Star-Advertiser.

Some Hawaii Teachers Ignore Ethics Code. Civil Beat.

Col. Jeffrey R. "Woody" Woods, commander of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, was relieved of duty Wednesday due to a "lack of confidence," just nine months after taking command of the base, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

The Sea-Based X-Band Radar, known informally as the giant floating golf ball, will be visible on the horizon today as it pulls into Pearl Harbor for maintenance and crew training, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said. Star-Advertiser.

Kamehameha Schools is on the verge of settling its lawsuit against a mother and child who received $7 million from the Schools after challenging the institution’s admissions policy that favors students of Hawaiian ancestry. Hawaii Reporter.

Prison garden providing growth, taste of freedom. Associated Press.


The city of Honolulu has missed a federal deadline to review financial records of a Wahiawa senior center under investigation for possible misuse of $7.9 million in federal funds. Civil Beat.

Members of the APEC 2011 Hawaii Host Committee for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings taking place in Honolulu in 20 days want everyone to know this: “We are ready.” Pacific Business News.

A group that plans to protest the policies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting next month has been granted a permit to demonstrate, but said the location may be too far from the Hawai‘i Convention Center for people attending the conference to notice. Star-Advertiser.

A Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. subcontractor’s construction vehicle working on Honolulu’s rail transit project struck an overhead communications line near Aloha Stadium today, affecting the City’s traffic camera coverage. Hawaii Independent.

Every day as many as 4,000 hikers embark upon what is considered one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world at Diamond Head Crater. KITV4.

A stretch of Kamehameha highway in Kahalu'u has been a magnet for accidents particularly in the past two weeks. Residents are finally speaking out hoping some fix can be done before someone gets seriously hurt. KHON2.


Hawaii County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong is proposing a charter amendment requiring that council members, the mayor and the prosecuting attorney pass annual drug tests or face removal from office. West Hawaii Today.

Comments from a deputy attorney general prompted the Hawaii County Council to delay, again, a final vote on a proposed comprehensive building code. West Hawaii Today.

Just one West Hawaii public school missed the mark during the 2010-11 Department of Education's Fire Inspection Program. West Hawaii Today.

Tonight October 19th, at UH Hilo, Dr. Brian Schmidt, 2011 Nobel Laureate in Physics, – will speak on the Accelerating Universe. Hawaii Public Radio.

Residents on the Big Island of Hawaii were shaken by a magnitude 4.5 earthquake Wednesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now.


State officials confirmed Tuesday that they have removed the property manager of troubled West Maui affordable housing complex Honokowai Kauhale. Maui News.


The Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday unanimously approved two bills intended to clean up — literally — the grounds of the Lihu‘e Civic Center. Garden Island.

Rayne Regush was honored as Environmentalist of the Year at the Kaua’i Group Sierra Club annual picnic on Saturday at Hanama‘ulu Beach Park. Garden Island.


A solid foundation to the new Veterans Caring for Veterans center was laid last week as five truckloads of concrete were poured early Thursday morning at the wharf road site. Molokai Dispatch.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

UPW mulls strike during APEC, Hawaii woman unfriends Facebook in lawsuit, Honolulu officials wine and dine in Washington D.C., BOE plans budget, Big Island farmers get $34M in tax breaks, more Hawaii news

Hawaiian children (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Could the Republican Lingle accomplish what the Democrat Akaka has not been able to — passage of federal recognition of Native Hawaiians? Civil Beat.

Former Gov. Linda Lingle would like to be the "point person on tourism" if elected to one of Hawaii's U.S. Senate seats next year. Maui News.

There are seismic changes in the Pacific region that are coming to a beachhead, and it is in Hawaii at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, that many of these changes will likely be advanced. Hawaii Independent.

Facebook has been tagged in a lawsuit by a Hawaii woman alleging violations of federal wiretap law. Star-Advertiser.

Key legislators won't have to testify before the Hawaii Labor Relations Board in a labor dispute involving the teachers union, the board has ruled. Star-Advertiser.

Possible price hikes affecting school meals and bus service dominated the discussion at a BOE meeting this afternoon. Members debated proposed changes to the Department of Education's operating budget for the next school year. Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii was ranked No. 295 on U.S. News and World Report’s 2011 list of the top 400 universities in the world. Pacific Business News.

A study recently published in the Journal of Environmental Health found high levels of mercury in bags of marlin jerky from Hawaii. State health officials are investigating, but they don't want people to panic. Hawaii News Now.


Five Honolulu City Council members and both of Hawaii's U.S. senators celebrated the Honolulu rail project's progress at an upscale French bistro near Capitol Hill on Tuesday evening. Civil Beat.

The anti-APEC group World Can't Wait sought help from the ACLU after getting stonewalled by the city over a permit to protest when world leaders are in town next month. KITV4.

While the City and County of Honolulu works overtime to ensure the success of next month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, the threat of a United Public Workers strike still looms on the horizon. KHON2.

Businesses Say They Are 'Left In Dark' Weeks Before APEC's Arrival. KITV4.

More details about APEC security and traffic plans are expected to be announced this week, and some neighborhoods can expect some security attention due to VIPs. KHON2.

Wetlands where native waterfowl, shorebirds, migratory birds and plants thrive had virtually disappeared from Honolulu until now. Star-Advertiser.

On a business trip to Washington, D.C., City Council Chairman Ernie Martin revealed to Civil Beat that he intends to run for Honolulu mayor — at some point. Civil Beat.

The City and County of Honolulu today announced that the World Invitational Hula Festival, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, will take place at the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall on November 10 through 12. Hawaii Independent.


Big Island farmers and ranchers receive about $34 million in property tax breaks every year, part of Hawaii County's efforts to encourage food sustainability and prevent overdevelopment. West Hawaii Today.

Postal customers and other users of the Hilo Federal Building are now benefiting from an $8.9 million renovation of the historic facility. Tribune-Herald.

An unsuccessful County Council candidate got a positive recommendation on his nomination to the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission. West Hawaii Today.

In recognition of Kalanianaole's achievements, Joyce Iwashita was recognized earlier this year as Hawaii's National Distinguished Principal. Tribune-Herald.

The 6,500 residents in the Ka'u District are one step closer to getting an emergency shelter. Hawaii Public Radio.


After investigating conditions at a troubled affordable housing project on Maui, the state has terminated a private company's $1.75 million contract to manage the project. Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. has terminated its contract with Honolulu firm Realty Laua to manage the troubled Honokowai Kauhale affordable housing project. Maui News.

A tag used to track a shark is transmitting on Maui, instead of in the ocean. Associated Press.


A second state agency has decided to terminate its contract with Kauai Independent Food Bank. Star-Advertiser.

County officials received word Monday of a $975,000 grant awarded to the county from the State of Good Repair Initiative. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i Police Department has begun updating its business contact list and is asking Kaua‘i business owners to provide their current contact information online. Garden Island.


Sen. Mike Gabbard and at least two other legislators will visit Molokai Nov. 2 to discuss the so-called “Big Wind” project with local residents, the senator confirmed today. Molokai Dispatch.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Surf's up, Hawaii late filing CAFR, Maui street party a go, Honolulu income up, Big Island home sales mixed, tasers a no-no, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann's campaign donation ledger is a litany of names that — like Hannemann — are familiar in Hawaii business and politics. Civil Beat.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the police use of electronic weapons here can be excessive use of force under the federal Constitution. Star-Advertiser.

Four months into fiscal year 2012, Hawaii has still not officially closed the books on fiscal year 2010. The lag in completing the state's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is not only an embarrassment for state administrators, it has had some real-world consequences. Star-Advertiser.

Clean-energy veteran Mark Glick will lead the state Energy Office, replacing an acting administrator who had filled the position since January, state officials announced Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Saying the public needs to be represented as well as the politicians, Kailua-Kona attorney Michael Matsukawa has filed the state's second lawsuit against the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Dangerous levels of mercury have been discovered in fish jerky sold in Hawaii stores, according to a study published last week in the Journal of Environmental Health. Civil Beat.

Russian Ship Finds Tsunami Debris Where UH Mānoa Scientists Predicted. Hawaii Reporter.

"Stop Flu at School" week kicked off today. Hawaii is the only state in the nation to provide statewide vaccinations at public, private, and charter schools. Hawaii News Now.

According to a quarterly workforce drug study, the use of crystal methamphetamine rose from o.4% to 0.7% from this quarter to the last. KITV4.

A high surf advisory continues for east-facing shores of all islands except Lanai and Niihau. Star-Advertiser.


Total personal income in the Honolulu metropolitan area grew at an annual rate of 4.55 percent in the 10-year period from 2000 to 2010, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Pacific Business News.

Some homeless outreach groups are trying to prepare their clients for the possibility they may have to leave. KITV4.

Efforts to protest the APEC meeting are getting underway. KHON2.

Defend Oahu Coalition has been battling corporate greed for the past five-and-a-half years out on the North Shore of Oahu and has been somewhat successful in keeping over-development at bay. Hawaii Independent.

A sewer overflow was reported in east Oahu Monday night. Hawaii News Now.

Problems with more than a dozen of the City's garbage trucks are causing pickup delays for various parts of Oahu. KHON2.


West Hawaii recorded slightly fewer home, condo and land sales in September compared with the same month one year ago, although prices are increasing and inventory has dropped, a West Hawaii real estate agent says. West Hawaii Today.

State health officials have determined that elevated radiation levels discovered in March in a Hilo Veterans Affairs clinic were not high enough to endanger any occupants of the building. Tribune-Herald.


The county Cultural Resources Commission, which blocked street closure in past years, and its supporters who say the party is risque and disrespectful have continued to complain that fright night on Front Street is coming back. Maui News.


Kelvin Moniz, the food operations director at the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, said there still is a long way to go for the KIFB Holiday Food and Fund Drive. Garden Island.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lingle, Case stump in Hilo, state shuttle competes with cabs, Big Wind hits resistance, minor protests expected for APEC, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu Rapid Transit courtesy photo
Ever since former Mayor Mufi Hannemann resurrected the idea of a Honolulu rail transit line in 2004, supporters and opponents of the project have sparred over the issue of how many jobs would be created during the construction phase of the $5.17 billion project. Star-Advertiser.

Two of the leading contenders seeking to succeed U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka got a taste of Hilo and its voters while on the campaign trail Sunday. Tribune-Herald.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono raised more than twice as much money as rival Ed Case last quarter, as the two battle for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Daniel Akaka. West Hawaii Today.

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono isn't one to smile just to break the ice. And she knows that some people say she's cold or aloof, but that's OK with her. As the 63-year-old Senate candidate puts it, she's had to "paddle (her) own canoe for a long time."  Civil Beat.

Members of the Hawaii House of Representatives will travel to Taiwan Saturday for a weeklong trip to tour governmental agencies and forge economic partnerships. Pacific Business News.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who used a number of new media tools to communicate with voters during his campaign for governor, such as livestreaming and twitter, is now being criticized by the media for being too uncommunicative. Hawaii Reporter.

Communications haven’t been a strong point for Gov. Neil Abercrombie to date and now his office has misspelled the name of the new communications director, Jim Boersema. Hawaii Reporter.

Just as it did in 2001 when the Asian Development Bank conference was held in Hawaii, the state's isolation might help limit the size of protests during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit next month, some government officials say. Star-Advertiser.

Globalizing the islands: The impact of APEC. Hawaii Independent.

The University of Hawaii is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's climate symposium. KHON2.

A revival of interest in geothermal energy brought key players to Waimanalo on Saturday to address the heavily Native Hawaiian community on the benefits of the renewable energy source. Civil Beat.

The state launched a 24-hour airport shuttle service Sunday that offers door-to-door rides at reasonable fees but which cab drivers say will hurt their struggling businesses. Star-Advertiser.

Karen Gleason said she never thought an eastern part of Maunalua Bay would be free of the acres of an alien alga that choked out a reef and a once-flourishing population of fish and crabs. Star-Advertiser.


A plan to use state road improvements funding for private subdivision thoroughfares is back on the County Council agenda Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Billy Kenoi said Friday the county carried over $24.7 million from the 2011 fiscal year, which ended June 30. That's $10.7 million more than the administration estimated the county would have left over, Kenoi said. West Hawaii Today.

The Big Island's Kau district will be getting its first Federal Emergency Management Agency-certified shelter. Associated Press.


A proposal by the state to expand the scope of the planned Big Wind energy project to include solar and geothermal resources on Maui does not go far enough, according to two groups that opposed the original plan to put wind turbines on Lanai and Molokai. Star-Advertiser.

The Renaissance Wailea Beach Resort has sat empty for more than four years, but workers are on-site now preparing for a partial demolition and reconstruction as the Andaz Wailea Hotel. Maui News.


Seventeen cabins in Koke‘e and Waimea state parks have been empty for a few years without anyone maintaining them and some may be beyond repair. Garden Island.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. brought several of his staff and department heads to Hanalei last week to speak with North Shore residents about his Holo Holo 2020 initiative. Garden Island.

Kauai County has hired a consultant to develop design alternatives for improving three bridges in Kapaa and Wailua. Star-Advertiser.


Sen. Mike Gabbard and at least two other legislators will visit Molokai Nov. 2 to discuss the so-called “Big Wind” project with local residents, the senator confirmed today. Molokai Dispatch.

Friday, October 14, 2011

U.S. Senate race a 'tossup,' Hawaii tax collections up, military strong, Honolulu rapid transit advances, DOE wants more money, term limits for Maui, foreign cars for Kauai, more

Honolulu's Ala Wai (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Earlier this year, the paddling community was warned that their regular practice venues like the Ala Wai canal might be off- limits for the entire month of November. KITV4.

The Cook Political Report on Thursday rated the Hawaii U.S. Senate race as a "tossup," one of the nine most competitive campaigns next year that could determine political control of the Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Linda Lingle described her veto of Hawaii civil unions as perhaps the most difficult decision she made in eight years as governor. Civil Beat.

As U.S. military leaders continue to sound the alarm about how deep Defense Department spending cuts would decimate military operations, Sen. Daniel Inouye and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa say they will work to keep Hawaii programs off the chopping block. Civil Beat.

The Army is continuing high-altitude helicopter training flights over Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa with no glitches so far. Tribune-Herald.

State tax collections increased nearly 10-percent last month. KHON2.

Hawaii tax revenues for the first three months of the fiscal year that started July 1 were $1.2 billion, the state Department of Taxation said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii state government’s financial situation is dire, mainly because of unfunded obligations that total in the billions of dollars. Hawaii Reporter.

Governor Neil Abercrombie’s new chief of staff maintains an active private business life in real estate sales and investments but he says those side interests won’t interfere with his duties on the fifth floor of the Capitol. Hawaii Reporter.

The state Reapportionment Commission gave final approval Thursday to its plan for new political boundary maps and now waits to see whether the Hawaii Supreme Court orders changes. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Education plans to ask for an additional $58 million in the 2012 legislative session to keep school buses running, save adult education and cope with a growing student population. Star-Advertiser.


Rail's next stop: a signed $1.4 billion core systems contract with Ansaldo. Civil Beat.

Once again concerns are raised with Ansaldo Honolulu, the company picked to build the rail transit's core system, and once again the city says it's not a problem. Hawaii News Now.

The Army is returning to its mounted heritage with a polo match Saturday at Fort Shafter's historic Palm Circle, and the public is invited. Star-Advertiser.

A San Jose, Calif.-based company is preparing to build a large solar panel farm in West Oahu. KITV4.


Even as the Hawaii County Council plans a final vote Wednesday on a tough new building code, one councilor wants to exempt rural dwellings from some of the provisions. West Hawaii Today.

America's southern-most district is getting its first federally certified evacuation shelter, which will double as the community's new recreational facility.  Tribune-Herald.

A long-sought-after public shooting range for the Big Island is a step closer to reality after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service committed to giving the state $305,000 for range development. West Hawaii Today.


County Council members could get four-year terms - and a "drop-dead" three-term limit - under a proposal moved forward by the Charter Commission. Maui News.

Maui’s real estate market has been sluggish to flat, according to figures released yesterday by the Realtors Association of Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.


At a time when Americans struggle to find jobs and national debt approaches crisis levels, some taxpayers may be interested to learn stimulus funds are supporting foreign auto manufacturers. Garden Island.

Employers who are hiring had no shortage of takers Thursday when hundreds of people flocked to the Lihu‘e Civic Center’s Pi‘ikoi Building for a job fair coordinated by the county’s Office of Economic Development and the state’s WorkWise program. Garden Island.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hawaii civil unions not ready, Ethics Commission probes missing lobbyist gifts, APEC won't boost tax coffers, former Big Island mayor mulls another run, more Hawaii news

Honolulu civil unions rally (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
The state Department of Health continues work on a computerized system for processing applications for civil unions, but it is unknown yet whether the system will be available for use before Jan. 1, when the new civil unions law goes into effect. Star-Advertiser.

Abercrombie concludes Tokyo meetings, heads to Okinawa. Hawaii Reporter.

State Ethics Commission executive director Les Kondo’s search for missing lobbyist gifts at the Hawaii State Legislature has deeply offended state Rep. Joseph Souki, D-8th (Wailuku, Waihee, Waiehu, Puuohala, Waikapu). Hawaii Reporter.

When an estimated 20,000 people arrive on Oahu next month for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, hundreds of them could be making purchases tax free. KHON2.

Hawaii home foreclosures remained depressed for a fourth consecutive month in September under a state law that created a freeze on many new out-of-court cases. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's start-up companies are "chronically and acutely hamstrung" by a lack of capital in the islands. And a local stock exchange would help fix that. Civil Beat.

Drought conditions persist in several areas of the state, particularly in Hawaii County. Star-Advertiser.

A new study could help local policymakers and agencies that deal with severe weather. Hawaii News Now.

The number of children attending public schools statewide has hit its highest level in six years, thanks in part to a baby bump that increased the size of this year's kindergarten class and the growing popularity of charter schools, which saw an 11 percent increase in enrollment. Star-Advertiser.

Each of the Hawaiian Islands has its own electric grid, its own mix of fuel sources, and individual strengths and vulnerabilities in terms of electrical infrastructure. Hawaii Public Radio.


A $75,000 gift from Waikiki businesses to the Honolulu Police Department to purchase extra foot patrols has come under fire before. Civil Beat.

A Honolulu police sergeant accused of fraudulently collecting overtime pay will have his fate decided by 12 jurors. Hawaii News Now.

Local company Pacific Biodiesel now has its first planting and harvest of test crops under its belt. KITV4.

Surfers are to Oahu’s North Shore as tourists are to Waikiki. Pacific Business News.

Former Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim says he hasn't decided against running for a third term in 2012. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island public school enrollment edged up slightly in the past year while the number of those enrolled in public charter schools grew at a faster rate. Tribune-Herald.

The coffee berry borer is taking a bite out of this year's Kona coffee crop. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Republicans cheered former Republican Gov. Linda Lingle's announcement Tuesday that she's making a bid for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Daniel Akaka. Maui News.

Former Republican Gov. Linda Lingle will discuss how decisions made in Washington, D.C., affect local businesses and the community at a Maui Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Monday. Maui News.


The Kaua‘i County Council will make a last-ditch effort next Wednesday to hire outside legal counsel for a case trying to balance private and public interests. Garden Island.

The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney announced Tuesday that Sam Jajich was appointed to second deputy prosecuting attorney. Garden Island.


Molokai residents brought a bag full of suggestions and concerns to a visit from the head of one of the largest branches of the state government – the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Molokai Dispatch.