Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Census shows Hawaii, Kauai counties falling behind, teachers may yet strike, Maui drops district voting idea, tourist spending up, Honolulu rapid transit could get millions, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Child at play (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Almost one-quarter of Hawaii County's children lived in poverty last year, by far the highest rate in the state, and a 6 percentage point increase over five years ago. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii's tourism industry is heading into December with a fighting chance to break the record for annual visitor spending despite anemic growth in the number of arrivals so far this year. Star-Advertiser.

Visitors to Hawaii last month spent $20 more per person daily compared to last year, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said Tuesday. Associated Press.

A legal battle between the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the state has dragged on for five months, and yet the end is nowhere on even the most distant horizon. Civil Beat.

State taxpayers may have to foot cost of returning 350 new guns. Hawaii News Now.

Former Gov. Linda Lingle said Tuesday a federal proposal to designate areas on and around the main Hawaiian islands as critical habitat for the endangered Hawaiian monk seal is insensitive and an example of "government over-reach." Associated Press.

15,000 - that is the number of non resident members of the United States military who are not represented in any state anywhere in the country in state elections. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaiian Telcom announced it has updated its collective bargaining agreement offer to IBEW Local Union 1357. KHON2.

Comment: OHA needs to hear its beneficiaries before making deals. Hawaii Independent.


Hawaii residents could be paying tens of millions of dollars in higher electric rates over the next 25 years if state regulators don't approve a contract for a wind farm on Oahu’s north shore in time for developers to take advantage of a lucrative federal grant. Civil Beat.

At a time when other union members are facing pay cuts, furloughs and losing benefits, registered nurses at Queen’s Medical Center, Hawaii's largest hospital, approved a contract Monday night with three years’ worth of raises. KITV4.

A temporary restraining order preventing construction of a multipurpose building at Kawaiaha'o Church will remain in effect at least through Friday as a state judge considers arguments made Tuesday in a lawsuit seeking to stop the controversial project. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu has the highest quality of living nationwide, according to a new survey from investment consulting group Mercer. Associated Press.

Honolulu's planned rail transit project is one of a handful of top candidates across the nation with a chance to share in $510 million in federal transit funds under spending measures signed by President Barack Obama earlier this month. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is eligible for $510 million in federal funds next year, Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka announced Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

The second-annual conference of nonprofit communities convened in Waikiki today. Hawaii Public Radio.

A dust problem in Nanakuli is not a health concern, but steps can be taken to mitigate the nuisance. KHON2.


A 3rd Circuit District Court judge on Tuesday ejected Abel Simeona Lui, a Native Hawaiian activist, from his courtroom and upheld an eviction order previously handed down against Lui and his group claiming native ownership of a Ka'u parcel recently purchased by Hawaii County. West Hawaii Today.

In a classic case of home rule, Hawaii County lawmakers want the state to delay releasing a foreign insect intended to control the spread of invasive strawberry guava. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County's high number of retirees and people with disabilities are factors behind the county seeing 7.3 percent of personal income coming from Social Security payments, economists and a sociologist say. West Hawaii Today.


District voting for Maui County Council races is off the table for the foreseeable future. Maui News.

Maui County Council Planning Committee Chairman Don Couch wanted to begin discussion Monday of a proposed limit on the number of vacation rentals on Maui. Maui News.


The Kamalani Pavilion will be blessed and dedicated to the public benefit soon. Garden Island.


State transportation officials are hoping the conflict over cruise ships docking on Molokai will be resolved during a scheduled meeting of the parties today, department spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said. Star-Advertiser.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Abercrombie to announce 'sensational' news, plastic bag ban nearing for Hawaii Island, Honolulu faces 70% water rate hike, $1.4B rail contract inked, Molokai fights tourist yacht, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kahuku guided hike (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park officials are debating how to develop its Kahuku Unit, more than seven years after it opened to the public. Tribune-Herald.

Later this week, Gov. Abercrombie is scheduled to announce "sensational" news about the sale of a state bond issue and tell the public what it says about the state's financial condition and what work it might make possible. Civil Beat.

After initially saying it couldn’t be done, the Hawaii State Judiciary has upgraded electronic access to state Circuit Court records. Hawaii Reporter.

The list of candidates Gov. Neil Abercrombie released for the associate justice vacancy he filled with Sabrina McKenna's appointment includes three finalists for chief justice last year, who could be nominated again for an upcoming opening on the Supreme Court. Star-Advertiser.

The state Reapportionment Commission should be ordered to redraw new political boundaries to more accurately reflect the total permanent resident population of the islands, Gov. Neil Abercrombie's office contends, a move that would shift a state Senate seat to Hawaii Island. Star-Advertiser.

More than 3,000 volunteers are expected to help make 60,000 pages of Hawaiian language newspapers available to the world via the Internet on this Lā Kū‘oko‘a, Hawaiian Independence Day. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii's progress on Race to the Top education reforms and a timeline for implementing common core standards are on the state Board of Education's agenda this weekend. Associated Press.

Officials with Schofield Barracks identified the soldier who died in an early morning roll-over crash Saturday as Spc. Phillip S. Bullins, 23, of Carthage, North Carolina. KITV4.


The Honolulu Board of Water Supply on Monday unanimously approved a 70 percent increase in water rates through the next five fiscal years. Star-Advertiser.

On Monday, Abercrombie riffed on a new idea, his boldest yet: a third city for Oahu, after Honolulu and Kapolei. Civil Beat.

Ansaldo Honolulu JV signed a $1.4 billion contract with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation for 80 rail cars on Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Rail Transit contract for rail cars was signed late this afternoon … one day before the Project is challenged in Federal Court. Hawaii Public Radio.

The City of Honolulu is shifting its towing contract. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s largest metropolitan area had 300 fewer businesses after the onset of the recession, according to a new analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Pacific Business News.

The Traffic Violations Bureau in the Honolulu District Court at 1111 Alakea Street will no longer be open until 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday evenings. KHON2.


Having heard from communities around the island, the County Council is moving closer to deciding whether to prohibit businesses from giving plastic shopping bags to their customers. Tribune-Herald.

State and county officials are OK with letting a Puako home owner keep a seawall that protects about 30 feet of personal property above the shoreline. West Hawaii Today.

Fortunately for Maui and the Hana community, there weren't many teaching jobs in Michigan for Mitzi Hasegawa. Maui News.


Members of the Kapa‘a Middle School Choir and ‘Ukulele Band offered shoppers some holiday cheer on Sunday during its “Singing for Tips” fundraiser at the Walmart and Safeway stores. Garden Island.


An American Safari Cruises vessel was able to dock at a Molokai harbor a day after protesters on small boats and surfboards blocked its previous attempt. Associated Press.

A Molokai protester said a cruise ship that he and others stopped from entering into Kaunakakai Harbor on Saturday "snuck back in" on Sunday. Maui News.

A group of protestors on small boats and surfboards physically blocked an American Safari Cruises’ (ASC) yacht, the Safari Explorer, from docking at Kaunakakai Wharf last Saturday morning. Molokai Dispatch.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Honolulu rapid transit headed back to court, Abercrombie reluctantly releases public records, Hawaii businesses get record SBA loans, Kauai police start accreditation, Hawaiians celebrate makahiki and more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii makahiki (c) 2011 All Hawaii News

This is a season of thanksgiving in many cultures, including in Hawaii where the Makahiki season is just beginning. Hawaii Public Radio.

Attorneys for the city and Federal Transit Authority will be in U.S. District Court on Wednesday at 10 a.m. seeking to have several high profile plaintiffs challenging the legality of the city’s rail system thrown out. Hawaii Reporter.

Before Christmas trees are put on display, each are inspected by the state to ensure no invasive species are brought to Hawaii. KHON2.

Average room rates at Hawaii hotels rose by more than 4 percent last week, while occupancy on the Neighbor Islands got a boost from pre-Thanksgiving week travelers, according to a weekly report by Hospitality Advisors LLC and Smith Travel Research  Pacific Business News.

When a new nonprofit group, Parents for Public Schools Hawai‘i, asked middle schools in town to offer tours for parents weighing where to send their children, some observers wondered whether anyone would come. Star-Advertiser.

Starting next year, eight schools with model special-education programs will be used as hands-on training sites for teachers and staff statewide as part of efforts to improve services for disabled students. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii school bus companies say rising health-care and fuel costs are only two of many reasons they are now charging so much more to drive kids to and from school. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Small Business Administration's Hawaii office lent $73.6 million to 343 small businesses in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, setting a record. Star-Advertiser.

People often ask why the general excise tax applies to necessities such as food and drugs or, for that matter, health care? In the latter, people argue it is inhumane to tax people because they are sick. West Hawaii Today.

Attorney General David M. Louie, acting on behalf of Gov. Neil Abercrombie, on Saturday released three lists of judicial nominees provided to the governor by the Judicial Selection Commission. KITV4.


Since coming into office this year, City Councilman Tom Berg has never been afraid to voice his opinion — often as the lone vote in opposition — on any issue that comes before the Council. Star-Advertiser.


The jolly man in the red suit visited the tropics on Saturday, appearing in Hilo's Christmas parade to walk off what appeared to be a massive turkey dinner. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County Council members said last week that they expect once again to push back their deadline to pass the Maui Island Plan, this time until August 2012. Maui News.

United Continental has decided to halt its Continental service from Orange County to Maui on Jan. 2. Hawaii News Now.


For the past two years the Kaua‘i Police Department has prepared itself to undergo an arduous process of national accreditation that would essentially streamline standards and policies utilized by law enforcement agencies around the country. Garden Island.


While the permitting process to build or improve housing and businesses on Molokai can be stressful, members of the Molokai Planning Commission say it’s a crucial process that allows for community feedback and ensuring the protection of Molokai’s land and resources. Molokai Dispatch.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Big backlog of state warrants, Honolulu Santa goes solar, Molokai fights feral cats, curbside recycling coming to Maui, Kawaiaha'o Church burial battle continues, homeless housed in buses and more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kawaiaha'o Church (c) 2011 All Hawaii News

Kawaiaha'o Church has stopped construction again on a controversial multipurpose building -- this time because of a complaint that the church is disregarding a state requirement to remove human burials found on the construction site. Star-Advertiser.

Special report: law enforcement faces backlog of 87,942 state warrants. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Judicial Selection Commission, as promised, is becoming more transparent. Hawaii Reporter.

The nation's second-largest school bus company may soon be rolling into Hawaii. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Maritime Administration is expected to decide in the near future on a winning bidder for the two former Hawaii Superferry vessels, which had a short-lived operation in Hawaii waters. Star-Advertiser.

The State of Hawaii’s administration announced today that costs for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Honolulu was lower than expectations. Hawaii Independent.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has postponed its 30-day suspension of attorney Earle Partington from the practice of law until Dec. 3. Star-Advertiser.

Close to 300 deployed marines and sailors returned home to Hawaii Thanksgiving morning. KHON2.


The city will delay signing what would be the largest contract in Honolulu history to allow time to gather more information about the financial stability of rail company Ansaldo Honolulu JV and determine whether problems at Ansaldo's troubled parent company could affect the Honolulu rail project. Star-Advertiser.

City to Sweep Homeless from Stadium Park. Civil Beat.

Homeless find shelter on buses. KHON2.

A Honolulu light display of Santa's workshop and village will be powered by the sun this year. Associated Press.

Honolulu Police released tapes of calls made to 911 on the night of a fatal shooting in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.


As governments around the world look for ways to slash spending and cut deficits, one appealing target has emerged -- the telescopes on Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

The Mauna Kea Science Reserve sprawls over more than 11-thousand acres atop Hawai`i’s tallest mountain. Hawaii Public Radio.

Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill was bustling Thursday morning, but the restaurant wasn't serving its usual fare. West Hawaii Today.


Hawaii Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald is seeking public comment on six judicial nominees for a vacancy in district court in 2nd Circuit Court, which covers Maui County. Pacific Business News.

Maui County would test curbside recycling in a pilot program officials hope to run in Maui Meadows for one year. Maui News.


A Kaua‘i County fourth-quarter report released Tuesday reveals a flat economic “recovery,” with the exception of the tourism and construction sectors. Garden Island.

Several community meetings have been scheduled by the Kauai Department of Water to discuss a proposed rate increase. KITV4.

Hundreds of Kaua‘i residents on Wednesday took advantage of the annual Salvation Army Community Thanksgiving Lunch to enjoy a turkey meal complete with all the fixings. Garden Island.


The island of Molokai is renowned for fighting off-island invaders in ancient times and now big businesses. Now, a group of owners on the west end are also fighting their homeowner association to keep a managed feral cat colony on the 14-acre property. Molokai Dispatch.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Health benefits face cuts, Hawaiian newspapers coming to the Internet, PUC approves HELCO power sharing, smart grid for Maui, swag for elected officials, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hilo homelessness (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Homeless service providers say they haven't seen much of a drop, if any, in the number of people coming to them. Civil Beat.

The Abercrombie administration intends to tighten eligibility and reduce benefits for adults in QUEST, eliminating an estimated 3,000 people from the state's health plan for the poor, but has walked back limits on hospital stays that would have been the most restrictive in the nation. Star-Advertiser.

Swag of Our Governors. Civil Beat.

Awaiaulu, Inc., a local non-profit organization, is seeking 3,000 volunteers from around the world to participate in a unique nation-building initiative that aims to make 60,000 pages of Hawaiian-language newspapers accessible via the Internet. Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawaii Supreme Court Tuesday denied a request by retired car dealer James Pflueger to review a state appeals court ruling that upheld manslaughter charges against him in the deaths of seven people killed after the 2006 Ka Loko Dam breach. Star-Advertiser.

The state Public Utilities Commission has approved Hawaiian Electric Co.'s Feed in Tariff Tier 3. Pacific Business News.


The Pacific Beach Hotel, its owners, and its management, face penalties after a federal contempt of court citation for failure to rehire fired union organizers with back pay. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) wants to inform drivers that archaeological survey work continues in the urban Honolulu area for the rail transit project. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii Kai residents will see their sewer bills go up 14 percent under a rate increase approved Monday by the Public Utilities Commission. Star-Advertiser.

The Outdoor Circle is taking a new, hard-line stance against the city's planned elevated rail transit system, calling the rail project the biggest threat to Oahu's landscape in the group's 100-year history. Star-Advertiser.

For the past two years, the city has been trying to get an exploding feral pig problem under control at Hoomaluhia Botanical Park in Kaneohe. KITV4.

Business owners will meet tomorrow to discuss a possible lawsuit over losses during the APEC summit. KHON4.


The first group of low-income residents will move in to the Kaloko Housing units as early as Dec. 1, HOPE Services Hawaii CEO Brandee Menino said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

As the Hawaii County Council plans its 10th meeting on a new county building code, Council Chairman Dominic Yagong is asking architects, contractors, owner-builders, trade unions and anyone else with an interest to submit amendments to make construction safe and more affordable. West Hawaii Today.

Police say they'll conduct islandwide DUI checkpoints over the Thanksgiving weekend as part of the national campaign "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over." Tribune-Herald.


Hawaii and Japan on Tuesday agreed to build a smart grid on Maui to demonstrate how solar, wind and other renewable energy sources can be integrated into an electrical grid. Associated Press.

Governor Neil Abercrombie announced a project that will invest $37-million-dollars in smart grid technologies on Maui. The entire project is being funded by Japan. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources Board approved "pretty much the final piece of the puzzle" for the expansion of the Kaheawa wind farm, said First Wind spokesman Kekoa Kaluhiwa. Maui News.

Makeover and renovations for the former Lihu‘e Courthouse will follow historic guidelines because the building is listed on the Hawai‘i Register and the National Register of Historic Places since 1981. Garden Island.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Attacking, defending new legislative maps, unemployment rates to rise, UH best paid, land agency director named, Hawaiian Telcom imposes contract, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The Hawaii Reapportionment Commission, in a three-page brief filed Friday with the state Supreme Court, defended its method of dividing the state into House and Senate districts. But Gov. Neil Abercrombie, also a defendant in the lawsuit, said in his reply brief Monday that the process was flawed and should be redone. West Hawaii Today.

Legislators and state officials may increase unemployment taxes next year to the highest levels allowed under state law. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii State Salaries 2012: Highest Paid at University of Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Former Campbell Estate land manager Lloyd Haraguchi has been named executive director to head a new state agency with broad powers to develop state land. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Telcom said Monday it will impose on union members a contract the workers rejected last month. Star-Advertiser.

At least 14 states have revamped their pension systems in the past five years to prevent employees from "spiking" their pay to pad retirement benefits. Civil Beat.

A federal agent charged with murder in the shooting death of a man in a Hawaii McDonald's restaurant pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday. Associated Press.

There’s an old saying, “It’s better to use a carrot than a stick” to persuade people to do things.  That idea is being used to encourage businesses in Hawai`i to step up their level of sustainability. Hawaii Public Radio.


The 1-megawatt photovoltaic system that will supply power to the Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park has won final approval. Pacific Business News.

City Councilman Tom Berg has apologized for his argumentative actions at a Waipahu Neighborhood Board meeting last week that escalated to the point where police were called to maintain order. Star-Advertiser.

City Council To Review Neighborhood Board Video. KITV4.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) wants to inform drivers that archaeological survey work continues in the urban Honolulu area for the rail transit project. Hawaii Independent.

Board of Water Supply crews are working to repair three separate water main breaks on Oahu Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Officials at PBS Hawaii say the damaged caused by Friday's fire is much more severe than previously thought. KHON2.


Testifiers Monday evening were full of praise for the Hawaii County Redistricting Commission. West Hawaii Today.

The annual Toys for Tots Motorcade that attracts hundreds of motorcyclists anxious to donate Christmas presents to needy keiki will be held after all, the event's main organizer said Monday. Tribune-Herald.

A Wyoming-based company has purchased three Big Island radio stations, a court broker said Monday. West Hawaii Today.


After years of uncertainty for kuleana users about their rights to Na Wai Eha's water, the state Water Resource Management Commission has started the distribution process. Maui News.

A Facebook friend sent Shawn Michael a sarcastic map of places tourists should visit in Australia - sample gag: in the middle, in big letters: NOTHING - and Michael thought he could do the same for Maui. Maui News.


On one side of the table sit consumers and the right to know what they are about to eat. On the other side sits an increasingly dominant section of the food industry reluctant to spend money on labeling its products with three letters: GMO, the abbreviation for genetically modified organisms. Garden Island.

The tree trimmers working at Bank of Hawai‘i’s Kapa‘a Branch battled not only the brisk trades but the clock on Sunday. Garden Island.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hawaii work incentives cut, feeding the homeless, 25th Infantry coming home, Maui water woes continue, cops thwart motorcyclists' Toys for Tots program, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii holiday food line (c) All Hawaii News
Just a few blocks from where oblivious tourists step off cruise ships to pick through souvenirs, there's an entirely different world. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii ex-welfare recipient work incentives cut. Associated Press.

Democratic Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa can't remember the last time she cried. Civil Beat.

After hovering around $4 a gallon last week, the average price of regular gasoline dropped below the $4 a gallon mark in Honolulu this weekend. But the neighbor islands are not seeing the same price drop. Associated Press.

Louie: Gov. still doesn’t have to release names of judicial nominees. Pacific Business News.

After five years under federal oversight due to prisoner abuses, the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility has become a safe place with an improved corporate culture, state officials maintain. Star-Advertiser.

While the Occupy movement has been smaller and quieter in Hawaii than elsewhere, the music of one Hawaiian musician is gaining attention as a protest song for the campaign. Hawaii Public Radio.

Waikiki Torch Runner Surprised By International Attention. KITV4.


The Army plans to welcome home the 25th Infantry Division's headquarters unit from Iraq this week. KITV4.

Higher room rates and higher occupancy led to a 30 percent increase in revenue over the six-day period in which the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering brought together 21 world leaders along with top government and business officials in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

City Pays Landfill Operator $2.6M for Spill Cleanup. Civil Beat.

Small waves make for slow business on Oahu's North Shore. Hawaii News Now.


Motorcyclists accustomed to rumbling through Hilo before distributing Christmas presents to needy children claim police have rained on their parade. Tribune-Herald.

The troubled Hoku Ke'a telescope atop Mauna Kea could be operational by next summer, its director said. Tribune-Herald.

A group that won the right to turn Laupahoehoe School into a charter school is refusing to hold elections for a board to govern the school as promised in its application and as ordered by the Charter School Review Panel. Star-Advertiser.

Kona once again has a University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Cooperative Extension Service agent to call its own. West Hawaii Today.


Council Member Mike Victorino said he believes that the time may be past for the county to tell developers, "show me the water." Maui News.

A Maui businessman said last week that he had abandoned plans to develop a bottled-water plant in Waihee, after some of his investors walked away from the project. Maui News.

Behind the scenes of Maui's agriculture inspection facility. KHON2.


The tree trimmers working at Bank of Hawai‘i’s Kapa‘a Branch battled not only the brisk trades but the clock on Sunday. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i Robotics Alliance is offering imu service for Thanksgiving as a fundraiser for its season which starts in January. Garden Island.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Army tests hypersonic weapon from Kauai, Hawaii economy limping along, state looks at regulating reef fish collecting, suicide rates up, APEC hosts' data stolen, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hypersonic weapon, military courtesy photo
The Army on Thursday conducted its first flight test of a new weapon capable of traveling five times the speed of sound. Associated Press.

Hawaii's economy is expected to limp along with slow growth through 2012, economist Leroy Laney said Thursday in a forecast dampened by global economic woes. Star-Advertiser.

Suicide Rates in Hawaii Climb. Hawaii Public Radio.

Politico: Hawaii Senate Race Not Toss-Up. Civil Beat.

State lawmakers didn’t support a statewide ban on the sale of aquarium fish this session but the issue isn’t going away. KITV4.

The collection and sale of reef fish for aquariums is an industry that averages about $395,000 a year on Oahu... And provides jobs for about 40 commercial fishers - 15 are full-time. KHON2.

The breakthrough ceded land settlement announced by the Abercrombie administration on Wednesday is the brainchild of two Honolulu attorneys with extensive experience in commercial litigation. Civil Beat.

In another rejection of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s position on the secrecy of judicial nominations, the state Judicial Selection Commission has decided to make public the names of all candidates for judicial appointment submitted to the governor and the Hawaii Supreme Court chief justice. Hawaii Reporter.


Honolulu's ban on keeping personal possessions on sidewalks is one step closer to becoming law, but in many ways the fight has just begun. Civil Beat.

Members of Honolulu's APEC Host Committee who represent some of Hawaii's biggest companies and institutions have been told their personal information may have been stolen after security clearances were requested for them to meet with President Barack Obama Saturday night during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. Star-Advertiser.

The family of a Kailua man shot to death in a Waikiki fast-food restaurant filed a lawsuit Thursday against a State Department special agent charged with murder in the case. Star-Advertiser.

Defense attorney: federal agent charged with murder acted in self-defense. Hawaii News Now.

City Plans To Open Access To Popular North Shore Beach. KITV4.

A City Council committee advanced permit requests for the $760 million expansion of the Hilton Hawaiian Village but asked property owners to try to work out differences before the measure comes up for a final vote next month. Star-Advertiser.

A city employee and a driving instructor conspired to create at least three fraudulent driver's licenses that were sold to foreign nationals who were in the United States illegally, according to an indictment returned Wednesday by a federal grand jury. Star-Advertiser.

The State Land Use Commission will continue its hearings today on D.R. Horton‘s proposed “Ho‘opili” development in Honouliuli. Hawaii Independent.


The Leeward Planning Commission signed off on proposed changes to the special management area rules Thursday morning. West Hawaii Today.

On Thursday, students at Waiakea Intermediate School gathered on the covered courts at the rear of the campus during their recess period to sign pledges to remain tobacco free, play games aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle, and to learn more about the dangers associated with smoking. Tribune-Herald.


Security officials at Kahului Airport have a new body scanner that doesn't project invasive body images but is sensitive enough to detect a plastic bag in a jean pocket. Maui News.

The Maui County Council Land Use Committee voted 6-2 Wednesday evening to recommend approval of the Kahoma Residential Subdivision, a fast-track, all-affordable housing project in West Maui. Maui News.


A Hawai‘i Army National Guard soldier died Wednesday afternoon while on duty in the vehicle maintenance shop of the Hanapepe Armory. Garden Island.

The disappearance of the corn maze from the Kaua‘i Halloween scene gave birth to an idea which blossomed into a community success. Garden Island.


Castle & Cooke's Rumbaoa to Head Molokai Ranch. Molokai Dispatch.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Deal struck on Hawaiian monarchy lands, Hawaii credit card debt up, Honolulu surf rules rile some, Hawaiian to fly to New York City, council seeks to delay rail contract, APEC less expensive than feared, Maui ag land discounts rethought, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii ceded land rally (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
The state of Hawaii and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs said Wednesday they have agreed in principle to a deal that would give OHA $200 million worth of prime Honolulu real estate to settle a decades-old claim on revenue generated by Hawaiian monarchy lands. Associated Press.

The state has reached an agreement subject to state legislative approval that would give the Office of Hawaiian Affairs about 25 acres of Kakaako parcels worth an estimated $200 million to settle long-standing ceded lands claims. Star-Advertiser.

The state of Hawaii is proposing to give the Office of Hawaiian Affairs ocean-front property to settle $200 million in past due claims on lands formerly owned by the Hawaiian Kingdom. Civil Beat.

For the second time in three years, the state and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have reached a tentative agreement to settle some $200 million in claims to ceded lands. Hawaii Reporter.

Governor Neil Abercrombie announced today that a tentative agreement has been reached with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to settle Hawaiian Kingdom or ceded land claims dating back 33 years. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Abercrombie administration and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have agreed on a proposal that would satisfy OHA's claims against the state for its use of ceded lands dating back to 1978. Hawaii News Now.

The state of Hawaii is proposing to give 10 parcels or 25 acres in Kakaako to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, to reconcile a longstanding disagreement over ceded lands. KITV4.

In 2008 then Governor Lingle and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs came to a settlement over ceded land claims dating back to 1978 but the legislature denied the plan. KHON2.

The Judicial Selection Commission has amended its rules and will now release the names of judicial candidates it sends to the governor for appointment, the panel announced Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Civil unions will soon become a reality in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Average consumer credit card debt in Hawaii rose 6 percent in October to $7,497, according to Pacific Business News.

Hawaii's largest carrier will be launching nonstop flights between Honolulu and New York City starting in June 2012. Associated Press.


Surfers, Bodyboarders and contest promoters didn't flock to a surf spot Wednesday but instead to a public hearing on Oahu's North Shore. KHON2.

The city came in at least $10 million under its $43 million budget for hosting last week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, city officials said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Peter Carlisle's lone gripe about the week-long economic summit is that visiting U.S. Secret Service agents didn't smile enough. Civil Beat.

APEC is over, and Iolani Palace is hoping to make up for the money it lost from last week's forced closure. Hawaii News Now.

A majority of Honolulu City Council members are calling on city transit officials to delay final approval of a rail transit contract worth up to $1.4 billion, an agreement that would be the largest contract in city history. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Prosecutor announced today that an Oahu grand jury indicted U.S. State Department special agent Christopher W. Deedy for murder in the second degree and the use of a firearm in the commission of a separate felony in the shooting death of a Kailua man on November 5 in Waikiki. Hawaii Reporter.


Mitch Roth, a veteran deputy prosecuting attorney, announced Wednesday he will challenge Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida for the Office of County Prosecutor. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo Councilmen J Yoshimoto and Dennis Onishi have been thrown into the same County Council district, leading to what Onishi says could be "a very interesting race." West Hawaii Today.

County council members will no longer get a flat $600 a month for mileage. West Hawaii Today.

Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School could find itself placed on probation before its first year of classes begins -- or worse, have its charter revoked -- if the school's interim board does not hold elections for a permanent board by Nov. 21, according to the state Charter School Review Panel.  Tribune-Herald.


People who own homes on agricultural land could end up paying more in property taxes - maybe a lot more - if the county starts taxing their house lots like other residential properties. Maui News.

Officials at Kaahumanu Hou Christian School hope their prayers for more students and for donations will be answered to put the school back in the black. Maui News.


A Hawai‘i Army National Guard soldier died Wednesday afternoon while on duty at a vehicle maintenance shop on Kaua‘i, defense officials said in a news release. Garden Island.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Abercrombie's security pricey, India sends $158M for Thirty Meter Telescope, Kaneohe Bay to get busy, statewide apartment smoking ban sought, Lanai fights Big Wind, Maui looks at single-member council districts, homeless services declining, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Neil Abercrombie security (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Hawaii taxpayers paid at least $1.2 million for security personnel for the governor last year, Civil Beat has found. Civil Beat.

Five years after a workplace smoking ban took effect in Hawaii, the next battleground in smoking regulation is being fought in the boardrooms of condominiums and apartments, a debate over whether to ban smoking inside apartment units. KITV4.

The number of people who used homeless shelters or were helped by outreach services leveled off and may have even dropped slightly last year, after five years of increases, according to a report released Tuesday that looks at homeless services in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

The number of homeless people in Hawaii receiving shelter and help from outreach programs declined by 3 percent — or 453 people — from fiscal year 2010 to FY 2011. Civil Beat.

A proposed bill would allow the city to confiscate all personal belongings left or kept on public property for more than 24 hours. Civil Beat.

A new Marine Corps study says airfield use at Kaneohe Bay is expected to increase 49 percent by 2018 compared with a 2009 "base-line" level of activity, as the Corps and Navy update aging aircraft and add new capability in a reflection of Hawaii's growing importance in the Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

A Water Resource Sustainability Conference is being hosted by the University of Hawai’i at Manoa this week. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Medical Service Association, poised to raise rates again at the start of the year, posted earnings of $12.9 million in the third quarter, which continued its return to profitability but raised some eyebrows over the magnitude of its financial turnaround. Star-Advertiser.

Two Hawaii resorts have made it on to the five-star list in the new issue of the Forbes Travel Guide, while six other hotels made the guide’s listing of four-star establishments. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Airlines passengers will soon be able to travel from Honolulu to the Big Apple in one flight. Hawaii News Now.

Torch bearer does his job, distracts Clinton, ends up in viral video. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu is the third most expensive college town in America when it comes to real estate. KHON2.

City officials say they are pleased with the curbside recycling program that began in 2007 and went islandwide in May 2010, but are working to get more Oahu residents to put newspaper, bottles and other "mixed recyclables" into their blue bins. Star-Advertiser.

The president of the Hawaii State Federal Credit Union has abruptly resigned, the latest sign that the governance of the state's second-largest credit union continues to be beset by controversy and turmoil. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Police Department Major Carlton Nishimura, already under indictment on federal extortion charges, now faces drug distribution charges following an FBI raid of his Waianae home last night. Hawaii Reporter.

Richard Heinberg presented ideas at the Moana Nui summit based on more resilient, sustainable, and equitable communities. Hawaii Independent.


The Indian government is contributing around $158 million in high-tech components for the Thirty Meter Telescope. Tribune-Herald.

A charter amendment to devote 0.25 percent of property taxes to maintain the land the county is purchasing with open space funds got a tentative nod Tuesday from a County Council committee. West Hawaii Today.

Plans to transform North Kohala's rural Akoni Pule Highway into a National Scenic Byway have been halted following an outpouring of community opposition to the designation. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo Municipal Golf Course is a pretty good deal, with or without a proposed increase to its greens fees, said golfers there on Tuesday morning. Tribune-Herald.


Fresh out of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference on Oahu, Taiwan government officials spent Monday on Maui to honor Dr. Sun Yat-sen, a Chinese revolutionary leader who lived in Kula more than 100 years ago. Maui News.

Members of the Maui County Charter Commission on Monday looked at some possible alternatives to the current system of County Council districts, but postponed a decision on the issue. Maui News.


With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the Kaua‘i Community Alliance will host the Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week this week. Garden Island.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources announced Tuesday that the Kaua‘i District Office of the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation has completed its relocation to Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor. Garden Island.


More than 25 years ago, billionaire real estate tycoon David Murdock bought this bucolic Hawaiian island and promised to keep it as unchanged as a few high-end resorts and golf courses might allow. Civil Beat.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Obama to return to Hawaii for Christmas, Abercrombie must disclose judicial candidates, special ed falters, Big Island land eyed, Maui wind farm site in dispute, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

UPI pool photo
Politicking in his boyhood home, President Barack Obama told supporters Monday that everything they worked for and that the country stands for is on the line in his 2012 re-election bid, warning of a bleak America should a Republican win. Associated Press.

Early indications are the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference might not have drawn 20,000 visitors nor added $165 million to the economy as forecast, but it likely gave Hawaii something of more value: a new image. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama announced on Monday at a campaign fundraiser on Oahu's Leeward Coast that his wife Michelle and daughters Malia, 13, and Sasha, 9, will be returning "shortly" to Hawaii during the Christmas and New Years holiday - and he hopes to join them as well. Hawaii Reporter.

After spending three days in Hawaii, President Barack Obama is expected to depart the islands at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Coming back to Hawaii was more than just a stop for high-level diplomacy for President Barack Obama. Star-Advertiser.

First lady Michelle Obama spent her last day in Hawaii Monday promoting a nationwide effort to help veterans and military spouses find jobs in a speech at a job fair at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Pacific Business News.

First Lady Michelle Obama met veterans and military families today at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Hawaii Public Radio.

A state judge ruled Monday that Gov. Neil Abercrombie must disclose the names on Judicial Selection Commission candidate lists used to make appointments.Star-Advertiser.

It was nearly a year ago that Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed Sabrina McKenna to the Hawaii Supreme Court without revealing the other finalists for the job. Civil Beat.

The achievement gap between Hawaii's public school special education students and their peers is wider than the national average, partially because they are isolated more than they should be, an evaluation agency reported this week. Civil Beat.

A new report that raises questions about the transparency of special-education funding and argues there are "strong disincentives" for moving disabled students into general-education classrooms will be used as a guidebook for making big changes through the coming year as to how special-education services are administered, state officials said. Star-Advertiser.

APEC helps local business land big deal. KHON2.

The Ka Pua project, initially proposed for Makaha Valley, is now being considered for Maili on land owned by the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. KITV4.

Hawaii Medical Center said it has found a new lender and potential buyer, averting the possibility that the bankrupt operator of hospitals in Liliha and Ewa, formerly known as St. Francis, will have to shut down. Star-Advertiser.


Roughly 18 months after Hawaii County failed to attract a single purchase offer for its Paauilo properties, its attempt to lease the 718 acres of former sugar cane land has generated more than 40 requests. Tribune-Herald.

Banyan's Beach in North Kona has surfed to the top of the priority list for county acquisition next year. West Hawaii Today.


The site of a massive proposed wind farm in West Lanai where hundreds of archaeological and cultural sites have been identified has been named one of the state's "most endangered historic places" for 2011 by the Historic Hawaii Foundation. Maui News.

Purchasing and rehabilitating foreclosed homes, developing "clean and sober" rental units and renovating affordable apartments in Wailuku are among the projects proposed for the county's Affordable Housing Fund this year. Maui News.


The type of treatment an addict pursues often reflects the willingness to overcome the addiction with support, experts say. Garden Island.

Monday, November 14, 2011

APEC to give Hawaii $120M boost, Honolulu, Maui looking at property tax exemptions, Big Island to celebrate Peace Corps' 50th, Hawaii Five-0 helps local school, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

APEC leaders 2011 Hawaii "Family Photo" courtesy photo

There was no aloha for aloha shirts Sunday as world leaders, for the second year in a row, discarded the tradition of appearing in locale-specific attire for their "family photo" to wrap up the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation annual summit. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama on Sunday tied the hopes of a faster American economic recovery to the booming Pacific Rim region, saying "we're not going to be able to put our folks back to work" unless the Asia-Pacific region is successful as an engine for the world. Associated Press.

President Barack Obama on Sunday declared the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit a success that will strengthen the U.S. economy, and he expressed gratitude to his hometown for hosting representatives from the 21 APEC nations. Star-Advertiser.

President Obama wrapped up the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit here on a personal note yesterday, thanking the people of Honolulu for their "extraordinary hospitality" and telling his visiting guests that Hawaii “made me who I am.” Civil Beat.

President Barack Obama capped the end of the Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders' Meeting Sunday night with pretty much the same message he has been pushing all weekend — that the Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing economic region in the world and one that the United States recognizes as a catalyst for its own future economic successes. Pacific Business News.

Asian-Pacific leaders have agreed on a range of measures to boost economic growth, including simplifying trade rules and cutting tariffs on green energy goods. Hawaii Reporter.

To give you an idea of just how unimportant the APEC summit was to the White House press corps, consider the fact that, of the 10 or so questions asked of President Barack Obama at his concluding press conference, just three or four were about APEC. Civil Beat.

At this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated U.S. intentions in leading a united effort to establish free and fair trade throughout the Pacific. Hawaii Independent.

While trade was the main focus of last week's APEC meetings, a number of other topics were also discussed. One was the role of women in regional economic growth---and what can be done to boost that role. Hawaii Public Radio.

More than one thousand people, many of them local Filipino-Americans, attended a dinner honoring Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. It was the only public appearance for Aquino, who was in Hawaii to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. Hawaii News Now.

Makana Slips In Protest Song, Performing Before APEC Leaders. KITV4.

The big question many people have been asking - was it all worth it? KHON2.


An independent review panel is leaning toward recommending that the city abolish property tax exemptions for roughly 150,000 Oahu homeowners, including the blind, elderly and disabled, as part of a major but controversial effort to bring more fairness, efficiency and accountability to the tax system while generating additional revenue for city services. Star-Advertiser.

The stars of CBS' "Hawaii Five-0" will be lending a hand off-screen to military school kids at Pearl Harbor. Associated Press.


Hawaii County Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida on Sunday announced his campaign for prosecuting attorney. West Hawaii Today.

When the federal government sought a training area to transition volunteers in the newly forged Peace Corps to posts in Southeast Asia, the Big Island was a natural choice. West Hawaii Today.


The county should require property owners to dedicate their land to agriculture before awarding them significant tax benefits, according to a group of Maui County Council members formed to investigate the system. Maui News.

Kihei teen Matt Matasci got a once-in-a-lifetime experience Saturday when he heard speeches by world leaders including President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Honolulu. Maui News.


Hawaiian guitarist Makana says he put his fears aside and listened to his heart when he chose to repeatedly sing his protest song, “We Are the Many,” to world leaders gathered for an APEC dinner Saturday. Garden Island.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day drive on Oct. 29 at the Kaua‘i Police Department headquarters resulted in the recovery of 120 pounds of various unused medications, county officials said. Garden Island.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Obama's APEC schedule and a sample of APEC coverage from Hawaii and around the world

President Barack Obama at APEC Hawaii
President Obama official schedule and guidance Nov. 13, 2011. APEC, Hawaii. Chicago Sun-Times.

U.S. President Barack Obama, in Hawaii hosting the APEC summit, has met with leaders from China, Russia and Japan. Voice of America.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday said the United States is a Pacific power, and it is " here to stay." Xinhua.

Searching for help, President Barack Obama lobbied the skeptical leaders of Russia and China for support in keeping Iran from becoming a nuclear-armed menace to the world, hoping to yield a "common response" to a deepening problem. Associated Press.

President Barack Obama made Honolulu the venue for declaring a shift in his focus away from the prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the Asia-Pacific region with all its economic promise. Star-Advertiser.

During their meeting on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Honolulu, Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama touted their past bilateral achievements while holding out for hope and change in the future. RT.

President Barack Obama says Russia's expected entrance into the World Trade Organization is a testament to President Dmitry Medvedev's hard work and will be good for the United States, Russia and the world. Associated Press.

As President Obama embarked on a long excursion to promote a new U.S. strategy in Asia and the Pacific, his first public words here on Saturday morning were: “The United States wants to send a clear message: We are a Pacific nation and we are deeply committed to shaping the future security and prosperity of the Trans-Pacific region.” Civil Beat.

As he hosts the APEC summit in his native state of Hawaii, President Barack Obama is holding bilateral talks with leaders from Japan, China and Russia.  Particular attention focused on his discussions with China's president Hu Jintao. Hawaii Reporter.

President Barack Obama hosted a traditional Hawaiian-style celebration at Honolulu's Hale Koa Hotel on Saturday night for leaders and representatives of 20 nations attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference. Myfox Houston.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama welcomed the leaders and representatives from 20 other Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation nations with a luau, hula and a Hawaiian proverb at the Hale Koa Hotel behind tight security that disrupted Saturday night traffic through Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

Chinese Journalists Won't Report on Falun Gong Protests. Civil Beat.