Friday, August 31, 2012

Grover Cleveland's grandson honors Queen Liliuokalani's birthday, rail stoppage to cost another $7.2M, Hawaii residents get speaking parts in national conventions, Hawaii delegation heading to Korea to promote conservation sessions, Oahu farmworkers may get shipping container homes, Hawaii County seeks lower electric rates, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Iolani Palace (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
In honor of Queen Liliuokalani's Sept. 2 birthday and the 150th anniversary of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii, President Grover Cleveland's grandson is coming to town. Star-Advertiser.

Queen Liliuokalani considered him a friend -- U.S. President Grover Cleveland. On Thursday, Cleveland's grandson visited the final resting place of the Queen. KITV4.

A Hawaii committee seeking to host a large international nature conservation gathering in 2016 will spend about $220,000 of private and public funds to market the state at this year's event in South Korea. Star-Advertiser.

Media outlets and First Amendment advocates are already gearing up for a fight next legislative session over a state law that protects journalists from being forced to reveal sources and turn over notes. Civil Beat.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) has posted a draft copy of the October 2012 to October 2017 State Historic Preservation Plan on  to provide opportunity for public review and input. Hawaii Reporter.

Where were state Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz and the Public Land Development Corporation’s board members Wednesday night? More than 100 angry Oahu residents showed up at a downtown Honolulu meeting room to testify on proposed rules to govern the agency — rules that the board members are responsible for approving. Civil Beat.

Researchers at the UH Manoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) made a discovery that challenges a major theory in the field of coral reef ecology. Hawaii Reporter.

U.S. House candidate Tulsi Gabbard plans to speak at the Democratic National Convention next week. Associated Press.

Hawaii got a moment in the spotlight at the Republican National Convention on Thursday when a military veteran from Hilo led the audience of thousands in the Pledge of Allegiance. Stephens Media.

U.S. Senate candidate Mazie Hirono is back in the political TV ad game. Civil Beat.

First Circuit Judge Steven Alm launched HOPE three years after joining the bench in 2004. Since that time, the program has received international recognition, a made-in-Hawaii model for reducing recidivism and crime. Civil Beat.

As part of the largest multi-state settlement with a pharmaceutical company, the Office of Consumer Protection says Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will pay Hawaii nearly $2.7 million in settlement claims. Hawaii News Now.


The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation approved a rail project delay claim worth $7.2 million Thursday in a development that underscores the potential for costly new change orders now that rail construction has been shut down by a lawsuit. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board members voted unanimously Thursday to approve a $7.2 million change order for Kiewit Building Group Inc. for delays in giving the contractor a notice to proceed for design and construction of the city’s $5.16 billion rail transit project. Pacific Business News.

If Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation officials know how much a six-month delay in construction on the $5.26 billion rail project costs they’re not saying. Civil Beat.

A former state representative and the son of another former lawmaker are among those who have joined the ranks of candidates for the City Council's District 6 open seat. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu City Council committee approved a pilot program today to provide low cost housing out of shipping containers for farm workers in West O’ahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

Some students at the new UH West Oahu campus are being left in the dark. The bus runs past the campus 24-7 but after 5:30 it no longer stops. KHON2.

Members of the City Council's Transportation Committee joined Handi-Van riders on Thursday in criticizing the way the transit service for people with disabilities has operated in recent years, and warned that the situation will only worsen with the recent cuts to TheBus. Star-Advertiser.

City of Honolulu joins state in regulating roadside memorials. KITV4.

The state Supreme Court dismissed Tuesday a primary election challenge filed by a losing candidate for City Council, saying the complaint lacked specific evidence to back its claims. Star-Advertiser.


County Councilman J Yoshimoto wants Hawaii Electric Light Co. to more aggressively renegotiate its power purchase agreements in order to lower rates to electric customers by delinking costs of alternative energy from the price of fossil fuel. West Hawaii Today.

A national grocer said it has changed its label on packages of Kona coffee blends, making good on a promise it made last year to a group of Hawaii coffee farmers. Associated Press.

Three members of the Hawaii County Police Department's Special Response Team received the Silver Medal of Valor on Thursday for building a protective wall around a grenade in February and preventing a shutdown of Hilo's main power plant that would have resulted in rolling blackouts over Super Bowl weekend. Star-Advertiser.

The events leading to the Lai Opua Blitz Build have left Aloha Kekauoha “speechless, forever thankful and in awe of everything.” West Hawaii Today.

County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi will meet next week with suspended Elections Administrator Pat Nakamoto about restoring her to her job, County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong said. Big Island Now.


The Maui County Council's Planning Committee unanimously recommended passage Tuesday of a revised bill detailing the implementation of the county's General Plan. Maui News.

More than 400 supporters and well-wishers gathered at the Makena Beach and Golf Resort to celebrate the career and accomplishments of US Senator Daniel K. Akaka. Maui Now.

Legal notices published Wednesday in The Maui News and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser listing people, churches, and commercial and other entities with claims to kuleana water rights in the Na Wai Eha surface water management area are part of a "historic" effort by the state water commission to recognize those appurtenant rights. Maui News.

The federal contract to run a supercomputer center on Maui that the University of Hawaii lost to a mainland defense contractor could be worth at least $70 million over the next ten years, according to a federal procurement website. Hawaii News Now.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued an enforcement action against the owner of the landmark Tahiti Nui Restaurant and Cocktail Bar on Kauai, which was featured in the film “The Descendants,” for failing to close three large-capacity cesspools on the property in Hanalei. Pacific Business News.

Kaua‘i County Department of Water convened Tuesday to discuss a board approval to join as a class member in the class action case City of Greenville v. Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc and Syngenta AG. Garden Island.

Kauai’s Water Department can proceed with drilling for an exploratory well and construction of two water tanks to address a water storage problem. Star-Advertiser.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kilauea Volcano gets its own quarter, crowds fight new state land development corporation, Kauai budget out of balance, state Senate committee to look into UH blunders, 579 burials found at Honolulu church construction site, Maui hospital mulls partnership with Banner Health, Supreme Court dismisses election protest, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kilauea volcano
Hawaii volcano quarter courtesy photo
The United States Mint is unveiling a new quarter depicting a Hawaii volcano eruption. Associated Press.

At a rain-drenched ceremony near the national park’s visitor center, Superintendent Cindy Orlando, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and David Croft, plant manager of the U.S. Mint in Denver, tipped their ceremonial calabashes and poured out $500 in newly minted quarters onto a koa platter, inaugurating the ceremonial rollout of what could be a red-hot collector’s item. Tribune-Herald.

Sen. Daniel Inouye joined U.S. Mint Plant Manager David Croft and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando Wednesday in launching the new Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Quarter. KITV4.

Environmentalists, Native Hawaiian leaders and University of Hawaii students crowded a state office building conference room Wednesday night to demand the repeal of the newly created Public Land Development Corp. Star-Advertiser.

The fledgling movement to abolish the Public Land Development Corporation caught fire Wednesday night during a public meeting in Honolulu about the draft rules to regulate the government agency charged with partnering with private companies to develop state lands. Civil Beat.

Hundreds of people showed up at a public hearing regarding proposed rules for the Public Land Development Corporation, formed under a new state law that would allow private development on public land. Hawaii News Now.

An overflow crowd gathered Wednesday night to protest a new law giving the state the ability to sell or lease public lands to developers. KHON2.

A special state Senate committee has been formed to look into recent management blunders at the University of Hawaii. Hawaii Reporter.

Relief has begun to arrive for many Hawaii homeowners threatened by foreclosure under a settlement between the five largest U.S. mortgage lenders and the state and federal government. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii attorney general's office says consumers in the state could receive up to $300,000 in compensation under a nationwide settlement with three of the country's largest book publishers over price fixing allegations. Associated Press.

The state's embattled historic preservation division suffered another blow last week, with the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that the agency had violated its own rules in allowing the city to begin construction on Honolulu’s rail project without completing an archaeological inventory survey for the entire route first. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's visitor industry continued to heat up in July, with arrivals and spending gains contributing to what continues to be one of the hottest summers ever. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced the release of more than $52.5 million for Capital Improvement Projects last week, including funds for a $2.2 million Transpacific Cable Project. Maui Now.

Kawika Crowley, the Republican nominee for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional seat, pledged Wednesday to put up a strong fight against Democrat Tulsi Gabbard despite being homeless and receiving no financial support from his party. Tribune-Herald.


An excavation team has found nearly 600 sets of remains in the very spot where the historic Kawaiahao Church plans to build a multi-purpose center, and Hawaiian activists say it's one of the largest burial discoveries in state history. Hawaii News Now.

It would cost $2.5 million to return TheBus service to what it was before the city began imposing cuts earlier this year, but routes could not be restored until March 2013 even if money were available, according to Wayne Yoshioka, director of the city Department of Transportation Services. Star-Advertiser.

The parallels between Hawaii Superferry and Honolulu rail are obvious. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation … or HART … has stopped all new construction on the City’s $5.2 billion rail project. But as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports … HART reached out to business and community leaders yesterday with a message of reassurance. Hawaii Public Radio.

The city of Honolulu chose to include only two single-toilet restrooms designated for bus drivers only in the new $19 million Alapai Street Transit Station. Honolulu Advertiser.

Ka’ena Point, Oahu’s wild and windswept northwestern tip, is the ancestral gathering place for souls of the dead, from where they jump off into the next world. Now it has new resonance as the first piece of land in Hawaii that is being allowed to revert to the way our islands were thousands of years ago, when there were no people, the only mammals were seals and bats, and tens of millions of seabirds flocked in from all over the world to nest.  Honolulu Weekly.


The Hawaii Supreme Court has dismissed a Puna candidate’s election protest, the third of four protests filed in the wake of the Aug. 11 primary election that the court has dismissed. West Hawaii Today.

The state would spend more than half a billion dollars in upgrades at Kona International Airport in the next decade, if it constructs all of the projects listed in a recently released draft environmental impact statement. West Hawaii Today.

Cleaning up the broken pipes, metal waste and other debris from the ocean off the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority is more than a pipe dream for Mark Barville. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island delegate Dylan Nonaka has been given a stage role on the final night of the Republican National Convention. Stephens Media.

A new open market on a Hawaiian Home Lands parcel in Puna has been ordered to shut down by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Tribune-Herald.


The Hawaii Health Systems Maui Regional System Board of Directors has begun discussions with Banner Health, one of the country's largest nonprofit hospital systems, to explore a public-private partnership for medical facilities including Maui Memorial Medical Center. Maui News.

Maui and the state overall continued to enjoy healthy gains in the tourism sector last month. Maui News.

The Grand Wailea could be under new ownership before the end of the year as the hotel's owners seek to auction off assets and emerge from bankruptcy protection. Maui News.


“There is no money missing,” was the mantra in Council Chair Jay Furfaro’s presentation to the rest of his colleagues at the Kaua‘i County Council meeting Wednesday, when the council’s Committee of the Whole unanimously approved two bills to address an imbalance in the budget for Fiscal Year 2013, which started July 1. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council is working on two bills aimed at correcting a budget imbalance that occurred during the fiscal year 2013 budget deliberation process. KHON2.

The Kaua‘i Planning Commission on Tuesday gave the County Department of Water the green light to proceed with drilling for an exploratory well and with the construction of two half-million-gallon concrete water tanks in Kapahi. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Community College surpassed the 1,500-student mark Monday, said Cammie Matsumoto, director of community relations and special projects. Garden Island.


George Peabody, editor of the Molokai Advertiser-News, emailed several members of the Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition, the African American Heritage Foundation of Maui, and the Hawaii NAACP on Aug. 25 requesting copies of their birth certificates. Civil Beat.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hula is good for your health, state pays millions in special ed cases, UH loses Maui supercomputer contract, Big Island agri-tourism bill aired, Public Land Development Corp. unpopular, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii hula girls (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Hula practitioners have long touted the health benefits of Hawaii's signature dance form. Now, thanks to a new study on the rehabilitative potential of hula for heart patients, they have the science to support their claims. Star-Advertiser.

The state has agreed to pay $4.4 million to settle a landmark lawsuit filed by a couple who alleged the Department of Education failed to provide their daughters with appropriate autism-specific services during the girls' formative years in the 1990s. Star-Advertiser.

The Public Land Development Corp. was created last year as an arm of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources to partner with the private sector to make better use of state property. But the PLDC's launch has been undermined by a poorly articulated description of its mission and suspicion from environmentalists and some Native Hawaiian activists that it would open the door to shadowy development interests. Star-Advertiser.

The race between Mazie Hirono and Linda Lingle for Sen. Daniel Akaka’s U.S. Senate seat has both local and national implications. Civil Beat.

What lessons can be learned from the University of Hawaii's handling of the botched Stevie Wonder concert? The State Senate may try to answer that question. KHON2.

State roundup for Aug. 29. Associated Press.


The city of Honolulu awarded more than $75 million in new rail-related design and professional services contracts in the weeks before the rail project was halted by a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling, state procurement records show. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu rapid transit chief Dan Grabauskas told the City Council two weeks ago that 75 per cent of necessary archeological surveys along the rail route remain to be done and won’t be completed until the end of this year. Hawaii Reporter.

State Sen. Carol Fukunaga filed nomination papers on Tuesday to run for the Honolulu City Council's District 6 seat vacated earlier this month by congressional candidate Tulsi Gabbard. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu City Council committee voted unanimously to advance a measure setting a procedure to suspend a Council member without pay for up to a month if colleagues determine he or she has violated order or decorum of a Council meeting. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council appears to be on the verge of approving a bill to legalize the peddling of goods on Mo’ili’ili sidewalks. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state Supreme Court has dismissed a primary election challenge filed by a losing candidate for Honolulu City Council. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu paramedics are learning new tactics to combat Hawaii's growing sex trafficking problem. KITV4.

A breakdown of Honolulu Police Department overtime costs for special protection details. Civil Beat.

Agriculture theft is a growing concern on Oahu's North Shore. KHON2.

More than one in five Honolulu residents is classified as a young adult, with nearly 22 percent of Oahu’s population falling into the 20- to 34-year-old demographic, according to an analysis of Census data. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu Civil Beat said Tuesday that it has hired Jayson Harper as general manager of the online news operation. Pacific Business News.

A proposal to create new rules for small agri-tourism enterprises has generated so much controversy that County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong has scheduled a public hearing Tuesday to air residents’ concerns. West Hawaii Today.

Goodfellow Bros. submitted the apparent low bid to build the western end of Saddle Road. West Hawaii Today.

A West Hawaii legislator would like to see a moratorium on approving new power purchase agreements that do not decrease the cost of electricity until the state irons out details on how it should pursue its renewable energy goals. West Hawaii Today.

County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi on Monday declined to attend a meeting on Oahu on the use of voting machines. Big Island Now.

The Weather Channel’s new series “Hawaii Air Rescue” follows Hawaii Life Flight crews. West Hawaii Today.

Ever wonder what happens on those medevac flights that take patients from the Big Island to Oahu? Tribune-Herald.

For the 50th annual Merrie Monarch Festival, which kicks off March 31, in Hilo, the festival committee, led by President Luana Kawelu, wanted to do something different. They’re going back to the festival’s roots. Tribune-Herald.


The University of Hawaii has lost the biggest contract in the school's history, worth tens of millions of dollars, to run a supercomputer center on Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Tennessee Judge Larry Potter, who created one of the nation's first environmental courts, was invited to Maui on Saturday as the keynote speaker in a daylong conference hosted by Keep the Hawaiian Islands Beautiful to try to establish the state's first environmental court in Maui County, organizers of the event, Laulima 2012, said. Maui News.

Will Spence, the planning director for the County of Maui, will discuss land use matters at a public informational meeting in Hana on Thursday, August 30. Maui Now.

Maui County is moving ahead with plans to build a $4.5 million rock seawall to protect its Wailuku-Kahului sewage treatment plant from erosion eating away at the beach fronting the facility. Maui News.

Kauai County taxpayers are forking over tens of thousands of dollars to settle claims of racial discrimination filed by current and former employees of the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney. Civil Beat.

The popularity of cars utilizing sources other than gasoline has skyrocketed, said Pat Iwasaki of Kaua‘i Toyota during the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair. Garden Island.

Clarissa Chun, London Olympics bronze medalist in women’s wrestling, challenged Kaua‘i High School students to find a passion about what you want to do and stick to it. Garden Island.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hawaii libraries go digital, Maui land-use permit fees to skyrocket, opposition rises to Hawaiian Homelands appointee, pension plan a rocky investment, feds to fix Kona wetlands, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii library (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
In its bid to remain relevant in the digital age, Hawaii's library system appears to be making some gains, new figures show. Star-Advertiser.

Former Gov. Linda Lingle would gradually raise the payroll tax cap for Social Security so workers with higher incomes would pay a greater share, a position that mirrors the approach U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, her Demo­cratic opponent for U.S. Senate, would take to help stabilize the federal retirement program. Star-Advertiser.

Just as they did four years ago, delegates to the Republican National Convention dialed down the enthusiasm for the first official day of events as a tropical storm bore down on the Gulf Coast. Star-Advertiser.

The new head of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is facing mounting opposition to her leadership that could derail her confirmation by the Senate next year. Civil Beat.

Investors who buy bonds issued by the state of Hawaii are not being compensated adequately given the risk presented by the state’s high unfunded pension liability and debt load, according to analysis by Barron’s, a weekly financial newspaper. Star-Advertiser.

A new report says Hawaii is one of the least affordable states for daycare for infants, with parents spending nearly 15 percent of their income each month on child care. Pacific Business News.

The federal government has given Hawaii millions of dollars to help ensure the state is ready to launch a new online health insurance marketplace by January 2014. Civil Beat.

State roundup for Aug. 28. Associated Press.


The city on Monday agreed to temporarily halt construction on the $5.26 billion rail project apart from some short-term tasks required for an orderly shutdown, according to statements from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. Star-Advertiser.

As expected, Friday’s Hawaii Supreme Court ruling has resulted in the city and county of Honolulu temporarily halting construction on its $5.26 billion rail project. Civil Beat.

The City and County of Honolulu has stopped construction on its $5.16 billion elevated-rail mass-transit project following last week's Hawaii Supreme Court ruling against the project. Pacific Business News.

The state will spend $2 million to study the H-1 Freeway and other major roads to find out what improvements are needed and how to prioritize those needs. KHON2.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has dismissed the election complaint filed Aug. 16 by Honolulu City Council candidate Martin Han. Civil Beat.

A community group says block parties and events including "First Fridays," which were meant to help revitalize Chinatown, is leaving the historical area trashed. Hawaii News Now.

The Battle of the Islands Pacific Roller Derby Tournament is coming up on O’ahu next month, and the Paradise Roller Girls from Hawai’i Island are hoping to be there. Hawaii Public Radio.


One of the two naturally occurring brackish wetlands on the Kona Coast is due for major restoration work, which National Park Service officials hope will help improve conditions for endangered bird species within the park. West Hawaii Today.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo’s troubled Hoku Kea telescope is still in pieces and is on its third director, with extensive problems that have included an improperly shaped primary mirror, a damaged secondary mirror and no operating system to control the telescope. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii residents will be among the first to get their hands on a new quarter featuring a Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park design. Star-Advertiser.

A Big Island blogger has been ordered to stop posting salacious cartoons and false comments about an online news publisher. Hawaii Reporter.

The U.S. Geological Survey says surface flows remain active on the pali and coastal plain, but have not made significant progress toward the ocean. Hawaii News Now.


The cost of various Maui County land-use permit application fees could go up significantly - some by as much as 450 percent - as county officials look to realign fees with actual processing costs. Maui News.

Gary Toth of Project for Public Spaces will present “Principles of Great Streets” and “Why Streets as Places” in a three hour interactive workshop scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, August 31. Maui Now.


Island School broke ground on a solar project Monday. When completed, it should take care of its daytime power needs. Garden Island.

The Charter Review Commission on Monday addressed a couple of grammar mistakes in the proposed amendments to the Kaua‘i County Charter it had transmitted Aug. 9 to County Clerk Ricky Watanabe. Now, it’s all up to the voters to decide at the Nov. 6 General Election on eight proposals to amend the charter. Garden Island.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Will Honolulu rail project stall while Supreme Court ruling mulled? Lingle bucks GOP on abortion, undersea fiber-optic cable among projects in new CIP release, Chinese tourism surges, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu rail route, courtesy map
Monday is a pivotal day in the Honolulu rail project. If the City of Honolulu does not stop construction, critics will try to obtain a restraining order based on Friday's ruling by the Hawaii Supreme Court. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART), the agency charged with constructing and managing the project, has no intention of stopping the rail construction – at least not yet. Dan Grabauskas, executive director of HART, said he will rely on the 9 board members and city attorneys who will meet Thursday to determine what should be done next.   In the meantime, construction will continue on Monday through Thursday of this coming week and possibly longer, depending on what board members decide. Hawaii Reporter.

Rail construction is likely to stop, at least temporarily, given a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling Friday that found the city and state didn't follow the law when surveying Native Hawaiian burial sites. Civil Beat.

Ben Cayetano said Friday that he felt vindicated by the Hawaii Supreme Court’s opinion that said the city and state should have conducted an archaeological study of the $5.16 billion Honolulu rail transit project’s entire route before starting construction. Pacific Business News.

The state Supreme Court ruled Friday in favor of a Native Hawaiian woman suing to protect ancient Hawaiian burial sites along Honolulu’s planned light rail route. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Supreme Court on Friday ruled that state and city officials shouldn’t have proceeded with construction on Honolulu’s $5.16 billion rail transit project without conducting an archaeological study of the entire 20-mile route, overturning a lower court decision from last year that sided with the city and state. Pacific Business News.

A ruling Friday by the Hawaii Supreme Court will likely result in construction of the city's controversial $5.3 billion rail project being stopped. KITV4.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has released about $52.5 million for capital improvement projects that will include an interim car rental facility at Hono­lulu Airport, an underwater fiber-optic cable, an electrical distribution system at Kalaeloa and other projects. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, and former Gov. Linda Lingle, the Republican, have embraced renewable energy to help break Hawaii's $4.5 billion-a-year dependence on imported oil. But they disagree on the route. Star-Advertiser.

Former Gov. Linda Lingle, candidate for Hawaii’s open U.S. Senate seat, called on the Republican National Committee to consider the diverse opinions of Party members related to a woman’s right to choose before adopting a proposed platform plank calling for a constitutional amendment banning abortion. Hawaii Reporter.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono got a surprise endorsement Friday in her Senate campaign against former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle: Lingle’s opponent in the Republican primary. Associated Press.

On November 6th, 2012, 10 years after their fight for the governor’s office, Mazie Hirono and Linda Lingle will battle to become Hawaii’s first female US Senator. Maui Now.

Only one person stands between Tulsi Gabbard and the U.S. Congress, but many people in Hawaii probably never heard of him. But Gabbard's general election opponent, David "Kawika" Crowley, is not conceding anything. Civil Beat.

The number of Chinese travelers to Hawaii surged 43 percent during the first half of this year, making China the fastest growing market for the state’s visitor industry. Associated Press.

State roundup for Aug. 27. Associated Press.


City Council members, residents and preservationists are questioning a city decision to lease prime oceanfront space in Kapiolani Park to a food concessionaire at below market rates and outside of prescribed public bidding and auditing standards. Star-Advertiser.

The Public Land Development Corporation, under pressure from community groups, has agreed to allow the state's public access TV channel to broadcast its Honolulu meeting. Civil Beat.

It's a problem that grows by the day. Bulky items are piling up along our streets and sidewalks.KHON2.

Manufacturing photovoltaic panels in Hawaii might seem like a risky proposition given the competition from low-cost producers on the mainland and in Asia and Europe. Star-Advertiser.

The popular Manoa Falls Trail got a makeover this weekend. Hawaii News Now.


Growing coffee in Kona just isn’t what it used to be. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiians are more likely than any other race to be arrested on marijuana charges. Tribune-Herald.

In an attempt to clear up confusion and inaccuracies, the county Department of Water Supply has decided to hold a meeting this week on the new Hawaiian Ocean View Estates Water System. West Hawaii Today.

Applications for solar power are on the rise and so is the amount of time it takes to get a permit. Tribune-Herald.

Five houses for low-income families are scheduled to be constructed in 10 days by hundreds of volunteers next month. West Hawaii Today.


The Hawaii Republican Party filed a complaint last week with the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission, alleging that the Friends of Kaniela Ing has violated campaign spending laws. Maui News.

South Maui's Makena State Park could finally be in for upgrades that would add recreational spaces, landscaping, parking and public facilities, while maintaining it as a wilderness park. Maui News.


The excitement over recent reports of outside interests looking at a Coco Palms redevelopment has officials giving tempered but optimistic updates. Garden Island.

While the accomplishments of the Kaua‘i legislative team have already been inked, Lihu‘e Business Association members and members of the public were treated to a more personal approach of the legislative team Thursday at Duke’s at Kalapaki Beach. Garden Island.

The state of Hawai‘i and the individual Hawaiian Islands achieved high rankings among their global competitors during the first six months of 2012, according to the Hawai‘i Competitive Global Rankings released last week by Hospitality Advisors LLC. Garden Island.


One of the year’s biggest National Park Service projects in the country is taking place now in Molokai. The Kalaupapa pier, which allows the settlement’s annual barge delivery to dock safely, is getting $5 million in repairs. Hawaii Public Radio.

The University of Hawaii (UH) Maui College, Molokai Education Center will be able to expand their facilities and services now that Molokai Properties Ltd., also known as Molokai Ranch, sold them a 3.2-acre parcel of land surrounding the current campus in Kaunakakai. The final purchase price has not been disclosed, though the Dispatch reported in 2011 an agreement had been made for $500,000. Molokai Dispatch.

Those who are frustrated by long wait times at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office on Molokai to renew vehicle registration or drivers licenses may see improvement by the end of this year. Molokai Dispatch.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hawaii poll supports preschool, health network gets $61.8M federal grant, jobless claims down, hotel occupancy up, new Waikiki hotel wins zoning, mayoral candidate's daughter burns foe's signs with bong, Kauai wants solar loophole, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii keiki (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
A new poll shows that the majority of the Hawaii public supports a state-funded preschool program — and lawmakers are hoping to make it happen as soon as 2014. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Health Connector has received a $61.8 million federal grant to help set up a health insurance exchange in the Islands. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii jobless claims have fallen to 12,218 in the newest weekly report, including first-time claims that fell to 1,404 statewide. Both figures, actual tallies of claims filed last week, are the lowest since 2008. Hawaii News Now.

Initial unemployment claims in Hawaii dropped 18 percent last week, compared to a year ago, according to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii hotels average 85 percent full in the newest weekly survey, with 93 percent occupancy on Oahu offsetting lower figures on neighbor islands. Hawaii News Now.

Eleven researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association spent part of their summer in the nature preserve trying to kill galapagos sharks, the species they say is the main culprit in the demise of baby monk seals. Civil Beat.

GOP U.S. Senate candidate Linda Lingle this week spent more than $90,000 on 395 spots that are airing through the end of the week on KHON, KITV, KITV subsidiary MeTV, KGMB, KHNL and Time Warner cable networks such as CNN, ESPN and TNT. Civil Beat.

Tea Parties Across the Nation - Including Hawaii - Under IRS Scrutiny. Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawai’i Tourism Authority is hosting its annual conference this week … amid encouraging news of double-digit increases in visitor arrivals and spending. Hawaii Public Radio.

Even 92 years after it was passed, the Jones Act shipping laws remain contentious in Hawaii — especially when you put the law’s supporters and the people who want to sink it in the same room. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for Aug. 23. Associated Press.


A plan to build Waikiki's first new oceanfront hotel in more than 30 years prevailed in a zoning challenge Thursday, freeing the project to proceed after a nearly two-year skirmish before the city Zoning Board of Appeals. Star-Advertiser.

Three different projects on Oahu have each taken another step forward but not without some controversy. KHON2.

Twelve former students at Damien high school on Oahu have filed claims in a New York bankruptcy court alleging that they were sexually abused by clergy who were working at the private Catholic school in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. Star-Advertiser.

The public can expect to see a lot more of the two Honolulu City Prosecutor candidates between now and Nov. 6, whether it's sign-waving around Oahu or advertising on the radio. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's largest and most prominent synagogue will elect new leaders Sunday in a vote that represents a referendum on its beleaguered rabbi and the fortunes — and future — of Temple Emanu-El. Star-Advertiser.

A gun advocacy charity has filed a lawsuit against the city of Honolulu over deleted posts on the Honolulu Police Department’s Facebook page. Associated Press.

The Pacific Resource Partnership, a group highly critical of anti-rail mayoral candidate Ben Caye­tano during the primary election, is reassessing its strategy for the general election campaign and has not yet decided whether it will continue with negative ads against the former governor, the group’s executive director said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii News Now has obtained photos showing two girls setting fire to a Ben Cayetano campaign sign. Kirk Caldwell has confirmed that one of the girls in the photo is his 18-year-old daughter, Maya.Hawaii News Now.

A defeated Honolulu City Council candidate contends his opponent broke campaign laws by posting signs too close to polling places on primary election day as a way to influence undecided voters in the district, many of whom are seniors. Star-Advertiser.


The second-place finisher in a four-way race for the state House District 6 Democratic primary has filed a petition with the Hawaii Supreme Court seeking a recount or a new election for the open Kailua-Kona seat. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island’s economy continues its slow climb out of recession, thanks largely to a relatively quick recovery of its tourism industry, according to economist Leroy O. Laney. Tribune-Herald.

Hunters have killed three axis deer through a program aimed at eliminating their presence on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

The Department of Public Works’ Traffic Division announced it is continuing to convert streetlights from the current low-pressure sodium lamps to light-emitting diode lamps (LED) this week. Tribune-Herald.

South Kona couple opens glassblowing business. West Hawaii Today.

A Hawaii tournament angler fought a 12-foot, half-ton marlin in the Pacific Ocean for more than four hours before she and her teammates got the monster fish out of the water — but she missed out on the glory and prize money. Associated Press.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is warning the public to keep out of the nearshore and ocean waters off Pahoa, due to the presence of tiger sharks that are being attracted to a decomposing 50-foot long sperm whale carcass. KITV4.


A Maui ranch owner pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor Thursday for illegally selling axis deer and Mouflon cross-bred sheep and letting a person who did not have a hunting license pay to kill the animals. Star-Advertiser.

After years of political wrangling and legal machinations, the Maui County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve disposing of the controversial "Montana Beach" home on the north side of Baldwin Beach Park. Maui News.

A human skull found near Waiohuli Hawaiian Homes in Kula was to be turned over to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources after it was determined to be from a child who died more than 50 years ago, police said. Maui News.

A Wailuku woman was ordered to pay back $23,710 she stole over a two-year period while she worked for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.Maui News.

More than 10,000 ready-to-eat meals are now in the hands of Maui County disaster response organizations, thanks to a donation by the federal government. Maui News.

Last week at the Ninth Circuit Court's Judicial Conference on the island of Maui, judges and lawyers from across the country were told by social media and legal experts they would have to be careful about what they post on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Hawaii Reporter.


Following a failed attempt earlier this year to have the state Senate address a loophole in a state law, which mandates new homes to be fitted with solar water heating systems. The Kaua‘i County Council is now discussing whether to ask state lawmakers in the 2013 Legislature to amend Act 204 to bring it closer to its intent. Garden Island.

The Hanalei Bridge received much attention for its 100th birthday Thursday. Garden Island.

HGEA trades signs for spoons to help feed people. Garden Island.


Molokai Ranch has sold 3.2 acres in Kaunakakai to the University of Hawaii, according to ranch owner Molokai Properties Ltd. Maui News.

The DOE will hold eight public scoping meetings on six islands from Sept. 11–20 to gather input on wind energy development . The Molokai meeting will be held on Wed. Sept. 19 at the Mitchell Pauole Center at 5:30 p.m. Molokai Dispatch.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Abercrombie wants to save Natatorium, four file election protests with Supreme Court, 500 Big Island school employees await DOE clearance, UH apologizes for Stevie Wonder fiasco, Keauhou Beach Hotel to close, candidates file to replace Gabbard on Honolulu Council, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Waikiki Natatorium (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Gov. Neil Abercrombie is considering taking the Waikiki Natatorium back from the city to pursue his own plans for the dilapidated memorial that jets out into the shallow waters of Oahu’s south shore. Civil Beat.

The administration of Gov. Neil Abercrombie appears ready to regain control over the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium and then try to restore its crumbling facade and bleachers, reversing a direction taken by the city in recent years to clear the structure from the valuable piece of Waikiki Beach. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former Gov. Linda Lingle have agreed to five debates before their November general election for U.S. Senate, sources say. Star-Advertiser.

The media's job is to help voters better understand whom they are voting for. But, far more often than not, reporters are blocked from speaking directly to the candidates and most often have to settle for canned quotes distributed via their staff. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Republican Party is $66,000 in debt but has about $71,000 cash on hand, according to the party’s most recent FEC report covering the month of July. Civil Beat.

After a private meeting of almost eight hours, the Board of Regents backs the University of Hawaii president's shifting of Jim Donovan to a new job. Star-Advertiser.

A heavily redacted University of Hawaii report on how it lost $200,000 on its cancelled Stevie Wonder fundraising concert said UH officials never properly investigated the promoters of the event, failed to obtain cancellation insurance for it and took no steps to safeguard the money after it was wired to a Mainland “escrow account.” Hawaii Reporter.

Officials at the University of Hawai‘i say there was “no criminal wrongdoing” by UH employees and that the university was “most likely a victim of a fraud in a failed effort to raise money for the athletic department through a concert. Maui Now.

Almost a month and a half after the Stevie Wonder Concert fiasco, the University of Hawaii released an official accounting of what went wrong -- along with several apologies. KITV4.

In spite of pleas from state lawmakers and some members of the public, the UH Board of Regents did not re-instate Jim Donovan as athletics director Wednesday and instead concurred with his transfer to a new UH communications job. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii President M.R.C Greenwood called a press conference Wednesday and was quick to apologize to U.H. faculty, students and supporters saying that the botched Stevie Wonder concert was a mistake. KHON2.

State roundup for Aug. 23. Associated Press.


A lawsuit against the Honoulu Police Department over deleted posts on the department’s Facebook page could set a legal precedent, a First Amendment scholar told the Associated Press. Associated Press.

Less than an hour after Tulsi Gabbard said her farewell to the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday, former Councilman Jon Yoshimura was signing up to run for the seat. Two other urban Honolulu residents had joined him by the end of the day, while several others continued to voice interest. Star-Advertiser.

Candidates running for the seat vacated by Tulsi Gabbard can start filing for the General Election after Wednesday's Honolulu City Council meeting. KITV4.

First Wind company says independent tests sat the damaged Kahuku wind farm how soil and air quality levels are safe, and residents were never in danger. KHON2.

The nonprofit Pacific Housing Assistance Corp.’s plans to build a 15-story, 160-unit affordable senior housing project in Honolulu has been delayed. Pacific Business News.

The Defense Commissary Agency purchases more than $40 million in local products each year for sale at stores for military members, retirees and families.   The American Logistics Association hosted its annual taste-testing Hawai’i Show today in Waikiki in an effort to add to their list of Hawai’i-made products. Hawaii Public Radio.


Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz said Wednesday that the Abercrombie administration would monitor preparations in Hawaii County before the November general election, but urged the county clerk to work with the state Office of Elections to prevent a repeat of the irregularities that marred the primary. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka’s granddaughter wants a do-over in the Aug. 11 primary. If that doesn’t work she at least wants a recount. Civil Beat.

A state house candidate from the Big Island has filed a complaint with the Hawaii Supreme Court over primary election day problems on the Big Island. KHON2.

Fired elections warehouse manager Glen Shikuma has died, leaving his friends shocked and grieving, a police investigation in turmoil and a personal injury attorney contemplating the next move. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Councilman Dennis Onishi said he plans to draft a council resolution requiring the County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi to seek help running the General Election. He said that the resolution could be heard as soon as mid-September. Civil Beat.

Five hundred Hawaii Island public school employees still haven’t been brought back to work this fall after the state Department of Education shifted the responsibility for background checks to the island district level. West Hawaii Today.

The Keauhou Beach Hotel will close Oct. 31, leaving 112 employees without a job. West Hawaii Today.

About 112 Hawaii island hotel workers are scrambling to find jobs in the wake of Kamehameha Schools' abrupt announcement that it will shut down and eventually demolish the poorly performing Keauhou Beach Hotel. Star-Advertiser.

The last feature film to come to the Big Island was “Predators” in 2009, and economic activity from film, television and still photography shoots has been down sharply since, said Big Island Film Commissioner John Mason. Tribune-Herald.

Conservationists are upset that sheep were shuttled to Maui. Maui News.

Nine people were charged with gambling offenses last week when police vice officers executed search warrants at a Wailuku residence, police said. Maui News.


A request by members of the Kaua‘i County Council for all county parks’ patrons to “show aloha and respect” for non-smokers by refraining from smoking near other patrons is now unanimous. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday met in executive session to be briefed by the county’s legal counsel on a civil suit brought against the administration by mixed martial arts fighter Lebeau Lagmay, who got shot with a stun gun in 2009 by police in the parking lot of  the emergency room of Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Lihu‘e. Garden Island.

The sand beach at Wailua Beach has been moving — tons of it now relocated to the Aloha Beach Resort end — littered with vegetative debris and creating islets in Wailua River, which never existed before. Garden Island.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Honolulu rail in court, Catholic priest child sex charges hit Hawaii, UH probes Stevie Wonder fiasco, school superintendent gets poor review, Maui hotels at top of sun and fun resort lists, kauai wildfire almost contained, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

HART courtesy photo
Honolulu rail project commences, courtesy photo
Federal Judge A. Wallace Tashima heard two hours of arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit that seeks to stop work on the city's $5.26 billion rail project, but gave no clear indication of how he will rule in the case or when. Star-Advertiser.

A federal judge from California is now the central figure in a legal fight that could decide the fate of the controversial $5.26 billion rail project and perhaps even determine who will be Honolulu's next mayor. Civil Beat.

The fate of Honolulu’s elevated-rail transit project is now in the hands of a federal judge. Pacific Business News.

Opponents of the Honolulu Rail Transit Project got their final day in Federal Court today and expect a decision in a few weeks. Hawaii Public Radio.

A standing room only crowd packed a courthouse inside the Prince Kuhio Federal Building Tuesday as U.S. District Judge A. Wallace Tashima heard oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by opponents of the city's $5.3 billion rail project. KITV4.

Rail had its day in federal court in an environmental challenge that could derail or delay the project. KHON2.

Did the city break environmental laws in the planning of the rail project? A federal judge is considering that right now and his decision could affect the future of the rail. Hawaii News Now.

Will Honolulu’s pricey and controversial rail project ever be built or will it be derailed in court? That could depend on what Ninth Circuit Court Judge Wallace Tashima decides in the next few weeks. Hawaii Reporter.

Rep. Cynthia Thielen and Sen. Robert Kouchi would appear to be the state's wealthiest lawmakers. Civil Beat.

Working Families for Hawaii has spent more than $70,000 supporting Democratic candidate Mazie Hirono, including nearly $34,000 on radio spots bashing former Democratic primary candidate Ed Case. One would think that a super PAC that has emerged as third biggest outside spender in Hawaii’s U.S. Senate race would be anything but anonymous. Civil Beat.

The Board of Education Tuesday gave Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi an overall rating of "fully meets expectations" in her first evaluation since being appointed to the position in September 2010. Star-Advertiser.

On the eve of a Board of Regents session to discuss the Stevie Wonder concert fiasco, University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood said Tuesday that athletic director Jim Dono­van was on his way out before the ill-fated venture. Star-Advertiser.

A day before the University of Hawaii Board of Regents meets behind closed doors to discuss the investigation into UH's failed Stevie Wonder concert and Jim Donovan's re-assignment as athletics director, it's unclear how much of the probe UH will make public. Hawaii News Now.

State roundup for Aug. 22. Associated Press.


A Honolulu police officer on trial for theft and tampering with government records was found not guilty Tuesday afternoon on all thirteen counts. KHON2.

University of Hawaii-West O‘ahu officials have been giving out the wrong address for their campus for the past six months, but an estimated 1,800 students and 60 faculty still showed up for the first day of classes Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Are public agencies allowed to censor comments on their social media pages and can they be held liable for deleting comments made on their social media pages or for banning users? Hawaii Reporter.

Two gun advocates who run a charity called the Hawaii Defense Foundation are suing the city because they claim the Hono­lulu Police Department has censored, removed and banned their comments from HPD's Facebook page. Star-Advertiser.

A resident of Mayor Wright Homes, who fought to make sure everyone had hot water at the public housing project, is now in hot water himself.  Fetu Kolio is being evicted. KITV4.

The push to keep the North Shore country has lost one of its chief advocates. Civil Beat.

A local affordable-housing developer has arranged to buy the former Honolulu Advertiser property in Kakaako, and envisions putting up two moderate-priced condominium towers on the site while preserving the historic News Building. Star-Advertiser.

The producers of “Hawaii Five-0” will move from their soundstage at the former Honolulu Advertiser building once the show’s third season wraps production next spring, but exactly where is the question. Pacific Business News.

Carlisle paid price at polls for beefing with Cayetano. Star-Advertiser.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs announced Monday its acquisition of the Gentry Pacific Design Center, located in the 500 block of Nimitz Highway in Honolulu. KITV4.

The child sex abuse scandal surrounding the Catholic Church has hit close to home, with fingers of accusation pointing at a priest revered in the local community. Tribune-Herald.

The family of a New York teen swept out to sea while hiking on the Big Island filed a wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday, claiming tour guides were negligent for leading a group of teenagers to a dangerous area. Associated Press.

The draft environmental assessment for the Kapi‘olani Street extension will be available for comment Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County is moving forward with development of a park in Pahoa village with funds previously set aside for a regional community park in Hawaiian Paradise Park. Tribune-Herald.


Occupancy at Maui hotels during the first half of the year ranked third-highest among more than 38,000 "island and sun" properties worldwide, according to a new report by Honolulu-based Hospitality Advisors. Maui News.

County of Maui was selected as a finalist for the 2012 Healthiest Employers contest, hosted by the Pacific Business News. Maui Now.


Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho and Deputy County Attorney Justin Kollar squared off Tuesday night at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall for a debate in front of an audience of about 200. Garden Island.

Crews continued to fight high winds and dry conditions to contain the Koke‘e brush fire that is now reported to be 85 percent contained. Garden Island

The Koke‘e State Park Advisory Council will renew its work to review and comment on the Koke‘e and Waimea Canyon State Parks Master Plan. Garden Island.