Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Drones coming to Hawaii, noted taxpayer advocate Kalapa dies, Bloomberg fundraiser for Schatz irks Hanabusa, SHOPO aims to keep police discipline confidential, sinkhole swallows pickup, Obama hikes, golfs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii drone tests UAV
NASA Global Hawk drone, courtesy photo
Hawaii has been selected to be a test bed for increased drone flights as the Federal Aviation Administration seeks to create rules of the air and incorporate an ever-expanding number of the flying robots into the nation's airspace. Hawaii, Alaska and Oregon are part of a partnership that was picked to become one of six groups nationwide for the effort, with backers hoping the Aloha State will become a mecca for unmanned vehicle research, testing and certification, creating science jobs and adding millions to the economy along the way. Star-Advertiser.

The Federal Aviation Administration included Hawaii as part of a partnership with the University of Alaska and the State of Oregon as one of six test sites that will allow drones to share airspace with commercial aircraft. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiʻi has been identified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a test site range location for unmanned aircraft systems research. Maui Now.

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a drone? It could be. The Federal Aviation Administration announced Monday six institutions where researchers will develop and test drones to fly. KHON2.

President Barack Obama had a full day of activity on his tenth day of vacation, starting with his morning workout before dawn and ending the evening at dinner with friends at Alan Wong's in McCully. The president and first lady were joined by other couples for dinner at one of Obama's favorite restaurants at about 8 p.m. Associated Press

President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, dined with friends at Alan Wong's restaurant Monday night after the family went on a two-hour hike on Makiki Valley Loop Trail. Earlier, the president went for a morning round of golf with friends at the Royal Hawaiian Golf Club in Maunawili. Star-Advertiser.

It doesn't matter that they belong to President Barack Obama -- first family dogs Bo and Sunny had to go through Hawaii's strict quarantine procedures to travel to the islands for their holiday vacation. Associated Press.

Denby Fawcett: A Presidential Obama Center at Point Panic Is a Bad Idea. Civil Beat.

On Thursday evening, a mere 48 hours after he steps down as New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg will arrive in Hawaii to headline a fundraiser for Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) -- an appearance that Schatz's primary challenger, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, is using as political fodder in an already heated race. Huffington Post.

The mayor of New York City will headline a Sen. Brian Schatz fundraiser in Kahala Thursday, something Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is using as political fodder. Hanabusa’s Senate campaign sent out fundraising appeals to supporters today and last week that condemn Schatz for spending time with Mike Bloomberg, a billionaire that “long championed deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Civil Beat.

The state has approved rate hikes for reinstated health plans that were set to be canceled today because they did not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The state Insurance Division said Monday that Kaiser Permanente Hawaii would be allowed to boost premiums by an average 9.2 percent for individual plans with 11,000 enrollees and by 5 percent for 26,300 small-business policyholders at their contract renewal dates. Star-Advertiser.

Relaxing marijuana restrictions around the country have some hoping there will also be changes to Hawaii's pot policies. KITV4.

The emotionally charged special session of the Legislature that led to Gov. Neil Abercrombie's signing of the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act was the top local news story of the year, but also dominating the headlines were shark attacks, including two fatalities, a massive molasses spill, the Christopher Deedy murder trial and GMO restrictions. Star-Advertiser.

The past year has been a strong one for Hawaii’s economy with tourist arrivals expected to set another record, although the pace of growth slowed. Construction picked up speed helped by a boom in Kakaako condo projects. The most notable property transaction of the year was Alexander & Baldwin’s purchase of most of downtown Kailua. The troubled launch of the Hawaii Health Connector and a slowdown in the growth of residential solar energy systems round out our major business stories of 2013. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii taxpayer advocate
Lowell Kalapa, president of the nonprofit Tax Foundation of Hawaii since the 1970s, died Monday of unknown causes. He was 64. A respected economic voice in the halls of both the state Capitol and Honolulu Hale, he preached fiscal restraint by lobbying for fairness and equity in taxes, reduced government spending, and ensuring lawmakers and citizens alike understood the impacts that the measures introduced by state and county lawmakers had on regular people. Star-Advertiser.

Lowell Kalapa, president of the nonprofit Tax Foundation of Hawaii since 1979, died Monday. He was 64. The cause of his death was not revealed. Pacific Business News.

Lowell Kalapa, well-known government watchdog who headed the Tax Foundation of Hawaii, died over the weekend, his office confirmed today. Hawaii Reporter.

He never held an elected office but Lowell Kalapa was one of the most influential voices in the state Legislature. Kalapa, executive director of the nonprofit Tax Foundation of Hawaii since 1979, died at his home. He was 64. Hawaii News Now.

Remembering My Friend Lowell Kalapa, a personal remembrance of Kalapa from a Civil Beat columnist and close friend. Civil Beat.


Castle & Cooke Hawaii said Monday the company has had inquiries from people who want to live in Koa Ridge, the 3,500-home development it will build in central Oahu. In a statement, Castle & Cooke said it will proceed with the development despite a Dec. 23 state Supreme Court decision invalidating a 2010 Land Use Commission approval of the project. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s politically powerful police union wants to intervene in a public records lawsuit in order to protect the identities of 12 Honolulu officers who were suspended for 20 days or more after committing serious acts of misconduct. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Zoo Director Jeffrey Mahon announced last week that he is resigning, less than six months after starting the job. Star-Advertiser.


A short list of three candidates to finish state Rep. Denny Coffman’s unexpired term is on its way to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, culled from nine Democrats who submitted applications for House District 5 representing West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

Since the newest segment of Saddle Road — also known as the Daniel K. Inouye Highway — opened, letter writers and callers to the Tribune-Herald have complained police are operating a speed trap on the east-west traffic artery. Hawaii Police Department statistics indicate there will be fewer speeding tickets written on the Saddle this year than in 2012, but that doesn’t tell the entire story. Tribune-Herald.

Heavy rains drenched Hawaii island's Windward coast Monday morning, scattering runoff and debris across the area -- and even causing a Paauilo Mauka road to collapse beneath a truck, according to officials. Star-Advertiser.

Sometimes even Mother Nature likes to end the year with a bang. The Big Island’s strongest storm of the season pounded windward areas Sunday and Monday with heavy rain, rolling thunder and countless flashes of lightning that put on a show that could rival even some of tonight’s celebrations. Tribune-Herald.

A Hawaii woman whose last name is 36 characters long has finally gotten the whole thing to fit on her driver's license and state identification card. Janice "Lokelani" Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele has a surname that consists of 35 letters plus an okina, a mark used in the Hawaiian alphabet. Associated Press.


Expeditions, which operates the only ferry service between the islands of Maui and Lanai, is seeking to build a new $2.7 million vessel that would replace one of its existing ferries. Maui News.

Despite having an information kiosk burn down in March and then having the former refuge manager leave her post in July, the small four-person refuge staff at Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge has dealt with challenges this year and "learned more about the refuge" in the process. Maui News.


Storywise, it’s been quite a year. Everyone probably remembers Bill 2491, the back and forth, the Mana March, the veto, the override, the threats. And who can forget Jeff Horton, who punched a shark in the nose and lived to tell about it? Lots of people wanted to hear Horton’s story, too, No. 9 on our list. Media agencies from New York to San Francisco, including Diane Sawyer’s office, called The Garden Island looking to cover the surfer after TGI ran its story. Garden Island.

A Woman Attempts to Rebuild Ohana Broken by Fear of 'Lepers'. Civil Beat.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Watch out for whales, more golf for Obama, bill to regulate midwives, Oahu homeowners fear erosion from ocean, Big Island bag ban nears, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii whale watch
Humpback whale, NOAA courtesy photo
The U.S. Coast Guard is reminding the public to maintain a safe distance from humpback whales that are migrating to the Hawaiian islands. Humpback whale season is generally from November to May, with the peak of the season occurring during January and March. Associated Press.

Federal officials warn to exercise caution when driving vessels during humpback whale season, which lasts until May, as collisions have been increasing in the past several years. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's Congressional Delegation: Letdowns and New Year's Resolutions. For Hawaii's representatives in Congress, there were some big 2013 disappointments. Civil Beat.

How President Barack Obama spent day nine of his holiday vacation in Hawaii on Sunday. Associated Press.

President Barack Obama played nearly five hours of golf Sunday at Marine Corps Base Hawaii as he continued his annual Christmas vacation. Star-Advertiser.

How President Barack Obama spent day eight of his holiday vacation in Hawaii on Saturday. Associated Press.

President Barack Obama and his family spent Saturday afternoon on the North Shore at childhood friend Bobby Titcomb's annual holiday barbecue. The Obamas regularly visit Titcomb's beachside house near Waialua for a barbecue during their Hawaii vacations. Star-Advertiser.

Not far from these wind-swept shores, Barack Obama was born and raised, soaking in an island sensibility his family said he’s carried with him throughout his journey as president. Yet, in the search for a home for his future presidential library, Hawaii is playing the underdog, overshadowed by Chicago and the commanding role it plays in Obama’s story. Associated Press

Governor Taps More Funds for Hawaii's Mentally Ill Prisoners. Earlier this year, Hawaii Department of Public Safety Director Ted Sakai declared that his agency had a crisis on its hands. Civil Beat.

Decrease – not expand – state prisons.The Hawaii Department of Public Safety is seeking proposals for the expansion or redevelopment of its seven prisons statewide. The Community Alliance on Prisons responds. Hawaii Independent.

Planned bill would regulate midwives in isles. The state requires barbers, plumbers, massage therapists, electricians, auto mechanics, pest control operators, dental hygienists, physicians, and a host of other professional and vocational job holders to meet minimum standards before they can get licenses to serve customers. But Hawaii has no such requirements for those who help women give birth at home. Star-Advertiser.


The administration of Mayor Kirk Caldwell reached out last week to top potential buyers of 12 public housing projects should a pending $142 million deal fall through, heightening the anxiety at Honolulu Hale about a tenuous situation that could have serious financial and legal ramifications for the city. The Honolulu Affordable Housing Preservation Initiative is the city's plan to get the city out of the affordable rental management business by offering 12 city housing projects under a 65-year lease. Star-Advertiser.

Landscaping contractor Greg Culver was one of scores of people who came to the aid of friends, family members and neighbors whose beachside properties along Ke Nui Road near Rocky Point were devastated by rapid erosion caused by a powerful westerly swell that arrived on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Still trying to keep a 2008 campaign promise, Mayor Billy Kenoi has reintroduced his ethics bill to the Hawaii County Council. The changes, aimed at stopping the most blatant appearances of conflicts of interest, forbid employees from contracting with county government or lobbying boards and commissions on behalf of private businesses. West Hawaii Today.

The days of collecting plastic grocery bags are coming to an end. On Jan. 17, all Big Island businesses, including groceries, restaurants and other retailers, will be prohibited from distributing any single-use plastic bag. Tribune-Herald.

Several neighbors of Puna Geothermal Venture might not have to wait much longer to get money for their homes and then some as Hawaii County catches up on the flurry of relocation requests it received during the last two years. The county has 27 pending requests with the geothermal relocation fund, established in 1996 with geothermal royalties to purchase homes of people adversely affected by the power plant. Tribune-Herald.


During a recent campaign stop on Maui, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa acknowledged that she's the underdog in her bid to succeed her political mentor, the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. Maui News.

A marine spill expert says Alexander & Baldwin's new response plan to keep molasses from its Maui sugar operations out of Hawaii’s waters fails to adequately address issues related to pipeline inspections and doesn’t fully consider the environmental consequences of a large-scale discharge. Civil Beat.

Nearly $5.5 million to renovate and repair decades-old hospital facilities at Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital was released by Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Thursday. Maui News.


A trio of annual, independent audit reports released last week found that Kauai County officials should do more to address several recurring financial and record keeping deficiencies. Garden Island.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Obama's boring vacation, new landing zones for Mauna Kea, Enright named ag chief, PUC rejects Ka'u biofuel plant, Kauai wants to license cats, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Black Hawk helicopter over Mauna Kea (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
The 25th Army Combat Aviation Brigade and Hawaii Army National Guard want to construct four aviation landing zones on Mauna Loa’s northern slope, a location deemed ideal for military helicopter pilots to train on varied terrain, under diverse conditions and at multiple altitudes. West Hawaii Today.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is starting to register volunteers on Kauai, Oahu and the Big Island for an annual humpback whale count. Associated Press.

How President Barack Obama spent the sixth day of his holiday vacation in Hawaii on Thursday. Associated Press.

Dear Barry, There's no two ways about it — you give boring vacation. Your sixth presidential Christmas vacation in Hawaii has so far been as routine as the previous five. Civil Beat.

When it comes to Hawaii politics, here are some of the most distinctive and effective politicians on social media today. Civil Beat.

POLITICO says the Hawaii U.S. Senate primary is one of the ones to watch next year, along with races in Kentucky, Wyoming and other states. Civil Beat.

The governor is appointing a new chairman of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. Scott Edward Enright has been named to replace Russell Kokubun, who is retiring at the end of the year. Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Enright's appointment Thursday. The appointment is subject to state Senate confirmation. Associated Press.

The governor appointed a new chairman of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. Scott Edward Enright has been named to replace Russell Kokubun, who is retiring at the end of the year. Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has appointed Scott Enright as the new chair of the Board of Agriculture, effective Jan. 1. Civil Beat.

Criminal cases against several charter school leaders prompted oversight improvements for Hawaii's 33 charter schools, the executive director of the state's charter school commission said. Hawaii News Now.

Larry Ellison, who purchased the majority of Hawaii’s island of Lanai in 2012, dominated PBN’s top 10 online stories, ranked by page views, but a $1.3 billion telescope planned for the top of a Big Island volcano beat the Oracle Corp. CEO for the top spot on the list. Pacific Business News.


Taller buildings aren’t just coming to Kakaako, and that's mostly thanks to rail. New city plans call for increasing building height limits around future rail stations as a means to spur development. It’s part of Honolulu’s push for transit-oriented development, a planning principle that seeks to gentrify neighborhoods, increase density and make communities more pedestrian-friendly. Civil Beat.

For the second time in two months, vandals have knocked out dozens of traffic cameras across Oahu by ripping out the fiber-optic cables that support them under the H-1 freeway. Star-Advertiser.

Hikers and New Year's revelers will greet 2014 along the scenic Maka­puu lighthouse trail edging Oahu's easternmost tip. The state is inviting the public to participate in a "First Day" sunrise hike at Maka­puu for the third year. Star-Advertiser.

More than 1,000 box jellyfish wash ashore. KHON2.


The Public Utilities Commission has again rejected a contract between Hawaii Electric Light Co. and Aina Koa Pono for a biodiesel refinery outside Pahala, saying it’s too expensive for ratepayers and there’s no proof it won’t harm the environment. West Hawaii Today.

The developer of a proposed biofuel production facility on Hawaii island said Thursday the company will proceed with its plans despite being told by regulators that Hawaii Electric Light Co. will not be allowed to buy its fuel for power generation. Star-Advertiser.

For the second time, a contract for Aina Koa Pono LLC to supply Hawaii Electric Light Co. with 16 million gallons of biofuel at the Keahole Power Plant on the Big Island has been denied by Hawaii regulators, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has once again denied a proposed Aina Koa Pono biodiesel supply contract with the Hawaii Electric Light Company. A proposed surcharge to cover the additional costs to produce the biodiesel was also denied. Big Island Video News.

Hilo Medical Center will receive more than $1.7 million to upgrade dietary equipment that is more than 25 years old after Gov. Neil Abercrombie released funds Thursday for public hospital capital improvement projects. Tribune-Herald.

The Target data breach has reached West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.


The Portuguese Association of Maui is the recipient of an estimated $3,000 grant from the Hawaiʻi Foundation on Culture and the Arts. The non-profit group plans to use the funds to produce a 26-segment radio series titled, “Stories of Our People,” scheduled to air on Sundays at 8:30 p.m. on KNUI AM 550. Maui Now.


State officials say they've seen an increase in illegal vendors hawking crafts and other merchandise on Kauai. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Thursday that citations have been given at Opaekaa Falls and Wailua Falls. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai County considers feline fees. The county is considering treating cat owners just like dog owners by requiring them to license their animals every year. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Obama and First Lady visit troops in Hawaii, Native Hawaiians sue state over Kulani prison, Kauai mayor needs more time to implement GMO and pesticide law, Oahu road paving continues, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

President Barack Obama stepped away from the seclusion of his quiet Hawaii vacation for what's become a Christmas tradition: paying tribute to U.S. troops and the sacrifices their families make during the holidays and throughout the year. After a morning of presents and carols with their two daughters, the president and first lady Michelle Obama took a short drive to Marine Corps Base Hawaii, where nearly 600 troops and their families gathered in a mess hall, half-eaten pieces of cake still on the table from Christmas dinner. Associated Press.

In the middle of their Christmas meal, 580 troops and their spouses looked up to see quite the dinner guest. The President and first lady were in Anderson Hall, also known as chow hall on the Marine Corps Base Hawaii. KITV4.

President Obama engaged Wednesday in what has become his Christmas Day tradition, visiting with troops at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Obama spoke to and took pictures with nearly 600 servicemembers and their families who had gathered at the base's chow hall. USA Today.

The polar bear protester who's been trailing President Obama during his Hawaii vacation took off his mask Tuesday and spoke about his efforts to oppose a controversial oil pipeline thousands of miles away from the islands. Bill Snape, 49, is an environmental lawyer with the Center for Biological Diversity in Washington, DC, which sent him to Hawaii to wear a polar bear costume with a message.  Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has appointed Gary Gill to the position of acting director of the Hawaii Department of Health, effective immediately, temporarily filling the shoes of the late Loretta Fuddy, the state said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Amount of Taxpayer Money Spent on Advertising Hawaii's Obamacare Exchange is "Proprietary" Hawaii Reporter.

The Native Hawaiian Roll Commission plans to end its “outreach efforts” Jan. 19 but will continue to accept registrants afterward, according to its executive director. Formed to set up the foundation of a Native Hawaiian government by creating a roll — a list of names of people of Hawaiian descent — the commission gathered 101,130 registrants as of Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Three hundred eighty-eight Hawaii band students from 44 schools on six islands will converge today in Los Angeles for an intense five-day crash rehearsal before the Pasadena Tournament of Roses' 125th Rose Parade on New Year's Day. Star-Advertiser.


Work crews will round out 2013 having repaved a record 392 lane-miles of crumbling city road across Oahu, capping year one of Mayor Kirk Caldwell's publicized push to fix the island's streets, city reports show. Star-Advertiser.

People in the solar power industry refer to them as rogue systems and say they've been popping up everywhere in just three months. KHON2.

The ongoing administrative meltdown in the UH Cancer Center, where alleged mismanagement has prompted a faculty revolt, has revealed a broader problem of crossed lines of authority on the Manoa campus that need to be taken seriously. Civil Beat.

A project to remove invasive algae from Kaneohe Bay has taken 250,000 pounds of algae out of the bay, clearing 20 acres of reefs and replacing the algae with 150,000 native sea urchins, which prevent algae from building up again, according to the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.


A Native Hawaiian group suing two state agencies because of plans to reopen Kulani Correctional Facility on July 1 added three inmates incarcerated at an Arizona prison as plaintiffs to its suit against the state. Georgette Yaindl, a Hilo attorney representing Ohana Ho‘opakele and inmates Van Keoki Kahumoku, Bryan Miller and Cedric Ali‘i Kai Ah Sing said at a Monday press conference outside the Hilo state courthouse the state “is avoiding its responsibility to the Native Hawaiians of this island and all citizens of this state to establish puuhonua as the alternative to more incarcerated members of our society.” A puuhonua is a place of refuge or healing. Tribune-Herald.

The University of Hawaii's controversial pharmacy school building tops the list of next year's capital improvement priorities for the Abercrombie administration, the state's budget director told lawmakers at a briefing last week. Gov. Neil Abercrombie's proposed budget includes $28 million in state-backed bonds for the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy building at UH-Hilo. Star-Advertiser.

State regulators have approved a biomass plant on the Big Island that is expected to satisfy up to 10 percent of the island’s electricity needs and help Hawaii in its shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The ruling by the state Public Utilities Commission Friday marks a major step forward for Hu Honua, the company that has been developing the project in Peepekeo since at least 2008. Civil Beat.

2013 may have flown by, but there was still plenty of time for big news in West Hawaii. From shark attacks and a hospital affiliation to new laws and construction of a long-promised place of higher learning getting underway, the plethora of news stories coming out of the western half of Hawaii Island made choosing the year’s top 10 difficult. West Hawaii Today.


More than 200 Maui homeless people got a free backpack and meal Wednesday afternoon at St. Theresa Church, thanks to the church's Hale Kau Kau program and a Chicago philanthropist. Maui News.

Most of the individuals and groups selected for The Maui News 2013 People Who Made a Difference have a definite green tint, making a difference in preserving the environment in which Maui County residents live, work and play. Maui News.


More time is needed than the allotted nine months to implement a new law that regulates pesticide use and growth of genetically modified organisms by large farm operations on Kauai, according to Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. Star-Advertiser.

Humpback whales have returned to the Hawaiian islands and each year, volunteers flock to coastal lookout points to participate in the annual Sanctuary Ocean Count. Coordinated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the annual counting project offers residents and visitors the opportunity to monitor whales and their activity from 15 different locations on Kauai. Garden Island.


When I visit the desolate Kaupoa beach village on the edge of one of the more beautiful remote natural shorelines on these islands, I am transported back, unexpectedly, to places I have photographed in the past. Civil Beat.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The one thing that frightens journalists the most and how you can help

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Shaka Santa and Tutu Mele at Honolulu Hale (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
As a journalist, I've taken on powerful politicians and big-bucks corporations. I've weighed in on weighty issues and haven't hesitated to call it as I've seen it.

Government officials have gone to federal prison under my watch; government contractors have lost multimillion-dollar jobs.

But there's one thing that absolutely terrifies me: Asking for money to support my work.

Journalists were always taught not to ask. That was a job for the Sales Office, the Advertising Department. We were taught to be scrupulous about avoiding possible conflicts of interest.
Some journalists won't even take a cup of coffee from a source. That's starting to change, as bloggers join the news field and create one-person operations.

Unless you're public radio, asking for money isn't easy.

But every once in a while, I just have to grit my teeth and ask.

All Hawaii News is not public radio. Nor is it a nonprofit -- at least not on purpose. For five years, it's just been my labor of love, five days a week.

Putting All Hawaii News together each day takes about two hours of reading, culling and aggregating from almost 20 different media sources, so as to provde the top political and government news from all the Hawaiian Islands.

This is a one-woman show. I usually start at 5 a.m. so folks can read the news highlights with their morning coffee or on their smartphones during their daily commute. (Not while they're driving, of course.)

I've been doing this for five years. Even on vacation.

Internet rumors to the contrary, I haven't made a fortune. In fact, all of my sponsors, no matter how supportive, have barely put enough together to pay my cable bill.

So here's your chance, faithful readers.

It's the perfect holiday gift for the struggling blogger. Never fear, I don't expect enough to quit my day job anytime soon.

But it would be very meaningful to me if those who find All Hawaii News a helpful news blog to keep you in touch in a hurry, or that @allhawaiinews is often first with political and government news updates, to help put a little jingle in my holiday.

I've moved All Hawaii News' "keep the news coming" donate button to the top right of the homepage. Just click and donate using PayPal or a major credit card. You can even click a button to send an automatic monthly payment.

How to donate:

  1. Click the donate button at the top right of the page.
  2. Donate using a major credit card or PayPal account.
  3. Send an email to nclauer@gmail.com to get your name and/or link on the sponsor list. (otherwise, your gift will remain anonymous)

And watch for future innovations, such as an annual eBook listing the top news for the entire year. It's a work in progress I hope to complete before the year is out.

Meanwhile, a donation no matter how modest would be a vote of confidence in my efforts.

Mahalo, Mele Kalikimaka and Hau'oli Makahiki Hou from All Hawaii News!

Publisher, aggregator, columnist, editor and chief bottle-washer Nancy Cook Lauer

Hawaii scientists create glow-in-the-dark pigs, Obama vacation, Hee attempted Senate coup, same-sex marriage battle continues, fishing limits set to start Thursday, Larry Ellison's Lanai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

University of Hawaii
UH engineers neon pigs courtesy photo
A technique developed by reproductive scientists from the University of Hawaii medical school helped scientists create ten piglets that glow green under black fluorescent lights. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii
Glowing green pig
Read the UH news release about transgenic pigs here.

At least 248 same-sex couples married this month under a new state law, and they should not have a legal challenge lingering over them, state attorneys argued Monday. The lawyers filed court papers asking a state judge to throw out a lawsuit challenging the Marriage Equality Act that made Hawaii the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama enjoyed a morning round of golf followed by a visit to the beach Monday afternoon, joining his family at Pyramid Rock Beach at Marine Corps Base Hawaii after finishing 18-holes at the Mid Pacific Country Club early Monday afternoon. The Obamas left the beach at about 4:30 p.m.and spent the rest of the evening at their rented Kailua vacation home. Star-Advertiser.

How President Barack Obama spent the third day of his holiday vacation in Hawaii on Monday. Associated Press.

The Presidential vacation continues in full swing. Day three of the first family's vacation and the President took on his second round of golf. Word spread fast in Lanikai and before you know it a gallery appeared. Hawaii News Now.

It's not news to anyone that when the president comes to town, he comes with a ton of security. But when the president comes to a small island in the middle of the Pacific -- a small island that is already home to the nation's second worst traffic -- his security apparatus is a bit more noticeable. Huffington Post.

The Hawaii State Teachers Assocation announced Monday it is backing Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa in her challenge against U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz while supporting state Rep. K. Mark Takai's bid to replace Hanabusa. Star-Advertiser.

Word from Hawaii state Senate circles is that Clayton Hee sought support from his colleagues in late autumn to topple Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and Vice President Ron Kouchi. But he fell well short of the 13 required votes. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Health is restricting the use of electronic smoking devices known as "e-cigarettes" on its properties. The ban will take effect Jan. 1. Star-Advertiser.

It can cost a local high school student as much as $1,032 to enroll in a single University of Hawaii course as part of a college jump-start program offered to eligible public school students across the state. Civil Beat.

The state teachers union says it will lobby legislators next year to fund pre-kindergarten classes at public schools in an effort to preserve teaching jobs and help a set of children who will be too young to enter kindergarten. The Hawaii State Teachers Association lists the initiative among its legislative priorities for the session that begins Jan. 15. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Health Connector, the online marketplace created by President Barack Obama's signature health care law, has extended through today the deadline to sign up for medical insurance to take effect Jan. 1. The Connector said it was following a decision by the Obama administration to delay Monday's deadline by one day to "accommodate the high demand in last-minute enrollments" for individuals and families seeking coverage on Jan. 1. It was the second time the deadline was pushed back. Enrollees originally had until Dec. 15 to enroll for coverage starting Jan. 1. Star-Advertiser.

State transportation officials followed through Monday on their plans to erect concrete barriers to block vehicles from parking at one of the North Shore's most popular beaches. Meanwhile, some in the community are preparing to sue to have those barriers removed. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Film Studio will be able to move forward with some much-needed repairs, thanks to the release of an additional $3.5 million in state funds announced Monday. The money is in addition to $1.7 million Gov. Neil Abercrombie released last fiscal year for improvements at the facility near Diamond Head where the TV series "Hawaii Five-0" is filmed. Star-Advertiser.

A space to make our own. A Kaka‘ako haven for creatives leads off our series on the new spirit of island industry. Hawaii Independent.

Stiff new penalties and prohibitions against scuba spearfishing and the taking of various species in West Hawaii waters are hallmarks of a package of new rules that go into effect Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Electric Light Co. announced that none of the six bids met its technical and cost-of-power requirements, and will ask each of the companies to submit additional information for a contract for another 50 megawatts of geothermal power on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

High surf Friday and Saturday caused damage at two West Hawaii boating facilities. Efforts are now underway by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to assess and rectify the situation. West Hawaii Today.

The state Public Utilities Commission has approved an agreement by Hawaii Electric Light Co. to purchase up to 10 percent of the isle’s energy needs a year from a bioenergy plant in Pepeekeo that remains under construction. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island students interested in science, technology, engineering and math will have a chance to apply for new scholarship and grant funds next year, pending the construction of what is poised to be one of the world’s largest telescopes atop Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

Socrates Buenger has done something extraordinary in the film industry — outfoxed one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. Buenger's gone from a starstruck child running errands for crew members on movie sets in Los Angeles to become chief executive officer of the largest sound stage in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Kathryn Sullivan, who was also the first American woman to walk in space, made more than a dozen site visits in Hawaii last week but said Thursday that being able to see humpback whales off Maui's shores up close was "one of the standout and fondest memories" of her trip. Maui News.

Six Maui resorts earned honors in the 2014 Gold List annual reader’s survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. Maui Now.


The Kauai County Council approved a resolution that will guide a county study of large agriculture impacts on Kauai. If the “Environmental and Public Health Impact Study” is done correctly, Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura said the county is in a position to break new ground. Garden Island.

A retired police lieutenant has refiled a civil suit against the County of Kauai, Kauai Police Department, Chief Darryl Perry and Assistant Chief Mark Begley. Retired Vice Lt. Eric Shibuya is seeking damages for an alleged punitive transfer and resulting meritless investigation. Garden Island.


Larry Ellison’s purchase of the majority of Lanai was one of the top stories for 2012, and the billionaire CEO of Oracle Corp. continued to make news in 2013 with his plans for Hawaii’s Pineapple Isle. Pacific Business News.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Obama's Christmas vacation, Hanabusa gears up Senate campaign, Mufi's misdeeds, Fuddy memorial service, firefighter raises, and more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

basketball game
Obama and Frostpaw the Polar Bear at the Oregon St/Akron basketball game, Not the White House courtesy photo
President Barack Obama and the first family eased into their annual island Christmas vacation Sunday by taking in a basketball game, the sport Obama often turns to to briefly escape the demands of politics and the White House. Star-Advertiser.

How President Barack Obama spent the second day of his holiday vacation in Hawaii on Sunday. Associated Press.

How President Barack Obama spent the first day of his holiday vacation in Hawaii on Saturday. Associated Press.

The 113th Congress is on track to be one of the least productive and most partisan in U.S. history, but Colleen Hanabusa is looking ahead — to August 2014, actually. That's when she hopes to win Hawaii's Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. Civil Beat.

The state Supreme Court has handed former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann the last thing he needs as he plots a political resurrection — a stinging reminder to voters of what they don't like about him. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii counties must again prepare to dish out raises to employees, this time to local fire fighters. After binding arbitration, the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association was awarded a series of salary bumps over the next several years that will cost the counties millions of dollars. Civil Beat.

Amid skepticism, lawmakers at a briefing Friday appeared to cautiously welcome an unconventional University of Hawaii plan to begin to deal with a nearly half-billion dollar backlog in repairs and maintenance at its campuses. Civil Beat.

The voices of the choir rose inside the cavernous Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa Saturday for the one voice that was missing: that of state Health Director Loretta Fuddy, who lent her soprano to the choir every Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Health Connector said it is working closely with the state Insurance Division to see how the federal government’s recent modification to the exemption policy affects Affordable Care Act Implementation. Pacific Business News


Unite Here Local 5 said in a statement issued Friday afternoon that it has filed a lawsuit against the owner and developer of Turtle Bay Resort over the company’s planned expansion of the North Shore property. Pacific Business News.


There were six cases of officer misconduct serious enough for termination this year, a big jump over last year, when there was only one such incident, according to an annual report submitted Friday to the Hawaii County Police Commission. West Hawaii Today

Next month, students, faculty and administrators of the University of Hawaii at Hilo Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikolani College of Hawaiian Language will celebrate a new chapter in the school’s evolution as they bless their newly completed Hale ‘Olelo building. Tribune-Herald.

The Food Basket’s move to a warehouse on Holomua Street just more than two years ago might have a short shelf life. Tribune-Herald.


A Paia businessman with a history of run-ins with neighbors and Maui County building and zoning inspectors has run afoul of them again. Maui News.


Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture says it will cost $1,800 to review public records related to its investigation into whether Syngenta's pesticide spraying on Kauai sickened students and faculty at Waimea Canyon Middle School several times between 2006 and 2008. Civil Beat requested the case files in October to get more details about the four-year investigation.

The Kauai Department of Water will hold a community outreach meeting next month to discuss its newly-named “Water Plan 2020 Kahili Horizontal Directional Drilled Well” project. The meeting is from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 27 in the Kapaa Middle School dining room. Garden Island.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Feds will have no egrets, Hawaii Supreme Court reinstates Kauai trail protection, unemployment tax break for businesses, Big Island raises tobacco age, geothermal hazards at issue, firefighters get 18% pay hike, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Egrets in Hilo (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
The Federal Government may soon declare open season on birds you see just about everywhere…cattle egrets. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has published proposed rules that would allow state and federal agencies to euthanize egrets and also barn owls. Hawaii News Now.

For the first time in five years, Hawaii businesses will see their unemployment tax bill go down thanks to progress made in replenishing the trust fund used to pay jobless benefits.The average annual payment per employee will drop to an estimated $591 next year from $887 in 2013, a decline of nearly 35 percent, officials from the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

A state judge ruled Thursday that the private citizens who are suing five Oahu churches for underpaying for the use of public school facilities did not provide enough detail to support their fraud claim. Because of that, Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall ordered the dismissal of the complaint filed by Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of Church and State founder Mitch Kahle and his wife, public advocate Holly Huber. Crandall did, however, say Kahle and Huber can refile an amended lawsuit. Star-Advertiser.

President Obama and his family will be in Hawaii for their annual holiday vacation. The first family will be staying in their usual private location in Kailua away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but the buzz is already in the air. KITV4.

Obama's Hawaii Vacation Home And The Luxury Rentals Of Kailua. Huffington Post.

A University of Hawaii press release is describing Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s most recent budget proposal as “an early Christmas gift” for students who are in the thick of end-of-semester exams. The $24 billion supplemental executive spending plan, unveiled earlier this week, “gives them hope for their future and the future of their university,” the press release says.  The plan honors the $14 million university regents requested in their own proposal to restore UH faculty salaries to pre-recession levels and another $19.5 million for the 3 percent faculty raises that were negotiated for the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years. Civil Beat.

David Lassner has spent much of his University of Hawaii career in the virtual world: Information technology, his specialty, is like that. He believes IT can continue to expand the reach of the state's largest educational institution and wants to go back to it, once his temporary position in the top UH office comes to a close. Star-Advertiser.

A state lawmaker suing the state for legalizing same-sex marriages says a controversial sex education program being taught in some public schools is inappropriate because it promotes a "homosexual lifestyle as a positive or 'pono' choice." Huffington Post.

Hawaii entered 2013 as a changed state — a state in mourning — and now we leave it, still changing — but with celebration in the air. The state has just completed its first year in a half-century without the leadership of the late-Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. And, after more than two decades of debate, gay marriage finally became legal in early December. A look back over the last year makes clear that there were plenty of other important issues in Hawaii. Civil Beat.


City firefighters will see their base pay rise by about 18 percent through the next three years under a wage package that will cost taxpayers an estimated $88 million more under a binding award issued by a state arbitrator last month. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu transit officials on Thursday touted their plan to debut the island's elevated rail system with four-car trains instead of two-car models, telling the board overseeing the project that the change would save millions of dollars and provide better customer service. Star-Advertiser.

Today is the last day to buy permits to set off firecrackers on Oahu on New Year's Eve. The permits, which will be available until 4:30 p.m. at satellite city halls around the island, are required to buy firecrackers from licensed retailers. Star-Advertiser.

Scientists have found evidence that strong earthquakes in the Aleutian Islands could send an extreme tsunami that could bring huge waves through Waikiki and cripple Oahu's main electrical power plant. The study from the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology at the University of Hawaii and the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai stemmed from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan and caused damage in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Two laws banning smoking at city parks and bus stops take effect Jan. 1, and city officials began installing signs on Wednesday as a heads up. Mayor Kirk Caldwell, flanked by several City Council members and community groups supporting the new laws, climbed a ladder to post the first no-smoking sign at Thomas Square. Star-Advertiser.


Mayor Billy Kenoi on Thursday signed a bill raising the tobacco sale age to 21, effective July 1. West Hawaii Today.

A game of bureaucratic pingpong has Mayor Billy Kenoi taking matters into his own hands and asking for an environmental assessment of an old Puna geothermal energy site leased by the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority. West Hawaii Today.

The same day the CEO of the Hu Honua Bioenergy plant in Pepeekeo said developers were forced to “hit the pause button” on construction because of the slow pace of regulatory permit approvals, a subcontractor said it’s owed more than $215,000 for bills allegedly unpaid between January and October. Honolulu attorney Patricia Kehau Wall filed Wednesday in Hilo Circuit Court for a mechanic’s and materialman’s lien on behalf of Wesco Distribution Inc. Tribune-Herald.

The Big Island’s unemployment rate inched down in November while the state’s rate held steady, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial relations. West Hawaii Today.

Council Member Mike White wants Mayor Alan Arakawa's administration to negotiate a deal to only buy a portion of the 186 acres in Launiupoko that landowners are offering for $13 million. Maui News.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed an age discrimination lawsuit Wednesday against Maui County, claiming a 45-year-old Hawaii resident was denied employment as a police officer because of his age. Maui News.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against the County of Maui, alleging that a qualified candidate was not hired by the Maui Police Department due to his age. County Corporation Counsel Pat Wong issued a comment in response, saying the allegations are “false” and “without merit.” Maui Now.

The unemployment rate for Maui for November was 4.9 percent, which was 0.6 percentage points lower than the same month last year, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Wednesday. Maui News.


The Hawaii Supreme Court reinstated a circuit court lawsuit Thursday seeking to protect a historic trail from a development on Kauai's south shore. Star-Advertiser.

Isolation, limited fleets, taxes and high demand make car rentals a rare commodity during the holidays on Kauai, and it is reflected in the prices and availability. Garden Island.


The remains of St. Marianne Cope, who cared for thousands of Hansen's disease patients on Molokai, will return to Hawaii, her religious order announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hawaii, VA, near catchment tank solution, polar bear activist to trail Obama, pesticides reportedly sicken Kauai schoolchildren, legislative committees mull budget, EEOC sues Maui County over police, Hawaii County advances $61.5M bond issue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii veterans with catchment tank (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Veterans in Hawaii may once again qualify for VA home loans on property served by rainwater catchment systems now that the federal and state governments appear close to untying a bureaucratic knot. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs stopped guaranteeing the financing for VA loans on homes with catchment systems in late 2011 because of a state Department of Health policy that did not recognize the water as safe for drinking or food preparation. Star-Advertiser.

A trio of top Hawaii economists presented a relatively rosy state financial forecast to the Legislature’s money committees Wednesday at the Capitol, but with caveats. The state has a record $844 million surplus on its hands but the carryover balances are expected to be smaller over the next few years. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations will announce on Thursday the unemployment insurance tax rate for 2014. Hawaii News Now.

Republican Rep. Bob McDermott and Sen. Sam Slom are slamming the Hawaii Department of Education and University of Hawaii for what they’re describing as a deliberate effort to stonewall them in their recent attempts to access all materials in the “Pono Choices” sexual education pilot program.Civil Beat.

A state lawmaker suing the state for legalizing same-sex marriages says a controversial sex education program being taught in some public schools is inappropriate because it promotes a "homosexual lifestyle as a positive or ‘pono' choice." Rep. Bob McDermott (R, Ewa-Iroquois Point) said he heard from concerned parents during the state's debate over marriage equality that middle school students were being taught about same-sex relationships and oral and anal sex as part of the curriculum for a pilot sex education program called Pono Choices. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama is expected to arrive with his family early Saturday for a 17-day holiday vacation at an oceanfront Kailua house with incredible views. This year, it appears Congress will reach a budget deal before the Christmas holiday, raising hopes for a more restful vacation and allowing additional time for bodysurfing, working out at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, shooting hoops and visiting his favorite local hangouts. Star-Advertiser.

An activist in a polar bear costume will be following President Barack Obama around Oahu during his upcoming holiday vacation with the goal of convincing him to reject the Keystone XL pipeline and take action on climate change. Pacific Business News.

Alleged nepotism, broken or unused facilities and key positions unfilled for long periods of time are several of the problems plaguing the Hawaii State Hospital, where employees have complained about suffering serious assaults from patients. Hawaii News Now.

Federal officials are starting a new effort to try to get better health data from Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday it’s launching a new project with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase the number of households from those groups in a national health interview survey. Associated Press.

The State Energy Office will provide technical assistance to the Department of Transportation for a recently announced energy efficiency program at state airports that is expected to save $518 million in energy costs over 20 years, the state announced Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Opponents of a controversial plan to block off parking across the street from Laniakea Beach on Oahu's North Shore say they'll file suit if the Hawaii Department of Transportation puts up barriers along the road. The plan is the state's first effort to improve traffic in the area despite years of complaints by residents and motorists. Civil Beat.

It's called Kapakahi Stream and there's definitely something out of sorts with the Waipahu stream's water quality. Hawaii News Now.

Former Kamehameha Schools teacher Gabriel Alisna was indicted Wednesday on multiple felony charges involving several students and sexual allegations. KHON2.

Patricia Hamamoto will retire from her post as principal of Saint Louis School at the end of the month, school officials announced Wednesday. Before taking on the post about four years ago, Hamamoto had served more than three decades in Hawaii's public school system -- the last eight years as superintendent of schools. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii plans to retain Michele Carbone as head of its Cancer Center, despite calls for a leadership change by some faculty who say the director's poor management has tarnished the center's reputation and jeopardized its funding. UH is working on a solution that would involve the embattled director keeping his job, while providing him support to help stabilize the center. Star-Advertiser.


Three County Council members must have been feeling the holiday spirit Wednesday, attempting to load another eight projects and $2.4 million onto a $61.5 million bond authorization requested by Mayor Billy Kenoi. A parliamentary move by Kona Councilman Dru Kanuha stopped the projects before they even got a hearing, when he forced the council to vote for the original bill without considering the amendments. West Hawaii Today.

Developers of the Hu Honua Bioenergy plant in Pepeekeo scaled back work at the site as they await regulatory permits and approvals, according to company CEO John Sylvia. Tribune-Herald.

An apparent landlord-tenant dispute between Alahou Clean &Sober and its landlord, Tante Urban, has resulted in Urban taking over the current clients until a new organization steps in. Meanwhile, Alahou Clean &Sober Executive Director Sandra McCoy is working to move a downsized program to another location. West Hawaii Today.


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed suit against the Maui County Police Department, alleging that it violated federal law by not hiring a police applicant in 2009, according to a statement released from the commission. Pacific Business News.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Maui County for age discrimination Wednesday, saying it didn't hire a 45-year-old to be a police officer because of his age. The lawsuit filed in federal court in Honolulu alleges Maui County police passed over Lars Sandstrom even though it hired several less qualified candidates as police officers. Associated Press.

Christmas came early to West Maui on Tuesday when the second phase of the Lahaina bypass was blessed and opened, allowing motorists the option of skipping several of Lahaina town's busiest intersections. Maui News.

A project was launched Sunday to renovate the first floor of the University of Hawaii Maui College's Noi'i Building as the Daniel K. Inouye Allied Health Center, according to an announcement. Maui News.

A noxious smell reportedly left dozens of students at Elsie H. Wilcox Elementary feeling nauseous around 1 p.m. Wednesday, authorities said. But the incident, which county officials believe was caused by a nearby neighbor spraying pesticides, occurred 15 minutes before the end of the school day, so students didn’t have to miss class time. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council approved a measure Wednesday that Coco Palms Resort developers say will give them enough time to obtain building permits and begin restoring the well-known Wailua hotel. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council has given new life to an expedited permit process enacted by ordinance 20 years ago to speed the repair of structures battered by Hurricane Iniki. The Council's 6-1 vote on Wednesday gives an Oahu investment group, Coco Palms Hui LLC, more time to work with the county on matters such as building permits and restoration plans for the iconic Coco Palms Resort, which has remained shuttered since the Category 4 storm hit the island 21 years ago. Star-Advertiser.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Inouye honored on one-year anniversary of his death, Legislature to mull police oversight, Navy expands danger zone off Kauai, FEMA sends food to Big Island, dispute over who can install solar panels, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Daniel Inouye (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
One year ago, the United States lost one of its most beloved and devoted public servants. Senator Daniel Inouye (D) was many things: a father, a husband, a decorated World War II veteran (and Medal of Honor recipient), the U.S. Senate's second-longest serving member, and the first Japanese-American to serve in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Huffington Post.

On the one-year anniversary of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye's death, the Dec. 17 print edition of Honolulu Star-Advertiser — the state's newspaper of record — devoted only a few lines of ink. There was far more mention in the same issue of another leader who died on the same day, albeit in 2011: Kim Jong-il. Is Hawaii already over Dan? Civil Beat.

The best way to honor the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye is to build on his legacy of compassion, humility and public service, Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Hawaii's congressional delegation said Tuesday on the first anniversary of his death. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono  joined other federal lawmakers who marked the anniversary of the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye today by introducing a bill to rename a Honolulu defense institute in his honor. The Senate passed it unanimously. Associated Press.

The chair of the Senate Public Safety committee wants to create a statewide police standards board that could play a key role in oversight of law enforcement officers, including weeding out bad behavior.Another lawmaker has said he plans to re-visit a proposal to require police agencies to disclose more information about disciplined officers. The courts also are scheduled to take up the issue of public disclosure of police misconduct. Civil Beat.

Hawaii May Be Key Outpost for Massive Undersea Resource Rush. International teams of mineral prospectors are making Honolulu Harbor a departure point for their expeditions into the area. Civil Beat.

There’s been a new development in a long-running controversy involving sonar and marine life. The Navy is set to ramp up testing and training activities off the coast of Hawaii and Southern California. And that’s sparked some legal opposition. Hawaii Public Radio.

A state licensing board today deferred a decision on the extent to which licensed electricians need to be involved in the installation of solar photovoltaic systems. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for December 18. Associated Press.


A study showing 30 to 40 percent of requests for private, nonemergency ambulance service are turned down in West Oahu has prompted a City Council member and the Emergency Services Department to support having a second private provider. Star-Advertiser.

A scathing opinion issued by the Hawaii Supreme Court at the end of last week blasted Honolulu officials for blacklisting two veteran professional stagehands in August 2007 following a run-in with then-Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s older brother, Nephi. Civil Beat.

A Waimanalo charity that helps disabled children may be kicked off of its property. The Manawalea Riding Center's landlord is the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, which has been cracking down on lease violations. Hawaii News Now.

There's no agreement on price yet, but more details have emerged about the state's proposal to pay the owner of Turtle Bay Resort to protect part -- but not all -- of the North Shore property from development. Star-Advertiser.

The city has broken ground on a second digester at the Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant that Mayor Kirk Caldwell and other supporters say is necessary to expand the city's sewage capacity and clear the way for more housing on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Housing allowances for military members will increase 14.7 percent on Oahu come Jan. 1 in one of the biggest jumps across the nation, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

An investigation into employment practices at the Myron B. Thompson Academy took a dramatic turn Monday when the state attorney general seized computers and more than 50 boxes of documents from the public charter school. Star-Advertiser.

Local families in need this holiday season will get some kokua from what seems an unlikely place — the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA has donated nine pallets of Humanitarian Daily Rations (HDRs) to help homeless and otherwise disadvantaged Big Islanders. Those pallets arrived Tuesday by Young Brothers barge at the Hilo Harbor. Tribune-Herald.

Concessions by the developer of the luxury Kohala Kai subdivision in response to public concerns weren’t enough reassurance Tuesday for the County Council Finance Committee, which voted unanimously to postpone acceptance of a public shoreline easement to give the developer time to meet once more with the community. West Hawaii Today.

North Hawaii Community Hospital is now part of The Queen’s Health Systems. The Waimea-based nonprofit hospital and The Queen’s Health Systems, corporate parent of The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu, officially entered into an affiliation agreement following a system board meeting Monday. West Hawaii Today.


Local recycling company Maui EKO Compost agreed Monday to begin discussions with Anaergia Services, the California-based company selected to build a waste conversion facility on Maui, on how a partnership may be forged to allow EKO to continue doing what they've been doing for 18 years - turning organic waste into compost. Maui News.

A dedication ceremony was held this morning for the second phase of the Lahaina Bypass project in West Maui. Maui Now.

In his executive supplemental budget request, Gov. Neil Abercrombie asked Monday for two appropriations totaling $42 million for the Hawaii Health Systems Corp., which runs Neighbor Island public hospitals, including Maui Memorial Medical Center. Maui News.

A proposed sale of the land underneath Maui’s only Kmart store includes an option for a buyer to purchase the building at a “bargain price,” according to the commercial real estate e-newsletter Real Estate Alert. Pacific Business News.

The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope, or ATST, more than a year into construction atop Haleakala, has been renamed the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Hawaii senator's death. Maui News.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved the Navy’s request for an expanded danger zone in the waters fronting the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The decision comes months after the proposal drew fire from local residents during a public comment period ending July 31. Garden Island.

Despite efforts by the public to sway its decision, the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative Board of Directors voted unanimously Tuesday to stand by its ballot language for the upcoming special election related to smart meters. Garden Island.

One key hurdle that Coco Palms Resort developers say is needed to rebuild the iconic Wailua hotel may be cleared by the Kauai County Council today. Garden Island.