Friday, May 31, 2013

Hawaii tourism falters, military focus on Pacific, GMO seeds the new plantation, Hawaii council passes $394.3M budget, OSHA fines Kauai beach resort, Tsutsui launches election bid, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News
Hawaii tourists (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Hawaii's top industry is grappling with market softening less than a month after the Hawaii Tourism Authority projected a huge influx of visitors would come to the state this year. Star-Advertiser.

Tourism officials say Hawaii visitors spent $1.1 billion in the state in April, up 1.8 percent from the same month last year. KITV4.

The U.S. Army is back in the Pacific region after more than a decade of deploying soldiers to Afghanistan and Iraq, the outgoing top Army commander in the region says. Associated Press.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met Thursday with troops at Hickam Field in Hawaii on the way to his first visit to Asia as defense chief. Associated Press.

During a brief stopover en route to international security talks, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel fielded questions Thursday from troops in Hawaii worried about how budget cuts might affect their retirement and future benefits. Star-Advertiser.

The State Ethics Commission is recommending that the University of Hawaii revamp its complimentary ticket policies because UH has been breaking ethics laws by giving away too many freebies to staff and family members. Hawaii News Now.

Colleen Hanabusa scored a nice little PR splash this week by introducing legislation to make May 30 the day to observe Memorial Day. Civil Beat.

Congress is being asked to help save the state about $20 million a year. The savings would come in the form of an Immigration Reform Bill that hits the senate floor in June. KHON2

Genetically engineered (GE) crops are Hawaii’s new plantation agriculture, and Hawaii is the world’s leading producer of GE seed corn. According to a 2013 study commissioned by the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, with funding from the biotech-supported Hawaii Crop Improvement Association, the Hawaii GE seed crop is not only the state’s fastest-growing agricultural commodity, but the largest. Honolulu Weekly.

Four of the state's 17 public charter schools with Hawaiian-focused programs have gained full accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Star-Advertiser.

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui is asking voters to keep him on the job — one that he has yet to be elected to. Star-Advertiser.

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui went online to announce his bid to run for lieutenant governor next year. The announcement came via and a Facebook page. Civil Beat.

The eldest child of state Sen. Mike Gabbard was arrested this week in Las Vegas on suspicion of battery, according to law enforcement officials, the latest in a string of arrests over the past few months. Star-Advertiser.

Longtime Starwood executive Karen Hughes has joined the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as vice president of Meet Hawaii and travel industry partnerships, the HVCB said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

State 5/30. Associated Press.

State roundup for May 31. Associated Press.


Honolulu City Councilman Joey Manahan wants to bring a little clarity to who’s in charge of TheBus, and has introduced legislation to shine a brighter light on those who oversee its operations. Civil Beat.

Dozens of Kakaako residents turned out for a meeting with lawmakers to express concerns over development plans, and ended up hearing from Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Hawaii News Now.

A company that specializes in booting cars is hit with a civil lawsuit. The state is seeking a temporary restraining order to stop what it calls an illegal practice. Hawaii News Now.

More than 16 months after its closing, St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii has settled on a plan for its former hospital in Liliha. Star-Advertiser.

There's still a "coming soon" sign in front the empty Peet's Coffee shop but work on that project was halted months ago when the school ran out of money. It's one of the more glaring reminders of the cost-overrun at the University of Hawaii West Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Homeless cleanups taking cash from state road repairs. KHON2.

Effective June 1, the cover price of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser will be increased by 25 cents daily and Sunday. Civil Beat.

A helicopter that crash-landed downtown May 8 lost all power minutes before the incident, the preliminary findings of a National Transportation Safety Board investigation said Thursday. Star-Advertiser.


A beefed up $394.3 million county budget passed by the Hawaii County Council on Thursday will pay for 28 additional staff, a new videoconference site for North Kohala, the continuation of the Ka‘u videoconference site in Ocean View and millions of dollars worth of new computers and equipment. West Hawaii Today

The County Council approved a double-digit raise in property taxes Thursday — the first increase in three years — citing a need to provide better services in areas that have taken a hit following the last recession. Tribune-Herald.

Planning Director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd is returning to her old job as head of the county Department of Environmental Management in a reshuffling of Mayor Billy Kenoi’s Cabinet announced late Thursday. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County has completed a final environmental impact statement for an estimated $6 million rock revetment extension to protect the Wailuku-Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility and its eight underground injection wells from tsunamis. Maui News.

South Maui’s Water Disconnect. Experts offer solutions to problems resulting from inequity in area’s water use vs. precipitation. Maui Weekly.

More Wailuku residents will be without water tonight because of an overnight waterline improvement project, according to an updated announcement today from the county Department of Water Supply. Maui News.

The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi hosts a public talk this weekend featuring Thomas “Tommy” Remengesau, the President of the Republic of Palau. Maui Now.


Hawaii has rebounded from a financial crisis, with tax revenues going up and unemployment rates dropping, according to Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Garden Island.

A popular Kauai hotel received 14 workplace safety and health standards violations on Thursday, and nine of them were serious enough for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to take action. Garden Island.

The Kauai Beach Resort in Lihue could be fined as much as $48,000 for 14 safety and health violations cited by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Star-Advertiser.

Three years ago, a fire truck was earmarked for Kalaupapa’s airport. But it still has not arrived on the settlement’s annual barge.  Instead, it sits unused, waiting for a proper garage that will protect the $300,000 truck from the elements and salt spray. Molokai Dispatch.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hawaii seniors healthy; Defense secretary rallies troops, Caldwell, council spar over $2B Honolulu budget; improvements coming to Kona International Airport; new cop cars for Kauai; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii kupuna hula (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Elderly people in Hawaii are among the nation's healthiest, with low rates of obesity, hip fractures and preventable hospitalization, according to a ranking of states released Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is in the midst of his first visit to Hawaii since taking office in February, defense officials say, as part of a round-the-globe trip that includes stops in Singapore and Brussels. Star-Advertiser.

United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will address 200 service members from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Thursday, according to the Department of Defense. Hawaii News Now.

A public university on Chicago's South Side is vying to become the home of President Barack Obama's presidential library after he leaves office, a prize also sought by the University of Hawaii. Associated Press.

About $570,000 in federal funding is heading to Hawaii to help veterans who are struggling with homelessness. Associated Press.

More than half of Hawaii schools don't have reliable Internet access, and the Hawaii Department of Education can't afford to give every student a digital device. Civil Beat.

August 5 is normally a payday for educational assistants in Hawaii's public schools. However, some 200 of them in Leeward Oahu schools won't be getting a paycheck this coming August 5. And according to the state, it's because they got that paycheck nearly a year ago. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers say a new Hawaii law could help the state develop commercial harbors faster and more efficiently. Associated Press.

The American Center for Law and Justice filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday in Washington, D.C., on behalf of The Honolulu Tea Party, Hawaii Tea Party and nearly two-dozen conservative groups across the country. Hawaii Reporter.

Federal regulators are pressing ahead with their decision to slash government subsidies used by Sandwich Isles Communications to provide telephone and high-speed Internet service to customers living on Hawaiian Home Lands, saying the Honolulu-based company was not able to justify “significant and wasteful expenses totaling many millions of dollars.” Star-Advertiser.

When Hawaii residents purchase groceries and other goods in the islands, they typically encounter prices 30 percent above what U.S. mainland shoppers will pay in their stores. Hawaii Reporter.

The Huffington Post and subscription-based news website Honolulu Civil Beat announced Wednesday that they plan to partner in a new site dedicated to Hawaii news. Associated Press.

Huffington Post Partnership Takes Hawaii Global. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s political leaders are praising the latest state revenue forecast which shows growing revenue over the next two years and say Hawaii residents and businesses should be optimistic about the improving economy. Associated Press.

Hawaiian Airlines Inc. said Wednesday that it has closed on $444.5 million in Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates to finance the acquisition of six new Airbus A330-200 aircraft over the next 18 months. Pacific Business News.

The electric utilities on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island are seeking public comment on five-year energy plans. Civil Beat.

State roundup for May 29. Associated Press.

State 5/29. Associated Press.


The Honolulu City Council's proposed $2 billion city operating budget, which includes $14 million for nonprofit groups, is "fiscally irresponsible" and is balanced through a combination of debt and money grabs that could risk the city's high bond rating, Mayor Kirk Caldwell charged Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has put some of Oahu’s nonprofits on notice. Don’t expect a handout from the city. Civil Beat.

It’s a fight to the finish as Honolulu’s mayor and City Council battle over the budget. KHON2.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. paid $25.9 million to purchase the 80,000-square-foot former Macy’s department store and parking garage in Downtown Honolulu, according to City and County of Honolulu property tax records. Pacific Business News.

The Coast Guard is proposing voluntary tsunami evacuation zones on either side of Honolulu Harbor. KITV4.

With well wishes from Gov. Neil Abercrombie and others, the double-hulled sailing canoe Hokule‘a on Wednesday began a nearly yearlong shakedown cruise through the Hawaiian Islands before embarking next May on a deep-sea global journey, "Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage." Star-Advertiser.

This time of year brings a rainbow of events to Honolulu highlighting Hawai’i’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.  The Gay Pride parade runs through Waikiki this Saturday, and the Rainbow Film Festival begins at the Doris Duke tomorrow. Hawaii Public Radio.


Property tax scofflaws got a reprieve Wednesday, when a County Council committee declined to shorten the time the county has to wait before foreclosing on property. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Council members will have another month to digest a bill that would restrict the use of genetically modified crops on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

DOT breaks ground for new fire station, dedicates air tower at Kona International Airport. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo Medical Center alone will account for nearly $2 million of the state hospital system’s $7.2 million shortfall forecast for the coming fiscal year. Tribune-Herald.

Kealakekua Bay is now open to the public — as long as the public applies for a special use permit and promises not to land at Kaawaloa. West Hawaii Today.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has two new field representatives, George “Robby” Robertson and Michael Zola. They will join Marlena Castro Dixon as regional liaisons for Hawaii Island. West Hawaii Today.

The USDA announced last week that nearly a dozen small watersheds on Hawaii Island will benefit from an influx of a little more than $433,000 to make assistance available this year to farmers, ranchers and forest owners to keep water sources on their property free of foreign matter, like sediment or bacteria. The funding comes through the agency’s National Water Quality Initiative. Tribune-Herald.

The Maui County Council gave initial approval of a $559 million county budget Tuesday, with the spending plan including water and property tax rate increases along with more funding for most nonprofit organizations and a new reduced monthly bus pass rate for people with disabilities. Maui News.

A controversial lottery for admission into the Hawaiian Immersion kindergarten at Pāʻia Elementary School was officially canceled during a stakeholders meeting at the campus on Tuesday morning.Maui Now.

The state Department of Agriculture's Animal Industry Division has ordered all beef and dairy bulls to be tested for bovine trichomoniasis prior to entry into and before movement between herds within the state, the department said. Maui News.

The Kauai Police Department expects to spend nearly $2 million to replace an aging fleet over two years. Garden Island.

Changing out windows at the Lihue Public Library is one of the milestones of the renovation project. Garden Island.

Chinese fast food giant Panda Express, Inc. has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed last year by three former employees who worked at the restaurant chain’s Kapaa franchise. Garden Island.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

HuffPost coming to Hawaii, Construction to drive economy, Maui council advances $559M budget, Kauai council passes $209M budget, Native Hawaiians fight easing of development laws, Honolulu police short of ammunition, more news from all the Hawaian Islands

 The Huffington Post and Honolulu Civil Beat today announced a partnership to create HuffPost Hawaii, a site that will bring together the resources of The Huffington Post and

The state Council on Revenues on Tuesday left the growth forecast for this fiscal year unchanged but increased the projection for next fiscal year because of an expected improvement in the construction industry. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Council on Revenues on Tuesday left the forecast for the state’s economic growth unchanged at 6.7 percent for the fiscal year that ends June 30, but raised the forecasts for the next two years. Pacific Business News.

Big construction projects in Hawaii like the Honolulu rail project could have an easier time moving forward under a new law signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Abercrombie signed a bill last week to allow the State Historic Preservation Division to approve state projects in phases rather than all at once, depending on circumstances. Associated Press.

Lawmakers say a new Hawaii law could help the state develop commercial harbors faster and more efficiently. Associated Press.

After racking up a $16 billion tab and alarming creditors, Hawaii is finally getting serious about fundamentally transforming the way it finances the post-employment benefits of thousands of public workers. But county leaders argue that the new legislation will tie their hands in budget decisions and will likely lead to higher property taxes. Civil Beat.

Native Hawaiian activists said Tuesday they will ask the state Legislature next year to repeal a new law that allows for the phased review of the impact of development projects on historic preservation. Star-Advertiser.

Led by Walter Ritte, a group of Native Hawaiian activists are demanding the repeal of a new law they claim weakens Hawaii’s legal apparatus to protect historic properties, which includes native Hawaiian burials. KITV4.

A Honolulu telecom company that has enjoyed exclusive rights to provide phone and Internet services to residents on Hawaiian Home Lands is under fire by the Federal Communications Commission for questionable business practices. Civil Beat.

President Barack Obama dug deep into his Hawaii roots and invoked the memory of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye as he pushed his immigration reform proposal Tuesday evening at a White House event marking Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Star-Advertiser.

UH president sheds light on governor's interference. Star-Advertiser.

Senate President Donna Mercado Kim has been under fire in recent weeks after University of Hawaii President MRC Greenwood acknowledged during an exclusive May 20, 2013, television interview on Hawaii News Now that Kim called her last spring to check on the status of her son’s application to the University of Hawaii law school. Hawaii Reporter.

A nationwide ammunition shortage is having an impact on the training of Honolulu Police officers. Some firearm training is being scaled back at HPD and the department is having to plan ahead so they don’t run out of bullets. KHON2.

Online petitions are seeking to remove or retain Kapaa Middle School Principal Nathan Aiwohi, who was placed on paid leave last month while the Department of Education investigates complaints against him. Star-Advertiser.

An open-air lounge and tapas bar featuring unobstructed views of Diamond Head Crater and Waikiki Beach will debut next spring on the 19th floor of the Waikiki Business Plaza. Star-Advertiser.

The owner of the former Gold Bond Building in Kakaako said Tuesday the company will spend $14 million to renovate the 12-story building on Ala Moana Boulevard, including adding a new facade. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii is continuing to pay $1 million a year in rent for office space that's nearly one third empty just two blocks away from its new Cancer Center, which is about 25 percent unfilled. Hawaii News Now.


A proposal to raise parks fees — in some cases doubling the rates — drew a tepid community response in hearings on both sides of the island Tuesday evening. West Hawaii Today.

A hurdle to residential development in downtown Hilo would be removed under a proposal before the Windward Planning Commission next week.Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Community College at Palamanui reached another long-awaited milestone Tuesday as officials broke ground for the long-promised institution of higher education in North Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie praised former County Council Chairman Pete Hoffmann Tuesday for the Waikoloa resident’s dedication to the island and to community service. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Council unanimously passed the $559 million fiscal year 2014 budget on first reading today. Maui Now.

Parking at the Haleakala Visitor Center will be drastically reduced through June 6 as construction to improve park accessibility continues, according to a National Park Service announcement. Maui News.

In the ongoing battle against thousands of acres infested with Madagascan fireweed, Maui ranchers will be able to pick up buckets of moth larvae to feast on the problem this summer, said officials from University of Hawaii's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Maui News.

The Kauai County Council on Wednesday approved Kauai’s $209 million budget for fiscal year 2014. Garden Island.

The leader of the Atooi nation resolved two cases involving rocks from Hawaiian Homeland and obstruction during Hawaii Superferry protests in 2007. Garden Island.

According to the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, visitor arrivals in 2013 will see the largest gains on the neighbor islands as Oahu fills up and international arrivals continue to grow. Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hawaii Big Wind moving forward, Jones Act under fire, military retreats from Kauai weapons range expansion, China to launch nonstop Taiwan-Honolulu flights, Hawaii business tourism a hard sell, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Green Travelers Guide
Hawaii Island wind farm, courtesy courtesy Green Travelers Guide
One half of Hawaii’s controversial 400-megawatt “Big Wind” project — in which large wind farms on Lanai and Molokai would pump electricity to Honolulu via an undersea cable — is still moving forward. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Electric Co. residential customers on Oahu will pay an average of 13 cents more a month over the next three years to cover the cost of preliminary studies HECO completed as part of its plan to generate wind energy on the neighbor islands and transmit it to Oahu via an undersea cable. Star-Advertiser.

With the help of Gov. Neil Abercrombie's administration, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has begun reforming its controversial revocable permit program and evaluating other aspects of its operation. But Native Hawaiian beneficiaries already are raising questions about the process, saying they are not being allowed to participate from the start. Star-Advertiser.

Even though Hawaii's business travel fell 20 percent after the Great Recession and hasn't completely recovered, John Mona­han, president and CEO of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, said he is confident that changing the way the state markets business travel will build success. Star-Advertiser.

China Airlines will launch regular nonstop flights between Taiwan and Hawaii on June 2, the airline said Friday. Pacific Business News.

High-profile Hawaii economists, professors and businessmen last week called on Congress to repeal the Jones Act, the 1920s federal law requiring that cargo shipped within the U.S. be moved only by American-made, American-manned and American-owned vessels. Hawaii Reporter.

Lawyer and former U.S. Senate candidate John Carroll has sued the United States of America for the second time in hopes of exempting Hawaii from the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. Better known as the Jones Act, the statute requires all ships traveling between U.S. states to be manned, built, owned, and flagged by Americans. Critics say the regulations inflate the cost of shipping, which makes everything from eggs to electricity more expensive. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Bromance: Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Civil Beat.

In its second quarter 2013 economic report, the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism predicts continued positive economic growth in 2013, outpacing the national growth rate. DBEDT also expects to see continued positive growth in 2014. West Hawaii Today.

Next month, the Hōkūle‘a and its sister canoe, the Hikianalia , will set sail on a 46,000 mile trip across the globe. And joining the crew will be a team of Hawaii teachers and researchers, who will play a key role in bringing the Worldwide Voyage back into the classroom. Hawaii Public Radio.

State roundup for May 27. Associated Press.


Four firms are vying to operate the state-owned Hawai‘i Convention Center, which for more than a decade has routinely underperformed at filling Hawaii hotel rooms with high-spending business visitors. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu officials don’t appear to be in any rush to scrub the mold, lead and asbestos from Honolulu Hale. The city contracted for $250,000 with Unitek in 2012 for some lead paint clean-up, but now officials say the building is on a fix-it-as-we-go approach. Civil Beat.

A tenant association at a Chinatown affordable-housing complex is calling for more openness from the city of Honolulu as it moves forward with the sale of all 12 of its affordable-housing properties to a California-based private group. Star-Advertiser.

The city of Honolulu this week is restoring more bus service, part of a plan Mayor Kirk Caldwell and transit officials rolled out earlier this year to reverse many of last year's widely unpopular cuts in TheBus routes. Star-Advertiser.

Three months after the official opening of the University of Hawaii's Cancer Center in Kakaako, Hawaii News Now brought a construction problem and potential design flaw to the attention of its director.

West Hawaii’s three County Council districts, comprising roughly one-third of the county’s population, will continue shouldering 70 percent of the property tax burden under a 10 percent rate hike proposed by Mayor Billy Kenoi. West Hawaii Today.

Kamehameha Schools is suing the HSC Inc. and Realty Investment Co., alleging the Hilo companies are in default of a five-decade-plus lease of commercial property on Kekuanaoa Street near the Hilo Shopping Center. Tribune-Herald.

Hundreds of Big Islanders came together Saturday in Kailua-Kona for one of many March Against Monsanto events held worldwide to call attention to the dangers posed by genetically modified foods. West Hawaii Today.

The Maui County Council will hear a proposal that would give partial protection to an estimated 1,250 additional applicants on the Upcountry Water Meter Priority List. Maui Now.

The number of photovoltaic and other renewable energy systems in Maui County keeps growing each year. Maui News.

The Maui Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association was once open only to those who served during the Korean War, but the aging members of the association have opened its doors to all veterans who served in Korea during the war and since. Maui News.


The gun jammed on the National Guard’s proposal for an expanded “danger zone” in the waters fronting the Kekaha Rifle Range. “The Army Corps of Engineers, at the request of the Hawaii Army National Guard, will be rescinding the current public notice in regards to a proposed new danger zone at Kekaha Range Facility,” Lt. Col. Charles Anthony, director of public affairs for the Hawaii National Guard, wrote in a statement Friday. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council approved Wednesday an additional $10,000 for legal fees associated with a civil rights complaint filed by councilman Tim Bynum against former County Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, county planner Sheila Miyake and the county of Kauai. Garden Island.

A Kauai firefighter is suing the county for alleged discriminatory compensation claims. Garden Island.


Molokai General Hospital has received a $133,232 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to support the hospital's Women's Health Center's prenatal program. Maui News.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Navy names destroyer for Inouye, Obama senior prom photos on Time, Ellison's ultra-luxury Lanai hotel approved, neighbor island economies catching up, Hawaiian Home Lands critics skeptical, vog spikes doctor visits, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

U.S. Navy courtesy photo Daniel Inouye
Arleigh Burke-class destroyer at Pearl Harbor, courtesy U.S. Navy
The Navy destroyer USS Daniel Inouye will be sailing by mid-2018, carrying with it the name of a Japanese-American from Hawaii and evoking the heroism of a Medal of Honor recipient and the statesmanship of a 50-year U.S. senator. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Navy plans to name one of its ships after the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii. Associated Press.

The Department of Defense today announced that the Navy will name an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer after the late US Senator Daniel K. Inouye. Maui Now.

The Navy announced Thursday it will name one of its next two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in honor of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. Garden Island.

The U.S. Navy names a destroyer for the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye and the delegation begins to make its own mark, scoring some legislative successes in Congress this week. Civil Beat.

Despite the director's pledges to make tangible progress within six months on proposed changes, critics remained skeptical that recommendations contained in a recent audit of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands will lead to any meaningful reform in an agency long plagued with management and oversight problems.Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is on track to join 27 other states that place annual inspections of all long-term care facilities on their respective websites, state long-term care ombudsman John McDermott said. Civil Beat.

Hawaii doctors are seeing more residents suffering from allergies and asthma because thick vog is aggravating their ailments. Star-Advertiser.

Sen. Brian Schatz announced Thursday that he's introducing legislation to fulfill a goal of the late-Sen. Daniel K. Inouye and retired Sen. Daniel Akaka. The bill would create a national memorial honoring Native American, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native veterans. Civil Beat.

The neighbor island economies are continuing to gain on Oahu, setting the stage for the statewide economic expansion to continue through at least 2015, according to a forecast released today by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island and the other neighbor islands are catching up steadily to the economic recovery first experienced on Oahu, according to a 42-page report released today by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. West Hawaii Today.

Are neighbor islands finally ready to catch the wave of recovery? A new University of Hawaii forecast says it's already happening, and gives a timetable for prosperity. Hawaii News Now.

Obama’s senior prom photos hit Time magazine. Kelli Allman (nee McCormack), a 1981 Punahou School graduate, saved her yearbooks, and they came in handy when Time magazine called to obtain “exclusively” Barack Obama’s 1979 senior prom photos, which appear in this week’s edition. The magazine identifies them as “previously unpublished photos.” Star-Advertiser.

State 5/24. Associated Press.


The public got its first look at massive development proposal for Kakaako on Thursday. KITV4.

Imagine Kakaako being more like Denver or Portland. That’s what the Hawaii Community Development Authority envisions. They are sharing that vision with the public who are not completely sold on the ideas. KHON2.

One of the biggest gripes the Honolulu City Council has about Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s operating budget was that it didn’t do enough to restore bus service. Civil Beat.

While canoe paddlers usually spend the final weeks of May fine-tuning their technique, form and timing, a pesky wastewater problem in one of the sport's most heavily used venues has canoe clubs and organizations focusing on flushing out an answer. Star-Advertiser.

The city of Honolulu knows who secretly carted in cement and steel and illegally built a skateboard bowl on city park property on the North Shore, and how much it will cost to tear it down. Hawaii News Now.


Problems might delay opening of new dorm. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County will have to go back into arbitration over a Waikoloa workforce housing project contract, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Young Brothers’ cargo volume between Honolulu and six neighbor island ports dropped nearly 4 percent during the first quarter of this year, a report issued Thursday said. West Hawaii Today.

Lehman Brothers was the top bidder earlier this week in the auction of 5,800 acres of land in Ka‘u that went into foreclosure. Tribune-Herald.

Real property tax rates will increase beginning July 1 after the Maui County Council on Wednesday morning approved a resolution setting the higher rates for fiscal 2014. Maui News.

While developers of the 670-acre Honua'ula golf community have made efforts to meet a number of the 30 conditions set by the Maui County Council when the project's zoning was approved in 2008, some community groups said on Tuesday that many critical conditions have still not been met. Maui News.

Maui Dry Dock & Boat Storage, a consortium of five commercial boat operators, is seeking a 55-year lease on about 1.2 acres of state land adjacent to the Kahului Boat Ramp to develop a vessel haul out, trailer storage and other facilities. Maui News.

A 65-year-old Pearl City woman is accusing the Salvation Army of transferring a sexual predator from Oahu to Maui more than 50 years ago after he sexually assaulted her as a child. Maui News.

"It's different when your name is on the door," said freshman Hawai'i State Rep. Mark Kaniela Ing, recalling his first term on the job. Maui Weekly.


Early education and transportation infrastructure improvements were some of the main achievements of Kauai’s delegation at this year’s Legislature, according to state lawmakers. Garden Island.

In celebration of its 20th anniversary and in an effort to give back to the communities it serves, AdvoCare International, a health and wellness company based in Plano, Texas, recently contributed $20,000 to Kauai Independent Food Bank. Garden Island.


The Lanai Community Plan Advisory Committee has approved plans for a new ultra-luxury hotel and to set aside 200 acres for industrial development, committee member Alberta de Jetley told PBN.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hawaii GOP seeks probe of Senate president, Stryker Brigade to stay in Hawaii, Maui raises property taxes, clams coming to Kauai, Honolulu's Ala Wai studied, quiet hurricane season predicted, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ala Wai (c) 2013 All Hawaii News

Ala Wai Canal: A $100 Million Problem. Complete series on the history and future of the Ala Wai. Civil Beat.

The Central Pacific, which includes the Hawaiian Islands, probably will experience another season of below-average tropical cyclone activity, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center announced Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s hurricane forecasters are calling for a relatively quiet tropical cyclone season for the Central Pacific Ocean Basin. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii’s wet season, which runs from October through April, was the driest wet season in 30 years, the National Weather Service in Honolulu said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The head of the U.S. Army in the Pacific said Hawaii is expected to keep its 22,500 active-duty soldiers as the Army downsizes, but it makes sense to re-evaluate whether the Stryker Brigade should keep its 320 armored vehicles or revert to a light infantry unit without Strykers. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Republican Party on Wednesday urged the state Ethics Commission to investigate whether state Senate President Donna Mercado Kim violated the ethics code when she called the University of Hawaii president last spring about her son's law school application. Star-Advertiser.

Even if the Senate president did not exert pressure on the university president, Kim may have violated the State Ethics Code and the Senate's own rules with just the phone call itself. Civil Beat.

As the University of Hawaii searches for a new president, critics are revisiting concerns about the relatively few local hires in top positions at the university. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s office announced Wednesday that $48.3 million will be spent to improve public housing throughout Hawaii, including $25.8 million for non-routine repairs, maintenance and renovations statewide. Pacific Business News.

Two years after tests first indicated the presence of a sexually transmitted disease in a handful of Hawaii Island cattle, state officials imposed a statewide quarantine order requiring testing of new dairy and beef bulls brought to the state and moved from one herd to another. West Hawaii Today.

KHON-TV is advising viewers of the Fox network affiliate or its CW network affiliate via Oceanic Time Warner Cable that the stations may be blacked out for most of Hawaii on May 31 if negotiations for a new retransmission contract are not successful. Star-Advertiser.

State 5/22. Associated Press.

State roundup for May 23. Associated Press.


A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the city of Honolulu by members of a protest group that has been camping on the sidewalks around Thomas Square. Star-Advertiser.

In the last three years, the University of Hawaii has spent $1.3 million on repairs and upgrades to College Hill, the presidents' home that UH President MRC Greenwood has chosen not to live in. Hawaii News Now.

The James Campbell Co. is looking to sell 516 acres of mostly undeveloped land in West Oahu known as Kapolei West, a potential mixed-use residential and commercial master-planned community that would connect the City of Kapolei with Ko Olina Resort. Pacific Business News.

The city's aging Neal S. Blaisdell Center could be a site of one of three proposed 700-foot residential towers under a draft plan proposed by a state agency regulating development in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

For the more than 20,000 people who live there, there’s only one way in and out of Mililani Mauka. After years of traffic headaches, there are some options on the table to ease the frustration. KHON2.


Hikes in property taxes, park fees, bus fares and vehicle registration and weight taxes will balance Mayor Billy Kenoi’s proposed $394.3 million 2013-14 budget, a 7.9 percent increase over this year. But there’s still a wild card in the mix: Two major public worker unions have yet to complete collective bargaining agreements. West Hawaii Today.

All the right factors need to be in place for Hawaii County to successfully convert Alii Drive to one-way traffic in the downtown area, community members and business stakeholders told officials Wednesday in North Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Last June, the Department of Education launched a small pilot program in Kona on the Big Island, testing just how well GPS tracking systems, with real-time data, would streamline bus service. And it worked beautifully. KITV4.

The Hilo Brewfest, scheduled for June 1 from 2-6 p.m., will take place on the grounds of the Wainaku Executive Center and will feature sample beers from 20 different breweries. Tribune-Herald.


A resolution that would increase property tax rates for majority of island residents and businesses was approved by the Maui County Council Wednesday morning. Maui News.

Maui Tea Partier In D.C.: IRS Scrutiny 'Chilling' Civil Beat.

Updated tsunami evacuation maps have been released by the Maui County Civil Defense Agency. Maui Now.

While developers of the 670-acre Honua'ula golf community have made efforts to meet a number of the 30 conditions set by the Maui County Council when the project's zoning was approved in 2008, some community groups said on Tuesday that many critical conditions have still not been met. Maui News.

Community voices opposition to ‘danger zone’ Corps seeks larger safety area during live target practice. Garden Island.

For the first time in decades, the state Department of Health has approved the growing waters and sale of shellfish by a local grower. Health officials approved the permit for Sunrise Capital, doing business under the name Kauai Clams. Hawaii News Now.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources announced Friday the opening of archery, muzzleloading rifle and high-powered rifle hunting seasons for feral goats on the island of Kauai. Garden Island.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hawaii cattle quarantined, UH President Greenwood-Senate President Kim feud turns personal, five inmate deaths in two months, DHHL called to Senate hearing, GMO group meeting on Kauai, solar farm in Ka'u, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserverd
Cattle and calves at pasture (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
All beef and dairy bulls coming into the state or moved between herds here must be tested for bovine trichomoniasis, under a quarantine order issued by the state Department of Agriculture Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Officials from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands are to address concerns of lawmakers raised by a state auditor's report in April that said the agency lacks clearly defined roles and responsibilities for trust administration and kept insufficient data on loan delinquencies and other programs. Star-Advertiser.

The string of five inmate deaths — including four suicides — in Hawaii correctional facilities in just over two months is indeed a crisis, as Ted Sakai, the state’s director of public safety said recently. Civil Beat.

State Senate President Donna Mercado Kim acknowledged Tuesday that she called University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood last spring to ask about the status of her son's application to law school, but she denied that she was angry or claimed law school administrators were incompetent. Star-Advertiser.

State Senate President Donna Kim Tuesday denied allegations by UH President MRC Greenwood that Kim threatened to hold hearings into the UH William Richardson School of Law when Kim asked Greenwood last spring about whether UH had received her son's law school application. Hawaii News Now.

Now that it is law for all passengers in cars to wear a seat belt some also want to ban riding in the back of pickup trucks. Hawaii News Now.

A former state judge has been suspended from the practice of law for a year and a day for violating rules governing lawyers’ conduct. Star-Advertiser.


An emerging condominium development boom in Kakaako got a lot bigger Tuesday, with the owner of Ward Centers announcing it will build 900 units in three towers — at the same time. Star-Advertiser.

For more than two decades, the Ala Wai canal has regularly failed state and federal water quality standards for recreational bodies of water, limits that are in place to keep people from getting sick. Civil Beat.

It appears fiscal catastrophe has been averted at Honolulu Hale, despite some budgetary posturing by the Caldwell administration. Civil Beat.

Bring your luggage and be ready to leave your fingerprint. That could be the future of air travel for foreigners visiting Hawaii. KHON2.


A University of Hawaii-Hilo spokeswoman insists a $28 million dorm project will be ready by August, but a report obtained by Hawaii Reporter and outlines numerous flaws in the taxpayer-funded project. Hawaii Reporter.

Construction on a series of solar panels in Ka‘u could begin as soon as 60 to 90 days, a solar company official said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

One of the most important duties of those who care for Hawaii's highest peak is conserving the natural resources. That includes both keeping invasive species out, and replanting endangered species. Hawaii Public Radio.


Maui County filed a lawsuit against Wailuku Main Street Association Inc./Tri-Isle Main Street Resource Center on Monday afternoon claiming that the organization violated its county grant agreement and that the agency should return more than $11,000 worth of personal property bought with county funds and any remaining funding obtained under the agreement. Maui News.

The removal of the wreckage and debris of three vessels that were grounded Friday and Saturday by high surf off Mala Wharf in West Maui continued. Maui News.


For the first time in its 42-year history, the Hawai‘i Crop Improvement Association will hold its annual meeting on Kaua‘i. The HCIA is composed of five member companies — Syngenta, BASF, DOW, Pioneer and Monsanto. Garden Island.

The traditional fireworks show will not be included in this year's Freedom celebration at the Pacific Missile Range Facility because of budget constraints. Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hawaii gets No Child waiver, transgender official wins White House recognition, Honolulu council sets $2B budget, Ala Wai pollution investigated, Kauai military range could be expanded, Maui sues Mainstreet Association, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Department of Education
Hawaii school, courtesy Department of Education
Hawaii's public schools will be allowed to ignore parts of the federal No Child Left Behind law in favor of a state-developed accountability system, under a waiver granted Monday by the U.S. Department of Education. Star-Advertiser.

The Obama administration on Monday approved Hawaii’s request for a waiver from provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind education law. Associated Press.

Everyone riding in an automobile in Hawaii must now use a seat belt, under one of two traffic safety bills Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law Monday. The second new law bans drivers from holding cellphones and other electronic devices, in effect replacing various county ordinances. Star-Advertiser.

Car wheel boots may soon be banned in Hawaii — depending on whether Gov. Neil Abercrombie signs into a law a bill to outlaw the devices. Star-Advertiser.

The White House will honor Hawaii Civil Rights Commission member Kim Coco Iwamoto, a transgender, on Wednesday as one of 10 LGBT elected or appointed officials who are "Harvey Milk Champions of Change." Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii President MRC Greenwood's sudden decision to step down with two years remaining on her contract caught many by surprise, even those closest to her. She has not addressed on camera her decision or what led up to it, until now. Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii spent more than $53,000 hiring well-known Honolulu attorney Bill McCorriston to represent the UH Board of Regents after UH President MRC Greenwood sent the regents a letter offering to leave the university for a payment of $2 million. Hawaii News Now.


The Honolulu City Council will take a final vote in two weeks on a balanced, $2 billion operating budget that neither raises property tax rates nor fees and makes no cuts in services. Star-Advertiser.

Taxpayers Pay When Ala Wai Pollution Hits Waikiki. Civil Beat.

State officials haven’t regularly monitored contaminants in the Ala Wai canal since 1999, according to the Hawaii Department of Health, which is responsible for enforcing the federal Clean Water Act that sets standards and limits on contaminants. Civil Beat.

Civil Beat Lab Tests: Ala Wai Canal Seafood Is Contaminated.

A vacationing U.S. Border Patrol agent died Sunday attempting to save a woman in distress in a pool at Waimea Falls. Star-Advertiser.

Organizers of an annual conference for people who manage more than $3 trillion in public sector pension funds in the U.S. and Canada say a significant number of administrators are skipping this year’s meeting in Hawaii to avoid the perception they’re wasting money by heading to the island paradise. Associated Press.


A late effort to buy Hawai'i Nui Brewing LLC, the bankrupt Hilo microbrewery, postponed a court auction Monday and has set up a potential bidding contest between a former Hawai'i Nui partner and a rival beer producer in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

A University of Hawaii-Hilo spokeswoman insists a $28 million dorm project will be ready by August, but a report obtained by Hawaii Reporter and outlines numerous flaws in the taxpayer-funded project. Hawaii Reporter.

Hilo is at the end of the line but is finally about to get a full serving of Hawaii Public Radio. Most of the state — everywhere but East Hawaii — now gets the full array of HPR programming, said Michael Titterton, president and general manager of Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald.

At nearly the last minute, the Hawaii County Democratic Party was forced to find a new location for its convention this past weekend. Civil Beat.

Maui County filed a lawsuit against Wailuku Main Street Association Inc./Tri-Isle Main Street Resource Center on Monday afternoon claiming the organization violated its county grant agreement and should return more than $11,000 worth of personal property bought with county funds and any remaining funding obtained under the agreement. Maui News.

Maui County is looking for solar photovoltaic firms to install, operate, maintain and own solar PV systems, and then sell the energy generated to the county under a power purchase agreement. Pacific Business News.

After nine months of hosting public discussion meetings and working with county planners, the Lahaina Restoration Foundation is putting the finishing touches on a number of community-based projects to improve the Lahaina harbor front. Maui News


The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing to establish a “new danger zone” in waters near the Kekaha Range Facility, on Kaua‘i’s Westside. If passed, a six-mile wide section of the Pacific Ocean will be occasionally closed to public access during scheduled weapons firing. Garden Island.

The gates to the Hanalei Pier canopy are once again open. “The Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay, thanks to the generous support of the entire community, has just finished the rebuilding of the canopy at the end of the Hanalei Bay Pier,” said Branch Lotspeich, Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay spokesman. Garden Island.

The public is invited to share their ideas at community meetings regarding places on Kaua’i that they feel should be preserved and protected. Garden Island.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Abercrombie to sign seatbelt, cellphone bills; medical marijuana overhaul in the works; GOP says it will rise again; Caldwell demands budget cuts or tax hikes; Tarnas to head Hawaii County Dems; Kauai mulls vacation rental regs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Gov. Abercrombie with new Hawaii County Democratic Party Chairman David Tarnas (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Gov. Neil Abercrombie will sign two significant traffic safety bills into law Monday, one requiring all front- and back-seat occupants of a vehicle to buckle up. The other will establishes consistent statewide requirements for the use of mobile electronic devices while driving. Star-Advertiser.

Two bills approved this year by the Legislature are Hawaii's first steps toward handling medical marijuana as a health issue rather than a law enforcement problem. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii taxpayers have a heavy burden to bear when it comes to covering "other post-employment retirement benefits" for their public employees. The Aloha State leads the nation in per-capita debt for these benefits. Hawaii Reporter.

The state Department of Education is scaling back a move to provide extra learning time for students at struggling schools. Associated Press

Hawaii GOP: 'Republicans Will Rise Again' Civil Beat.

The private sector, not government, is driving the increase in jobs in Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

State officials want to create a National Estuarine Research Reserve in Hawaii where scientists can study wetland ecosystems to help our coastal communities take better care of our seaside homes. Civil Beat.

In Hawaii’s crystalline waters, some cetaceans get all the attention — usually the charismatic humpback whales and spinner dolphins known for their stunning displays of acrobatics. West Hawaii Today.


Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has warned the City Council that it will need to cut spending or raise either property taxes or bus fares to balance the city's $2.09 billion operating budget. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama's nominee for transportation secretary has pledged a "seamless transition" of continued federal support for the city's elevated rail project, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said. Star-Advertiser.

In the 1920s, Walter Dillingham’s Ala Wai Canal project helped Waikiki grow into the business and tourist mecca that it is today, where high-rise hotels crowd the skyline and attract more than 4 million visitors a year. But it might have been Hawaii’s biggest mistake. Civil Beat.

A city employee or official on a business trip who incurs expenses for personal activities must pay for those expenses, the Honolulu Ethics Commission said in an advisory opinion issued last week. Star-Advertiser.

NBC's popular Today Show descended upon the Royal Hawaiian Hotel overnight, broadcasting live between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. just feet from the crashing waves of a lingering south swell that kept hundreds of fans on their toes—and even wet, at times. Hawaii News Now.


Former state Rep. David Tarnas on Saturday took the helm of the Hawaii County Democratic Party, replacing Steve Pavao, who is stepping down after four years. West Hawaii Today.

According to the state Department of Transportation Airports Division, Kona International Airport has about twice the number of passengers that Hilo International Airport has. Pacific Business News.

The Hilo International Airport lost power for about 90 minutes Sunday, causing headaches for weekend travelers. Tribune-Herald.

The attorney representing two county elections workers suing former county officials for defamation is asking a 3rd Circuit Court judge to require the additional release of documents and information. West Hawaii Today.

The state Legislature's denial of $38 million for a College of Pharmacy building at the University of Hawaii at Hilo is expected to lead to the college being found "noncompliant" in one of 30 criteria for accreditation, a top school official said. Star-Advertiser.

Ambitious plans to build a three-story commercial building on the site of the Hilo Farmers Market were shelved when the Great Recession put a serious damper on the nation’s economy. Tribune-Herald.


With the state Legislature approving $3.6 million for preliminary work on the Kihei-Upcountry highway earlier this month, it appears the project is finally moving ahead, more than 30 years after the new highway was first conceived. Maui News.

What started as an unpleasant encounter between a family and a few kitesurfers at Kanaha Beach Park last month has escalated to a feud that has been a center of heated debate on local and social media outlets. Maui News.


A resolution to establish a committee to investigate management and implementation of the transient vacation rental law stalled at the Kaua‘i County Council Wednesday, after stumbling upon potential legal issues. Garden Island.

The pre-World War II era Hanapepe Historical Building, which has served as the backdrop for several Hollywood films, is for sale on the island’s “biggest little town.” Garden Island.

One of the largest groups since the opening of the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa in 1990 rolled in Thursday. Garden Island.


The Lanai Community Health Center is planning to build a new $7 million facility in the heart of Lanai by the end of the year, officials said. Maui News.