Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hawaiian Kingdom restoration marked, Gabbard dubbed 'Hawaiian Heartbreaker,' UH names Lassner interim president, Kauai GMO hearing today, Hawaii County mulls incinerator, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
King Kamehameha statue (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Honolulu is celebrating the 170th anniversary of the restoration of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Wednesday's events at Thomas Square Park recognize the significance of Restoration Day in Hawaiian history. Associated Press.

Fresh data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals distinctions, breaking the state's two congressional districts down by who lives there, what jobs they hold, how much money they make, their educational attainment and what it costs to live there. Hawaii doesn't require its U.S. House representatives to reside in their respective district. Judging from the new census information, perhaps it should; when it comes to income, housing, work and health, it's a tale of two Hawaiis. Civil Beat.

Michael Golojuch Jr., chairman of the Hawaii Democratic Party's gay caucus, brazenly declared himself the "new sheriff in town" after he initiated sanctions against 11 Demo­cratic legislators who proposed a constitutional amendment on traditional marriage. Star-Advertiser.

‘Hawaiian Heartbreaker’ Tulsi Gabbard Named Sixth Most Attractive Person on the Hill. Civil Beat.

David Lassner
The University of Hawaii Board of Regents this afternoon unanimously agreed on naming UH Chief Information Officer David Lassner as interim president of the 10-campus system, effective Sept. 1. Star-Advertiser.

David Lassner says he hopes to help re-establish trust in the University of Hawaii while touting its accomplishments in his new role as interim president of the 10-campus system. Star-Advertiser.

A federal court lawsuit alleges that the state contributed to the death of a 14-year-old boy. The suit says Roosevelt High School student Charlie Lee was depressed and suicidal when the state began to reduce mental health services for the teen. Hawaii News Now.


Lately there’s been a lot of angst about Kakaako’s future, not only because Honolulu’s $5.26 billion rail line intends to slice through its midsection, but also because the latest plans call for buildings as tall as 700 feet. By comparison, the tallest building in the state is currently the 429-foot-tall First Hawaiian Center on Bishop Street. Diamond Head, one of Oahu’s most recognizable landmarks, only has an elevation of 761 feet. Civil Beat.

Developer Stanford and Kamehameha Schools on Friday formally announced plans for Keauhou Lane in Kakaako, a project that includes a 40-story tower consisting of 600 residential units as well as a low-rise mixed-use residential project with 200 workforce rental apartments. Pacific Business News.

Delays Plague Student-Funded Recreation Center at UH Manoa. Civil Beat.

A retired Honolulu police detective testified Tuesday that police didn't obtain a blood alcohol reading from State Department special agent Christopher Deedy because he refused to take a breath test. Star-Advertiser.


The Hawaii County Council wants plenty of time for its own input and approval before the county chooses a waste-to-energy contractor, despite Mayor Billy Kenoi’s vow to have a plant “on the ground” by the time he leaves office in late 2016. Stephens Media.

Construction projects planned or underway at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island are generating about 500 jobs and nearly $5 million in tax revenue during the next two years. The 12 projects are scheduled to have a total value of more than $50 million. Pacific Business News.

A Hawaii County Council committee will conclude its hearing on Bill 79, relating to genetically modified organisms, at 1:30 p.m Aug. 6 at the Council Chambers in Hilo. Council members will discuss the bill. No additional testimony will be taken. The council received more than 700 written testimonies on the bill. Stephens Media.


Maui Mayor Arakawa today signed revisions to the County Subdivision Code in an effort to streamline the approval process for both applicants and county staff, a county announcement said. Maui Now.

Mayor: Preparation pays off. Maui News.

Reports of a Haiku man who was struck by lightning Monday evening during Tropical Depression Flossie's brief but furious rampage on Maui have been all the talk on news and social media outlets, but a family member of the man said Tuesday that the incident may have been exaggerated. Maui News.


County Bill 2491, requiring commercial agricultural entities to disclose the use of pesticides and the presence of genetically modified crops to the county. It specifically targets companies that purchase or use more than five pounds (or 15 gallons) of restricted use pesticides annually goes to a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. today. Garden Island.

Out of a bag full of proposals introduced at this year’s Legislature, a House resolution — a policy with no teeth — was the only law passed, according to a search in the state Capitol’s website. Garden Island.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Flossie downgraded after flustering Hawaiian Islands, schools lose high-risk status, Maui News erecting paywall, Hanabusa aide allegedly broke campaign law, artists sought to honor Mink, Inouye, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Tropical Storm Flossie
Hawaii County emergency operations center, courtesy Mayor Billy Kenoi
The worst of what is now Tropical Depression Flossie has now passed through most of the state, bringing thunderstorms and dangerously high surf but sparing most islands from serious storm related damage. Hawaii News Now.

Strong wind and heavy rain from Tropical Depression Flossie resulted in more than 80 flight cancellations to and from the islands Monday, preventing some visitors from starting their Hawaii vacations and keeping others from going home. Star-Advertiser.

Airlines have canceled flights in and out of Hawaii due to Tropical Storm Flossie. Powerful winds and heavy rains have left many visitors stranded or unable to get here. Hawaii Public Radio.

Even as Flossie drifts away and dissipates to a remnant of a tropical storm, she leaves behind ample moisture to cause thunderstorms this afternoon and heavy rain Wednesday in Honolulu, forecasters said. Star-Advertiser.

Although the state received a drenching and strong winds, Hawaii benefited, as it has in the past, from high-altitude wind shear that took the top off the storm along with some of its dangerous punch, experts say. Star-Advertiser.

A week before most of Hawaii’s students return to school, the state education department was cleared from its “high-risk” status that had threatened a $75 million grant targeted for reforming struggling schools. Associated Press.

The U.S. Department of Education has lifted a restriction on a $75 million federal grant that had raised doubts about Hawaii’s ability to improve low-performing public schools. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Department of Education’s four-year, $75 million Race to the Top grant is no longer considered high risk after a recent evaluation from the U.S. Department of Education, according to a Monday announcement. Pacific Business News.

Hanabusa Aide May Have Mixed Campaign and Congressional Work. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and Arts is putting out an international call for artists to create art in honor of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink. The foundation says the state Legislature passed a measure to commission sculptures honoring Inouye and Mink to go near the state Capitol. The Legislature instructed that $250,000 be spent for each work. Associated Press.

State Rep. Karen Awana still owes $800 in fines for failing to keep campaign spending records and filing false reports dating back to 2008. The four-term Democrat has $16,000 in her campaign account, which she could have used to complete the delinquent payments months ago. Civil Beat.

A Hawaiian Electric Co. report outlining its strategy for meeting the energy needs of its customers fell short in several areas and did not adequately address the impact of the rapid growth of rooftop solar photovoltaic systems on the utility's grid, according to consultant hired by state regulators to oversee the planning process. Star-Advertiser.

The independent expert hired by state regulators to oversee Hawaiian Electric Co.’s energy planning process is refusing to certify the utility's five-year energy plans, saying the company's work was shoddy despite what's expected to be an $11 million effort. Civil Beat.

State roundup for July 30. Associated Press.


Paradise lost: Honolulu taxpayers drowning in crystal clear sea of debt. Hawaii Reporter.

The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Hawaii's Wastewater Treatment Plant at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam has reported that a clogged sand filtration polishing system touched off two partial bypasses — one last night and one today — at the effluent sand filtration system overflow weir. During the bypass incidents, the plant discharged a total of about 18,000 gallons of fully treated and disinfected secondary effluent through its deep multiport outfall without polishing effluent sand filtration. Star-Advertiser.

A defense attorney suggested Monday that a key prosecution witness knew that State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy was a law enforcement officer when the witness said he initially thought the agent was carrying a Taser electronic stun gun. Star-Advertiser.


Tropical Storm Flossie is expected to continue to fizzle as it moves westward after barely brushing the Big Island on Monday. Stephens Media.

The threat of Tropical Storm Flossie cost taxpayers more than $350,000 in lost worker productivity and it inconvenienced residents when garbage transfer stations were closed and public bus service suspended, but Mayor Billy Kenoi on Monday afternoon maintained a “better safe than sorry” stance. Stephens Media.

A federal judge indicated she will rule by Wednesday whether she or the jury should allow Hawaii island cannabis advocate Roger Christie to use a religious freedom defense at his marijuana trial. U.S. District Judge Leslie Koba­ya­shi heard arguments Monday by federal prosecutors who want her to rule that the defense under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act doesn't apply. Star-Advertiser.

Researchers at the University of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Agriculture try to resolve vexing questions about how to deal with coffee berry borer beetles, an unwelcome new species that came to the state and quickly began to devastate Kona’s coffee crop. Civil Beat.

It was around 11 p.m. Sunday, and the dozens of families camping in tents at Keaukaha Beach Park had largely packed up and gone home in anticipation of Tropical Storm Flossie’s expected arrival. Stephens Media.


Maui Electric Company officials say 4,400 customers were brought back online overnight following multiple power outages reported across the island. Maui Now.

The Maui News set to launch all-digital access next month. Nonsubscribers will be able to view the beginning of each story.

Haleakala National Park is in the midst of repairing all seven visitor parking lots after "decades of wear," but the project is creating challenges for those who make the trek up the 10,000-foot mountain. Maui News.

Celebrating its fourth year of protecting fish along 2 miles of West Maui coastline, dozens of volunteers and officials with the Kahekili Herbivore Fishery Management Area gathered Sunday morning for food, entertainment and a seaweed-eating competition. Maui News.


Kauai’s Westside could feel the most of what remains of the diminishing power of Flossie as it passes west of the island today. At about 5 p.m. Monday, the tropical storm was downgraded to a tropical depression, but a flash flood watch remained in effect for Kauai and Niihau. Garden Island.

On the eastern edge of Hanalei Bay, next to the St. Regis Princeville Resort, lies a hidden piece of ancient Hawaiian history — the remnants of a 600-year-old fishpond. Garden Island.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Tropical Storm Flossie updates

NOAA photo 10 a.m. Mondau July 29, 2013
Tropical Storm Flossie at 10 a.m. Monday., July 29

Tropical Storm Flossie crosses the Hawaiian Islands. See most recent storm maps here.

A full range of maps and more here.

Hawaii braces for Tropical Storm Flossie: Abercrombie issues emergency proclamation, courthouses, government buildings closed, bus service canceled on Hawaii Island, more storm news from all the Hawaiian Islands

nears Hawaii
Tropical Storm Flossie at 2 a.m. Monday
Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed an emergency proclamation Sunday in preparation for Tropical Storm Flossie, which is expected to spread rain, wind, flooding and high surf throughout the state over the next two days. Star-Advertiser.

Residents and tourists across Hawaii were bracing for Tropical Storm Flossie, which forecasters said was weakening as it approached the state but still could bring heavy rains, strong winds and possibly even tornadoes. National Weather Service officials said they expect people on the Big Island and Maui to see the brunt of the storm Monday morning, with wind gusts up to 60 mph, possible flooding and waves up to 18 feet high. Associated Press.

Tropical Storm Flossie has weakened since the last update.  As of 5 a.m. on Monday, maximum sustained winds were measured at 45 miles per hour, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) in Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for Maui, Oʻahu, and Hawaiʻi Counties.  At 5 a.m., Kauaʻi and Niʻihau were added to the Warning area. Maui Now.

Hawaii iIsland and Maui are in the cross hairs this morning as the isles face the first direct hit from a tropical storm in more than 20 years. Star-Advertiser.

Forecasters at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning for Oahu Sunday and a tropical storm watch for Kauai as Tropical Storm Flossie closes in on Hawaii. Big Island and Maui County remain under a tropical storm warning. A statewide flash flood watch is also set to begin at 6 a.m. Monday. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Coast Guard closed ports on the Big Island and Maui and Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed an emergency proclamation Sunday as Tropical Storm Flossie continued on a path that forecast to take it through the Islands on Monday. Pacific Business News.

Here is the text of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's statement for Hawaii on Tropical Storm Flossie. Star-Advertiser.


The city Department of Emergency Management is advising Oahu residents that the just-issued tropical storm warning for the island means it is the time to get prepared for Flossie's expected arrival this afternoon. Star-Advertiser.


As rain began to fall in Hilo, Hawaii island Mayor Billy Kenoi and acting Civil Defense administrator Darryl Oliveira urged residents to stay vigilant as Tropical Storm Flossie began to weaken as it neared the Big Island. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii island Mayor Billy Kenoi announced all non-essential county workers are to stay home today as Tropical Storm Flossie sets its sights directly on the island. Kenoi made the decision Sunday afternoon after consulting with acting Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira at the Hilo Emergency Operations Center. Star-Advertiser.

Tropical Storm Flossie's impending arrival on Hawaii island this morning has forced the closure of the county bus system and state courthouses on the island. Mayor Billy Kenoi decided to shut down the county's Hele-On bus system as of midnight Sunday as a safety precaution. Star-Advertiser.

Tropical Storm Flossie was expected to make landfall along the Hamakua Coast around 6 a.m. today, bringing with it high winds, heavy surf, and torrential rains. Stephens Media.

About 85 families who were part of a Department of Hawaiian Home Lands-sponsored camping event at South Hilo’s Keaukaha Beach Park — many of whom have been there since the first week of June —  were told to vacate Sunday afternoon. Star-Advertiser.


The County of Maui activated its Emergency Operations Center at 7 a.m. on Sunday, July 28, 2013, in anticipation of Tropical Storm Flossie, which is due to reach the Hawaiian Islands on Monday morning. Maui News.


State officials are urging residents across the state to be on alert and take immediate storm precautions as Tropical Storm Flossie takes a direct aim at Maui and the Big Island. Garden Island.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Hawaii gay marriage: economic boost, Dem panel wants to reprimand legislators for proposing traditional marriage, Schatz shakes off early campaign statement; security guard license backlog; pricy vacations; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu gay marriage rally (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
A new economic analysis from the University of Hawaii says legalizing gay marriage in the state would boost tourism by $217 million over the next three years. The study from the university’s Economic Research Organization says that would boost state and local general excise tax revenues by $10.2 million from 2014 through 2016. Associated Press.

A new University of Hawaii study estimates an additional $217 million in visitor spending over the next three years if Hawai'i legalizes same-sex marriage. Hawaii News Now.

Message to Hawaii lawmakers: Legalize same-sex marriage or risk losing out on hundreds of millions of dollars warns University of Hawaii economics professor Sumner La Croix in a report released Thursday. Civil Beat.

An investigative panel of the Democratic Party of Hawaii has recommended that state Sen. Mike Gabbard be reprimanded and Rep. Sharon Har be censured for introducing a constitutional amendment last session on traditional marriage. The panel determined that Gabbard and Har were acting contrary to the party's platform on equal rights by introducing the bills, which would ask voters whether marriage should be reserved for heterosexual couples. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has consistently supported gay marriage. But as a 26-year-old, first-time candidate for the state House, the Demo­crat clarified for voters in Makiki, Tantalus and Manoa that he supported traditional marriage and traditional family values. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is concerned about the increasing costs of a Hawaii vacation. HTA President and CEO Mike McCartney told the board at its Thursday meeting that the costs of a Hawaii vacation have outpaced personal income growth in the United States for the last two years. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii tourism officials say visitors spent $1.3 billion in the Aloha State in June as the state saw more tourists overall and more spending from domestic travelers. The Hawaii Tourism Authority said Thursday that the state welcomed nearly 717,000 visitors in June, up 5.5 percent compared with the same month one year ago. Spending was up 7 percent compared with June 2012. Associated Press.

Limited staffing and a last-minute rush by security guards to comply with a new law governing the industry has resulted in a backlog of more than 2,300 applications for identification cards awaiting processing by the state Board of Private Detectives and Guards. Star-Advertiser.

Hurricane forecasters continue to watch Tropical Storm Flossie as it moves toward the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii News Now.

Native Hawaiian cultural practices for the first time will be considered when drawing up statewide management plans for protecting and conserving Hawaii's ocean and coastal resources. Star-Advertiser.

A plan to ensure the sustainable use of Hawaii’s ocean and coastal resources was signed by the governor today on Oahu. The Ocean Resources Management Plan identifies 11 management priorities for the next five years with the goal of conservation for current and future generations. Big Island Video News.

The state of Hawaii on Wednesday launched a center to train people to defend computer systems from attack. The so-called “cyber range” is a collection of servers and routers in a room on the University of Hawaii’s Manoa campus. The equipment will allow people to practice hacking computer systems as a way to learn about network vulnerabilities. Associated Press.

Federal regulators are cracking down on practices that led to the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis that crippled the national economy. One of their first targets is Castle & Cooke, a huge real estate developer that also operates as a mortgage lender in 22 states, including Hawaii.  Civil Beat.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced more than $1.5 million in grants to conservation projects in Hawai‘i to protect some of the nation’s rarest species. Maui Now.

State roundup for July 26. Associated Press.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Thursday introduced the new head of Honolulu's Transit Oriented Development Program — the city's long-term push to create high-density, walk­able communities around its planned rail stops and to curb urban sprawl. Star-Advertiser.

Motorists using the H-1 freeway in town after work and overnight can expect a year's worth of increased traffic delays starting this fall as state transportation officials tackle what they say are much-needed repairs on the Oahu's busiest highway. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Education is investigating a teacher's allegations against a former Pearl City High School principal, including claims that she practiced favoritism and egregiously misused funds during her six-year tenure at the school. Civil Beat.

A man caught 24 rats in traps on one day around his Waialua home. Because of budget cuts, the city has one inspector for Oahu. KHON2.

A close friend of the 23-year-old Kailua man killed at a McDonald's restaurant in Waikiki testified Thursday that he did not hear or see U.S. State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy identify himself as a law enforcement officer or show a badge before he fired the fatal shot. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii County’s top union negotiator is retiring, leaving the county looking within its ranks for a successor. Ron Takahashi, who was appointed to the $99,000 annual Cabinet-level position of director of the Department of Human Resources in late 2009 after four years as deputy, is retiring effective Aug. 30, taking with him more than 32 years of county administrative experience. Stephens Media.

The state Department of Transportation has closed the Umauma Bridge to oversized loads as a contractor prepares to embark on a $37.2 million project to rehabilitate the 102-year-old span. Stephens Media.

A Paradise Helicopters tour with five people aboard made a crash landing Thursday in a field not much more than 700 feet from a runway at Hilo International Airport. Preliminary reports were that no one was injured in the crash, said Caroline Sluyter, spokeswoman for the Hawaii Department of Transportation. Stephens Media.


Judge turns a critical eye toward man’s medical pot card. Maui News.

More than 14,000 new gravesites and niches could eventually be constructed in an overall expansion plan for the state's Makawao Veterans Cemetery, which officials say is nearing capacity as its current site was "roughly" 85 percent full last year. Maui News.

The final results of a University of Hawaii study on the impacts of injection wells at the Lahaina wastewater treatment plant "conclusively demonstrate" a connection between the wells and their flows to nearshore waters. Maui News.


The Kauai County Council announced the public hearing for Bill 2491 will be held at Kauai Veterans Center, rather than the previously announced location at Kauai Community College. The controversial bill proposes disclosure of pesticide use and sets up buffer zones for crops of genetically modified organisms. Garden Island.

A Kauai fisherman who was pulled under water by a huge tuna that capsized his boat received little sympathy from PETA. Garden Island.

The county Department of Parks and Recreation unveiled Wednesday a draft of the plan that will guide the development of county recreational facilities in years to come. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ala Wai legal fight looms; Gabbard, Hanabusa at odds over spying; China to play Pacific war games; Kauai water wars, sewage polluting Maui; no threat from TS Flossie, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Along the Ala Wai (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
A legal fight brewing in federal court is raising questions about the integrity of the new six-foot-in-diameter pipe that snakes under the Ala Wai. The Frank Coluccio Construction Co. installed a pipe that it believes to be substandard. The Seattle-based company wants to be absolved of any blame should the force main fail, and it is seeking more than $10 million from the city for delays and damages resulting from various issues allegedly caused by having to use that pipe. Civil Beat.

Twenty nations — including China — sent representatives in May to the first planning conference for 2014 Rim of the Pacific war games off Hawaii, which the Navy said could be bigger than ever next summer. Star-Advertiser.

Curtail NSA Surveillance? Hawaii Congressional Reps Split Votes, with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-CD2) voting yes and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-CD1) voting no. Civil Beat.

Vice President Joe Biden may be stopping by Hawaii this weekend. He’ll be returning from a week long trip to Asia, where he’s spending most of his time in India. Hawaii Public Radio.

Alaska Airlines and Hawaii BioEnergy LLC have signed an agreement for the Seattle-based air carrier to buy biofuel for its planes, both companies said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii is tied with Alabama in a new study that ranks the states by honesty. The beverage company, HONEST Tea, conducted a hidden camera experiment a 61 locations throughout the United States between July 8- 18. The company staff left bottles of tea for sale in unmanned kiosk with a sign that said to leave $1 to purchase the tea. People in Hawaii and Alabama were the most honest in the country and they were honest 100 percent of the time. Hawaii Reporter.

Fish, it's what's for dinner for many families in Hawaii. Unfortunately new research from the University of Hawaii, Manoa shows some fish are eating a lot of plastic. Hawaii News Now.

As of 11 p.m. Wednesday, the cyclone now known as Tropical Storm Flossie was still more than 2,000 miles east-southeast of the Big Island. Hawaii News Now.


The transition of Hawaii's largest electric vehicle charging network to new ownership has hit a bump in the road, with several hundred of the company's new customers unable to access its network of charging stations. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Transportation is working with the state Department of Health to stop the spread of a mosquito that can be a transmitter of dengue fever. Beginning today, July 24, 2013, and continuing throughout the week, state crews will be removing bromeliads currently in planters along the H-1 Freeway near the Honolulu International Airport. Civil Beat.

The Lanikai Pillbox hike on Kaiwa Ridge was once a sleepy neighborhood trail, but it’s not so secret anymore. KHON2.

A McDonald's cashier testified Wednesday that she told Kollin Elderts to stop his verbal exchange with a customer at the restaurant counter before the deadly 2011 confrontation with U.S. State Department Special Agent Christoper Deedy. Star-Advertiser.

More than two hours of discussion wasn’t enough Wednesday for the County Council to decide whether council members could give nonprofits money from their district contingency funds. Stephens Media.

A trial will be held in September for two sovereignty activists who are challenging charges that they were illegally camping on state land earlier this year while protesting the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Abel Simeona Lui and Kittrena Morgan were among 11 people arrested for camping near the King Kamehameha the Great statue in Hilo in April. Stephens Media.

The public got its first look at the much-anticipated final master plan of the Kealakehe Regional Park Tuesday evening at the West Hawaii Civic Center. Stephens Media.


A final study has been released with data supporting claims that county wastewater discharge negatively impacted nearshore water quality, according to the environmental law firm, Earthjustice. “This study confirms what we’ve been saying for years: wastewater injected at the Lahaina facility travels underground and ends up in the ocean offshore of Kahekili Beach, contributing pollutants to nearshore waters,” said Caroline Ishida, an attorney for Earthjustice. Maui Now.

With the number of brush fire calls in less than seven months this year approaching 12-month totals for previous years, Mayor Alan Arakawa said that the Fire Department may need additional funding if brush fires continue at the same rate. Maui News.

Maui Film Studios - boasting the largest soundstage in the state - is booked through next year with three projects lined up, including a pilot television series to begin production in September and a feature film. Maui News.


Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm, filed a petition Wednesday accusing a farmers’ cooperative and a state-run corporation of excessively diverting water from Waimea River and wasting some of it. Garden Island.

A community group has filed a complaint against a state agency, claiming that water diverted from Kauai's Waimea River is being wasted, contrary to Hawaii law and policy that fresh water resources are a public trust, which the state is obligated to protect and restore. Star-Advertiser.

The river that weaves through Waimea Canyon on the west side of Kauai has lost its luster over the past few decades due to stream diversions for a sugar plantation that shut down 12 years ago, according to a petition filed against the state Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Volunteers to visit dive sites around Kauai. Garden Island.

Kauai County is asking the public for input on a draft master plan for the county's parks and recreation facilities. Associated Press.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hawaii 3rd in nation in solar panels, Legislature doesn't support gay marriage special session, reform coming to Hawaiian Home Lands, interim president for University of Hawaii, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PVC Honolulu
solar panels in Honolulu
A new report touts Hawaii as a leader in solar energy. The report released Tuesday by Environment America ranks Hawaii third in the nation per capita for solar installations. The group says Hawaii's solar capacity last year grew by 57 percent, bringing it to a total of 191 megawatts. Associated Press.

The commission that oversees the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands agreed Tuesday to send termination notices to all tenants in its controversial month-to-month land leasing program, taking the first step in an attempt to reform the system. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaiian Homes Commission voted (7-0) to amend its long-standing revocable permit program on Tuesday. Big Island Video News.

State House and Senate leaders said Tuesday that they do not have the two-thirds' support required to call a special session on gay marriage and would return to the state Capitol on the issue only if Gov. Neil Abercrombie initiates it. Star-Advertiser.

A major credit rating agency on Tuesday heaped praise on Hawaii for taking some big steps this past legislative session to get its finances in order over the next several years. But Standard & Poor’s credit analysts said they are worried that spending is growing too fast. Civil Beat.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa's campaign failed to report funds that it spent on a February survey that predated her entry into the senatorial race against incumbent Sen. Brian Schatz, her campaign spokesman Peter Boylan acknowledged on Tuesday. The campaign risks being fined for violating federal elections law. Civil Beat.

Who's Backing Whom for Hawaii's U.S. Senate Seat? Civil Beat.

The University of Hawai'i Board of Regents plans to appoint David Lassner as Interim President of the university, pending a final vote at a special board meeting July 30. Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii plans to tap its longtime information technology executive to be interim president of the 10-campus system as it continues searching for a permanent replacement for outgoing President M.R.C. Greenwood. The Board of Regents announced Tuesday that it will vote next week on appointing David Lassner to the temporary post, effective Sept. 1. Star-Advertiser.

Although the University of Hawaii increased tuition by 108 percent from 2006 to 2012, university President M.R.C. Greenwood told skeptical lawmakers earlier this year the tuition rates are “modest” and a degree is still a “good bargain.” The hike will continue: tuition will rise by 33 percent over the next five years. Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawaii Department of Education says it’s working to get more kids to take advantage of the school breakfast program. But exactly why participation has remained so low and continues to decrease is unclear. Civil Beat.

Marge is angry. This island retiree says the state’s Department of Human Services is cheating people like herself by failing to fully disclose important rules that provide how and under what conditions the government can try to collect reimbursements for long-term care paid for by Medicaid. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines’ turboprop interisland subsidiary Ohana by Hawaiian has hit the brakes, thanks to holdups with the Federal Aviation Administration, according to parent company Hawaiian Holdings Inc. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for July 24. Associated Press.

As a response to the escalating number of pedestrian fatalities so far this year, police will begin patrolling intersections where there is a lot of foot traffic. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is looking to get into a long-term contract with the National Football League for the league’s annual all-star game, the Pro Bowl, according to David Uchiyama, the state agency’s vice president for brand management. Pacific Business News.

A McDonald's customer testified Tuesday that State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy kicked Kollin Elderts to start the physical confrontation at the fast-food restaurant in Waikiki, then later pulled out a gun and fired at Elderts at close range. Star-Advertiser.

State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy could still be fired from his job even if he's found not guilty of murder, a Honolulu legal expert who specializes in representing federal employees said Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Thirty-five year-old Stephen Dinnan died in police custody in Waimanalo last month after he was placed in a chokehold by a civilian who accompanied police, according to an autopsy report. The Honolulu Medical Examiner ruled Dinnan's June 4th death was a homicide. Hawaii News Now.

The closure of two levels of parking adjacent to the now-vacant Sears department store at Ala Moana Center is causing maddening traffic congestion for many shoppers. An estimated 2,000 parking stalls were blocked off earlier this month when the $572 million redevelopment of the largest shopping complex in Hawaii began. Star-Advertiser.

US Senator Mazie Hirono today announced $6.7 million in federal funds for upgrades at Honolulu International Airport. Maui Now.


Proposed developments in South Kona and Kohala sparked concerns Tuesday over whether the county Planning Department is paying enough attention to Community Development Plan committees when making decisions. Stephens Media.

Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science is looking to expand its online learning program to a facility in Pahala. The state Public Charter School Commission’s Performance & Accountability Committee on Thursday will discuss a request by the Pahoa-based HAAS to pursue adding a satellite location at Pahala Hongwanji. Stephens Media.


Taking care of Hawaii's aging population will be among Gov. Neil Abercrombie's top priorities in the legislative session next year, the governor said at the 45th annual Maui County Outstanding Older American Recognition Ceremony hosted at the King Kamehameha Golf Club on Monday. Maui News.


A decades-old issue of commercial boating permits in Hanalei Bay resurfaced at the Kauai Planning Commission on Tuesday only to remain anchored for another three weeks. Garden Island.

Kauai Department of Water officials are moving forward with plans to construct an at least $6 million building to replace the department’s aging main administrative office. Garden Island.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hawaii flower sales wilt, homeless could be sent to Mainland, Biden stopping in Hawaii, state to get two new cutters, county shorted HI-5 funds, Maui wind turbines removed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News
Tropical flowers at farmers market (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Dry weather, pests, vog and lackluster customer demand took a toll on commercial growers of ornamental plants in Hawaii last year, pushing the sector of the state's farm industry into a fifth straight year of lower sales. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers hope to save taxpayers millions of dollars in welfare costs by shipping some of the state’s estimated 17,000 homeless back to their families on the mainland. Civil Beat.

Vice President Joe Biden will reportedly stop in Hawaii this weekend after a six-day trade and diplomatic trip to India and Singapore. Associated Press.

Al Gore has endorsed Brian Schatz for U.S. Senate. Who cares? When it comes to the media, at least, quite a lot of people. Civil Beat.

In Hawaii, there are certain instances when someone can legally stand their ground, but generally the state’s self-defense law is in agreement with the sentiments expressed by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who said citizens have a duty to retreat from an attacker if they can do so safely. KITV4.

More than 70 cost-free charging stations for electric and hybrid vehicles – that were installed with the help of about $580,000 in federal stimulus funds – cannot be used by thousands of early adopters of emissions-free vehicles. Civil Beat.

A new study by the University of Hawai'i Cancer Center finds young people who want to quit smoking are turning to e-cigarettes. Hawaii News Now.


The Coast Guard's seventh and eighth new National Security Cutters — ships whose construction was in doubt last year — will be funded and based in Honolulu, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The nonprofit company dedicated to helping those with developmental disabilities and now under scrutiny by the federal government currently has contracts to run janitorial and cafeteria services in Hawaii with the Navy and the Army totaling more than $9 million, the two military branches told the Star-Advertiser.

Oahu is on pace to record more pedestrian fatalities than in any year since 2008. Star-Advertiser.

Christopher Deedy’s former college roommate testified Monday that the State Department special agent ordered five beers at five different bars before the 2011 fatal shooting at a McDonald’s restaurant in Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

Call volume over water bills hits 1,200 a day. KITV4.

The fees from the small number of city employees who park in the city's nearly-empty new parking garage fail to bring in enough revenue to pay for the building's annual upkeep, never mind its expensive mortgage, Hawaii News Now has learned.

The state agency regulating development in Kakaako has scheduled two additional public comment sessions on two condominium towers planned for Ward Centers. Star-Advertiser.

Friends, colleagues and fans are pouring out their aloha and sharing stories of Don Gordon, a former Hawaii Public Radio jazz show host and impresario who died Sunday afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

The median sales price of an existing business in Honolulu during the second quarter was $265,000, a drop of 14 percent from the same quarter last year, according to Pacific Business News.


Hawaii County residents are paying an extra half-cent fee every time they buy a drink in a HI-5 bottle or can, but the county is seeing less of its money coming back from the state to operate its redemption centers. West Hawaii Today.

A combination of federal and state belt-tightening — as well as increased competition from other nonprofit organizations for vital grants, with the number of applicants in Hawaii roughly doubling — served to cut various sources of program funding for the Big island Substance Abuse council this year, resulting in the organization shutting down on July 1 three of its offices in Kealakekua, Waimea and Oahu. Tribune-Herald.

A U.S. Geological Survey scientist has adapted a Hawaii-born method of measuring coral growth. West Hawaii Today.

At $1,833 Hilo residents pay the highest average amount of rent than anywhere else in the country. A family of four needs a combined income of more than $87,000 a year to live comfortably. Hawaii News Now.

After nearly five years of operation, the wind turbines atop the Maui Ocean Center building in Māʻalaea have since been removed, company officials announced. Maui Now.

With boxes of bike helmets, an electrocardiography machine and pairs of vision-impaired goggles - adults and children alike, were educated and entertained Saturday during the 2nd annual Summer Safety Fair at Maui Mall. Maui News.

The Haleakalā park road and summit area above the 9,740 foot elevation will be closed to vehicles, pedestrians, horses and bicyclists through Thursday, July 25, park officials said. Maui Now.

Traffic violation numbers have dipped this past year and Kauai Police Department officials attribute the decline to effective enforcement and safer driving habits. Garden Island.

Koloa Plantation Days in full swing. Garden Island.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cruise ships help float Hawaii economy, Al Gore endorses Schatz, Espero announces congressional bid, Honolulu mayor signs smoking ban, Kauai to revamp tax code, learning about Micronesians, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Norwegian cruise lines
Cruise ship in Kona, Hawaii
Hawaii received $386 million in direct spending from the cruise industry in 2012, according an independent study commissioned by the Cruise Lines International Association. Pacific Business News.

For the last couple of weeks, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa has been railing against sequestration in campaign emails. But they haven't told the whole story about her history with the automatic budget cuts. Civil Beat.

Al Gore has endorsed U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in his push to keep his seat. Associated Press.

State Sen. Will Espero has officially declared himself as a candidate to replace Colleen Hanabusa in Hawaii's first congressional district. Hawaii News Now.

State Sen. Will Espero (D) announced Sunday he’ll throw his hat in the ring for the seat being vacated by current Representative Colleen Hanabusa. KHON2.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is naming an interim administrator for its historic preservation division. The department is also forming a committee to find a long-term replacement for the previous administrator who resigned earlier this month. Pua Aiu stepped down after a federal report criticized the way her office responded to operational problems threatening funding. Associated Press.

M.R.C. Greenwood will earn a little less than $25,000 a month after she resigns as University of Hawaii president. It’s part of a new deal reached Thursday in a closed-door meeting of the university’s Board of Regents. Hawaii Reporter.

Jesuit priest Francis X. Hezel's latest book, “Making Sense of Micronesia,” just published by the University of Hawaii Press, aims to help Americans decode Micronesian customs and attitudes as more migrants make their way to Hawaii and the mainland. Star-Advertiser.

Civil Beat interviewed Hezel about his work and his views on what Hawaii and the United States can – and should – do for Micronesians, and why. Civil Beat.

Legislation that would have eliminated $34 million in funding for native Hawaiian education programs has since been amended in the US House of Representatives on Thursday, but still faces an uncertain future. Maui Now.

The Hawaii Department of Education has selected eight schools to participate in a pilot program that will equip every student and teacher with a digital tablet and laptop. Associated Press.

Improving public education in Hawaii a passion for Kaneohe Ranch CEO Mitch D'Olier. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for July 22. Associated Press.


All bus stops and city-run outdoor recreational areas in Honolulu — to include beaches, parks, playgrounds, swimming pools and athletic fields — will officially be smoke-free Jan. 1. With world-famous Waikiki Beach at his back and his paddleboard by his feet, Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed two City Council bills Sunday that ban smoking at the city's nearly 300 Hono­­lulu parks and about 4,000 bus stops. Star-Advertiser.

In July, the city council passed two smoking ban bills. On Sunday, Mayor Caldwell signed them into law. From now until January 1, city officials will post signs and spread the word about the smoking ban, educating residents and visitors about what happens if they get caught. KHON2.

A family of four must earn nearly $78,000 a year just to live modestly in Honolulu, a new study showed. The 2013 Family Budget Calculator released by the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, estimates a household with two adults and two children would need to earn more than triple the federal poverty level of $23,283 "to attain a secure yet modest living standard" in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

An $80,000 private investigator and hundreds of hours of scrutiny by attorneys have left key questions unanswered in the ongoing scandal involving the City and County of Honolulu and a Central Oahu nonprofit that received nearly $8 million in federal grants to serve the elderly and the developmentally disabled. Civil Beat.

The Mayor’s new Chief Information Officer has been on the job for about a week following his confirmation by the Honolulu City Council. Hawaii Public Radio.

Crews and divers started pulling a mile-long temporary sewer line from the murky depths of the Ala Wai Canal last week, seven years after persistent rain ruptured a Waikiki pipe and leaked millions of gallons of raw sewage into the water there. Star-Advertiser.


It represents nearly three decades of a man’s work and passion — an exhaustive photographic record of the daily lives of Hawaii Island residents during the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. Containing between 40,000 and 50,000 images in negatives and prints, the John Howard Pierce Photograph Collection is a treasure trove of local history that is just beginning to yield its secrets. Tribune-Herald.

Unraveling the mysteries presented by the Pierce photo collection requires a determined approach, and the skills of a private eye. Tribune-Herald.

A Big Island-based teacher preparation program that focuses on developing educators to work with Native Hawaiian students in charter schools recently earned national accreditation, allowing it to soon begin recruiting students. Associated Press.


A shiny new aluminum channel will soon replace the rotting and aging redwood of the Waikamoi Flume, a piece of Maui's history built in a forest on the ridges and valleys above Haiku more than 70 years ago. Maui News.

Governor Neil Abercrombie announced the release of a $364,000 allocation for Health Department facilities across the state, including health and safety improvement projects at the Maui District Health Office and the Wailuku Health Center on Maui. Maui Now.

It's no news that dogs have a keen sense of smell, but researchers on Maui are engaged in a cutting-edge medical scent detection study that involves training dogs to detect life-threatening infections. Maui News.


The Kauai County Council unanimously approved on first reading a bill that would shake up the county’s real property tax system. Draft Bill 2495 proposes a revision on property tax exemptions and caps that would affect resident homeowners, nonprofit organizations, Hawaiian homesteaders, credit unions, senior citizens, transient vacation rental owners and others. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council introduced a bill to fix a glitch on an “exceptional tree” designation for a coconut grove planted 103 years ago. Garden Island.

Endangered birds on Kauai are singing the praises of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Last week, the federal agency awarded a pair of grants totaling nearly $1 million to local conservation projects. Garden Island.

Oceanic Time Warner Cable broadband Internet customers on Molokai have waited for years, filed dozens of complaints and wrung their hands in frustration as hundreds streaming Netflix movies failed to load — all because of Internet speeds many called substandard. Finally, the wait is over. Molokai Dispatch.

Molokai is already home to two saints — Damien and Marianne — and if efforts continue, the island might be known for a third: Brother Joseph Dutton. Molokai Dispatch.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Lucky we live longer in Hawaii! Elders enjoy longer lives; unemployment falls, tax revenues rise, last frigate retired, Pfleuger guilty of reckless endangerment in Kauai dam burst, state to consider thrill-craft rules, Honolulu homeless sweep, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii kupuna hula (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
If you’re 65 and living in Hawaii, here’s some good news: Odds are you’ll live another 21 years. And for all but five of those years, you’ll likely be in pretty good health. Hawaii tops the charts in the government’s first state-by-state look at how long Americans age 65 can expect to live, on average, and how many of those remaining years will be healthy ones. Associated Press.

Hawaii tops the charts in the government's first state-by-state look at how long Americans age 65 can expect to live, on average, and how many of those remaining years will be healthy ones. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii tax revenues deposited in the general fund rose nearly 10 percent during the most recent fiscal year to $5.5 billion. The state Department of Taxation said Thursday general excise tax revenue rose just over 9 percent to $2.9 billion during the 12 months ended in June. Associated Press.

Hawaii's unemployment rate fell in June to its lowest level in nearly five years as local businesses continued to ramp up hiring, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate last month was the lowest since September 2008.Associated Press.

Reflecting the visibility of her race against Sen. Brian Schatz, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa was named one of Politico’s Top 50 Politicos to Watch. Civil Beat.

A former aide to the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye has chosen U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa's Democratic primary campaign for Senate over a corporate government relations job. Peter Boylan, a former deputy chief of staff to Inouye, has resigned as a senior manager for Time Warner Cable in Washington, D.C. He will serve as communications director for Hanabusa's campaign against U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. Star-Advertiser.

(July 18, 2013) The crew formerly assigned to the guided-missile frigate USS Reuben James (FFG 57) declare the ship as all clear during the ship's decommissioning ceremony on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH). USS Reuben James was the first and is the last guided-missile frigate to be homeported in Pearl Harbor. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dustin W. Sisco/Released)
USS Reuben James courtesy photo
The Navy started the day with 18 frigates in the fleet. It ended it with 17 after the retirement of the USS Reuben James at Pearl Harbor. The last remaining frigate home-ported in Hawaii was decommissioned Thursday after 14 deploy­ments and 27 years of service — including some tense moments in the Persian Gulf region. Star-Advertiser.

Drones are garnering increasing attention in the islands, whether in reaction to President Obama’s defense of his extensive use of remote-controlled aerial surveillance and bombing overseas, or as a result of peace-minded protests against drone usage and testing at Pohakuloa on the Big Island, at Wheeler Air Force Base and at UH-Manoa on Oahu. Civil Beat.

What began as a look at the unregulated use of water-propelled jet packs around Oahu has turned into a state review of thrill-craft operations overall. State Land Board Chairman William Aila Jr. said he was broadening his review to include the impact of thrill craft on traditional fishing and on fish and coral larvae. Star-Advertiser.

The time for new leadership to step up at Hawaiian Electric Co., the state’s largest electric utility and part of the biggest public company in Hawaii, took a big step on Wednesday after Robbie Alm, who has been the public face of the company, announced he is leaving his executive vice president post on Aug. 30, after a little more than a decade with the utility. Pacific Business News.

Father Francis X. Hezel, a Catholic priest who has lived and worked in Micronesia for more than four decades, visited Hawaii this week to meet with government officials and others to discuss what the state and federal governments can do to help Micronesians. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents is in talks with a candidate to temporarily replace outgoing President M.R.C. Greenwood but isn't ready to make the person's name public. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents on Thursday elected John Holzman as its new chairman, along with Vice Chair Saedene Ota and returning Vice Chair James Lee. Pacific Business News.

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has an ambitious plan to build more than four thousand new homes for Hawaiian homesteaders. It's something that will take them 20 years to do. Hawaii News Now.

There were 15,258 hybrid vehicles registered in the state of Hawaii, according to a June state energy trend report. The number of electric vehicles was 1,551 — an uptick of 83 percent compared to the same time last year. Civil Beat.


Greg I. Nishioka will resign Aug. 30 as administrator of the Honolulu Liquor Commission, six months after admitting to the  Disciplinary Board of the Hawaii Supreme Court he commingled and misappropriated funds in his law practice. Star-Advertiser.

The administrator of the Honolulu Liquor Commission has resigned, months after admitting to dozens of legal ethics violations through his law practice. Hawaii News Now.

Thursday's sweeps dispersed dozens of homeless who camp overnight around the Kakaako Makai Gateway Park area and the Ala Wai Promenade. Star-Advertiser.

During the eighth day of testimony in State Department special agent Christopher Deedy's murder trial, a witness for the first time noted that Deedy did not appear to be intoxicated in the early-morning hours of Nov. 5, 2011, after he fatally shot a 23-year-old Kailua man at a Waikiki McDonald's. Star-Advertiser.

Retired Honolulu Police Department Sgt. Kenneth Schreiner was in charge when Christopher Deedy was arrested on Nov. 5, 2011. He saw Deedy kneeling over Kollin Elderts. Both men were covered in blood. A worker at the Waikiki McDonald's told him Deedy was the shooter. Hawaii News Now.

A Waikiki hotel is accused of discriminating against a combat veteran and his service dog. Hawaii News Now.

Beachgoers are breaking out in a blistering rash, and it’s not because of jellyfish or Man o’ War. KHON2 heard from several people who reported getting stung by “stinging seaweed.”

The Historic Hawai’i Foundation cites up to four heiau in Kaimuki, one up Sierra Drive, two on Kaimuki Hill and another at Leahi hospital. Hawaii Public Radio.

Sandra Dawson has been shepherding plans for the Thirty Meter Telescope through Hawaii's regulatory labyrinth for the past five years, and now, pending resolution of one last appeal, construction of the estimated $1.4 billion astronomy endeavor near the top of Mauna Kea is poised to begin. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation may have found a colorful solution to the issue of illegal activity at Kalakaua Park. Parks and Recreation Director Clayton Honma said he will look at adding flower boxes along a wall on the makai side of the downtown Hilo park that nearby businesses complain is used too frequently as a hangout spot for the homeless and vagrants. Tribune-Herald.

Leeward Planning Commissioners are asking for more information from county departments and the developer of a proposed Hualalai Road subdivision before deciding whether the land should be reclassified as urban and rezoned. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County will get a new public shoreline access easement as part of a 1999 special management area permit, as a luxury development begins to take root on one of the few remaining large private holdings on Kohala’s Gold Coast. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Medical Service Association plans to open one of its new neighborhood centers in Hilo’s Waiakea Center. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled today that a wrongful death lawsuit against Ala Moana Center can move forward. The high court said Ala Moana had a duty to aid 22-year-old Jasmine Fry, who died in 2005 after she fell into an exhaust vent above the center's food court. Hawaii News Now.


In light of a looming investigation over the Old Wailuku Post Office demolition, Mayor Alan Arakawa has proposed directives that limit communication between council members and county department heads that he admits could bring the county to "a grinding halt." Maui News.

The Maui County Civil Defense Agency has updated tsunami evacuation zone maps - with major changes in the Kahului area and the addition of new maps for two areas on Maui. Maui News.

Maui police will be increasing speeding enforcement, education and patrols during a week-long campaign that runs from July 22-26 on all major Maui roadways, police said. Maui Now.

It takes a community to build a food forest. That was the message delivered by Paul Massey to a receptive crowd of both seasoned permaculture enthusiasts and self-proclaimed "greenhorns" at a recent talk at the University of Hawai'i Maui College. Maui Weekly.

In a nearly empty courtroom, retired auto dealer James Pflueger was found guilty of reckless endangering in the Ka Loko dam tragedy after pleading no contest Thursday and ending years of denying that he had any responsibility in the 2006 disaster that left seven people dead. Star-Advertiser.

A retired car dealer pleaded no contest Thursday to reckless endangering in a dam breach in Hawaii that swept seven people to their deaths in 2006. Associated Press.

The defendant involved in the 2006 Ka Loko dam failure pleaded no contest to first-degree reckless endangering Thursday in 5th Circuit Court. Garden Island.

James Pflueger, the owner of the land under the dam, was indicted on seven counts of manslaughter and one count of reckless endangerment in the first degree in November 2008 after witnesses said he illegally graded around the dam and covered its main safety feature, a concrete spillway, causing it to overtop and breach during heavy rains. Pflueger, an 87-year-old retired auto dealer with assets of $71 million, was able to use his power, wealth, influence and political connections to delay his criminal trial for years through multiple appeals. Hawaii Reporter.

Kauai now has its first 320-slice computed tomography scanner, an X-ray imaging machine. Now installed and in operation at Wilcox Memorial Hospital, the CT scanner is the fastest and most advanced scanner in the state, according to hospital officials. Garden Island.