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

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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.

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