Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hawaii tourism hot, audit finds University of Hawaii funds lacking, Obama meets with school chums, task force recommends medical marijuana dispensaries, $100M for Oahu roads, shopkeepers want to return to Pahoa despite lava threat, gaming company sues Honolulu prosecutor, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Girls at Waikiki surfboard rental © 2014 All Hawaii News
Hawaii's tourism industry is on track to reach another record number of visitors and spending in 2014, for the third year in a row. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s tourism industry is on track to contribute nearly $300 million more to the state’s economy compared with last year, according to data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Civil Beat.

More than a quarter of the so-called special funds and revolving funds maintained by the University of Hawaii — including the Manoa athletics special fund — do not meet legislative criteria and should be repealed or reclassified, a state audit released Tuesday concluded. Star-Advertiser.

The state auditor’s office, led by Jan Yamane, has found that 17 of 65 funding sources for the University of Hawaii have at least one thing wrong with them and some should be repealed altogether because they no longer serve their original purpose. Civil Beat.

Since returning to his childhood home this month on vacation, President Barack Obama has spent a good part of most days cloistered with three people whose company puts him at ease. They're not his wife and daughters, who came with him, but a trio of pals whose friendship dates back to Obama's high school days in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

The Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force has finished its work and recommended that the state establish dispensaries to make it easier for patients with certain conditions like cancer, glaucoma and HIV, among others, to get the drug legally. KHON2.

Management of individually owned vacation units is handled differently statewide, but their spread has created similar controversy across the islands. The one exception is Hawaii island, where officials say creating extra places for visitors to stay is mostly welcomed. Star-Advertiser.

Blake Oshiro is rejoining the law firm of Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing to work on its government relations team. Oshiro spent the past three years as deputy chief of staff to Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Civil Beat.

2014 in review: Top news was Ige's election and No. 2, Pele's projection. Star-Advertiser.


City officials are spending more than $100 million annually to dig out from years of road-repair neglect, and new data show that paving crews are sustaining their scheduled pace to fix the worst of the island's city-owned roads. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council will inaugurate new members this week. Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Sabrina McKenna is scheduled to administer the oath of office on Friday. Associated Press.

Honolulu's controversial $5.16 billion elevated rail project saw some highs and lows in 2014, the former when courts cleared the way for the project, the latter as the agency charged with overseeing the project reveals mounting costs beyond what was budgeted. Pacific Business News.

The lead defendant in a state case regarding gambling machines is suing the city, Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, the two deputies Kaneshiro assigned to the case and a department investigator for allegedly knowingly presenting false information to the grand jury that returned an indictment against him. Star-Advertiser.

It was one of the largest white-collar crime cases in Hawaii history. But one month after a state judge tossed the case, the main defendant is suing. In a Circuit Court lawsuit filed today, Tracy Yoshimura accuses Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro of malicious prosecution. Hawaii News Now.

Neighbors of the 7000 Hawaii Kai Drive project by Avalon are beginning to get a sense of what they have to look forward to by the summer of 2016. Civil Beat.


Lava continues to close in on Pahoa Marketplace, but some businesses that fled earlier this month already inquired with Hawaii County Civil Defense about returning. Tuesday morning’s overflight of the June 27 lava flow revealed the leading edge crept 40 yards further downslope within 24 hours, bringing it to within a half-mile of Highway 130 and 660 yards from the rear of the marketplace. Tribune-Herald.

The only Hawaii-owned and operated large-scale dairy left in the state is in the process of being sold to Ulupono Initiative, Hawaii News Now has learned. Ed Boteilho, whose family has owned and operated Cloverleaf Dairy in the Big Island's Kohala district since 1962, said he's in the process of selling his nearly 900-acre dairy to Ulupono Initiative, the investment company financed by eBay founder, billionaire Pierre Omidyar.

The Nature Conservancy has purchased a 222-acre property at the southern end of Hawaii Island. The conservation organization announced the purchase of the parcel, known as Kahuku Iki, in a Tuesday afternoon news release. West Hawaii Today.

The number of people visiting Hawaii Island rose 4.8 percent and spending climbed 6.8 percent in November compared to the same month in 2013, the Hawaii Tourism Authority reported Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

The average statewide price of gas has declined 43 cents from New Year’s Eve a year ago. Still, paying an average $3.51 a gallon for regular while the national average stands at $2.27 may have Hawaii drivers wondering why prices here haven’t fallen more quickly than they have. And West Hawaii drivers may be wondering why they’re still having to pony up an average of $3.78 a gallon for regular. West Hawaii Today.

A strong ahi catch late in the year should help East Hawaii residents ring in 2015 with plenty of sashimi and poke on their plates and perhaps a few extra dollars in their pocket. Tribune-Herald.


Based on the 30 or so private Lear, Gulfstream and Falcon jets parked earlier this week on the Haleakala side of Kahului Airport, there are quite a few of the rich and famous spending their holiday season on Maui. Maui News.


A bill relating to additional dwelling units recently passed by the Kauai County Council, was signed into law by Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. The new law, Ordinance 981, extends the deadline for obtaining a building permit from Dec. 15, 2014, to Dec. 15, 2024, for property owners that obtained an ADU facilities clearance form before June 16, 2007. Garden Island.


After a nearly yearlong closure, Kaunakakai's main hub will reopen Tuesday with new renovations completed. Maui News.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New milk rules worry ranchers, rare House Republican defects to Democrats, new Cray computer for UH, Obama golf game forces wedding move, nesting nene killed, Puna residents in lava path surveyed, more money for health exchange, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Waimea Naked Cow Dairy courtesy photo
Hawaii's milk industry has new price rules after the state's only processor, Meadow Gold, privately warned that it would quit buying milk from local dairies as of Thursday unless it could pay less than what regulators permitted. The state Board of Agriculture voted 7-0 at an emergency meeting Monday to amend state Department of Agriculture rules governing wholesale prices paid to Hawaii farmers for fresh milk. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s only milk processor has convinced a regulatory board to relax a price floor for locally produced milk to help the company compete with mainland imports. But one dairy producer is afraid that the decision will put him out of business. Civil Beat.

Less than two months after winning election as a Republican in a traditionally Republican district, Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson on Monday announced his switch to the Democratic Party in a move he maintains will allow him to seek common ground and best policies over partisan politics. Star-Advertiser.

Republicans, voters react to losing Rep. Aaron Johanson to Democrats. Rep. Aaron Johanson defects to Democratic Party. KITV4.

Hawaii’s troubled health insurance exchange needs state taxpayers to shore up an estimated $2.5 million deficit next year. Hawaii Health Connector CEO Jeff Kissell, who just took over the state-created nonprofit in October, told a legislative oversight committee Monday that the state appropriation should be viewed as an investment that will produce $500 million in federal tax subsidies within the next decade. Civil Beat.

Governor David Ige has appointed Catherine Awakuni Colón to serve as director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Hawaii Independent.

The University of Hawaii has installed a new high performing computing system produced by American supercomputer manufacturer Cray Inc., and is inviting researchers to start working with it. Pacific Business News.


Obama golf game forces Army couple to move wedding. Associated Press.

The widespread proliferation of mostly illegal vacation rentals on Oahu is pitting neighbor against neighbor, highlighting the city of Honolulu's inability to enforce its own laws, and likely leaving millions of tax dollars uncollected. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: It’s hard to put a positive spin on a shortfall of up to $700 million shortfall, but Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and top officials from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation sure tried when publicly announcing the bad news that now hangs over the city’s $5.2 billion rail project. Civil Beat.

Rising property taxes a concern for Oahu home owners. KHON2.

What to do About Chinatown’s Stinking Streets. Merchants are frustrated with the homeless, but a little help is on the way with plans to open a public restroom and shower facility next month. Civil Beat.


A new survey reveals the needs and concerns of Puna-area residents as they continue to wrestle with a threatening lava flow. Tribune-Herald.

Air quality, lost business and access to basic needs are among the top concerns of about 800 Hawaii island residents contending with a lava flow inching toward Pahoa's main highway. Star-Advertiser.

Individuals will no longer have to provide “competent, efficient, loyal and ethical service to the public” to qualify for employment with Hawaii County. Instead, people will be hired based on their “fitness and ability for public employment,” and be retained based on their “demonstrated appropriate conduct and productive performance.” West Hawaii Today.


The National Park Service says a nesting nene was killed by a car at Haleakala National Park. The endangered Hawaiian goose was killed Friday. Associated Press.

With his lawyer saying a man was trying to be a good Samaritan when he punched a suspected shoplifter in Lahaina last year, the defendant was spared a jail term and was given a chance to keep an assault conviction off his record. Maui News.


So far, Kauai seems to be escaping an alarming trend happening across the islands. Scammers who fraudulently advertise Hawaii rental properties have ripped off hundreds if not thousands of visitors to the state, according to Honolulu police, who say it’s difficult to prosecute the con artists because most of them operate out of state. Associated Press.

Monday, December 29, 2014

POW/MIA ID program cut, Ige seeks new DLNR chairman, state seeks tourism chief, Honolulu prosecutor bungles gambling probe, telescopes net $91.5M for Big Island, Hawaiian Electric/NextEra Energy merger more a sale, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Pearl Harbor © 2014 All Hawaii News
A program that provides dozens of scientists and other experts to the Hawaii-based Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command is being sharply cut. The move comes at the same time that Congress is seeking more recoveries and identifications from JPAC, whose headquarters and main lab are at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Associated Press.

There had been great interest in whether William Aila would be retained by Gov. David Ige as chairman of the Board of Land and Natural Resources and head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Neil Abercrombie, the governor who Ige defeated in the Democratic primary, was among those who urged the new governor to keep the popular Aila. Turns out that Ige is keeping Aila, but not on the Land Board. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige appointed five new cabinet members. Ige says all of the appointees have a leadership style that will move Hawaii forward for the benefit of the public. Some are staying on from the previous administration. Associated Press.

Almost two dozen Hawaii media outlets and nonprofit organizations have come together to start a dialogue with Gov. David Ige’s administration about government transparency and accountability issues. Brian Black, the executive director of The Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest and the organizer of the effort, delivered a jointly signed letter to Ige’s chief of staff, Mike McCartney, on Friday. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has chosen a search committee to establish the search process and qualifications for a permanent president and CEO of the state agency. Pacific Business News.

On the ninth day of President Barack Obama's vacation in Hawaii, he went to the Kaneohe Klipper Marine Corps Base Hawaii golf course. Star-Advertiser.

How President Barack Obama spent the ninth day of his family’s holiday vacation on Sunday. Associated Press.

Are Hawaiian Electric and NextEra Energy Getting Married? Company officials are describing the proposed deal in many ways, including a "marriage," "partnership" and "combination," blurring the true nature of the acquisition. Civil Beat.


Judge criticizes city's bungled prosecution in tossing indictment. Misconduct by two government attorneys scuttles a trial about gambling machines. Star-Advertiser.

Cleaner air and less litter at beaches and parks. That’s what some Oahu residents say is the result of a smoking ban that went into effect almost one year ago. KHON2.

Vacation cons take their toll. Police often can't solve the crimes because many occur out of state, leaving travelers with a loss of cash and no place to stay. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii Island raked in $91.48 million in 2012 thanks to direct and indirect impacts of the astronomy sector, according to a recent study by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. Tribune-Herald.

The front of the lava flow coming from the Kilauea Volcano advanced another 10 yards Sunday. Hawaii County Civil Defense said the front of the flow remains active but sluggish, moving 15 yards on Saturday after stalling for five days. Star-Advertiser.

According to Hawaii County Civil Defense their Sunday morning flyover of the June 27 lava flow from Kilauea volcano showed the flow front, which had been stagnant for several days, had advanced about 10 yards since Saturday afternoon, and about 25 yards in the previous 48 hours. Tribune-Herald.

They say bad news comes in threes, but in the case of the Department of Water Supply, it’s come in fours. Four water wells in West Hawaii experienced breakdowns in rapid succession, leaving the department scrambling to repair them, even as meteorologists predict a drier than normal winter. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii's supply of locally grown tomatoes has gotten considerably smaller after one of the state's biggest producers decided to exit the business. Hamakua Springs Country Farms on Hawaii island ceased tomato production at the end of November, leaving stores around the state such as Costco, Foodland, Safeway and Whole Foods without the company's hydroponically grown varieties, which included cocktail, beef and heirloom tomatoes. Star-Advertiser.

As the end of 2014 draws near, a prominent construction project in Kona is on schedule for completion. Traffic circulation and public safety will improve when the extension of Laaloa Avenue, a mauka-makai connector road, opens next month, said Warren Lee, Hawaii County Department of Public Works director. West Hawaii Today.

The county Department of Public Works Traffic Division will begin internal testing today of a traffic camera on the Keaau bypass portion of Keaau-Pahoa Road (Highway 130) at the intersection of Milo Street. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County is sending notices of violation to several hundred unpermitted vacation rental operators who've been doing business under the radar but now have been targeted for enforcement because their online advertising is evidence of illegal activity. Maui News.

Maui, Oʻahu, and Kauaʻi are the three islands that are no strangers to experiencing frequent housing shortages. Maui Now.

A $12 million retail/office, residential apartment and independent senior living development with more than 170 additional public parking spaces is proposed for a 9-acre site within the Baldwin Avenue-Paia Mini Bypass pocket of former sugar cane fields. Maui News.

A piece of ordnance found by a diver in waters off of Maui on Saturday, has since been safely removed and detonated. Maui Police say the ordnance, identified as a M301A3 81 millimeter mortar illumination round was safely transported to the Ukumehame Firing range for safe detonation. Maui Now.


Mochi making, a traditional New Year’s practice, got in the way of the first visit by Gov. David Ige and his family to Kauai since being elected governor in early November. Garden Island.

Tensions bubbled to the surface during a Wailua-Kapaa Neighborhood Association meeting on Saturday, where one of the main topics of the day was HoKua Place, a planned 769-home community behind Kapaa Middle School. Garden Island.

Two luxury condo owners are claiming they were mislead and overcharged as their development surrounded by blight was converted into a timeshare resort. Garden Island.


Lanai's only movie theater reopened Dec. 20 as Hale Keaka - "theater" in Hawaiian - after being closed since the 1990s. The Pineapple Isle landmark underwent a $4 million renovation and features a modern interior and exterior reflecting the character of the island in the 1930s. Maui News.

Friday, December 26, 2014

How to fix Waikiki beach, Obama addresses troops, minimum wage going up, new geothermal well coming to Puna, 10,500 more people, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki Beach © 2014 All Hawaii News
The City and County of Honolulu  is considering creating a Special Improvement District to maintain and restore Waikiki Beach. Half of the $1.3 million budget to do the first part of renovation would come from the state legislature. The other half would come from a special assessment to commercial landowners. KHON2.

Diamond Head, the extinct volcano that has become synonymous with Waikiki Beach isn’t going anywhere, but much of the sand that both locals and visitors enjoy has vanished. KITV4.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama greeted military service members and their families at a holiday dinner held Thursday afternoon at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

After a day at the beach, Barack and Michelle Obama go to the Marine base at Kaneohe, where they visit with hundreds of service members and their families. Civil Beat.

President Barack Obama marked the end of more than a decade of combat in Afghanistan by paying tribute to America’s military, telling troops on Christmas Day that their sacrifices have allowed for a more peaceful, prosperous world to emerge out of the ashes of 9/11. Associated Press.

How President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama spent the sixth day of their holiday vacation in Hawaii on Thursday. Associated Press.

More Hawaii residents moved to the mainland than came the other way, but the state still added more than 10,500 people in the past year ending July 1, according to a census report. Births and foreign migrants largely accounted for Hawaii's population boost from 1,408,987 in 2013 to 1,419,561 in 2014, according to Census Bureau estimates released this week. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced Wednesday that per Act 82, Session Laws of Hawaii 2014, the minimum wage will increase to $7.75 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2015. West Hawaii Today.

Civil Beat’s 10 Most Read Stories of 2014. Hawaii's cost of living, GMO farming and homelessness were among the issues that attracted a lot of attention from our readers.

One Christmas present of sorts that came early for consumers in Hawaii and across the country: cheaper gas prices. That fall in fuel prices has also made a difference for a number of publicly-held companies based in Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.


Honolulu’s current affordable housing rules produced only 68 units in fiscal year 2014. That’s despite a housing shortage that helped drive up the median cost of a home to $719,000 last month. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii Cancer Center is facing an uncertain future as revenue streams shrink and financial losses mount at the research facility. At the same time, federal requirements call for operations to expand. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige said the state has not done a good job coordinating what public facilities should be built on state property along the rail transit line but he said affordable housing and a new state office building are two important needs. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has rejected Tommy Waters’ challenge of the election results in the Honolulu City Council District 4 race, in which Trevor Ozawa won by just 41 votes. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. is asking Hawaii regulators for more time to negotiate an updated power purchase agreement with AES Hawaii, the owner and operator of the state's only coal-fired power plant, as well as the single-largest generating plant on Oahu. Pacific Business News.


Puna Geothermal Venture plans to drill a new geothermal well to maintain production levels. Mike Kaleikini, director of Hawaiian Affairs for Ormat, PGV’s parent company, said drilling could begin in January and take about three months to complete. Tribune-Herald.

Two University of Hawaii at Hilo students are being called the "champions of freedom" for their efforts to protect First Amendment rights on campus. Star-Advertiser.

Visitors to the Hilo Naniloa Hotel will find major renovations, long talked about, have begun in earnest. Tribune-Herald.


What began as a civics lesson for a Maui Preparatory Academy student in April became a new ordinance banning smoking in Maui County parks and on its beaches. Maui News.

Maui leads the state in estimated number of vacation rental units advertised on the Internet, according to an SMS Research study conducted at the end of 2013 and between August and September of this year. Maui News.


A Hawaii vacation rental market study shows that alternative renting models continue to make inroads on hotels — and on Kauai, it’s about even on how visitors are choosing to overnight. Garden Island.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Vacation rentals proliferate in Hawaii, DLNR scales back Obama protection, body cameras for Kauai police, Maui family sues state over sexually abused foster children, Hawaii County buys Ebola gear, snowy Mauna Kea predicted, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikoloa ocean and mountain view © 2014 All Hawaii News
Thousands of illegal vacation rentals have been allowed to proliferate throughout the islands, likely contributing to a reduction in state tax revenue and a tightening of local rental markets, a new report by the Hawaii Tourism Authority suggests. Civil Beat.

A recent study commissioned by the Hawaii Tourism Authority has identified tens of thousands more home-based vacation rentals advertised online than the agency thought were available. The HTA said the home-based rentals now represent 25 percent of all lodging units, with hotels accounting for 50 percent. Time shares and condo hotels contribute 12 percent each. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Health Connector is allowing residents more time to sign up for health insurance coverage that would begin Jan. 1. The original deadline to enroll for coverage that begins at the start of the new year was Dec. 15, but they've extended the deadline to noon on Dec. 31. Associated Press.

Local telecomunications executive Albert Hee appeared in U.S. District Court on Tuesday to face federal tax evasion and tax fraud charges. Hee pleaded not guilty. Hee is the president of Sandwich Isles Communications, which along with its two subsidiaries provides telephone and high-speed Internet service to customers living on Hawaiian homelands. Star-Advertiser.


As hundreds of Hawaii law enforcement officer take part in President Obama's security detail on Christmas and New Year's Day, one state agency will be conspicuously absent. Hawaii News Now has learned that the Department of Land and Natural Resources has pulled back its ocean safety officers for those two key dates because it does not want to pay for overtime.

Hawaiian Electric Co. is asking Hawaii regulators for more time to negotiate an updated power purchase agreement with AES Hawaii, the owner and operator of the state's only coal-fired power plant, as well as the single-largest generating plant on Oahu. Pacific Business News.

The city has sent its real property assessment notices for 2015, and the total assessed valuation of all taxable real property on Oahu has increased from $200.74 billion to $214.90 billion, an overall increase of 7.1 percent. Hawaii Independent.

Local communities struggling to battle crime are in danger of losing the money they depend on to carry on the fight. The Weed and Seed program — overseen by the U.S. Department of Justice — can be found in areas including Ewa and Ewa Beach, Waipahu and in an area that combines the communities of Kalihi, Palama and Chinatown. KHON2.

A coconut crab that somehow made its way to Oahu is causing concern about whether there could be others around. Star-Advertiser.

An outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus appears to have spread on Waianae pig farms. Star-Advertiser.

Derrick DePledge, the state government and politics reporter for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, is leaving the newspaper. Civil Beat.

A California real estate investment firm, which owns the 2,742-acre Dillingham Ranch on Oahu's North Shore that was founded more than a century ago by Hawaii railroad tycoon Benjamin Franklin Dillingham, plans to develop 934 acres of the Waialua ranch into a 91-lot agricultural subdivision at a cost of $30 million. Pacific Business News.


County Finance Director Nancy Crawford, who had a hand on the county purse strings for two mayors, is retiring at the end of the month. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Fire Department was given permission Tuesday to purchase better equipment to protect emergency medical services workers from the Ebola virus, even though the equipment will cost more than that offered by the lowest bidder. West Hawaii Today.

It’s weather Santa would approve of. The Big Island’s two summits are braced for Hawaii’s answer to that proverbial howling nor’easter — with wind gusts to 90 mph expected to drive up to a foot of snow hard into the mountain faces by today. Temperatures on the peaks were forecast to dip to a frosty 23 degrees tonight, according to the Mauna Kea Weather Center. West Hawaii Today.

The June 27 lava flow, after stalling less than a half-mile from businesses just in time for Christmas, is giving merchants a much appreciated holiday reprieve. Tribune-Herald.


The state Department of Human Services is facing a lawsuit after placing two minors in the custody of a foster parent who sexually assaulted them from 2009 to 2011. Maui News.

A pilot project on Maui that allows primary care physicians to send photos of suspicious moles, lesions and rashes to dermatologists for evaluation has been expanded to all patients of Kaiser Permanente. Maui News.

Watching whales from the shoreline will have a unique spin this year—and you can win a prize. Starting now through mid-May, Pacific Whale Foundation will have trained naturalists stationed at key points along Maui’s coastline to help nature enthusiasts locate and learn about whales from the shore. Maui Time.


The Kauai Police Department could become the first law enforcement agency in the state to use body cameras next summer. The department plans to buy 141 cameras for $134,000 and begin using them by June or July, Police Chief Darryl Perry said. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai is set to receive one of the 30 deputy sheriffs that graduated Friday in a ceremony on Oahu. Garden Island.

With the annual return of humpback whales to the Hawaiian Islands comes a need for fresh sets of eyes to monitor their behavior. Registration is now open for the 2015 Sanctuary Ocean Count, themed “Keep Calm and Count Whales.” Garden Island.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Seven media takes on Ige's proposed budget, huge invasive coconut crab makes first appearance since 1989, Obama vacations in the rain, Health Department can't find Kauai's pollution source, Kenoi asks Obama to visit lava flow, Oahu's wealthiest to pay more property taxes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu's Chinatown © 2014 All Hawaii News
After two weeks of handing out warnings, Honolulu police officers Monday began enforcing the city's expanded sit-lie ordinance in Chinatown. Star-Advertiser.

The cost of state government will rise to $12.6 billion in the fiscal year that starts July 1, an increase of about 4 percent over the current year, due largely to contractual requirements such as health benefits and raises negotiated by the previous administration, Gov. David Ige said Monday in unveiling his proposed budget for the next two-year cycle. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige unveiled his administration’s first biennium budget Monday, seeking almost $1.5 billion in new spending over the next two years. The governor said most of the increased costs are beyond his control — a result of contractual agreements with public-worker unions and actions the state made before he took office Dec. 1. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige has released the first draft of Hawaii’s $25.7 billion budget that covers the next two fiscal years. Ige released the budget Monday, which is the deadline to submit the document to the Legislature. Associated Press.

The Governor delivered the first draft of his 2015-2017 Biennium Budget today to the state Legislature as required by law. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. David Ige submitted his first budget draft to the state Legislature Monday three weeks after taking office. The $25.7 billion biennial budget maintains state programs at current spending levels without raising taxes. However, if not for a $665 million projected carryover from the current fiscal year, the budget would be in the red. KITV4.

No job cuts and no tax increase —  that’s according to Gov. David Ige who unveiled his first projected state budget Monday for the next two fiscal years. KHON2.

On a rain-swept Monday unfit for even the most avid golfer, President Barack Obama whiled his third day of vacation taking to the lanes rather than the links. Obama started the day by signing a disaster declaration for upstate New York, clearing the way for federal funds to be used to help the area recover from a major storm that deposited more than 7 feet of snow. Star-Advertiser.

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

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi is inviting President Barack Obama to view lava from an active volcano heading to Pahoa. Associated Press.

Mark Takai, the former state representative who will be Hawaii’s next congressman, has named Rod Tanonaka to be his chief of staff. Tanonaka will be based in the Hawaii District Office at the Federal Building in Honolulu. Civil Beat.

A federal judge has ruled that a California-based labor contractor must pay $8.7 million in damages to Thai workers who were exploited while working at Hawaii farms, but it’s not clear whether any of them will get the money. Associated Press.

Opinion: Hawaii is the healthiest state in the nation for the third year in a row — at least if you believe the United Health Foundation, the group that released its annual nationwide survey. Civil Beat.


Oahu roads funnel about 112,000 residents into urban Honolulu daily for work, according to a state analysis of U.S. Census data that shows where jobs and residences intersect on the island. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism on Monday released data on “commuter adjusted” daytime population on Oahu. Civil Beat.

A bill that lets the city repave and maintain a new series of Oahu's private roads was allowed to become law by Mayor Kirk Caldwell without his signature Monday. But Caldwell administration officials, who had raised strong objections to the bill as it was moving through the City Council, said they won't be jumping at every opportunity to take on more responsibility when they've still got some 800 miles of standard city roads they've promised to pave over. Star-Advertiser.

As the City and County of Honolulu begin mailing out real property tax assessment notices this week, owners of non-owner occupied residential properties assessed at more than $1 million will pay near twice as much in taxes next year because of a new rate class. Pacific Business News.

According to Department of Agriculture officials, a recent coconut crab sighting is the first since 1989. The crustaceans can grow up to three feet in length. KHON2.


While the Big Island is expected to benefit from statewide expenditures in operating and capital improvement budgets proposed Monday by Gov. David Ige, there are just two specific projects, one in East Hawaii and one in West Hawaii, earmarked in his first spending plan. West Hawaii Today.

The June 27 lava flow hasn’t quite given Pahoa Marketplace merchants the Christmas miracle they are hoping for but it is giving them more time to prepare, watch and wait. The lava flow front remained about 0.4 miles from the shopping center and 0.6 miles from Highway 130 on Monday morning after advancing 70 yards in 24 hours. Tribune-Herald.

The end of the month will see a changing of the guard for a Big Isle school system complex that has seen more than its fair share of challenges lately. Mary Correa, the longtime Department of Education complex area superintendent for Ka‘u, Keaau and Pahoa, will retire Dec. 31 after 10 years in the position, and Keaau Elementary Principal Chad Keone Farias was tapped to fill her shoes. Tribune-Herald.

The summit areas of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii have been placed under a Blizzard Watch from Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now.


More public education and enforcement of stricter fishing regulations appears to be working, according to the supervisor of the nearly year-old Community Fisheries Enforcement Unit and Makai Watch volunteers. Maui News.


After three rounds of testing, the state Department of Health says it has been unable to pinpoint the source of pollution ending up in Waiopili Stream in Mahaulepu. Garden Island.

Cameras on drones have provided spectacular videos from Kauai, but residents are filing complaints when the unmanned aircraft fly too close. Associated Press.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Spinner dolphins need protection, Obama on Hawaii holiday, lava diversion mulled, crackdown on Chinatown homeless, Maui relaxes affordable housing rules, snow coming to Big Island mountains, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy NOAA
Spinner dolphins, courtesy NOAA
A combination of federal regulations and community-based conservation measures is needed to protect popular wild spinner dolphins in Hawaii, according to scientists from Duke University. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama soaked up some sun on the second day in a row Sunday on his two-week-long vacation on Oahu. Obama ventured from his vacation rental home in Kai­lua to spend the day at the beach and the golf course before ending the evening at Mori­moto in Wai­kiki for dinner with friends.Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama and his family have arrived on Oahu for the Christmas holidays. Hawaii News Now.

With its strategic location in the Pacific and substantial military assets, Hawaii has been a prime target of foreign governments seeking U.S. intelligence, something FBI Director James Comey acknowledged on a recent trip to the state. Hawaii Reporter.

The debate over whether the Hawaii State Ethics Commission must release the financial disclosure statements of certain state board members is heading to the Hawaii Supreme Court. Civil Beat.

Energy Companies Jockey for Position in Hawaii Natural Gas Rush. NextEra's plan to buy Hawaii Electric Co. could jeopardize the Hawaii Gas plan to control the natural gas market. Ultimately, it's up to the PUC. Civil Beat.

Fourteen years after Hawaii legalized medical marijuana, there is still no legal way for patients to obtain pot without growing it themselves. The 2000 law also is silent on how the state’s 13,000 patients can get the seeds for plants they are allowed to grow. Associated Press.

A federal judge says a California-based labor contracting company and a Maui pineapple farm are responsible for paying $8.7 million in a discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of 82 Thai workers who were brought to Hawaii as farm laborers. Star-Advertiser.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell is supporting the Honolulu Police Commission's decision to wait until a possible FBI investigation concludes before looking into allegations of police misconduct in a federal case involving the police chief's stolen mailbox. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: City Response to Police Chief Case Doesn’t Work, on So Many Levels. The police commission. The police union. The mayor. Why is everybody averting their eyes from serious allegations against Louis Keahola? Civil Beat.

Honolulu police officers have been telling merchants in Chinatown they will begin enforcing the new controversial ban which prohibits people from sitting or lying on sidewalks on Monday. Hawaii News Now.


The June 27 lava flow’s slowdown continued Sunday with its front advancing sluggishly toward Pahoa Marketplace. The flow front was about 0.45 miles from the shopping center Sunday morning after advancing 85 yards in 24 hours. Tribune-Herald.

Opinion: Lava diversion: Can it work? Should it be considered? Tribune-Herald.

Up to 6 inches of snow could fall on the Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea summits between Monday evening and Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service in Honolulu. West Hawaii Today.

Optical turbulence, frozen precipitation and strong subtropical highs — all playthings of the scientists who forecast what’s going on in the sky above Hawaii Island. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Council voted Friday to relax its workforce housing rules to require between 20 and 25 percent affordable housing in projects from developers - down from a 50 percent requirement. Maui News.

Little fire ants are a problem usually associated with Hawaii Island. But in September, an established colony of fire ants was discovered on 20 acres of heavily forested land on Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.

A mechanical failure at the Kīhei Pump Station #5 resulted in the overflow of an estimated 500 gallons of wastewater along South Kīhei Road today. Maui Now.


It may be years in the making, but developers seeking to build a nearly 769-home residential subdivision next to Kapaa Middle School are laying their cards on the table by taking the first steps needed to get it off the ground. Garden Island.

Some Kauai residents may have wondered recently whether the ban on plastic checkout bags had been lifted. It hasn’t. Garden Island.

The Kauai Board of Water Supply appointed Kirk Saiki as the manager and chief engineer of the Department of Water. Garden Island.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Ige tours Puna lava flow, Honolulu rail $700M over budget, state Supreme Court mulls gay marriage law, e-cig ban coming to Hawaii County, Kauai auditor sues county, environmental workers face job cuts, University of Hawaii wants $70M more, alcohol at Ward theater, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Governor's Office
Gov. Ige lava flyover, courtesy Governor's Office
Gov. David Ige toured the lava flow Thursday by air and on the ground. Ige also spoke at a community meeting Thursday night in Pahoa. Ige, while speaking with reporters, said it helps to see the flow with his own eyes. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. David Ige on Thursday met with civil defense officials, stopped by area schools, and visited the Pahoa Recycling and Transfer Station where the public may view a cooling lava flow. Star-Advertiser.

The State’s Chief Executive paid a visit to the Puna district Thursday. Governor David Ige’s schedule included a briefing with Hawaii County Civil Defense Chief Darryl Oliveira, a meeting in Kea’au with teachers from schools affected by the Puna lava flow, and a personal look at the lava flow. Big Island Video News.

Gov. David Ige made his first visit to Puna to see the lava flow first-hand Thursday as Hawaii County officials prepare to open a detour on Railroad Avenue. Hawaii News Now.

The state Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday in a lawsuit challenging Hawaii’s gay marriage law, more than a year after same-sex couples were allowed to legally marry on the islands. Associated Press.

With legal opinion nationally shifting toward marriage equality, justices on the state Supreme Court on Thursday took a skeptical view of a state House lawmaker's challenge to Hawaii's marriage law. Star-Advertiser.

Dozens of state workers who protect our environment could lose their jobs because of something that's good for the environment. The state Department of Health says the funding to pay for workers who ensure Hawaii's drinking water is safe, investigate illegal dumping and respond to oil spills and other environmental disasters could run out in less than three months. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's economy is showing steady improvement, with the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reporting a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4 percent for the month of November, falling from 4.1 percent in October. Star-Advertiser.

Groups affiliated with Pacific Resource Partnership, an advocacy group for union carpenters and contractors, were fined $3,100 by the state Campaign Spending Commission on Wednesday for failing to report expenses and other information. The commission voted 4-0 to levy penalties on the Hawaii Carpenters Market Recovery Program Fund, Forward Progress and PRP executive director John White. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii System presented its 2015 to 2017 biennium budget proposal to state lawmakers Thursday morning, asking for an additional $35.5 million in general funds for the 2016 fiscal year and nearly $39 million for the 2017 fiscal year, in addition to the $405 million already appropriated by the Legislature for the current fiscal year. Pacific Business News.

University of Hawaii officials want state taxpayers to help the 10-campus system pay its electric bills and unfunded federal mandates like the gender-equity dictates of Title IX that they project will cost more than $70 million over the next two years. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii will wait until after the legislative session to decide whether to raise tuition in the fall, officials told lawmakers Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

An international team led by University of Hawaii scientists says they have set a record for observing the deepest fish during an expedition to the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific. The scholars said Thursday they saw the fish more than 5 miles underwater. Associated Press.

Opinion:  Obama does not represent Hawaii. When it comes to the Obama Presidential Library, we're better off without it. Hawaii Independent.


The transit system could cost as much as $700 million more than projected, and officials may push to extend a tax surcharge. Facing lagging revenues and soaring costs, Oahu's rail transit system — the largest public works project ever built in Hawaii — finds itself at yet another crossroads. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s $5.2 billion rail project could go over budget by as much as $700 million, causing Mayor Kirk Caldwell and top transit officials to seek more funds elsewhere. Officials blame lawsuit delays, a lag in tax collections and higher-than-expected construction bids. Extension of a tax surcharge may be sought. Civil Beat.

O’ahu’s 5.3 billion dollar rail transit project is facing harsh financial challenges and probably will not be built on budget or on time. Hawaii Public Radio.

It wasn't exactly the news rail supporters wanted right before the holidays, but after crunching all the numbers the cost for rail could come in $500 to $750 million more than expected. Hawaii News Now.

Consolidated Theatres filed an application with the Honolulu Liquor Commission to serve alcohol at its Ward location. The application cleared its first hurdle, but barely. KHON2.

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard said it plans to hire 731 workers this fiscal year, a significant boost for high-paying jobs at the state's largest industrial employer. The shipyard has 4,523 civilian workers and 462 military members. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii County will likely start the new year as the only county in the state banning electronic cigarettes at parks, beaches and other public places. A 5-4 council majority late Wednesday passed Bill 302, prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes anywhere smoking traditional cigarettes is banned. West Hawaii Today.

The Leeward Planning Commission on Thursday joined its east side counterpart with a vote to place the approval process for PUDs with the commissions rather than solely with the planning director. West Hawaii Today.

The $80 million project to widen Queen Kaahumanu Highway is awaiting sign-offs from the parties that have a stake in how construction is aligned. West Hawaii Today.

The Big Island’s unemployment rate decreased for a third straight month in November, the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported Thursday. West Hawaii Today.


Haleakala National Park officials are warning drivers to slow down for nene, which are more active along Crater Road with the arrival of breeding season. Maui News.

Opinion: The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii elevated Christopher J. Benjamin, Alexander & Baldwin‘s President and Chief Operating Officer, to chairman of their Board of Trustees. Maui Time.


The county auditor’s civil case against the County of Kauai is back in state court. Kauai County Auditor Ernesto Pasion, of Kalaheo, filed a complaint claiming common law retaliation of the Hawaii Whistleblowers’ Protection Act, negligence, and declaratory relief in 5th Circuit on Nov. 25, 2013. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council voted Wednesday to confirm Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s nomination of two-year Kauai resident Allan Parachini to the Charter Review Commission. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Judge bans state aerial hunting, Hawaii council OKs GMO appeal, Kauai kills biotech land tax, super PAC fined for campaign violations, Aloha United Way cleared in no-bid state-run giving program, Hawaiian Home Lands telecom contractor indicted, Honolulu Police commission bows out of police chief probe, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Feral goats, sheep, graze on Mauna Loa © 2014 All Hawaii News
A judge Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit that sought to exempt state employees and contractors from county and state laws banning aerial hunting. The ruling by Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara thwarts state plans, at least for now, to conduct aerial hunting of feral ungulates such as sheep, goats, swine, cattle and axis deer beyond critical habitat of the native palila bird on Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Carpenters Market Recovery Program Fund, a partnership of the Hawaii Carpenters Union and trade contractors also known as the Pacific Resource Partnership, has been fined $3,100 over campaign activities supporting a ballot initiative and two county council races in the last election. Campaign Spending commissioners voted 4-0 on Wednesday to accept the fines rather than send the complaint to the city prosecutor. Star-Advertiser.

The state Ethics Commission on Wednesday rebuffed a staff recommendation to advise Gov. David Ige to consider replacing Aloha United Way as the state's workplace giving program with a combined state-run campaign. Star-Advertiser.

A federal indictment alleges the president of Sandwich Isles Communications Inc. telecommunications company that serves Hawaiian home lands residents siphoned off $4 million of the corporation's money for a decade to pay for personal expenses, including $92,000 in massages, a $1.3 million house and $1.3 million in false wages for his wife and three children. Star-Advertiser.

A company that receives heavy federal government subsidies paid more than $4 million for its founder's personal expenses, a new indictment alleges. Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii Athletics Department has faced a series of fiscal and staffing troubles in recent months, leading legislators, administrators and regents to debate the future of the state’s only athletic program. Hawaii Reporter.


Before taking action on allegations of police misconduct, the Honolulu Police Commission will wait until the conclusion of a possible FBI probe into the Honolulu Police Department's handling of a federal case involving police Chief Louis Kealoha's stolen mailbox, commission Chairman Ron Taketa said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Police Commission will not launch its own investigation into Police Chief Louis Kealoha for his actions related to a family dispute involving his prosecutor wife and her estranged uncle, who they accused of stealing their mailbox. Civil Beat.

A nonprofit developer wanting to build loft-style apartments for low-income artists has secured the land for the project in Kakaako. The developer, Artspace, was awarded a 65-year lease for a 30,000-square-foot lot on Waimanu Street by the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which agreed to nominal rent of $1 a year. Star-Advertiser.

A new construction project in Kaka’ako was unveiled today. It’s one-fourth the height of a high-rise and targets individuals who earn 20-thousand dollars annually. Hawaii Public Radio.

They camp, people complain and the city cleans up. It's a cycle happening more and more when it comes to dealing with Oahu's homeless. KITV4.

Debit cards for Halau Lokahi Charter School's bank account have been canceled and the co-director of the school placed on administrative leave in the wake of a raid by the Attorney General's office. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: The King Street protected lane is a great start. But Honolulu needs to work quickly to beef up its bike-friendly projects. Civil Beat.


The Hawaii County Council voted 5-4 Wednesday to appeal a federal judge’s ruling striking a law that restricts genetically modified crops on the island. “This is an important decision with far-reaching impact on home rule,” said Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille, author of the original bill limiting GMO. “It’s not just about GMO.” West Hawaii Today.

The June 27 lava flow could reach Pahoa Marketplace by Christmas. Darryl Oliveira, Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator, said Wednesday the flow was about five to six days from reaching the shopping center based on its current rate. Tribune-Herald.

Wednesday was the first day of public viewing of lava at the former transfer station on Apa’a Street. This is the spot where the lava from the June 27 flow first entered Pahoa in October, covering the road and inflating before eventually stalling out. Big Island Video News.

The Hawaii State Department of Health has installed three temporary particulate monitors to measure and inform residents on the Big Island of the air quality levels from the lava flow from Kilauea volcano. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii State Judiciary and Department of Accounting and General Services unveiled preliminary design concepts Tuesday of the proposed $90 million Kona Judiciary Complex slated for a 10-acre parcel in Keahuolu, North Kona. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Council is set to vote Friday on a housing ordinance that would drastically reduce how much affordable housing developers are required to build on the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Civil Beat.

Maui-based sustainability group SHAKA Movement will be allowed to intervene in Maui County's GMO case; Judge Kurren has reassigned the case. Hawaii Independent.

Experts hope to control rampant little fire ants that have infested more than 20 acres in East Maui by shooting a gellike insecticide onto tall trees in which the ants are known to nest. Maui News.

State Department of Land and Natural Resources enforcement officers will be at the Maui Mall this weekend to tell people know about new fishing rules that took effect last month. Associated Press.

The Makawao History Museum moved to a new location last month to gain more exposure within the Makawao community. The museum now is at 3643 Baldwin Ave., the main street of Makawao town, in a "quaint little spot right at the heart of town," project coordinator Cheryl Ambrozic said Tuesday. Maui News.


The Kauai County Council on Wednesday officially killed a bill that would have used lease rents, rather than fair market values, to help calculate real property tax assessments for biotech research land users. The decision, by a 5-1 vote, affirmed Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s veto against the bill earlier this month in which he expressed concerns about the bill’s impact on the agricultural industry on Kauai and the county’s ability to enforce it. Garden Island.

Kauai County Council Vice Chair Ross Kagawa said he believes the seven-member board made a mistake two months ago when it passed the state’s first variable rate structure for refuse services, called pay as you throw, that’s based on how much people throw away. That bill is now headed for a public hearing on Jan. 14 after the board agreed, by a 5-2 vote, to consider the proposal. Garden Island.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fishing changes coming, FBI probes Honolulu Police Department, rail audit to be revealed, lava viewing area to open, shops close in path of lava, rooftop solar slides, albatross eggs moved off Kauai missile range, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Fish rules workshop © 2014 All Hawaii News
Fisheries management officials are considering changes that could have profound effects on the catch and sale of popular island fish — from yellowfin ahi to deep-water species such as opakapaka and onaga. State and federal officials last weekend held the last of seven community meetings around the islands to discuss fish-related proposals that will be taken up separately next year by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council. Star-Advertiser.

The union for Hawaii public school teachers says some of its members are being caught up in lengthy investigations for alleged misconduct that 7 out of 10 times results in clearance of wrongdoing by schools — but their reputations are maligned in the process. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaiian Homes Commission on Tuesday approved sweeping changes to the basic framework for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands' controversial month-to-month land leasing program, authorizing reforms intended to make the process more transparent and more fair. Star-Advertiser.

The state’s Early Intervention Program helps more than 2-thousand disabled children up to age 3. Proponents want to reinstate the program to include all children who need help. Hawaii Public Radio.

Opinion: Do Public Agencies Have to Keep Reasonably Accurate Records? A recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling may condone foot-dragging in the maintenance of public records. Civil Beat.


The federal criminal case against the man accused of stealing Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha's mailbox has been dismissed and the FBI might now be looking into the Honolulu Police Department's handling of the case. Star-Advertiser.

The FBI has been asked to investigate how the Honolulu Police Department handled a case involving HPD Chief Louis Kealoha, his stolen mailbox and his wife’s estranged uncle, who was accused in the crime. Civil Beat.

The board of directors for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, the agency charged with overseeing the construction of the city's $5.16 billion rail transit system, will hear the results of an audit of HART's finances on Thursday. Pacific Business News.

The number of rooftop solar permits Honolulu issued in November fell by 50 percent from the prior year, marking 19 months of year-over-year decline for the solar industry. Star-Advertiser.

Seven proposed solar farms recently announced by Hawaiian Electric Co. are projected to raise Oahu residents’ electricity bills in the long run. That’s in part because natural gas, which Hawaii is planning to import in coming years, is expected to drive down overall electricity rates, making the solar pricing less competitive. Civil Beat.

Coffee grown at Waialua Estate Coffee Farms and roasted at the Old Waialua Sugar Mill were placed under quarantine on Tuesday due to a coffee berry borer infestation. Star-Advertiser.


The active front of the June 27 lava flow continued marching down the steepest path of descent Tuesday, still headed in the direction of the Pahoa Marketplace, albeit moving a bit slower than in days past. Tribune-Herald.

The first shops began to shutter, while many others prepared to follow suit, Tuesday at Pahoa Marketplace as the June 27 lava flow continued its approach less than a mile away. Tribune-Herald.

An area for viewing cooled lava will open in Pahoa on Wednesday, even as a breakout from Kilauea Volcano continued advancing toward a shopping center and prompted the closure of a gas station. Star-Advertiser.


In addition to recently terminated Programming Director Shawn Michael, four additional former Akaku employees appeared at the Dec. 15, 2014 meeting of the public access cable channel’s board of directors to call for an independent investigation of management practices at the station. Maui Time.

Saving Hawaii’s Native Crows — on Maui. The Maui Bird Conservation Center is doing incredible work, but federal budget cuts are slowing the birds' return to the wild. Civil Beat.

The authors of a new Maui law banning the cultivation of genetically modified organisms won standing Monday to intervene in a federal lawsuit challenging the measure. Maui News.

Proponents of the recently passed GMO Initiative on Maui have been given the green light to intervene in a federal lawsuit challenging the measure, attorneys confirmed. Maui Now.


Dozens of Laysan albatross eggs will be relocated to Oahu from Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility today in a first-of-its-kind attempt to establish a new colony of the nesting seabirds on Hawaii’s most populated island. Garden Island.

U.S. Navy officials on Wednesday plan to transport some 45 Laysan albatross eggs in need of refuge to a Windward Oahu site from a nesting area at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in West Kauai. Star-Advertiser.