Monday, June 30, 2014

Schatz attacks Hanabusa attack ad, Honolulu homeless may get one-way ticket to mainland, fight for breastfeeding rights, Maui mayor stifles staff, nursing homes not inspected, groups fear disclosure veto, turtle selfies banned, NASA test flight, brown water on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Senate race 2014
Brian Schatz, Colleen Hanabusa
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz on Saturday knocked U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa for what he called the first negative advertisement in their Democratic primary, a postcard that reminds voters of Schatz's support for the Bipartisan Budget Act, which extended cuts in Medicare. Star-Advertiser.

A Disregarded Request From a Beloved Senator Shakes Up Hawaii’s Primary. New York Times.

The state has failed to inspect more than a third of Hawaii's 45 nursing homes within the time frame required by federal law, reflecting an oversight gap that some experts say could come at the expense of the facilities' vulnerable residents. Concerned about the problem, the federal government is threatening to fine the state as much as $121,000 if the timeliness requirements are not met by the end of September. Star-Advertiser.

Many Candidates Vie for Three At-Large Seats on OHA Board. In all, five posts are up for election this year for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees, which is increasingly under the spotlight. Civil Beat.

How much federal money goes toward Native Hawaiian programs? About $34.9 million per year, according to our preliminary analysis. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii's health insurance exchange is making a final push to capture a share of the small-business market as the bulk of groups renew policies in July. Despite significant computer glitches that initially stunted its growth, the Hawaii Health Connector is aggressively marketing the Small Business Health Options Program, known as SHOP, the piece of the Affordable Care Act intended to increase insurance options for workers. Star-Advertiser.

Just when they’re needed to help students master newly required skills, librarians seem to have become a low priority at many schools, particularly at the elementary level. Civil Beat.

Two members of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents have resigned after state lawmakers unanimously passed a bill requiring public financial disclosures from people serving on more than a dozen state boards and commissions. Associated Press.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate State Senator David Ige is criticizing  the governor’s notice of intent to veto SB2682, which would require the disclosure of financial statements by members of 15 state boards and commissions,  including the Public Utilities Commission, University of Hawaii Board of Regents, Board of Education, Hawaii Community Development Authority, Board of Land and Natural Resources and others. Hawaii Reporter.

Commentary: League of Women Voters Debunks Governor’s Take on Disclosure Bill. The organization doesn't accept the idea that women would be harmed by the law, and hopes it would help the governor vet nominees. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Governor’s Veto Threat on Bill Shows This Is Not a ‘New Day’ Neil Abercrombie's argument that a transparency bill will harm women is sexist. Civil Beat.

Respect the Locals: Sea Turtle Selfies Are Uncool — and Illegal State, federal officials remind public that harassing honu is against the law and can result in a fine. Civil Beat.


A year after the state declined to start up a pilot program to send the homeless back to the mainland, the business community in Waikiki might step up and fill the void. Rick Egged, president of the Wai­kiki Improvement Association, said his organization will be looking to establish some sort of airfare fund in response to a plea from providers of homeless services. Star-Advertiser.

A homeless mother is fighting for her right to breastfeed in public. The woman says the Oahu shelter she is staying at told her to cover up or get out. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu’s homeless are most visible in Kakaako, Waikiki, and Chinatown but they are everywhere throughout the state, in the parks and bushes and at the beach. Several of Hawaii’s political candidates have made addressing Hawaii’s homelessness and lack of housing a top issue this election. Hawaii Reporter.

The deadline for comments on the Kawainui-Hamakua master plan is Monday, and environmental and neighborhood groups are joining forces over concern that the proposed development will damage the natural resources and character of Kailua. Star-Advertiser.

The concrete barriers at popular Laniakea Beach were supposed to be a temporary fix to help keep the traffic flowing along Oahu's famed North Shore, but six months after workers installed them, it's unclear how long "temporary" will be. Star-Advertiser.


The state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday approved granting the $1.3 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project a sublease for land on Mauna Kea. In concept anyway. While the board voted in favor of the agreement, it won’t go into effect until several contested case hearing requests are resolved. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources voted to approve The University of Hawaii at Hilo's sublease of land on the summit of Mauna Kea for the $1.3 billion Thirty Meter Telescope, but the approval is on hold until the board hears several contested case requests are resolved. Pacific Business News.

The first group of 60 minimum-security inmates are expected to arrive at Hawaii island's Kulani Correctional Facility after it reopens this week, easing some of the crowding in the state's prison system. Star-Advertiser.

The dean of the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy said Friday that he will be stepping down at the end of the year. John Pezzuto, who helped launch the college at the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 2006, is moving on to the Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York, where he will serve as professor and dean. Tribune-Herald.

Some day, tanks at aquaculture farms around the state and nation could be teeming with millions of colorful fish to help stock the nation’s aquariums. At least that’s the dream for Syd Kraul and others who have attempted to strike the fine balance needed to rear species such as angelfish and yellow tang in captivity. But that day isn’t today. West Hawaii Today.

Women of the Womb do a chant to open communication during the launch of the Hawaii Star Visitor Sanctuary and UFO landing pad Friday afternoon in Kalapana near Unle Robert's Awa Club. The event was part of the weekend long Ho'ohana "A Sustainability Talk Story." Tribune-Herald.


The mayor of Maui ordered an end to direct communication between his staff and members of the Maui County Council. Mayor Alan Arakawa last week directed all county civil service employees, administration directors and staff to stop communicating verbally or in writing with council members or staff. The employees were instead directed to send communications through the office of the mayor and the managing director’s office. Associated Press.

For nearly two decades, Hana residents have known exactly where to go when they have had an after-hours medical emergency - the Hana Health hale where American Medical Response paramedics live. Maui News.

The state’s first flashing yellow arrow traffic signal has been installed on Maui and will be activated at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, June 30, 2014, county officials announced. Maui Now.


NASA officials are calling Saturday’s experimental test flight off the coast of Kauai a success, despite a malfunction of the saucer-shaped vehicle’s gigantic parachute. Garden Island.

A mysterious brownish-green plume off Kauai has prompted the state Clean Water Branch to issue a brown-water advisory for the coastal waters between Moloaa and Anahola bays. Star-Advertiser.

The federal government is considering whether the Native Hawaiian community should be treated as its own government and is seeking input from the Kauai community. Public meetings on Kauai are from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Waimea Neighborhood Center and from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Kapaa Elementary School. Garden Island.


The Native Hawaiian community on Molokai added its voice to the growing chorus of those who are rejecting a federal proposal that could lead to a formal U.S. relationship with a potential Native Hawaiian government. Star-Advertiser.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

All Hawaii News takes home SPJ awards

SPJ top award
All Hawaii News is proud and humbled to be named Hawaii's best one-person news blog for the fourth consecutive year by the Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter.

Here's what the judges said:

"This site glows with the passion of its creator. The writing isn't elegant, it's straight-on journalism and unvarnished commentary, and it's alive with the moment and depth of knowledge and love for the state. Awesome, and an example of one future for journalism."

In addition to the first place, All Hawaii News was a finalist for best overall news site. It's in good company-- Honolulu Civil Beat was the top winner and the other finalist is HuffPost Hawaii.

 Most days, All Hawaii News is a hand-curated compilation of the day's top political and government news from all the Hawaiian Islands. It's a quick one-stop site for an overview of what's happening around Hawaii.

Other days, you'll find news stories, videos or audios exploring crucial government issues. And sometimes, there will be a commentary or analysis about a topic of pressing interest.

All Hawaii News is a labor of love. Advertising is kept to a minimum. Small contributions from loyal followers help pay to keep All Hawaii News online.

Mahalo to everyone who clicks, comments or contributes to All Hawaii News. I can't do it without you!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Honolulu homeless measures panned, Medicaid families receive erroneous cut-off notices, state panel investigates dirty politics in Honolulu mayor race, Kauai feral cats kill endangered seabirds, Land Board to vote on Thirty Meter Telescope today, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu homeless © 2014 All Hawaii News
Top officials in Mayor Kirk Caldwell's administration say they worry that two bills that would prohibit lying and sitting on all Oahu sidewalks and ban defecating and urinating in public areas might not pass constitutional muster. Star-Advertiser.

Two measures issued by Mayor Kirk Caldwell and passed by the city Council's Zoning and Planning committee would make it illegal to sit or lie down on sidewalks, or urinate and defecate in public in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

It was standing room only as dozens spoke their mind about five controversial bills regarding the homeless Thursday. KITV4.

At least 4,582 Quest families received erroneous notices earlier this month saying their coverage would end Monday. Hundreds of Quest recipients have been flooding the state Medicaid offices for answers. Star-Advertiser.

The Campaign Spending Commission is reviewing recently released email correspondence of Pacific Resource Partnership's 2012 campaign against mayoral hopeful Ben Cayetano to determine whether the group committed any violations that could warrant further investigation, the state agency's attorney said Thursday. At issue is whether all of the consultants who appeared to be working on the anti-Cayetano campaign were properly listed on spending reports filed by PRP's political action committee. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission launched an investigation Thursday into the Pacific Resource Partnership’s involvement in the 2012 Honolulu mayoral race. PRP, an advocacy group for union carpenters and contractors, spent $3.6 million during that election cycle, almost entirely on an effort to derail former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano’s bid for mayor. Civil Beat.

The race for the Democratic Senate nomination is heating up with U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa spending $175,175 on 335 TV advertising spots running through the Aug. 9 primary election. Civil Beat.

Hawaii might be the only place left in the country where an endorsement from President Barack Obama can be looked at as a positive. Brian Schatz’s latest TV spot in his campaign against U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa puts both arms around the Hawaii-born president, and refuses to let go until the viewer clearly understands just how much his endorsement means to the senator. Civil Beat.

One of the fiercest critics of the effort to create a new federal relationship with a future Native Hawaiian government offered a gift of lei to the government officials who have been blasted in public hearings this week. Beginning Friday on Lanai, the federal officials will hold hearings on each of the major neighbor islands. Star-Advertiser.

With one set of reforms undergoing major changes and another set due to kick in despite widespread opposition, teacher evaluations are becoming an issue in the Hawaii governor’s race. Civil Beat poll numbers show a surprising shift toward David Ige, the teachers union-backed gubernatorial candidate, in the Democratic primary race against sitting Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who aggressively pushed for the new evaluations as part of a 2013 contract deal that soured many educators on him. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Blue-washing the colonization and militarization of “our ocean” How U.S. Marine National Monuments protect environmentally harmful U.S. military bases throughout the Pacific and the world. Hawaii Independent.

Legislators concerned about governor's pending veto list. Hawaii Reporter.

Reynolds Recycling is scheduled to reopen its redemption centers Friday after receiving a $707,514.20 check from the state Department of Health on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

All 35 Reynold’s Recycling redemption centers will reopen Friday after shutting down for one day over a reimbursement spat with the state. The state owed the company more than a million dollars for containers collected for the month. Reynolds is the largest recycler of beverage containers in the state and has been in business in Hawaii for more than 30 years. KHON2.

Eugene Tian, chief economist for Hawaii's state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, says that while cable station CNBC used consistent methodology in its report that names Hawaii the second worst state for business, he also points out that the state saw a net increase of new businesses in 2013 and has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at 4.4 percent. Pacific Business News.


Aloha Stadium's current 50,000 seating capacity would decrease by 30 percent to 40 percent if the recommendation of a consultant hired to study the facility's future is adopted. Foley & Lardner LLP, a New York law firm, recommended "a new 30,000- to 35,000-seat stadium on the lower portion of the stadium site," as part of a 35-page comprehensive site summary unanimously accepted Thursday by the Aloha Stadium Authority. Star-Advertiser.

The state has opened an investigating into a potential illegal landfill at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Heights campus, just as a former staffer is alleging that the dumping has been going on for decades. Hawaii News Now.

The Army laid out a worst-case scenario Thursday for downsizing that includes the removal of nearly 20,000 soldiers and civilian workers on Oahu with an associated loss of $1.4 billion in income over the next six years. "Such deep reductions are not envisioned," the Army says in a report. Star-Advertiser.


The state Board of Land and Natural Resources will consider granting a sublease for the Thirty Meter Telescope today at its meeting in Honolulu. The nearly 20-year sublease would set the stage for construction of the $1.3 billion telescope on Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Council plans to dip into open space funds to stave off a lawsuit caused by a 1999 misstep by the county Planning Department. West Hawaii Today.

A popular community in Kalapana Seaview Estates built illegal structures and cut down protected trees on state land, according to a report filed earlier this month with the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Tribune-Herald.

The Big Island’s elevators are getting long-needed inspections, and rules set to go into effect this month provide more stringent reporting standards. Starting June 30, permits must be posted conspicuously inside elevators and each machine must have a written maintenance control program. West Hawaii Today.


Plans for replacing the grass at the War Memorial Stadium with artificial turf have been nixed due to its high cost, a county official said Tuesday. Maui News.


The Kauai Chamber of Commerce and its partners will host the first Kauai election 2014 political forum at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall on Tuesday.  The forum is for the office of United States senator. U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz will be the candidates in the forum, which is free and open to the public. Garden Island.

Feral cats on Kauai have been filmed killing endangered seabirds. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says footage shows cats pulling a Newell's Shearwater and a Hawaiian Petrel out burrows and killing the birds. Associated Press.

The Department of Water will release its 2014 water quality reports online starting July 1. A report for each of the nine water systems, covering from Jan. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2013, will be accessible on DOW’s website at Garden Island.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

HI-5 recycling programs suspended, marijuana dispensaries mulled, Honolulu Hale could move to Kapolei, Kaui chamber hopes to limit charter petitions, Honolulu police problems, Hawaii County building inspector dinged for ethics, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii HI-5 recycling © 2014 All Hawaii News 
The state’s largest beverage container recycler Reynolds Recycling will not be collecting bottles and cans beginning Thursday, and there is no definite date on when it can resume. Reynolds says the state owes the company more than a million dollars, and without that money it cannot keep most of its staff on the job, about 100 people. That means no one will be manning the 40 redemption centers statewide on Thursday. KHON2.

The 21 members of the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force met for the first time Tuesday to begin the work of developing recommendations to the 2015 Legislature for establishing a medical marijuana distribution system. Without dispensaries, patients must grow it themselves, have a caregiver to grow it for them or obtain it illegally. There are 13,000 people registered for the state medical marijuana program — among the first in the nation when formed 14 years ago. Star-Advertiser.

At the capitol, a series of public meetings began Wednesday so lawmakers can learn more about why Hawaii Health Systems Corp. is facing a $48 million shortfall. KITV4.

Federal hearings that began this week about a future relationship with a potential Native Hawaiian government have tapped deep emotions — spurring anger and fury among hundreds who have testified. But the first four sessions have also raised concern that not all Native Hawaiian views are being reflected in the process. Star-Advertiser.

A state senator is calling for lawmakers to override a potential veto by Gov. Neil Abercrombie on a bill requiring more financial disclosures from people serving on more than a dozen state boards and commissions. But Republican Sen. Sam Slom said Wednesday he doubts his colleagues will be inclined to override a veto even though the bill unanimously passed the Senate and House. Associated Press.

The waters off Hawaii Island are home to a half-million brightly-colored tropical fish that are scooped up into nets each year and flown across the globe into aquariums from Berlin to Boston. Scientists say the aquarium fishery off the Big Island is among the best managed in the world, but it has nevertheless become the focus of a fight over whether it's ever appropriate to remove fish from reefs for people to look at and enjoy. Associated Press.


A measure now moving through the City Council would require the administration to study the feasibility of moving the City and County of Honolulu's seat of government — the familiar California-Spanish building on King and Punchbowl streets — to spacious new digs in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

A bill adding bags described as biodegradable and compostable to the list of plastic bags that retailers cannot give to Oahu customers starting in 2015 continues to move through the Hono­lulu City Council. Bill 38 advanced out of the Public Works and Sustainability Committee on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

City Councilman Stanley Chang is behind a bill to ban foam food containers for environmental reasons. But the bill's opponents insist most containers are burned at HPOWER and don't go to the landfill. Hawaii News Now.

In June 2013, the Honolulu Police Department paid $238,988  for 12 automatic license plate readers (ALPRs) to help it recover stolen cars and solve other crimes. A year later, the department is still assessing the effectiveness of its purchase, and there are concerns about whether the technology is spying on innocent citizens under the guise of law enforcement. Civil Beat.

A Honolulu Police officer has been indicted on multiple federal charges. According to police sources, Roddy Tsunezumi was involved in an elaborate scheme involving stolen cars. Hawaii News Now.

Chimpanzees at the Honolulu Zoo will be kept in a pen near their sleeping quarters until an investigation is done into how one of the primates escaped from the exhibit for a short time Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The latest piece of a master-planned community of residential towers by Kamehameha Schools in Kakaako has been fleshed out with details that include a putting green, guest suites and unit prices projected to start at $900,000. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii developers the Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group have received approval from the Ala Moana/Kakaako Neighborhood Board to move ahead with its Vida at 888 Ala Moana luxury condominium high-rise on a 3.5-acre site in Honolulu. Pacific Business News.

As the state's largest private landowner, Kamehameha Schools prides itself as a good steward of its land and natural resources. But just several hundred yards from its flagship Kapalama Heights campus, an illegal dump site has been discovered. Hawaii News Now.

A county construction inspector who became too involved in a Holualoa neighborhood dispute was found Wednesday to have violated the county ethics code. West Hawaii Today.

Puna County Council candidate and former Councilwoman Emily Naeole gave the Board of Ethics a piece of her mind Wednesday after the board voted it had no jurisdiction over an ethics complaint against her. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County is drafting a request for proposals for a study on whether geothermal development in Puna is having an impact on the health of residents. The study is one of the recommendations made by the Geothermal Public Health Assessment Study Group in its report to the county last year. Tribune-Herald.

The Environmental Protection Agency is giving Puna Geothermal Venture another month to respond to a report that alleged Clean Air Act violations. The 14 violations cited in the April report apply to the act’s general duty clause and risk management program requirements. Tribune-Herald.

A plan to recommission the Lalamilo wind farm to power county water wells could save ratepayers $1 million a year. A draft environmental assessment released this month found no significant impacts to repowering the old South Kohala site with five Vestas 660 kilowatt wind turbine generators. West Hawaii Today.


Hawaii’s rising movement against genetically modified farming has seen successes in Kauai County and Hawaii County, but the latest proposal in Maui County will test how far residents are willing to go to get rid of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The Maui County Council — which represents Maui, Molokai and Lanai — recently began considering the county’s first-ever citizens initiative, which seeks to temporarily ban genetically modified farming until biotechnology companies pay for a study to analyze its health effects. Civil Beat.

A Maui man who sued the county then attempted to run for mayor was blocked from the race Wednesday because of how he filed financial disclosure statements. Associated Press.

Judge Peter Cahill today ruled to uphold the invalidation of Neldon Mamuad’s mayoral nomination, which the County Clerk’s office had determined was incomplete. Maui Now.

Second Circuit Judge Peter Cahill disqualified Neldon Mamuad as a candidate for mayor on Wednesday afternoon. Maui News.

A Final Environmental Impact Statement for proposed ferry pier improvements at Lahaina Small Boat Harbor will be discussed during a public informational meeting on Wednesday, July 2, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources announced. Maui Now.


The Kauai Chamber of Commerce hopes to succeed where the County Charter Review Commission did not. It wants to quadruple the number of signatures required to put a proposed amendment to the Kauai County Charter to a public vote. And it’s organizing a petition drive to do just that, one week after the review commission killed off similarly proposed legislation. Garden Island.

Officials from the state’s public health care provider say they are working to develop financial plans to stabilize operations on Kauai and reverse the region’s cash-strapped path. What that could mean, however, are cuts or consolidations in services and medical staff, Hawaii Health Systems Corporation officials from Kauai acknowledged to state lawmakers. Garden Island.

A NASA flying saucer designed to test Mars lander technology could be launched on Earth this weekend. Associated Press.


For the first time as the state’s new Department of Health (DOH) Director, Dr. Linda Rosen visited the Kalaupapa settlement last week and was warmly welcomed by residents. Molokai Dispatch.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Chinese warships arrive in Hawaii, Abercrombie and Ige debate, tobacco purchase age turns 21 on Hawaii Island, Honolulu to ban sitting on sidewalks, Maui sugar mill fined $1.3M, Native Hawaiians continue recognition opposition, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Chinese Navy in Hawaii RIMPAC
Chinese destroyer Haikou, courtesy Chinese navy
Four Chinese navy ships arrived at Pearl Harbor on Tuesday as the biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise gathers steam as the biggest ever held. The missile destroyer Haikou, flying Chinese and American flags, pulled in at Kilo pier just before 9 a.m., while the hospital ship Peace Ark tied up at 9:45 a.m. The missile frigate Yue­yang and supply ship Qian­daohu followed. Star-Advertiser.

The military's Rim of the Pacific exercise, or RIMPAC, which will bring 25,000 people from 23 nations to Hawaii starting on Thursday through the end of July, is expected to have an initial economic impact of $52.5 million based on the number of exercise participants and their time in port, according to a state report. Pacific Business News.

The U.S. Navy has dispatched numerous ships to Hawaii as it prepares for Rim of the Pacific 2014, the world’s largest international maritime exercise. It will involve 49 surface ships and six submarines from 23 countries this year, but the inclusion of one — China — will get an inordinate amount of attention. The People’s Liberation Army of China will participate in the exercise for the first time, sending ships that include the missile destroyer Haikou, the missile frigate Yueyang, the oiler Qiandaohu and the hospital ship Peace Ark. Washington Post.

John Takase has been in the garage door business in Hawaii for 15 years, and as the biennial Rim of the Pacific military exercise, or RIMPAC, gets underway around the Islands on Thursday for the next five weeks, he expects he'll be inundated with phone calls from homeowners complaining that the garage doors he sells are not working properly. Pacific Business News.

A debate between Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state Sen. David Ige on Tuesday revealed few major differences in their visions of Hawaii's future. Both Democratic candidates want to solve Hawaii's housing problems, support Native Hawaiian sovereignty and improve the state's troubled health exchange. They also both want to keep gambling out of Hawaii and improve its public education system. But the primary rivals are split more on who's to blame for Hawaii's issues than they are on how to solve those problems. Associated Press.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
David Ige, Neil Abercrombie
Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state Sen. David Ige on Tuesday set the contours for their Democratic primary, with the governor reminding voters of the state's economic rebound during his first term and Ige offering himself as a more thoughtful, sensible alternative as chief executive. Star-Advertiser.

For much of 90 minutes Tuesday, Neil Abercrombie reminded a lot of folks why they may have voted for him all these years. The occasion was a Democratic gubernatorial candidate forum at the Japanese Cultural Center in Moiliili. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state Sen. David Ige faced off in a debate Tuesday at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, as the two gear up for a primary election showdown. KHON2.

It was a rare event, seeing the two 2014 Democratic candidates for Hawaii governor square off in the same venue. Gov. Neil Abercrombie and his primary election challenger, state Sen. David Ige, are scheduled for only two more joint appearances. Civil Beat.

A federal panel hearing opinions on a possible relationship with a potential Native Hawaiian government has heard the passion pouring out over two days of testimony, a Justice Department official said. Star-Advertiser.

Obama administration hearings in Hawaii incite racial disputes. A proposal by the Obama administration to create a new relationship with ethnic Hawaiians backfired on the administration Monday as native Hawaiians rallied in force against the proposal to reestablish a “government-to-government relationship” between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community. Hawaii Reporter.

Overthrow redux? An American Indian scholar asks if the lure of federal benefits is worth Hawaiians' cession to the U.S. of Hawaiian political and territorial claims. Hawaii Independent.

Native Hawaiians meet in West Oahu over self-governance. Video only. KITV4.

State lawmakers want to hear the Hawaii Health Systems Corp.'s plan to streamline operations and address anticipated budget shortfalls in preparation for next legislative session when they expect to once again consider proposals for potential privatization of the financially strapped system. A series of statewide briefings, which will include details from members of the various regional boards, is scheduled to begin Wednesday before heading to Kauai on Monday. Briefings are expected to be held on Hawaii Island and Maui in July and August. Star-Advertiser.

Despite recent efforts to cool down Hawaii’s most sweltering classrooms, just one school has gotten the go-ahead to install campus-wide air conditioning since that campaign intensified nearly a year ago. Civil Beat.


With the Honolulu City Council scheduled to hear bills Thursday that make it illegal to sit and lie on sidewalks in two parts of Hono­lulu, Councilman Ikaika Anderson said he will press to have colleagues consider a third proposal that imposes the same prohibition throughout Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu residents will pay more for sewer and water service come Tuesday as a result of rate hikes approved in previous years. Star-Advertiser.

A bill allowing Oahu consumers to set off sparklers and fountains on New Year's Eve has been deferred by a Hono­lulu City Council committee. Star-Advertiser.

A chimpanzee made a brief escape from its enclosure at the Honolulu Zoo Tuesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now.


A county ordinance raising the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21 goes into effect in less than a week and Big Island retailers are gearing up to comply with the new law. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island could be completely powered by renewable sources within 10 years, an advocate said Tuesday evening. West Hawaii Today.

Attendees of Monday’s Tech Pau Hana got a glimpse of off-the-grid living at Puu Waawaa Ranch, as well as a look at a test of hydrogen fuel cells in action. Blue Planet Research, which has a laboratory at the ranch, hosted the monthly technology gathering, with Director Paul Ponthieux giving the tour and explaining what the organization has been working on here on Hawaii Island. West Hawaii Today.

University of Hawaii researchers were set this morning to kick off an exploration of the deepest reaches of the erupting undersea volcano located about 20 miles southeast of the Big Island. Including scientists from the University of Minnesota, France’s IFREMER Centre de Brest and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, the expedition will seek to map the largely unexplored base of the volcano. Tribune-Herald.

A Honokaa plantation development that has languished almost 40 years is being reborn as a retirement community, thanks to action taken Tuesday by the county Water Board. West Hawaii Today.


The primary election for the West Maui County Council seat is a litmus test for how Maui feels about the genetically modified organism (GMO) issue. Maui Weekly.

The state of Hawaii is seeking $1.3 million in fines from Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Co. for 400 alleged violations over a five-year period at its Maui sugar plantation. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health Clean Air Branch today announced that it cited Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company for excess emission and reporting violations for alleged incidents between 2009 and 2013 in Puʻunēnē on Maui. Maui Now.

Suspensions ranging from one to 10 days were ordered for five Maui Police Department officers as part of internal investigations concluded in March and April, police reported. Maui News.


A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Nihoku, also known as Crater Hill, this week within the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge in preparation for the construction of Kauai’s first predator-proof fence. The project will create a seven-acre refugium for native plant and animal communities, and enhance existing seabird colonies on the refuge by using the latest technology in predator-proof fencing. Garden Island.

Koloa Rum Company is one step closer to finding a new home and expanding its operations. The seven-member Kauai County Planning Commission unanimously approved a pair of permits on Tuesday that will allow officials from the Kauai-based rum maker to move forward with plans to construct a new company hub across the street from Anne Knudsen Park in Koloa. Garden Island.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Department of Interior gets an earful on Native Hawaiian recognition, medical marijuana dispensaries eyed, Abercrombie plans 10 vetoes, Maui council overrides budget vetoes, Kauai to keep referendum petition numbers low, Kona church endangered, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hilo protest file photo © 2014 All Hawaii News
Dozens of Native Hawaiian speakers expressed anger and mistrust with the federal government Monday during the first of a series of meetings that could lead to the group being recognized similarly to an American Indian tribe. Interior Department officials hosted the public hearing, prompted by a push to include the ethnic group among the more than 560 tribes that hold such status, with federal considerations on issues from land management to social services. Associated Press.

The vast majority of people who testified before a federal panel Monday soundly rejected any attempt by the Obama administration to pursue federal recognition of a future Native Hawaiian governing body. In often passionate, sometimes heated testimony, dozens of speakers said they opposed any effort by the Department of the Interior to start a rule-making proc­ess that could set the framework for re-establishing a government-to-government relationship with Native Hawaiians. Star-Advertiser.

To help the U.S. Department of the Interior understand how some Native Hawaiians view federal recognition, Demont R. D. Conner offered this analogy: Your car is stolen. The person who stole the car later apologizes and offers you a bicycle. The only proper response to such an offer, said Connor, is to insist that the stolen property be returned to its rightful owner. Civil Beat.

Over 200 people packed the Hawaii State Capitol in the first of a series of meetings that could lead to federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. Officials from the federal government heard three and a half hours of testimony. Hawaii Public Radio.

A fiery meeting took place at the State Capitol Monday morning as the U.S. Dept. of Interior listened to public comment on establishing a Native Hawaiian government. Former Sen. Daniel Akaka sat in the front row as 143 people testified Monday for and against the idea. KHON2.

Hundreds of people showed up at the State Capitol on Monday for an intense hearing filled with emotional testimony about possible federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. Hawaii News Now.

Federal panel hears resounding “no” at Honolulu hearing. Hawaii Independent.

What would a Native Hawaiian government look like? No one knows. But as of Monday morning, federal officials are gathering public input on whether the United States should establish a government-to-government relationship with Hawaii’s indigenous community, starting with a hearing at the State Capitol. Huffington Post.

Years after coming close to establishing a pilot program, state officials are meeting with policy experts, patients, caregivers, lawmakers and others with the aim of crafting a bill that would allow medical marijuana distribution centers to operate legally in Hawaii. The Medical Marijuana Dispensary System Task Force, authorized by a joint resolution of the Legislature, convenes Tuesday to develop recommendations for establishing a statewide dispensary system for medical marijuana. Star-Advertiser.

The financial disclosure forms filed annually by members of the University of Hawaii's governing board and 14 other state boards and commissions will likely remain confidential now that Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signaled he might veto legislation aimed at making the forms public documents. Senate Bill 2682 was among 10 bills that Abercrombie told lawmakers Monday he's considering rejecting. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday identified 10 measures he is thinking about vetoing. They include a financial disclosure bill that the governor told Civil Beat last month he was skeptical about — because he thinks it would hurt women and discourage government service. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said on Monday that he intends to veto 10 bills including Senate Bill 2682, which requires the financial disclosure statement of certain boards, commissioners and agencies to be made available to the public for inspection. The bill would have required 14 more boards and commissions to disclose their statements to the public, including the Board of Agriculture, the Hawaiian Homes Commission and the Board of Land and Natural Resources. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii County officials breathed a sigh of relief Monday afternoon, after learning Gov. Neil Abercrombie isn’t going to veto a bill giving them a larger share of the transient accommodations tax. But one Hawaii Island legislator is looking into why her bill is on the potential veto list, and Common Cause Hawaii is concerned that a bill requiring more transparency on boards and commissions is also on the list. West Hawaii Today.

Growing up in Kalihi-Palama and raised in a low-income household, Senate President Donna Mercado Kim said Monday her "humble beginnings" enabled her to understand the value of money, hence why she will focus on changing government spending and the budget if elected to Hawaii's First Congressional District. Hawaii News Now.

Voters will not get the chance to consider nonpartisan candidates for governor
in the August primary. The state Office of Elections went to Circuit Court to disqualify the nonpartisan candidates because no nonpartisan candidates ran for lieutenant governor. A state Supreme Court ruling in 1996 held that the state Constitution requires that the lieutenant governor be elected from the same political party as the governor. Star-Advertiser.

Sixty five percent of Hawaii’s public school principals are predicting a drastic drop in math and reading test scores the coming school year, in one case by as much as 50 percent. Hawaii Reporter.


Honolulu Ethics Commission Complains of Affronts to Its Independence. Investigation into possible fraud that may have cost taxpayers $250,000 a year was derailed, letter says. Civil Beat.

Candidates for the Honolulu City Council District 4 seat will participate in a campaign forum at the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board on Tuesday, June 24, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Hahaione Elementary School’s cafeteria. Hawaii Reporter.

Levels of the chemical vanadium found in some of Oahu's drinking water wells were higher than in federal guidelines but do not pose a health concern, according to both the Hono­lulu Board of Water Supply and the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser.

The $250 million Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning project to cool Downtown Honolulu office buildings and condominiums towers with a revolutionary air-conditioning system, has completed its final environmental impact statement, a key development for the long-planned project. Pacific Business News.


Hawaii Island could be less than a year away from having some of the first hydrogen-powered buses in the state on its roadways. As part of a pilot project spearheaded by the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, three shuttle buses will be converted to hydrogen power. Tribune-Herald.

An iconic Alii Drive spot has made the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s most endangered list this year. Mokuaikaua Church, built in 1837, is in need of earthquake damage repair and has dysfunctional and faulty electrical wiring, termite damage, and dry-rot damage to beams in the steeple and wooden window frames, trust officials said in a news release Monday. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island dealerships are gearing up to address an auto recall caused by airbags that can malfunction in hot, humid climates. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday that BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota will recall cars sold in humid areas such as Hawaii, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Tribune-Herald.

John Dill, vice-chairman of the county Environmental Management Commission, died as the result of an apparent heart attack on May 29 at Hilo Medical Center, county sources said today. Big Island Now.


The Maui County Council on Monday unanimously voted to override Mayor Alan Arakawa’s line-item vetoes for the fiscal year 2015 budget, Council Chair Gladys Baisa announced. Maui Now.

The Maui County Council Monday morning overrode Mayor Alan Arakawa's eight line-item vetoes in the county budget in a unanimous 9-0 vote. Maui News.

Governor Neil Abercrombie on Friday released $19.5 million in Capitol Improvement Project funds for the acquisition of Līpoa Point at Honolua in West Maui. Maui Now.


The number of petition signatures required to place public measures on general election ballots will remain the same: Twenty percent of registered voters for referendums and initiatives, 5 percent for charter amendments. On Monday, the County of Kauai Charter Review Commission discussed, and voted down, two proposed amendments that some say would have brought balance to bringing forward public measures. Garden Island.

Koloa Rum Company is in need of a new home. Increased product demand, officials say, have prompted them to reassess their retail operations in Lihue and production facilities in Kalaheo, where the company’s popular spirits are distilled and Kukui Brand jams are manufactured. Garden Island.

As far as Billy Williams is concerned, there is no doubt business on Kauai is picking up steam, the economy is turning and people are spending money. Garden Island.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cost of living mars Hawaii retirement dreams, feds to hold hearing today on Native Hawaiian recognition, Abercrombie to announce likely vetoes today, Apache helicopters arrive, gubernatorial candidates oppose Kakaako condos, famed Molokai mule guide dies, UFO landing pad for Puna, Wow Wie, Michelle! and more top news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki retirees © 2014 All Hawaii News
Cost of living spoils Hawaii’s retirement rank. The expense of the 50th state lands it at 46th on a recent list for post-career life. Star-Advertiser.

What would a Native Hawaiian government look like? No one knows. But as of Monday morning, federal officials are gathering public input on whether the United States should establish a government-to-government relationship with Hawaii’s indigenous community, starting with a hearing at the State Capitol. Civil Beat.

There are efforts by the Governor of the State of Hawaii, the Hawaii State Congressional Delegation, State of Hawaii Legislators and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to seek State and Federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. Over the next few weeks, the US Department of Interior will hold public meetings in Hawaii and Indian country to solicit input on how this should proceed. Hawaii Independent.

The deadline has arrived for Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie to tell lawmakers which bills he plans to veto. Those potential vetoes must be announced on Monday. Associated Press.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed 16 bills into law Friday afternoon on proposals ranging from modernizing the electric grid to stopping police officers from having sex with prostitutes in the line of duty. Several of the proposals dealt with protecting children from harm and restoring justice to victims of Internet crimes. Associated Press.

Governor’s Travels: Island Trips, Economy Travel and Obama Abercrombie took five trips in January and February, including a weeklong stay in Washington, D.C. Civil Beat.

Sixty five percent of Hawaii’s public school principals are predicting a drastic drop in math and reading test scores the coming school year, in one case by as much as 50 percent. Hawaii Reporter.

Commentary: Hawaii's 2014 election has drawn refreshing competition at the top of the ballot, with most action set in motion by the death of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. Down the ballot in legislative races, however, are reminders of how far our state must come to restore our once-vibrant democracy. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Does the AJA Vote Still Matter? Support of Japanese Americans has historically been critical to win elections in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Eight of the U.S. Army’s most advanced attack helicopters arrived in Hawaii on Friday for this summer’s Rim of the Pacific joint exercises, after which half of those Apache Guardians will be sent deeper into Asia as part of the Army’s Pacific Pathways initiative. Stars and Stripes.

After nearly a decade on the LPGA tour, Michelle Wie has finally won the first major tournament of her career. The Punahou grad finished -2 over the weekend to become the champion of the 69th U.S. Women's Open Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Hawaii News Now.

Michelle Wie’s big win at the U.S. Women’s Open is the talk of the town and lots of people were glued to the TV Sunday morning to watch her play. KHON2.


State transportation leaders still can't say for sure that their proposed Ewa-bound Zipper Lane is officially dead, but they are moving ahead anyway with H-1 freeway improvements in Central Oahu that no longer include such a contra-flowed traffic lane. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state Sen. David Ige both say they do not support giving the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs the authority to develop high-rise condominiums near the waterfront at Kaka­ako. Star-Advertiser.

The Navy confirmed more tiny holes in a leaking storage tank in Red Hill that appears to be a cause of the release of an estimated 27,000 gallons of jet fuel in January. Star-Advertiser.


The Hawaii Electric Light Co. is using a new timeline for approving another geothermal power project for Hawaii Island as it attempts to address issues raised by the state Public Utilities Commission and an independent observer. Tribune-Herald.

Candidates for the House District 5 seat and the County Council District 6 slot tackled taxes, garbage, GMO labeling and other issues at a candidate forum Saturday in Kealakekua. West Hawaii Today.

With illegal signs cluttering walkways, little enforcement of existing laws and too many people wandering around lost, Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille is asking for public input before she drafts a revision to the county sign code. West Hawaii Today.

Kawaihae Harbor will have a new home for vessels by the end of next month. That’s assuming all goes as planned as contractors finish up a new floating dock, trailer parking and wash down area at the Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor. West Hawaii Today.

Last-minute changes to make University of Hawaii at Hilo’s new Student Services Building wheelchair accessible delayed the facility’s opening by about a year and racked up just under $230,000 in additional expenses. Tribune-Herald.

If all goes as planned, E.T. may soon be calling Puna home. A UFO landing pad and star visitor sanctuary is set to be dedicated Friday on land accreted by the 1983 lava flow fronting Uncle Robert’s Kawa Bar in Kalapana. West Hawaii Today.


A 2nd Circuit judge is being asked to consider whether Neldon Mamuad is qualified to remain on the ballot as a mayoral candidate, following a preliminary ruling last week that he should be disqualified. Maui News.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie released $19.5 million Friday for the state's purchase of Lipoa Point, with West Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey calling it a "huge" step toward the public acquisition of the scenic coastline area as open space free of development. Maui News.

The effort to preserve and utilize the Palauea Cultural Preserve marked a beginning earlier this week with a blessing on the nearly 21-acre site in Makena that sits among multimillion-dollar homes. Maui News.


A vision to boost the island’s agriculture and food industries by creating a centralized processing facility may not be such a good idea after all, according to a county study conducted through the Office of Economic Development. Garden Island.

Coco Palms was a popular destination for movie stars, including Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. Before history-making memories were made, a story of another sort — with an even deeper history — took place. “I exhumed 81 skeletons all buried sitting down and facing east with their arms crossed over their chests,” said Valentine Ako, who was contracted to excavate for the construction of buildings Two and Three of the iconic Coco Palms resort in the early 1950s. Garden Island.

Although the County Council has not acted yet on a line-item veto by Mayor Alan Arakawa involving restrictions on funding for the county Department of Environmental Management, the department announced Thursday that there will be reductions in county landfill hours and no refuse collection on county holidays, effective Aug. 1. Garden Island.


For 40 years Buzzy Sproat, wearing his signature black cowboy hat, led the mule rides down to the remote Kalau­papa peninsula on Molo­kai, regaling visitors with stories and whistling elaborate tunes. Star-Advertiser.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Dirty politics in 2012 Honolulu mayoral race, Kauai GMO pesticide law postponed, 'American Jungle' film crew cleared by DLNR, aquarium collectors targeted, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Moorish Idols © 2014 All Hawaii News
A Hawaii organization is working with a national one to provide more education about the impact of aquarium fish collection on the state’s reefs. West Hawaii Today.

By the Numbers: A Statistical Snapshot of the 2014 Elections. 303 candidates are seeking 102 seats up for grabs this fall in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Clayton Hee Buys First TV Ads This Season. His opponent in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, incumbent Shan Tsutsui, is spending a lot more, however. Civil Beat.

Democratic Honolulu City Councilmember Stanley Chang said Thursday if he's elected to represent Hawaii's First Congressional District, he would live up to his "Agenda for Change" mantra by keeping Hawaii at the forefront of a progressive movement. Hawaii News Now.

Veteran lawmaker Romy Cachola is agreeing to negotiate a settlement with the state Campaign Spending Commission involving charges that he misused political contributions for personal use. Star-Advertiser.

If congressional candidate Kathryn Xian is elected to the U.S. House, she has vowed to donate half her salary to charity. The Democrat, running in Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District, said she wants to put her money where her mouth is as a politician and as a human being who cares about her community. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission decided Thursday to give attorneys more time to reach a settlement before determining whether state Rep. Romy Cachola improperly used his campaign funds. Civil Beat.

Dozens of Hawaii Department of Education employees are on paid leave pending investigations that can drag on for several years. Associated Press.

Hawaii's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 4.4 percent in May to match the previous month's rate and remain at its lowest level in nearly six years. Star-Advertiser.


With former Gov. Ben Cayetano ahead in the polls for mayor and the rail project he vowed to block in trouble with voters, the Pacific Resource Partnership turned to high-powered political consultants in 2012 who devised a calculated strategy to portray Cayetano as corrupt. A trove of private emails, poll memos, advertising scripts and opposition research, obtained by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser from James Bickerton, an attorney for Cayetano, offers a peek inside PRP's $3.6 million campaign to prevent Cayetano from being elected mayor. Star-Advertiser.

An Inside Look at the Hawaii Super PAC That Helped Defeat Cayetano. Emails detail the political strategies employed in 2012 by the PRP, an organization determined to undermine the mayoral candidacy of the former governor. Civil Beat.

More than 200 people from firms around the world interested in developing energy storage projects on Oahu to help Hawaiian Electric Co. add more renewables to its grid showed up either in person or via teleconference to take part in the utility’s pre-bid conference on Thursday morning in Honolulu. Pacific Business News.

Acquiring properties in Honolulu to build Oahu's rail transit system could involve "judicious" use of eminent domain, officials say, as those overseeing the project scramble to secure ownership of all the properties they'll need to keep construction on schedule. Star-Advertiser.

Here in Honolulu, or anywhere for that matter, after you call 911, you expect to get help quickly. That’s dependent upon a reliable radio system for first responders. The city’s system, known as the Enhanced Digital Access Communication System, is almost 20 years old, and city officials say it is time to develop a new one. KHON2.

A group of military moms have filed a lawsuit saying their families were exposed to dangerous chemicals and they weren't properly notified of the risk. Hawaii News Now.

A man known as the Manoa Rapist is suing state Department of Public Safety Director Ted Sakai and Corrections Division head Max Otani for refusing to let the inmate enter the department's work furlough program. Star-Advertiser.

A recent NerdWallet study that found Honolulu among the nation's worst cities for drivers, taking into account the number of hours of traffic delay per commuter, the population density, gas prices, insurance prices and precipitation rates. Hawaii Reporter.


The Department of Land and Natural Resources was unable to prove filmmakers were on state land during the production of a reality television show that aired last fall, a spokeswoman said Thursday. Still, the creator of “American Jungle” said, the way the department handled its concerns has disrupted discussions about another season of the Hawaii Island program. West Hawaii Today.

Two women inmates in Hilo’s jail say the bathrooms there are inadequate, unsanitary and potentially dangerous. Tribune-Herald.

A team of consultants hired by Kona Community Hospital say the organization is making strides toward more efficient operations and money savings. Three months into a nine-month process, consultants told the West Hawaii Region Board of Directors on Wednesday that they’ve identified at least $4.5 million in savings and revenue opportunities. West Hawaii Today.

A civil lawsuit alleging a company and three individuals sold undeveloped land in Puna to Japanese nationals under fraudulent pretenses and at inflated prices will go forward, at least for now. Tribune-Herald.


The Maui Police Department confirmed Wednesday that it had concluded an investigation on the county Department of Parks and Recreation and its former director Glenn Correa. Maui News.


Implementation of Ordinance 960, a new county law regulating the use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms on Kauai, has been delayed to Oct. 1 via a court order issued last week. The ordinance (formerly Bill 2491) was passed in November and slated to take effect Aug. 16. However, a lawsuit challenging the legality of the law was filed in February by four companies — Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer, BASF and Dow AgroSciences — that would be directly impacted by the measure. Garden Island.

A recent analysis of government pesticide databases and data from the state Department of Agriculture’s Kauai Good Neighbor Program shows that the agrochemical industry is applying pesticides at higher rates on Kauai than most U.S. farms. Garden Island.

The completion of the Lydgate Beach Park refurbishment project was celebrated with a blessing on Thursday. Garden Island.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Obama administration moves toward Native Hawaiian recognition, state Ethics Commission to watch lawmaker spending, millions to move Waikiki homeless, Maui blogger disqualified from mayor's race, Kauai bill targeting crop research fails, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Native Hawaiian protest file photo © 2014 All Hawaii News
After years of inaction, the federal government is considering formal recognition of Native Hawaiians, even as Native Hawaiians in the state work on creating a sovereign government themselves. The U.S. Department of Interior announced Wednesday that it will take a first step to consider re-establishing a government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community. That process begins with a procedure known as Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, or ANPRM. West Hawaii Today.

The U.S. Department of the Interior on Wednesday announced it’s moving forward on a rule-making process for re-establishing a government-to-government relationship with Native Hawaiians. Civil Beat.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
File photo © 2014 All Hawaii News
In a move that already is stirring controversy, the Obama administration is taking the first steps in a long process that could eventually lead to the federal government's recognition of a future Native Hawaiian governing entity. But some are questioning whether the action is premature and whether the president has the authority to re-establish a government-to-government relationship without going through Congress, as backers of the so-called Akaka Bill unsuccessfully tried to do for more than a decade.Star-Advertiser.

The federal government announced Wednesday it will take a first step toward recognizing and working with a Native Hawaiian government at a time when a growing number of Hawaiians are questioning the legality of the U.S. annexation of Hawaii. Associated Press.

Native Hawaiian recognition took a major step when the Obama Administration said it will consider procedures to re-establish a political relationship with Hawaiians. Hawaii News Now.

There's excitement, applause and also some words of caution after the federal government took the first steps toward possibly establishing a government-to-government relationship between the United States and Native Hawaiians. KITV4.

The US Department of Interior today announced the first step in the process of a possible “government-to-government” relationship between the United States and the native Hawaiian community. Big Island Now.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
© 2014 All Hawaii News
U.S. Government Solicits Public Opinion on Hawaiian Governance. After the Crabbe-Kerry letter, the U.S. Department of the Interior is considering how and whether to establish government-to-government relations with the Hawaiian people. Hawaii Independent.

The US Department of the Interior today announced a first step to consider re-establishing a government-to-government relationship between the United States and the native Hawaiian community. Maui Now.

The federal government is considering whether the Native Hawaiian community should be treated as its own government. U.S. Department of the Interior officials said Wednesday they are taking a first step to consider re-establishing a government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community. Garden Island.

The federal government took a first step toward reestablishing a government to government relationship between the United States and Native Hawaiians. It would be similar to the tribal status of Native American Indian groups. Hawaii Public Radio.

The federal government announced Wednesday that it will take a first step toward possibly recognizing and working with a separate government of Native Hawaiians. Maui News.

A conflicted state Ethics Commission voted Wednesday to provide guidance to state lawmakers on the use of their annual legislative allowances, reminding lawmakers that using taxpayer money for personal expenses is prohibited by the state ethics law. Star-Advertiser.

The state Ethics Commission voted 3-2 on Wednesday to approve new guidelines for lawmakers to follow in an effort to tighten up how they have been using their annual allowance of almost $12,000 apiece. Civil Beat.

Janet Grace, Republican challenger to State Representative Tom Brower, today called on the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, to ban the use of legislative office funds to purchase sledgehammers and other weapons or instruments that could be used to bring harm to property or individuals. Hawaii Reporter.

Two people are getting paid, but just one of them is actually working. That’s essentially what’s happening in dozens of cases with the state Dept. of Education. Employees are put on leave with pay pending investigation while a fill-in does their work. This double-whammy for taxpayers can drag on for years KHON2.

A nonprofit that advocates for gun control says Hawaii has the second to the lowest gun death rate in the nation. Associated Press.

Smartphone use, video conferencing and hiring part-time corrections officers should be considered to ease staff shortages that have caused a rise in canceled visitation days at state prisons, a state senator said Wednesday. Sen. Will Espero, chairman of the Senate Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee, also suggested moving visitation days from weekends to a weekday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Prison System Faces More Scrutiny. Director Ted Sakai struggles to satisfy lawmakers' questions on why inmate visitation days are getting canceled. Civil Beat.

The state is suing a member of a state licensing board to recover $1,940 in fines after the board member failed to file two years of financial disclosure statements. Star-Advertiser.

A father and daughter from Chuuk are having to pay $1,250 in fines for attempting to smuggle 60 pounds of giant clam meat into Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell rolled out his revamped plan to deal with the homeless issue on Oahu on Wednesday, with a goal of helping more than 400 homeless individuals and families find permanent housing in the next two years via $47.2 million in various funding sources approved recently by the City Council. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell unveiled a more aggressive strategy Wednesday for tackling the homeless problem, which includes moving as many as 440 homeless people into permanent housing in the next two years. Civil Beat.

Homelessness in Waikiki is the number one complaint from many of the 200-thousand visitors there on any given day.  That, according to city officials, who are stepping up their efforts to address the problem. Hawaii Public Radio.

City leaders unveiled a two-part plan to tackle a growing and complex homelessness issue that will require increased law enforcement presence and additional housing to cater to those in the most need. Hawaii News Now.

Starting Monday, the 71,000 drivers who maneuver Kalanianaole Highway each day in East Oahu and the 25,000 drivers who use Kamehameha Highway in Waipio and Mililani will face roadwork — and lane closures — expected to last into 2016. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has yet to name the city's $5.16 million rail project, and there appears to be no plans in the near future to give it a branded name. Pacific Business News.

The number of assaults committed by teenagers at Hawaii's Youth Detention Center in Kapolei tripled between 2010 and 2013, and officials blame the high number of mentally ill kids behind bars as one reason for the spike in beatings. Hawaii News Now.

A Kalihi charter school can keep its doors open despite a budget shortfall of more than $400,000 on the condition that its director and governing board resign, according to a Hawaii Charter School Commission decision made on Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Halau Lokahi Public Charter School will cease to exist at the end of this month unless its governing board and director agree to resign and turn over all financial records, the Charter School Commission decided Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.


Big Island coffee and macadamia nut growers will benefit directly from a package of agriculture bills Gov. Neil Abercrombie will sign today. The legislation largely boosts funding to fight invasive species, with $500,000 allocated to subsidize the purchase of fungal sprays to fight coffee berry borer beetles and $360,000 for combating another insect threatening macadamia nut orchards. Tribune-Herald.

Early arrivals to Onekahakaha Beach Park in Keaukaha on Wednesday morning were unhappy to discover that thieves made off with many of the park’s copper water spigots during the night. Tribune-Herald.

A $2,278,800 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration will help improve security at Hilo International Airport, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said Wednesday in a written statement. Tribune-Herald.


MAUIWatch founder Neldon Mamuad–one of seven people running for Maui County Mayor this year–got a bad break today when Maui County Clerk Danny Mateo voided his official nomination papers, saying Mamuad didn’t meet the deadline in filing his financial disclosure form.  Maui Time.

After being on paid administrative leave for nearly five months, Glenn Correa has given up his $114,770-per-year job as director of the county Department of Parks and Recreation, according to an email sent late last week to department employees. Maui News.

The Maui County Council has scheduled a Monday meeting to consider overriding Mayor Alan Arakawa's line-item veto of the fiscal 2015 county budget. Maui News.

The state Department of Agriculture has confirmed a small infestation of the invasive little fire ant at a hotel in the south Maui resort area of Wailea. Maui Now.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College’s Hawaiian Studies Program, E Hoʻoulu Lāhui, joined together in a special blessing ceremony at Palauea in South Maui on Tuesday. Maui Now.


A county bill aimed at taxing crop-research land separate from other agricultural land was deferred on Wednesday until Aug. 20, killing any chance of it going into effect during fiscal year 2015-2016. Garden Island.

The redevelopment of the iconic Coco Palms Resort on Kauai, which will be branded as a Hyatt resort, could mean up to 1,970 new jobs and $230 million infused into the Garden Isle’s economy, according to an economic impact report done by the project's developer. Pacific Business News.

Arnold Leong seeking to address, cut county waste. Garden Island.