Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Honolulu rail, other votes could be invalidated in City Council gift ethics probe, med fly wasp to be released, 21 state employees fined for accepting free rounds of golf, search on for 1,400 special ed students due aid, Maui growing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki beach © 2014 All Hawaii News
Although visitor arrivals in August declined slightly and spending was flat against the same month last year, year-to-date results for Hawaii's visitor industry continue to surpass last year's records. Star-Advertiser.

Twenty-one state employees have agreed to pay a combined $16,500 in fines for accepting free rounds of golf from private contractors, consultants and vendors, according to a settlement with the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. The resolution issued Monday by the commission does not name any of the state employees, instead only identifying them by department and position. Civil Beat.

A tiny wasp that attacks harmful Mediterranean fruit flies could be released in Hawaii. The University of Hawaii has applied to a state agency for permission to release wasps to attack the pest also known as "medflies" that cause millions of dollars in damage to crops. Associated Press.

National Dems Play the Democrat Card for David Ige. The Democratic Governors Association TV spot counters a previous Republican Governors Association spot on behalf of James Duke Aiona. Civil Beat.

A federal judge has ruled that some 1,800 special-education students who did not earn a high school diploma before they aged out of Hawaii's public school system at 20 years old are entitled to free educational services to make up for the two years they were denied schooling as allowed under U.S. law. Star-Advertiser.

More than 1,400 former special needs students are being sought out by the Department of Education. KITV4.

Hawaii is the only state that isn’t broken up by multiple school districts. That means Hawaii — whose population of roughly 1.4 million people makes it the 11th smallest state —  actually encompasses one of the largest school districts in the country. Civil Beat.

Opinion: Hawaii’s candidates for governor and the 1st Congressional District may be too squeaky clean and Boy Scout-ish for any dirt to emerge about them in the upcoming election. Civil Beat.

State roundup for Sept. 30. Associated Press.


Key votes on the city rail transit project and other issues might be invalidated because Honolulu City Council members failed to disclose conflicts of interest after being wined and dined by lobbyists. Hawaii News Now.

State Rep. Romy Cachola says former colleagues on the Honolulu City Council accepted the same meals that Ethics Commission staff accuse him of taking illegally. And if that's the case, Cachola says, their actions collectively could call into question the legality of some crucial decisions the Council has made, including ones that cleared the way for the city's $5.26 billion rail project. Star-Advertiser.

Just days after word emerged that state Rep. Romy Cachola had agreed to pay a $50,000 fine over dozens of alleged ethics violations relating to gifts and transportation expenses when he was on the Honolulu City Council, he took aim at former colleagues, arguing that they engaged in similar behavior. Civil Beat.

Ethics violations cast doubt over City Council’s integrity. After an investigation into alleged ethics violations, State Rep. and former City Councilmember Romy Cachola has been ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. Hawaii Independent.

City Ethics Commission widens illegal gift probe. Hawaii News Now.

Former Honolulu City Council member Romy Cachola is paying a big fine over alleged ethics violations. Now, the Honolulu Ethics Commission is investigating several other current and former city council members after Cachola said he’s not the only one who should be in the hot seat. KHON2.

About two dozen city ground maintenance workers are expected to attend Tuesday's initial training session on how to spot and eradicate invasive fire ants and coconut rhinoceros beetles. Star-Advertiser.

Food safety placards are putting the pressure on Hawaii restaurant owners. Hawaii News Now.

The state Department of Health has fined the owners of Iyo Udon restaurant at Ala Moana Center $11,000 for intentionally removing a yellow "conditional pass" placard and for food safety violations during a health inspection. Star-Advertiser.


The leading edge of the Puna lava flow has not advanced since Sunday morning, but the northern edge of the flow front is active and the breakout upslope has progressed forward another 100 yards -- according to a flyover by Hawai‘i County Civil Defense officials Monday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island Civil Defense officials long ago gave up on the idea of trying to halt a river of 2,100-degree molten lava heading along a path of destruction toward Pahoa. But they're certainly listening to ideas coming out of the lower Puna district about how to get both people and supplies in and out if 8,500 residents get trapped behind the lava spewing from Kilauea Volcano. Star-Advertiser.

Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille thinks she may have found the way to eliminate fraudulent use of the homeowner property tax exemption. Wille, who has been serving on the county’s Real Property Tax Task Force, is proposing that the credit only be available for people who file a Hawaii state income tax return listing themselves as full-year residents of the island. West Hawaii Today.

The Village Green Society and Hawaii’s Volcano Circus will be fined $53,743 for building illegal structures on state land and removing protected trees. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources approved the fines Friday after an investigation found several structures on state land adjacent to VGS’ Bellyacres community in Kalapana Seaview Estates. Tribune-Herald.

Kale Gumapac, who has challenged the legitimacy of land titles in the state, plans to make his case for Hawaiian sovereignty at a court hearing in November. Tribune-Herald.

Despite Tropical Storm Iselle and the current threat of the June 27 lava flow, Hawaii Island is expected to continue its recovery from the Great Recession in the coming year, according to economist Dr. Jack Suyderhoud. Tribune-Herald.


A bill to create agricultural conservation lots in Maui County will be heard Tuesday afternoon by the Maui County Council's Economic Development, Energy, Agriculture and Recreation Committee. Maui News.

A U.S. Census report last week put Maui County’s estimated population at 160,195 for 2013, up 3 percent from 2010, and offered a socio-economic view of Maui County residents. Associated Press.

Maui experienced the largest growth in visitor spending for first eight months of 2014, reaching $2.8 billion, according to new data released by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority. Maui Now.

Cynthia Reeves began her new job as Maui County administrator for the University of Hawaii-Manoa's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources last week, UH announced Friday. Maui News.


The outbreak of black band coral disease on Kauai’s North Shore and a controversial biologist documenting it will be subjects of a documentary style reality TV series. Garden Island.

Hawaii-based Manu Kai LLC has been awarded a $74.3 million contract under a previously awarded contract to provide range operations support and base operations support at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai for another year. Pacific Business News.

The Kauai Board of Realtors and the Hawaii Association of Realtors are opposing revisions to wastewater regulations being proposed by the Department of Health. A public meeting on cesspool, septic system and other wastewater related regulations is scheduled at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Kauai District Health Office. Garden Island.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the likely buyer of a 357-acre beachfront estate on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai’s North Shore, according to a source close to the situation. Pacific Business News.

Chicken causes major power outage. Garden Island.

Friday, September 26, 2014

University of Hawaii plans no tuition hike, Aloha Petroleum sold, Honolulu police chief denies special treatment, plastic bag ban signed, lava slows, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

© 2014 All Hawaii News
University of Hawaii Manoa campus © 2014 All Hawaii News
The University of Hawaii has come up with a draft operating budget that assumes zero tuition increases over the next two fiscal years, but officials say the decision to adjust tuition up or down won't happen until May, after the Legislature finalizes the state's budget. Star-Advertiser.

No More PLDCs: Hawaii’s Top Gov Candidates Talk Development. Mufi Hannemann, David Ige and Duke Aiona share ideas on tackling the housing shortage, preserving farmland and improving land use controls. Civil Beat.

State Sen. David Ige, asked on Thursday evening whether he has the leadership ability and charisma to inspire Hawaii as governor, said his nearly three decades in the Legislature and private sector experience have prepared him. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Petroleum Ltd., which markets 100 Shell, Aloha and Mahalo branded gas stations and operates 44 Aloha Island Mart convenience stores statewide, is being purchased by a mainland partnership for $240 million. Star-Advertiser.

The sale of Hawaii’s Aloha Petroleum to Houston, Texas-based Susser Petroleum Partners is good news for the state, according to a couple of industry consultants. Pacific Business News.


The City and County of Honolulu moved one step closer to an outright ban on all plastic shopping bags today. A bill was signed into law at Ala Moana Beach Park and will strengthen the plastic ban when it’s implemented next year. Hawaii Public Radio.

The bill the Mayor signed today (Bill 38, CD2) amends a law enacted in 2012 under the previous mayoral administration (Ordinance 12-8), implementing a ban on plastic and non-recyclable paper bags set to take effect July 1, 2015. Hawaii Independent.

When someone stole Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha's mailbox in Kahala last year, the HPD turned to its crime reduction unit to make the arrest. What's raising questions is that the department sent at least six officers for what appears to be a minor crime and that the man arrested is an uncle of the chief's wife, who's involved in a financial dispute with her. Hawaii News Now.

Blue Angels practice triggers noise complaints, flight delays. KHON2.

Zip line planned for Waikiki resort. An activities company wants to establish a high-flying ride over a public beachside lagoon. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu Publications Inc., publisher of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, is launching a new publication called Metro on Wednesday. The free community newspaper will be distributed weekly to downtown Honolulu, Nuuanu, Kakaako, Manoa and McCully.


Tourism is booming in Kohala, one of several bits of good news economist Jack Suyderhoud highlighted Thursday during the 40th annual First Hawaiian Bank Economic economic outlook forum. West Hawaii Today.

Hawai'i County Civil Defense officials say Thursday morning's assessment shows the leading surface edge of the Puna lava flow is still inactive and has not advanced since Wednesday. They say the flow front remains approximately 100 yards wide. Hawaii News Now.

The state Department of Education on Thursday announced a plan to build an alternate classroom site for elementary school students and teachers in Pahoa who may be displaced by lava. Tribune-Herald.


Environmentalists and sustainability advocates are hoping to move the county more toward a zero waste policy, but council members are uncertain how such a move would affect the administration's recently signed contract with Anaergia Inc. to build a waste-to-energy facility. Maui News.


A homeless man who struck a man who was harassing his wife received a $1 fine for a violation on Thursday in 5th Circuit Court. Garden Island.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hawaii mulls new limits on fish, Honolulu mayor to sign amended plastic bag ban, Ellison gets $67.3M final Oracle paycheck, tuition increase may shrink, Ethics Commission resists disclosure law, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Uhu, parrotfish, in Hawaii © 2014 All Hawaii News
State fishing regulators are considering new bag and size limits for parrotfish, or uhu, and types of weke, or goatfish, caught off the island of Maui. The Board of Land and Natural Resources will consider the rules at a meeting on Friday. Associated Press.

The state will consider approval of new fishing rules that would establish bag and size limits for uhu or parrotfish and kūmū or goatfish caught in Maui waters. Maui Now.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources is considering adopting new fishing rules that would place bag and size limits for parrotfish (uhu) and goatfish in waters around Maui. Maui News.

New rules could be imposed for fishermen on Maui. Could the same limits be put into place on other islands? The Department of Land and Natural Resources will consider approving the new rules on Friday. KHON2.

The White House announced late Wednesday that President Barack Obama would prohibit fishing in three of America’s remote island territories in the Pacific by declaring them marine national monuments. In June, Obama had proposed closing five areas, which would have doubled the no-take zone. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission on Wednesday reaffirmed its decision to withhold the financial disclosure statements of more than 100 current state board members who filed their annual reports before a new law took effect July 8. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii students may see a smaller tuition increase than expected next year under a proposal being considered by the budget committee of the Board of Regents. Instead of the 7.5 percent increase now planned over the next two years, students would see their tuition rise annually by only 2 percent in the latest plan to help cover the university's huge deferred maintenance backlog. Star-Advertiser.

Saying changes need to be made to reduce their pain and inconvenience, patients and caregivers testified Wednesday evening in favor of establishing statewide medical marijuana dispensaries. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaiian business caucus. OHA will hold a new caucus for Hawaiian businesses owners at the upcoming Native Hawaiian Convention. Hawaii Independent.


Changes to Oahu's plastic bag ban are coming as Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signs an amended version of the plastic bag ban bill that will go into effect next year. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said Wednesday that it has completed installing 5,200 smart meters in six different neighborhoods on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Police in Kapolei and Pearl City are investigating reports of three attempts to kidnap elementary school-age students in Ewa Beach and Waipahu within the past five days. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii County is looking at its options should the June 27 lava flow cover Highway 130, from removing a portion of the road beforehand to use of a temporary span after the flow has moved through. Tribune-Herald.

The front of the June 27 lava flow may remain stalled more than 2 miles above Pahoa, but it has already resulted in the closure of at least two private schools in the community. Tribune-Herald.

Video: Recent Footage of June 27 Lava Flow. Tribune-Herald.


A Paia political activist said that she has filed a complaint with the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission alleging disclosure violations by the Hawaii Carpenters Recovery Market Fund, which has supported Maui County Council candidate Ka'ala Buenconsejo's campaign through super PAC Forward Progress. Maui News.


Four nonprofit organizations and Kauai County are appealing a federal judge's decision to invalidate a Kauai County law pertaining to pesticides and genetically modified crops. Ka Makani Ho‘opono, the Center for Food Safety, the Pesticide Action Network North America and the Surfrider Foundation — represented by Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety — filed an appeal in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, challenging U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren's decision that overturned Ordinance 960 (formerly Bill 2491). Kauai County filed its appeal Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.


Larry Ellison, who owns Hawaii's island of Lanai and interisland airline Island Air, got his final paycheck from Oracle Corp. — $67.3 million in stock options and bonus cash — after stepping down from the CEO post last week. Pacific Business News.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Federal judge says Hawaii can't deny guns to immigrants, gubernatorial candidates agree health exchange a mistake, Hawaii congressional candidates have key differences, recycled glass piling up on Oahu, lava flow slows, spreads, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu Hawaii
Hawaii federal courthouse
A federal judge says a Hawaii law that prohibits immigrants from getting a firearms permit is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Michael Seabright granted a motion last week, which allows Steve Fotoudis, a permanent resident in Honolulu, to apply for a firearms permit. KHON2.

Three candidates competing to represent Hawaii as governor agreed that Hawaii made mistakes in the way it built its troubled health exchange. Associated Press.

Civil Beat Poll: Public-Private Preschool Amendment Divides Voters. In other constitutional questions on ballot, voters oppose increasing the retirement ages of judges, but want the names of nominees made public.

First Congressional District candidates Charles Djou and Mark Takai on Tuesday night mixed it up for the first time, restating their Republican and Democratic party philosophies to a predominantly pro-business audience at a Chamber of Commerce Hawaii forum. Star-Advertiser.

Djou and Takai: Similar Backgrounds, Vastly Different Style. The congressional candidates differ over Jones Act and war on ISIS in Tuesday night event. In a bonus bout, the candidates for governor go after each other. Civil Beat.

The debate is on between Republican Charles Djou and Democrat Mark Takai.  For the first time Hawaii's Congressional Candidates for district one squared off face to face in front of 100 of the state's top business leaders from the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Political activist Karen Chun of Maui has filed a complaint with the Hawaiʻi Campaign Spending Commission alleging that the Hawaiʻi Carpenters Recovery Market Fund has violated state law by not disclosing the original source of their funds. Maui Now.

State agrees to revise public demonstration rules. An ACLU first amendment lawsuit has been settled with the state promising to change its rules concerning public demonstrations on state property to make it easier to exercise first amendment rights. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii business executives Chris Eldridge, who founded Hawaii's largest mattress supplier and is a partner in a local biofuel project, and Dustin Sellers, who was co-president of one of Hawaii's largest HR services provider, are moving from the operational side of business and getting into investments. Pacific Business News.


The Honolulu Police Department's criminal investigation into the alleged domestic abuse case involving Sgt. Darren Cachola has been completed and turned over to city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, according to HPD Chief Louis Kealoha. Star-Advertiser.

An unusual look behind the scenes of a corporate public relations campaign has been provided by an ongoing class action lawsuit pitting homeowners in a major planned community in Ewa against the developer of the project. Civil Beat.

Hawaii News Now has learned that more than 14,000 tons of crushed glass wound up in a Mililani farm -- even though the city paid more than a million dollars to process it for recycling.

Honolulu City Council District Four is home to some of the richest residents in the state.   Stretching from Hawai’i Kai to Waikiki, the district has the highest property values on O’ahu.  The Kahala Business Association hosted the two candidates running to represent the area. Hawaii Public Radio.


If lower Puna is cut off from the rest of the island because of lava, more than 250 businesses and more than 9,400 residents could be severely impacted. Tribune-Herald.

Puna Geothermal Venture Plant Manager Cliff Townsend and Director of Hawaiian Affairs Mike Kaleikini discuss contingency plans at a meeting held Monday night at Kua O Ka La Charter School. Big Island Video News.


More than a dozen dogs have been roaming the Front Street area of Lahaina for the past couple of months, killing pets and feral cats and prompting residents' calls for help from the Maui Humane Society and Maui police. Maui News.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hawaii could send a Republican to Congress, Inouye allegations revived in tell-all book, gubernatorial candidates debate, monk seals increase, Larry Ellison plans a new Lanai, lava evacuation emergency route begins, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Copyright 2008 all Hawaii News. all rights reserved
late Sen. Daniel Inouye © 2008 All Hawaii News
Daniel Inouye, the late U.S. senator from Hawaii, allegedly was the male colleague of fellow Demo­crat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York who held Gillibrand's waist and told her, "Don't lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby," The New York Times reported Monday, citing anonymous sources. Star-Advertiser.

Old accusations that the late U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye forced his Hawaii hairdresser to have sex have with him received new life, thanks to a blog in the New York Times Monday. Civil Beat.

The man who represents Hawaii Republicans’ best hope to pick up a congressional seat has a 4 percentage point lead over his Democratic opponent. Charles Djou leads Mark Takai 46-42 percent in Civil Beat’s latest poll. Just 12 percent of voters are undecided.

With Gov. Neil Abercrombie out of the political picture, the four candidates running for Hawaii governor came together for the first time in the general election campaign Monday night and vowed to lead the state in a new direction. Star-Advertiser.

Gubernatorial Candidates Begin String of Joint Appearances. Aiona wants to reconsider an undersea power cable; Ige wants to reform taxes; Hannemann suggests tent cities; Davis says to legalize pot, allow offshore gambling. Civil Beat.

The number of endangered Hawaiian monk seal pups and juveniles in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands has increased slightly this year, scientists reported after a recent research mission. Star-Advertiser.


Experts in Hawaii's photovoltaic industry estimate that last year there were more than 5,000 electricians and installers working for solar companies. That number has plummeted to about 2,000. Hawaii News Now.

A human rights group wants the state Board of Land and Natural Resources to rethink its decision to give a three-year lease to the city for its homeless transition center. Star-Advertiser.

Federal funding for Oahu transportation projects could be slashed by about $12 million annually unless the state and city make a slew of changes to the group tasked with prioritizing the island's major road projects. Star-Advertiser.


The Kohala Center on Hawaii's Big Island has received a $2 million federal grant to develop an agricultural business accelerator. Associated Press.

ACLU declares First Amendment victory. Judge Susan Mollway granted a temporary restraining order against Hawaiʻi County last week in Kona “Panhandling” case. Hawaii Independent.

A Hawaii County bulldozer will begin building a path Tuesday through lava rock covering a nearly 8-mile stretch of Chain of Craters Road to create another alternate route for residents threatened by the June 27 lava flow. Tribune-Herald.

West Hawaii’s Congressional representative told state officials this week she doesn’t see a scientific need to designate the Keauhou Aquifer as a water management area. West Hawaii Today.

Just before she adjourned an informational briefing at Kona Community Hospital, House Health Committee Chairwoman Della Belatti offered one final insight into how the Legislature may try to address state health system woes. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Council’s Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee will host a panel discussion on Tuesday to consider the adoption of principles relating to zero waste as a waste management policy for the County. Maui Now.

Proposed changes to the state’s wastewater management policy could affect some 77,000 homeowners on the neighbor islands, according to State Senator Roz Baker of Maui. Maui Now.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is making available $8.9 million in grant money to community-based organizations that can help address key priorities of improving conditions for Native Hawaiians. Maui News.


The Planning Department will hold two open houses in the coming weeks to highlight the draft South Kauai Community Plan, maps and zoning overlays. Garden Island.


Larry Ellison has sketched out a rough picture for a new era on Lanai. It is how the world's fifth-richest person sees the future of an island he owns. Yet without fine details, it's hard for many residents to judge whether the picture is nice or not. Star-Advertiser.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ige leads gubernatorial poll, Hawaii Micronesians ask Supreme Court for health care, Ellison plans to triple Lanai City, lava advance slows, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
© 2014 All Hawaii News
Democrat David Ige has a 4 percentage point lead over Republican Duke Aiona in the Hawaii governor’s race. Ige, a state senator, is up 43 percent to 39 percent over Aiona, the former lieutenant governor. Just 8 percent of voters favor Mufi Hannemann, the former Honolulu mayor running as the candidate of the Hawaii Independent Party. Civil Beat.

While Hawaii doctors get paid slightly more than the national average, the state has the third-highest cost of living, making it difficult to attract and retain physicians, according to the Hawaii Medical Association. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission will consider a request this week by Civil Beat and the League of Women Voters to release the financial disclosure statements of dozens of powerful state board members. The news outlet and good-government group want the documents filed by members of the 15 boards that the Legislature unanimously required to publicly disclose their financial interests.

Hawai‘i’s alternative industries get a boost. More than $5 million in federal grants will help develop Hawai‘i's agriculture, clean tech, manufacturing and healthcare industries. Hawaii Independent.

Three Micronesians living in Hawaii are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case about being denied health benefits by the state. The appeal, which was submitted Sept. 9, is being described by attorneys for the plaintiffs as an urgent matter. Civil Beat.


Robert Bley-Vroman, interim chancellor for the University of Hawaii at Manoa, has called for an internal review of the UH Cancer Center. Pacific Business News.


Lava from the June 27 flow continued to advance slowly Sunday as fire fighters worked to contain a brushfire nearby. Hawaii County Civil Defense reported Sunday that the flow advanced 75 yards between its daily overflights. Tribune-Herald.

A public hearing by the state House Health Committee is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at Kona Community Hospital in Kealakekua. Tribune-Herald.

Companies, researchers looking for new ways to protect Hawaii’s reefs. West Hawaii Today.

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued an order requiring the County of Hawaii to repair the Hilo Wastewater Treatment Plant’s ocean outfall pipe. The pipe is leaking treated wastewater close to shore, posing a potential risk to the marine environment and public health. Hawaii Reporter.


Only planes with nine passengers or less currently use Hana Airport, but the state is planning to add features that would allow the remote airport to accommodate larger aircraft with up to 30 passenger seats. Maui News.

Fast-food chains at the Queen Ka'ahumanu Center were among the first Maui eateries to receive the state Health Department's new food safety placards, and so far, the store managers say they're happy with the new system. Maui News.


The Kauai Fire Department wants to hear from the public about what kind of service it wants in the future. But meetings so far in Kapaa, Koloa and Kilauea drew little interest. Garden Island.

The first in a two-part series looking at a loophole in the medical marijuana industry that allows patients to possess and use the substance, but not obtain it unless they grow it themselves. Garden Island.

The second in a two-part series looking at a loophole in the medical marijuana industry that allows patients to possess and use the substance in Hawaii, but not obtain it unless they grow it themselves. Garden Island.


His Island, His Vision. Larry Ellison plans to triple the size of tiny Lanai City and double the population. First there was the world's largest pineapple plantation. Then there were a pair of fancy resorts. As the principal industry on Lanai, neither was diversified and both proved financially unsustainable. Star-Advertiser.

Friday, September 19, 2014

This blogger's greatest challenge: Keeping the news alive

The greatest challenge to running a one-person news aggregate blog is this:

How do I take a vacation?

Because All Hawaii News collects and highlights the day's top government and political news, it's simply not possible to prewrite and schedule posts.

I usually find some time on vacation days to skim through my long list of media sites and post the best of them for the day. I need to keep on top of the biggest news of the day anyway, even if I am on vacation.

Sometimes, I'll write a few articles in advance and substitute them for the daily aggregate. However, with vacation looming and articles not prewritten, this doesn't appear to be one of those times.

So, please bear with me, loyal readers, if the schedule is a bit erratic over the next couple of weeks. Everyone needs a few days off, especially with an exciting gubernatorial election coming in November.

All Hawaii News isn't fancy, but it wins awards. You can read what the judges said here.

By the way, this would be a perfect time to help keep the news alive.

All Hawaii News is a labor of love. I've been doing this day in and day out for more than five years now. Advertising is kept to a minimum.

Small contributions from loyal followers help pay to keep All Hawaii News online. A donation no matter how modest is seen as a vote of confidence in my efforts.

How to donate:

  1.     Click the donate button at the top right of the page.
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Mahalo to everyone who clicks, comments or contributes to All Hawaii News. I can't do it without you!

Publisher, aggregator, columnist, editor and chief bottle-washer Nancy Cook Lauer

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nemo's Hawaiian cousins get no federal protection, administrative costs gobble up highway funds, higher premiums coming to HMSA Medicare plans, UH faculty senate censors president, lava pace quickens, first humpback whale of the season spotted off Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Endemic Hawaiian dascyllus © 2014 All Hawaii News
Finding Nemo may be getting harder to do, but the same can't be said for the Hawaiian dascyllus and blue-eyed damselfish, two Hawaiian cousins of the orange clownfish, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service. Star-Advertiser.

A new study says Hawaii has the worst-performing highways in the nation. The report by the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank in Los Angeles, said Wednesday that Hawaii also has the least cost-effective highway system. It also ranked Hawaii among the worst for congestion, deficient bridges and pavement conditions. The group says Hawaii spent $90,000 on administrative costs for every mile of state road, expenses that could be siphoning money away from road repairs. Associated Press.

The Children Left Behind: Kindergarten Age Cutoff Has Families Scrambling. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Medical Service Association, the state's largest medical care insurer, is closing its current line of Medicare plans, called Akamai Advantage, and will restart them as new plans with higher premiums due to loss of revenue from underwriting miscalculations and smaller reimbursement rates from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii's poverty rate is better than most other states in the nation, according to new Census data. But advocates for the poor say that when the state's high cost of living is considered, the picture looks a lot different. Associated Press.

A record 492 students from public schools across Hawaii have earned awards for exceptional achievement in their college-level Advanced Placement courses, according to the College Board, the company that administers the exams. Civil Beat.

Hawaii is a world-class destination with real-world obstacles when it comes to building traction in China's growing outbound tourism market. Star-Advertiser.


The University of Hawaii-Manoa Faculty Senate voted 43-16 Wednesday in favor of censuring UH President David Lassner over the group's displeasure with how Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple was fired. Star-Advertiser.

Where does former House Speaker Calvin Say live? That is the central question of a lawsuit that has yet another court hearing Thursday. Civil Beat.

Construction of Honolulu’s 5.2 billion dollar Rail Transit System is moving toward the urban center at a steady pace.  The focus of the City Council’s Budget Committee yesterday was on the project’s impact on Kaka’ako businesses. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha has called off a meeting set for Thursday with several members of the Hawaii Women's Legislative Caucus and three female members of the City Council. Star-Advertiser.

Despite a notice of violation from the city, the unapologetic and unrepentant organizer of a 70-foot fence blocking access from a private road to Laniakea Beach wants to replace the wooden fence with one made out of metal or rock. Star-Advertiser.

Fabio Osorio, who has called the streets of Waikiki home for five years, says three bills, signed into law Tuesday, won't change the homeless situation in Hawaii's tourist mecca. Hawaii News Now.

Opinion: Homeless Policy: Sand Island Camp Is a Waste of Money. The plan to relocate homeless to Sand Island runs counter to the successful practices developed by the federal Housing First program. Civil Beat.

Former defense contractor sentenced for mishandling classified documents. Federal Judge Leslie Kobayashi sentenced Benjamin P. Bishop to two 87-month terms for crossing the line with classified information. Hawaii News Now.


A Civil Defense overflight Wednesday morning observed that the June 27 lava flow has picked up speed since the beginning of the week. Tribune-Herald.

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory have been monitoring every twist and turn of lava creeping unpredictably toward communities in a rural and isolated Big Island district. Their work can be dangerous and includes frequent flyovers in a helicopter, navigating precarious terrain and taking careful data measurements to give the public an accurate picture of the lava's progress. Associated Press.

More than a year after National Park Service officials filed their petition for a water management area designation for the Keauhou aquifer, they finally made their pitch directly to the state commissioners who will decide the request. West Hawaii Today.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees heard project updates, along with grievances, Wednesday evening at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Board of Ethics said that the "facts are insufficient" to support a claim that Council Member Don Guzman violated the Maui County Code of Ethics when he allegedly notarized a former employee's political nomination papers while on council time and in his council office. Maui News.

Three Maui residents are being considered for a vacancy on the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents. Maui Now.


The Kauai County Council voted 5-1 Wednesday to approve funding to appeal a court ruling that County Ordinance 960 regulating pesticides and genetically modified crops on the island is pre-empted by state law, and therefore invalid. Garden Island.

Kauai's County Council took a step Wednesday toward appealing a federal judge's decision that struck down a Kauai law regulating genetically modified organisms and pesticides. In a 5-to-1 vote, the Council approved spending up to $12,750 for an appeal. Star-Advertiser.

The first of several political forums hosted by the Kauai Chamber of Commerce begins tonight. The forum will be from 6 to 9 at the Koloa Neighborhood Center, beginning with House of Representatives District 16 candidates, followed by Kauai mayoral candidates and ending with Kauai County Council candidates. Garden Island.

The first humpback whale of the Hawaii migration season has been observed in waters off Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hawaii gets homeless tips from New York as Honolulu mayor signs strict new measures, Department of Education struggles with spending cuts, elections officials plan for lava flow, Health Department hears water quality concerns, Molokai dispute over outsiders, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu homeless © 2014 All Hawaii News
The Hawai’i Interagency Council on Homelessness brought trainers in from New York to help with the state-wide implementation of Housing First.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Moments before signing into law a bill making it illegal for people to sit or lie on Waikiki sidewalks, Hono­lulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Tuesday he is leaning toward supporting a separate proposal that would apply the same ban in business districts of six other Oahu neighborhoods. Star-Advertiser.
copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
© 2014 All Hawaii News

Three bills aimed at combating a growing and complex homelessness issue on Oahu were signed into law Tuesday and will go into effect immediately. Hawaii News Now.

Three new bills were signed into law Tuesday, and some are expecting the new measures to make a big difference with Hawaii's homeless problems. KITV4.

Opinion: New houseless bills won’t help. The city's “compassionate disruption” strategy does more to hide the houseless problem from tourists than it does actually solve the underlying problems that lead to houselessness. Hawaii Independent.

After struggling at multiple meetings over how to reduce the Department of Education's operating budget by $25 million, the state school board Tuesday approved wide-ranging spending restrictions that will touch everything from special-education positions and athletics programs to per-pupil spending and bus transportation. Star-Advertiser.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann has raised thousands of dollars in his bid for governor, but he has more debt than any of his competitors. Civil Beat.

Should We Raise the Retirement Age for Judges and Justices? The question is one of five constitutional amendments before Hawaii voters Nov. 4. Others address disclosing the names of judicial nominees and qualifying for special purpose revenue bonds. Civil Beat.

A psychiatric technician told a state Senate investigative panel Tuesday that his supervisor threatened to fire him after he made public comments about unsafe working conditions at the Hawaii State Hospital, but the supervisor said the employee "got mixed up." Star-Advertiser.

As the state Department of Health works on the first update to its water quality plan since 1990, most people commenting during a public meeting Tuesday were concerned about a single aspect of the multifaceted plan — the impact of wastewater on water quality and what should be done about it. West Hawaii Today.

Cesspools will have to be converted to septic tanks - at a cost estimated at more than $10,000 - within 180 days of the sale of residential properties if proposed revisions to the state Department of Health administrative rules are accepted by the governor. Maui News.

Hawaii vets have experienced some of the longest waiting times in the nation before they can get in to see a primary care doctor — 145 days was the average although veterans officials have recently said that initial wait time has come down considerably. Civil Beat.

Alan Oshima, the incoming head of Hawaiian Electric Co., will be a community-focused leader, and plans to be pounding the pavement meeting and working with the stakeholders and community members, much like former HECO Executive Vice President Robbie Alm did, before he retired last year. Pacific Business News.


A former civilian defense contractor is being sentenced for divulging military secrets to his Chinese girlfriend and keeping classified documents at his suburban Honolulu home. Benjamin Bishop will be sentenced in federal court on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

September marks the fourth month in a row that Oahu residential customers will need to put a little extra toward their electricity bills. The bill this month for a typical household using 600 kilowatt-hours went up from August by 78 cents to $218.96, according to data released this week by Hawaiian Electric Cos., the state's largest utility provider with service to Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii County and state election workers are preparing for the possibility that voting could again be disrupted in lower Puna as a lava flow continues to advance toward populated areas. Tribune-Herald.

While residents of the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision may be spared by the June 27 lava flow from Kilauea Volcano, a helicopter overflight makes one thing clear: If the lava doesn't stop now, it's headed directly toward Highway 130. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island coffee farmers offered split opinions Tuesday afternoon on a pair of resolutions that call on the state Legislature to enact “truth in labeling” laws regarding the labeling of coffee blends. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Billy Kenoi has nominated former Hilo County Councilman Donald Ikeda to the Windward Planning Commission. Ikeda, 73, is unabashedly pro-growth, a stance he explained to the County Council Planning Committee during his confirmation hearing Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

What would the completion of the new Hilo High School gymnasium be without another delay? On Saturday, Sept. 13, the school community was set to recognize the grand opening of the long-anticipated facility. But with five days to go, those plans were put on hold. Tribune-Herald.


A judge’s ruling allows Maui County to print ballots that ask voters about a proposed moratorium on genetically engineered crops. Monday’s decision dissolves a temporary restraining order after those who support genetically modified organisms sued to remove the measure. Associated Press.

With 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo dissolving a temporary restraining order Monday, an initiative proposing a genetically engineered organism farming moratorium can remain on the Nov. 4 election ballot. Maui News.

HGEA Chief Shares Views on Hospital Financial Crisis. Randy Perreira: “It’s about the money. Maui Weekly.


Top County of Kauai officials say something must be done to correct current policies that allow some lower ranking employees, particularly those within the Kauai police and fire departments, to earn more than department heads. Garden Island.

Retired auto dealer James Pflueger was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, Sept. 17 for recklessly causing the deaths of 7 people when his Ka Loko dam breached on March 14, 2006. However, the sentencing will be delayed and is now scheduled for Oct. 15 at 8:30 a.m. in Kauai’s Fifth Circuit Court. Hawaii Reporter.

News that retired Oahu car dealer James Pflueger sold his Kilauea property has long time litigants cheering that a decade of fighting may be coming to an end. Garden Island.


A confrontation that turned ugly in waters off Molokai is now in the hands of the Maui Prosecutor. The incident happened in May and came to light in a story you only saw on KHON2 News. According to the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), the fight involved residents from Molokai and divers from Honolulu.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hawaii a finalist for Obama library, out-of-state deep pockets power gubernatorial candidates, counties want more tax revenues, lava enters subdivision, misses homes, Kauai law firm works free to defend anti-GMO law, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Proposed site for Obama library, courtesy Barack Obama Foundation
Hawaii officials have three months to submit a formal bid to host Barack Obama's future presidential library following Monday's announcement that the University of Hawaii is one of four institutions selected to compete for the center. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii is one of four universities chosen to compete for the site of President Barack Obama’s presidential library, the Barack Obama Foundation said Monday. Pacific Business News.

Chicago, New York and Honolulu have made the short list to host Barack Obama's future presidential library. The Barack Obama Foundation, which is developing and raising money for the massive legacy project, announced Monday that it has selected four universities to compete for the library, culled from an initial list of 13 applications submitted earlier this year. Associated Press.

David Ige may have dethroned an opponent who raised 10 times the amount of campaign cash in the primary election. But, finding himself in a four-way general election contest for governor, the Democratic nominee for governor has kicked up his fundraising schedule. Civil Beat.

GOP Wants Hawaii Voters to Believe Ige, Abercrombie Are ‘Good Partners’ The Republican Governors Association is targeting David Ige in new ads to help Duke Aiona. Civil Beat.

County officials agree on at least one thing as they prepare to lobby the Legislature next year: They want more funding for local government services ranging from roads to rescues. But Kauai, Maui, Big Island and Honolulu council members and mayors have different ideas on how to go about boosting their revenues. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's middle class are the third-most overtaxed in the U.S., and the 20 percent of residents with the lowest incomes are the fourth-most overtaxed, making Hawaii's tax system second-worst in the nation, according to a study released Monday by the personal finance site WalletHub.com. Star-Advertiser.

The Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit convened today in Honolulu.  Attendees are learning about the latest innovations that will transform electrical power generation and usage in Hawai’i. Hawaii Public Radio.

The grade is in on Hawaii's Renewable Energy Report Card. While the Aloha state has improved a bit from last year's 'C-', it was raised only to a 'C' by the Blue Planet Foundation. KITV4.

Classes Off to a Hot Start in Schools Without Air Conditioning. Lessons are taught in sweaty, smelly conditions where sweltering students have a hard time concentrating. Civil Beat.


With the release of final environmental documents, the state is moving closer to constructing a $266 million container terminal designed to handle the surge of overseas cargo expected at Hono­lulu Harbor in the next few decades. Star-Advertiser.

Relocation of a facility geared toward helping homeless adults with mental illnesses to the city's Pau­ahi Hale housing complex in Chinatown should be completed by the end of the year, officials with the city and the Safe Haven project say. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell will sign into law Tuesday bills that make it illegal to sit and lie on public sidewalks in Waikiki, and two separate laws prohibiting urinating and defecating in public in Waikiki and across Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

A preliminary hearing will be held Tuesday in District Court for a homeless man who was arrested after being warned last week to stay away from a Hawaiian monk seal, one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world. Star-Advertiser.

Halawa Correctional Facility’s recent decision to put inmates in striped uniforms, instead of in solid colors, has been derided by prison reform advocates, but was a decision largely based on safety, according to the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Striped uniforms are very distinct and help separate inmates from members of the public and prison staff. Hawaii Independent.


The lava flow approaching Pahoa advanced about 300 yards into the northwest section of Kaohe Homesteads on Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Lava from Kilauea's East Rift Zone has entered the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Parker Ranch has named former Hawaiian Electric Co. executive Jose Dizon general manager of Paniolo Power Co. LLC, in charge of leading the ranch’s renewable-energy efforts, Parker Ranch President and CEO Dutch Kuyper said Monday. Pacific Business News.

A Hilo grand jury indicted a former supervisor at the state Department of Human Services for allegedly stealing about $45,000 in public assistance, or welfare, benefits from the office. Tribune-Herald.

Waimea Middle School officials did a little math last year and calculated they could save about $60,000 a year by purchasing their two school buses, rather than contracting for transportation services through the state Department of Education. West Hawaii Today.


Attorneys for the nonprofit Maui Lani Neighbors, Inc. filed additional complaints against state, county and federal agencies over the Central Maui Regional Sports Complex, currently under construction in Waikapū. Maui Now.

A Japanese-run planetary observatory atop Haleakala that replaces a facility in Sendai damaged by the destructive 2011 earthquake was blessed Tuesday. Maui News.

A new exhibit at Kahului Airport will help travelers understand the meaning behind the Maui airport’s three-letter OGG code. Associated Press.


To appeal a federal judge’s ruling that Kauai County Ordinance 960 related to pesticides and genetically modified crops is pre-empted by state law would cost the county no more than $12,750 — start to finish. The law firm hired by the county to defend the controversial ordinance has offered to waive all legal fees moving forward, and only charge for direct costs. Garden Island.