Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hawaii 2015 in review, albatrosses killed on Oahu, minimum wage rises, audit blasts state Obamacare system, graphic signs spur Hilo outrage, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Black-footed Albatross with chick, Midway Atoll NWR Pic:Wieteke Holthuijzen  USGS
Three of the top local news stories in Hawaii in 2015 sprang from situations that few observers anticipated would lead to major headlines — building the Thirty Meter Telescope, dodging the bullet in a record hurricane season, and public outcry over hot classrooms. Star-Advertiser.

With presidential vacations as bookends, the year in the islands featured David Ige’s shakedown cruise, the still-unfolding TMT-Mauna Kea controversy and new attempts to solve the old problem of homelessness. Civil Beat.

2015: The year in review; Telescope controversy, Kenoi’s pCard abuse, dengue fever among top stories of the year. Tribune-Herald.

Top stories of 2015. From barking dogs, bleached coral new stores, and the Aloha Doc, the Garden Island saw its share of news. Garden Island.

Coming with the new year is a hike of 75 cents in our state’s minimum wage. Hawaii is one of 14 states where workers will now see more in their paychecks. Hawaii’s hourly wage will be $8.50. Civil Beat.

Poor planning and a “lack of effective leadership” within the state Department of Human Services prevented its $155 million computer system from meeting some of the objectives of the federal Affordable Care Act, according to a new report by the Hawaii state auditor. Star-Advertiser.

In a report released Wednesday, the state auditor faulted Hawaii’s Department of Human Services in failing to implement the state’s online system for the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare. Civil Beat.

Honolulu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii counties stand to receive millions more in funding next year from the state's transient accommodations tax if the Legislature approves a working group’s report released this week. Pacific Business News.

The U.S. military, with a lot of smokers, is toeing the line on Hawaii’s new ban on cigarettes and tobacco for anyone under 21, which takes effect Friday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Department of Education has received special recognition by the national U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation 2015 Leaders & Laggards report listed the Aloha State for its progress as measured by the National Assessment of Education Progress. Civil Beat.

The following fireworks shows will take place throughout the state to usher in the new year. KHON2.

Three Laysan albatrosses were killed, several others are missing, and 15 nests were destroyed at the Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve, state conservation enforcement officials said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

State and federal officials are investigating the deaths of three Laysan albatrosses and the destruction of at least 15 albatross nests at Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve. Hawaii News Now.

Next year's November ballot will not include questions about dismantling the rail authority, labeling GMO products or raising the minimum wage. The Honolulu Charter Commission denied all those proposals at a hearing on Wednesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now.

El Nino put a damper on Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s road repaving plans, but the crews have continued their work despite the challenges. KITV4.

The deaf and visually impaired will have an opportunity to experience Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Saturday at Ward Theatres, marking the first movie showing to provide such accommodations as required under a new Hawaii law. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Telcom and Raycom Media, owner of Hawaii News Now, have agreed to extend their current contract,, eliminating a potential blackout through Jan. 8. Star-Advertiser.

Area residents maintain that Lanikai’s popularity has soared since TripAdvisor dubbed its beach the world’s best a few years ago. Also, a coastal science professor known as Dr. Beach, who ranks public beaches in the United States — based on best sand and water quality, environmental management and amenities — and others have spotlighted Lanikai as a top beach. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama spent much of Wednesday afternoon, the 12th day of his Hawaiian vacation, with family and friends at a luau hosted by a childhood friend and golf buddy. Star-Advertiser.

Eight new confirmed cases of dengue fever were added Wednesday to Hawaii Island’s running tally, which now stands at 190. Meanwhile, the state Department of Health’s Big Island Vector Control offices in Hilo and Kona, which are responsible for controlling the populations of mosquitoes that carry the disease, are preparing to hire one additional worker each, with an online listing for the jobs set to close today. Tribune-Herald.

Police were called in Wednesday morning when counter-protesters physically removed signs they find offensive in a Downtown Hilo park that has a playground for small children. Tribune-Herald.

A disagreement over a notorious collection of signs at a county park in Hilo led to a temporary upheaval on Wednesday, as opposing viewpoints clashed on the sidewalk beside Lincoln Park. Big Island Video News.


November arrivals to Maui increased 2.8% to 193,355 and visitor days increased by 3.8% in November 2015, compared to last year. Maui Now.

Maui island is on a record-breaking pace to push beyond a total of 2.5 million visitor arrivals by air this year. Maui News.


The number of travelers to Kauai went up by 0.8 percent as compared to this time last year, according to a Tuesday news release from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Garden Island.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Monk seal succumbs to fish-hook surgery, Hawaii touts gay marriage tourism, court denies teacher certificate over views on sex with minors, Obama family snorkels, state and counties spar over hotel tax, humpbacks late to Hawaii, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy NOAA National Oceanic and Atmosphereic Administration
Monk seal surgery, courtesy NOAA
An 8-month old Hawaiian monk seal that swallowed a large fishing hook died following surgery to try and save it. Star-Advertiser.

An endangered Hawaiian monk seal has died after swallowing a large fishing hook. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday the hook was lodged in the throat of the eight-month-old seal. Associated Press.

Federal officials are encouraging the use of barbless circle hooks and J hooks when fishing in Hawaii waters after the death of an 8-month-old endangered monk seal. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers should lift the cap on the counties’ share of hotel tax money and instead give them a 45 percent cut, so their funding can grow as the tourism industry does, according to a working group’s report released Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Circuit Judge Gary Chang on Tuesday halted a solar advocacy group’s lawsuit against the state Public Utilities Commission, which the group filed after it objected to how the PUC ended a popular solar incentive program. Star-Advertiser.

Despite its longtime leadership on issues such as anti-discrimination laws, civil unions and marriage equality, Hawaii has been shy about using that street cred to leverage more same-sex destination wedding tourism. Until now. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's high tech industry is trying to lure former residents back home as well as keep current residents who excel in the field from moving to the mainland. KITV4.

Been looking in vain for the flash of flukes and the awe-inspiring breach of the humpback whale? It’s not your eyes, and you’re not the only one. The giants really are late this year. West Hawaii Today.

While recent catches apparently aren’t approaching last year’s record-breaking levels, there should be a nice range of quality and prices to choose from for New Year’s ahi poke and sashimi. Star-Advertiser.

The first family headed off to Hanauma Bay on Tuesday morning, to enjoy the preserve on a day it’s typically closed to the public. President Barack Obama and his family went snorkeling at the bay with friends, pool reports said. Hawaii News Now.


The University of Hawaii didn't violate First Amendment rights when it denied a teaching certificate for a Caltech-educated aspiring high school teacher who expressed views condoning adults having sex with minors, a panel of federal appeals court judges ruled Tuesday. Associated Press.

Officials report they’re keeping pace with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s goal to repave Oahu’s worst city-run roads in five years, although some of the island’s most-used and hardest-to-fix streets — the ones that leave a lasting impression on commuters — still need to be repaired. Star-Advertiser.

Dr. Michele Carbone—the former director of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center who was asked to resign in November of 2014 after evidence that he had grossly mismanaged the Manoa unit was publicized, and who was at the center of the power struggle that led to the controversial decision by the Board of Regents to remove former Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple—failed to disclose significant financial conflicts of interest to either the university or the National Institute of Health. Hawaii Independent.

Calls about illegal fireworks are skyrocketing this month, surpassing all fireworks-related calls last year. Star-Advertiser.

Mericia Palma Elmore describes the large mound of illegally dumped Christmas trees, large appliances and furniture across the street from her Makakilo condominium as a disaster waiting to happen. Star-Advertiser.

He didn’t figure to live past his 50s. For almost six years, Robert Binnie lived on the streets of Waikiki. The words scrawled across his cardboard sign: “Anything helps. God bless.”  Civil Beat.

Office Depot is closing its location in Honolulu’s Ward Village in January to make way for a planned mixed-use condominium project that will include Whole Foods Market’s flagship Hawaii store. Pacific Business News.


The Hawaii Supreme Court on Tuesday officially vacated a 3rd Circuit Court order and judgment that had authorized the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project on Mauna Kea, following the high court's decision in the case earlier this month. Pacific Business News.

An attempt to save the endangered palila has included the sound of rotors, gunfire, arguments and sheep and goats eating the trees the bird needs to survive. Now, as the number of sheep and goats drops, the pressure to end the aerial shooting is as high as ever. West Hawaii Today.

A new venture looking to successfully rear octopus on land has set up shop at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority. West Hawaii Today.


With an empty field serving as the play area for more than 700 students at Puu Kukui Elementary School, a group is seeking help from the community as it continues fundraising to build a playground on the Wailuku campus. Maui News.

It's the busy time of year for people wanting to view the sunrise from the summit of the "House of the Sun," or Haleakala, said an official with the National Park Service, noting that there can be more than double the number of cars for available parking at popular overlooks during that time. Maui News.

The Maui Fire Department reminds residents of the following rules in relation to fireworks as the New Year holiday approaches: Fireworks and firecrackers can only be legally set off from 9 p.m., New Year’s Eve to 1 a.m., New Year’s Day. Maui Now.


In observance of New Year’s Day, County of Kauai offices, all refuse transfer stations, the Kekaha Landfill, Kauai Resource Center, Puhi Metals Recycling Center and all HI-5 bottle redemption centers will be closed on Friday. Garden Island.


When Molokai resident Nancy Gove got into the salt-making business in 1999, she was one of a handful of local artisans crafting the condiment. Her backyard-cultivated sea salt filtered from Molokai waters eventually turned into a thriving operation and gained national recognition. Maui News.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Legislative panel criticizes medical marijuana rules, Obama visit spurs tourism spike, Scott Walker coming to GOP Lincoln Day dinner, sunrise peekers cram Haleakala summit, upheaval in Honolulu TV, drug tests ended following ACLU lawsuit, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Medical marijuana permits sign © 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii lawmakers criticized top Department of Health officials on Monday over new rules governing the growth and sale of medical marijuana, saying that health officials may have overstepped their statutory authority by prohibiting the use of greenhouses and excluding official retail outlets from selling rolled marijuana cigarettes and certain smoking paraphernalia. Star-Advertiser.

The state may have unintentionally created a tax loophole when it wrote the rules for its new medical marijuana dispensaries system, a Hawaii lawmaker said Monday. Associated Press.

With barely two weeks to go before prospective medical-marijuana business owners can apply for dispensary licenses at the Department of Health, some state lawmakers see some big problems with new rules the department announced earlier this month. Civil Beat.

Why are greenhouses outlawed, medical marijuana joints banned, and cannabis baked goods forbidden in Hawaii? State lawmakers peppered the Hawaii State Department of Health with questions at an informational briefing on the state’s first medical cannabis dispensary system at the capitol Monday afternoon. Pacific Business News.

Next summer Hawaii will debut its first medical marijuana dispensary system. But lawmakers say there are still many issues that need clarification. Hawaii Public Radio.

DNA tests urged for homestead applicants. One of the only times blood quantum is relevant is for applying for a homestead lease. Those with at least 50 percent Hawaiian blood quantum can apply for a 99-year lease for $1 a year. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Republican Party says that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be its keynote speaker for the local GOP’s 2016 Lincoln Day Dinner on Feb.16. Civil Beat.

Steve Rodgers, Bank of Hawaii's chief investment officer, predicts a rising interest rate environment should not hinder the state’s growing municipal bond sales in the coming years. Pacific Business News.

Many Hawaii residents may be unprepared for the expenses incurred as they and their family members grow older, according to the results of a new survey. Tribune-Herald.

Environmental groups are considering their options after a judge rejected their effort to cut how many bigeye tuna Hawaii longline fisherman can catch. Civil Beat.

The leader of the free world is becoming one of the most effective pitchmen for Hawaii's no. 1 industry. Tourism marketing experts said it would cost Hawaii's visitor industry millions of dollars to match the annual televised news coverage of the president and his family enjoying the great weather at local golf courses and other outdoor and fine dining activities here. Hawaii News Now.

President Barack Obama kept tabs on events in Texas and Iraq on Monday as he spent the 10th day of his annual Hawaiian vacation in the gym and on the links. Star-Advertiser.

A drone flew near the president’s motorcade as it left Kailua for Alan Wong's on Monday evening. Hawaii News Now.


At least 50 people continue to camp along the parks and sidewalks of Kakaako makai despite ongoing efforts by state and city officials to move the homeless elsewhere. Star-Advertiser.

Upheaval At A Local Television Station. New owners of Hawaii ABC affiliate KITV are upgrading technology — but cutting personnel. Some industry veterans fear for the future of local TV news. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. gifted Oahu households roughly $1 on their electrical bills this month, continuing the downward trend after November marked the lowest price in more than five years. Star-Advertiser.

The number of beverage container redemption centers on Oahu has dropped significantly this year as the price of aluminum plummeted by about 22 percent. Star-Advertiser.

Less Dog Duty for HPD after an increase in staffing at the Hawaiian Humane Society.  The Hawaiian Humane Society has expanded its services thanks to some much needed funding from the city. KITV4.

Through the benefit of extra funding, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced Monday that the Hawaiian Humane Society will immediately resume providing convenient animal services to the community, such as picking up non-dangerous stray dogs and responding to barking complaints. KHON2.


After being sued for requiring drug tests of prospective employees, the Hawaii County Department of Human Resources is changing its rules and modifying which successful applicants will be screened for drug use before being hired. West Hawaii Today.

Following a year of a setbacks, from protests to lawsuits, the astronomy community in Hawaii might have something to look forward to in 2016 as the oldest observatory on Mauna Kea gets a major makeover. Tribune-Herald.

The state Department of Transportation has announced plans for work on roadways in Upcountry, Haiku and Wailuku this week. Maui News.

Officials at Haleakalā National Park are reporting very heavy traffic for sunrise viewing at the summit during the holidays. Maui Now.

MPD juvenile counselor retiring after 22 years. ‘You wish you could save them all, but you can’t’ Maui News.


Voters on Kauai elect their County Council members at-large. That means all seven members represent the entire island.  But every other county in Hawaii has some form of district voting and Kauai may be about to move in that direction. Hawaii Public Radio.

Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau, works toward overcoming the state’s biggest competitors in the tourism industry, and promoting Kauai’s warm weather during the winter. Garden Island.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Hawaii smoking age to be highest in nation, Ige signs second homeless proclamation, press following Obama on Oahu, Kauai police begin wearing body cameras, state plans condo closures on Hilo's Banyan Drive, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Overflowing ashtray in Waikiki beach park
Hawaii will become the first state in the country to raise the smoking age to 21 from 18 in January. Star-Advertiser.

On Thursday Gov. David Ige signed a second supplemental proclamation that the administration said will allow the state to continue coordinated efforts with the counties to provide emergency shelter, long-term housing and services “to those without homes.” Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has extended the state’s emergency proclamation on homelessness by 60 days, which will allow for continued coordination on social service and housing efforts, his office said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

The federal government is allowing more time for a group of migrants in Hawaii to enroll in health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. Associated Press.

Overall, the statewide average hotel occupancy rate was 77.2 percent, up 6.7 percentage points, while the average room rate rose 1.7 percent to $229.37 a night. Pacific Business News.

Maui County and Oahu are outpacing the rest of the state in getting residents behind the wheels of electric vehicles, according to an annual report issued this month by the Hawaii State Energy Office. Maui News.


In keeping with their holiday tradition, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama paid a visit to the U.S. Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe Bay on Christmas Day to express the nation’s gratitude to service members. Civil Beat.

After the First Family spent the morning at their Kailua vacation home opening Christmas gifts and singing carols, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama made their annual visit to the cafeteria of Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay Friday afternoon to briefly speak to troop members and their families. KHON2.

After several days of rainy weather, Sunday provided just enough sunshine for President Barack Obama and family to strike the most visible presence of their Christmas holiday in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama may be one of the most powerful men in the world but he admits to feeling "small" when working out alongside Marines at their gym on base in Hawaii. Associated Press.

As President Barack Obama and the first family criss-cross the Hawaiian island of Oahu for their annual holiday vacation, the White House reporters tasked with following Obama and his entourage, known as the pool, are documenting his every move. Sometimes things get a little weird. Politico.

Greg Jaffe, a Washington Post reporter who is part of the White House press pool during the Obama family vacation, has co-authored a piece titled Hawaii can’t seem to name anything after native son Obama. Civil Beat.

An outpouring of concern and support for nearly 260 homeless people living near the Waianae Boat Harbor encourages Twinkle Borge to work even harder for those who call the area home. A leader in the encampment situated on about 19 acres of preservation-zoned state land between Waianae High School and the boat harbor, Borge is looking into forming a nonprofit to help generate funding for her “houseless” community known as Puuhonua O Waianae Village. Star-Advertiser.

A new way of registering students for classes and tracking their progress at the University of Hawaii Manoa could help students graduate faster and possibly save families and taxpayers millions of dollars, administrators say. Civil Beat.

The Hawaiian Humane Society is once again taking on a larger share of the city’s animal care and control services on Oahu thanks to an $800,000 boost by the City Council and a new agreement between the nonprofit and the Caldwell administration. Star-Advertiser.

According to numbers from the Honolulu Fire Department more people are buying fireworks permits. KHON2.


Expiration of land leases on Banyan Drive and in the Kanoelehua Industrial Area is prompting the state to look at changing the way it manages the rental agreements and possibly consolidating properties. Tribune-Herald.

Most of the time, Cliff Kopp is a Kailua-Kona dentist. But come Christmas, he’ll be homeless, at least temporarily. West Hawaii Today.

The Thirty Meter Telescope project — thwarted by the one-two punch of protesters blocking construction and the Hawaii Supreme Court invalidating its permit — lost more than $1.76 million this year while its grading equipment sat idle atop Mauna Kea.Star-Advertiser.

No safety check? No insurance? No license plate? No problem. That’s according to a group of Big Island residents who think they have a constitutional right to travel without state and federally imposed licensing, registration and safety checks. West Hawaii Today.

The future of Hawaii Island meat is parked in Waimea. The state’s first producer-owned mobile slaughterhouse arrived in October, and will provide a means for small-scale ranchers and farmers to access local retail markets when it opens for business. Tribune-Herald.

The banana bunchy top virus, a plant disease that stunts the growth of banana plants and deforms their fruit has been found north of Hilo, where farmers worry it could find its way into the deep gulches of the Hamakua Coast, making containment a more difficult task. Tribune-Herald.


The state Department of Transportation has issued a finding of "no significant impact" for its plans to construct the next phase of the Lahaina bypass project. Maui News.

With the blessing of generous donations, Kaahumanu Church’s steeple has been patched, and the roof of the church’s preschool building has been replaced, said Kahu Wayne Higa. Maui News.

The next Maui Energy Conference + Exhibition will tackle the issue of whether Hawaii's 100 percent renewable energy target is realistic and whether utilities are on board, according to a draft program for the conference scheduled for March 16 to 18 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Maui News.


Kauai police officers are the first in the state wearing body cameras as a dispute lingers over whether the union should have gotten final say on the policy. Associated Press.

In a room police use for briefings, Kauai Police Department Officer Troy Sakaguchi was showing seven patrol officers how to use their brand-new body-worn cameras. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Legislature to reinstate civil service positions, alleged godfather of Hawaii underworld dies, unemployment tax drops, lawmaker wants police oversight panel, dengue scare closes another beach, another round of golf for Obama, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Shaka Santa in Honolulu © 2015 All Hawaii News
The state Legislature must reinstate hundreds of civil service positions that were abolished over the years. That process is only beginning. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii businesses got an early gift this year as the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced a 26 percent average drop in unemployment insurance rates Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The state may be playing Santa. The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced Wednesday that it is cutting the unemployment tax rate for businesses by 26 percent next year. Hawaii News Now.

Pension funding has been difficult for Hawaii and the state has one of the most underfunded pensions in the nation. Things got worse in the fiscal year that ended in June as the state is $200 million more in debt and that number will keep rising until 2023, Wes Machida, state finance director and former head of the Employee’s Retirement System told Pacific Business News.

Dozens of people have died over the years after encounters with Hawaii police officers, yet few details ever emerge about whether the officers’ actions were justified. Hawaii Sen. Will Espero wants to change all that in the 2016 legislative session with a bill that would create a civilian police oversight board to review in-custody deaths and police shootings. Civil Beat.

A total of 152 people were named Wednesday as delegates to a February constitutional convention that will discuss Native Hawaiian self-governance. But at least a couple of candidates were left off the final list issued by Na‘i Aupuni. And others are not happy with the terms of the event. Star-Advertiser.

There will be 152 Native Hawaiians participating in a gathering to discuss self-governance. Nai Aupuni, the organization formed to guide a now-canceled Native Hawaiian election, announced Wednesday that 44 people declined to participate. Associated Press.

Drivers with ignition interlock permits will be required to have their permits and a valid state identification card in their immediate possession while driving vehicles equipped with the devices, under a new law that takes effect Jan. 1. Maui News.

First Hawaiian Bank announced Wednesday that its parent company, French banking giant BNP Paribas, may offer stock in First Hawaiian to the public in what could amount to a more than $3 billion sale of the bank with 57 branches in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.


President Barack Obama went across the island to golf at the Kapolei Golf Course this afternoon with a familiar foursome. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Sierra Club opposes the state Department of Transportation’s to install “controversial new ultra-bright” LED streetlights in Honolulu. Civil Beat.

In the early hours of Tuesday, when the city’s maintenance crew arrived in Kakaako, it found a familiar scene: dozens of homeless people pushing their shopping carts and baby strollers full of their belongings, scurrying away from an impending sweep. Civil Beat.

The Tahiti Mahana Beach Resort and Spa has reached a new milestone on Saturday, with French Polynesia President Edouard Fritch signing a memorandum of understanding with an international group of investors assembled in effort led by Honolulu architecture firm, Group 70 International. Pacific Business News.


Larry Ehukai Mehau, a Big Island rancher and former Honolulu police vice sergeant who was friend to Hawaii governors as well as some of the state’s notorious crime figures, died Tuesday. He was 86. Star-Advertiser.

Larry Mehau, a Waimea rancher and businessman, died Tuesday. He was 86. Mehau was an influential and controversial political power-broker. A former Honolulu police officer, he was a close associate to Democrat governors John A. Burns and George Ariyoshi. Tribune-Herald.

A Hawaii Island businessman who denied being the godfather of organized crime in Hawaii has died. KHON2.

Hawaii County Civil Defense closed Milolii Beach Park in South Kona, the second West Hawaii park to shut down in the battle against dengue fever. West Hawaii Today.

Milolii Beach Park is closed until further notice “as a proactive and preventative measure” in response to the dengue fever outbreak, making it the second South Kona beach park to be closed since the disease began to spread around Hawaii Island. Big Island Video News.

State and federal officials have pulled together videos, maps and brochures about ohia wilt disease, hoping broad dissemination of information will make its way to members of hula groups and others who often collect ohia blossoms and leaves from forests for lei making. Star-Advertiser.

Researchers say the fungus currently threatening Hawaii’s ohia trees could have disastrous impacts on the state’s fragile ecosystem if the pathogen is allowed to spread unchecked. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County political leaders had a wait-and-see reaction Tuesday to Gov. David Ige's proposed $13.7 billion state budget unveiled Monday. Maui News.

Popular tourist stop Iao Valley State Monument will be completely closed from Jan. 11 to 22 for improvements and the closing of two cesspools, forcing local tour companies to take their visitors elsewhere on the island. Maui News.

Opinion: As more luxury condos go up in Wailea, we look back on the original promises of ‘The City of Flowers’ MauiTime.


Kauai residents and visitors are encouraged to take a brief online survey regarding potential transit improvements for the North and South shores and the Eastside of the island. Garden Island.

Forest grows, students learn. Winter internship program provides lessons on ecosystems. Garden Island.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Hawaii population growth slows, contempt motion filed in Native Hawaiian election, Hoopili development approved, rich and famous vacation on Maui, Obama climbs Honolulu trail, corrections officers charged with smuggling drugs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Awaiting theBus © 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii’s population grew by about 11,000 people in 2015 to more than 1.43 million, an increase of a little less than 1 percent. Star-Advertiser.

The Native Hawaiian self-governance campaign run by Na‘i Aupuni came under attack once again Tuesday as foes formally asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block its election end run. Star-Advertiser.

The plaintiffs in Akina v. Hawaii on Tuesday filed a motion for civil contempt at the U.S. Supreme Court, naming Nai Aupuni, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission and other defendants. Civil Beat.

Opponents of a now-canceled election are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop efforts to send all of the candidates to a convention for Native Hawaiian self-governance. Associated Press.

A definition in the interim administrative rules for medical marijuana dispensaries posted this month could cost Kauai dispensary investors millions of dollars in utility and construction costs. Garden Island.

Commentary: What has it meant to Hawaii, in the last seven years, to be the birthplace of the 44th president? Star-Advertiser.

Some people on the Koko Head Crater Trail got an unexpected thrill Tuesday morning as they met President Obama while on a hike. KHON2.


Hawaii’s highest court cleared the way Tuesday for a controversial master-planned Hoopili community with 11,750 homes on 1,526 acres of prime farmland on Oahu’s Ewa plain. Star-Advertiser.

In a 4-1 ruling, the Hawaii Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a challenge to a state Land Use Commission decision that allowed for the development of more than 1,500 acres of prime farmland on Oahu. Civil Beat.

D.R. Horton - Schuler Homes’ long-planned 11,750-home master-planned Hoopili project in Ewa in West Oahu is moving ahead after the Hawaii State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Texas developer, saying that the state Land Use Commission properly reclassified the 1,525 acres for the project from agricultural to urban, according to a ruling Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Rail officials have awarded Nan Inc. — not Watts Constructors — the contract to build the final trio of stations along rail’s first 10 miles, even though Watts had submitted the lowest bid for that work. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation awarded the contract for the Kamehameha Highway Stations group to Nan, Inc. on Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Five corrections officers -- including two supervisors -- are accused of smuggling drugs and other contraband to inmates at Oahu Community Correctional Center, the state's largest jail, sources told Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa’s student-run radio station will install a new transmitter and antenna on Tantalus on Oahu in January. The new equipment will increase the station’s power from 3,000 watts to 7,000 watts and extend its reach to more than 870,000 listeners. Pacific Business News.

A federal jury has concluded the state and its Transportation Department’s airports division discriminated against a former Honolulu International Airport employee by not doing enough to stop her from being sexually harassed by a co-worker. Associated Press.

The owner of Affordable Casket and Moanalua Mortuary was sentenced Tuesday and immediately began serving 30 days in prison for stealing from customers. Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii men's basketball team was put on three years of probation Tuesday by the NCAA after an investigation found former coach Gib Arnold violated ethical conduct rules and provided false or misleading information. Associated Press.


Two of the most problematic county boards and commissions — the Board of Ethics and the Transportation Commission — are finally on their way to being filled following months of missed meetings because of a lack of a quorum. West Hawaii Today.

The number of cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island continues to climb. Yesterday the Hawaii Department of Health confirmed 170 cases locally acquired since September. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ohia wilt, also known by the more disturbing moniker “rapid ohia death,” so far has claimed hundreds of thousands of Hawaii’s most iconic tree. Today, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and its state and federal partners are expected to announce a new awareness campaign tasked with spreading the word about ohia wilt and how Hawaii residents can do their part to slow the disease’s spread. Tribune-Herald.

Some holiday traditions on Hawaii Island are being reconsidered in light of a newly identified disease killing mature ʻōhiʻa trees. For example, the annual Native Species Wreath Making Workshop hosted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources on December 19th went ʻōhiʻa-free this year, due to the onset of Rapid Ohia Death, or ROD. Big Island Video News.


Gov. David Ige's supplemental budget for the 2016 Legislature contains some big ticket items for Maui County, including $29 million for the widening of Hana Highway in Kahului, $8 million for improving a holding room area and gates at Kahului Airport and $4 million for the lengthening of the Lanai Airport runway. Maui News.

Officials are working to get a $6 million project to expand Maui’s only cemetery for veterans back on track before burial space runs out. Associated Press.

The "regulars," Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Aniston, currently are on the island, based on jets parked at Kahului Airport. Maui News.

With an average daily rate of $412, Wailea had the highest hotel room rate in Hawaii during the Christmas period, a survey from said Monday. Maui News.


The Young Brothers Community Advisory Board distributed more than $17,000 to eight Kauai nonprofits Monday afternoon at the Nawiliwili Port. Garden Island.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Gov. Ige pushes projects in proposed $13.7B budget, state borrows $150M but doesn't fund solar, Aiona could run for Honolulu mayor, Maui charter amendment would erode mayor's power, Obama relaxes on golf course, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

screen shot from news conference
Finance Director Wesley Machida, left, and Gov. David Ige
Gov. David Ige on Monday unveiled his proposed $13.7 billion state budget for next year along with a construction budget that would push $1.8 billion in new building projects out into the already busy Hawaii economy. Star-Advertiser.

Christmas came early for many — but not for all — when Gov. David Ige announced his $13 billion supplemental budget Monday. It includes $160 million to rebuild the Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe, $179 million for improvements to airports in Kona and Honolulu and $161 million for affordable housing. Civil Beat.

Hawaii must rebuild programs that were truncated during the Great Recession, Governor Ige said in his executive supplemental budget, which proposes a 230 percent increase in the capital improvements budget for fiscal year 2017. The governor proposed $1.8 million in additional funding for capital improvement projects for fiscal year 2017 in the supplemental budget presented on Monday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has proposed a state budget that would increase spending over the next two years. Ige wants the state to spend $30.7 billion through 2017, according to the plan he submitted to the Legislature Monday. Associated Press.

Calling education one of his highest priorities, Gov. David Ige has included an extra $250 million for operations and capital projects at Hawaii public schools and the University of Hawaii in his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Star-Advertiser.

Governor David Ige is targeting the Hawaii State Hospital and affordable housing in his supplemental budget through 2017. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige is looking to inject about $140 million into programs that assist the homeless, clear growing homeless encampments from state lands, upgrade dilapidated public housing and step up construction of affordable housing in light of the state’s ongoing homeless and housing crises. Star-Advertiser.

A new state program borrowed $150 million last year to loan to low-income people and organizations for solar power upgrades, but has yet to loan any of that money out, nearly three years after state lawmakers approved the program. Hawaii News Now.

Nearly 100 delegates have committed to attending the Native Hawaiian self-determination convention planned for February, the nonprofit sponsoring the event said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama returned to his favorite vacation pastime Monday, spending the day on the golf course. Obama played at Mid Pacific Country Club after his routine morning workout and a short break at the house in Kailua where he and his family are staying. Star-Advertiser.

Why You Can’t Understand Obama Until You Understand Hawaii. HuffPost Hawaii.


There’s speculation that Duke Aiona will run for mayor of Honolulu next year, and the Republican candidate for governor in the last two elections said Monday he would neither “confirm nor deny” the possibility. Civil Beat.

The city’s 65 temporary, full-time groundskeeper and supervisor job openings netted nearly 300 applicants at a special job fair held Monday — and more are expected today on the second day of the event at McCoy Pavilion in Ala Moana Park. Star-Advertiser.

The city’s maintenance crew is going back to Kakaako on Tuesday to enforce the stored property and sidewalk nuisance ordinances. Civil Beat.

The city is holding a public hearing next month on a proposal to serve alcoholic beverages at Queen’s Beach, which is considered part of Kapiolani Park proper. KHON2.

Some Oahu residents say a new law meant to tax offshore real estate investors at a higher rate is hurting local homeowners and developers. Hawaii News Now.

A five-year extension of the 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge on Oahu is supposed to cover the growing shortfall for Honolulu’s $6.6 billion (and counting) rail project. Officials from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation say that the extension should raise from $1.2 billion to $1.8 billion for the project; they’re using $1.5 billion as the mid-range estimate. Civil Beat.


Gov. David Ige wants to see international commercial flights landing at Kona International Airport sooner rather than later, and he’s put $50 million into his supplemental budget to make it happen. West Hawaii Today.

After mulling running for seats closer to home, state Sen. Russell Ruderman says he will ask 2nd District residents for another four years as their representative at the state Capitol. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo Medical Center continues to win new fans in its ongoing efforts to rebrand itself as a facility offering top-quality health care, despite continuing to lag behind state and national benchmarks on key metrics. Tribune-Herald.


Maui is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. But it’s not only the streets or the beaches that are getting crowded, it’s also the jail. Hawaii Public Radio.

Commentary: On Friday, Dec. 18, the Maui County Council referred a little-advertised charter amendment to committee for discussion. Transmitted by Councilmember Riki Hokama, the amendment–submitted as a special committee continues to examine a possible county manager form of government that would strip the mayor’s office of most, if not all of its powers–would “require Council approval of the Mayor’s appointment of department directors.” MauiTime.

Officials are working to get a $6 million project to expand Maui's only cemetery for veterans back on track before burial space runs out. Associated Press.

A Maui Bus passes a spot on South Kihei Road where beach erosion is close to undermining the roadway earlier this month. Maui News.


It’s not shoplift with a cop. An armed Kekaha man who tried to leave Kmart without paying for items during the Shop with a Cop program was promptly arrested. Garden Island.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Gov. Ige to unveil state budget today, Obama hikes on windy weekend, AH-64 Apache attack helicopter squadron coming to Oahu, Maui council hires attorney to fight mayor, Kauai landfill woes, low wages on the Big Island, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

AH-64D Apache Longbow, courtesy U.S. Army
When Gov. David Ige unveils his administration’s supplemental budget on Monday, the possibilities for exciting new programs or projects will be limited by Act 268, a groundbreaking law he helped craft in 2013. The new law requires the state and counties to bank hundreds of millions of dollars each year to pay for future public worker and retiree health benefits. Star-Advertiser.

Tax modernization is a key part of Gov. David Ige’s vision to make government more effective and efficient — in this case, finding ways to collect money that already should be coming into state coffers but, for various reasons, is not. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige will be releasing his outline for how he wants the state to spend its money in the upcoming year. Ige plans to submit his proposed budget to lawmakers Monday. Associated Press.

The state has had some trouble getting straight numbers from the Hawaii Health Connector, Gov. David Ige told Pacific Business News in a recent interview.

Members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation are applauding Hawaii’s take in the $1.1 trillion federal spending bill, which includes spending increases in nearly all categories for the Aloha State. Associated Press.

President Barack Obama spent a windswept Sunday hiking along a popular trail system and dining at one of his favorite Waikiki restaurants. Star-Advertiser.

On the second day of their holiday vacation, President Obama and the First Family went hiking Sunday morning on the Makiki loop trail at the Hawaii Nature Center. KHON2.

State honors Filipino immigrants. The young men, known as “sakadas,” were not the first Filipinos in Hawaii, but they were the first specifically recruited by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association to work on the plantations. Star-Advertiser.

Ulalia Woodside, a veteran of the conservation arena in the islands, has been selected as the next executive director of the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, succeeding Suzanne Case, who departed in April to head the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

2015 has been an active year in Hawai‘i’s business world.  From stories of development and planning to transportation and electricity, actions taken this year will help determine the future of the state. Hawaii Public Radio.


A new AH-64 Apache attack helicopter squadron and hundreds of jobs at Wheeler Army Airfield are back on track with the passage Friday of a $1.1 trillion government spending bill. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu proposal to classify Uber and Lyft as taxicab companies, which was drafted with the help of taxi owners, would be among the most aggressive measures a city has taken to regulate ride-hailing companies, according to industry observers. Star-Advertiser.

Two Honolulu council members want ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate more like taxi companies. Associated Press.

So many donations and gifts have been pouring into The Harbor this month that leaders of Hawaii’s largest and most unusual homeless community loaded up a truck Sunday afternoon with clothing and blankets to share with a church-run homeless camp a few miles away. Civil Beat.


Hawaii County residents earn less than their counterparts on the other Hawaiian Islands, an earning gap that remains even among people with the lowest education levels who typically land at the bottom of the pay scale, according to data released this month by the U.S. Census Bureau. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County in November continued to notch the highest rate of unemployment in the state. West Hawaii Today.

The statue of King Kamehameha the Great in Hilo has its spear again. The ihe was restored to the Wailoa State Park landmark in a rainy ceremony held Saturday at noon, with the help of the Hawaii County Fire Department ladder truck. Big Island Video News.

A harsh but unassuming aa lava field that contains one of the island’s most significant historical sites is “just inches” away from being forever in public hands. The $4.25 million needed to buy the 47-acre Kuamoo Battlefield and Burial Grounds in Keauhou has now been raised. West Hawaii Today.

Farmers operating with expired land licenses have signed new 15-year agreements with the buyer of some 6,000 acres around Pahala and Naalehu, of which the Moaula coffee lands are a portion. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Council Committee of the Whole voted 6-1 Friday to recommend hiring a special counsel for representation or a second opinion in council disputes with the administration of Mayor Alan Arakawa. Maui News.

Maui's only veterans cemetery is quickly running out of space, and veterans fear it could run out of room by early next year if expansion work is not resumed soon. Maui News.

Maui County Council members voted 7-1 Friday to give final approval to the repeal of a section of an ordinance regulating ocean recreational activity permits. Maui News.


Like a giant rubbish bin stuffed to the brim, Kauai’s landfill is nearly chock-full. It’s a several hundred million dollar problem with a solution as clear as it is complex: The island’s 81,000 tons of annual waste need a new burial ground. Garden Island.

Kauai County officials are drafting an environmental impact statement for a new landfill to replace the one in Kekaha that is expected to reach capacity in about 10 more years. Hawaii News Now.

The county is asking for input on how to elect councilmembers through a four-question survey available online. It’s not a new issue. In fact, the question was on the ballot in 1982, 1996 and 2006: “Do we elect members of our County Council with the current at-large system where the entire island votes for all seven members, or switch to a districting system?” Garden Island.


Maui County officials are seeking a private developer to build 400-unit affordable housing project on the island of Lanai. Associated Press.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Honolulu rail on hold pending tax vote, unemployment rate at eight-year low, UPS worker disciplined for tossing boxes in Waikiki, Hilo hospital best in state for infection management, prisons overcrowded, Molly the Mosquito teaches children about dengue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation
Rail route, courtesy Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation
Amid uncertainty over whether there will be sufficient cash to build the full 20-mile line, rail officials have halted issuing the contract for the last stretch of the transit system until the Honolulu City Council decides on a tax extension to pay for it. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation will hold off on putting out bids for the final leg of rail construction through the city center until a 0.5 percent surcharge on Oahu’s general excise tax is approved to pay for a growing shortfall on the project. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell for the sixth straight month to 3.2 percent in November to match its lowest level in nearly eight years. Star-Advertiser.

NextEra Energy Inc., the Florida company proposing to buy Hawaiian Electric Co. for $4.3 billion, had expected that Hawaii Gov. David Ige would favor the acquisition, according to confidential documents that have now been made public. But Ige is opposed to the sale, saying NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE) has not given enough details about its future plans for Hawaiian Electric and the state. Pacific Business News.

After 12 days of testimony in the regulatory hearing that will help decide the fate of NextEra Energy’s $4.3 billion bid to buy Hawaiian Electric Industries, and with a lengthy recess ahead, this is a good moment to step back and reflect on the remarkably low price of oil. Civil Beat.

Catholic Charities Hawai’i hosted a Social Advocacy Forum to prepare for the upcoming legislative session. Hawaii Public Radio.


A United Parcel Service employee spotted tossing several boxes and packages from his parked van in Waikiki this week has been disciplined, a UPS spokeswoman said Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell appears to have changed his tune on Police Chief Louis Kealoha, who’s currently under a federal investigation for alleged abuse of power. Civil Beat.

An overloaded plumbing system is taking away much-needed prison cells at Halawa Prison, which is running at or over capacity. The state's largest prison, which houses medium- and high-security inmates, has made some improvements but like many other prisons across the state, it suffers from two major problems: it's overcrowded and its facilities are very old. Hawaii News Now.

The City and County of Honolulu is planning to spend nearly 140 million dollars over two years to address homelessness on O’ahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

A Chinese corporation closed on two Ko Olina Resort beachfront parcels Thursday and plans to make a $1 billion investment, including the construction of two new uber-luxury branded resorts. Star-Advertiser.

The City and County of Honolulu is expecting to hire more than 20 people as temporary, full-time groundskeepers or supervisors. Prospective groundskeepers would make $17.64 per hour; supervisors have a slightly higher rate. KITV4.


After years of steady improvement, Hilo Medical Center has earned the top score in the state for preventing hospital-acquired infections. Tribune-Herald.

As the number of cases of locally acquired dengue fever on the Big Island of Hawaii rises to 160, the Hawaii Department of Health is changing its approach to reporting the numbers. Big Island Video News.

Sometimes children just don’t understand the ramifications of a disease such as dengue fever. A group from the University of Hawaii at Hilo School of Nursing is trying to explain the disease — from the perspective of “Molly the Mosquito” — to help the young ones understand. West Hawaii Today.

A handful of residents attended a Puna Geothermal Venture community meeting in Pahoa Wednesday night. The year-end update from the Pohoiki-based power producer was led by Ormat’s head of Hawaii Affairs, Mike Kaleikini. Big Island Video News.

It took just 15 days for Cyanotech’s 100 employees to contribute a quarter ton of nonperishable food to help community members in need put a meal on the table this holiday season. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor Alan Arakawa plucked the new director of the Department of Environmental Management from its ranks, naming a 25-year department veteran who at one time worked with Arakawa in the wastewater branch. Maui News.

ʻĪao Valley State Monument on Maui will be closed from Jan. 11-22, 2016 for various park improvements, including closures of the two large capacity cesspools in the park that were mandated via a consent agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency. Maui Now.

Iao Valley State Monument will be closed from Jan. 11 to 22, while the park undergoes improvements and the shutdown of two cesspools at the site. Maui News.

As part of the ongoing pavement work along Hardy Street, motorists are advised that a portion of Hardy Street, from Kuhio Highway to Eiwa Street, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, weather permitting. Garden Island.


Maui County Council Planning Committee Chairman Don Couch had hoped Wednesday to move the revised draft Lanai Community Plan out of his committee with a recommendation for passage to the full council, but that proved to be overly optimistic. Maui News.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

NextEra-Hawaiian Electric hearings pau for now, South China activity worries military, construction equipment removed from Mauna Kea, audit blasts Honolulu H-Power, Trump, Bush on Hawaii GOP ticket so far, 'no-drone zone' for Obama visit, Maui Memorial fined for infections, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii fish on ice © 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii longline fishermen are on track to haul in a record amount of bigeye tuna this year thanks to a federal rule that lets them sidestep catch limits by paying Pacific island territories for their unused quota. Civil Beat.

The regulatory hearings regarding NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co., recessed Wednesday after 12 days of testimony, but won't resume until February because the current venue at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu is booked until that time. Pacific Business News.

Executives from NextEra Energy Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. haven't discussed extending the current sale end date from June 3, an executive from the Florida energy giant said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

When it comes to the utility that provides us with our electricity, what do we care more about, value or local values? That question hung in the air at the end of the 12th day of testimony at the Public Utilities Commission’s hearing to decide whether NextEra Energy’s proposed $4.3 billion purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries should go through. Civil Beat.

The head of U.S. Pacific Fleet likened the “might makes right” actions usually attributed to China in the South China Sea to those taken by Japan preceding World War II in the Asia-Pacific region. Star-Advertiser.

State agriculture officials are looking to increase Hawaii’s food exports to the Middle East next year. Associated Press.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday announced the first interest rate hike since June 2006, but this historic move will have negative implications on Hawaii’s biggest problem: affordable housing. Pacific Business News.

The United States has more than over 68,000 licensed gun dealers, but less than 140 are in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Donald Trump has registered for the March 8 Hawaii Republican presidential caucus. The billionaire and current GOP frontrunner joins former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on the ballot. The Hawaii GOP Caucuses will be held Tuesday, March 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at dozens of voting locations statewide. Civil Beat.


A pervasive lack of oversight at Honolulu’s waste-to-energy facility in West Oahu has cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars — if not millions — in improper and questionable expenses, according to a city audit released this week. Civil Beat.

The city is paying a construction company $3.6 million to settle a lawsuit filed over construction of a sewer line under the Ala Wai Canal in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

Two alleged gambling operations right here in Honolulu have been shut down by police. The busts happened across two game rooms near 1684 Kalakaua Avenue just a couple of blocks away from the Hawaii Convention Center. KITV4.

An ownership dispute of a 10,000-square foot segment of Queen Street in Kakaako is raising concerns over further delays to Honolulu's rail transit project. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu’s chief of police says officers will start testing body cameras in the early part of next year. KHON2.

With the increasing popularity of drones, the Federal Aviation Administration is reminding operators that aircraft are prohibited in the designated security zone during President Barack Obama’s Christmas visit. Star-Advertiser.

Temporary flight restrictions will be in place on Oahu from Dec. 18 until Jan. 3, the same restrictions that have been issued during the holiday season for the last several years. Civil Beat.

Honolulu officials helped 465 homeless people find housing on Oahu this year, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said. Hawaii has the largest rate of homeless people per capita of any state in the nation, and the latest count on Oahu found 4,900 people on the streets or in shelters. Associated Press.

The City and County of Honolulu is planning to spend nearly 140 million dollars over two years to address homelessness on O’ahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

A hospital ship struck the dock of the USS Arizona Memorial in May after the pilot and ship's captain lost track of where the ship was going as it was leaving Pearl Harbor, an investigation into the incident released Wednesday said. Associated Press.

Heavy machinery parked at the Thirty Meter Telescope construction site atop Mauna Kea for nearly nine months was removed Wednesday, two weeks after the state Supreme Court overturned the giant observatory’s land use permit. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. David Ige says he supports construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, as well as the redevelopment of existing telescope sites to replace older, obsolete equipment with newer instruments. Star-Advertiser.

For 24 years, the Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center helped keep alive the memory of a local hero while introducing travelers — especially children — to the wonders of space. In March — 30 years after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster that claimed the life of South Kona’s Onizuka — that legacy is going away. West Hawaii Today.

With the official count of confirmed cases of dengue fever now identified on Hawaii Island at 157, the state Department of Health released a new map Wednesday showing updated potential areas of infection. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Memorial Medical Center is expecting to lose about $600,000 in Medicare funding in the current federal fiscal year for scoring poorly on an Affordable Care Act performance measuring program covering hospital infections and other ailments, according to the Maui hospital's top official. Maui News.

The head of the Maui Memorial Medical Center says the hospital expects to lose about $600,000 in Medicare funding after it scored poorly on an Affordable Care Act performance measuring program. Associated Press.

Maui County Department of Finance offices will be closed Thursday for staff training, according to an announcement. The offices include the director's office, accounts/payroll, central purchasing, the Motor Vehicle and Licensing Division (and its satellite offices), the Treasury Division and the Real Property Tax Collection and Assessment divisions. Maui News.

Maui is ranked number 2 on a top 10 list of domestic destinations being booked for 2016, according to the Travel Trends Survey released today by the Travel Leaders Group, a company that touts itself as America’s largest travel agency company. Maui Now.


Traffic congestion, crumbling bridges and road maintenance are just the beginning of Kauai’s $104 million backlog of transportation repairs, and county officials are looking at ways to fund those fixes. Garden Island.

A mystery pipe has sent Kauai’s Department of Water on a scramble to find the owner before the upcoming scheduled 9-hour Kilauea water shutdown, but county officials say it isn’t expected to change the timeline of the overnight project. Garden Island.