Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Protesters halt telescope construction, feds approve NextEra-Hawaiian Electric deal, fire captain investigated for talking to media, VA office falsified benefit claims, Caldwell blasted at rail meeting, Kauai backs off B&B law, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Occupy Hilo media
Mauna Kea TMT blockade, courtesy Occupy Hilo Media
Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope ground to a halt Monday as more than 50 protesters formed a roadblock outside the Mauna Kea visitor center. Calling the $1.4 billion project a desecration of the mountain, the activists marched back and forth across the Mauna Kea Access Road, making sure to stay within the crosswalk. Tribune-Herald.

Protesters on Mauna Kea are not allowing construction workers to access the summit of Mauna Kea. Crews encountered dozens of protesters on Monday morning who were blocking access to the construction site of the Thirty Meter Telescope. Hawaii News Now.

In a statement, the Thirty Meter Telescope project manager responds to today’s blockade of the Mauna Kea Access Road, saying construction crews “patiently waited for law enforcement to allow our workers the access to which they are entitled." Big Island Video News.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. to NextEra Energy Inc., a step experts said was expected. The two companies announced the approval Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the planned acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Industries by Florida based-NextEra Energy, according to a joint press released issued by the two companies on Monday. Civil Beat.

Federal regulators have approved Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co., one of the major approvals needed to finalize the sale, the two companies announced Monday. Pacific Business News.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission signed off on the pending $4.3 billion sale of Hawaiian Electric Company to Florida-based NextEra Energy, sending the fight to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Tribune-Herald.

A supervisor at the regional Veterans Administration office in Honolulu was manipulating data to make it look like the agency was processing veterans’ benefits claims faster than they actually were, according to a new report by the VA Office of Inspector General. The data manipulation happened last year when there was heightened scrutiny nationwide over how long veterans were waiting to see doctors. Associated Press.

A Honolulu Veterans Affairs supervisor improperly ordered staff to electronically tamper with 143 claims for benefits, allowing veterans to receive money for dependents who were not eligible, according to the VA's inspector general. Star-Advertiser.

This week, HPR is taking a closer look at ‘ōpala—issues surrounding garbage in Hawai‘i. We’re calling the series “Trashing Paradise”---and we begin with a look at some of the history of ‘ōpala in the islands…and some of the economic factors driving its future. Hawaii Public Radio.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell, along with state lawmakers who soon will decide whether to approve a rail tax extension, faced a chorus of angst and frustration from residents Monday over the direction of Oahu's transit project. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and his top transit official took their licks from a decidedly anti-rail crowd during a boisterous town hall meeting at Washington Middle School on Wednesday. Civil Beat.

A wealthy South Korean businessman who bought two Kahala beachfront properties was required to tear out an illegal seawall that was encroaching on the public beach. But the city has since given Lee Kun-hee, the billionaire chairman of South Korea’s Samsung Group, permission to erect a new wall just mauka of the state’s certified shoreline, which scientists say will exacerbate beach erosion. Civil Beat.

Video raises new concerns over animal care at quarantine station. Hawaii News Now.

In our continuing series, “Trashing Paradise,” we take a look at the only landfill on the island of O’ahu …home to 80 percent of the state’s population and vacation destination for more than 8 million visitors each year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Christine Wormuth visited Punchbowl cemetery Sunday as the Pentagon considers whether to exhume the bodies of nearly 400 crew members of the USS Okla­homa buried as "unknowns." Many families of the Dec. 7, 1941, casualties want their relatives identified, and the Defense Department now has the scientific capability to make a majority of those identifications. Star-Advertiser.

Residents in Kahuku could see 10 new wind turbines as early as the end of this year. But, before the plan is put in place, the Department of Land and Natural resources needs to check its environmental impact. KITV4.

The state lost a round in court on Monday over a land dispute in Waimanalo. KHON2.

The state Public Charter School Commission decided Monday to temporarily reinstate funding for the troubled Halau Lokahi Charter School, allowing 60 remaining students to finish the school year at the Hawaiian culture-focused campus. Star-Advertiser.

In Honolulu’s Chinatown each morning, adventurous visitors and local residents have a fascinating new option: a walking tour though one of the most successful entrepreneurial business districts ever launched in Hawaii — the red light district of World War II. Civil Beat.


A captain in the Hawaii County Fire Department is under investigation by the chief for criticizing the department in public. Fire Chief Darren Rosario sent a letter Wednesday to Capt. Sean Sommers, telling him he was being investigated on administrative charges that he violated the department’s rules when he criticized the department and fire chief in a March 19 interview on Hawaii News Now. West Hawaii Today.


The head of Hawaii's largest public employee union sharply criticized Sen. Roz Baker for "bullying" rank-and-file union members who testified earlier this month against a controversial bill to privatize three Maui County hospitals. The Hawaii Government Employees Association said Baker treated members rudely as they gave testimony March 19 before the Senate Committees on Health and Commerce and Consumer Protection opposing a bill to authorize a private entity to assume control of the state-owned Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital. Star-Advertiser.

In an effort to better connect residents with county services, the County of Maui is now offering a free mobile phone app that would allow people to alert officials to non-emergency problems and then monitor how officials correct those issues, according to a county news release sent out on Mar. 30. MauiTime.

A state contract to improve and expand the Maui Veterans Cemetery has been awarded to F&H Construction, which submitted a low bid of nearly $4.7 million. Maui News.


The County of Kauai said visitor accommodation providers who were faced with having to close because they lacked proper permits can continue their operations. Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and planning officials met Monday to review the situation. Garden Island.

At the end of a recent corporate board meeting of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, one thing was clear: Kauai is likely now in the strongest position of all the regions as it enters the 2016 fiscal year on July 1. Garden Island.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Kauai chickens boast pre-contact DNA, Maui garbage crisis nears, Hawaii House urges audit of public hospital system, undersea cable a NextEra plan, rail review back before council, Big Island mayor uses county credit card at hostess bar, B&B crackdown on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Kauai feral chicken © 2015 All Hawaii News
Kauai chickens, pre-contact fowl have same DNA. Star-Advertiser.

A controversial measure that would have required monthly disclosure of pesticide use in Hawaii has died in the Legislature, essentially ensuring that the public won’t be able to find out details about what pesticides are being sprayed in the state and where. Civil Beat.

The House Health Committee is calling for a management and financial audit of the corporation that operates the state's network of private hospitals, citing concerns that the network that includes the Hilo and Maui Memorial medical centers is in a "financially perilous" situation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii legislators will consider a bill that would ban sex trafficking and treat people who are forced into prostitution as victims instead of criminals. Associated Press.

State lawmakers have made an initial push to bring Brazilian jiu-jitsu into Hawaii’s schools. Tribune-Herald.

According to the Department of Accounting and General Services, there’s no policy that forbids Hawaii government employees from using personal email accounts – like Gmail or Yahoo! – for official government business. But if a private email account is used for work, those emails can become public records that may need to be saved or potentially released through public records requests. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s chief academic officer is leaving the state Department of Education next month for a job in Washington, D.C. Ronn Nozoe, Hawaii DOE deputy superintendent since 2010, has been appointed to serve as deputy assistant secretary for policy and programs in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. DOE, school officials announced Friday. Civil Beat.

Undersea cable project sparked NextEra Energy's interest in buying Hawaiian Electric Co. Pacific Business News.


The Honolulu City Council has scheduled a special session for April Fools' Day to consider measures that would signal its support for extending the rail tax, if that's what's needed to complete the island's 20-mile public transit project. Star-Advertiser.

Officials at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation like to tout transparency, but City Councilman Trevor Ozawa thinks they can do more. This week Ozawa introduced a resolution to encourage HART to televise its public meetings through Olelo Community Media or other public access channels. The meetings could also be streamed online. Civil Beat.


Despite strict rules against using county-issued credit cards for personal purposes, and a prohibition against purchasing alcohol with them, Mayor Billy Kenoi charged $892 on his county card at a Honolulu hostess bar one December day in 2013. Kenoi said Friday that he reimbursed the county for the expense on his purchasing card, or pCard, in March 2014. West Hawaii Today.

If a set of bills in the Legislature continue on their present course, Makalei will have an advanced life support ambulance and personnel to fill a critical gap in emergency services in that fast-growing North Kona area. West Hawaii Today.

The county has put Puna traffic cameras online at punatraffic.com, which monitors traffic monitoring service for the lower Puna to Keaau area, according to a statement. Tribune-Herald.


The threat of another Maui County trash crisis surfaced Friday when Department of Environmental Management officials renewed a request for $700,000 for the department's Solid Waste Division. Maui News.

Maui’s only acute care hospital is considering eliminating cardiology and a birthing unit to cope with a $28 million cut to the state hospital system’s budget for the Maui region. Associated Press.

Randall Brokaw knows the clock is ticking for a possibly century-old Chinese wall, with ties to the venerable Dr. Sun Yat-sen, before it is destroyed or crumbles away in old Wailuku town. Maui News.

While the state Department of Defense is attempting to achieve "shrine status" with its ambitious expansion and improvements to the Maui Veterans Cemetery in Makawao, the existing cemetery was showing signs of wear and tear last week. Maui News.

Maui residents want lower energy bills, greater regulation of electric utilities and transparency and open communication with the public, according to a recent study by the Maui Economic Development Board. Maui News.


Kauai County has been telling owners of illegal short-term rentals to cease operations. The county sent notices to 320 people operating vacation rental, bed and breakfast and homestay businesses without proper permits. Associated Press.

For nearly 23 years, Alexis Boilini and Michael Levy have welcomed people from all over the world into their home. Garden Island.

Friday, March 27, 2015

$11M preparing for tech bids lost, state seeks broadband help, construction to grow 9.4%, Hawaiian Electric catching up on PV applications, Kauai space launch delayed, Chinese tourists drive visitor stats, more government and politics news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Damon Tucker
Computer e-waste recycling, courtesy Damon Tucker
After the state spent more than $11 million developing a request for proposals for new computer technology to make government more efficient, the Ige administration is now scrapping the solicitation but promises the money has not been wasted. Star-Advertiser.

A panel of experts at the Hawaii Venture Capital Association luncheon on Thursday discussed the state’s need for broadband, which actions are needed to make it a reality and ways that higher bandwidth can be used. Pacific Business News.

Construction spending is forecast to rise 9.4 percent this year to $7.6 billion, the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization said. Star-Advertiser.

The construction industry isn’t growing as quickly as economists had expected. That’s according to a new report by the University of Hawai‘i Economic Research Organization. Despite a surge of activity on Oahu, the annual forecast says residential building permits actually fell last year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Visitor arrivals to Hawai‘i rose slightly last month, up a little more than 2% compared to a year earlier. Visitor spending fell by a little more than 4%. One group with higher numbers: the Chinese. Hawaii Public Radio.

A plan to allow tourists who are ripped off during their Hawaii vacations to testify against the suspects by way of videoconferencing was rejected by state lawmakers this week, and it appears the idea is dead for the year. Star-Advertiser.

The push to allow for medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii — some 15 years after state leaders permitted medical use of the drug — continues to advance through the Legislature, with key lawmakers in support saying they hope to give the state's nearly 13,000 medical pot patients access to such outlets by early 2016. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Industries CEO Connie Lau made it clear during her closing speech Thursday at the Maui Energy Conference that the company will continue to pursue liquefied natural gas as a “bridge fuel.” Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said Thursday it has approved all rooftop solar applications on Maui and Hawaii island waiting since at least October for the go-ahead. Star-Advertiser.

The Nominating Committee to the State Commission on Water Resource Management will meet Tuesday to review personnel applications and select nominees to fill one position on the State Commission on Water Resource Management. Hawaii Independent.

State taxpayers will pay $418,500 to settle three cases of wrongful terminations of public school employees. Hawaii News Now.


Seeking public input, city aims to lock away prime Oahu farmland. More than 56,000 acres is eyed for inclusion on a map that puts limits on urban development. Star-Advertiser.

The state fears the little fire ant infestation in Waimanalo could get worse. That’s because a group of people have been going in and out of the area that’s infested with the ants. On Friday, the state attorney general’s office will file a temporary restraining order against the group, hoping a judge orders them off the property. KHON2.

City considers fencing Kapalama Canal to move out homeless. Hawaii News Now.


While the June 27 lava flow is not dead, the downgrading of the threat from Kilauea volcano Wednesday could provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency with a closing date for the disaster. If that occurs, FEMA spokeswoman Kelly Hudson said the agency would continue to process requests for disaster relief funds but could limit reimbursement to expenses that occurred before March 25. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Fire Department operations in West Hawaii are not being jeopardized by recent turmoil in the office that resulted in two battalion chiefs being put on paid leave, a top-ranking Fire Department official said this week. West Hawaii Today.

As the site preparation for the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope gets underway, the opposition to the $1.3 billion observatory has taken to Mauna Kea. Big Island Video News.

Several dozen demonstrators assembled Thursday along Mauna Kea Access Road, where organizers say protesters plan to camp out indefinitely in hopes of halting work atop Mauna Kea on what is expected to be the world's largest telescope. Star-Advertiser.

As cars tear up and down residential streets and along roadways in Kona, those who live closest to the lead-footed driving are increasingly calling on the county to erect speed humps to rein drivers in. West Hawaii Today.


The state is threatening to seize several private boats in Lahaina over a lease dispute. Hawaii News Now.

Having Maui County glean 100 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy sources has long been a vision for Mayor Alan Arakawa, but achieving that goal will take time and technological advances, utility officials said Wednesday. Maui News.

Maui County plans to replace its streetlights with more efficient LED lighting, following other counties in Hawaii, including Honolulu and Kauai. Pacific Business News.

Maui County is Hawaii's healthiest county with its active residents and many opportunities for exercise, according to a study released Wednesday by a national health foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Maui News.


The University of Hawaii's first space launch has been delayed three times since 2013, with liftoff of the low-cost, small-satellite delivery system pushed back from January to the fall due to technology and timing issues, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

Traffic congestion. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz wants to hit it head on, not only for Hawaii’s sake, but all other states that are faced with similar challenges. Garden Island.

Kauai District Engineer Ray McCormick of the Hawaii Department of Transportation will be the featured speaker at the Wailua-Kapaa Neighborhood Association’s meeting at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kapaa Library. The talk is free and open to the public. Garden Island.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

NOAA expands humpback whale sanctuary, marijuana dispensaries fast-tracked, lava threat downgraded, census shows islands' growth, rail audit bill advances, Matlin named UH AD, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Humpback whale breaches in Hawaii, courtesy NOAA
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday proposed to expand the focus of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary to include all the marine species within its boundaries. Star-Advertiser.

It looks like 2015 tourism is off to a slow start, with arrivals and spending below targets. Although visitor arrivals came back in February, the Hawaii Tourism Authority reported Wednesday that total visitor spending continued trending down, dropping by 4.3 percent from a year ago to $1.2 billion. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii could have medical marijuana dispensaries much sooner than initially anticipated — perhaps as soon as next year. On Wednesday, the Senate Health and Public Safety committees passed House Bill 321, the bill that would create medical marijuana dispensaries and production centers in each Hawaii county. Civil Beat.

A legislative committee has approved a bill related to the state's health exchange. But it removed part of the proposal that would allow the exchange to issue $28 million in debt financing. Associated Press.

Some state lawmakers want the State Capitol to reduce the hours its open to the public to increase security since homeless people are entering the building early in the morning and late at night. Hawaii News Now.


More people left Oahu between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, than moved in, but births made up the difference and nudged the island's population closer to 1 million, according to data released Thursday by the Census Bureau. Star-Advertiser.

A House resolution that would call for a state audit of Oahu's cash-strapped rail project is gaining momentum. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers, who are considering the extension of a tax hike to pay for Honolulu’s $6 billion rail project, want more assurances before they sign off. Civil Beat.

More than a year's worth of work to keep development off a big piece of Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu's North Shore avoided a serious setback Wednesday after receiving a life-sustaining vote at the state Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

The House Committee on Water and Land advanced a bill today to fund the state’s portion to purchase Turtle Bay Resort land for conservation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Twenty-two years after he beseeched the University of Hawaii athletic department for an opportunity to get his foot in the door, David A.K. Matlin was handed the keys to the place as its new director on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Sophina Placencia, 32, was arrested Wednesday for five felony theft counts for improperly diverting more than $200,000 in state funds from the Waianae Community Outreach for use by herself, family members and friends, said Attorney General Doug Chin. KITV4.

Hawaiian Electric Co., which flipped the switch on smart meters for 5,200 customers on Oahu as part of a pilot program late last year, has had fewer than 1 percent of customers opt out, the head of the Honolulu-based utility said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.


When it comes to population increases in Hawaii County, more of us flew here than grew here, according to the latest data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. Hawaii County’s population grew 4.9 percent, to 194,190 people, according to the data that tabulated births and deaths and estimated domestic and international migration between the 2010 census and June 30, 2014. West Hawaii Today.

With the threat level from Kilauea volcano downgraded Wednesday, Hawaii County will consider scaling back its lava flow updates and overflights that have been a nearly daily occurrence for the past six months, said Civil Defense chief Darryl Oliveira. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists on Wednesday downgraded the alert level for Kilauea volcano from warning to watch for the first time since warning levels were reached in September. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is downgrading the alert level for Kilauea. The observatory said Wednesday the alert level goes from warning to watch. Associated Press.

The world’s largest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, is teaming up with NELHA-based Kampachi Farms on a venture to make open-ocean aquaculture commercially viable. West Hawaii Today.

The state Commission on Water Resource Management is chiefly concerned with how much water is available and how those quantities should be managed. But West Hawaii residents are just as worried about threats to water quality, judging from a scoping meeting held by CWRM in Kailua-Kona on Tuesday evening. West Hawaii Today.


Arrivals to the island of Maui rose 3.5% in February to 195,624, according to new information released by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority. Maui Now.


A photovoltaic project at Hanalei Elementary School is set to resume after a change in contractors forced a work delay. Garden Island.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Teachers union fights ethics law, PUC and Honolulu rail members love to travel, Maui mayor seeks 16% budget hike, Kauai to hike vehicle fees, Hawaii to hike water rates, $60k parking spaces at Waikiki affordable apartments, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

National Education Association convention 2014
Hawaii State Teachers Association at 2014 NEA convention, courtesy photo
The Hawaii State Teachers Association launched two legal actions this week to block enforcement of a new policy prohibiting teachers who are candidates for union offices from distributing their individual campaign materials in school mailboxes. Civil Beat.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill on Tuesday that could make voting by mail the norm in Hawaii. The panel passed HB 124, which aims to boost Hawaii's low voter turnout and increase participation in elections. It would start with smaller counties and gradually build so all voters get ballots in the mail. Associated Press.

Despite a huge backlog of cases, members of the Public Utilities Commission combined spent more than 100 works days last year attending industry conferences on the Mainland and in Korea and Puerto Rico. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers Consider Funding Private Projects with State Revenue Bonds. Hawaiian Electric, renewable energy companies, a Catholic school and a racetrack owner are seeking more than $1 billion in special purpose revenue bonds. Civil Beat.

A state House committee signed off Tuesday on a series of resolutions related to the pending $4.3 billion sale of Hawaiian Electric Company to Florida-based NextEra Energy. Tribune-Herald.

Mistaken identity by eyewitnesses contributed to more than 70 percent of all wrongful convictions nationwide. Hawai’i lawmakers want to implement uniform procedures to improve the accuracy of these accounts. Hawaii Public Radio.

A resolution in the Hawaii state Legislature would task a state agency with creating an 18-person, volunteer working group to create a master plan to bring broadband to Hawaii’s resort areas. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii's court system has improved the way it serves people with limited English skills, the U.S. Department of Justice said. The department announced Tuesday it is closing its review of the Hawaii Judiciary's Language Access Program. The department intervened in 2012 and provided assistance after receiving complaints about language assistance services provided by Hawaii's state courts. Associated Press.

Research done by scientists at the University of Hawaii School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology paints a grim picture for the state's coastlines. Results of their data find that by mid-century, at least 9 out of every 10 shorelines in the state will be in retreat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii firefighters fight for workers compensation benefits due to cancer. KHON2.


As state lawmakers continue to weigh a rail tax extension, the House Transportation Committee is considering whether to request a state audit of the project — but rail officials might not be able to provide all the details committee members want to see. Star-Advertiser.

Between July 2007 and November 2014 at least $479,000 was spent on travel-related expenses for about 90 people, paid for from the rail transit fund, according to city budget data. Civil Beat.

While the Commodore Waikiki apartment complex is offering up a lot of affordable housing units, the same can't be said about its parking stalls. They're going for a whopping $60,000 a piece. KITV4.

An aged state building on prime real estate just a block away from the State Capitol that's been vacant for 12 years is finally getting renovated. The Princess Victoria Kamamalu Building, at the corner of King and Richards streets, was built in 1957 and needed renovations in 2003 when 300 state employees moved out. Hawaii News Now.

The developer of a planned resort in Ewa Beach is advancing its plan to shift around and expand hotel sites at the growing Hoakalei Resort. Star-Advertiser.

A decision on the fate of the shuttered archery range at Kapiolani Park should be made in the coming months, city Parks Director Michele Nekota said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

It's legal. But some say it's not right. A homeowners group in Kailua wants to keep people off their private street at night. But beach-goers worry about losing yet another path to a public shoreline. Hawaii News Now.


Water rates would rise 3 percent next year, followed by 4 percent the following year and then 5 percent annually for the next three years, under a proposal floated Tuesday by the county Water Board. West Hawaii Today.

A Senate bill seeking funding to control albizia trees on Hawaii Island has stalled after failing to cross over to the state House of Representatives. Proponents of the bill say they were surprised by the failure of the measure, in light of the devastation wrought by the invasive trees following Tropical Storm Iselle. Tribune-Herald.

Five tractor-trailers carrying heavy equipment slowly ascended Mauna Kea early Tuesday morning as construction of Hawaii’s Thirty Meter Telescope prepared to get underway. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County residents could see hikes in their water and sewer bills, trash collection fees and in the county's fuel and vehicle weight tax under Mayor Alan Arakawa's nearly $700 million county budget for fiscal 2016, a whopping 16 percent increase. Maui News.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii for the first time will be providing round-the-clock pediatric care at the state-owned Maui Memorial Medical Center. Star-Advertiser.

Kaiser Permanente today announced its plans to provide 24/7 inpatient pediatric care to patients at Maui Memorial Medical Center. Maui Now.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has concluded a new contract with Maui Memorial Medical Center to provide 24/7 inpatient pediatric care, according to an announcement Tuesday. Maui News.

Maui County is the healthiest county in Hawaii, followed by Honolulu and Kauai, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Pacific Business News.

Ocean Safety crews were assigned to patrol waters offshore of Kaʻa Point near Kahului Airport in Kahanā after sharks were seen feeding on a decomposing baby whale carcass. Maui Now.

Goodwill Industries of Hawaii has opened a new donation center on the mauka side of Kahului Shopping Center. MauiTime.


To help offset the estimated $100 million needed to pay for road repairs and funding other initiatives such as The Kauai Bus, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and his administration are asking the Kauai County Council to approve gradual increases to the county’s motor vehicle weight tax. Garden Island.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hawaiian Electric, NextEra set public meetings; 80% tax posed for e-cigs; Turtle Bay deal in jeopardy; Pentagon mulls exhuming Punchbowl remains; lawmakers want hotel tax for beaches; Molokai ferry unpopular; UH to study Hualalai geothermal; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy NextEra Energy Co.
Electricity, courtesy NextEra Energy
Hawaiian Electric Co. and Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc., which is buying the Honolulu-based utility for $4.3 billion, are holding a series of informational meetings across the state next month to talk about the planned acquisition. Pacific Business News.

NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric will be hosting 13 community meetings across Hawaii to discuss the companies' pending merger. The two companies announced in December that Florida-based NextEra plans to acquire Hawaiian Electric to expand clean energy in Hawaii. Associated Press.

State lawmakers are taking concerns about the pending $4.3 billion sale of Hawaiian Electric Company to Florida-based NextEra Energy to the House floor via a series of resolutions. Tribune-Herald.

News release: NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Companies to Host Open House Informational Meetings. NextEra Energy.

A state Senate committee Monday unanimously approved an overhauled bill that would levy an 80 percent sales tax on snuff, chewing tobacco, small cigars, loose tobacco and electronic cigarettes, with one company saying it would cripple Hawaii's young e-cigarette industry. Star-Advertiser.

Two State Senate committees will vote later this week on whether to advance a measure to set up medical marijuana dispensaries for nearly 13-thousand qualified patients. Hawaii Public Radio.

A bill in the state Legislature was approved by a joint Senate panel Monday that would set aside part of the transient accommodations tax to help fund beach replenishment. Star-Advertiser.

A bill to relax the state's annual motor vehicle safety check requirement on the neighbor islands has been rejected by key leaders in the state Senate and appears to be dead for the year. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would require a comprehensive financial, management and program audit of the Hawaii Department of Education will be heard Wednesday by a state Senate committee. West Hawaii Today.

The $10 million estimates for fixing the leaking, algae-plagued and occasionally stinky reflecting pools at the State Capitol are so high that state officials are asking whether they should remove the water from the ponds in a re-design. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono have announced the formation of a federal judicial selection commission to help to fill a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. The seat will become vacant following the retirement from active service of Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway on Nov. 6. Civil Beat.

Opinion: Neil Abercrombie — ‘I Am Who I Am’ The former governor is on the road ahead as a private citizen after a lifetime of public service. Civil Beat.


Gov. David Ige is scrambling to save a "historic" arrangement to protect much of Oahu's Turtle Bay Resort from development after the $40 million taxpayer deal hit a snag over financing he helped arrange. Star-Advertiser.

The state’s plan to conserve 665 acres at Turtle Bay Resort may be in jeopardy after House lawmakers raised questions about a bill to extend the funding deadline for the $48.5 million agreement, which would require $40 million in state funds. Civil Beat.

Housing Program for Homeless Veterans Hits a Snag in Hawaii. Oahu’s tight housing market and landlords reluctant to take federal vouchers are keeping dozens of veterans from getting a place to live. Civil Beat.

The Pentagon is considering ordering the exhumation of nearly 400 sailors and Marines who died on the battleship USS Okla­homa on Dec. 7, 1941, and were buried as "unknowns" at Punchbowl cemetery, so they can be identified and returned to families. Star-Advertiser.

A Danish developer is planning to develop a major offshore wind energy project, which would include more than 100 turbines, in federal waters in Hawaii off Oahu’s northwest and southern coasts. Pacific Business News.

Oahu's homeless problem isn't really getting better. In fact, in some places it seems to be getting worse. KITV4.

Honolulu has been trying many options to get homeless off the streets and into shelters, but there’s no easy fix. Some refer to Kakaako as the third city, in the midst of a construction boom. But within this area is a growing community where, earlier this month, the count of makeshift shelters numbered 123. KHON2.


A University of Hawaii researcher has asked the state Board of Land and Natural Resources for a geothermal exploration permit to conduct a noninvasive geophysical study of the west rift zone of Hualalai, just north of Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Billy Kenoi on Monday took aim at projects needed on both sides of the island to move Big Island tourism forward. Speaking at a meeting of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii, Kenoi pushed for improvements along Hilo’s Banyan Drive and a renewed effort to make Kona International Airport truly international. West Hawaii Today.

A state Department of Education administrator in Hilo is set to receive $325,000 to settle a wrongful termination case against the state. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii regulators have denied Paniolo Power Co. LLC’s request to consolidate the NextEra Energy Inc.-Hawaiian Electric Co. acquisition application and the Honolulu-based utility’s new energy plan into one discussion, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

The state Attorney General’s Office is appealing a decision made last month to resume Medicaid reimbursements for a Hilo physician accused of fraud. Tribune-Herald.

While it’s not advancing, glowing or steaming, officials said Monday they were not yet ready to call the lower half of the June 27 lava flow dead. But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for optimism. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu will be the speaker at the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce Membership Dinner on April 14 at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu. Maui News.

Keopuolani Park near the playground area in Kahului was closed Monday morning because of a suspected unexploded ordnance found. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: Maui Redevelopment Agency to discuss repairing Wailuku Municipal Parking Lot. MauiTime


Kauai lawmakers secured over $60 million for projects across the island as part of the state budget passed by the House earlier this week. Garden Island.


Dave Jung, President of the Lahaina Cruise Company, which operates the Molokai Princess, says the future of the Molokai ferry is in jeopardy as ridership is at an all-time low and more people choose to fly to Maui instead of taking the two-hour boat ride. Hawaii News Now.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wind turbines planned in ocean off Oahu, Hawaii Tourism Authority wants more money, green sea turtle to remain protected, lead slows bridge repair, Kaho‘olawe records to be preserved, more grads college-bound, Honolulu racetrack bill revs up, state lags in budget transparency, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii green sea turtle, honu © 2015 All Hawaii News
The feds have denied a petition to take Hawaii green sea turtles off the list of threatened species. The honu news came Friday from the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Civil Beat.

The threatened green sea turtles around the Hawaiian Islands will be managed separately from other populations under a plan floated Friday by federal agencies. But the status of Hawaii’s turtles as threatened under the Endangered Species Act won’t change under the plan, despite a petition for delisting by an organization of Hawaii civic clubs. West Hawaii Today.

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
© 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii’s green sea turtles should continue to be classified as threatened because its population is small and nearly all of them nest at the same low-lying atoll, federal wildlife agencies said Friday. Associated Press.

Federal wildlife officials propose keeping Hawaii's green sea turtles' threatened status under the Endangered Species Act, meaning it would continue to be illegal to kill or hunt them. Maui News.

More than 300 people are expected to attend a conference featuring more than 25 sessions and professional development training courses on rising sea levels and other natural hazards. The theme is "The Rising Pacific: Currents of Change and Solutions for Resilience." Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority, the agency tasked with marketing Hawaii to the nation and the world, says it needs more money to cover its expenses. The HTA is asking state lawmakers to allow it to increase its administrative spending by as much as 30 percent a year. Star-Advertiser.

Even as legislators consider more stringent regulations, the state Department of Agriculture hasn’t complied with a law passed in 2013 that requires it to post sales records for restricted-use pesticides on its website. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers hope that a proposed bill would encourage more of Hawaii’s youth to become farmers. House Bill 853 passed through the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Education and Judiciary and Labor during a hearing Friday, and would teach students and teachers how to produce some of their own food. Civil Beat.

Hawaii state senators are taking up a proposal to develop a system of medical marijuana dispensaries, which would give patients legal access to the drug nearly 15 years after it became legal in Hawaii. Associated Press.

Hawaii's Department of Budget and Finance last year launched a new website designed to provide a one-stop source for state spending and financial information, but the state still earned only a grade of "C" on the latest "transparency scorecard." Hawaii trails 42 other states in the annual report on how well states provide spending data online, conducted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers plan to tackle the state's troubled health exchange, public-housing issues and a slew of resolutions this week at the Legislature. Most of the action will be in committee rooms as lawmakers take up bills passed by the other chamber. Associated Press.

Opinion: One of the tax increase bills that is still afloat at our Legislature concerns the environmental response, energy, and food security tax, which we refer to as the barrel tax. This tax started off as the environmental response tax, imposed at 5 cents a barrel of imported petroleum product as a way to create a fund for environmental cleanup in case of an oil spill in Hawaiian waters. It was hoisted to its present rate of $1.05 in 2009, and the difference was used not only to shore up our general fund, but also to feed various special funds that pay for environmental conservation programs, energy and food security, and related activities. Civil Beat.

If HCR 90 passes through the House Committees on Education and Finance, it would ask the governor, Board of Education, and the Hawaii State Teachers Association to establish a minimum median teacher salary that would be adjustable to Hawaii’s cost of living. Civil Beat.

The state Ethics Commission will make public the detailed financial disclosure forms of members of 15 boards and commissions in June rather than next year. The powerful entities include the Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Public Utilities Commission. A law that took effect in July makes those disclosure forms public, but the details could have remained confidential until 2016 because only short forms are required in odd-numbered years. Star-Advertiser.

After several years of stagnancy, the number of Hawaii public school graduates enrolling in college after high school has climbed amid efforts by the Department of Education to better prepare students for college and careers. Star-Advertiser.

Many Hawaii families have fallen into a cycle of debt precipitated by deceptively easy payday loans. The industry was legalized in 1999 when the Legislature passed a law exempting it from the state’s usury law, which caps the interest rate for loans at no more than 24 percent each year. Civil Beat.


A Danish developer is planning to develop a major offshore wind energy project, which would include more than 100 turbines, in federal waters in Hawaii off Oahu’s northwest and southern coasts, according to a published report. Pacific Business News.

Oahu car-racing enthusiasts have picked up some traction on a drive to finance a new motor sports raceway on the island after the demise of two track facilities in the past eight years. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Housing First initiative to provide shelter and related social services to the chronically homeless has achieved mixed results nine months after the Honolulu City Council dedicated $35 million toward the effort. Star-Advertiser.

On Friday, landowners, fed up with all the foot traffic for “Dead Man’s Catwalk,” asked various hiking websites to take down posts promoting the popular East Oahu trail and threatened further action if nothing was done. KHON2.

Martin Nesbitt, a Chicago businessman and President Barack Obama’s close friend, has been confirmed as the buyer of Hawaii beachfront estate known as the home of Tom Selleck’s 1980s television character “Magnum P.I.” Pacific Business News.


Time to fix those leaky faucets. The less water you use, the more you’ll save, under a five-year rate plan to be considered Tuesday by the Hawaii County Water Board. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce is dusting off old plans to construct a cultural and education center in downtown Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

The discovery of lead in the soil below Umauma bridge near Hakalau likely will delay completion of the span’s ongoing $30.8 million rehabilitation project, state officials say. The lead, left from paint that fell into the gulch during past maintenance work, was found where new bridge footings need to be installed. Tribune-Herald.

A new courthouse and hospital for Kona are among more than $200 million in Big Island projects in the $2.2 billion two-year capital improvement budget passed Wednesday by the state House. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Police Department Assistant Chief Henry Tavares said a spike in property crime in downtown Hilo is related to the city’s ongoing homeless problem. Tribune-Herald.


This Saturday, the 2015 Maui County Republican Party Convention will take place at Pu’u Kukui Elementary School. Registered Republican delegates are welcome to hear a featured guest speaker, conduct party business and elect new Executive Committee officers. MauiTime.

The recent agreement restoring water to four Central Maui streams has some parties in an East Maui stream restoration case optimistic that a "just ruling" will come to them as well. Maui News.

After the worst coral bleaching event ever recorded in Hawaii last fall, environmental groups are rallying to bring more community awareness to help protect the reefs. Maui News.

The 12-acre Maui Arts & Cultural Center opened its gates nearly 21 years ago. Today, it can accommodate up to 270,000 visitors a year, spans 22 acres, and generates $4.35 million annually, on average, in revenue to community businesses. Pacific Business News.


Kauai had the fewest applications for firearms of all state counties in 2014. But the number of applications on the Garden Isle increased for the fourth straight year — although county officials aren’t attributing that increase to a gun craze, but rather something that accompanies an uptick in population. Garden Island.


This year hundreds of thousands of historic documents relating to Kaho‘olawe will be published in an online database. Hawaii Public Radio.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Commercial real estate booming, judge extends moratorium on Maui GMO ban, Aloha Stadium needs $200M, fire chief suspends critics, over-budget Honolulu rail project seeks bailout, tech troubles Hawaii County, rats plague Health Department, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Downtown Honolulu © 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii's commercial real estate market has moved from a rebound to full-blown boom, according to a tally of major property sales last year. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige earned the respect of his colleagues during his long, successful career in the Hawaii Senate, which an outsider might assume earned him political capital to sway votes. But that wasn't the case during Ige's first major political test as governor, when most of the members of his old political faction in the Senate — the Chess Club — were among the majority of senators who planned to reject his nominee for Department of Land and Natural Resources before a scheduled vote on the Senate floor. Associated Press.

Unlike the Carleton Ching nomination for the director of DLNR, the confirmation of the director and deputy director for the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism passed committee and the full senate with no hang-ups. Hawaii Independent.

Department of Health employees say they're getting sick from unsanitary working conditions at their office, caused by an infestation of rats. Hawaii News Now.

The deadline for applications to fill vacancies on the state Ethics and Campaign Spending commissions has been extended to March 31. There is one vacancy on the Ethics Commission, and two on the Campaign Spending Commission. Star-Advertiser.

The number of visitors filling hotel rooms in January declined across all major islands except Maui, causing a dip in statewide occupancy. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s hotels had a good week last week, showing increases in both occupancy and room rates, according to the weekly report from Hospitality Advisors LLC and STR, Inc. Pacific Business News.


The latest report from the independent contractor monitoring Oahu's public rail transit project echoes what rail leaders first acknowledged publicly in December: that despite their public assurances that the project would come in on time and on budget, the effort will "most likely exceed" what it was supposed to cost. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers seem poised to bail out Honolulu’s over-budget elevated rail system, but they have yet to find the right tax formula. On Thursday, a state Senate panel approved a convoluted House measure that could extend Oahu’s 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge for an additional 25 years. Civil Beat.

To keep Aloha Stadium operational for the next 30 years will cost $200 million just to address priority health and safety problems, a consultant told the Aloha Stadium Authority on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Ethics Commission has reaffirmed an earlier informal opinion by its staff that said Mayor Kirk Caldwell and other city officials were acting within the scope of their duties when they used city resources in an attempt to rally the community behind an effort to stave off possible downsizing of military troops on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands of people have weighed in so far on the future of Ala Moana Beach Park. But many are asking – why not work on the things that need to be fixed now? KHON2.

Hawaii lawmakers’ latest attempt to swap urban state property for private farm land appears to be dead this legislative session. The Senate passed a bill earlier this month that proposed spending $400,000 next fiscal year to investigate the possibility of acquiring lands owned by Dole Food Company between the North Shore and central Oahu that may be suitable for long-term diversified agriculture production. Civil Beat.

The buyer of the $8.7 million Hawaii beachfront estate known as the home of Tom Selleck’s 1980's television character “Magnum P.I.” — a Chicago entity with close ties to President Barack Obama — has "strong ties to Hawaii," the firm that represented the seller said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

A former program director of an Oahu transitional homeless shelter has been charged in the theft of more than $700,000 from her former employer. Associated Press.


The county has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on two audiovisual systems that were supposed to connect the West Hawaii Civic Center with the county building in Hilo. Four years after buying the system, the county in January finally tried to use it, only to find it doesn’t work properly and one of the warranties has already run out. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island Fire Chief Darren Rosario has suspended two battalion chiefs after they complained about his alleged mismanagement of the department. They've been on paid leave for four months -- and now are under investigation themselves for speaking out. Hawaii News Now.

There will be no changes this year to laws governing how Kona coffee and Kona blends are labeled. A House bill requiring that the origins of coffee used in blends be listed on the package — plus a provision that coffee carrying the Kona label have at least 51 percent coffee from that region — never received a hearing. West Hawaii Today.

While it never left Pahoa, the Puna Community Medical Center is eager to return to its home at the Pahoa Marketplace, said Clinical Programs Director Dan Domizio. Tribune-Herald.


A federal judge has extended an injunction blocking Maui County’s voter-approved moratorium on genetically engineered farming from going into effect for at least another three months. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers advanced a bill today to enable neighbor island hospitals to transition into public-private partnerships, beginning with Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state House of Representatives approved its version of the state's biennium fiscal year budget Wednesday, including nearly $64 million for Central Maui capital improvement projects. Maui News.

The Maui County Council Land Use Committee recommended approval on Wednesday of community plan and zoning changes that would move the long-awaited Downtown Kihei project forward. Maui News.

The Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel and its twin resort, The Plantation Inn, have been voted “Number One Hotel with the Best Aloha Spirit” and “Number One Best Budget Hotel” respectively, by readers of Hawai‘i Magazine. Maui Now.


When the maile lei to Kanikoo senior housing project was undone Thursday, 36 residents were already moved into their apartments at the site of the former in Lihue. Garden Island.

Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, in collaboration with the Kauai Fire Department, Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and Kauai Civil Defense Agency, will hold community input meetings to develop a Kauai Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Garden Island.

An 11.78-acre slice of vacant, beachfront land set aside for the proposed Coconut Plantation Resort has new owners. And the buyers, who purchased it on Thursday at an absolute auction, didn’t have to look far beyond their backyard to find it. Garden Island.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ige withdraws Ching DLNR nomination, House passes $25.7B budget, NextEra wants Hawaiian Electric sale fast-tracked, De-Occupy Honolulu awarded $80k in police raids, Obama friend buys Magnum P.I. home, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii Senate majority
Red shirts in Senate gallery against Ching nomination, courtesy Hawaii Senate Majority
After nearly two months of "grueling" scrutiny and relentless vocal opposition, Carleton Ching's high-profile and ill-fated nomination to head one of the most important state agencies in Hawaii was pulled Wednesday just moments before the Senate was to vote on it. Star-Advertiser.

Senators’ 11th-Hour Decisions Doomed Ching Nomination. UPDATE: Gov. David Ige withdrew his controversial nomination for the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources when it became clear the votes weren't there for confirmation. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has withdrawn his nomination of Carleton Ching to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The governor informed the Senate of his decision Wednesday. Associated Press.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Wednesday withdrew his nomination of Castle & Cooke Hawaii executive Carleton Ching to be the next head of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Pacific Business News.

Governor David Ige withdrew his controversial nomination for chair of the State Board of Land and Natural Resources today. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ige and Ching
Moments before the Hawaii State Senate was set to begin voting Wednesday on Governor David Ige's controversial nomination to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Ige withdrew his nomination. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has withdrawn his nomination of Carleton Ching to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources. KITV4.

It’s back to the drawing board for Gov. David Ige as he decides who will lead the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. Ige withdrew his nomination for Carleton Ching Wednesday, just days after he said he was standing by his controversial pick. KHON2.

Eight lessons from the Carleton Ching nomination. Governor Ige instigated a political crisis by nominating a developer's lobbyist to watch over Hawaii's natural resources. Hawaii Independent.

Opinions from local representatives and conservation groups were split after Gov. David Ige on Wednesday withdrew his nomination of Carleton Ching to lead Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. Garden Island.

The state House of Representatives on Wednesday forwarded to the Senate a $13.3 billion general fund budget for the next two fiscal years. The spending plan calls for a $6.5 billion budget in fiscal 2016, which begins July 1, and $6.8 billion in fiscal 2017. Star-Advertiser.

The House voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of its draft of the overall state budget, a $25.7 billion spending plan for the next two years. The Senate Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Jill Tokuda, will take up House Bill 500 and make whatever changes it sees fit before sending it to the full Senate for its approval. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Legislature in Session? Time to Raise Campaign Money! Reps. Luke, Johanson, Nakashima and Nishimoto will be at Mandalay Wednesday night passing the hat for re-election. Civil Beat.

The public may get to see the financial disclosures statements of certain state board members a year earlier than expected. The Hawaii State Ethics Commission agreed Wednesday to send a memo out to board members later this week letting them know that their financial disclosure statements for 2014 will be released if they file a short-form report this year. Civil Beat.

A bill to restore $6 million in funding for Hawaii's state preschool subsidy program is still moving through the state Legislature. Senate Bill 64, which has crossed over to the state House of Representatives, would restore funding for the Preschool Open Doors program for the next two fiscal years. Pacific Business News.

Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc. wants the state to move fast on approval of its proposed $4.3 billion purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries and has objected to a suggestion the decision be delayed until June 3, 2016. Star-Advertiser.


De-Occupy Honolulu Lawyers Awarded $80,000 in Fees, Expenses. The court ruling stems from HPD raids in Thomas Square in 2012, where protestors and property was seized. Civil Beat.

A company with ties to a close friend of President Barack Obama has bought a historic oceanfront mansion in Waimanalo used as a setting for the 1980s TV detective show "Magnum, P.I." Star-Advertiser.

Moanalua Gardens will start charging entrance fees to help offset maintenance and operational costs. Star-Advertiser.


More than 100 shoppers lined the outside of Malama Market on Wednesday in Pahoa in anticipation of the grocery store’s grand reopening. It’s been an inconvenient three months since the market closed its doors in response to the approach of the June 27 lava flow, they said, and the reopening is an important sign that life in Pahoa could be returning to normal. Tribune-Herald.

Attorney Brian DeLima is requesting funds for private legal counsel to represent Jody Buddemeyer, the Hawaii Police Department officer who authorities say struck and killed a Michigan man riding his bicycle in South Kohala. Tribune-Herald.

Kailua-Kona keiki will soon have new digs in which to practice their flips, pops and slides. Two Hawaii County Council members dipped into their district contingency funds Wednesday to give a planned skate park a $50,000 boost. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Now has learned that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui terminated a worker with the Makawao branch after discovering that she had posted unauthorized video of children sending messages to convicted murderer Jodi Arias on social media.

A Maui County Council committee has recommended changing the name of Iao Stream to Wailuku River. Maui News.

A bill making its way through the state Legislature would overturn a long-standing law that prohibits all commercial activity on or around Kahoolawe. Maui News.


State Department of Transportation officials say commuters traveling through Wailua and Kapaa may have to wait a little longer before larger projects to improve congestion along Kuhio Highway come to fruition. Garden Island.

That grumbling isn’t from an empty stomach. Some local parents say they aren’t happy that the price of Hawaii school lunches could increase in the fall semester. Garden Island.