Friday, May 29, 2015

Japanese visitors spark tourism rise, animal quarantine harms pets, Honolulu councilman wants men's room diaper tables, shipping declines, Office of Hawaiian Affairs forms sovereignty committee, Kauai animal shelter kill rate disputed, USS Arizona Memorial to reopen in a week, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
visitor learns Hawaiian hula © 2015 All Hawaii News
April was the second month of 2015 that experienced a year-over-year climb in visitor spending and arrivals, largely due to a gain in domestic travelers and visitors from Japan. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii hosted more visitors last month than in April 2014, and they spent more, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority. For the year, visitors are up but their spending is about the same as last year. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority says the number of travelers visiting the islands climbed 2.3 percent in April over the same month last year as more tourists arrived from the western part of the United States. Data released by the state agency Thursday showed nearly 680,000 people visited the islands in April. Visitor spending rose 5.4 percent to $1.2 billion. Associated Press.

In a move to maintain its neutrality, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is handing off responsibility for the final stage of its nation-building campaign to a new group that will independently administer an election of delegates, convention and final ratification vote. Na'i Aupuni, a group of five volunteer and unpaid directors with ties to Hawaiian royalty, has been given nearly $2.6 million originally earmarked for the effort aimed at moving Native Hawaiians a step closer to self-determination as authorized by the state under Act 195. Star-Advertiser.

Despite vocal opposition and community concerns raised at OHA board meetings in late April, 2015, the board has decided to go forward with a nation building process spearheaded by a new organization: Na‘i Aupuni. Hawaii Independent.

Complaints of overheated and underfed animals getting sick at the state-run Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa have prompted the Legislature to take a closer look at how pets are housed and treated at the facility. Civil Beat.

In a private sector economic indicator, Young Brothers Ltd. reports a 1.9% decline in cargo shipments between islands during the first quarter, compared to the same time last year. Hawaii News Now.

The East-West Center, which has faced big funding threats in recent years as federal support for its programming dwindled, is about to start head-hunting for its first new president in nearly two decades. Longtime center President Charles E. Morrison is planning to leave his post in August 2016, at the end of his current contract. Civil Beat.

An ongoing dispute over the results of a recent Hawaii State Teachers Association election for president and other officers to lead the teachers union has made its way to the courts. Star-Advertiser.


The city's top civil attorney said it's not up to the Honolulu Ethics Commission staff to determine the potential ramifications of a settlement agreement reached by the commission and former City Councilman Nestor Garcia. Star-Advertiser.

Time for a change? Lawmaker wants diaper changing tables in men’s restrooms. KHON2.

Punahou School has begun construction on a campus-wide overhaul project that is expected to be completed during the next decade, which includes building four two-story studios for elementary school students and a 20,000-square-foot learning commons for kindergarten through eighth grade. Civil Beat.

The National Park Service and the Navy aim to resume taking visitors to the USS Arizona Memorial in a week, after a dock damaged by a wayward vessel is repaired. Associated Press.

The Navy said Thursday that it is uncertain if a hospital ship hit the dock of the USS Arizona Memorial as was initially reported. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawai’i Health Systems Corporation continues to develop plans to meet a budget shortfall of 50 million dollars. Hawaii Public Radio.


Hawaii Electric Light Co.’s selection of Ormat Nevada Inc. to build the next geothermal power plant in Puna received a positive recommendation this month from an independent observer. Tribune-Herald.

Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille wants to slice into Hilo Municipal Golf Course funds to hire three new transfer station attendants to help promote recycling programs. In a budget amendment to be considered Monday, Wille is asking that golfers and the community do more to augment the greens fees at the county’s only publicly funded golf course instead of relying on taxpayer bailouts. West Hawaii Today.

A new class-action lawsuit claims Hawaii Community College fraudulently collected “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in student fees throughout the past decade. Tribune-Herald.

A dangerous and crowded North Kona beach will have to wait at least another year for lifeguards. A push for funding to install ocean safety officers at Kua Bay fell short this past session. West Hawaii Today.


Ever since Samuel Thomas Alexander and Henry Perrine Baldwin planted their first sugarcane crop in 1870, there have been cane fires on Maui. But on Wednesday morning, a fire that was set near Kamali’i Elementary School by Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Co. inundated the campus and left some residents wondering whether a state permit system is working. KITV4.

Iao Stream will likely have its name restored to "Wailuku River," which dates back more than a century, following the state Board on Geographic Names' unanimous vote Wednesday night in favor of the move. Maui News.


No more than 10 B&B permit applications will be reviewed per year under an ordinance change approved during a Kauai County Council committee hearing Wednesday. Garden Island.

The Kauai Humane Society has underreported the percentage of cats and dogs it euthanized for the last five fiscal years, a fact that has become the crux of a campaign launched by employees to oust the organization’s executive director. Garden Island.

Kauai was the leader of the four larger Hawaiian Islands when it came to visitor growth and spending through April. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, per person per day spending on the Garden Isle rose to $179, up 2.7 percent, and total expenditures reached $533 million, up 6.2 percent. Garden Island.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hawaii Supreme Court tosses gay marriage lawsuit, state ethics director on hot seat, USS Arizona Memorial damaged, Honolulu ethics case could jeopardize rail, court clears environmental management director for Hawaii County post, Maui council nixes rec fee hikes, teacher union election heads to court, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii Supreme Court © 2015 All Hawaii News
The state Supreme Court is dismissing a lawsuit challenging Hawaii’s gay marriage law. The court says in an opinion Wednesday that the plaintiffs lack standing to make the challenge. Associated Press.

State Rep. Bob McDermott said he is weighing legal options after the Hawaii Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by himself and three individuals challenging the state's Marriage Equality Act. Ruling that plaintiffs were not harmed or injured by the 2013 law, Supreme Court justices ruled they had no standing to challenge the statute. Star-Advertiser.

Chalk up another loss for state Rep. Bob McDermott in the marriage wars. The Ewa Beach Republican was summarily brushed aside Wednesday by the state Supreme Court, which dismissed his challenge to Hawaii’s Marriage Equality Act for lack of standing. Civil Beat.

Les Kondo, the executive director of the state Ethics Commission, defended his job performance Wednesday, backed by leaders of other agencies who called him a dedicated professional who excels in a tough job. The five-member commission had rated him "average" overall, down from "outstanding" in 2012, and was considering whether to remove him from the job he has held since January 2011. But after hours of discussion behind closed doors, commissioners recessed until June 9 without a decision. Star-Advertiser.

The executive director of the Hawaii Ethics Commission said no decision was reached by the panel Wednesday during a discussion of his performance. Executive Director Les Kondo told The Associated Press after the commission meeting ended in the late afternoon that the panel will continue its discussion, but he says no date for that session has been set. Associated Press.

After meeting for more than three hours Wednesday, the State Ethics Commission retreated into a closed executive session to consider the fate of its executive director, Honolulu attorney Les Kondo. But the meeting ended about 5 p.m. with no decision on whether Kondo would stay on as executive director. Kondo declined comment except to say the discussion would continue at a later date. Civil Beat.

An ongoing dispute over the results of a recent Hawaii State Teachers Association election for president and other officers to lead the powerful teachers union has made its way to the courts. Star-Advertiser.

High school teacher Corey Rosenlee, who says he rightfully won last month’s election for leadership of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, filed court documents Wednesday in an effort to block union plans to hold a new election. Civil Beat.

Care Home Bill Would Have Forced Out a Patient. The failed legislation touted as a compassionate way to reunite an aging married couple is seen in a new light with concerns about displacing Medicaid clients in favor of private-paying residents. Civil Beat.

A new commander has taken over as the top U.S. military officer in the Asia-Pacific region. Adm. Harry Harris assumed command of the U.S. Pacific Command during a ceremony at Pearl Harbor on Wednesday. He replaces Adm. Samuel Locklear, who has retired. KITV4.

New Jersey-based biopharmaceutical company Soligenix Inc. is partnering with the University of Hawaii and Hawaii Biotech, Inc., on the development of a heat-stable subunit of a developing Ebola vaccine. Pacific Business News.


The agreement between former City Councilman Nestor Garcia and the Honolulu Ethics Commission to settle claims that he accepted illegal gifts and failed to report them may throw a monkey wrench into the future of the city's $5.8 billion rail transit project. Garcia agreed to pay the city a civil fine of $8,100 to settle allegations that he accepted illegal gifts and failed to report them, the Ethics Commission announced Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

With scores of Central Oahu businesses already feeling the brunt of rail construction, city leaders want to create a fund that offers them relief -- but those leaders haven't yet determined where the money would come from or at what total amount. Star-Advertiser.

The thousands of visitors who pour into Hawaii's most popular tourist attraction -- the USS Arizona Memorial -- will not be able to board for up to a week after the USNS Mercy hospital ship struck the memorial's floating dock Wednesday as the Mercy was towed out of Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Visitors to the state's most visited attraction went away disappointed Wednesday when boat tours to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial were suspended due to damage to its floating dock. Hawaii News Now.

Kamilo Nui Valley in Hawaii Kai is once again a topic of discussion as a major property owner in the valley, Hawaii Kai Memorial Park, LLC, has resumed dumping asphalt at the site of a proposed cemetery at 7488 Hawaii Kai Drive. Hawaii Independent.

It's been 8 months since a Honolulu Police Sergeant was caught on video fighting with his girlfriend. The sergeant is still on desk duty because the internal investigation is still not done. Hawaii News Now.


Environmental Management Director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd can keep her job, following a judge’s ruling that the mayor and County Council had discretion to put her in the position without the engineering degree seemingly required by the county charter. West Hawaii Today.

The expedited decommissioning of telescopes on the Big Island could have a detrimental impact on Hilo and its economy, Dr. Günther Hasinger, director of the UH Institute for Astronomy, told Pacific Business News Wednesday.

South-Korea based Mirae Asset has purchased the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii hotel in South Kohala, but with the management of the business slated to remain the same, the public may not know the difference. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Council nixed a 600 percent proposed permit hike Tuesday for surf, dive, kayaking and other commercial ocean recreation activities that use county beaches. Maui News.

The $72 million Downtown Kihei project with restaurants, shops, businesses, medical offices, a movie theater and a hotel received an initial green light from the Maui County Council Tuesday afternoon. Maui News.

Waikapū Properties, LLC is proposing the development of nearly 500 acres for a mixed-use residential community within and around the Maui Tropical Plantation. Maui Now.

The Hawaiʻi Board on Geographic Names unanimously voted last night to restore the name Wailuku River to the waterway that runs through ʻĪao Valley. Maui Now.


Penny Cistaro said Wednesday the people trying to oust her from Kauai Humane Society’s top job don’t represent the majority of her staff. Garden Island.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wants to increase protection for humpback whales. The plan includes an expansion of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. And that drew some sharp reactions at a recent public hearing on Kaua‘i. Hawaii Public Radio.


The state agency in charge of restoring the island of Kahoolawe, a former bombing range off the coast of Maui, is scrambling for money in the wake of unsuccessful lobbying this past legislative session. Civil Beat.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ige gives Thirty Meter Telescope go-ahead, protestors vow to continue; busy hurricane season ahead; Defense Secretary Ash Carter in Honolulu for ceremony; population grows 4.4%; Ellison has big plans for Lanai; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Occupy Hilo Media
Thirty Meter Telescope protestor on Mauna Kea, courtesy Occupy Hilo Media
Gov. David Ige said Tuesday he supports and will protect the rights of the builders of the Thirty Meter Telescope to proceed with construction on Mauna Kea, but he also announced the creation of a cultural council to restore balance between science and Native Hawaiian interests on the mountain. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige gave his official support for the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project Tuesday, and asked that the University of Hawaii return to the authority of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources more than 10,000 acres of the Mauna Kea summit on the Big Island not being used for astronomy. Pacific Business News.

While promising to protect the rights of the Thirty Meter Telescope to proceed with construction and opponents to peacefully protest, Gov. David Ige on Tuesday outlined his vision for better stewardship of Hawaii’s tallest and most sacred mountain. Tribune-Herald.

A project to build a giant telescope near the summit of Mauna Kea has the right to move forward, but Hawaii has failed the mountain in many ways, Gov. David Ige said Tuesday. Associated Press.

Foes of the planned Thirty Meter Telescope on Tuesday vowed to continue blocking construction of the $1.4 billion project despite plans announced by Gov. David Ige to improve the stewardship of Mauna Kea. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced his support for building the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea on Tuesday, saying the project has the right to proceed. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Governor David Ige announced his support of the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope and believes the project may proceed with construction. He also laid out his plan for future development on Mauna Kea, calling on the University of Hawai‘i to be better stewards of the land. Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor David Ige is laying out his plan for the stewardship of Mauna Kea, as it relates to TMT construction and beyond. Hawaii News Now.

Governor Ige announces changes to stewardship of Mauna Kea. The governor supports the TMT's right to move forward as well as public right to protest; charges UH with doing a better job serving the mountain's best interests. Hawaii Independent.

Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners challenging the Thirty Meter Telescope in court say they were left disappointed after Gov. David Ige’s remarks about management of Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

This afternoon, Hawaii Governor David Ige announced at a news conference his “way forward” for the University of Hawaii’s proposed Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) atop Mauna Kea on the Big Island. MauiTime.

Governor David Ige says a project to build a giant telescope near the summit of Mauna Kea has the right to move forward, but that the state has failed the mountain. KITV4.

Governor David Ige announced his plan for moving the stewardship of Mauna Kea forward, including a change in the way the State of Hawai’i manages Mauna Kea, which will lead to the formation of a Mauna Kea Cultural Council and actions that the University of Hawai’i must take to enhance stewardship. Big Island Now.

Those standing vigil on Mauna Kea in opposition to the Thirty Meter Telescope have issued a written response to Governor David Ige’s plan calling for changes in how the state manages the mountain. Big Island Video News.

Following Governor David Ige’s press conference in which he laid out his vision for future stewardship of Mauna Kea, University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner responded with a statement to reporters, saying that the university “can and must do better.” Big Island Video News.

Following a busy 2014 season that saw three hurricanes threaten the islands, forecasters Tuesday predicted a slight uptick in activity with five to eight "tropical cyclones" expected this season in the Central Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

Meteorologists at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center predict 5 to 8 tropical cyclones could form in the central Pacific basin this year. It's the most since the center began holding pre-hurricane season press conferences in the early 2000s. Hawaii News Now.

The start of the 2015 Central North Pacific hurricane season is just days away, and forecasters are expecting a busier year thanks in part to El Nino. West Hawaii Today.

Meteorologists with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center are predicting a busy storm season. In their pre season press conference officials predicted 5 to 8 tropical cyclones could form in the central pacific basin this year. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii Health Connector board has postponed a board meeting to discuss and approve a “corrective action plan” for the health insurance exchange by a week. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii's population last year rose by by 4.4 percent to 1.41 million residents, from 1.36 million in 2010, but all three of Hawaii's Neighbor Island counties saw a higher percentage of growth in population than that of the state average and the City and County of Honolulu, according to 2014 U.S. Census Bureau data. Pacific Business News.

Opinion: Dear Joe, If You’re Concerned About Ethics Problems Look in the Mirror The Hawaii House Speaker is off-target in his criticism of the Ethics Commission for doing its job. Civil Beat.


Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will attend the Change of Command ceremony for the U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Pacific Fleet at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Friday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Two towers up to 23 stories would bring 151 affordable rental units for seniors in Chinatown under a plan outlined by city officials Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Former Hawaii Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa has formed a new law company in Hawaii that bears her name, according to public records. Pacific Business News.

The 1977 decision to transform fields of sugar cane in West Oahu into a new city known as Kapolei is one of Honolulu’s most significant planning decisions. But some urban planners now think that starting a community from scratch miles away from downtown Honolulu was a bad idea. Civil Beat.

Several residents and officials contend that creating an exclusive fund for the popular Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park would help with much-needed improvements and maintenance. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu’s plastic bag ban starts in a month, and retailers are feeling the pressure. Come July 1, retailers will longer be allowed to give out plastic bags. KHON2.

The federal government has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the mother of 5-year-old Talia Williams. Talia died July 16, 2005, after nearly seven months of almost daily beatings at the hands of her father, former Schofield Barracks soldier Naeem Williams, and her stepmother, Delilah Williams. Star-Advertiser.


It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good. Hurricanes Iselle, Julio and Ana that threatened Hawaii Island last year brought with them some valuable lessons on how best to prepare this year. West Hawaii Today.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting an “above-normal” hurricane season with 5 to 8 tropical cyclones expected to affect the Central Pacific this season.  That’s more than the average season of 4 to 5 tropical cyclones in a typical year, which includes tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes. Maui Now.


The Kauai County Planning Commission on Tuesday approved a homestay permit application for the first time in more than a decade. Garden Island.

A group of employees at the Kauai Humane Society is calling for the dismissal of KHS executive director, Penny Cistaro. Garden Island.

The Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting a public hearing to consider requests for surf and stand up paddling schools and boating companies at Hanalei Bay and Black Pot Beach Park to amend the “Rules and Regulations Relating to the Use of Parks and Park Facilities by Peddlers and Concessionaires.” Garden Island.


Former Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison, the majority owner of the island of Lanai, has proposed a lot of new projects for the Pineapple Island, including building a third luxury resort, a research university, more residential projects, a bowling alley and a film studio — and he is still considering those projects and other developments, Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa told Pacific Business News.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hurricane forecast to be released today, Kauai to rescue seabirds, cable company could have new owners, Monsanto protests across the islands, radio antenna to be moved at state expense, gay marriage a money-maker, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii hurricane season
Central Pacific Hurricane Center, U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jessica Kendziorek
Experts from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center will unveil their predictions for this hurricane season that runs from June 1 through the end of November. At 10:30 Tuesday, leading experts are expected to release the 2015 Central Pacific Hurricane Season outlook.  Joining the forecasters will be Governor David Ige and administrators from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. KHON2.

Charter Communications Inc. is close to an agreement to buy Time Warner Cable — the second-largest cable and Internet service company in the nation and parent of Hawaii’s Oceanic Time Warner Cable — for $55.1 billion in cash and stock. Pacific Business News.

Demonstrators planted coconut trees and waved signs in rallies across the Hawaiian Islands as part of an international day of protests against agriculture business Monsanto. Associated Press.

New Hawaii state Senate President Ron Kouchi announced the final lineup of committee chairmanships and leadership positions Friday morning, mostly settling unresolved posts from the rocky transition to power. Civil Beat.

The State Senate confirmed the chairs for all 14 committees under Senate President Ronald Kouchi. Hawaii Independent.


The state Department of Transportation plans to spend $5 million to relocate a privately owned radio antenna in an effort to resolve a complex set of problems that has delayed a $550 million Honolulu Harbor modernization project more than a year. Star-Advertiser.

Details of a plan to put up a senior affordable rental housing complex and community center on a closely watched city property along River Street are to be unveiled by Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Several dozen local residents put their software coding skills to work this past weekend, competing to design phone apps and other solutions aimed at tackling Oahu's growing transportation challenges. Star-Advertiser.


Since the state legalized same-sex marriage, hundreds of gay couples have tied the knot on Hawaii Island, with a majority of them coming from out of state. As of March 2, 444 same-sex couples wed on the Big Island after the state’s marriage equality law went into effect on Dec. 2, 2013. Those couples accounted for 13.7 percent of all marriage licenses issued on Hawaii Island, according to data provided by the state Department of Health. Tribune-Herald.

Faced with a county Board of Ethics delay of his complaint against Mayor Billy Kenoi, Kapaau resident Lanric Hyland has filed a separate complaint against Finance Director Deanna Sako. West Hawaii Today.

For most, it’s welcome financial help. For one, the offer didn’t settle well. With a large contribution from the Thirty Meter Telescope’s education fund, Hawaii Community Foundation has divvied out $100,000 in scholarships to 25 students from around the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

A 2007 report by a Colorado firm hired to provide an independent evaluation of the risks involved in developing the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea warned of serious headwinds, the high probability of litigation and a complicated and lengthy regulatory process. Star-Advertiser.

Organizers behind an effort to build a network of mixed-use trails through some of Hilo’s most scenic spots say that they could break ground on the first phase in September. Tribune-Herald.


A bill passed by lawmakers this month to establish a regulated, statewide medical marijuana dispensary system could affect thousands of patients in Maui County. Maui News.

There's been no debate about what generated the Legislature's passage this month - over the objections of state law enforcement officials - of a bill to establish a statewide system of medical marijuana dispensaries. Maui News.


Around 80 people rallied near the Lihue Airport on Saturday against agriculture company Monsanto. Garden Island.

The Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project is conducting annual radar monitoring of two nocturnal seabird populations, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said in a news release Monday. Star-Advertiser.

If plans for a proposed subdivision behind the middle school on Olohena Road move forward, it could involve building a new connection to the Kapaa Bypass. Garden Island.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hawaii turns Obamacare program over to feds, House speaker tries to hobble ethics director, teachers challenge union election decision, tuition hikes scaled back, military beefed up, layoffs for Kaho'olawe Island commission, Hawaii hospitals, Kaui DuPont workers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

By AlaskaDave (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Waimanolo Beach, photo by Alaska Dave
Waimanalo Bay Beach Park was named the top beach on an annual top 10 list of U.S. beaches compiled by a coastal science professor known as Dr. Beach. Associated Press.

Hawaii is switching its Obamacare program to the federal exchange, meaning 37,000 residents insured through the Hawaii Health Connector will have to re-enroll via the federal marketplace for coverage in 2016, Gov. David Ige's administration confirmed Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

House Speaker Joe Souki is calling on the Hawaii State Ethics Commission to reject many of the new policies it has put in place since Les Kondo became its executive director in 2011. The five-member commission has been reviewing Kondo’s performance over the past four months, his first formal evaluation in three years, and plans to take up the issue at its next meeting Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Three teachers who say they won the Hawaii State Teachers Association election plan to go to court on Tuesday to try and force the union to uphold the already counted election results, unless the organization takes action on its own before then. Civil Beat.

The man who won the election last month to become the next president of the state's teacher union said he will go to court to prevent union leaders from throwing out the results and holding another vote. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige has approved a final payment to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser to cover lawyers' fees in a lawsuit the newspaper filed to force former Gov. Neil Abercrombie to disclose the names of nominees for appointments as state judges.

The State Auditor has released a follow-up to its 2012 report on the state Department of Education’s transportation woes. That audit slammed the DOE for numerous problems related to how it managed its school bus services and made 20 recommendations for improvement. Civil Beat.

The Army's commander in the Pacific said Thursday one of his top priorities is incorporating the growth of U.S. soldiers assigned to the region. Over 100,000 soldiers are now assigned to the U.S. Pacific Command, Gen. Vincent Brooks said in an interview. That's up from about 80,000 before President Barack Obama implemented his policy of "rebalancing" U.S. attention to the Asia-Pacific region, he said. Associated Press.

Tourism numbers would seem to be at all-time highs, but a deeper dive into the data shows that the visitor spending may not be as rosy as it appears. Hawaii Public Radio.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents on Thursday took the unusual step of scaling back tuition increases for the next two school years in an effort to keep tuition affordable. Star-Advertiser.

UH regents vote to divest from fossil fuels. The University of Hawaii, with 53,000 total students, is now the largest university in the world to have divested from the fossil fuel industry so far. Hawaii Independent.


An updated master plan for the Hawaii State Hospital includes development of a new 150-bed long-term care facility on the site of the Bishop Building located near the front of the Kaneohe campus, a state official said. Star-Advertiser.

Don’t expect a quick decision on whether the City Council will override Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s veto of Bill 6, legislation that would have expanded the city’s sit-lie law beyond business and commercial districts. On Thursday, Council Chairman Ernie Martin said he and his colleagues would review the mayor’s offer to work on a different version of the bill before deciding their next step. KITV4.


The West Hawaii region of the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. is planning layoffs to address budget shortfalls. But it is not yet clear what the reduction in force will look like, or how it will impact services at Kona Community and Kohala hospitals. West Hawaii Today.

A task force is taking on a troublesome bike lane design on Queen Kaahumanu Highway where it passes through Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

The first of several fee increases at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park kicks in June 1. While entrance fees will increase annually in $5 increments from its current price of $10 per vehicle to $25 in 2017, the annual Tri-Park Pass will remain at $25 until 2017, when it will jump to $30. The vehicle pass is valid for seven days. Tribune-Herald.


Laying off half of its staff and periodically closing the Kahoolawe base camp may be in the future for the Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission. Maui News.

The state Department of Transportation hopes emergency funds from the federal government will help make shoreline repairs to the Olowalu section of Honoapiilani Highway, but residents insist the department focus its efforts, and money, on moving the highway mauka to the planned Lahaina bypass. Maui News.

Stock price for Maui-based software firm Code Rebel soars after IPO. Code Rebel is the first Hawaii-based technology company to have an initial public offering in 10 years. Pacific Business News.

Maui’s Hāmoa Beach in the remote east end of the island has once again claimed a spot on the top 10 Best Beaches in America list compiled by Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University. Maui Now.


Seed company DuPont Pioneer has laid off 23 employees on Kauai as part of a plan to consolidate a parent seed facility in Kekaha with one in Waialua on Oahu, officials said Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Global seed giant DuPont Pioneer is shuttering its Kekaha facility and serving pink slips to 34 workers in a move company officials say will help streamline operations. Garden Island.

The Pacific Missile Range Facility is earmarked to receive $30 million in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016 on Thursday by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Garden Island.

An endangered monk seal is set to return to Kauai shores today after veterinarians on Oahu removed a large fish hook from its esophagus. Garden Island.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Court upholds Hawaii ban on contractors' campaign donations, Caldwell to veto Honolulu homeless bill, DuPont shutters Kauai facility, Kenoi touts $99M bond issue, Maui bus fare hikes cut, monk seal flown to Oahu to remove fish hook, rebuilding trust in police, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii police on parade © 2015 All Hawaii News
State lawmakers are hoping to rebuild public trust in the state's police departments by increasing state oversight and changing policies. But a number of bills that aimed to reform the law enforcement community died during the 2015 session. Associated Press.

A federal appeals court panel on Wednesday upheld Hawaii's ban on political donations by state and county contractors. The three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco also upheld the state's transparency laws allowing the public to "follow the money" in campaign contributions. Star-Advertiser.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Hawaii law that prohibits government contractors from giving political donations to state and county candidates, finding that the ban eliminates both actual and perceived corruption. Local electrical construction firm, A-1-A Lectrician, first challenged the law in 2010, saying the state’s campaign finance laws violated its First Amendment rights because it barred contractors from donating to candidates and lawmakers not directly overseeing contract awards and decisions. Civil Beat.

Emergency Money Made Easy, If You’re a Democratic Governor. David Ige, like Neil Abercrombie, had no problem securing funding from Hawaii lawmakers to get his new administration up and running — without providing detailed requests. That wasn't the case for Republican Linda Lingle. Civil Beat.

Leadership changes in the state senate will have a big impact on the next legislative session. The new president of the senate, Ron Kouchi, is an unusual leader in several ways, including the fact that he comes from a neighbor island. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. David Ige’s public schedule is now available online, making it easier to keep tabs on where he’s going and who he’s seeing. His predecessor, former Gov. Neil Abercrombie, had provided a similar service in the form of weekly public calendars. But until now, tracking Ige’s whereabouts over the past six months since he took office had proven a bit challenging. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association says an election held last month for union leaders will not count because some teachers never got their ballots. So the state’s 13,500 public school teachers will have to vote all over again next month, and some, including the candidates, are not happy about it. KHON2.

U.S. Marines and sailors are demonstrating for military leaders from around the Pacific how to land troops on a beach. Associated Press.

The final vote to decide whether the University of Hawaii will divest from the fossil fuel industry will take place today. A “Yes” vote would make the UH System, with 53,000 total students, the largest university in the world to divest so far. Hawaii Independent.

Veterinarians with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday assessed a Hawaiian monk seal for a procedure to remove a fishhook it swallowed. Star-Advertiser.

An endangered Hawaiian monk seal was transported from Kauai to Oahu after the animal swallowed a fish hook. The Coast Guard said Wednesday crews working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used an HC-130 Hercules airplane to move the injured seal to Oahu for medical treatment. Associated Press.

Hawaiian Airlines will end its service to Sendai, Japan, in September, citing low growth in the market. Pacific Business News.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he plans to veto an expansion of the sit-lie laws, which prohibit people from sitting or lying at specific times in areas of Waikiki, Chinatown and downtown that are zoned for commercial and business activities. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council members want Mayor Kirk Caldwell to consider the Hilo Hattie flagship store site in Iwilei as the location for a homeless transition shelter. Star-Advertiser.

An additional five properties along Oahu's future elevated transit line could be on track for full or partial seizures by eminent domain. The board overseeing the island's 20-mile, 21-station rail project will consider passing resolutions to start condemnation procedures for the latest properties during its regular meeting Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

A jetty off of Queen's Beach in Waikiki has become a popular spot for feeding fish. But some see a connection between the practice and recent shark sightings nearby. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu City Council is including funding in the City’s Budget to combat the growing populations of noisy animals in communities island-wide. Hawaii Public Radio.


Mayor Billy Kenoi is proposing the county take on an additional $99 million in debt to build a host of new projects during his final 18 months in office. West Hawaii Today.

If common ground was found during a talk-story session Tuesday evening about the Thirty Meter Telescope, it’s that Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners and astronomers can view Mauna Kea as a source of knowledge. But regarding how the mountain should be used, speakers at the event were light years apart. Tribune-Herald.

The controversial $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project may be sputtering on the ground in Hawaii but elsewhere it appears to be all systems go. Star-Advertiser.

Administrators of East Hawaii’s health care system said patient care was their No. 1 concern as they weighed cutting employees and services to meet an anticipated $7 million shortfall in the coming fiscal year. Hawaii Health Systems Corp.’s East Hawaii Region announced Tuesday night it would cut multiple services and lay off 87 employees. The cuts will impact Hilo Medical Center, Ka‘u Hospital and Hale Hoola Hamakua. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County and the National Park Service appear as far apart as ever on the question of how the Keauhou aquifer should be managed. West Hawaii Today.

A Rat Lungworm Awareness Forum was held at the Pahoa Community Center this past Sunday, and the topic drew a large crowd of concerned residents. Big Island Video News.


Proposed fare hikes for the Maui Bus will be excised from the county budget, currently under consideration by the County Council, if a recommendation from the council's budget committee chairman is accepted. Maui News.

The entrance fees to Haleakalā National Park will undergo a staggered increase over the next three years to meet national standards for parks with similar visitor amenities. Maui Now.

Maui County Business Resource Center presents Starting a Business in Maui County with Karen Arakawa this Tuesday, May 26. MauiTime.


Global seed company DuPont Pioneer has shut down its facility in Kekaha, Kauai and plans to consolidate its parent seed operations with another facility in Waialua on the North Shore of Oahu. Laurie Yoshida, spokeswoman for the company, said that DuPont Pioneer has laid off 23 employees and plans to lay off 11 more once the closure is complete. Civil Beat.

The Kauai Police Department is seeking grants for 105 Axon cameras for officers to wear. It would cost an estimated $124,000 annually to equip officers with cameras, although details on when those devices could be online on Kauai hasn’t been hashed out. Garden Island.


Sea Link of Hawaii withdrew last week its petition to reduce its twice-daily ferry route between Molokai and Maui and intends to submit a new petition to run the ferry only on an "as-needed" basis, according to company President and Senior Capt. Dave Jung. Maui News.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Prosecutor fights sex trafficking bill, Thirty Meter Telescope work ongoing behind the scenes, lawmakers scrutinize work furlough program, 90 Big Island hospital workers face layoffs, governor signs stormwater fee, B&Bs buck Kauai law, Honolulu Handi-Van woes continue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki at night © 2015 All Hawaii News
Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro is urging Gov. David Ige to veto a bill that would establish "sex trafficking" as a crime in Hawaii, while supporters of the same measure are mobilizing to persuade Ige to sign it into law. Star-Advertiser.

A Senate committee looked into the state’s work furlough program for prison inmates today.   The focus was on the increasing number of inmates who walk away from the program. Hawaii Public Radio.

While the state's work furlough program for prison inmates has proved to be successful, a recent rash of nearly two dozen prisoners walking away from custody has lawmakers considering tweaks to improve the system. Star-Advertiser.

Some high-profile escapes unresolved, work furlough program scrutinized. KHON2.

Governor signs 'rain tax' bill into law. Bill gives counties power to impose new stormwater fee. KITV4.

Cigarette use among island children ages 12 to 17 has dropped, according to a new federal study, and health officials hope that a bill that would make Hawaii the first state to raise the legal smoking age to 21 will further cut young people's cigarette use. Star-Advertiser.

Nelson Doi, a self-acknowledged political maverick, was remembered Tuesday as among the best political orators in Hawaii after World War II and a staunch supporter of the economically underprivileged. Star-Advertiser.

Nelson Kiyoshi Doi, former lieutenant governor, judge and state senator, died earlier this month in Waimea. He was 93. West Hawaii Today.


Some seven months after the Handi-Van system was upgraded with badly needed new vehicles and real-time scheduling software, Oahu transit officials acknowledge that the big fixes they'd hoped to see aren't taking hold yet — and riders still have plenty of horror stories to share. Star-Advertiser.

Can Honolulu’s Sit-Lie Ban Pass Constitutional Muster? What started with a push by the mayor to get the homeless out of Waikiki is now an ever-expanding effort by the City Council in the face of a migrating homeless population. Will a legal challenge put a stop to it? Civil Beat.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell is expected to sign a rezoning bill Wednesday for the contentious 11,750-home Ho‘o­pili project in West Oahu, but opponents say their fight is far from over. Star-Advertiser.

At least one classroom at James Campbell High School in Ewa Beach will be getting air conditioning later this year, after a student-run fundraising campaign raised $21,710. Civil Beat.

For the third time in the past three decades Hawaii will once again play host to the Asia-Pacific Real Estate Congress, with more than 300 attendees expected to attend this fall. Pacific Business News.


Nearly 90 employees will be laid off and some services will be cut at Hilo Medical Center, Ka'u Hospital and Hale Ho'ola Hamakua because of a projected $7 million deficit in the fiscal year starting July 1. The hospitals comprise the East Hawaii Region of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, the state funded hospital system which is facing a $50 million shortfall overall for fiscal 2016. Hawaii News Now.

Despite the ongoing standstill atop Mauna Kea, those behind the Thirty Meter Telescope are moving forward with the $1.4 billion project. Tribune-Herald.

A new law allowing hospital privatization will likely lead to a public-private partnership between Kona Community Hospital and The Queen’s Medical Center within five years, and the construction of a free-standing emergency room near the Kona International Airport. West Hawaii Today.

Puna Geothermal Venture finished drilling a new well earlier this month intended to offset a drop in production at the 38-megawatt power plant outside Pahoa. Tribune-Herald.

The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority has improved its transparency and accountability to the public, but some problems remain, the state auditor said in a report issued Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.


The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development announced that it was issuing a new Request for Proposals (RFP) on a proposed Maui County municipal utility or co-op. MauiTime.

Slowly, more bits and pieces of a former home of Hawaiian royalty are becoming visible to archaeologists, researchers and a group trying to restore a West Maui gem. Maui News.

Phase I of the bypass road between Hana Highway and Puunene Avenue is expected to be completed by July. Maui News.


“The Planning Department’s tactics are bullying tactics.” That comment from Greg Allen gave voice to the anger and frustration many B&B operators are feeling after the county sent cease-and-desist letters telling them they had two weeks to shut down or risk facing $10,000-a-day fines. Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Waikiki businesses to help pay for beach widening, police bills DOA, iconic Coco Palms coming down, Nago to remain elections chief, Hawaii shines at foster care, Maui wants dancing defined, Big Island mulls Roundup ban, Kauai takes up B&B bill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki Beach © 2015 All Hawaii News
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed two city ordinances Monday that will tax Waikiki commercial property owners and raise millions of dollars to combat beach erosion and shore up coastal infrastructure in the state's top tourist destination.Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has signed two bills creating a special improvement district in Waikiki to require commercial property owners to subsidize the restoration of the eroded beach. Civil Beat.

Waikiki Beach loses tons of sand each year and obtaining funding from the state legislature to replenish it takes at least a couple of years.  Today, two City and County ordinances were signed into law to enable surrounding businesses to contribute to maintaining the beach. Hawaii Public Radio.

This year, state lawmakers introduced a record number of bills aiming to modernize and restore trust in Hawaii’s county police departments, yet only one of the police reform bills passed. Civil Beat.

Children in foster care in Hawaii are far likelier than those in other states to live with a family, rather than in a group setting, and to be placed with relatives, new data show. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Elections Commission voted Monday to keep Scott Nago as Chief Election Officer for another four years, according to the commission's head William Marston. KITV4.

Inmate escapes have nearly tripled in Hawaii over the past few years and every time it happens, officials say there will be consequences. KHON2.

Living Hawaii: Our Retirement Boom May Cost Us Dearly. People live longest in the country's most expensive state. They're putting off retirement or planning to work until they drop. It all comes at a price. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources reminds the public that the moi fishing season is closed June 1 through Aug. 31. Star-Advertiser.


A military plane crash that killed a Marine and injured several other service members during a training exercise in Hawaii has renewed safety concerns about the Marine Corps' new airplane-and-helicopter hybrid. Associated Press.

Toraki Matsumoto served his beloved Central Oahu community with distinction during his 17 years on the Honolulu City Council. Matsumoto, 86, died May 2 at Kuakini Medical Center. Star-Advertiser.


The County Council is poised to strike the word “Roundup” from its budget, but it remains to be seen if substituting “vegetation management” on paper will make a big change on the ground. Just one dollar out of every $14,627 in the county budget is spent on roadside spraying for weed control. That, however, didn’t stop opponents from devoting the greater part of Monday to asking it be struck from the $438.8 million budget. West Hawaii Today.

Despite an increase of $200 for a fine for driving while on a cellphone, Big Island motorists are still using their electronic devices while navigating local roadways. According to the Hawaii Police Department, there have been 824 citations issued so far this year for use of a mobile electronic device while operating a vehicle. West Hawaii Today.

Nelson Doi, who served as lieutenant governor from 1974 to 1978 with Gov. George Ariyoshi, died Saturday at his home in Waimea, Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.


It remains to be seen when a section of the Haleakala Trail that used to take people to the summit will be open to unguided hikes even if a tentative settlement giving the state ownership of the trail is confirmed next month, a state official said Monday. Maui News.

Opinion: After something like a decade of earnest testimony and moneyless lobbying, it looks like the Maui Dance Advocates may finally–FINALLY!–win their fight to force the Maui County Department of Liquor Control to do something they’ve steadfastly refused to do: define “dancing.” MauiTime.

The second annual Startup Weekend Maui proved that it is possible to create a startup - and a pretty good one - in just 54 hours. Maui News.


The Kauai County Council will meet at 1:30 p.m. today to listen to comments from the public regarding possible zoning ordinance changes that deal with permits for bed-and-breakfast operations. Garden Island.

Demolition of Kauai’s long-shuttered Coco Palms Resort is scheduled to begin in the next 30 or 60 days, clearing the way for the redevelopment of the iconic property into a Hyatt-branded hotel. Pacific Business News.

Newer and more reliable transportation is coming to transit riders in Kauai County. The county purchased 20 new buses that will be used to replace older ones in the Kauai Bus fleet. The total number of buses will remain unchanged at 56. Associated Press.

Kauai County has purchased 20 new buses that will be used to replace older vehicles in the aging Kauai Bus fleet. The total number of buses in the fleet will remain unchanged at 56. Garden Island.

Legislators from Kauai will recap the recently completed session at the May 28 meeting of the Lihue Business Association. Garden Island.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Osprey safety concerns Japan as military games begin in Hawaii, Honolulu Osprey crash kills one, injures 21, bill closes more government records, teacher's union tosses votes, Kauai, Maui wrapping up county budgets, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Elizabeth Merriam, U.S. Navy.
U.S. Marine Corp amphibious assault vehicle splashes into the sea, Department of Defense photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Elizabeth Merriam, U.S. Navy
Amphibious military capabilities are on the agenda as the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy host defense leaders from around the Pacific in Hawaii this week. The first-of-its-kind meeting comes as territorial disputes over islands are growing more heated in the region. U.S. treaty allies Japan and the Philippines are expected to attend along with U.S. partners like Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. Altogether, 23 nations will join the meeting. Associated Press.

A fatal crash of a U.S. Marine Corps Osprey in Hawaii has renewed safety concerns in Japan, where more of the hybrid aircraft are to be deployed. Gov. Takeshi Onaga on the southern island of Okinawa said Monday that flights of Ospreys should be suspended until the cause of the crash is found. Associated Press.

One Marine died after an MV-22 Osprey aircraft crashed in a "hard-landing mishap" at Bellows Air Force Station in Wai­ma­nalo during a routine training exercise late Sunday morning. Twenty-one others were sent to three Oahu hospitals with varying degrees of injury following the 11:40 a.m. incident. Star-Advertiser.

A Marine Corps Osprey aircraft made a hard landing on Bellows Air Force Station near Waimanalo, Oahu on Sunday, killing one Marine and sending 21 other people to hospitals as dark smoke from the resulting fire billowed into the sky. Associated Press.

Honolulu firefighters and emergency crews are responding to a downed military aircraft at Bellows Air Force Station in Windward Oahu that killed one person and injured several others. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers have approved a new exemption to the state open-records law that allows government records to be withheld from the public if releasing that information "would create a substantial and demonstrable risk of physical harm" to a person. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association's board of directors has rejected the results of ballots cast for a new union president and other state officers, and says it will redo the elections. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Teacher's Association held an election and then a runoff vote for union leadership positions, but the board decided not to certify either set of results. Some members are questioning the union's credibility. Civil Beat.

The state said it’s close to identifying the source of what appears to be a chemical spill that led to a large fish kill in Pearl City discovered Friday. KHON2.

Robert ‘Bobby’ Bunda Stepping Down from HART Board. The former lawmaker has been overseeing the Honolulu rail project since 2011. He says he's leaving to spend time with family. Civil Beat.


Opposing sides have agreed to come together to discuss the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope project during a series of informational meetings beginning Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

The Commission on Water Resource Management will be in Kailua-Kona next week to take up the petition to designate the Keauhou aquifer a state water management area. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County residents will see lower property tax rates, but may be still paying more in taxes with rising property valuations. Maui News.

A tentative settlement has been reached in the Haleakala Trail lawsuit that will hand the state ownership of the old path to the summit, which runs through the middle of Haleakala Ranch lands. Maui News.

The 2nd Annual Startup Weekend Maui kicked off on Friday, May 15, with nearly 30 entrepreneurs pitching business startup ideas in front of an enthusiastic audience of 80-plus like-minded individuals at the Maui Economic Development Board’s Malcolm Center in Kīhei. Maui Now.

Two Maui startups got the chance to pitch their ideas to Silicon Valley investors during the third annual MaiTai Maui Tech Night at Maui Tropical Plantation on Wednesday. Maui News.

The Kauai County Council wrapped up its decision-making process on Friday with a unanimous vote to cut $314,000 from the mayor’s proposed budget for the upcoming 2016 fiscal year. Garden Island.

James Pfleuger, the Kilauea property owner who was convicted for his role in the Ka Loko Dam break that killed seven people is now a free man. Garden Island.

Celebrity real estate deals on Kauai's North Shore abound: Slideshow. Pacific Business News.


A bill to give the ailing Molokai ferry a subsidy to stay afloat for a little more than a month passed out of a Maui County Council committee Friday afternoon. Maui News.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Honolulu homeless funds cut, Navy brass wants more female sailors, El Nino could bring more hurricanes, UH investigates officer over bullying, racism complaints, Hawaii Community College-Palamanui on schedule, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu homeless © 2015 All Hawaii News
A full-court press lobbying effort by Mayor Kirk Caldwell and his top lieutenants failed to persuade the City Council Budget Committee to restore $616,000 that the administration insists is critical to providing housing for the homeless. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands of warnings, a couple of hundred citations, but only a few arrests. That's what the latest data shows when it comes to removing the homeless from city sidewalks under Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s program of compassionate disruption. KITV4.

After 11 terms on the Kauai County Council and five years in the Legislature, Ron Kouchi is hardly new to politics. And yet his ascension last week to the state Senate presidency caught many off guard. Civil Beat.

Concerns over implementation costs and oversight requirements stymied efforts to pass comprehensive anti-bullying legislation this session, but Hawaii lawmakers and advocates say they are optimistic they can resurrect the bill next year. Civil Beat.

The No. 2 officer in the Navy envisions a day when 25 percent of warship crew members are women. Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michelle Howard knows that percentage on ships and across the Navy is a ways off, but efforts are underway to reach that goal, she said. Star-Advertiser.

Watch out, Hawaii. As sea surface temperatures heat up in the Pacific under the spell of El Nino, the islands could see a replay of the busy 2014 hurricane season. Star-Advertiser.

Today kicks off hurricane season for the Eastern Pacific, and even though we are in the Central Pacific, we need to keep an eye to the East for any development, especially with the rise of a strong El Nino year. Hawaii News Now.

The current Council on Revenues members’ terms end on June 30, but all were reappointed for another term starting July 1. Pacific Business News.


A record number of Oahu residents have cast their vote for the 2015 Neighborhood Board election, according to the Honolulu Neighborhood Commission Office. With a day still left before the ballot closes, nearly 18,500 people have already voted in the all-online election, surpassing the previous record set during the last election in 2013 by nearly 20 percent. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii has launched an internal investigation of UH-Manoa's chief academic officer over faculty and staff complaints alleging bullying and racist and sexist behavior. Star-Advertiser.

The former chief attorney for the city is expected to join the University of Hawaii as general counsel. Star-Advertiser.

As chairman of the Mililani/Waipio/Melemanu Neighborhood Board, Dick Poirier supported a bill that would reinvest rental fees and other revenue collected at the 269-acre Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park — equipped with aquatics and sporting facilities — to help pay for much-needed improvements and maintenance. Star-Advertiser.


A grass-roots drive to reduce pesticide applications along the roadways is getting encouragement from Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille, who said she’s suggested people come to the County Council meeting on Monday to testify about taking the products out of the county budget. West Hawaii Today.

Because of the community’s insistence and persistence, Hawaii Community College-Palamanui will open on time, University of Hawaii administrators told a crowd in Kailua-Kona Thursday evening. West Hawaii Today.

It’s still not clear when the Kona Country Club’s ocean golf course will open. Renovations that began in the first quarter of 2013 could wrap up by the fall, but the completion date is still a moving target, the project’s superintendent John Hamilton said. West Hawaii Today.

VIDEO: Ethics Board Defers Action On Mayor Kenoi. Big Island Video News.


More than 10 years ago, a new stadium was envisioned for Lahainaluna High School on Maui. The project is finally just about at the end, but what’s holding it up from getting an opening day? KHON2.

A $123,640 project for ADA Improvements at Hoʻokipa Beach Park is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. on Monday. Maui Now.

A free community workshop on how to nominate historic properties for the state and national registers of historic places will be held Friday in Wailuku. Maui News.


The North Shore Shuttle will come to an abrupt halt at 9 tonight after the County Council approved a motion to eliminate funding for the service by a 4-2 vote Thursday. Garden Island.


The state legislature failed to provide 2 million dollars for the restoration of Kaho’olawe this session.   But the William S. Richardson School of Law hosted a panel discussion recently on the island’s future. Hawaii Public Radio.