Monday, August 31, 2015

Hawaii paniolo cowboys honored, state workers rack up big overtime, Hawaii Health Connector extended, lights in sky likely 1981 Soviet payload, park service to poison Haleakala pine trees, Micronesian center opens, little interest in Hilo university village, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Little cowboys on parade © 2015 All Hawaii News
The Hawaii Tourism Authority honored four ranches on Thursday for their commitment to perpetuating the state's unique paniolo, or Hawaiian cowboy, traditions that date back to the early 1800s. Pacific Business News.

A handful of state workers who are responsible for allocating federal funds to county water projects have raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime pay in recent years, raising concerns that staff has been abusing overtime and sabotaging efforts to upgrade antiquated accounting processes that would make things more efficient. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige isn’t anyone’s idea of a disruptive force, but he helped to shake up the islands’ power elite at the recent 2015 Asia Pacific Resilience Innovation Summits & Expo at the Honolulu Convention Center. The unassuming governor turned the clean-energy event on its side in his opening-day speech when he made it clear that he intends to help drive a radical transformation of Hawaii’s most critical industry: electricity. Civil Beat.

The state of Hawaii is likely to extend the operations of the Hawaii Health Connector through October 2016 for $3.3 million, the health insurance exchange’s officials announced Friday at its board of directors meeting. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Board of Education is slated to consider a considerably scaled-back student discipline policy on Tuesday, after delaying a vote on the proposal for more than three months while trying to address the concerns of school principals. Civil Beat.

Many residents across the state observed unusual streaks of light or a “fireball” over Hawaiian skies late Sunday night, raising questions about what it could possibly be. An official with NASA's orbital debris program told Hawaii News Now that based on investigations, the object was likely a Soviet payload -- Cosmos 1315 -- launched in 1981. Hawaii News Now.

A new Hawaii law requires private insurers to cover medically necessary orthodontic work of up to $5,500 for oral-facial anomalies. That brings the Aloha State in line with 16 other states and Medicaid insurance. Star-Advertiser.

Gridiron 2015, put on by Honolulu’s press corps, public relations pros and supporters, poses the question “Is nothing sacred?” And the answer is a resounding “no.”  Star-Advertiser.


The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has its sights set on establishing 300 acres of pristine forestland near Hawaii Kai as the Pia Natural Reserve Area. The parcel was offered as a donation by interests that include retired car dealer James Pflueger and is home to a variety of rare plants and animals. Civil Beat.

A City Council bill to allot some parking spaces for car-sharing companies passed third reading unanimously and was signed into law by Mayor Kirk Caldwell this month. Star-Advertiser.

On Friday, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced plans for the city’s next protected bike lane and future mauka makai routes to establish a grid in urban Honolulu. KITV4.

The first military “gasifier” waste-burning power plant on Oahu — using palms damaged by the coconut rhinoceros beetle as some of its fuel — is expected to be up and running by the end of the year as part of a $20 million Air Force energy “microgrid” demonstration project for the Hawaii Air National Guard at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

A “one-stop center” pilot project that aims to help Micronesians in Hawaii was opened in Kalihi Friday. The center wants to serve as a “central hub” linking Micronesian communities, families and individuals with public services and other resources. Civil Beat.

The Department of Agriculture appears to have won the battle against the little fire ant, one of the world's most invasive species in some Honolulu neighborhoods. Associated Press.


Ka‘u residents angered by a massive solar energy project are changing county law to prevent another of its kind from landing in a residential area. West Hawaii Today.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo hopes to boost interest in plans for its University Village after a request for offers from developers attracted only one applicant. Tribune-Herald.

Lower electricity rates will translate to slightly lower water bills for households that get their water from the county Department of Water Supply. West Hawaii Today.

Plans to redevelop an aged resort area into an educational hub at Kahaluu are making their way through the regulatory process. West Hawaii Today.

Friday afternoon marked the final of three public sessions to review suggestions for a master plan aimed at promoting beautification and improved access to Hilo’s downtown. Tribune-Herald.

Following the August 27 oral arguments before the Hawaii Supreme Court in appeal of the state land board’s approval of the Thirty Meter Telescope’s conservation district use permit, the appellants and their supporters are feeling positive. Big Island Video News.


To prevent Haleakala Crater from turning into a pine forest, the national park will be flying helicopters in September and October to 3,000 invasive trees growing on cliffs and terrain inaccessible by foot and spraying a herbicide tree by tree. Maui News.

The Shops at Wailea sold for $342 million earlier this month to a Chicago-based company that has investments worldwide, according to state records. Maui News.

Until recently, the record-setting, nearly $41.8 million sale of a 4.23-acre residential property in Makena has been hush-hush, supposedly shrouded in secrecy and tied up in binding confidentiality agreements. Associated Press.

A&B Properties, Inc. today announced it has completed the sale of an 11-acre site to Lowe’s for the construction of a 167,000-square-foot store at Phase II of the Maui Business Park in Kahului. Maui Now.

Maui Now received multiple reports late Sunday evening of mysterious lights seen over the night skies.

Kaihalulu Beach in Hana is well-known as a dramatic hidden cove of deep red sand and jagged black lava rocks, but getting there can be dangerous. Maui News.


The state is accepting public comment until Sept. 8 on plans that would limit daily visitors to Kauai’s Haena State Park. Star-Advertiser.

The Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative is refining an effort that uses low-powered lasers to create a visual "light fence" that helps night-flying endangered seabirds steer clear of power lines and transmission poles. Star-Advertiser.

Ask any beekeeper the worst thing to hit the islands since Hurricane Iniki and they’ll probably tell you this: Varroa mite. Garden Island.

The road to Polihale State Park will remain closed until at least Wednesday while crews work to clear debris from the roadway and repair the first bridge, according to the State Department of Land and Natural Resources. Garden Island.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Hawaii Supreme Court hears Mauna Kea Thirty Meter Telescope case, Hurricane Ignacio veers slightly north of islands, Waikiki sand still contaminated with bacteria, PUC approves Molokai ferry changes, Honolulu homeless to be rousted soon, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy ʻŌiwi TV screen shot
Hawaii Supreme Court screen grab, courtesy ʻŌiwi TV
 The Hawaiʻi Supreme Court heard oral arguments today for a case challenging the issuance of the Conservation District Use Permit by the Board of Land and Natural Resources to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo for the TMT project. Oiwi TV.

The legal battle over the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope drew a step closer to resolution Thursday when the state’s highest court heard oral arguments in the case. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Supreme Court justices expressed skepticism about the state Land Board’s process of approving construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea during oral arguments in a case challenging the state’s endorsement of the $1.4 billion project. The justices grilled state attorneys Thursday about whether the Board of Land and Natural Resources was wrong to approve a permit for the project in 2011 prior to holding a contested case hearing. Civil Beat.

Attorneys representing the state, the University of Hawaii and opponents of the planned Thirty Meter Telescope project presented their cases in oral arguments before the Hawaii Supreme Court in Downtown Honolulu Thursday morning. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii’s Supreme Court has heard oral arguments in a case involving building one of the world’s largest telescopes on Mauna Kea. Opponents are challenging a permit allowing the telescope to be built on conservation land. Associated Press.

Hawaii Supreme Court hears Mauna Kea telescope case. KITV4.

Long before dozens of people were arrested while protesting against building a giant telescope atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, there were years of environmental studies, public hearings and court proceedings. Associated Press.

The chair of the Mauna Kea advisory group to the University of Hawaii said he is offended by Governor David Ige’s request that the management of 10,000 acres of mountain land leased by UH be returned to the jurisdiction of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources. Big Island Video News.

Hurricane Ignacio has maintained its speed in the Central Pacific as its track takes the storm near the Hawaiian islands. The National Hurricane Center said at 5 a.m. Friday, Ignacio was located approximately 840 miles east-southeast of Hilo. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association is challenging the Ethics Commission’s stance that public school teachers may not travel free as chaperones on students’ educational field trips that they organize with tour companies. Star-Advertiser.

Establishing direct flights between Honolulu and Hong Kong and London are the top priorities for Hawaii visitor industry leaders when it comes to establishing air service with underserved international markets, according to an informal poll taken Thursday at the state's annual tourism conference. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Thursday it’s a top priority for Hawaii that the U.S. be able to process Japanese travelers for immigration and customs before they even get on a plane for the islands. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s largest interisland cargo carrier has encountered what it hopes is the first ripple of a rebound in goods it transports between islands. Star-Advertiser.

The United Health Foundation ranks Hawai‘i number 1 among states in overall health, crediting us with double digit decreases in smoking and binge drinking in the last two years.  Still, 22% of Hawai‘i’s  population is considered obese, a situation three fitness buffs are trying to address. Hawaii Public Radio.

For a second consecutive month, those overseeing Honolulu’s rail project have held off approving a nearly $9 million delay claim for Ansaldo Honolulu, the firm that’s creating the elevated transit system’s rail cars and operating system. Star-Advertiser.

Time is now running out for 20 to 25 people who, if still living on the outer edges of the Kakaako homeless encampment Sept. 8, will be rousted from their makeshift homes in the first sweep since conditions there sparked renewed efforts to address Oahu’s homeless problem. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced Thursday that the city will resume the enforcement of the storage property and sidewalk nuisance ordinances in the Kakaako homeless encampment after Labor Day. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell defended his administration's effort to shore up areas of Waikiki during a tourism industry event held on Thursday, including recent city efforts to continually raise funds for replenishing sand on Waikiki beaches that are lost to erosion. Pacific Business News.

The first partial sweep of the Kaka‘ako homeless encampment will take place the day after Labor Day.  Mayor Kirk Caldwell says notices will be given to people living there next Monday—telling them to leave.  The area is a small portion of the Kaka‘ako Waterfront where about 20 to 25 people are living. Hawaii Public Radio.

Environmental groups are calling for updates to Hawaii's wastewater systems in the wake of two beach closures due to sewage from a treatment plant spilling near the ocean. Associated Press.

UH Manoa study points to bacteria left in sand post-sewage spill. KITV4.

When nearly half a million gallons of raw sewage poured into Ala Moana Beach Park on Monday, the city tested nearby areas for bacteria levels caused by the sewage spill. But it didn't test for sewage in Waikiki that day. Hawaii News Now.

About 1 million gallons of treated but not yet disinfected wastewater have spilled on the Windward Shore, forcing health officials to close beaches from the Halona Blow Hole to Erma’s Beach on Thursday. Civil Beat.

The Environmental Protection Agency is taking the next step in addressing questions about the Navy’s Red Hill fuel storage facility.  More than 140 comments were received during the public comment period over the Navy’s Administrative Order on Consent to repair and maintain the facility. Hawaii Public Radio.


A veil of secrecy was drawn tightly around a hearing Wednesday and Thursday over pay and benefit packages for the county’s 14 Fire Department battalion chiefs, who say their compensation has not kept pace with their unionized counterparts in the department. West Hawaii Today.

The Big Island’s first hydrogen production facility, part of a $5 million demonstration project, will be built in Kona rather than Puna. Tribune-Herald.

The Queen’s Health Systems is in discussion with Kona Community Hospital about a potential partnership on Hawaii's Big Island. Pacific Business News.

The public will soon have vehicle access to part of a massive forest reserve on the southeastern slopes of Mauna Loa. West Hawaii Today.

A new lava flow has started pouring from Kilauea's Pu'u O'o vent on the Big Island.  The breakout first started early Thursday morning and is headed in a new direction. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. sought flexibility in the amount of scheduled guaranteed power it would supply Maui Electric Co. during recent power purchase agreement negotiations because the sugar plantation said it needs to trim its use of coal and other fossil fuels and to improve its operations, according to a filing with the state Public Utilities Commission last week. Maui News.

The landmark Buzz's Wharf Restaurant, which closed last year, may be leveled after nearly 50 years at Maalaea Harbor to make way for dry dock space and increased boat traffic. Maui News.

The Maui Ocean Center plans to release six juvenile green sea turtles into the open sea this afternoon to continue their life in the wild. Maui Now.

Six juvenile turtles were released from the Ali'i Nui tour boat in a private ceremony for aquarium staff, members of the Hawaii marine science community and dignitaries.Maui News.


U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, shared his thoughts on this and other topics he is working on in Washington, D.C. during a wide-ranging discussion with the Lihue Business Association Thursday morning, and he also sat down for an interview with The Garden Island.

The beach fronting the St. Regis Princeville Resort reopened following a 2,000 gallon sewage spill caused by a broken line. Garden Island.


The Public Utilities Commission has approved Sea Link of Hawaii's proposed changes to its sailing schedule and operations to help keep the Molokai ferry afloat. Maui News.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hurricane Ignacio strengthens, Hawaii schools last in nation for ACT scores, ethics charges cast pall over Honolulu rail vote, Supreme Court to hear Thirty Meter Telescope case today, Maui council forgives $4M homeless shelter debt, Waikiki beaches reopen after sewage spill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy National Hurricane Center
Hurricane Ignacio 5 a.m. Thursday, courtesy National Hurricane Center
Hurricane Ignacio is quickly strengthening in waters east-southeast of Hawaii and is forecast to track toward the state. The National Hurricane Center said at 5 a.m. Thursday, Ignacio was located approximately 1,135 miles east-southeast of Hilo. It had maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Ignacio could become a Category 3 hurricane by Friday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii saw a slight increase in the percentage of high school students meeting college readiness benchmarks on the ACT last year, but still posted the lowest average composite scores in the nation, according to a report released Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Amid sweeping educational reforms aimed at better preparing Hawaii’s public school graduates for college, the state’s average ACT composite score improved only slightly last year to 17.5, trailing the national average of 21 out of 36, according to results released Wednesday for the national college entrance exam. Star-Advertiser.

For the first time, the pool of money set aside to pay for health coverage for Hawaii’s future state and county retirees climbed to more than $1 billion in July, but fund managers didn’t have much time to savor that achievement. Star-Advertiser.

Visitor spending in Hawaii last month rose 4 percent to $1.42 billion, compared to a year ago, as arrivals grew 6 percent, the strongest month on record, putting the state on course according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.


Campbell Estate heiress Abigail Kawananakoa is demanding that the city either stop funding the $6 billion rail project or have the City Council vote again on measures that have been called into question by the Ethics Commission. The issue stems from former Council members Romy Cachola and Nestor Garcia paying fines to settle cases brought by the commission for voting on bills and resolutions involving rail without first divulging possible conflicts of interest. Star-Advertiser.

Officials building Honolulu’s $6 billion commuter rail line thought they got a good deal when a local contractor submitted a construction bid for three stations in west Oahu that came in lower than expected. Then, after being awarded a $56 million Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation contract, Nan, Inc., apparently had second thoughts about doing the work and has since tried to wriggle out of its obligations. Civil Beat.

One of Hawai‘i’s most popular beaches is back in business. Honolulu city officials announced the reopening of Waikīkī and Ala Moana Beach after test results revealed nearshore waters were no longer contaminated. And while the beaches were closed for two days, tourism officials are hopeful it won’t impact the image of Hawai‘i as a visitor destination. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ala Moana Beach Park and Waikiki Beach reopened Wednesday after test results indicated near-shore waters were never affected by sewage gushing into the ocean from Monday’s monster rainstorm. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell admits that mistakes were made and the city should be more prepared for the storms to come this hurricane season. KHON2.

U.S. Air Force researchers will develop a microgrid demonstration project for renewable fuel sources at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam under a new $20 million agreement announced today by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. Civil Beat.

Nearly 100 Oahu residents gathered Tuesday to listen to a developer make his case for 51 wind turbines to be moored in the ocean 12 miles northwest of Kaena Point. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that his leadership team worked with a group of service providers to relocate about 10 percent of homeless people who were living at the encampment in Kakaako. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments today in a case involving building one of the world's largest telescopes on Mauna Kea. Associated Press.

Lanakila Mangauil and the foundation for kapu aloha. Part two of our profile on Joshua Lanakila Mangauil examines the origins of the kapu aloha, a Hawaiian philosophy of non-violence and respect that the Mauna Kea defenders are using to deflect development advances on the sacred mountain. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii County residents applying for building permits during the past two months might have found the process to come with less red tape than usual. In an overhaul of the permit review process, the county as of July 1 instituted a new three-tier classification system that allows nearly half of applications to be expedited and began pre-screening applications to weed out those that are faulty and incomplete. Tribune-Herald.

Ohia trees and products may no longer be shipped off the Big Island in a new state effort to keep a deadly fungus from spreading into forests on other islands. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Council agreed Tuesday to forgive a loan of more than $4 million to Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center, saying the action would do more good than harm and would be for the "common good." Maui News.

The Maui County Council approved on first reading Tuesday a bill to allow roadside stands, farmers markets, agriculture retail structures and food establishments as accessory uses in the county agricultural district. Maui News.

The Maui Ocean Center plans to release six juvenile green sea turtles into the open sea this afternoon to continue their life in the wild. Maui Now.

Hawaii Pacific Health and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii submitted their proposals Monday afternoon to privatize public hospital facilities in Maui County, said Wesley Lo, chief executive officer of the Maui Region of the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. Maui News.


On Kauai, visitor numbers reached as high as 115,666 last month. While that wasn’t an island record, it is the largest influx of visitors in recent years. Garden Island.

Not your typical classroom. Tucked away in the lush North Shore landscape, Kauai Community College satellite gives farmers, others easy college access. Garden Island.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New tropical storm on Hawaii horizon, attorney general charges Kauai lawmaker for campaign spending violations, county bus system settles ADA lawsuit, Maui council wants to forgive $4M loan, error caused Honolulu sewer spill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy National Weather Service
Tropical Storm Ignacio 5 a.m. Wednesday Aug. 26, courtesy National Hurricane Center
Tropical Storm Ignacio has intensified slightly as it continues on a westward track in the Eastern North Pacific. At 5 a.m. Wednesday, Ignacio was located approximately 1,425 miles east-southeast of Hilo. It had maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour with higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center. Hawaii News Now.

Tropical Storm Ignacio continued to strengthen and remains on track to become a hurricane and pass close to the Big Island on Monday. At 5 a.m. Wednesday, the storm was about 1,425 miles east-southeast of Hilo, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, moving west at 9 mph. Tropical storm force winds extend 60 miles from the center. Star-Advertiser.

Section 8 Waiting Game: Even With Vouchers in Hand, There May Be No Place to Rent. Participants in the federally funded rental subsidy program may wait years to finally become eligible for subsidies, but then still struggle to find housing in Hawaii’s rental market. Civil Beat.

State Rep. James Tokioka has entered into a plea agreement to settle a charge by the state attorney general’s office that he “recklessly” filed inaccurate reports detailing donations to his re-election campaign last year. Star-Advertiser.

The state Attorney General’s office is charging Rep. James “Jimmy” Tokioka for violating campaign finance reporting requirements during the 2014 election. Garden Island.

The state Attorney General has filed charges against a state lawmaker for a campaign reporting violation. Kauai Representative James Tokioka is scheduled to appear in court next Monday. KHON2.

A proposed merger between the parent company of cable provider Oceanic Time Warner and Charter Communications Inc. is currently before the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Tribune-Herald.


A breakdown in communication led to a spill that dumped more than 500,000 gallons of sewage into the ocean at Ala Moana Beach Park on Monday morning, a city official said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu beaches from the Kapahulu Groin to Point Panic remained off-limits Tuesday and will stay closed pending the results from water testing, city officials said. Civil Beat.

Portions of Hawaii's famed Waikiki Beach remained closed Tuesday as the City and County of Honolulu made plans to reopen Ala Moana Beach Park on Wednesday, two days after untreated wastewater overflowed from manholes near Ala Moana Center and into storm drains that led to the ocean. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu city officials are clarifying the reasons that Waikiki Beach remains closed today.  Heavy rains from tropical depression Kilo soaked the state and led to a wastewater and sewage spill. Hawaii Public Radio.

Many beachgoers showed up at beaches in the Ala Moana and Waikiki area Tuesday, unaware that the beach areas were closed because of possible contamination from more than 500,000 gallons of sewage that flowed into the ocean from storm drains near Atkinson Drive. Shoreline waters were closed from Point Panic in Kakaako to the Kapahulu Groin at the other end of Waikiki. On Tuesday officials clarified that Ala Moana was closed because of the sewage spill, while Waikiki beaches were closed because of a brown water advisory from storm runoff. Star-Advertiser.

It's not only an eyesore – it's illegal. Overgrown trees and bushes are threatening public access to beaches in East Oahu. KITV4.

A second Kakaako condominium tower developer is seeking relief from a state rule governing the opaqueness of window glass. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii County has embarked upon a two-year plan to improve services for those disabled individuals who can’t ride the Hele-On public bus system. The paratransit plan, which will cost about $800,000 the first year, is part of a 20-page settlement agreement signed Aug. 13 by U.S. District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi in Honolulu after the county was sued for not complying with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. West Hawaii Today.

West Hawaii got its first glimpse Tuesday of what the commute along Queen Kaahumanu Highway — or a trip to the airport — will be like for a couple of years. West Hawaii Today.

The Hamakua community gathered at the Honoka’a Gym on Tuesday evening (Aug. 25) to discuss possible solutions to the issues that surround the Waipi’o Valley Access Road. The County of Hawaii is offering to assist the Waipi’o Valley residents and stakeholders in a road improvement project, if the community supports the idea. Big Island Video News.


A Maui County Council committee is proposing to forgive repayment of more than $4 million that the county loaned in 1998 to Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center for construction of its Hale Makana O Waiale rental housing facility in Wailuku. Maui News.

Maui police said the Kahului airport’s Emergency Operation Center received a call threatening harm to an outbound flight Tuesday morning. Star-Advertiser.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific Health are competing to become the first private managers of state hospitals. Pacific Business News.

Small-business owners interested in learning the basics of government contracting are invited to attend a free workshop Sept. 17 at the Maui Beach Hotel. Maui News.


A 2,000 gallon sewage spill is keeping The St. Regis Princeville Resort guests out of the water fronting the high-end hotel while state health officials wait on water sample test results. Garden Island.


A $1.2 million project to replace a 19,500-gallon steel water tank in Ho`olehua with a sturdier concrete tank is nearing completion. It’s a replacement that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) hopes will provide a better long-term solution for water pressure problems in the area. Molokai Dispatch.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sewage spills close famed Waikiki beaches, hit two other islands, Ige nixes liquefied natural gas, Public Utilities Commission sets hearings on Hawaiian Electric sale, Maui mulls parking meters, Catholic cardinal gets Kona DUI, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki Beach © 2015 All Hawaii News
Waikiki Beach and much of Oahu’s South Shore were placed off-limits Monday after more than 500,000 gallons of sewage, mixed with stormwater, spewed into the ocean from heavy rainfall. Star-Advertiser.

Miles of beaches are still closed Monday night after about half a million gallons of raw sewage overflowed on Atkinson Drive and then poured into the Waikiki side of Magic Island. Hawaii News Now.

Heavy rain caused numerous wastewater discharges across Oahu on Monday, from Kaneohe to Waikiki, where state officials closed Waikiki beaches on Monday due to a 500,000 gallon sewage spill near Ala Moana Center. Pacific Business News.

A massive sewage spill has shut down miles of beaches along Waikīkī and Ala Moana. Flooding from heavy rains caused more than 500,000 gallons of sewage to overflow from manholes near Ala Moana Center. Hawaii Public Radio.

Heavy rains triggered a half-million gallon sewage spill in Honolulu, prompting city officials Monday to close most of the beach fronting Waikiki. Associated Press.

An estimated half a million gallons of sewage water has spilled from a 69-foot pipe that's currently backed up. EMS warns beachgoers to stay out of the water until further notice. KITV4.

The area between Point Panic at Kakaako Waterfront Park to Kapahulu Groin in Waikiki is closed because of Monday’s sewage spill along Ala Moana Boulevard that was estimated to be 500,000 gallons. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige blew a hole in the plans of Hawaii utilities to burn liquefied natural gas to generate electricity, saying it would only delay the state’s eventual switch to renewable energy. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Monday that the state does not need liquefied natural gas as part of its energy future and says Hawaii should focus on developing renewable energy rather than importing LNG. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Electric Co. is not backing down from its commitment to ship liquefied natural gas to Hawaii, following Gov. David Ige’s new stance made known on Monday that he is in opposition to LNG being imported to the state as a replacement for oil. Pacific Business News.

The Public Utilities Commission will be conducting public listening sessions next month on the proposed merger of Hawai’i’s major electricity provider. Hawaii Public Radio.

Inmate Work Furlough Program: Statistical Success or a Public Danger? Prison reform advocates and tough-on-crime proponents glean different conclusions from the same numbers concerning well-publicized prisoners who walk away — and the few who commit new crimes. Civil Beat.

Linda Lingle says she’s not giving political advice to her new boss Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, even though he considers her a “superstar.” The former Hawaii governor, who spent eight years at the helm of the Aloha State, is now earning $198,000 as Rauner’s chief operating officer. But in a recent interview she insists she’s only helping with the day-to-day operations of the state. Civil Beat.


State Rep. Marcus Oshiro contends the number of homeless people in Wahiawa is woefully underreported, so he’s bringing together government officials, landowners, businesses and social service providers Tuesday night to get a clearer picture of what’s really going on. Star-Advertiser.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a major landowner around the Kakaako homeless encampment, is in talks with state and city officials about using one or two of its Kakaako properties to create short-term housing that could potentially accommodate all of the estimated 300 homeless occupants. Star-Advertiser.

While the Honolulu Police Department has not implemented a body camera program, some officers are using their own personal devices while in the field. Associated Press.

A printing problem is plaguing the state’s largest daily newspaper and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser doesn’t know when it will be fixed. KHON2.


Pepeekeo’s Hu Honua Bioenergy Facility once again has taken the top spot on the Hawaii State Energy Office’s list of renewable energy projects. The list ranks 45 of the state’s top clean energy leaders and is updated twice a year. Hu Honua first took the top spot in January. Tribune-Herald.

A decade after Hawaii County created a new sign ordinance and then backed off enforcing it, questions are arising in Kailua-Kona about what are and are not legal signs. West Hawaii Today.

School started for Hawaii Community College students at their new Palamanui campus on Monday morning. West Hawaii Today.

One of the high-ranking American officials of the Roman Catholic Church was arrested for drunken driving late last week in Kailua-Kona. The Most Eminent Cardinal William Joseph Levada, 79, of Menlo Park, Calif., was stopped at about midnight Thursday on Hina Lani Street and charged with DUI, according to the police arrest log. Tribune-Herald.

Approximately 70,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater was released into waters near the Kulaimano Wastewater Treatment Plant in Pepeekeo between Sunday evening and Monday morning. Star-Advertiser.


On Friday, Aug. 28. the Maui Redevelopment Agency will take up a number of issues, all of which are parking-related. The agenda shows that the big new item involves the potential “use of Capital Improvement funds for the construction of additional parking at the Wailuku Municipal Parking lot” but “old business” includes items like the “Parking Pricing RFP” and discussion on “Revisions to Parking ordinance” that will likely involve parking meters. MauiTime.

Maui County students and teachers are feeling the heat this school year with temperatures reaching 90 degrees nearly every day this month and causing principals to look for relief from state legislators and the Department of Education. Maui News.


A sewage spill happened at the Princeville Wastewater Treatment Plant sometime between Sunday and Monday, according to Marshall Lum, a supervisor of the state Department of Health’s Wastewater Branch. Garden Island.

Apollo Kauai, a grassroots organization that promotes the use of alternative energy, is hosting a discussion on climate change called “He moku he wa’a,” which means “an island is a canoe.” Garden Island.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hawaii schools seek more money, Office of Hawaiian Affairs spends beneficiary funds protesting Thirty Meter Telescope, Maui chancellor undecided about Haleakala telescope, bikeshare coming to Honolulu, councilwoman seeks Ethics Board change, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Google screenshot
Google screenshot of Duke Kahanamoku tribute
In celebration of the 125th anniversary of Duke Kahanamoku’s birth, Google changed its search banner in his honor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii public schools could see a boost in funding next school year under a committee's recommendation to increase the state's pot of per-pupil funding by $26.5 million.Star-Advertiser.

First-Ever Head of Hawaiian Education Foresees ‘Revolutionary’ Changes Dawn Kaui Sang’s new role brings big challenges as she looks to redefine language immersion programs and make sure every student in the state learns about Hawaiian culture — something long mandated by a constitutional amendment but with “varying degrees of implementation.” Star-Advertiser.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs spent almost $5,000 to support a massive public demonstration in Waikiki earlier this month, one focused on land use in the islands in general but opposition to the Thirty Meter Telescope in particular. Many organizations contributed to the march. What’s different about OHA’s support is that it is a quasi-state agency using money designated for Native Hawaiian beneficiaries. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. and NextEra Energy Inc. might be forced to respond to further questioning about their proposed $4.3 billion merger. In a Wednesday filing with the state Public Utilities Commission, the Hawaii Division of Consumer Advocacy requested the PUC subpoena HEI President and Chief Executive Officer Constance Lau and NextEra Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer James Robo to compel their testimony. Tribune-Herald.


The Honolulu Police Department plans to launch a program that would provide first responders with medical, health and other information on callers to help improve response times. Star-Advertiser.

Bike-share programs can be found in major cities all over the world, and soon one will debut in Honolulu in May 2016, but the president of Bikeshare Hawaii says, although it’s meant to ease traffic and promote fitness, riders say there are still concerns.KHON2.

The Blood Bank of Hawaii could soon find itself free of the threat of eminent domain for its main donor site in Kalihi — and in a better position to negotiate with Honolulu rail officials. Star-Advertiser.

With just nine days left before the deadline, the Ka Iwi Coast Coalition announced they had raised the $500,000 needed to buy the 182 acres mauka of the Ka Iwi Shoreline. KITV4.

After being in the works for nearly two decades, the Culinary Institute of the Pacific in Hawaii is slated to break ground within the next month after receiving the necessary building permits needed to begin construction. Pacific Business News.

State Department of Transportation officials say that due to safety and maintenance concerns, they plan to soon replace Maipalaoa Bridge, which spans Maili Stream. Star-Advertiser.


Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille wants to see a larger, more independent Board of Ethics, and she’s working on a charter amendment to do just that. Wille said she’s sponsoring a bill for a charter amendment to change the current selection process from a five-member board appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the County Council to a nine-member board with each council member appointing a representative, subject to confirmation by the full council. West Hawaii Today.

For nearly five years, James Borden has been a fixture of Kinoole Street. His signs’ messages have ranged from anti-President Obama invectives and anti-Islam rhetoric to a more recent anti-abortion focus, the latter a result of what Borden recently deemed a “spiritual prompting.” Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii’s Makai Ocean Engineering has completed the world’s largest operational ocean thermal energy conversion power plant at its facility in Kona on the Big Island. The OTEC plant, which produces electricity from the ocean using the temperature difference between deep, cold and warm water surface seawater, marks the first plant of its kind to be connected to a U.S. electrical grid. Pacific Business News.

An ex-Kamehameha Schools Hawaii employee fired almost a year ago for alleged improper use of a purchasing card is suing the private school, claiming she was wrongfully terminated. Tribune-Herald.

One year after Tropical Storm Iselle toppled hundreds of albizia trees and caused millions of dollars of damage in Puna, the fast-growing tree species remains a major threat not only on Hawaii island, but across the state. Star-Advertiser.


The chancellor of University of Hawaii Maui College calls educational grant funding the college receives from construction of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope "a good thing," even as the telescope is facing stiff public opposition, including protesters who are among the college's faculty and students. Maui News.

Speaking the same day as eight activists were arrested last week protesting the ongoing construction of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz sought a middle ground in which the beliefs of protesters are respected while the rule of law is upheld. Maui News.

The chancellor of the University of Hawaii Maui College says he is grateful for the grant funding the school receives from construction of a controversial solar telescope, but that overall he is neutral on the issue. Associated Press.

Mayor Alan Arakawa and his administration will hold a series of community meetings in September and October to receive comments and suggestions for the proposed budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year. Maui News.


Uluwehi Falls kicked back on Wednesday after two weeks without water. “The waterfall has miraculously begun to flow again,” Kevin Katzmann, owner of Wailua River Guides, told The Garden Island Thursday. “The waterfall is flowing stronger this morning than it has in weeks.” Garden Island.

Due to press malfunctions, there will be no delivery of Sunday's print edition of The Garden Island.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hawaii economy perking, state, county offices closed for Statehood Day, feds troubled by Honolulu's homeless children, Kauai term limits repeal doomed, Mauna Kea Thirty Meter Telescope conflict in court, Oahu senator violated ethics code, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Shoppers in Waikiki © 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii’s economic expansion is shaping up to be better than the state expected. Accelerated growth, more tourists, higher spending, increased construction permits and low unemployment were among the encouraging indicators in separate reports issued Thursday that showed the state is headed in the right direction. Star-Advertiser.

The construction industry in Hawaii continues to boom, with the value of private building permits issued during the first half of 2015 increasing by about 37 percent as compared with the same period a year ago, according to a new report by state economists. Pacific Business News.

Occupancy at Hawaii hotels increased on all islands last week, while the statewide average daily rate rose 2 percent, according to the weekly report from Hospitality Advisors LLC and STR Inc. Pacific Business News.

County and state offices will be closed on Friday, Aug. 21, in observance of Statehood Day, which is a state holiday. KHON2.

How serious is discrimination against Micronesians living and working Hawaii? Very serious, and it is found in our schools, our hospitals and clinics. It is also having a direct impact on Micronesians trying to find affordable housing and steady work. So said a dozen officials, social workers and community activists who shared their views at a hearing at the Hawaii State Capitol on Thursday. Civil Beat.

In an apparent effort to rein in speculation about her ambitions, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced Thursday that running for vice president of the United States “is certainly nothing I’ve ever thought of doing.” Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard says she’s open to the idea of running for vice president next year. The two-term Hawaii congresswoman said during a visit to Kauai on Wednesday she would consider an offer from a presidential candidate to join his or her ticket, the Garden Island newspaper reported. Civil Beat.

Pay raises totaling $1 million for nearly 200 University of Hawaii executives will take effect retroactive to July 1 following a unanimous vote Thursday by the university’s Board of Regents. Star-Advertiser.

Connecting the electric grids on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island needs to be continued to be looked at, the head of the Hawaii Energy Office told Pacific Business News in a recent exclusive interview. The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission is in the midst of a review process to determine if an undersea cable would be in the public interest.

No new cesspools could be installed in Hawaii if state Department of Health rule changes are adopted by Gov. David Ige. Maui News.


The head of the state Ethics Commission said Thursday State Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland has ignored his advice for five years that her involvement as the organizer of a popular children's event breaks the ethics code. Hawaii News Now.

The head of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness drove through the Kakaako homeless encampment this week and called it “one of the larger ones I’ve seen.” Star-Advertiser.

Peter Boylan is best known in Hawaii as a political operative, the former deputy chief of staff to the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye and campaign spokesman for former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s failed Senate bid last year. But as of Monday, Boylan is the Honolulu City Council’s housing coordinator, a newly created position aimed at helping the Council address the city’s lack of affordable housing. Civil Beat.

Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting should speed up permitting for state public housing projects, members of the City Council Zoning and Planning Committee said Thursday. The panel passed a resolution introduced by Council Chair Ernie Martin that urges the agency to work closely with the Housing Authority to minimize unnecessary delays in permitting. Civil Beat.

Alongside the lush and steep windward coast of the Hawaii island of Oahu researchers are creating images of coral reefs that are in danger of dying because of warm ocean waters. They are taking high-definition 360-degree panoramic images of the reefs and using them to monitor and study the health of corals over time. Associated Press.

The developer of a luxury condominium on the corner of Kapi’olani Boulevard and Ward Avenue is awaiting a crucial and, potentially costly, regulatory decision next month by the State. Hawaii Public Radio.


The struggle for access to Mauna Kea continued Thursday during a hearing in Judge Ronald Ibarra’s Environmental Court. The case is a challenge to the emergency rule preventing people being on the access road or within one mile of either side from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and prevents camping supplies being held in the area. West Hawaii Today.

The University of Hawaii must move more quickly to adopt the administrative rules that will empower it to govern the island’s highest summit. That’s according to Oahu Rep. Andria Tupola, who made the case in Kailua-Kona on Thursday that the Office of Mauna Kea Management must take decisive action. West Hawaii Today.

The Intermediate Court of Appeals has ruled that a charter school employee in Hilo violated the state ethics code by ordering and approving purchases for the school from his family businesses and is liable for $10,000 in fines levied by the state Ethics Commission. Star-Advertiser.

A dedication ceremony for a unique keiki playground took place at the Mauna Kea Recreation Area on Monday. Big Island Video News.


Eight protesters were arrested early Thursday after police said they found trees, rocks and glass on the roadway ahead of a convoy of telescope parts and materials traveling to the 10,000-foot summit of Haleakala. Star-Advertiser.

A total of eight people were arrested overnight during a demonstration against the ongoing construction of the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope atop Haleakalā. Maui Now.

Thirty Meter Telescope opponents, who continue to maintain a small camp near the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station, joined protesters on Maui as they attempted to block construction of a solar telescope. Tribune-Herald.

Two Wailuku patrol officers involved in a fatal shootout on Lower Main Street in June are back at work on full duty, after being found fit to return to their jobs, police officials said Wednesday. Maui News.


Council Vice-Chair Ross Kagawa expects to come up one vote short in his quest to repeal term limits. Garden Island.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. returned a bill to repeal Kauai’s barking dog ordinance to the County Council on Thursday, unsigned. Garden Island.

State regulators said Thursday that a Hanalei River restoration project site does not appear to have discharged large amounts of sediment into Hanalei Bay as a result of heavy rainfall earlier this week. Garden Island.

A blessing was held Thursday to mark the opening of Kolopua, a workforce-housing complex in Princeville. Garden Island.

The Haena State Park of the future could include controlled entry, a 900-person daily visitor cap and beach access by way of an elevated boardwalk. More than 200 people gathered at the Hanalei School cafeteria Wednesday to hear Kimi Yuen, senior associate with contractor PBR Hawaii, explain the vision mapped out in a plan geared at renewing the park’s emphasis on Haena’s cultural and historical significance while resolving issues pertaining to large crowds, lack of parking and too much traffic. Garden Island.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Maui telescope protesters arrested, Honolulu mayor plans fence to keep out homeless, Hawaii councilwoman drinks geothermal water, $135M Coco Palms project advances, teachers plan ethics lawsuit, Lanai's Ellison rescues cats, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii coffee cherry © 2015 All Hawaii News
Prices for Hawaii-grown coffee rose to a record this past season, but growers of the crop statewide produced fewer beans that added up to less total revenue, according to a new report. Star-Advertiser.

State Lawmakers were briefed today on the latest tax collection modernization effort started more than 15 years ago. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii State Teachers Association may take legal action against new educational travel rule. KHON2.

A social investment firm has joined Hawaii Gas in calling on the state Public Utilities Commission to force NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric to turn over internal emails about using liquefied natural gas to help power the islands. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii agency wants NextEra Energy Inc., which is proposing to buy Hawaiian Electric Co. for $4.3 billion, to commit to not having any involuntary workforce reductions for four years after the closing of the deal, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.


Sitting on the Diamond Head bank of Kapalama Canal, Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed a bill Wednesday that adds more pressure on the persistent homeless encampment by making it illegal to put anything into the already fetid and littered drainage canal. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced Wednesday morning that a one-mile fence will be constructed along the Kapalama Canal from Olomea Street to Kalani Street on both sides of the waterway. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell vetoed a bill Wednesday that would expand the city's ban on sitting and lying down in public to more pedestrian malls. Associated Press.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell vetoed a bill Wednesday that would expand the city's ban on sitting and lying down in public to more pedestrian malls.KITV4.

In a city with a growing homelessness crisis, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell visited an Oahu canal lined with tents sheltering homeless people to sign a bill banning camping on the banks of city-owned streams. Associated Press.

A business deal brokered more than 10 years ago during a clandestine meeting at an Italian restaurant in Hawaii Kai has set the stage for a bitter legal dispute that today embroils a Honolulu rail contractor in allegations of fraud, deception and profiteering. Nan Inc. recently won a $56 million contract to build three West Oahu rail stations. The company, which has taken advantage of federal minority business programs, is at the center of state and federal lawsuits alleging questionable business practices. Civil Beat.

The honu hubbub at the USS Arizona Memorial has been resolved. The famed sunken battleship, a grave for most of the ship’s 1,177 crew members killed on Dec. 7, 1941, was deemed a no-go when the Navy detachment piloting launches to the memorial’s floating dock noticed threatened green sea turtles nibbling on algae near the boat landing, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

City Council Chair Ernie Martin urged Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Wednesday to re-evaluate his current effort to find a private company to replace Honolulu’s streetlights with LED lights. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu City Council Budget Committee gave tentative approval Wednesday to a subsidy for recycling companies that would cost taxpayers more than $1.2 million annually, with nearly $1 million going to an Oregon-based scrap metal company. Civil Beat.

Shirokiya Holdings Inc. will more than triple the size of its food court and beer garden when it opens a $35 million Japanese food village next year on the ground floor of the new expanded Ewa wing at Ala Moana Center. Star-Advertiser.

Fans for Ewa schools are courtesy of state Rep. Matt LoPresti’s “Cool Schools 4 Ewa” initiative, which seeks donations from businesses for fans and air conditioners for Ewa schools. Launched Wednesday, the program had already obtained a donation of 54 fans — six of them purchased by LoPresti — with money from an anonymous donation and a discount from City Mill in Ewa Beach. Star-Advertiser.


Ka‘u Councilwoman Maile David has her concerns about tapping geothermal sources for energy, but that didn’t stop her from drinking water allegedly sourced from a geothermal well or spring Wednesday during a County Council meeting in Kailua-Kona. Tribune-Herald.

North Kona Councilwoman Karen Eoff wants protection of natural and cultural resources to be a foundation of all future planning decisions. West Hawaii Today.

The parent company of Oahu's Castle Medical Center is considering an acquisition of three public hospitals on the Big Island. Associated Press.

East Hawaii’s financially strapped public health care facilities might have a potential suitor in California-based Adventist Health. Tribune-Herald.

A Hilo Circuit Court judge ruled Wednesday he doesn’t have jurisdiction in a case seeking a preliminary injunction to halt construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope. Tribune-Herald.

A woman arrested on Mauna Kea Access Road two consecutive nights last month said her motives have been misunderstood and she intended no disrespect to those attempting to stop the building of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the mountain. Tribune-Herald.

At least eight people were arrested early Thursday morning as hundreds of protesters attempted to block construction of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope on the summit of Haleakala, organizers say. Hawaii News Now.

Several demonstrators were arrested overnight during a blockade on Crater Road as they encountered a convoy carrying equipment and telescope parts to Haleakala for ongoing construction of the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope. Maui Now.

Demonstrators rallied once again late Wednesday night in an effort to prevent a convoy with parts and materials from reaching the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope under construction on the summit of Haleakala. Star-Advertiser.

Less than three weeks after 20 protesters were arrested for trying to block a transport of telescope equipment headed for Haleakala, members of Kako'o Haleakala have planned another demonstration tonight in hopes of stopping another wide-load convoy from reaching the summit. Maui News.

An official with the Global Virtual Studio Accelerator will be providing information today about its efforts to aid the launching of media businesses and projects. Maui News.


The $135 million project to redevelop the famed Coco Palms Resort on Kauai came one step closer to becoming a reality after Kauai County officials on Wednesday released the first set of permits needed to begin demolition work. Pacific Business News.

The Kauai County Planning Department received verification from the State Historic Preservation Division that Coco Palms Hui, LLC has met its agency requirements related to the demolition and reconstruction of the Coco Palms Hotel, the county stated in a press release Wednesday evening. Garden Island.

Hanalei Bay’s blue hue has turned a yellowish brown, and state regulators say sediment runoff originating from the upper watershed are to blame. Garden Island.

A Kauai police officer is facing up to five years in prison for allegedly striking a teenage pedestrian with his patrol car while responding to the scene of an accident earlier this year. Civil Beat.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was the featured speaker at the Kauai Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday. Garden Island.

Buzzfeed has a fun story about how billionaire Larry Ellison, the owner of Lanai, also owns an animal rescue center on the island. The center is needed, as there are more than 400 feral cats on Lanai. Civil Beat.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hawaiian monk seal protections expanded, Maori visit Mauna Kea, more gay tourists sought, Big Island Roundup ban bill yanked, Laniakea barriers coming down, Maui home sold for $41.8M, state mental health hospital due $150M in upgrades, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy NOAA
Hawaiian monk seal and pup, courtesy NOAA
The federal government expanded the critical habitat for Hawaiian monk seals by 7,000 square miles Tuesday, a move aimed at preventing the declining species from going extinct. Civil Beat.

Federal officials are expanding protections for Hawaiian monk seals around portions of the main Hawaiian Islands in an attempt to help save the species,  which is believed to number only about 1,100 and is declining at a rate of about 4 percent a year. Star-Advertiser.

The National Marine Fisheries Service today issued a final rule protecting nearly 7,000 square miles of critical habitat for Hawaiian monk seals, a species considered among the world’s most endangered marine mammals. Maui Now.

Federal regulators have issued a final rule geared at protecting 7,000 square miles of critical habitat for Hawaiian monk seals, one of the world’s most endangered marine mammals. Garden Island.

Dozens of tourism officials are meeting today in Waikīkī to discuss LGBT travel in Hawai‘i. Hotels, tour groups, and local businesses are hoping to better promote the islands as a destination for the gay market. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii's the new state health director, Dr. Ginny Pressler, plans to ask the Legislature for $150 million next session to build a state-of-the-art forensic facility at the Hawaii State Hospital to add more beds, specialized care and better equipment. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Department of Education is planning to beef up the number of investigators tasked with reviewing cases of employee misconduct later this month, one of several initiatives aimed at streamlining a process that can currently drag on for up to a year. Civil Beat.

The Department of Education has placed 43 employees on leave during an investigation into alleged misconduct. Associated Press.

Hawaii had the fewest non-fatal injuries from firearms in 2010 in a comparison of 18 states, including California, New York and Florida, a new study shows. Civil Beat.


Nearly $40 million has been invested in a $200 million plan to revitalize farming in Central Oahu by providing farmers with land, water, housing, packaging and shipping facilities, one of the plan’s major stakeholders said. Pacific Business News.

State transportation officials have until Monday to remove the barriers that have blocked parking at Laniakea Beach, according to the coalition of North Shore community members and activists that sued to bring them down. Star-Advertiser.

As they do every workday, a maintenance crew cleared scores of sidewalks structures and personal belongings Tuesday as the city continued enforcement actions that hit the homeless in areas throughout Oahu where they congregate. Star-Advertiser.

City Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga hopes to preserve and promote industrial uses along the rail transit route through a bill that seeks to offer real property tax incentives. Star-Advertiser.

The number of photovoltaic permits issued by the City and County of Hono­lulu rose 47 percent as they continued reversing a trend that had seen permits fall for two years in a row. Star-Advertiser.

A controversial bill imposing noise restrictions on pet birds in residential zones was shelved by a Honolulu City Council committee Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The city says it has finished counting the number of trash and recycling bins throughout Oahu. It’s a process that took more than eight months. KHON2.

University of Hawaii West Oahu Chancellor Rockne Freitas is retiring at the end of the year. Star-Advertiser.

A combination of restaurant and shopping options could be replacing the Macy's store in Kailua in Windward Oahu after it closes down in early 2016, the head of Alexander & Baldwin Inc.'s subsidiary's Kailua operations confirmed to Pacific Business News.

On Tuesday, local companies wanting to get their products on the shelves at military commissaries showed up at the Hawaii Prince Hotel to hand out their samples. KITV4.


A bill aimed at finding alternatives to Monsanto Co.’s Roundup and other non-organic weed killers was facing certain death Tuesday at the County Council Environmental Management Committee when it was swiftly uprooted by sponsor Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille. West Hawaii Today.

After struggling to come up with a definition of “public purpose,” and in the absence of key players, the County Council Finance Committee on Tuesday postponed a bill to tighten rules governing county purchasing card policies. West Hawaii Today.

A new ad hoc committee will tackle road connectivity in Puna. The County Committee on Public Works and Parks and Recreation discussed the finalization of the committee during an 11 a.m. meeting Tuesday in Kona. Big Island Now.

Big Island Video News caught a glimpse of a special cultural exchange at Pu’u Huluhulu on Monday. Participants say 250 visiting Maori ʻohana from Rotorua, Aotearoa shared song and chant with a large group associated with the Ku Kia’i Mauna movement.

How Lanakila Mangauil came to Mauna Kea. The first installment of a three-part profile of Joshua Lanakila Mangauil, based on interviews conducted over several weeks. Hawaii Independent.


A 6,737-square-foot home on more than four acres in Makena sold for close to $41.8 million in what may be a record for a residential real estate sale on Maui. Pacific Business News.

To ease Maui's pet overpopulation problem, the Maui Humane Society has begun a mobile clinic program that recently spayed and neutered - for free - more than 1,050 dogs and cats in nine days. Maui News.


Two dozen kayak tour operators pored over hydrology maps with state officials Tuesday in hopes of determining why Uluwehi Falls, the crown jewel of the Wailua River kayak tour industry, has dried up. Garden Island.


A Hawaii energy consulting firm and its finance subsidiary plan to develop a microgrid project for the only slaughterhouse on Molokai, the firm told Pacific Business News.