Friday, October 30, 2015

Dengue fever spreads on Big Island, Ethics Commission probes lawmaker spending, special session set to confirm judges, Kewalo Basin development planned, Maui Dems to learn about presidential contenders, Lihue’s Town Core revitalization, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is reportedly in talks with a couple of suitors, including Hyatt Hotels and multiple Chinese entities, and while anything is possible, a Hyatt-Starwood marriage could start some waves in Waikiki. Pacific Business News.

State Ethics Commission staff say lawmakers may have misused their taxpayer-funded annual allowances, and they plan to take a closer look at recent expenditures, particularly those for meals, hotels and event tickets. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii state Senate will convene in special session next week to consider three judicial nominations. Last week, Gov. David Ige appointed Shirley M. Kawamura, the current District Court Judge of the First Circuit, to the First Circuit Court, and Melvin H. Fujino, the current District Family Court Judge of the Third Circuit, to the Third Circuit Court. Also last week, Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald appointed James C. McWhinnie to the District Court of the First Circuit. Civil Beat.

State health officials are pulling overtime to resume posting inspection reports for long-term care facilities online as required by law, but so far it’s only for certain types of homes and there are no guarantees how long the agency will keep up with it. Civil Beat.

A bitter — and increasingly costly — dispute between an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee and her fellow trustees is entering its third year, with no settlement in sight. Earlier this month a state circuit court judge in Honolulu set a trail date of Oct. 31, 2016, in the case of Akana v. Machado, named for Rowena Akana and Colette Machado, a former chairwoman of the OHA Board of Trustees. Civil Beat.


After a decade of trying, Chad Callan and his team at the Oceanic Institute of Hawaii Pacific University have finally unlocked the mystery of the yellow tang. Star-Advertiser.

People who serve their full prison sentences are at great risk of becoming homeless on O’ahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

As part of a program that encourages people to get off public assistance, state officials recently gave a Waipahu family a $30,000 check. The money represented five years of savings: As part of the program, rather than the state keeping rent increases that public housing or Section 8 families must pay when their income goes up, those funds went into an escrow account. Hawaii News Now.

How much — or little — commercial development is appropriate around Hawaii’s only commercial small-boat harbor is being assessed by a state board after two developers presented revised proposals Thursday to develop underutilized state land bordering Kewalo Basin in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

A controversial permit request to construct a church, parking lot and other facilities on a Mililani Mauka site that serves as a water quality detention basin was approved Monday, despite opposition from several community members. Star-Advertiser.


At least two people, and likely four more, have been infected with dengue fever after being bitten by mosquitoes on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

Despite calls from the public for more openness and transparency, the Maui Liquor Control Commission waived its selection process again Wednesday - choosing not to solicit a list of applicants - and after meeting behind closed doors re-appointed Dana Souza as director of the Department of Liquor Control. Maui News.

The Maui County Democratic Party will host a County Committee Meeting and a Democratic Presidential Caucus Information Session on Tuesday, Nov. 3, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Lihikai Elementary School Cafeteria in Kahului. Maui Now.


Kauai’s vision for the future of Lihue’s Town Core is what helped secure $13 million in federal money to improve the city. Garden Island.

In the last dozen years, Ed Lyman has helped free 22 humpback whales from entanglements, recovering buoys and more than 9,000 feet of fishing line that were once wound around the bodies of these majestic endangered species. Garden Island.

Native Hawaiian activist and Molokai resident Walter Ritte Jr. announced Wednesday that he is no longer seeking to be a delegate to a Native Hawaiian constitutional convention, calling the process "not pono" and asking others to boycott the election of delegates beginning next month. Maui News.

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