Monday, November 30, 2015

Campaign disclosure law stands, Gabbard back in spotlight, state owes millions to Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Maui mulls water availability rules, Kauai takes up property taxes, barking dogs, more government and political news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The U.S. Supreme Court won't hear a challenge to Hawaii campaign finance laws that require a private company buying campaign ads to register as a political action committee. The justices on Monday rejected an appeal from a Hawaii electrical construction company that spent about $9,000 on political newspaper advertisements during the 2010 election cycle. Associated Press.

Tulsi Gabbard: Rising Democratic star makes mark on party by openly defying it. New York Times.

The state owes nearly $20 million to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands for violating the state Constitution by failing to adequately fund the department for more than two decades, a state judge has ruled. Star-Advertiser.

After an eight day trial which concluded in July, First Circuit Court Judge Jeannette Castagnetti has ruled that the State violated its constitutional duty by its continuing failure to provide adequate funding to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Hawaii News Now.

A judge says the state has to appropriate millions of dollars more to fund the Department of Hawaiian Homelands adequately for the first time since at least 1992. Associated Press.

Is the Native Hawaiian election known as Na‘i Aupuni in trouble? U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued an order Friday blocking the counting and certification of election votes pending a further order by Kennedy or the court. Star-Advertiser.

Supporters of a Native Hawaiian election of delegates to a February convention are urging voters to submit their ballots by the Monday deadline, despite an order Friday by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy temporarily halting the counting of ballots or certification of winners. West Hawaii Today.

Having lost two previous rounds in court, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii prevailed on Friday when a U.S. Supreme Court justice put a stay on the counting of votes in a Native Hawaiian election. Civil Beat.

The final evidentiary hearing in the state regulatory review of the proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaii’s electric utilities will begin Monday. Tribune-Herald.

The state Public Utilities Commission upheld last week its decision to not compel testimony from company CEOs in the upcoming evidentiary hearing on the proposed merger of NextEra Energy Inc. and the Hawaiian Electric companies. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Consumer Advocate says that Jim Robo, the CEO of NextEra Energy Inc., and Connie Lau, CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., should be part of the upcoming regulatory hearing process regarding the NextEra's proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Airlines and other air carriers should expect some pointed questions next year from lawmakers about some long-standing state tax exemptions that are costing the state millions of dollars a year in lost tax collections. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaiian Airlines executive has hinted a brand-makeover could be coming for the Hawaii-based carrier in the next couple of years, including new uniforms. Pacific Business News.


The Hawai'i Convention Center is on track to achieve its highest gross revenue and its lowest net loss since opening in 1998. But tourism officials acknowledge it still has further to go. Star-Advertiser.

One month after Ewa homeowners filed a lawsuit against Haseko Development for deciding to build a lagoon instead of a marina, Haseko representatives met with officials from the city Department of Planning and Permitting to discuss the project’s environmental impact analysis and zone change application. Civil Beat.

State officials say they have found private bidders to help clear out more homeless residents who have been camped along the Kakaako shoreline. Associated Press.

Yet more confirmation that homelessness is at a crisis level in Honolulu: Alternet has listed us along with five other U.S. cities “struggling with a massive homelessness problem and what they are — or are not — doing about it.” Civil Beat.


Department of Health personnel sprayed areas of South Kona, Hilo, Puna and Kau on Sunday in an ongoing effort to combat the spread of mosquito-borne dengue fever on the Big Island. Star-Advertiser.

Homegrown tourism supplements agricultural income as County Council takes up agritourism measure. Tour guide turned vanilla producer Jim Reddekopp just wanted a place to raise his kids. He ended up creating the first commercial vanilla orchid plantation in the United States. West Hawaii Today.


A bill that would repeal the county’s water availability policy, also known as the “show me the water” policy, will be considered by the Water Resources Committee on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 9 a.m. in the Council Chamber.Maui Now.

Just four days before the star-studded and red-carpet-themed Mayor's Kokua Ball in March 2013, Hollywood movie mogul Ryan Kavanaugh fired off emails to Maui County officials, vilifying then-Maui film commissioner Harry Donenfeld and giving them what appears to be an ultimatum - Donenfeld would need to go or the Relativity Media chief would. Maui News.

The state Department of Health will receive written comments and hold public hearings on proposed changes regarding cesspools. Maui News.

A Kahului woman settled a lawsuit against the state Department of Education over inadequate teaching methods and services for her deaf daughter, but added that she will sue again if the proper services are not provided as agreed. Maui News.


Barking dogs, bed-and-breakfasts and the homestead tax cap are all going to be on tap at this Wednesday’s Kauai Council meeting. Garden Island.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is reminding Kaua‘i residents to be mindful of Albatross breeding season between now and July. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maria Costantini is a field assistant for Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project, a state Division of Forestry and Wildlife program that promotes the conservation of Kauai’s native forest birds, all of which are unique to Hawaii, several of which are endemic to Kauai and a few of which are endangered. Garden Island.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Native Hawaiian elections near end as opponents appeal to U.S. Supreme Court, Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani addresses South China Sea in Honolulu, CDC coming to study dengue, Oahu solar panels capped, Maui mayor wants $1.8M for homelessness, Four Seasons Resort Lanai remodeling, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Native Hawaiian protest in front of governor's mansion ©2015 All Hawaii News
Opponents of an election designed to be a significant step toward Native Hawaiian self-governance are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block votes from being counted in what they argue is an unconstitutional, racially exclusive process. Associated Press.

An election for delegates to a proposed convention is set to conclude November 30th, though concerns about the process persist among members of the Hawaiian community. Na’i Aupuni, an organization founded to help establish a path toward Hawaiian self-determination. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii Board of Agriculture voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward on rules that would ban wild animals from being brought to Hawaii for use in circuses and fairs. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii and its low rate of gun-related violence — even in the face of a remarkable surge in gun ownership here — has gotten the attention of one national publication that writes about the raging gun debate in America. Civil Beat.

Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani on Tuesday expressed his support for the U.S. Navy’s sailing of a warship close to one of China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea. Associated Press.

In his first visit to Hawaii as Japan’s defense minister, Gen Nakatani said it is important for the international community to “work more effectively” together to protect freedom of navigation, but he said Japan won’t be patrolling disputed islands in the South China Sea. Star-Advertiser.


Last month, with little fanfare, the state Public Utilities Commission announced it will cap new residential and commercial solar projects at 25 megawatts or about 4,500 new systems on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Solving the housing crisis is not going to be easy or cheap, in part, say development experts, because of city officials’ longtime neglect of Honolulu’s basic infrastructure, particularly sewers. Civil Beat.

Three dogs and a cat became the first animals to be cleared for the new Sand Island transitional shelter Tuesday as the city tries to make it easier to get homeless pet owners off the street. Star-Advertiser.

You might think you know where the wealthiest people in Hawaii live. After all, the area of Oahu’s South Shore from Kahala to Portlock is consistently ranked as the state’s wealthiest area, with some of the highest real estate prices in the Islands. Pacific Business News.

Some elderly and disabled residents say they are trapped after the elevators in their seven story building stopped working. KHON2.

When real estate agents have open houses in Honolulu these days, they are putting out their usual signs. But more and more agents seem to be placing signs on sidewalks or on the city property between the sidewalks and the curbs. Civil Beat.


As Hawaii County dengue cases approach 100, a top CDC official is set to arrive on island next week to assess the handling of the outbreak here. West Hawaii Today.

A team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control will visit Hawaii island next week to assess the development of the dengue fever outbreak and review state and county efforts to contain the spread of the virus, Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said Tuesday night. Star-Advertiser.

The Big Island’s tourism industry appears to have been spared the bite from the ongoing dengue fever outbreak, but some worry that could change if the number of infections from the mosquito-borne illness continues to rise. Tribune-Herald.

The U.S. Labor Department says an unregistered farm labor contractor deprived migrant workers picking coffee on the Big Island of federal protections such as minimum wage. Associated Press.

A woman is barred from work as a farm labor contractor for operating an unregistered company after a federal investigation. The U.S. Department of Labor filed its allegations on Nov. 3 against Tomasa Rincon-Ibarra, who was doing business as Tomasita Farm Service in 2011. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor Alan Arakawa is recommending nearly $1.8 million be spent on mobile, lightweight and durable portable shelters for the immediate housing needs for Maui's homeless. Maui News.

Heeding a call to ease the island's pent-up demand for more housing, the Maui Planning Commission recommended approval Tuesday of A&B Properties' proposed Wai'ale South development in Central Maui. Maui News.

Maui County's unemployment rate for October fell a half-percentage point compared to October 2014 to 3.6 percent, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported Thursday. Maui News.


The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative that has powered Kauai since 2002 is launching a one-year pricing plan that will offer 300 select households a 25 percent discount on electricity between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day. Civil Beat.

The stoplight at Kuamoo Road and Kuhio Highway has been throwing a wrench into Eastside traffic flow since Saturday, when heavy rains caused a short in the system. Garden Island.

The Four Seasons Resort Lanai has started taking reservations for early 2016, following a multimillion-dollar renovation led by owner Larry Ellison that shut down both of the island's main hotels earlier this year. Pacific Business News.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Board of Agriculture mulls wild animal acts, Japan defense minister visits USS Arizona, Thirty Meter Telescope to be last atop Mauna Kea, dengue fever worries tourism authorities, more government and political news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Zoo animals, such as these elephants at Honolulu Zoo, won't be affected by animal act ban © 2015 All Hawaii News
The state Board of Agriculture is expected to vote today on an initiative that would ban wild animals, such as lions, elephants and tigers, from being brought to Hawaii for display at circuses and fairs. Star-Advertiser.

The State Board of Agriculture will be reviewing the formal rule proposal banning the importation of wild animal acts to Hawaii Tuesday morning. KITV4.

Japan’s defense minister has arrived in Hawaii to meet senior U.S. military officials this week. Defense Minister Gen Nakatani was scheduled to lay a wreath at the USS Arizona Memorial on Monday. He’ll also due to see a ballistic missile defense radar and a guided missile cruiser at Pearl Harbor. Associated Press.

The state’s largest labor federation and three local chambers of commerce have announced their support of the $4.3 billion buyout of Hawaiian Electric Industries by Florida-based NextEra Energy. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed into law Monday measures that range from rezoning land in Waikiki to ensuring that homeowners who are renovating their homes don’t miss out on property tax exemptions. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and members of the Strategic Housing Development office presented Monday the city’s plan to convert a former school campus in Makiki into a transitional housing facility. KHON2.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority says a $7 million appropriation from the Legislature to move utility lines underground in Kalaeloa isn't enough to complete the project after bids to do the work came in high, and it will ask for an additional $6 million. Star-Advertiser.

Doubt continues to reign over the ownership of Ansaldo, the Italian rail-car maker that has the $1.4 billion contract to build and operate the train cars for Honolulu’s rail transit system, as Italian regulators are taking a complaint over Hitachi’s bid for the company seriously. Pacific Business News.

People living in tents and makeshift shacks on state land bordering the Waianae Boat Harbor have long known their situation was precarious at best.  Civil Beat.


The University of Hawaii has made it official: the Thirty Meter Telescope site will be the last spot on Mauna Kea to be developed for astronomy. Tribune-Herald.

The University of Hawaii is confirming that the planned location for the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Northern Plateau of the Mauna Kea summit will be the “last new area on the mountain where a telescope project will be contemplated or sought.” Big Island Video News.

While tourism apparently hasn't suffered much yet, there's growing concern the visitor industry on the Big Island could take a major hit if the number of dengue fever cases continue to mount. Star-Advertiser.

The Big Island’s dengue fever outbreak reached 92 cases Monday, matching the number confirmed on Maui during a 2001 outbreak. Tribune-Herald.

There are nearly 90 confirmed dengue fever cases on the Big Island, primarily centered in Kona.   One elected official in a neighboring district is concerned the state is not doing enough to prevent its spread. Hawaii Public Radio.


The County of Maui Department of Environmental Management reported that a wastewater overflow of approximately 2,160 gallons occurred on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015 at the Paukūkalo Pump Station along Waiehu Beach Road. Maui Now.


Kauai police officials are warning the public to be aware of fake $100 bills with red Chinese markings being used to buy merchandise. Star-Advertiser.

Three experienced voyagers from Kauai who set out nearly two decades ago to build the island's first long-distance Polynesian canoe in more than a century are almost ready to set sail. Associated Press.


Shipping volume between Honolulu and Lanai took a double-digit dive for the first nine months of this year compared to last year. Maui News.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sea cucumber limits sought, lawmakers back teachers in ethics dispute, Pear Harbor trail improvements coming, Big Island tax changes spur questions, Maui planning department likes new development, Kauai 911 system to get upgrades, more government and political news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawai News lal rights reserved
Sea cucumber © 2015 All Hawaii News
After a commercial operation was discovered overharvesting sea cucumbers earlier this year, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is seeking to regulate the catch and consumption of the marine creature throughout the state. Molokai Dispatch.

Several lawmakers have pledged to help the teachers union in its dispute with the state Ethics Commission over a ban on free trips for teachers who organize out-of-state student field trips. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s public worker pension fund already has teams of lawyers pursuing lawsuits over investment losses where improper or fraudulent activities by publicly traded companies allegedly reduced the fund’s earnings, and the $14 billion retirement fund is ramping up to pursue possible new legal claims. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Health Connector’s board of directors plans to vote Wednesday on a plan to accelerate the transition of the beleaguered online insurance marketplace to the state beginning Dec. 1. Civil Beat.

Hawaii regulators’ upcoming evidentiary hearings regarding NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co. will be televised live on cable on Olelo Community Television. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii received a grade of “C” on the latest March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card. Star-Advertiser.

The Pentagon agency that recovers missing American war dead said it plans to more than double this fiscal year the number of identifications it made last year — possibly fulfilling for the first time a mandate previously set by Congress. Star-Advertiser.


If history repeats itself it will be several more months before the verdict is in on whether the Federal Transit Administration is effectively overseeing major public transportation infrastructure construction in the western United States, including Honolulu’s $6.6 billion commuter rail project. Civil Beat.

City officials are proposing several short- and long-term projects to revitalize the Pearl Harbor Historic Trail after residents expressed concerns with improving the trail’s safety and infrastructure. Star-Advertiser.

The new Sand Island facility opened its doors to the homeless last week, but as of Saturday, it’s nowhere near full. KHON2.

A MV-22 Osprey crash at Bellows Air Force Station that killed two U.S. Marines was caused by pilot performance and an improper survey of the landing zone, according to an investigation released Monday by the Marines. Hawaii News Now.

Residents in Kahaluu alerted KHON2 of a problem in their neighborhood of huge pieces of a major road missing.


The Hawaii County property tax office is being deluged with phone calls following mailings this week to more than 40,000 property owners telling them about a new ordinance that requires them to file state income taxes in order to qualify for their county homeowner’s exemption. West Hawaii Today.

An Adventist Health representative has begun studying the financials of East Hawaii’s publicly funded hospital system, as his nonprofit organization continues making overtures to the economically troubled health care facilities. Tribune-Herald.

The growing dengue fever outbreak on Hawaii's Big Island isn't a reason to cancel vacation plans to the Aloha State, an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. Associated Press.

Big Island residents should now have a better idea where dengue cases are located. Hawaii County Civil Defense has begun publishing on its website a map of the island with pins showing where the confirmed and suspected cases are located. West Hawaii Today.

As Hawaii County continues its “Fight the Bite” campaign to get a handle on Hawaii Island’s dengue outbreak, reaching out to homeless residents is an especially important step, said county Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira. Tribune-Herald.

State health officials say the outbreak of Dengue Fever could last for months and are urging the public to take precautions. Hawaii Public Radio.

The idea that the moon could serve as a viable location to site and operate an observatory was discussed at the Galaxy Forum Hawaii 2015 in Waimea. Big Island Video News.


The Maui County Department of Planning is recommending approval of land-use measures to make way for A&B Properties' 123-acre Wai'ale South project on fallow sugar cane fields in Central Maui. Maui News.

Mayor Alan Arakawa's homeless initiative that will provide temporary sanctuaries for people living on the streets and at the beach was called "amazing" by one homeless person at a health fair Friday, while other homeless people expressed concerns about locations of the sites and access to transportation. Maui News.

More than 30 portable air-conditioning units have been installed at Maui County public schools this school year alone, in an immediate response to the public outcry over the excessive heat in public school classrooms during the record-high temperatures numerous days early in the school year. Maui News.

Adding bus service between Queen Ka'ahumanu Center and Kahului Airport every half hour, extending hours of service on popular routes and doubling the number of bus stops on Maui are all part of a plan county officials hope will improve bus service for riders. Maui News.


The Kauai Police Department is going to get a new 911 and records management system, which brings with it a $2.3 million price tag. Garden Island.

Skeptics of the upcoming Nai Aupuni elections sought clarity at Wilcox Elementary School Friday night. Garden Island.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Federal court rejects lawsuit to stop Native Hawaiian election, National Guard called to help dengue fever fight, Maui settles religious pamphleteering lawsuit, Honolulu homeless possessions protected in ACLU lawsuit, grand jury hearing police chief case, state out $3.2 million in overdue library books, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu public library © 2015 All Hawaii News
The state of Hawaii is trying to collect $3.2 million in fees from overdue library books. KHON2.

A move to block a Native Hawaiian convention was rejected Thursday by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, prompting a pledge to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected an attempt to stop the counting of votes in the election of delegates to a Native Hawaiian constitutional convention, or ‘Aha. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and 46 other Democrats joined 242 Republicans in the U.S. House on Thursday in passing a bill to restrict the admission of Iraqi and Syrian refugees to America by requiring extra security procedures. Civil Beat.

Responding to criticism over transparency, the state Public Utilities Commission now plans to post online the transcripts of the upcoming evidentiary hearing on the proposed $4.3 billion sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries to NextEra Energy. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Community Foundation is adjusting its approach as it marks its centennial next year and welcomes the former head of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands as its new president and chief operating officer. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Navy is asking the public to weigh in on how it can tailor its training exercises to better protect whales and other marine life from harm. West Hawaii Today.


The city’s efforts to address homelessness by routinely cleaning up city sidewalks suffered a setback Thursday when a federal judge ordered officials to stop the immediate disposal of property seized in the sweeps and start videotaping items they destroy. Star-Advertiser.

The City and County of Honolulu has reached a court-sanctioned agreement that temporarily prevents it from immediately disposing of any personal items during the enforcement of the stored property and sidewalk nuisance ordinances. Civil Beat.

A new study said today that Honolulu has the largest number of homeless of any small U.S. city, underscoring the seriousness of Hawaii's homeless problem. Associated Press.

A federal grand jury is now hearing evidence in the criminal case against Honolulu's police chief and his wife, a prosecutor, Hawaii News Now has learned.

The University of Hawaii Athletics Department's deficit hit a record $4.2 million in the 2015 fiscal year, and is expected to grow to $4.8 million the following year, UH Athletics Director David Matlin said Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric Company is proposing to offer customers on Oahu electricity rates as low as some found in high-end states on the mainland — at certain times. The pricing is part of an effort to get customers in Hawaii to change how, and when, they consume electricity. Civil Beat.


Hawaii’s Department of Health announced Thursday that the National Guard will be assisting the agency in a “support” role after 79 cases of dengue fever have been confirmed on the Big Island since Sept. 11. Civil Beat.

The state epidemiologist says the Big Island dengue outbreak, now poised to eclipse the 2001 Maui outbreak, is just getting started. Star-Advertiser.

On Wednesday afternoon, the state Department of Health revealed a new version of a map showing the Big Island and the areas were the dengue virus likely is to have been transmitted to people from mosquitoes. Tribune-Herald.

In a press conference held today on Oahu, Governor David Ige said the state has been in communication with the federal Center For Disease Control and Prevention over dengue fever from the beginning, and that the White House is monitoring the situation in Hawaii. Big Island Video News.

The Hawaii State Department of Health said Thursday that the number of cases of dengue fever reported on the Big Island had reached 79. Pacific Business News.

A cluster of locally acquired cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island is growing, heightening concerns that the painful mosquito-borne disease could spread to other islands. Garden Island.

It’s been a year since West Hawaii Battalion Chiefs Steve Loyola and Ty Medeiros were suspended, reportedly for publicly criticizing Hawaii County Fire Chief Darren Rosario. West Hawaii Today.

A Kona resident frustrated by a lack of response from Gov. David Ige’s office on the decision to resettle Syrian refugees in Hawaii is creating an online petition seeking to pause immigration to the state. West Hawaii Today.


A pastor and his wife who were passing out religious material on a sidewalk fronting the Maui Fair in 2013 and were ordered by police to leave have reached a settlement with Maui County in a federal lawsuit over violations of their First Amendment free speech rights. Maui News.

The state Land Use Commission voted this morning to approve the 15-day extension requested by the applicants, Olowalu Town LLC and Olowalu Ekolu LLC. Maui Now.

Fifteen days were added Thursday to the state Land Use Commission's deadline to take action on a draft final environmental impact statement for development of a 1,500-home Olowalu town in West Maui. Maui News.

Five Hawaiian youth delegates from Maui will be joining nearly 200 world leaders in Paris on Monday - the site of last week's terrorist attacks - for a United Nations conference on climate change. Maui News.

Commentary: If you’re headed to Wailea this week, watch out! California lawmakers–and their attendant lobbyists–are out in force. It’s the work of the California Independent Voter Project, and their annual conference is taking place at the Fairmont Kea Lani. MauiTime.


Jeni Kaohelaulii of Work It Out was determined to find her workers during the Kauai Community College Job Fair Wednesday. Garden Island.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Chinese Navy to visit Honolulu, Hawaii business is brisk, residents favor solar, Honolulu rail tax advances, dengue fever response slow, Maui Olowalu development opposed, Kauai finalizes legislative wish list, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii state Capitol © 2015 All Hawaii News
The state of Hawaii plans to select a contractor for a major project to cool 11 of its Downtown Honolulu buildings, including the State Capitol — a total of nearly 1.3 million square feet of space — with a seawater air conditioning system in an effort aimed at reducing future costs. Pacific Business News.

Three Chinese navy ships will stop in Hawaii on the final leg of an around-the-world deployment meant to show China’s expanding global military capability, but also highlighting ongoing relations between the United States and People’s Liberation Army despite disagreement in the South China Sea. Star-Advertiser.

“China is testing us,” states a new report from Hawaii Pacific University that warns of a shortage of U.S.-flagged merchant ships and China’s ability to potentially withhold its own booming shipping to limit U.S. deliveries of consumer goods or troop supplies in a crisis. Star-Advertiser

A new poll done by SMS Research on behalf of The Alliance for Solar Choice reports that 97 percent of the respondents support more rooftop solar in Hawaii, and oppose state regulators’ recent decision to do away with net energy metering, a big reason for the record growth of this type of renewable energy in the Islands. Pacific Business News.

In its final quarterly forecast of 2015, the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism said Wednesday that it is slightly revising upward its visitor arrival projection for 2016 and noted that labor market conditions improved through the first three quarters with civilian labor force, employment and payroll jobs hitting historically high levels during that period. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii state economists predict 1% inflation and 2.4% economic growth this year, after their revising their forecast with summer data. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii is in the midst of a construction boom with cranes dotting the skyline throughout the islands. KITV4.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given Hawaii a $660,422 award for the exemplary performance of its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Navy is expected to prepare a new environmental impact statement for sonar training and testing exercises in the Pacific Ocean in response to concerns for the safety of whales, dolphins, turtles and other marine life. Maui News.


The Honolulu City Council Budget Committee gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill that would extend Oahu’s 0.5 percent surcharge on the general excise tax through 2027 to help pay for the $6.57 billion rail project. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council Budget Committee passed a measure Wednesday to extend for five years a 0.5 percent surcharge on the general excise tax to pay for the escalating costs of the $6.6 billion rail project. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu City Council’s Budget Committee today focused on financing for Honolulu’s rail transit project. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu officials have approved a bill that would extend a tax surcharge to pay for the $6.57 billion rail project. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii-Manoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman has initiated a search for a permanent director for the financially struggling UH Cancer Center, the university announced this afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

Almost exactly a year after Michele Carbone resigned as director of the struggling University of Hawaii Cancer Center, the UH is initiating a formal search process for his replacement. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu City Council’s Zoning and Planning Committee deferred action this week on two bills pertaining to the last undeveloped phase of Haseko’s Ewa Beach development after several community members raised concerns about building near the shoreline. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s Section 8 program got a “High Performer” rating from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which funds the rental subsidy program that’s officially known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Civil Beat.

The city's new facility to help the homeless officially opens Thursday in Sand Island. Hawaii News Now.

Businessman Duane Kurisu has been looking at a 13-acre parcel just off Nimitz Highway — and seeing a lot of promise. In Kurisu’s vision, the state-owned land could be the perfect place for a “plantation-style” village for homeless families and single mothers with children — up to 300 of them. Civil Beat.

A group of 20 protesters joined The Alliance for Solar Choice, a solar activist group, at the King Kamehameha statute on King Street on Wednesday to rally against the recent Public Utilities Commission decision to end a popular solar incentive program. Star-Advertiser.


Two West Hawaii lawmakers are calling for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to send medical experts to help quell the dengue fever disease before it becomes endemic. West Hawaii Today.

As the number of confirmed cases of dengue fever rises on Hawaii Island, two doctors-turned-lawmakers are challenging state officials – in writing and on video – to step up the response to the outbreak. Big Island Video News.

The state Department of Health says it addressed issues which, in some cases, slowed the delivery of results from dengue fever blood tests to Hawaii Island residents. Tribune-Herald.

The state Department of Health confirmed Wednesday that 72 people have contracted dengue fever on Hawaii island, up by seven from Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hilo garbage soon will be making its way across the island to the West Hawaii landfill at Puuanahulu, thanks to a unanimous vote Wednesday by the Hawaii County Council. West Hawaii Today.

A 13-acre Ka‘u property that once hosted Native Hawaiian sporting events came closer to being preserved Wednesday. In a 9-0 vote, the Hawaii County Council gave final approval to a resolution authorizing Finance Director Deanna Sako to negotiate acquisition of the land near Naalehu. Tribune-Herald.


A proposed development of a small town at Olowalu with 1,500 homes, hundreds of potential ohana units, stores, schools, parks and a mauka realignment of Honoapiilani Highway ran into a buzz-saw of opposition Wednesday before the state Land Use Commission. Maui News.

As of noon on Wednesday, Nov. 18, the state Land Use Committee heard from 31 of the 84 Maui residents who signed up to testify at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s McCoy Studio Theater regarding acceptance of the Olowalu Town LLC and Olowalu Ekolu LLC’s Final Environmental Impact Statement, a 3,000-page document made available to the public 18 days ago. Maui Now.

Maui County has fully recovered from the Great Recession and is breaking previous records in labor force, employment and job count, as well as generating three-quarters of a billion dollars' worth of construction work over the past year, a state administrator and county official said Wednesday. Maui News.

It’s been six months since Always Investigating first told you about a fancy kitchen in a Maui County building, paid for with tax dollars on a county credit card. Now, we’ve finally gotten a look inside and learned more about how long it’s been there. KHON2.

Widening work has started on Old Haleakala Highway in Pukalani. BCP Construction of Hawaii Inc. is the contractor for the more than $1 million county sidewalk improvement project. Maui News.

Commentary: Dust can be a big hassle. Even a health hazard. Ask the good people at Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar (HC&S), which runs Pu`unene sugar mill–the last one in the state. State health officials recently busted the mill for producing too much dust in one of its fields. But a warning to those members of the public who wish to complain about it: you’re in for a long and frustrating duel with bureaucrats if you do. MauiTime.


The county has finalized a $7 million list of five projects that will be seeking state funding in January. Garden Island.

A master plan that will set a vision for Black Pot Beach Park over the next 20 years was the topic of a public discussion attended by Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr., members of a Honolulu-based planning agency hired by the county and more than 100 community members. Garden Island.

Mark Oyama was recognized and congratulated by the County Council for his induction into the 2015 Hawaii Restaurant Hall of Fame in ceremonies on Sept. 21. Garden Island.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Gov. Ige clarifies Syrian refugee stance, state Supreme Court temporarily blocks Thirty Meter Telescope work on Mauna Kea, Honolulu rail bids within budget, Maui pCards under criminal investigation, Native Hawaiian convention foes meet on Kauai, Hawaii County wants say over medical marijuana dispensaries, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

screen shot from webcast news conference
Ige explains Syrian refugee stance, screenshot of governor's video conference
   Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Tuesday afternoon, after hundreds of emails and phone calls about whether or not Hawaii should accept Syrian refugees, that his position remains the same: The state should keep its doors open to Syrian refugees as long as the proper security precautions are taken. Civil Beat.

Hawaii has one of the lowest rates of refugee resettlement in the country, receiving only 0.6 refugees per 100,000 residents between 2012 and 2014, according to a Honolulu Star-Advertiser analysis of federal refugee and population data.

Gov. David Ige said Tuesday he doesn’t know of any specific plans to relocate Syrian refugees in Hawaii, one day after he said the state would welcome refugees from the war-torn country. Associated Press.

In an attempt to squelch the fervor over his welcoming of Syrian refugees to Hawaii, Gov. David Ige said he should have been more thoughtful about comments he made on Monday. KITV4.

Governor David Ige is clarifying the comments he made Monday about accepting Syrian refugees to Hawaii. While he defended his position, the governor says his top priority is to tackle issues that Hawaii is facing. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige’s office has been flooded with more than 500 phone calls and about 300 emails from constituents in response to his statements Monday that Hawaii would welcome refugees fleeing a brutal civil war in Syria. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Ige further addressed his position on Syrian refugees during a press conference this afternoon in which he reiterated that his, “first and foremost priority, as always – as it is President Obama’s and virtually every other governor across the country – is the safety and security of our people.” Maui Now.

Hawaii Republican Party Chair Fritz Rohlfing said Tuesday that the state’s “over-taxed social safety net” can’t handle Syrian refugees. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Ige says refugees welcome, state track record disagrees. Star-Advertiser.

The Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved a trio of annual rate hikes that will ultimately raise the monthly fee for its A+ after-school program to $120 per student from $85, marking the first increase in five years. Star-Advertiser.

Allegiant Air’s expansion into Hawaii turned out to be short-lived. Star-Advertiser.


Bids by companies vying for a contract to build three rail stations near Pearl City and Aloha Stadium were opened Tuesday, with the apparent low bidder submitting a proposal to build the stations for $112.7 million. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu received more welcome news Tuesday when transit officials opened bids to build three rail stations along the city’s $6.6 billion project corridor from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center. Three of the four bids came in within the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s estimated range of $100 million to $125 million, allowing officials to rest a little easier about their plans to fight skyrocketing costs. Civil Beat.

Landlords heard tearful pleas to open their hearts and homes — along with the practical realities of renting to low-income and homeless tenants — as Gov. David Ige and Mayor Kirk Caldwell teamed up at Tuesday’s Landlord Summit to try to sway property owners to house the homeless. Star-Advertiser.

Landlords at a conference on Hawaii’s housing crisis learn about voucher programs, but wonder where to turn when there’s trouble. Civil Beat.

The State and City hosted a Landlord Summit today to ask O’ahu property owners and managers to rent more of their housing units to the homeless. Hawaii Public Radio.

For more than a decade, dozens of homeless families and individuals have quietly called The Harbor home, their presence largely tolerated or simply ignored by the public, including the state Department of Land and Natural Resources which owns the 19-acre parcel. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. and AES Hawaii Inc., the owner of the state’s only coal-fired plant, have reached agreement on a power-purchase agreement with more favorable pricing that is passed on to the Honolulu-based utility’s customers, according to a regulatory filing this week. Pacific Business News.


The state Supreme Court on Monday granted a request for an emergency stay that blocks crews from working at the Thirty Meter Telescope construction site through Dec. 2. Star-Advertiser.

The TMT International Observatory agreed to stand down on the eve of another confrontation on Mauna Kea after the Hawaii Supreme Court issued a temporary suspension of its construction permit. The nonprofit organization was planning to send workers back to the mountain this month for equipment maintenance and repairs. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has partially granted a group’s request to stall construction of the $1.4 billion telescope on Mauna Kea. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has granted an emergency motion to halt construction on the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea. According to Tuesday’s ruling, “The Conservation District Use Permit HA-3568 is temporarily stayed until Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, or until further order of the Court.” KHON2.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has issued an order that will temporarily prevent construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii State Supreme Court has granted a last minute Emergency Motion for Stay Upon Appeal, filed by opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope project, putting a temporary suspension on the observatory’s Conservation District Use Permit. Big Island Video News.

Ku’uipo Frietas, Mauna Kea Protector and Mauna Media representative, tells Big Island Now that the State of Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources has confirmed that Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement officers would not ascend Mauna Kea Wednesday.

Hawaii County Council members want greater home rule over medical marijuana dispensaries and they want the chance to levy a tax on marijuana sales. West Hawaii Today.

State health officials plan to begin spraying insecticide at Big Island schools this weekend as the fight against Hawaii Island’s dengue fever outbreak enters its fourth week. The outbreak, which was announced Oct. 27, now encompasses a total of 65 confirmed cases, including 55 residents and 10 visitors who have contracted the illness. Tribune-Herald.

Critics say the Hawaii Island Humane Society has an unacceptable kill rate, and they want its $1.9 million annual county contract tightened. Supporters say the society is an open admission shelter required to take in all animals, and its euthanasia rate shouldn’t be compared with the so-called “no-kill” shelters that cherry-pick the most adoptable dogs. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County pCard Expenditures Under Criminal Investigation. Maui Now.

Acquiring a Houston consulting firm helped boost revenue for fledgling Maui software developer Code Rebel Corp. in the third quarter, though the Kahului-based company also suffered a bigger net loss in the period. Star-Advertiser.

Kula Botanical Gardens, a farm frequented by many Mauians seeking freshly cut Christmas trees, has been forced to chop down one of its fields due to the wet and humid weather in late summer and early fall, but the hundreds of trees that will be sold this holiday season will be greener and fuller because of the rain. Maui News.

Single-family home sales were up both in volume and in sales prices in October, although condominiums didn't fare quite as well, according to statistics released last week by the Realtors Association of Maui. Maui News.


Critics of the ongoing Na‘i Aupuni election for Native Hawaiian self-governance will gather at Wilcox Elementary School Friday for a public panel discussion. Garden Island.

A master plan that maps Black Pot’s future was the topic of a community meeting attended by more than 100 people at Hanalei Elementary School. The master plan will set a vision for Black Pot Beach Park over the next 20 years. Garden Island.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hawaii to study reef health but allow aquarium trade, Ige will welcome Syrian refugees, electricity at 5-year low, feds could cut off rail funding if tax not extended, police and protesters gird for Wednesday battle over Mauna Kea, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Yellow tang amid bleached coral ©2015 All Hawaii News
With Hawaii plagued by widespread coral bleaching for the second year in a row, state officials Monday announced plans to fight back. Officials said they are launching the development of a statewide coral reef management plan for nearshore waters but are not imposing a moratorium on aquarium fish collecting. Star-Advertiser.

The state of Hawaii is gathering information from the scientific community and local stakeholders to create a comprehensive coral reef management plan, but officials said Monday they will not yet impose a requested moratorium on collecting aquarium fish. Associated Press.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has rejected a recent demand from environmental groups for a temporary ban on the collection of aquarium fish in Hawaii waters as a response to unprecedented coral bleaching. Civil Beat.

The state's efforts to fight coral bleaching is getting stronger. Plans to launch a statewide reef management program are underway. There's a call to action to come up with a defense plan to combat the growing problem in Hawai'i's waters. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige said Monday that he would welcome Syrian refugees to Hawaii — in contrast to more than two dozen other governors who have come out in opposition to relocating the refugees in their respective states in the wake of last week’s Paris bombings. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige says the state would welcome refugees from Syria with aloha. Ige said in a statement today Hawaii and the U.S. have a long history of welcoming refugees affected by war and oppression. Associated Press.

As Republican governors react to the deadly attacks Friday in Paris by trying to close their states’ doors to Syrian refugees, Democratic Gov. David Ige said Monday that he will not be abandoning Hawaii’s “tradition of welcoming all people with tolerance and mutual respect.” Civil Beat.

The Navy is seeking public comment on a new environmental impact statement for future training and research, including sonar that might harm whales and dolphins, in what’s known as the Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing Study Area. Star-Advertiser.

While operational funding for public schools in Hawaii has remained virtually flat over the last seven years, the cost for nearly everything, including school supplies, has gone up. That’s resulted in schools and teachers asking donors in crowdfunding sites for basic supplies such as pencils, paper and staples. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii receives $13 million to fight rampant drug problem in schools. KHON2.

Hawaiian Electric Co., Maui Electric Co. and Hawaii Electric Light Co. customers are seeing their lowest monthly electric bills in more than five years this month, mainly due to the continued dip in fuel prices. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Electric Co. customers’ electrical bills in November will be the lowest in more than five years, as oil prices continue to pull down rates across the isles. Star-Advertiser.

Customers of Maui Electric and Hawaiian Electric this month are seeing the lowest monthly electric bills in more than five years, according to company representatives. Maui Now.

Marriott's $12B acquisition of Starwood brings together 26 Hawaii hotel properties. Pacific Business News.


Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday urged the Honolulu City Council to move quickly to approve a bill that would extend the 0.5 percent surcharge on the general excise tax after he made public a recent letter from a top federal transit official threatening to cut off funding for the city’s $6.57 billion rail project. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is ramping up the pressure on the Honolulu City Council, and particularly Chairman Ernie Martin, to pass a five-year extension of a 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge and to do it quickly. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Inspector General for the federal Department of Transportation started auditing the Federal Transit Administration’s oversight of Honolulu’s rail project earlier this year. KHON2.

The addition of eight hybrid buses to TheBus fleet is expected to save diesel fuel consumption, reduce emissions and cut down on noise, city officials announced Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Kids In The Harbor: Lessons From The Edge Of Life. Learning to survive in The Harbor involves a kind of independence and resourcefulness that mainstream children aren’t exposed to. Civil Beat.

More than 350 people have signed up to attend today’s Landlord Summit to learn what role landlords can play in reducing Hawaii’s homeless population, which is the largest per capita in America.. Star-Advertiser.

What is rooftop solar power worth to homeowners in Honolulu? In recent years, a cocktail of high electricity bills, generous government incentives and increasingly cheap photovoltaic panels have made the shift to solar so appealing that top electricity executives in the islands acknowledge that homeowners who can afford rooftop systems should probably buy them. Civil Beat.


Protesters and law enforcement appear headed for another showdown on Mauna Kea.  Hawaii News Now has learned that hundreds of officers from several state and county law enforcement agencies are expected to be on hand to ensure TMT crews have safe access to the construction site.

Law enforcement sources confirm with Hawaii News Now that construction crews for the Thirty Meter Telescope project will return to Mauna Kea Wednesday morning.

State health officials so far identified a total of 56 people infected with dengue fever on Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.

Standing on the sun-kissed slopes of Parker Ranch, you could almost hear the happy sounds of future children at play, as a group of community, county and state officials came together Monday for a groundbreaking ceremony for the county’s newest planned park. West Hawaii Today.

The community gathered on Monday morning to break ground on the future Waimea District Park. Big Island Video News.

East Hawaii continues to experience bouts of heavy rain, despite long-term predictions the island has a dry winter ahead. Tribune-Herald.


Moving toward a sustainable and local model of agriculture was a recurring theme at the fifth annual Hawaii Farmers Union United convention at Maui Tropical Plantation. Maui News.

Sugar cane was once Hawaii’s most important crop - but today only one sugar plantation remains in the state.  That’s Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar on Maui, but they are now considering changing their crop. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state Land Use Commission will consider acceptance of a proposed final environmental impact statement for the Olowalu Town and Olowalu Ekolu projects this week. Maui News.

This week, the state Land Use Commission will discuss the final Environmental Impact Statement of the proposed Olowalu Town, which has been in development for the last decade by Bill Frampton and Dave Ward. MauiTime.

Smoking is banned at all Maui County bus stops. KITV4.

The Maui Food Bank can double the distribution of produce, and rice, bread and dry goods will have an extended shelf life, thanks to a nearly $500,000 renovation project. Maui News.


Kauai needs to work together at all levels to make headway toward ending homelessness on the island. That was the theme of Monday night’s Homelessness Awareness Vigil hosted by the Kauai Community Alliance at the Lihue United Church. Garden Island.

The sugar monument is still there — sans one of the bronze sculptures. Garden Island.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Ige seeks EPA waiver on pollutants, Caldwell fund-raises in Washington while on city trip, prevailing wage rule snarls rail work, Maui cemetery work halted, groups want NextEra-Hawaiian Electric documents published, state issues media guidelines for Mauna Kea, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Ige 2015 Japan trip
Gov. Ige and Mrs. Ige briefed by on-site engineer of the Tidal Power Plant, courtesy photo
Gov. David Ige is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to postpone or waive new regulations that restrict the amount of mercury and other toxic pollutants that Hawaii’s power plants can release into the air, arguing that the rules will distract from Hawaii’s push to convert to clean energy. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige returned Thursday from his second official trip to Asia, where he continued to promote tourism, intercultural student exchange and collaboration on renewable-energy technology. Star-Advertiser.

Sierra Club, Friends of Lanai and other groups are calling on the state Public Utilities Commission to post online the transcripts of the upcoming 12-day evidentiary hearing on the proposed $4.3 billion sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries to NextEra Energy. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has unveiled new voluntary time-of-use rates for residential customers aimed at encouraging the use of power during times when solar and wind resources are most productive, the Honolulu-based utility said Friday. Pacific Business News.

Several key lawmakers said they plan to introduce legislation in the coming session to address concerns about the state’s oversight of physicians and other licensed professionals. Star-Advertiser.

Carleton Ching has a new job, just not the one he had been expecting earlier this year. Ching will take the position of director of land development for the University of Hawaii on Nov. 30, the university announced Friday. Civil Beat.

Carleton Ching has been selected as the director of Land Development for the University of Hawaii. His appointment will be effective on Nov. 30. Garden Island.

In response to protests against the Na‘i Aupuni election for Native Hawaiian self-governance, the nonprofit organizing the voting process is emphasizing that the end result is not predetermined. Garden Island.

Pidgin, the local lingua franca that emerged so the people of many different ethnicities who toiled on sugar plantations could converse with each other, now is recognized as one of Hawaii’s official languages by the U.S. Census Bureau. Tribune-Herald.

It seems like someone flipped the storm off-switch in the Central and Eastern Pacific basins. However, meteorologists say, the threat of a hurricane could be far from over despite the season’s ending slated for Nov. 30. West Hawaii Today.


The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit has encountered other complications in its dealings with Hawaiian Electric Co., beyond the 50-foot clearance requirement: HECO’s union contract with its employees does not meet the requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires that laborers and mechanics on federally funded construction projects must be paid the prevailing local wage. Star-Advertiser.

The “most significant risk” today to Honolulu’s rail project is a complex knot of technical challenges involving power lines along the transit route that could dramatically increase costs and delay the project, according to an outside consultant that monitors the project for the federal government. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says $250 million out of $1.5 billion dollars will not be given to the project until the Honolulu City Council approves the general excise tax surcharge extension. But KHON2 found out the rail meeting wasn’t the only thing on his agenda during his trip to Washington, D.C.

Only a few tents and shacks are visible from the dirt parking lot that borders the Waianae Boat Harbor, where more than 200 people have found a relatively undisturbed refuge on the rocky edge of the Leeward Coast. The true size of Oahu’s oldest and now largest homeless encampment is obscured by a heavy cover of overgrown kiawe trees and thick underbrush. Civil Beat.

Plans are advancing to improve a major road in Kalaeloa. An agreement would transfer a portion of Franklin D. Roosevelt Avenue from the state Department of Transportation to the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which would be tasked to improve the road based on the city’s standards. Roosevelt Avenue from West Perimeter Road to Enterprise Street would then be dedicated to the city upon completion of the improvements. Star-Advertiser.

City and state officials are making efforts to extend traffic camera coverage past Kapolei as residents call for solutions to the traffic backlog on Farrington Highway in Waianae. Star-Advertiser.

Voting is open for the representatives running for the Maunalua Bay Recreation Advisory Committee. KITV4.


A new hospital or free-standing emergency facility in North Kona, more programs for the homeless and a hard look at alternative ways to structure the state’s utilities — those are just some of the plans West Hawaii lawmakers will discuss at a legislative outlook to be held in Kailua-Kona Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

There are hundreds of acres of state land just across the highway above Kona International Airport that would make a convenient home for a new Kona hospital — one which could serve a teaching function. That’s according to Naalehu Rep. Richard Creagan, a retired physician who says he has the support of House leadership for pursuing the funds it would take to build such a facility. West Hawaii Today.

Two West Hawaii lawmakers are taking the state Department of Health to task for saying it is beyond the agency’s purview to launch mobile dengue testing units that could go deep into rural areas and ferret out the disease. West Hawaii Today.

The state Dept. of Health confirmed on Saturday, Nov. 14, that there were 49 cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island, up 11 from Friday, Nov. 13. KHON2.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is conducting aerial eradication of feral ungulates in four Maui state forest reserves — and that’s making some hunters on the Big Island and Maui uneasy. Tribune-Herald.

State Issues New Guidelines On Media’s Mauna Kea Access. The Department of Land and Natural Resources says it wants to keep everyone safe, but some First Amendment advocates worry the guidelines go too far. Civil Beat.

Maui Pacific Solar installed a 100-kilowatt, $376,000 photovoltaic project at the Gemini Observatory atop Mauna Kea in early September, a project that took about six weeks to complete, according to an announcement from the observatory. Maui News.

Hilo isn’t the only county recycling facility experiencing overflows as Big Island residents increasingly embrace recycling rather than landfilling their waste. West Hawaii Today.

Board members for a neighborhood association in North Kona’s Nalani Street subdivision have become a mini-water department, reading the single meter and allotting shares of the bill to residents in some 30 homes. They’re also the collections department, collecting the checks and making sure everyone pays his or her fair share. West Hawaii Today.


Construction work at the Maui Veterans Cemetery has come to a halt after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was found to be noncompliant with federal historic preservation laws, a state attorney said. Maui News.

The Maui County Liquor Control Commission will go through the formal selection process to find the next director of the Department of Liquor Control. Maui News.

Maui candidates vying for three seats to a constitutional convention to draft a document allowing Native Hawaiians to govern themselves spoke about their vision and skills to about 50 people Wednesday night at the Queen Lili'uokalani Children's Center. Maui News.

The Maui Department of Public Works will be closing down a portion of Central Avenue in Wailuku for one day only on Nov. 23, 2015. The repairs are slated for Central Avenue between Loke and North streets. Maui Now.


Driving in Kauai is a challenge, that’s no secret — and the county’s transportation department wants to hear your ideas for solutions in a series of open-house meetings it’s holding this week. Garden Island.