Friday, December 30, 2016

Fishing limits could raise ahi prices, Superferry redux, theft charges for Maui employee who built kitchen, coffee picker shortage, more physical exams for schoolkids, Gorak PUC conflict investigated, Royal Hawaiian Gold Club must clean up, sugar plantation equipment heads to auction, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Suisan Fish Market
courtesy Suisan Fish Market
While prices for ahi are relatively stable this holiday season, some say they could rise next year as fishing limits tighten. Hawaii News Now.

Superferry dreams face cost, public opinion hurdles. Lawmakers approved $50,000 in May to study a possible inter-island ferry, and the state Department of Transportation received a $500,000 grant from the federal Maritime Administration to hire consultants to explore potential routes and boats. Associated Press.

It’s been almost 10 years since protesters rallied against the Superferry in Nawiliwili, but some Kauai residents have their reservations and optimisms about an interisland ferry system that may reemerge, pending a state study. Garden Island.

A new law will take effect this upcoming school year that will double the number of physical examinations Hawaii students will need to get in order to keep attending public school. KHON2.

Two state lawmakers are raising red flags over the legal work Tom Gorak was doing on the side while serving full-time as general counsel of the state Public Utilities Commission. Civil Beat.

Newly elected U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa has decided to get closer to her constituents by moving out of the federal building complex across from Honolulu Harbor. Civil Beat.

Hawaii No. 8 For Electoral Integrity. The integrity of America’s electoral system lags far behind other Western democracies, according to a new report. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige gave his support Thursday to two young men who want to make the world a better place. Andrew Tisba and Manuel Frederick of Let’s All Connect say they are on a journey to visit all 50 states. Civil Beat.

A crowd of mostly tourists cheered as President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle arrived at a Waikiki restaurant Thursday night. Associated Press.


The owners of the Royal Hawaiian Golf Club must provide bathrooms, parking and trash receptacles for hikers of Maunawili Falls Trail or face losing their permit to operate the 18-hole course, the city said Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

A community association that owns the private marina in Hawaii Kai wants to more permanently inhibit sand from migrating off Portlock Beach into the boat entry channel by constructing a $2 million rock groin. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu building that houses the now-infamous restaurant that posted a sign in its window saying that voters of President-Elect Donald Trump couldn't eat there is up for sale, the broker handling the sale confirmed to Pacific Business News Thursday.


A bumper crop is usually good news for Big Island coffee farmers, but this year, many are facing a severe shortage of pickers. Businesses in both Kona and Kau are losing thousands of dollars. Hawaii News Now.

This past July, Governor David Ige signed a new law that creates a 10-year marine reserve across a three and a half mile stretch of coastline in North Kona. That came as a huge relief to the community leaders and residents in the area who have been fighting to protect the shoreline and its resources for decades. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tamar Elias, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist, will present “Volcanic Air Pollution: The What, Where, and How of Vog in Hawaii” at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 18 at Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Gates Performing Arts Center on the Upper Campus. The event is free and open to the public. West Hawaii Today.

A 17.73-pound taro corm grown by a group of farmers and cultural practitioners is being submitted to Guinness World Records. Tribune-Herald.


Theft charges have been filed against a former Maui county employee accused of building a fancy kitchen on the taxpayers’ dime, without permission. KHON2.

A 59-year-old former Maui County Public Works district supervisor was charged with second-degree theft Tuesday, police records show. Maui News.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.’s 36,000-acre plantation on Maui, which closed last week and effectively ended the era of the sugar industry in Hawaii, is auctioning off its equipment and items, Pacific Business News has learned.

The state Real Estate Commission will hold its standing committee meetings on Maui in January and will take comments from residents on current and future programs. Maui News.


The entrance to the Princeville at Hanalei resort community will get a new Hawaiian landscaped feature as well as rebuilt roads under projects announced by Princeville Development Company’s president and CEO, Jeff Stone. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tourism continues upward trend, cafe owner takes down anti-Trump sign, 'fake monks' harass Waikiki visitors, Hawaii County bill would outlaw government alcohol purchases, 50 nene killed in two years on Kauai, new campus for Maui charter school, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki beachgoers © 2016 All Hawaii News
With 2016 all but in the books, Hawaii’s tourism industry is looking forward to 2017 and what could be a sixth straight year for record tourist arrivals and spending. Star-Advertiser.

Total visitor spending in Hawaii for the month of November was $1.2 billion, an increase of 5.6 percent compared to November last year, according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii residents hoping to ring in the New Year while dining on sashimi are in luck, as the “catch has been good.” Star-Advertiser.

The Office of Information Practices, the state agency that oversees Hawaii’s laws on public access to government information and meetings is reducing its backlog of cases, according to its annual report released Wednesday. Civil Beat.


Cafe 8 1/2 co-owner Robert Warner on Wednesday took down a sign on the Italian restaurant’s front door telling people who voted for President-elect Donald Trump he does not want them there, but offered no regrets or apologies for putting it up in the first place. Star-Advertiser.

Millennials Make A Stand In Honolulu’s Chinatown. A few blocks from the bustle of open-air markets, the arts district gets an infusion of restaurants and other new businesses. Civil Beat.

Kmart is closing its Halawa store in mid-March as part of a nationwide strategy to unload unprofitable locations. Star-Advertiser.

Long lines outside of Iolani Palace Wednesday night for the first of just two-nights of special evening tours. The special tours are to commemorate Queen Kapiolani’s birthday. KHON2.

Daniel Grabauskas, who once headed the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, which oversee the more than $9 billion rail transit project, has found a new job in New York as an independent transportation consultant, he confirmed to Pacific Business News.

On the sidewalks of Kalakaua and Kuhio avenues in the past month, men in orange robes are hitting up tourists and workers for donations -- sometimes aggressively. Some call them "fake monks." Hawaii News Now.

The new owner of Outrigger Hotels and Resorts is moving ahead with a $90.7 million plan to redevelop the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, Pacific Business News has learned.

President Obama spent another day teeing off at the Kapolei Golf Course before dining at a new restaurant in the Ward Village area. Hawaii News Now.


Stricter limits on taxpayer-funded alcohol could soon become law, under a bill to be considered next week by a County Council committee. West Hawaii Today.

The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority is offering up a 1.3-acre lot for “eco-friendly” developers along what the county believes will be a major road in West Hawaii’s future. West Hawaii Today.

Like so many coastal areas in Hawai‘i, the once plentiful waters off North Kona have seen a decline in marine life over several decades.  As the state wrestles with how to manage these natural resources, some communities are stepping forward with a plan of their own. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kamehameha Schools will seek a new tenant for more than 10,000 acres of eucalyptus forest it owns on the Hamakua Coast following expiration of its current lease agreement. Tribune-Herald.

The superintendent for the West Hawaii Complex Area and the principal of the area’s largest school are both embracing the Department of Education’s new strategic plan, a plan they say finally puts more focus on educating “the whole child.” West Hawaii Today.


The South Maui Learning Ohana will break ground Friday on a new building and central campus for Kihei Charter School, which has been spread out across three separate locations for more than a decade. Maui News.

Maui Electric Co. officials tried to clear up confusion over the utility’s optional rate program, which varies charges based on time of use, because of differences in the rates published in its October rollout and those on letters recently received from the utility by those who have signed up. Maui News.

Maui Memorial Medical Center has reopened its oncology unit after 16 months of construction, the hospital said Tuesday. Maui News.


Eight nene were recently killed by vehicles along a two-mile stretch of Kaumualii Highway in Kekaha, and the state is urging drivers to slow down in that area. Garden Island.

Though the tradition of busting firecrackers is long here in the Aloha State, one must purchase a permit to ignite them on New Year’s Eve. Garden Island.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Historic Pearl Harbor visit by Obama and Abe, Hawaii reaches 25% renewable energy, Green bill to raise minimum wage, Senate President Kouchi to speak at Maui inauguration, restaurateur bans Trump supporters, Waikiki hotel closed, rare crows die in the wild, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Obama and Abe offer flowers at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. (Pool photo)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe didn’t apologize Tuesday for Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago, but his landmark visit to the USS Arizona Memorial with President Barack Obama spoke volumes about reconciliation. Star-Advertiser.

In a joint appearance deep with cultural and historic significance, the leaders of Japan and the United States placed flowers at the USS Arizona Memorial on Tuesday. Civil Beat.

In a historic pilgrimage, the leaders of Japan and the United States took to the hallowed waters of Pearl Harbor on Tuesday to prove that even the bitterest enemies can become allies. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not apologize, but conceded Japan “must never repeat the horrors of war again.” Associated Press.

The leaders of the United States and Japan visited the USS Arizona Memorial together for the first time since the December 7th surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Hawaii Public Radio.

In a powerful gesture of reconciliation 75 years after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joined President Obama Tuesday to lay a wreath at the USS Arizona Memorial and tell a gathered crowd that Japan "must never repeat the horrors of war again." Hawaii News Now.

The ceremonial visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Pearl Harbor, where he met with President Barack Obama and offered his “condolences,” comes amid rising tensions with Japan’s historic rival, China. Civil Beat.

President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met at Camp Smith Tuesday morning to cement alliances as the political uncertainties in the Pacific continue to grow. KITV.

It was a historic moment Tuesday when, for the first time ever, a U.S. president and the Japanese prime minister together visited the USS Arizona Memorial. KHON2.

Abe's Pearl Harbor visit in photos. Nikkei Asian Review.


Hawaii has made progress toward its goal of lowering its dependence on oil, cutting the number of barrels imported by 41 percent since 2006. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii currently gets 25 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources, according to a new state report. Pacific Business News.

The Aloha State got a little greener in 2015, according to the 2016 Energy Resources Coordinator’s Annual Report released by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s Hawaii State Energy Office on Tuesday. Garden Island.

Under a bill drafted by state Sen. Josh Green, the minimum wage would rise to $15 an hour by 2019, from $8.50 now. Hawaii News Now.

As Hawaii residents eye the fresh ahi sashimi platters traditionally found on holiday dinner tables, major negotiations loom next year over how much tuna commercial fishermen should be allowed to catch. Civil Beat.

The Sierra Club of Hawaii is urging local residents to withdraw funds and close their accounts with First Hawaiian Bank in an act of solidarity with Dakota Access Pipeline protesters, citing the bank’s connection to its majority shareholder BNP Paribas, which is backing the pipeline project. Pacific Business News.

A longtime Honolulu journalist is moving into the public-relations business. AARP Hawaii on Tuesday announced that Craig Gima is its new communications director. Civil Beat.


Republican state Rep. Bob McDermott has gone to court to try to force the state to provide funding to improve what he describes as “intolerable” overcrowded conditions at Campbell High School or else immediately select a site and begin construction on a new East Kapolei high school.Star-Advertiser.

The City and County of Honolulu is ordering guests of the Polynesian Plaza hotel in Waikiki to be relocated out of the boutique hotel immediately because of unsafe conditions, Pacific Business News has learned.

Structural safety concerns prompted the city Department of Parks and Recreation to close the pavilion at Waimanalo Beach Park last week until further notice. Star-Advertiser.

Between the high rise buildings and industrial warehouses, a farm is the last thing you’d expect to find in urban Kaka‘ako. But one business is creating a space for growing food in an unexpected way. Hawaii Public Radio.

A longtime downtown Honolulu restaurant known for its pasta dishes and daily baked bread is now drawing attention for his poster banning Trump supporters. Star-Advertiser.

The Howard Hughes Corp. has completed a bike lane from Queen Street to Ward Avenue within its 60-acre Ward Village master planned community. Pacific Business News.

A 19-year-old college student accused of killing seabirds at a Hawaii nature reserve pleaded not guilty Tuesday to animal cruelty. Associated Press.


The Ka‘u gym and shelter has been open for more than three months, but Hawaii County officials are now seeking reassurance that the $18 million project meets state and county building codes for emergency shelters. West Hawaii Today.

Legacy Hilo Rehabilitation &Nursing Center will lose its Medicare certification in March if it does not fix problems found during recent inspections. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian Electric’s latest energy plan calls for an additional 20 megawatts of wind power on Hawaii Island in just a few years as it shifts away from fossil fuels. Tribune-Herald.

Kamehameha Schools is seeking a new tenant for 10,000 acres of former sugar lands that are planted in eucalyptus along the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii island after a company that had been logging those lands opted to surrender the lease. Star-Advertiser.

The plan to re-establish the Hawaiian crow in the wild suffered a blow as three of the five birds released into the East Hawaii wilderness were found dead last week of unknown causes. Star-Advertiser.

Less than two weeks after a small cohort of captive-bred ‘alala, endangered Hawaiian crows, was released into the wild, two of the five birds were returned to an outdoor aviary. Tribune-Herald.


Senate President Ronald Kouchi will deliver the keynote address at the Maui County Council inauguration on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 at 10 a.m. in the Council Chamber. Maui Now.

Stephanie Dunbar-Co of Molokai, Ian Robin Kaye of Lanai and Robert Parsons of Maui have been appointed by Gov. David Ige to the 15-member state Environmental Council. Maui News.


Two Kauai residents were named to the 15-member Hawaii State Environmental Council, which provides a bridge between the public and the state Office of Environmental Quality Control. Garden Island.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Obama and Abe to visit Pearl Harbor today, $112M for renewable energy, Honolulu to tax part-time homeowners higher, Kim institutes hiring freeze, 12% raises for Maui officials, lawmaker publishes Hawaii Kai homeless map, new civil defense chief, Kenoi's legacy, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe places a wreath at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 26, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/JAPAN POOL VIA JIJI PRESS /STR)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid wreaths at various cemeteries and memorials Monday ahead of a visit to the site of the 1941 bombing that plunged the United States into World War II. Associated Press.

Putting 75 years of resentment behind them, the leaders of the United States and Japan are coming together at Pearl Harbor for a historic pilgrimage to the site where a devastating surprise attack sent America marching into World War II. Associated Press.

In a solemn, silent tribute, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presented a white chrysanthemum wreath at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific on Monday, bowing his head slightly as a gentle rain fell. Star-Advertiser.

In a gesture that highlights the strength of U.S-Japan relations and how far the two nations have come since World War II, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will join President Obama at the USS Arizona Memorial on Tuesday to mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hawaii News Now.

The historic visit to Honolulu of Japan’s top leader began Monday morning at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Civil Beat.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo paid tribute to fallen warriors at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl shortly after arriving in Honolulu Monday. KITV.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michele Obama thanked hundreds of service members and their families on Christmas Day in his final holiday visit as commander-in-chief to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Commentary: We in Hawaii know Obama’s historic presidency was all the richer because of his Hawaii roots. Star-Advertiser.

Legislation introduced a year ago by two Hawaii lawmakers is now law. “Talia’s Law,” as it is called, seeks to at better protect children from abuse on military bases. Civil Beat.

More than half a million Hawaii residents in commercial health plans will see an average 6.2 percent rate hike Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaiian Electric companies that power Oahu, Maui County and the Big Island have submitted a plan to state energy regulators that lays out how they will achieve 100 percent of their electricity generation from renewable sources by 2040 — five years sooner than the state-mandated goal. Civil Beat.

Eight organizations have banded together on a mission to create more electric options in ground transportation in Hawaii, including the state’s Department of Transportation and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. Garden Island.

The state paid out $112 million in tax credits for renewable energy investment in 2014, the largest state tax credit for the year. Star-Advertiser.

As Hawaii residents eye the fresh ahi sashimi platters traditionally found on holiday dinner tables, major negotiations loom next year over how much tuna commercial fishermen should be allowed to catch. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii researchers say severe birth defects related to the Zika virus occurred in the islands several years before this year’s outbreaks in Brazil and Puerto Rico. Star-Advertiser.


A Honolulu ordinance that taxes homeowners at higher rates for million-dollar homes that they don’t live in full time will remain in effect after a state judge Friday reversed his October decision that found that the tax classification was unconstitutional. Star-Advertiser.

A state legislator has published a map of suspected homeless people in his district in an effort to raise public awareness of the problem, but some attorneys say the effort could be unconstitutional.Star-Advertiser.

City Councilman Joey Manahan has met with officials at the Honolulu Country Club in an effort to address concerns by Salt Lake residents about foul odors emanating from the waters around the club. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Fire Department said it has been fined $15,400 and told to control workplace hazards as a result of an investigation into the accidental death of firefighter Clifford Rigsbee during a training exercise. Star-Advertiser.

A Waipahu homeless shelter is preparing to close its doors for good. Shelter officials at Lighthouse Outreach Center say new regulations adopted by the state are to blame. Hawaii Public Radio.


Mayor Harry Kim has instituted a hiring freeze while county departments revamp their procedures for selecting job candidates. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Harry Kim tapped a former chief ranger at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to be Hawaii County’s next Civil Defense administrator. Tribune-Herald.

Two Former Big Island Mayors Weigh In on Billy Kenoi's Political Future. Hawaii Public Radio.

A room set aside for welcoming cruise ship passengers at Hilo Harbor will be turned into a security office, frustrating greeters who have waited four years to return to the space. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island tourism numbers are approaching a record high thanks to an ongoing shift in arrivals from cruise ships to airlines. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii House Majority Leader Scott Saiki is calling on the state Supreme Court to speed up the contested-case hearings for the permit to build a giant telescope atop Mauna Kea. Associated Press.

Honokaa anxiously awaits gym's re-opening -- a year from now. Hawaii News Now.

Peaman cited: Race goes on but organizer says he has court date in February. West Hawaii Today.


The 12 percent pay raise approved earlier this month for Mayor Alan Arakawa and his department appointees stands after the Maui County Salary Commission took no new action Friday, despite calling a special meeting after questions arose about the nondescriptive agenda item posted for its last meeting. Maui News.

The proposed new Maui County Service Center in Alexander & Baldwin’s Maui Business Park II in Puunene/Kahului has an estimated price tag of $27 million and would include a number of new occupants. Maui News.

The Dorvin and Betty Leis Charitable Trust announced it is donating a total of $1.25 million to 17 nonprofits on Maui. Pacific Business News.

Leis family is the model for philanthropic giving. Maui News.

The Kihei Community Association has provided about a quarter of the cost for a follow-up study to look into the water quality off South Maui in the context of human health. Maui News.


Fire Chief Robert Westerman talks growth, future needs. Garden Island.

There’s another set of hands working in Katherine Muzik’s underwater coral garden named Mala Moana, or “Ocean Garden,” in Hawaiian. Garden Island.

Friday, December 23, 2016

University of Hawaii to gain in Ige budget, Republicans dwindle in state Legislature, low pay, high credit card debt for residents, Honolulu Ethics Commission mulls PAC laws, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy National Geographic
Obama's fish, courtesy National Geographic
Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have named a fish after President Obama. Hawaii Public Radio.

President Barack Obama, his family and some friends are spending the afternoon at a beach at a marine corps base near his Hawaii vacation rental. Associated Press.

Gov. David Ige’s call for increased education dollars in his proposed state budget extends to higher education as well with a $44 million boost for operations at the University of Hawaii over the next two years. Star-Advertiser.

There are no more Republicans in the Hawaii state Senate, while the number of members in the House has dwindled to six. Civil Beat.

A Big Day For US-Japan Relations Tuesday At Pearl Harbor. Prime Minister Abe will join President Obama to honor Americans killed in Japan’s surprise attack on Oahu in 1941. Civil Beat.

Despite threats of an Obamacare repeal, 11,750 Hawaii residents signed up this year to renew or buy for the first time health insurance through the federal exchange,, for coverage starting on New Year’s Day. Star-Advertiser.

By some measures, employment is booming in Hawaii and the rest of the country. But the shortage of good-paying jobs — the kind where wages are high enough to afford a decent standard of living — is attracting top-level political attention in both Honolulu and the nation’s capital. Civil Beat.

Hawaii has the eighth-highest credit card debt in the nation, with customers owing an average $5,966, according to a new report by Star-Advertiser.

A former state representative has died. Mark Moses represented the Makakilo and Kapolei communities from 1996-2006. KHON2.


Opening day for the state Legislature is still weeks away, but there's already a proposal to extend the .5 percent rail tax surcharge. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Ethics Commission considered a request today to curb the unfair influence of Super PACs. Hawaii Public Radio.

Acting Honolulu Police Chief Cary Okimoto may face uncomfortable questions come January as he attempts to explain to police commissioners his proximity to a growing scandal involving a missing mailbox. Civil Beat.

City prosecutor explains why he wants chief’s wife to stay on the job. KHON2.

Honolulu police are reporting a big drop in speeding tickets so far this year. Hawaii News Now.

A medical marijuana dispensary with ties to Hawaii businessman Colbert Matsumoto is opening in the former Bank of Hawaii branch on Kapahulu Avenue in Honolulu, Pacific Business News has learned.

For years, families have been laying small plaques in the rocks at Pokai Bay to remember loved ones who've passed on. But state law says it's illegal to install these on any heiau without written permission. KITV.


More than three weeks after the first bout of winter weather hit Hawaii Island, the Mauna Kea Summit Access Road is still closed to the public. Tribune-Herald.


The developer of the Pulelehua working-class community in West Maui and owner of the Maalaea Harbor Shops & Restaurants says he was exonerated in fraud case. Maui News.

The Maui Ocean Center is hosting a contest to seek help from the public in naming six baby sea turtles. Hawaii News Now.


Department of Parks and Recreation officials are reminding the public that the deadline to provide input on the draft preferred master plan for Black Pot Beach Park is Saturday, Dec. 31. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Obama and Abe to visit Pearl Harbor Tuesday, drone recovered from South China Sea, Japan-Kona flights resume, Hawaii has small population bump, lawmaker sponsors albatross cruelty bill, Kauai mayor to veto alcohol golf course bill, sewer rate increase for Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy U.S. Navy
Drone recovered from China, courtesy U.S. Pacific Fleet
U.S. Pacific Fleet released photos today of a Navy “ocean glider” unmanned underwater vehicle taken Dec. 15 by China — leading to U.S. accusations that the sovereign vessel had been unlawfully seized. Star-Advertiser.

The USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor Visitor Center will be closed Tuesday due to a visit by President Barack Obama and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the National Park Service said. Star-Advertiser.

Newly found Hawaiian fish is named after the president who expanded its sanctuary. Star-Advertiser.

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have named a fish after President Obama. Hawaii Public Radio.

The population of Hawaii grew by about 3,400 people between July 2015 and this July. The current estimate for the daily population, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, is 1,428,557. Civil Beat.

Federal figures show more people are leaving Hawaii for the mainland than coming to live in the state. Associated Press.

Maui and Kauai were in the top 10 least affordable counties according to a new report by ATTOM Data Solutions. Pacific Business News.

For the first time in nearly a decade, the state Environmental Council’s 15 seats are full thanks to a slew of appointments by Gov. David Ige. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers to consider doubling funds to state-funded drug rehab centers. Hawaii News Now.

Do Hawaii Prisons Overuse Solitary Confinement? Most of the islands’ maximum-custody inmates live in special holding cells for up to 23 hours per day. The policy bucks a national trend. Civil Beat.


Amid leadership crisis, Honolulu Police Department spent $74K to improve image. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu taxpayers are still paying Police Chief Louis Kealoha's salary even though he temporarily stepped down from his position. KITV.

The Honolulu Police Department’s reputation has taken a hit with the chief and four officers being targeted in a federal investigation. Hawaii News Now.

The day after Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha took leave amid a growing public corruption case, his wife remains on the job as a deputy city prosecutor. Hawaii News Now.

Court cases dealing with evictions on Oahu are down by 25 percent since April with the help of $4.7 million in state funds used to help families stay in their homes. Star-Advertiser.

The City and County of Honolulu has been designated as a “High Performer” by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Section Eight Management Assessment Program for the sixth year in a row, recognizing the city’s ability to provide rent subsidies for low-income households. Pacific Business News.

An attempt by the Friends of Makakilo to stop the 11,750-home Hoopili project planned for Leeward Oahu and to limit the Honolulu rail line failed Wednesday after the Honolulu Ethics Commission ruled that key City Council votes enabling the projects should not be overturned. Star-Advertiser.

Houston’s NRG Energy Inc., which recently took over ownership of the bankrupt SunEdison Inc.’s large solar farm projects in Hawaii, including some that have been stalled, is making moves to restart these stalled projects, Pacific Business News has learned.

Honolulu officials have released a “Blaisdell Center Master Plan Feasibility Study and Conceptual Land Use Plan,” which they say calls for the Arena and Concert Hall “to be retained and renovated.” Civil Beat.

Lawmaker will introduce 2 bills in response to albatross cruelty case. KITV.

A 19-year-old college student has been charged with animal cruelty, nearly a year after seabirds were found dead at a Hawaii nature reserve. Associated Press.


At around noon Wednesday, the first international flight in half a dozen years arrived at the Kona International Airport at Keahole, bringing with it 280 passengers — a full flight — to the Big Island from Japan. West Hawaii Today.

A white-tented temporary customs inspection station at Kona International Airport processed incoming visitors Wednesday after Hawaiian Airlines’ inaugural nonstop flight from Haneda International Airport in Tokyo touched down shortly after noon. Star-Advertiser.

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing a proposed radiation monitoring plan for Pohakuloa Training Area. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor Harry Kim’s first Cabinet appointee was easily confirmed Wednesday by the County Council, but at least one future nominee might find the going a little more difficult. West Hawaii Today.


Hawaii Water Service Co. is seeking sewer rate increases phased in over five years that would more than double its revenues from nearly 880 residential, business and government customers in Pukalani. Maui News.

Maui County is slowly on its way to having an electricity-generating facility that will power the Wailuku-Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility as well as produce fertilizer that the county could sell. Maui News.

A complaint against Maui County Council Chairman Mike White was filed with the Board of Ethics on Tuesday questioning White’s declaration to continue to serve as council chair for the next two-year term before formal public hearings or votes on leadership by the full council, according to a news release sent by the complainant. Maui News.

Maui Ocean Center has a special permit to collect coral, which is otherwise strictly prohibited.  The team got to be part of a coral recovery operation at multiple harbors across the state, after damage from the 2011 tsunami. Maui Now.


In the days following Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s announcement he plans to veto the bill allowing alcohol to be served at Wailua Golf Course, some Kauai County Councilmembers say his reasons are unclear. Garden Island.

The only way for Alakai O Kauai Public Charter School to open next fall is for the school to move into an already existing structure. Garden Island.

County announces holiday closures. Garden Island.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Honolulu police chief put on leave, Kauai warden cleared in sex therapy program, Hawaii receives $11.5M to fight homelessness, beach time for Obama family, state lawmakers seek more rail details, arrest in slaughter of 17 Laysan albatrosses, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

police department courtesy photo
Police Chief Louis Kealoha and deputies, courtesy Honolulu Police Department
Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha has been placed on paid leave for 30 days after being named as a target of a federal grand jury investigation that involves allegations of corruption and abuse of power. Civil Beat.

Embattled Police Chief Louis Kealoha was placed on paid leave and is no longer involved in running the Honolulu Police Department while his bosses, the Honolulu Police Commission members, decide what to do next, police and commission officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s Police Chief voluntarily stepped down yesterday following notification that he’s under federal investigation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Embattled Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha was relieved of his gun, badge and official duties Tuesday and placed himself on leave, one day after receiving a letter from a federal prosecutor notifying him that he is the target of an ongoing public corruption case. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha is stepping down for now. KITV.

Honolulu’s chief of police, Louis Kealoha, placed himself on restricted duty Tuesday and has agreed to go on leave for at least 30 days. KHON2.

Target letter chief received aimed at spurring his cooperation. Hawaii News Now.

A legislator, city councilman, former police officer and criminologist are among those who are calling for a change in leadership at the Honolulu Police Department after its top executive, Chief Louis Kealoha, was placed on paid leave Tuesday following confirmation that he was the target of a federal criminal investigation. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii’s share of new federal money to help combat homelessness is $11.5 million. Civil Beat.

Hawaii is receiving $11.5 million in federal grants to combat homelessness as the number of homeless people continues to rise, but the state missed out on a grant for permanent housing that could have brought in another $450,000. Associated Press.

The state Board of Education is aiming to have a new schools chief in place by the summer under a search timeline and process the board unanimously adopted Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Board of Education plans to have a new superintendent selected by June under a timeline and search process that it approved Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Blueprint For Education Still Being Refined, School Board Told. The document being prepared by a governor’s task force is expected to complement the Department of Education’s own strategic plan. Civil Beat.

Senators Assigned Committees. Hirono will return to serve on the Senate Judiciary while Schatz will join the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Civil Beat.

President Obama spent part of his fourth day of vacation in the islands at the beach with family and friends in Waimanalo. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama and his family spent three sunny hours at the beach at Bellows Air Force Station on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

POTUS Press Pool Prose. A New York Times reporter returns to Oahu to wax poetically about scenic vistas and McDonald’s. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines anticipates a three-month delay on the delivery of three new Airbus A321neo aircraft. Pacific Business News.

Island Air is leasing three new turboprop aircraft, the first addition to Hawaii interisland airline’s fleet since its acquisition early this year by Honolulu investment firm PacifiCap. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii's largest shipper, Matson Inc., is adding service to the Port of Naha in Okinawa as part of its expedited express service between Long Beach, California, and China. Pacific Business News.


With another tax-extension request coming their way, state lawmakers have now formally asked that rail’s federal partners brief them directly in Hawaii on the financially troubled project. Star-Advertiser.

A federal agency may have given Honolulu an April 30 deadline to pull a rail financing plan together, but a key state lawmaker said this week she isn’t feeling any pressure to approve enabling legislation by that date. Civil Beat.

City to auction off dozens of vehicles from overflowing tow yard. KHON2.

Some farmers moving into Waianae are trying to reassure their future neighbors they won't pollute the air with toxic chemicals. Hawaii News Now.

Stricter state standards may cause a Waipahu homeless shelter to close its doors. But residents are rallying around the Lighthouse Outreach Center. KITV.

The number of rooftop solar permits issued for Oahu dropped 40 percent in November compared with the same month last year. Star-Advertiser.

A man was arrested Tuesday in connection with the slaughter of 17 Laysan albatrosses at Kaena Point almost a year ago. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined Weston Solutions Inc. $25,000 for violating an order issued in 2010. Star-Advertiser.

The Cheesecake Factory Inc., whose bustling restaurant in the heart of Waikiki is one of the company's top-grossing locations in the U.S., is opening its second Hawaii restaurant at DeBartolo Development’s Ka Makana Alii mixed-use shopping mall in Kapolei, Pacific Business News has learned.


A geothermal health study could get more expensive for Hawaii County. Tribune-Herald.

Incoming Police Chief Paul Ferreira tapped into departmental internal affairs to select his second in command. West Hawaii Today.

Aina Lea Inc., which is developing a 1,099-acre Villages of Aina Lea on the Kohala Coast on the west side of the Big Island, has merged with New York’s Origo Acquisition Corp., which is publicly-traded on the Nasdaq. Pacific Business News.


The upper​ half-mile of the Pīpīwai Trail​ in the Kīpahulu District of Haleakalā National Park,​ including the viewpoint for Waimoku Falls, is now open​ to visitors. Maui Now.

In his executive two-year budget released Monday, Gov. David Ige has included $9.5 million to help fund the takeover of Maui Memorial Medical Center by Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. Maui News.

A Maui business that received a license to sell medical marijuana has revealed plans for its new dispensary, which will include space for a public cannabis education center. Associated Press.

One of the two Maui groups that received a medical marijuana dispensary license showcased its flagship dispensary Friday in Kahului, including its public cannabis education center and retail space. Maui News.

The infusion of drinking water Monday from a new well that has been cleared by the Health Department will alleviate low water pressure issues in East Maui communities caused by a pump problem, the Department of Water Supply reported. Maui News.

A federal jury found today that a warden at a Kauai jail did not subject female inmates to sexual humiliation and discrimination, and did not retaliate against a jail social worker who brought the suit. Star-Advertiser.

The warden of Kauai Community Correction Center was found not liable on Tuesday of sexual humiliation and discrimination. Garden Island.

Hoping to spur a resolution of a yearslong dispute over stream water in West Kauai, the state Agribusiness Development Corporation approved a five-year lease to the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative for its Puu Opae hydropower project. Civil Beat.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Ige unveils $28.5B biennial budget, Honolulu police chief gets FBI target letter, Caldwell lets ride-sharing bill become law, mumps on Maui, Thirty Meter Telescope close to Canary Islands deal, Obama vacation, rogue elector goes for Sanders, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy office of the governor
Gov. Ige budget news conference, courtesy Office of the Governor
Gov. David Ige today unveiled his proposed $28.5 billion state budget for the next two years that includes money for severance payouts for Maui hospital workers who will lose their jobs to privatization, funding for new jail space for women offenders, and more money to combat homelessness. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is proposing a state budget that boosts spending on education, housing and homelessness. The plan calls for $28.5 billion in spending on operations and $3 billion on capital improvement projects over the next two years. Associated Press.

Hawaii public schools would see a significant boost in funding to the tune of $93 million for operations under a proposed two-year state budget Gov. David Ige released Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige’s biennium budget proposal seeks additional money for every state department, with a special emphasis on education. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is proposing a state budget that boosts spending on education, housing and homelessness. Hawaii News Now.

Governor David Ige wants to spend big over the next two years, increasing the state's operating budget to $28.5 Billion. KITV.

Gov. David Ige was sporting an aloha shirt featuring ohia foliage Monday, as he announced a no-new-taxes biennial budget that includes money to protect the important tree as well as funds for other Big Island projects. West Hawaii Today.

There are several Maui projects outlined for budget allocations under the governor’s proposal including $12 million to repair flood damage and reconstruction at ʻĪao Valley State Monument. Maui Now.

Gov. Ige's budget details here.


Will 2017 be the year for medical aid-in-dying legislation for Hawaii? Compassion & Choices Hawaii has a new poll showing that 80 percent of Hawaii voters believe a “death with dignity” option should be available for a terminally ill person who is mentally capable to receive a prescription for life-ending medication. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s four Electoral College electors were required by law to vote for Hillary Clinton because she won the general election in the state, but one so-called “faithless elector” voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders instead. Associated Press.

Rogue isle elector votes for Sanders, despite Clinton win. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's electors gathered at the state Capitol to cast their votes for president. Hawaii Public Radio.

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono announced that the Hawaii Department of Health will receive $1.1 million in Centers for Disease Control funding to fight the Zika virus. Garden Island.

Workout, golf and dinner comprise president’s day. Star-Advertiser.

The Latest on President Barack Obama's annual two-week vacation in Hawaii. Associated Press.

Hawaiian Telcom is an equal partner with the seven consortium members involved with the Southeast Asia-U.S. broadband cable under construction, and President and CEO Scott Barber said the company would have the power to veto an attempt by a Chinese company to buy out any of the members in order to protect national security. Pacific Business News.

The state Public Utilities Commission last week blocked an attempt to take a portion of a $150 million financing program, originally intended to help underserved residents get renewable energy, to be used to pay private companies directly. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha has voluntarily placed himself on restrictive duty after receiving a letter informing him that he is the target of a federal grand jury investigation, his attorney confirmed Monday night. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha received a target letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Monday notifying him that he’s a suspect in the ongoing criminal investigation stemming from the theft of his mailbox in 2013. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha will go on restricted duty after receiving a "target letter" from the FBI as part of an ongoing public corruption case. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha received a target letter from the U-S Attorney's office Monday. KITV.

Police chief to place himself, other officers on restricted duty amid federal investigation. KHON2.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell has returned a bill that tightens rules for private transportation and ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft to the Honolulu City Council unsigned, which means it will now become law. Pacific Business News.

Gov. David Ige says both city and state transportation projects need more from taxpayers, but how that tab is collected is up in the air for now, though he’s committed to making a federal deadline on the rail project coming up this spring. KHON2.

A trampoline that sits in shallow waters off Laie Beach Park, better known as Pounders Beach, has become Oahu's latest hot spot. Hawaii News Now.

For the past several weeks, residents in Moiliili have complained about the dust from the demolition of the University Square building on King Street. Developers are razing the 59-year-old complex to make way for a 14-story, student housing project. Hawaii News Now.

Commentary: Diamond Head Slopes Are Absolutely Trashed. New photos from the state depict the squalid conditions encountered in homeless encampments during recent sweeps. Civil Beat.


The executive director of the Thirty Meter Telescope said Monday that the TMT International Observatory board is closing in on the execution of a backup agreement to allow construction of the $1.4 billion project on a mountain in the Canary Islands  if permission cannot be obtained to build on Mauna Kea by the spring of 2018. Star-Advertiser.

TMT International Observatory could seek another partner to finance its next-generation telescope once it knows where it’s going to be built, its executive director said Monday. Tribune-Herald.

The chief of the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope project faced hours of questioning Monday during the state Board of Land and Natural Resources Conservation District Use Application contested case hearing in Hilo. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative is moving forward with its attempt to split off Hawaii island from the Hawaiian Electric Industries umbrella to become a cooperative similar to the one on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii energy co-op moves closer to possible utility takeover. Pacific Business News.

Huena Power Inc., the company whose complaint was rejected by state regulators this week regarding planned geothermal energy expansion on the Big Island, is not ruling out further legal action, a company executive confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim is aware of the environmental concerns being raised in Keuakaha and Pana’ewa, and shared a sympathetic view of the situation in a recent interview. Big Island Video News.


Several cases of mumps were recently detected at separate schools in the Baldwin-King Kekaulike-Maui Complex Area. Maui Watch.

Pono Life Sciences Maui, LLC, one of two marijuana dispensaries approved for operation in Maui County, showcased its cannabis education center in Kahului over the weekend. Maui Now.

The last field is harvested, the last of the cane processed and the last ship with sugar in the hold has set sail for California. Maui News.


Hoping to spur a resolution of a years-long dispute over stream water in West Kauai, the state Agribusiness Development Corporation approved a five-year lease to the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative for its Puu Opae hydropower project. Civil Beat.

Maile Alfiler was promoted to member services manager for Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. Garden Island.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ige administration may nix union's call for more pay hikes, schools to get more money, Obama family enjoys Hawaii vacation, new trial mulled for special agent Deedy, electric rate hike for Oahu, Abercrombie weighs in on Maui innkeeper, DOT neglects right-turn lanes in highway construction plans, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Lance Luke
Elevated rail construction, courtesy Lance Luke
Honolulu leaders say they’re determined to find a way to build their “Plan A” — a nearly $10 billion elevated transit line that runs all the way to Ala Moana Center — despite the giant budget obstacles that still block that goal. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige says he again wants to invest a large portion of next year’s state budget in public education through funding that would be disbursed at the school level. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige’s administration has made a series of closed-door presentations to the public worker unions in recent months warning that the state’s record-setting $1 billion budget surplus is essentially spent, a message apparently meant to tamp down expectations as the unions negotiate for new contracts and raises. Star-Advertiser.

The first family’s Christmas vacation is well underway here in Hawaii, and on Sunday morning, the president, the first lady and friends visited Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens in Kaneohe. KITV.

The latest on President Barack Obama's annual two-week vacation in Hawaii. Associated Press.

Every holiday that President Barack Obama and his family have spent on Oahu, a group of protesters has gathered to greet them. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Supreme Court is getting closer to deciding if Special Agent Christopher Deedy can be tried a third time for the death of Kollin Elderts. Civil Beat.

Blue Startups, a Honolulu-based startup support program, said it will bring investors managing more than $1 billion to Hawaii in January. Star-Advertiser.


Oahu customers could face an $8 increase in their electrical bills if Hawaiian Electric Co.’s request for a 6.9 percent raise in rates is approved. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. is proposing to raise rates by nearly 7 percent, which would be the first increase in base rates on Oahu in nearly six years, the utility said Friday. Pacific Business News.

A political action committee that sought to defeat Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s re-election bid is accruing daily fines because it has not filed a campaign financing report. Star-Advertiser.

New regulations aimed at bolstering privacy at homeless shelters and moving clients into permanent housing more quickly are forcing a Waipahu shelter to close its doors, officials said Friday. Hawaii News Now.

Take a tour around the $1 billion Park Lane Ala Moana luxury condominium project construction site at Honolulu’s Ala Moana Center and you’ll quickly notice that it’s something you’ve never seen before in Hawaii. Pacific Business News.


Riki May Amano, hearings officer for the Thirty Meter Telescope’s contested case, denied a request Friday to put the process on hold following a recent ruling on the project’s sublease. Tribune-Herald.

A site-specific Environmental Radiation Monitoring Plan has been finalized for the Pohakuloa Training Area. Big Island Video News.

Impacts to historic sites caused by construction along Queen Kaahumanu Highway were the result of a failure to account for right-turn lanes associated with the project. West Hawaii Today.

Continuing to foster a strong relationship between police officers and the community will remain at the forefront for Assistant Chief Mitchell Kanehailua as he leads West Hawaii’s men and women in blue. West Hawaii Today.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo says efforts to improve four-year graduation rates are beginning to pay off. Tribune-Herald.

The right to operate an outdated Hilo waterfront hotel is headed for public auction early next year in the wake of disagreements over a land lease and misuse of the property that became the Pagoda Hilo Bay Hotel in February. Star-Advertiser.

A new assisted-living facility for elderly residents is planned for Hilo along Highway 11 (Kanoelehua Avenue) at its intersection with East Kahaopea Street, where a greenhouse once existed. Tribune-Herald.

In search of answers to the semi-slug: Researchers track carrier of rat lungworm parasite. Tribune-Herald.


Former Gov. Neil Abercrombie wrote a letter in support of Paia businessman Michael Baskin’s request for a special use permit to operate the Paia Inn, a nine-bedroom transient vacation, at 93 Hana Highway. Maui News.

A ban on disposable polystyrene food service containers moved closer to reality Friday as the Maui County Council approved a bill on first reading to restrict the use and sale of the containers in the county. Maui News.

Restaurants in Maui County would have to pack food in eco-friendly containers free of plastic foam under a measure that could be approved early next year. Associated Press.

One of Hawaii’s eight medical marijuana dispensary licensees announced Sunday that it has opened an educational center as it waits for the “green light” from the state to begin dispensary operations. Star-Advertiser.

For four years the world’s largest digital camera has been quietly snapping pictures of the nighttime sky above Maui, capturing images of all the stars, planets, galaxies and other celestial bodies above three-quarters of Earth. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education announced that Hāna High & Elementary School in East Maui will be closed tomorrow, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, due to a lack of water in the area. Maui Now.

Now, sugar really is gone. On Friday, the same day that Puunene Mill smokestacks stopped puffing, the last shipment of Maui-made sugar was carried out of Kahului Harbor. Maui News.


Public is asked to help plan the future of the bus system. Garden Island.

The island saw record lows in crimes involves property, burglary, larceny- theft and motor vehicles, according to the Crime in Hawaii 2015 report, which was released by the Hawaii Crime Prevention and and Justice Assistance Division earlier this month. Garden Island.

Avian malaria is a threat to many of Kauai’s native and endangered birds, and an ongoing study of the way they adapt to disease could lead to ways to rehabilitate some species. Garden Island.

The Kalalau Trail and Napali Coast State Wilderness Park will be closed to day hikers from Monday through Wednesday for a rockfall mitigation project (weather permitting), according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Garden Island.

Hundreds gather at Lydgate Park to honor Tim Bynum. Garden Island.