Monday, February 29, 2016

Tulsi Gabbard feels the Bern of Democratic National Committee politics, Clinton opens campaign office, Caldwell wants $21.6M for parks, term limits mulled in Legislature and Hawaii County Council, water for Kauai ag park, Maui tourism head retires, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Gabbard on the 2012 campaign trail © 2016 All Hawaii News

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard resigned her post as a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee on Sunday, allowing her to formally endorse Bernie Sanders for president. Star-Advertiser.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard says she’s resigning the Democratic National Committee to support Bernie Sanders for president. Associated Press.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced Sunday that she is supporting Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for president. The Democrat from Hawaii will resign her position as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee so that she can actively endorse Sanders. Civil Beat.

In a bold political move, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard today announced she is resigning as Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee effective immediately, so that she can endorse Senator Bernie Sanders to be the next President of the United States. Big Island Video News.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard resigned from her Democratic National Committee post on Sunday to endorse presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard rejected the notion that intra-party squabbles with the Democratic National Committee led to her resignation from the organization and her endorsement of Bernie Sanders. Politico.

Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Tulsi Gabbard resigned from her post on Sunday to endorse Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, following months of rising tensions within the group. Reuters.

Former U.S. Sen.Daniel Akaka and former Hawaii Governors George Ariyoshi, John Waihee and Ben Cayetano will speak this Sunday about the “importance of caucusing for Hillary on March 26th.” Civil Beat.

A ranch, a sugar cane plantation owner and a wealthy investor trying to start a dairy farm have received state tax credits under a program that rewards preservation of privately owned farmland in Hawaii. The three entities — Parker Ranch, Alexander & Baldwin Inc. and Pierre Omidyar — acquired $1.5 million in state tax credits for making investments in agricultural operations in 2014, according to a recent state Department of Agriculture report to the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Should members of the Hawaii Legislature be term-limited? The Hawaii Senate Judiciary committee has scheduled a hearing Wednesday at the Capitol on Senate Bill 2753, which calls for exactly that. Civil Beat.

Hawaii legislators are exploring ways to bring back more than 1,300 inmates housed in an Arizona prison operated by the Corrections Corp. of America. Star-Advertiser.

Legislation urges more to use food stamps. Tribune-Herald.

Key lawmakers are wavering on whether they will require law enforcement agencies to test hundreds of unprocessed rape kits that have sat in county storage facilities for years and sometimes decades. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii has no law requiring government agencies to take proper care of public records. But that could change under a bill now moving through the Hawaii Legislature. Civil Beat.

A bill that would transfer $3 million from the state tourism special fund to support travel expenses for the University of Hawaii athletics program advanced through three senate committees Friday. Pacific Business News.

With less than five months to go before medical marijuana dispensaries can open in Hawaii, business owners could be facing unique obstacles in a state of islands separated by federal waters. Associated Press.

A bill allowing licensed clinical psychologists to prescribe medication in Hawaii cleared two state Senate hearings this week. Tribune-Herald.

By a vote of 88 to 30, a Native Hawaiian constitution was adopted Friday by participants in the Nai Aupuni aha, or convention. Civil Beat.

A constitutional convention of Native Hawaiians has adopted a governing document that will go out to a vote for ratification, the organization behind the gathering announced. Associated Press.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell will announce that he will seek $21.6 million for parks projects from the Honolulu City Council during a no-frills State of the City address tonight. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell plans to give his fourth State of the City address on Monday at Mission Memorial Auditorium by Honolulu Hale. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell will deliver his fourth State of the City address on Monday. KHON2.

Old Case Sheds New Light On Police Major’s Domestic Violence Past. Honolulu Police officials pushing to promote Maj. Ryan Borges never mentioned another time the cops were called and his wife ended up in the hospital. Civil Beat.


Eight is apparently not enough for Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille, who is proposing a charter amendment to increase council members’ terms to three consecutive four-year stints. West Hawaii Today.

Battling dengue outbreak, Hawaii faces small staff, pesticide fears. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s last remaining native crow species, extinct in the wild for about 14 years, will begin to be released from a captive breeding program in September, with a dozen in all to be offered freedom by year’s end to seed what biologists hope will be their comeback. Tribune-Herald.


Terryl Vencl has led the Maui Visitors Bureau through the crippling lows of the Great Recession to the record-breaking highs of today. After 13 years, though, the longtime executive director plans to retire later this year. Maui News.

Neighbor Island medical equipment companies are bracing for change as new Medicare reimbursements take effect this year. Maui News.

Resort installs photovoltaic system. Maui News.


Access to water was a major problem for the first phase of the Kilauea Community Agricultural Park. But no longer. Garden Island.

Council members on Wednesday put the brakes on passing a bill that would regulate lobbying on Kauai in order to answer a few lingering questions and to have a full council present for the decision. Garden Island.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Huge Hawaii surf competition slows Internet, interrupts workday, Big Island senator's residency questioned, rail conflict of interest lawsuit dismissed, 25% cigarette tax hike advanced, rocker Hagar helps Maui school, China to join RIMPAC, Native Hawaiian convention wraps up, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

screen grab
Screengrab World Surf League ‏@wsl  Ross Clarke-Jones on an amazing wave!
The waves at Waimea Bay rose like angry, 60-foot monsters Thursday, ripping surfboards from their leashes and sending spectators scrambling out of the wash as the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau finally went off for only the ninth time in 30 years. Star-Advertiser.

Was your Internet connection downright sluggish on Thursday? You can probably blame it on the Eddie big-wave contest. Hawaii News Now.

Thursday was an unofficial holiday for many Hawaii workers who were glued to their screens watching big-wave surfers take off on monster swells. Star-Advertiser.

A key state Senate committee advanced a bill Thursday to increase the state’s cigarette tax despite objections from smokers who say that extra tax burden will weigh most heavily on low-income residents. Star-Advertiser.

On the eve of the last day of the Native Hawaiian constitutional convention, foes held their own aha on Oahu on Thursday night to speak out against the Maunawili gathering. Star-Advertiser.

The Other Aha: Hawaiian Independence Backers Make Their Case. Aha Aloha Aina 2016 rejects the Nai Aupuni process for self-governance and insists on pushing for “real” independence. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers are pushing a bill to ban employers from accessing employees’ personal social media accounts. So far, more than 20 states have banned employers from snooping in employees’ personal accounts. About a dozen others are considering similar bills this year. Associated Press.

Two victims’ rights measures are still alive this session at the Hawaii Legislature, and one of them was passed with amendments by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means on Wednesday.Civil Beat.

China, while criticizing the U.S., says it will participate in RIMPAC. Star-Advertiser.

The legislature is advancing a bill to crack down on illegal mopeds.  Some lawmakers say this could be the year for passage of strict requirements. Hawaii Public Radio.

A Hawaii economic group says the state’s expansion remains on track thanks to a bustling construction sector, but global conditions this year could derail growth. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii residents are more likely to have a college degree than their mainland counterparts, but may not be reaping the same economic benefits of higher education, according to statistics analyzed by the Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Civil Beat.


Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Virginia Crandall tossed a lawsuit Thursday that sought to invalidate a number of Honolulu City Council votes on the municipality’s controversial $6.6 billion rail project that were made under questionable ethical circumstances. Civil Beat.

A lawsuit that sought to invalidate key Honolulu City Council votes cast for the rail project was dismissed in state Circuit Court this morning. Star-Advertiser.

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to invalidate Honolulu City Council votes on the city's $6 billion rail project over conflict of interest claims. Associated Press.

Hanauma Bay will reopen to the public on Friday now that the preserve’s bathrooms have been fixed, according to the City and County of Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

The city and HART broke ground today on the first group of rail stations for the Honolulu Rail Transit System -- the Don Quixote store, West Loch and Leeward Community College. KITV4.

The mother of a boy who disappeared from school and was found hours later in Waikiki, is suing the Department of Education. KHON2.

Hawaii Electric Co.s' top half-dozen executives all earned more than a half-million dollars in salary and other remuneration in 2015, with the head of the company taking in nearly three times that amount, according to Hawaiian Electric Industries’ recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Civil Beat.


Kai Kahele, recently appointed by Gov. David Ige to fill the Hilo state Senate seat of his late father, Sen. Gil Kahele, holds a low-cost state land lease for oceanview property in West Hawaii that is legally required to be his primary residence. But Kahele, 41, instead listed the Keneki Place, Hilo, home he now co-owns with his mother as his residence when he entered his name for consideration for the nomination to the seat vacated by his father’s passing. West Hawaii Today.

A Hilo Circuit Court judge officially remanded the Thirty Meter Telescope’s land use permit this week, setting the stage for another review by the state Land Board and a new contested case hearing for the proposed project on Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

A bill to raise the speed limit on Saddle Road cruised past the state Senate Committee on Transportation and Energy on Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources announced Thursday the selection of Lino Kamakau as Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement Hawaii Island branch chief. Tribune-Herald.


Rocker Sammy Hagar Helps Longtime Montessori School Expand. Maui Now.

Maui County has agreed to pay $7,500 to settle a lawsuit brought by a man who served more than 20 years in prison for a sexual assault conviction that was later dismissed. Associated Press.

At least for now, open agricultural burns by Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. will go on as planned after a 2nd Circuit judge granted the state Department of Health's request Wednesday to strike a motion by a Maui group and Maui residents to immediately halt cane burning while a lawsuit on the matter is pending. Maui News.

The state Land Use Commission ruled Wednesday that the proposed construction of a homeless campground near the entrance of Lahaina town would require a district boundary amendment, which would undo the project's current application for a special use and conditional permit before the Maui Planning Commission. Maui News.

Shipments between Honolulu Harbor and the three Maui County ports were down in 2015, compared to the previous year, according to intrastate shipper Young Brothers. Maui News.

Kauai police evacuated a Lihue home and neighboring properties this morning after a man found a 60 mm mortar round at his father’s home, Kauai County police said in a news release. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai Police gave the “all clear” Thursday night after a bomb scare in a Lihue neighborhood. Garden Island.

The Kauai Community Alliance outlined plans Wednesday to help about 350 homeless people on the island. Garden Island.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thirty Meter Telescope goes back to Land Board, Hawaii County Council candidate indicted on voter fraud charge, $13M settlement for Tripler Army Medical Center, homeless emergency extended, Kauai mulls raises for officials, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Tour of Subaru Telescope atop Mauna Kea © 2016 All Hawaii News
The proposed Thirty Meter Telescope project on Wednesday landed back in the jurisdiction of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, which now must hold a new contested case hearing. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige and acting Gov. Shan Tsutsui have signed eight emergency proclamations since taking office in 2014, including four that waive procurement and other normal procedures to more quickly address the highest per capita homeless rate in the nation. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Health has made some major improvements in its ability to test for the Zika virus, following the confirmation of a child born in the state with possible Zika-related birth defects last month. Civil Beat.

Key lawmakers in the state House and Senate are making some major changes to Gov. David Ige’s plan to spend $100 million in energy efficiency funds to cool 1,000 public school classrooms. Star-Advertiser.

Senate Committee Passes Bill to Authorize Psychologists to Prescribe Medication . Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii lawmakers are pushing a bill to make it easier to get medication that counteract the effects of overdoses, and provide immunity for people who administer them. Associated Press.

Why Do Business, Labor Groups Support The NextEra Merger? Many organizations have spoken out against the purchase of Hawaiian Electric, but not much has been heard from certain supporters. Civil Beat.

A proposed bill would make Hawaii’s current 100 percent renewable energy goal more clear and make sure that all resources being fed to the grid are by renewable resources, the head of the state’s Energy Office told Pacific Business News.

Democrat Lorraine Inouye was not alone when she held a campaign fundraiser Tuesday night at Mandalay in downtown Honolulu. It turns out that Sens. Donovan Dela Cruz and Michelle Kidani were on hand as well, and also asking for donations of $150. Civil Beat.

It’s high time to take expanding mongoose and rodent populations in hand before they destroy more of a fragile native landscape. That’s the gist of a new joint state and federal proposal to launch a comprehensive control or eradication of the invasive animals from native ecosystems. West Hawaii Today.


Following a successful first year of getting homeless people into so-called “Housing First” apartments and homes, the city is now seeking bids to expand the program across Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Beretania Street should soon offer drivers a smoother ride now that road crews are finally repaving the major thoroughfare, resuming work more than a year after abruptly stopping when they encountered shallow utility lines. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers are pushing for more details on Honolulu's backlog of untested rape kits, which supporters say can be crucial for catching repeat offenders. Associated Press.

The federal government has reached a $13 million settlement with the parents of a 7-year-old girl who as an infant suffered severe, permanent brain damage while being treated at Tripler Army Medical Center. Star-Advertiser.


Tiffany Edwards Hunt, a blogger and former County Council candidate, has been charged with voter fraud, the Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

State Sen. Lorraine Inouye is pushing a bill that would raise the speed limit on the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, commonly called Saddle Road, from 55 mph to 65 mph — 5 mph faster than the state’s highest-speed roads currently allow. Tribune-Herald.

Hu Honua Bioenergy is firing back at the Hawaii Electric Light Company in a document filed with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, addressing what it calls incomplete and misleading information in HELCO’s status report to the PUC. Big Island Video News.

One of Hawaii’s last remaining dairy farms is asking the state for help building its own milk processing facility. Big Island Dairy, located in Ookala, says the $10 million in special purpose revenue bonds it is requesting would help it secure low-cost loans for the plant, which it sees as helping stabilize the industry. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Health Systems Corp. West Hawaii Region board of directors has selected Frank Sayre to serve as its new chair. Pacific Business News.

On Saturday, faculty, students and residents will celebrate the grand opening and open house of the Hawaii Community College-Palamanui. West Hawaii Today.


The percentage of unused wind power by Maui Electric Co. in 2015 grew 3 percentage points to 10 percent compared to 2014, but the utility accepted its highest amount of power from wind farms in the year, according to a filing with the state Public Utilities Commission late last month. Maui News.

Victory Development's proposed 39-unit Nani Loa condominium hotel project in Kihei's "Kamaole Superblock" became a procedural hairball for the Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday. Maui News.


The county is considering more than $800,000 in raises for elected and appointed officials. Garden Island.

A 3 percent assessment cap for homestead and long-term affordable rental properties was approved unanimously by the five members of the county council present at Wednesday’s meeting. Garden Island.

In their Tuesday meeting, the planning commission approved the zoning, use, and special permits for a middle and high school along the mauka side of Kuhio Highway in Kilauea. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Native Hawaiians arrested for protesting Native Hawaiian convention, 46% profits for Matson shipping, bill tackles abandoned pets, homeless emergency extended, Honolulu employees fill Caldwell campaign coffers, reprieve for Coco Palms, dengue session slated, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo by Ryan Sonognini
Woman is arrested Monday at Native Hawaiian convention, photo courtesy Ryan Sonognini
Honolulu police have arrested eight people for trespassing at a golf club where Native Hawaiians are gathered to discuss self-governance. Associated Press.

A video posted to Facebook by user Kaukaohu Wahilani shows several Hawaiian activists, including Kaleikoa Kaʻeo and Kahoʻokahi Kanuha allowing themselves to be arrested by Honolulu police officers in protest of the Naʻi Aupuni ʻAha on Monday, Feb. 22. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui on Tuesday extended a emergency declaration proclamation to address homelessness statewide — the third extension to the proclamation on homelessness that Gov. David Ige first declared four months ago. Civil Beat.

Acting Gov. Shan Tsutsui on Tuesday again extended the state’s emergency proclamation to address homelessness on all islands. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii has extended the state's emergency declaration to fight homelessness. Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui announced the move Tuesday. It's the state's third extension since Gov. David Ige declared a state of emergency in October. Associated Press.

Hawaii lawmakers are expected to make a decision on House Bill 2773 on Thursday.  The bill would allow prisoners to retain their right to vote, even while incarcerated. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii already has the lowest gun death rates in the nation, but state lawmakers are looking to take gun control a step further. House Bill 625 aims to prohibit firearm and ammunition sales to people who have been convicted of misdemeanor stalking or sexual assault. Civil Beat.

State lawmakers are considering a bill to plug the insurance gaps for drivers who use personal vehicles to haul paying riders. Hawaii Public Radio.

A bill that will be heard Friday at the Hawaii State Capitol calls for punishing people who desert or abandon Fluffy and Fido. Civil Beat.

Lawyers for the company that had its three solar farm contracts terminated by Hawaiian Electric Co. said state regulators should investigate whether NextEra Energy Inc., the firm looking to buy HECO’s corporate parent, influenced the utility’s decision. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s largest ocean cargo transportation company, Matson Inc., earned a record profit last year despite fourth-quarter net income being a bit lower than the same quarter a year earlier. Honolulu-based Matson announced Tuesday that it earned $103 million last year, up 46 percent from $70.8 million in 2014. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. President and CEO Alan Oshima received total compensation of $1.4 million in 2015, according to a year-end filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Boost sub force to keep China in check, Pacific chief says. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii officials are proposing another round of tuition hikes to help deal with a deferred maintenance backlog of $503 million. Hawaii News Now.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell has received large chunks of cash from his own employees at Honolulu Hale as well as from those involved in major construction and development projects around town, a Civil Beat analysis of Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission data shows. Civil Beat.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell got mixed news as he walked through Chinatown with reporters to survey the streets of Oahu’s oldest neighborhood at lunchtime Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

With another round of high surf on the way to the north shore on Thursday, homeowners along the coastline are concerned for their property. KITV4.

As rates of erosion increase along Hawaii’s coastlines, policymakers are grappling with what to do with the hundreds of seawalls that line coasts and pose a potentially daunting liability risk to the state. Star-Advertiser.

The first Honolulu Biennial, set for spring 2017, is expected to have a $49.7 million impact on the Hawaii economy, the foundation behind the festival said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Patrick Sullivan, chairman and founder of the Honolulu-based engineering firm Oceanit, thinks Honolulu is brimming with talent and has enough capital for now. If that’s the case the stage is set for Startup Paradise to thrive. However, the city has a flaw, in his view — a lack of confidence. Pacific Business News.


Chairman Dru Kanuha has called a special meeting of the County Council for 9 a.m. March 2 to receive an update from local and state officials on efforts to control the dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.

The spread of dengue fever on Hawaii island appears to be slowing, but keeping up the fight is crucial on all fronts to ward off the mosquito-borne disease and others like it, officials say.Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo wants to put the brakes on its rapidly increasing tuition. Members of the UH Board of Regents will hear a new proposal Thursday for tuition hikes that would begin in 2017. Tribune-Herald.

A former Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee aide is joining the Office of Mauna Kea Management team as its new Cultural Resource Program Manager. Big Island Video News.


A group seeking to generate a voter initiative that would allow Maui residents to trigger the power of the county to convert farmland from private to public ownership will be holding a meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Haiku Community Center. Maui News.

A committee considering a new form of government for Maui County may take a vote Thursday on whether a County Council-county manager system would be an improvement over the current council-mayor system. Maui News.

Commentary: It’s pretty wonkish, but some pretty far-reaching local government reforms will be up for discussion at a public meeting this Thursday, Feb. 25. Yes, it’s time for yet another gathering of the county’s Special Committee on County Governance. MauiTime.

Hawaii regulators have conditionally approved the power purchase agreement between Maui Electric Co. and Lahaina-based Kuia Solar LLC for a planned 2.87-megawatt project in Lahaina near Lahainaluna School, which would be the first project of its kind on the Valley Isle, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

The state Public Utilities Commission approved Maui's first two "utility scale" power purchase agreements last week between Maui Electric Co. and two Maui-based companies for a total of 5.75 megawatts of solar power from facilities in Kihei and Lahaina that could be online by the end of the year. Maui News.

The Haleakala Visitor Center at the 9,741-foot elevation that overlooks the crater rim will be closed for repairs for several weeks beginning Wednesday. The repairs are expected to take four weeks, according to a park news release Monday. Maui News.


The redevelopment firm seeking to rebuild Coco Palms has a bit more time to get their ducks in a row, even though they’re going to be past deadline for demolition. Garden Island.

If elected to serve another term on the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative board of directors, Calvin Murashige wants to explore ways to inspire people to be more energy efficient. Garden Island.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hawaii emojis a hit, Legislature kills gambling, assisted-suicide bills, road study ignored, Maui school could be named for Patsy Mink, Native Hawaiians to protest constitutional convention, Waikiki groin work mulled, future of Big Island mayor uncertain, Coco Palms may be demolished, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Bank of Hawaii
emojis courtesy Bank of Hawaii
Emojis are changing the way people communicate across cultures, which has led Bank of Hawaii to introduce a set of local emojis for Hawaii that features images such as Spam musubi, a loco moco, shaka and slippers. Pacific Business News.

It’s a bit early to pronounce any issue to be dead and buried for this session of the state Legislature, but the prognosis is poor for any legalized-gambling bill in 2016. Star-Advertiser.

Seventeen state legislatures across the country were considering physician-assisted suicide bills this year, but Hawaii’s effort is already over. Civil Beat.

Nearly eight years ago a national pavement consultant gave Hawaii’s Department of Transportation recommendations to help improve the condition of its crumbling roads — but the consultant’s report was largely disregarded, and DOT leaders say they’ve only recently begun to enact some of the steps he suggested. Star-Advertiser.

House lawmakers have gutted legislation that initially set out to strike a compromise between the interests of the burgeoning industry that provides long-term care for the elderly in neighborhood settings and the consumer advocates looking out for thousands of Hawaii residents who live in these facilities. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian community leaders are protesting the Naʻi Aupuni ʻAha today, and have issued a signed declaration rejecting the process and calling on other Hawaiians to do the same. Hawaii Independent.

University of Hawaii students would see modest tuition increases of no more than 2 percent annually from 2017-18 through 2019-20 under a three-year tuition schedule being rolled out by UH President David Lassner’s administration this week. Star-Advertiser.

China is likening its construction of islands and placement of surface-to-air missiles in the South China Sea to the U.S. military presence in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi is the highest-paid Hawaii Department of Education employee at $200,000. At the other end, office assistants start at $22,824. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Still In Session? Let’s Raise Cash! Nine members of the Hawaii Legislature are holding fundraisers Tuesday night. It’s all perfectly legal. Civil Beat.


A 16-year-old passenger died Monday after being injured last week in a Pearl Harbor helicopter crash, hospital officials said. Associated Press.

Stakeholders have a couple of opportunities to pick the best method of shoring up the Royal Hawaiian groin, which is needed to keep Hawaii’s most visited beach from being swept away. Star-Advertiser.

Erosion continues to eat away at the Royal Hawaiian groin in Waikiki. It’s an issue that has been affecting the area for years. KHON2.

City officials will hold a hearing Tuesday to consider closing the main public access point to Maunawili Falls trail, which attracts more than 1,000 a week. Hawaii News Now.

The department of Planning and Permitting is holding a public hearing to reconsider a conditional use permit which currently requires public access to the popular Maunawili Falls Trail.  If approved, access to the trail head could be closed. KITV4.

Hawaiian Monk Seal Vaccinations Begin On Oahu. Researchers say the endangered Hawaiian monk seal population is on the rise. But so is the threat of a fatal virus that could wipe out the native species if it reaches Hawai‘i. Hawaii Public Radio.


People may line up on one side or the other over whether Mayor Billy Kenoi’s admitted misuse of his county-issued credit card was a criminal act, but there’s one thing Big Island residents seem to agree on — the investigation has gone on long enough. West Hawaii Today.

Following the completion of the much-anticipated audit of Hawaii County’s use of purchasing cards, or pCards, then-County Managing Director Wally Lau pledged the administration would follow through on all of its recommendations to prevent further misuse. But other than amendments to the County Code, it remains unclear how much progress the county has made in addressing the issue, sparked by the high-profile missteps of Mayor Billy Kenoi. Tribune-Herald.

The pension fund for Hawaii public employees has written off what it considers to be a bad $2.5 million investment it made in the Hu Honua Bioenergy project on Hawaii island after concluding the company won’t be able to resolve its engineering and other challenges. Star-Advertiser.

A California investor has pushed the pause button on the development of a 25-acre oceanfront estate at Puakea Ranch on the northern tip of the Big Island of Hawaii, the architect for the project confirmed to Pacific Business News.

In a week, it will be a year since a visiting bicyclist was killed in a vehicular collision by an on-duty police officer. West Hawaii Today.

Kihei Kai Nani residents are asking the Maui Planning Commission to grant them intervenor status and to hold a contested case proceeding for Victory Development's proposed $13 million, 39-unit Nani Loa condominium-hotel. Maui News.

Senate Bill 814, which has a hearing Friday, would require the Hawaii Board of Education to name the new public high school in Kihei, Maui, after the late U.S Rep. Patsy Mink. Civil Beat.

Growing up in Hawaii, residents are ingrained with reef etiquette and ocean safety early on: Don't stand on the coral, give fish and turtles their space and "if in doubt, don't go out." But for many Mainland and international visitors, a trip to Hawaii may be their first encounter with marine life and the unfamiliar dangers of the ocean. Maui News.

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is seeking advisory council applicants. Maui News.


The county may revoke the permits necessary for the rebuild of the Coco Palms Resort. The shuttered hotel’s restoration is once again up for debate, this time in front of the Planning Commission in a meeting scheduled at 9 a.m. today. Garden Island.

Bill Peterson, a candidate for the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative board of directors, is passionate about rooftop solar. Garden Island.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Hawaii farmland dwindling, dairy seeks state bailout, Honolulu Police sued for racial discrimination, cocaine possession mars Maui legislator's medical marijuana dispensary application, bad year for coffee, Legislature pares bill list, Kauai lobbying bill advances, Humane Society in Big Island group's cross-hairs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii Island farmland © 2016 All Hawaii News
There's a drop in the number of acres devoted to agriculture between 1980 and 2015: a decline of 200,000 acres of cropland and 340,000 acres of pastureland, representing drops of 57 percent and 31 percent, respectively. Star-Advertiser.

A state Department of Agriculture study of agricultural land use aimed at helping industry, government and the community in decision-making also tells the story of the accelerated decline of farming in Hawaii, punctuated by this year's announcement of the end of sugar cultivation on Maui. Maui News.

A baseline study of agricultural land use created by a team of Big Island researchers and planners is intended to help inform future decisions as Hawaii’s agriculture continues to evolve. Tribune-Herald.

Bad weather and a lingering pest problem delivered major blows to Hawaii coffee farmers this past season, according to a new report that estimates production of one of the biggest crops in the state fell 16 percent. Star-Advertiser.

And Then There Were 2,633 — Hawaii Legislature Pares List Of Bills. A look at some of the measures that survived the first major deadline of the session, and some of what has fallen by the wayside. Civil Beat.

Owning a car could soon become more expensive as lawmakers consider increases to the state’s fuel tax and vehicle registration fees. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island state Sen. Lorraine Inouye expressed confidence Friday that a bill requiring a feasibility study for an interisland ferry would at least advance from the Senate to the House this legislative session. Maui News.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and surgeon Ben Carson have qualified for Hawaii’s March 8 presidential caucus. They join Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, businessman Donald Trump and Ohio Governor John Kasich on the ballot. Civil Beat.

Under a bill making its way through the Legislature this year, an independent review board administratively attached to the attorney general’s office would conduct a separate investigation in police cases. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would give the state's counties the power to acquire electric utility property through eminent domain has passed second reading in the state House of Representatives, but it doesn't appear headed out of the House. Maui News.

State Sen. Josh Green has more than a half-million dollars in his campaign coffers, far more than any of his 24 colleagues. Civil Beat.


Bicycling advocates are worried that a push by Honolulu City Council members to gain more control over planned bikeways and other Complete Streets projects could stymie efforts to make streets more pedestrian- and bike-friendly. Star-Advertiser.

A racial discrimination lawsuit involving three Honolulu police officers who say their lives were put at risk because of the color of their skin appears to be about to come to an end. Civil Beat.

SunEdison Inc. is urging Hawaii regulators to not approve Hawaiian Electric Co.’s termination of the power purchase agreement between the two companies regarding the Missouri company’s three proposed Oahu solar farms, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

A $5.5 million federal grant will aid the University of Hawaii Cancer Center’s research into why cervical cancer rates are so high among certain Pacific Island populations. Civil Beat.

Christian leader Franklin Graham is scheduled to be in Honolulu Wednesday to hold a prayer rally, preach the Gospel and challenge believers “to take a stand and take action.” Civil Beat.


Hawaii’s largest dairy is seeking state help to develop a $10 million milk processing plant after the only local processor dramatically cut what it pays Hawaii’s last two dairy farms for their milk last year. Three bills at the Legislature backed by the administration of Gov. David Ige seek to allow Big Island Dairy LLC to finance a milk processing plant by selling bonds under the state’s authority. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Cuts To Pest Control Have Allowed Dengue To Thrive. The state aggressively attacked previous outbreaks of dengue fever that were quickly stopped but response efforts have been gutted. Civil Beat.

Fewer county police officers were fired or suspended last year compared to the year before, according to an annual report submitted to the state Legislature. West Hawaii Today.

The University of Hawaii is pulling out of geothermal research projects on Hualalai. West Hawaii Today.

Administrators of East Hawaii’s hospital system began last week to publicly build a case for the possibility of shutting down the Extended Care Facility at Hilo Medical Center. Tribune-Herald.

How to reduce the number of unwanted animals that are euthanized on the island? That’s the question some animal advocate groups want to answer, and they attended a town hall meeting to tackle just that. West Hawaii Today.


A federal judge denied United Public Workers' request to prevent the privatization of the Maui state hospitals. Pacific Business News.

U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor rejected Friday an attempt by the United Public Workers union to derail the privatization of Maui Memorial Medical Center and Kula and Lanai Community hospitals, according to an announcement from the state Department of the Attorney General. Maui News.

A legislator involved in a cocaine possession case in 1988 is part of a medical marijuana dispensary application.  Sen. J. Kalani English’s guilty plea on a charge of promoting a dangerous drug was deferred and the case later dismissed after he completed court requirements. Associated Press.

After two decades of steadily processing the island's green waste into compost, Maui EKO Compost recently diverted its millionth ton of waste. Maui News.

The state will pay $50,000 to settle a lawsuit against the Department of Transportation for failing to offer the driver’s license test in Chuukese and Marshallese. Star-Advertiser.


The eight-member citizen fact-finding group on pesticide use by Kauai’s major agricultural operators will release the draft of its final report on March 10. Garden Island.

A bill that would regulate lobbying on Kauai evolved in committee last week, and is expected to go before the County Council Wednesday. Garden Island.

The state is renewing its efforts to tackle a decades-long problem of accumulated trash and damage to heiau in Kauai’s Kalalau Valley — the result, for the most part, of illegal camping. Star-Advertiser.

Better bus system one solution to congestion. But an all-or-nothing approach difficult with tight budget. Garden Island.

Carol Bain says she is running for another term on the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative Board of Directors because she wants to see certain projects come to fruition. Garden Island.

Invasive species are still successfully staking their claim on Kauai. Garden Island.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Bill would let imprisoned felons vote, DLNR creates oversight panel after newspaper reports land-lease abuse, bill allowing media access at disaster scenes clears committee, sight-seeing helicopter crash alarms Pearl Harbor tourists, Thai restaurant fined for taking down health placard, tax reform for Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News allrights reserved
Prison guard in Hawaii © 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaii would become the third state to allow imprisoned felons to vote if House Bill 2773 becomes law. Incarcerated state residents would be allowed to vote by absentee ballot under the bill introduced by Rep. Kaniela Ing. It’s scheduled to be considered by the House Judiciary Committee on Friday. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ controversial revocable-permit program could be in for some big changes. Suzanne Case, chairwoman of the agency’s board, announced Thursday the formation of an eight-member task force, including several members from outside the department, to review the program and recommend revisions to ensure the process serves the public trust and provides transparency and consistency. Star-Advertiser.

With six months to go before the Aug. 13 primary, two high-profile lawmakers seem to be having trouble raising money for their re-election bids. But while Reps. Calvin Say and Tom Brower may be cash poor, two of their colleagues — Romy Cachola and Sylvia Luke — have been raking in the cash, despite easy wins in the 2014 election. Civil Beat.

More than 40 percent of Hawai’i’s homeless live unsheltered on neighborhood streets, parks, beaches or vacant properties.   But the state does not plan to spend more on shelters for this population. Hawaii Public Radio.

News media could be granted access to restricted areas in emergency situations under Senate Bill 533, but critics worry reporters might put themselves in danger or interfere with rescue workers. Civil Beat.

As the three members of the Public Utilities Commission weigh whether to let NextEra Energy take control of Hawaiian Electric Industries, a regulatory dust-up that came to a head in Florida six years ago might offer some guidance. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige is urging Hawaii lawmakers to appropriate $9.4 million to fund the state’s troubled health insurance exchange. Star-Advertiser.

Ige Nominates 7 To Environmental Council. The neglected council has struggled to meet over the past year due to lack of quorum. Civil Beat.

Cultivating cannabis has become somewhat mainstream and one startup is hoping to harness the excitement of the growing trend to create a commodities trading platform for hemp, which can only be operational in 27 states, including Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Airlines and other U.S. carriers now have two more opportunities to land another coveted slot at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono are praising an agreement announced Thursday that will add more flights between the United States and Haneda International Airport in Tokyo. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii in general, and Hawaiian Airlines in particular, could reap more visitors from new agreements between Japanese and American aviation officials. Hawaii News Now.

Voting on a bill that would create no-spray buffer zones around sensitive areas was deferred by The Hawaii House Agriculture Committee in a joint hearing with the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection Tuesday, essentially killing the bill for this legislative session. Garden Island.


A sightseeing helicopter carrying a family of four crashed just offshore of the USS Arizona Memorial visitor center Thursday morning, shocking tourists and prompting a few people to dive into Pearl Harbor to help those in the overturned aircraft. Star-Advertiser.

WATCH: Helicopter crash video near Ariz. Memorial. KITV4.

Schnitzer Steel and smaller metal recyclers would receive a 25 percent discount in refuse disposal fees under a bill passed 7-1 by the Honolulu City Council. Star-Advertiser.

Rail leaders have restarted condemnation proceedings for Blood Bank of Hawaii’s headquarters in Kalihi, despite the blood bank’s urging that they hold off as negotiations continue. Star-Advertiser.

A Thai restaurant in the Windward City Shopping Center faces a $7,000 fine for removing a yellow “Conditional Pass” placard that had been posted at its entrance after Health Department inspectors found food safety violations. Star-Advertiser.

Drivers stuck in traffic along the Waianae Coast may be getting some relief.  An afternoon contraflow lane in Nanakuli could be in operation in the next month or two, said state Rep. Andria Tupola, (R) Nanakuli. Hawaii News Now.


Lawmakers have advanced a bill curbing the ability of counties to pass their own laws regulating geothermal power plants. Three Senate committees voted late Wednesday afternoon in favor of an amended version of SB 2535, which gives the state exclusive authority to regulate “geothermal resources development and geothermal resources exploration,” unless it delegates that power to the counties. Tribune-Herald.

Puna Pono Alliance President Robert Petricci made the trip to Oahu to testify on Senate Bill 2535 relating to Geothermal Resources Exploration and Drilling. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. plans to kick one of its renewable energy partners to the curb. The utility said this week it likely will terminate next month a power purchase agreement with the foundering Hu Honua Bioenergy LLC plant in Pepeekeo, after the company failed to meet key deadlines in its effort to provide Hawaii Island with up to 10 percent of its energy needs in renewable power, totaling 21.5 megawatts. Tribune-Herald.


The Maui Police Department is seeking proposals for a body-worn camera system, as it takes a closer look at the technology. Maui News.

The Maui Police Department is considering outfitting officers with body-worn cameras. Hawaii News Now.

Heavy rains Tuesday night and early Wednesday flooded the Maui County Service Center at the Maui Mall, damaging computers and motor vehicle records, shutting down power and generating a foul smell. Maui News.

The Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau today launched its new “Maui Mavericks” public relations campaign and selected 16 next-generation leaders as Maui ambassadors for the program. Maui Now.

Kauai County needs real property tax reform, but a 3 percent assessment cap for homestead and long-term affordable rental properties could provide relief for some families while county officials hash out a complete overhaul. That was the general consensus of the committee that took on the assessment cap bill on Wednesday. Garden Island.

Actress Julia Roberts has dropped the asking price — for a second time in less than a year — of her beachfront estate on the Hawaii island of Kauai by about $4 million to $21.95 million, Pacific Business News has learned.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Nurses could prescribe medical marijuana, wait list trimmed for medpot cards, teachers on paid leave for sex with students, VA chief resigns, Honolulu pays homeless for lost possessions, unions protest Scott Walker talk, dengue fever canvassing continues, Hawaiian Electric cuts solar and biomass projects, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

public domain photo
marijuana bud
Advanced practice registered nurses, who already prescribe prescription drugs, could start certifying patients for medical marijuana under a bill passed out of committee Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The state Health Department says it has reduced how long it takes to process patients’ applications for medical marijuana from up to eight weeks to no more than five business days. Civil Beat.

Hawaii has less than two months before licenses are supposed to be awarded for medical marijuana dispensaries. But the state still has not chosen a panel to make those decisions. KHON2.

The state House Transportation Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would allow police to issue tickets to pedestrians for using mobile electronic devices, including cellphones, while crossing a street. Star-Advertiser.

Some state lawmakers want to strengthen the law against “vehicular lollygagging,” a term that describes motorists who drive slowly in the left lane as faster-moving traffic stacks up behind or streams around them on the right. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Education reported four separate cases where two teachers, a counselor and a custodian are each accused of having sexual relations with a student. And in two of those cases, the employees have been on paid leave for more than a year. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii is the only Western state without a citizen initiative process, but a few state senators here have begun efforts to change that. Civil Beat.

Wayne Pfeffer, the embattled head of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Pacific Islands Health Care System, has abruptly resigned, effective immediately, and will be returning to the mainland.Star-Advertiser.

The Hawai’i Republican Party hosted its annual Lincoln Dinner Fundraiser last night in Windward O’ahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

The percentage of prison guards across the state who called in sick on Super Bowl Sunday was down from last year, but nearly a third of all guards were still absent from work. Associated Press.

The state has been through “a dramatic change” — Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s words — in ag land use over the last 35 years with the end of the plantation era in both sugar and pineapple production. Civil Beat.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, will hold a series of talk story sessions across the islands about methods to control and eradicate invasive rodents and mongooses to protect the state’s native species. Maui Now.

The State of Hawai‘i has issued a request for proposals to modernize its payroll, time and attendance systems to provide greater functionality and efficiencies in serving more than 75,000 full- and part-time employees statewide. Maui Now.

Commentary: It only took Hawaii officials slightly more than 26 years to follow through on a state Auditor’s recommendation to modernize its payroll system, the Department of Accounting and General Services announced yesterday. MauiTime.

Recent census data that included Pidgin as a language Hawaii residents speak at home has sparked pride. It also got people talking about its use and the stigma that limits its wider acceptance in the state. Associated Press.


Embattled Honolulu police Maj. Ryan Borges, a 30-year veteran, has declined a promotion to assistant chief, HPD’s third highest-ranking position, following weeks of controversy because of his history of domestic abuse. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha announced Wednesday that Maj. Ryan Borges will not be promoted to assistant chief. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to pay a total of $48,500 to 21 homeless individuals to settle a lawsuit challenging the way the city applied its sidewalk-clearing laws. Star-Advertiser.

About a decade ago, the University of Hawaii Manoa set an aggressive goal to cut its energy consumption in half by 2015. It failed. Miserably. Civil Beat.

Public Utilities Commission Chair Randy Iwase blasted Hawaiian Electric Co. on Wednesday for terminating a contract for three solar farms on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu rail officials say they expect to know in about a couple of weeks what caused a temporary construction framework to accidentally “separate” from the elevated guideway over the weekend in Pearl City. Star-Advertiser.

It’s official: U.S. Rep. Mark Takai is running for re-election. Civil Beat.

Hawaii mixed-martial arts champion Egan Inoue has opened a cryotherapy treatment center in Moiliili. Pacific Business News.


Hawaiian Electric Co. plans to terminate its power purchase agreement with Hu Honua Bioenergy on March 1 after the developer of the large Big Island biomass plant missed several deadlines that were part of the contract between the two companies, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

The Big Island’s power utility wants out of its agreement with a troubled bioenergy production facility planned for Pepe’ekeo. Big Island Video News.

More than 30 volunteers, health workers and Civil Defense personnel spent Wednesday morning pounding pavement in Kailua Village, searching for standing water and educating entrepreneurs, residents and visitors on the dengue outbreak. West Hawaii Today.

Efforts to control an invasive insect that has caused significant damage to Hawaii Island’s macadamia crop are moving forward in the state Senate. Tribune-Herald.

A place to wait for the bus, a rock wall sign proclaiming the entrance and picnic tables for community events and socializing will soon be coming to Na Kahua Hale O Ulu Wini, a transitional housing complex in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.


A Maui County Council committee gave its blessing Tuesday to the county's proposed $1.2 million purchase of the Waiakoa Gym in Kula. Maui News.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Water, Land and Agriculture on Wednesday shelved a bill that would allow Alexander & Baldwin to hold on to the rights of millions of gallons of water that it diverts from East Maui streams even as the company plans to close its water-intensive sugar plantation on Maui in the coming months and lay off more than 650 workers. Star-Advertiser.

A Maui police officer was arrested on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 for violating a warning citation. Carlos, Frate, 31, of Kīhei, was arrested and charged for violating a warning citation, which was issued as a result of an investigation into a case involving alleged abuse of a family or household member, according to department reports. Maui Now.


After more than a year of clearing out garbage on a 75-acre piece of undeveloped land, ‘Aina Ho’okupu o Kilauea is making progress in establishing an agricultural park on the site. Garden Island.

The County of Kauai doesn’t collect reimbursements for airlift rescue expenses like those sometimes necessary on the Kalalau Trail, even though there are legal ways to recoup those dollars. Garden Island.

The County of Kauai Planning Department advises the Wailua Houselots community that personnel are walking door-to-door in the neighborhood Wednesday and this evening with a four-question survey. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Legislature mulls tax credits and hikes, pesticide buffer zone killed, state fights aquarium fishing rules, Oahu prison riot, planned Oahu jail can't skip environmental reviews, Hawaii Council split on 'Styrofoam' ban, Takai to run for reelection despite cancer, Kahele's son named to state Senate, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Mai tais are served in Kona bar © 2016 All Hawaii News
A tax credit that would help low-wage working families squeezed by rising rents and other costs is up for decision-making by the Senate Ways and Means Committee today. Star-Advertiser.

A measure that calls for an increase in Hawaii’s general excise tax to help residents take care of elderly and sick family members cleared another committee Tuesday. Senate Bill 2478 passed Senate Human Services on a 5-2 vote. Civil Beat.

Hawaii House lawmakers have deferred indefinitely a bill that would have created vegetative buffer zones around five schools as part of a pilot project to protect against inadvertent exposure to pesticides sprayed at nearby farm fields. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Fights Against Regulating The Catching Of Reef Fish. State officials seek in court to avoid limiting the collection of fish and other reef creatures for aquariums. Civil Beat.

Homelessness was cited by legislative leaders as the most pressing issue this session.  There are more than 130 bills relating to homelessness and affordable housing. Hawaii Public Radio.

Pro surfer Kohl Christensen wants an administrative hearing after he said technical problems with the state Department of Health’s website prevented him from applying for a license to grow and sell medical marijuana in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Finding qualified special education teachers is not the only staffing challenge facing Hawaii schools. As of Feb. 1, one out of every three school psychologist positions within the Department of Education was vacant. Only 56 percent of high-level occupational therapist positions are filled. And the DOE is also trying to recruit 484 educational assistants — employees of varying skills and education levels who work with special education students. Civil Beat.

Rooftop solar, utility-scale solar and wind, with some offshore wind, as well as geothermal, biomass and biofuels are the types of renewable energy sources that are part of Hawaiian Electric Co.’s interim status report to state regulators on its new energy plan. Pacific Business News.

If you’ve ever gotten stuck behind a slow driver in the far left lane of a highway or a freeway, you know how frustrating it can be. A new bill in Hawaii looks to tackle the issue of vehicular “lollygagging.” KHON2.

Hawaii lawmakers are considering a bill cracking down on slow drivers in the fast lane. Associated Press.

In 1779 the ruling chief of Hawaii island greeted a visitor from a distant land named Capt. James Cook at Kealakekua Bay and offered him a lavish gift of his own feathered cloak and helmet. Now, after 237 years away from Hawaii, the ahu ula (feathered cloak) and mahiole (feathered helmet) of Chief Kalaniopuu will be returning to the islands for display at the Bishop Museum starting March 19. Star-Advertiser.

With a salary of $550,008, head football coach Norm Chow was the highest-paid employee of the University of Hawaii system when the current fiscal year began last July. That’s hardly surprising. Across much of America, the head football coach of the biggest public university is the state’s highest-paid public employee, period. Civil Beat.


House and Senate committees Tuesday scrapped Gov. David Ige’s proposal to exempt the construction of a new Oahu jail from the state’s environmental review process amid mounting opposition from environmentalists and advocates for criminal justice reform. Star-Advertiser.

State Pulls Request For Prison Environmental Studies Exemption. Lawmakers advance bills to fast track relocation of the Oahu Community Correctional Center but decide environmental studies are a must. Civil Beat.

A riot broke out at Oahu Community Correctional Center – the state’s largest jail -- last week and one of the alleged instigators has caused trouble there before. Officials described the incident as the worst disturbance at OCCC in 30 years. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Police Department said Tuesday it is looking into a possible violation of department standards by a high-ranking officer after a controversy surfaced about his promotion. Star-Advertiser.

The mayor has met with Honolulu Police Department Chief Louis Kealoha over a controversial assistant chief pick. Hawaii News Now.

Top Hawaii unions plan to protest a talk by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is in Honolulu this week. Walker is to deliver the keynote address for the Lincoln Day Dinner, sponsored by the Hawaii Republican Party. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Mark Takai will officially announce today he is running for re-election to a second term despite his bout with pancreatic cancer, saying he is excited about the future and his doctors have cleared him to campaign. Star-Advertiser.

As traffic gridlock along the H1 freeway worsens, one city councilmember is calling for drastic measures. A new bill introduced by Councilmember Carol Fukunaga calls for a temporary ban on construction of major projects between Aiea, Salt Lake, Moanalua and Red Hill. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric Co. backed out of its contract with SunEdison Inc. for three utility-scale solar facilities on Oahu that were approved by state regulators in July. Star-Advertiser.

Instead of ramping up at a 47-megwatt solar farm in Wapio, work crews are ramping down. Employees got the bad news Tuesday morning, including a dozen who reported for what was to be their first day on the job.  Another 44 people recently hired at a job fair can’t begin work. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige on Tuesday appointed Hilo resident Kai Kahele to fill the District 1 Senate seat vacated by his father, the late Sen. Gil Kahele, who died unexpectedly last month at age 73. Kahele’s original term was to expire Nov. 6, 2018. Kai Kahele will represent Hilo until the primary and general elections are held later this year to elect someone to fill the remainder of the term. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. David Ige has appointed Kaiali‘i Kahele to the 1st district state senate seat that was held by his late father at the time of his passing. Big Island Video News.

Stalled on Styrofoam: Divided council sends foam food container ban out for more input. West Hawaii Today.

Door-to-door dengue education outreach begins today in Kailua-Kona, the lone Hawaii Island area identified as a high-risk area for potential dengue transmission. West Hawaii Today.

West Hawaii animal rescue groups and some community members are continuing a battle to force the Hawaii Island Humane Society to lower its euthanasia rates. West Hawaii Today.

A Captain Cook man accused of driving without proper materials during “Freedom Ride 2016” — and whose car was at one point suspected of having an explosive device on it before it was cleared — made his initial court appearance Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

W.H. Shipman wants to add traffic lights on Highway 11 to aid motorists driving into its business park, and is seeking a $2.75 million appropriation to get the project done. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County real estate sales were down slightly while median prices were up by single digits in January compared with January 2015, according to Realtors Association of Maui's monthly statistics. Maui News.


While there is no immediate threat for mosquito-borne viruses to strike Kauai, officials are asking residents to help make sure it stays that way. Garden Island.

Numbers gathered for the draft of the infrastructure assessment prepared by Honolulu-based SSFM International showed that by 2035, Kauai is going to be low on water, wastewater treatment capacity and in solid waste treatment capacity if trends continue as predicted. Garden Island.

SolarCity has selected Tesla Energy to supply the batteries for a first-of-its-kind solar array and energy storage system to be built for Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. Garden Island.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is working to provide affordable solar power all day and all night. The company SolarCity chose Tesla Energy to provide a “first-of-its-kind solar array and energy storage system” on Kauai, according to the statement from the co-op. Civil Beat.