Monday, April 18, 2016

Federal judge orders sex harassment training for Hawaii airports, new state auditor coming, Kauai pesticide study turned over to feds, Honolulu rail pivotal in mayoral election, low humpback whale sightings concern residents, police give fellow officer a pass on DUI test, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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U.S. District Court Judge Michael Seabright ordered Hawaii’s Department of Transportation on Thursday to complete training within six months for all of its Airports division employees on preventing sexual harassment or discrimination. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Legislature is planning to vote to appoint a new state auditor, in a move that would direct the attention of an official who's viewed as a strict government watchdog from the Legislature to the executive branch. Associated Press.

The state will have the power to summarily suspend the licenses of doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists who lose their practicing privileges in other states under a bill adopted by the Senate on Friday and headed to Gov. David Ige for his consideration. Star-Advertiser.

After a busy week passing hundreds of bills before a major deadline, Hawaii lawmakers are facing another cutoff to send the final form of constitutional amendments to the governor’s office. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers are now considering a bill to create an independent review board in the Attorney General’s Office to oversee state and county investigations into all police killings and in-custody deaths to ensure the inquiries are comprehensive and fair. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers are considering a bill to close the gap in car insurance coverage for transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. Star-Advertiser.

Law says they can open as soon as July 15. But will the state’s medical marijuana patients actually see dispensaries by then? Some in the industry don’t think so. Tribune-Herald.

Scientists Model Future Of Oceans In A Changed Climate, And It’s Not Pretty. We know there’ll be problems on the shorelines, but global warming also poses big threats to life out at sea. Civil Beat.

A group is pushing to study the humpback whale population amid a season of lower-than-normal sightings. Associated Press.

Hawaii regulators have chosen to go with Virginia’s Leidos Engineering to continue running the state’s ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program called Hawaii Energy, which serves Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, Lanai and Molokai, a spokeswoman for Leidos confirmed to Pacific Business News.

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is predicting a statewide uptick in employment in the near future, with a construction boom leading the way. Tribune-Herald.

State behind national average in incorporating special ed in classrooms. West Hawaii Today.


The agency responsible for planning and building Honolulu’s rail project is relying on outdated financial figures — and its latest estimates of how much over budget the project is are almost certainly too low and likely to climb, a report by the Office of the City Auditor concluded. Star-Advertiser.

Stung by criticism his agency is mismanaged, HART’s executive director continued a vigorous defense in a written response accompanying the final version of an audit released Friday. Civil Beat.

State law requires that law enforcement officers conduct breath, blood or urine testing on drivers involved in crashes resulting in injury or death, yet a Honolulu police officer arrested last week for alleged drunken driving was given a pass by fellow officers after he refused to submit to testing. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Councilman Trevor Ozawa wants to get a handle on all the shopping carts that are scattered around Honolulu. Civil Beat.

At the official opening of his Nimitz Center campaign headquarters, Mayor Kirk Caldwell told supporters that his re-election is about “plans, progress and people.” Civil Beat.

A 25-year-old Sumatran tiger at the Honolulu Zoo was euthanized Sunday due to complications from old age, city officials said. Djelita, who turned 25 on March 26, was the oldest living tiger in captivity, according to a post on the zoo’s Facebook page. Star-Advertiser.

Salt Lake residents are again raising concerns about a foul odor emanating from Honolulu Country Club’s water features, but just who is responsible for fixing the problem remains unresolved nearly two decades since efforts began to clear the air. Star-Advertiser.


A rescue organization formed to ship dogs to mainland shelters is suing the Hawaii Island Humane Society and several other defendants, claiming the society stole credit for the air shipment of dogs off-island early last year, and that several individuals associated with the society conspired to smear the rescue organization. West Hawaii Today.

A well-connected Honolulu architect has been told to stop rebuilding a rock wall on the shore of Lalakea Pond. Tribune-Herald.

Residents and users of Keauhou Bay gave the Department pf Land and Natural Resources a piece of their mind on Friday during a hearing to gather input on a proposed offshore mooring project at the popular location. Big Island Video News.

Part of the years-long legal fight over Kawa Bay is now set to go to trial in federal court. Kittrena Morgan, a former resident of the area, sued Hawaii County and the police officers involved in her arrest on Oct. 25, 2012. West Hawaii Today.

The Hamakua Coast is looking to its past to plan for its future. It’s been more than five years since county planners along with residents began the process of creating a Community Development Plan for the region, part of a longterm effort to have CDPs in place for the entire county. Tribune-Herald.


After leasing Waiakoa Gym for more than four decades, Maui County closed on a deal to purchase the gym this week, for $1.2 million plus closing costs. County officials say the price tag was lower than the initial appraisal of $1.4 million. Maui Now.

The county Department of Water Supply will host hands-on community workshops for residents to identify and evaluate ways to manage, develop and use Maui's water resources to meet the needs of all water users, according to an announcement from the department. Maui News.

Free public beach access parking is available in Kaanapali, but finding it is like being on a hunting expedition. Maui News.

Pu'u Kukui in the West Maui Mountains, often described as one of the wettest spots in the world, is not all that wet so far this year with March rainfall totals the lowest on record. Maui News.

The Lahaina Honolua Kupuna Serenaders perform at the start of Saturday morning's blessing and kickoff event for the Lahaina Harbor street improvement project located next to Lahaina Harbor. Maui News.


The state Department of Agriculture has turned over to the federal government its report on workers sent to a Kauai hospital after entering a Syngenta Inc. cornfield sprayed with a powerful pesticide. Star-Advertiser.

Consultants leading a highly controversial analysis of the environmental and public health impacts of genetically modified farming in Kauai County issued a statement late Saturday responding to recent criticism. Civil Beat.

Four county lifeguard towers were outfitted with new solar-powered PA systems this month and all lifeguard towers received high-powered megaphones, thanks to donations from community supporters. Garden Island.

Sandi Combs said she wants to represent District 14 because it’s time for her to lead by example. Garden Island.

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