Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Fourth! Beach bacteria, fireworks safety top holiday concerns; DOT postpones highway projects; ACLU lawyer to head state Ethics Commission; lava awes spectators; special ed students sought for lawsuit; Honolulu hepatitis scare, Omidyar dairy opposed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Despite some short-term spikes in fecal bacteria, waters around Hawaii Island show levels well below those considered unsafe. But most of the average readings for enterococci — the primary measure of contamination used by the U.S. Environmental Management Agency — have been steadily increasing over the past 10 years. West Hawaii Today.

Where to see the fireworks on July Fourth. Fire officials across the state are reminding the public that the safest way to enjoy fireworks on Independence Day is to leave it to the professionals. Hawaii News Now.

State Department of Transportation officials plan to defer hundreds of millions of dollars in long-awaited, major highway construction projects across the islands that were supposed to relieve traffic congestion so that they can focus more highway funding on maintaining existing roads. Star-Advertiser.

ACLU Lawyer To Be State Ethics Chief. A longtime legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, Daniel Gluck will oversee enforcement of the state’s ethics and lobbyists rules. Civil Beat.

Frustrated Champley ‘Considering Options’ After Removal From PUC. Gov. David Ige replaced him on the Public Utilities Commission just before it rules on the NextEra merger, raising legal questions. Civil Beat.

Attorneys representing special-education students in a 2010 class action lawsuit against the state are still trying to track down about 800 former students who “aged out” of Hawaii’s public school system at 20 years old under a state law that was later overturned. Star-Advertiser.


The Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial could be restored to its former glory — but with a high-tech touch — by 2019, exactly 100 years after the land was first acquired to construct the site, according to the senior field officer and attorney for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Star-Advertiser.

Recent cutbacks in Institute for Human Services Waikiki outreach efforts have led to complaints that homelessness is growing again in the state’s top tourism district, but Hawaii visitor industry officials vow to shore up the program, which would have closed next month without a cash infusion. Star-Advertiser.

Councilman Calls For Audit Amid Honolulu Ethics Commission Chaos. Events leading to the dismantling of the agency staff require scrutiny to restore public trust, Councilman Trevor Ozawa contends. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson is being stripped of his positions as the Council’s second-in-command and chairman of the influential Zoning and Planning Committee following a shake-up at Honolulu Hale. Star-Advertiser.

Michael McGrane, a budget analyst for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, was offered and accepted the chief financial officer position before the current CFO rescinded her resignation. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Department of Health is conducting an investigation into at least 12 adults on Oahu infected with hepatitis A. Civil Beat.

Honolulu was one of two major U.S. cities named “most livable” by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis last week. Star-Advertiser.


Cascading rivers of molten rock are attracting hundreds of awed spectators to Kalapana for a close look at a force that continues to shape Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.

At the end of the three mile trek along the Hawaii County-side of the Highway 130 emergency route, lava enthusiasts can get a good look at the 61g lava flow as it slides down the Pulama pali. Big Island Video News.

Kilauea’s fireworks show continues as lava slowly advances to the ocean on a coastal plain. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory released new photos and a video from a visit to the flow on Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

State Sen. Kai Kahele is selling his beachfront Milolii home back to the family he purchased the leasehold from, after questions arose about his residency qualifications for his Hilo-area Senate seat. West Hawaii Today.

Jen Ruggles, a candidate for Hawaii County Council, says she paid a delinquent $379.44 property tax bill Thursday after a reporter inquired about missed payments during the past two years. Tribune-Herald.

The state’s consumer advocate is siding with Ocean View residents in criticism of a plan to build acres of commercial solar panels in a residential area. Consumer advocate Jeff Ono’s statement of position released Thursday said the developers gamed the system by breaking the project up into smaller farms so it wouldn’t have to follow the bidding protocol that normally accompanies commercial solar operations. West Hawaii Today.

On Saturday, an estimated 8,000 island residents will gather in Hilo for the fourth annual gay pride parade, which organizers hope will bring awareness to the Big Island’s LGBT community. Tribune-Herald.


A spirit of compromise pushed the Lanai Community Plan update over the Maui County Council's finish line Friday. Maui News.

Two-term state House member Kaniela Ing faces a Democratic primary challenge from an opponent who is a former gubernatorial appointee and has the backing of several construction-related labor unions. Challenger Deidre Tegarden served as chief of protocol under Gov. Neil Abercrombie and in the same capacity with Gov. David Ige before stepping down to seek the 11th District (South Maui) seat occupied by Ing since 2012. Star-Advertiser.

Adam Radford takes over as the new manager of the Maui Invasive Species Committee today. Maui News.

With the closure of the three-decade-old Makena Beach & Golf Resort on Friday, construction will begin later this year on the $240 million Makena Golf & Beach Club, a high-end condominium project with a private beachfront community and club. Maui News.

As July 4th approaches, many Maui residents will head to Lahaina to watch the firework show on Monday. Other residents, however, will provide their own firework show. Maui Now.


Billionaire Pierre Omidyar's plans for Kauai dairy is facing new criticisms over its waste management plan. Hawaii News Now.

The 1,300-acre Kekaha Game Management Area might be closed to hunters if the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Department of Land and Natural Resources do not extend a licensed agreement to allow hunting on the Hawaiian home land area before the current agreement expires at the end of August. Garden Island.

The more than 1,600 registered medical marijuana patients on Kauai may not be getting their medicine at a licensed dispensary in July. Garden Island.

Sabra Kauka, a Kauai kumu and environmental educator, will be presenting at the 2016 Environmental Education Symposium for the Hawaii Environmental Education Alliance (HEEA) July 13-15. Garden Island.

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