Thursday, December 15, 2016

Obama family to arrive this weekend, agencies announce pesticide protection plan, Hawaii County restricts alcohol expenditures, new lawsuit against Honolulu police chief, Maui's first medical marijuana dispensary, successful missile test off Kauai, crickets as food, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Ala Moana Center plans to spend $4 million to replace existing railings throughout the Honolulu shopping mall after a railing gave way near the Hookipa Terrace on the mall's fourth floor two months ago, killing one man and critically injuring another, Pacific Business News has learned.

New worker protection standards, tripling the cost to register pesticides and better data collection are just a few of the projects being launched by the state to address restricted-use pesticide exposure. Garden Island.

Hawaii Says Its New Plan Should Allay Concerns About Pesticides. The Agriculture and Health departments say they’ll gather more data, improve emergency responses and communicate better with public. Civil Beat.

The state departments of Agriculture and Health are embarking on a series of initiatives to address concerns about pesticide exposure in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Surface water on Oahu and Kauai will be tested for pesticides in a $500,000 study as a way to address ongoing concerns about restricted-use pesticide exposure, state officials said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

President Obama and the first family will be spending the holidays in Hawaii. According to the White House, they leave Washington, D.C. for Honolulu on Friday, Dec. 16. KHON2.

Hawaii’s four Democratic electors have joined a movement asking for information about possible Russian hacking during the presidential election, calling on President Barack Obama to release a CIA report on the topic. Associated Press.

The four people in Hawaii tasked with casting the state’s Electoral College votes have asked President Barack Obama to release to electors the CIA report on Russia’s computer hacking designed to influence the presidential election. Civil Beat.

The uninsured rate in Hawaii has dropped by 49 percent since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, with 54,000 residents gaining coverage over the last six years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is the healthiest state in the nation for the fifth year in a row, according to the United Health Foundation’s 2016 report. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige on Wednesday reiterated his commitment to cancer research at a summit of the Hawaii Comprehensive Cancer Coalition, which has set a five-year goal to promote prevention, early detection, equitable access to care, and quality of life for cancer survivors through a public health campaign. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii regulators have shot down a request by an alliance of solar energy industry trade groups to increase the cap on one of the options for installing rooftop solar that replaced net energy metering, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

GoDaddy Inc., the world’s largest internet domain registrar known for its edgy Super Bowl commercials, has been cleared to start doing business in Hawaii, Pacific Business News has learned.

A federal civil lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges the police chief, his deputy prosecutor wife and several police officers are guilty of engaging in a "pattern of racketeering" and conspiring with others at the Honolulu Police Department. Hawaii News Now.

Gerard Puana filed Wednesday a second civil complaint against his niece, city Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, the wife of ­Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, naming the chief and five Honolulu police officers. Star-Advertiser.

Gerard Puana, the man once accused of stealing Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha’s mailbox, filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday saying he was the victim of abusive police tactics and malicious prosecution stemming from a family fight over money. Civil Beat.

City tax assessments rise, Waianae coast sees double digits. KITV.

Board directors at public isle companies are paid well for expertise, experience. Star-Advertiser.

State officials say they’re working to figure out what to do with possible skeletal remains found at a beach along Oahu’s North Shore. Associated Press.

Rolloffs Hawaii LLC, a major Hawaii commercial refuse and recycling firm that has been struggling financially, will be sold at a court auction early next year in an effort to keep the business running. Star-Advertiser.


The Hawaii County administration has overturned a 17-year-old policy and instituted strict new rules governing the purchase of alcohol with taxpayer money. West Hawaii Today.

A proposed Hawaii Electric Light Co. rate increase triggered biting comments from the public about the power company’s performance during a state Public Utilities Commission meeting Tuesday evening. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. wants customers to pay more for electricity, but several ratepayers in West Hawaii are having none of it. West Hawaii Today.

A company that wants to import biofuel through Hilo Harbor plans to resume refurbishing storage tanks at a former asphalt plant by February, its founder said. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Wellness Group, doing business as Maui Grown Therapies, announced Wednesday its first medical marijuana dispensary location in the Maui Lani Village Center at 44 Paa St. in Kahului. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Grown Therapies today announced its first medical cannabis dispensary is located in the Maui Lani Village Center at 44 Paʻa Street in Kahului.  The dispensary joins other medical, professional and retail businesses in the Professional Row section of the commercial development. Maui Now.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa has announced plans that could lead to the county purchasing property and infrastructure owned by Wailuku Water Company. Hawaii News Now.

The Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously denied Paia businessman Michael Baskin a special use permit to operate his nine-bedroom transient vacation rental, the Paia Inn. Maui News.

Maui County officials have denied a special-use permit to the owner of a short-term rental property who was hit with a half-million dollar fine last year as part of a settlement involving 30 alleged permit violations. Associated Press.

Sugar might still have a chance at surviving at the 36,000-acre Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. plantation on Maui — at least in a much smaller capacity, the head of its parent company told Pacific Business News.

Growing Maui’s farm-to-table cattle industry is among the chief projects of Alexander & Baldwin as its 36,000-acre sugar plantation folds at the end of this year. Maui News.


For Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura, whether the council repeals its GMO bill, the issues it raised will not go away. Garden Island.

The Missile Defense Agency and Navy continued testing the versatility of the SM-6 missile with a salvo of two missiles fired at a ballistic missile target in the “terminal” or final phase of flight early this morning off Pacific Missile Range Facility. Star-Advertiser.

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard USS John Paul Jones, an Aegis baseline 9.C1 equipped destroyer, on Wednesday successfully fired a salvo of two SM-6 Dual I missiles against a complex, medium-range ballistic missile target, demonstrating defensive capability and meeting the test’s primary objective. Garden Island.

The first round of several meetings addressing options for management of the newly expanded Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument came to Kauai Tuesday night. Garden Island.

Kauai County plans to develop a 550-unit affordable housing project in Eleele on the westside of the island, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

Two entrepreneurs are working to open an eatery on Kauai that offers customers healthy food options, with a focus on crickets as a main protein source. Associated Press.

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