Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lifeguard liability at issue, guided missile destroyers at Pearl Harbor, grid opens to more solar, transparency wins on Big Island, footbridge coming to Ala Wai, Kauai seeks police officers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii lifeguards © 2017 All Hawaii News
City and county leaders warned Wednesday that Hawaii taxpayers will pay the price if state lawmakers refuse to pass a bill extending liability protection for lifeguards working at public beaches. Star-Advertiser.

County lifeguards will remain on state beaches even if the Legislature ends the protection they have had since 2002 from certain personal-injury lawsuits, a group of mayors and council members said Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lifeguards may lose legal protections under amended bill. KHON2.

A bill that calls for generating education funding through a new surcharge on hotels and vacation properties has cleared the state House and is slated for conference. Tribune-Herald.

Nearly one year after the state chose its eight medical marijuana dispensaries, not one patient has actually been able to buy any cannabis. KITV.

Two guided missile destroyers stopped in Pearl Harbor as part of a relatively new ship grouping on their way to an increasing U.S. Navy armada — and a good deal of uncertainty — in the Western Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

Press release: Ships and units from the Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group (Sterett-Dewey SAG) arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April 11, the first stop of the group's Western Pacific deployment. U.S. Navy.

A Native Hawaiian fisherman is asking a state board to declare that only people who are lawfully admitted to the United States can get commercial fishing licenses. The petition was filed Wednesday in response to an Associated Press investigation that found hundreds of foreign fishermen confined to boats and some living in subpar conditions. Associated Press.

A documentary film about a transgender woman in Hawaii that has received awards and won wide praise is being cited by a Republican congressman as a waste of government money and a reason to eliminate federal funding for public broadcasting. Civil Beat.

A state Senate confirmation hearing has not been set yet for Thomas Gorak, commissioner for the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, who was nominated to serve a term until 2022 by Gov. David Ige late last month. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Electric said Wednesday the utility is opening up space for about 2,800 additional rooftop solar systems to connect to the grid. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has enough capacity on one of its rooftop solar energy programs to accommodate about 2,800 customers, the utility said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.


The city is moving forward with design and planning work for a pedestrian and bike bridge across the Ala Wai Canal that would align with University Avenue and Kalaimoku Street. ​ Star-Advertiser.

Wind farm developers looking to build in agricultural or country zones on Oahu must host a public hearing, present details to the area neighborhood board or community association and notify nearby property owners of the pending permit application, according to rule changes adopted by the Honolulu Planning Commission. Star-Advertiser.

A $2 million fund aimed at helping business owners adversely affected by construction of the city’s contentious East Kapolei-to-Ala Moana Center rail project is included in the latest version of the city’s $2.45 billion operating budget. Star-Advertiser.

Many social service agencies rely on the Hawaii Foodbank to get meals to those who need them most. Hawaii News Now.

The UH Athletics Department is looking at ways to energize its area there in the quarry on the Mānoa campus. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Several County Council members took Planning Director Michael Yee to task as he presented his budget plans Tuesday, after he listed public participation as one of the top three goals of his department. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Council members hounded Mayor Harry Kim on two high-priced administration hires during Tuesday’s Finance Committee discussion on the proposed county budget. Big Island Video News.

More than 100 UH-Hilo students, staff exposed to TB; Testing clinics slated for next week; expert says risk of infection low. Tribune-Herald.

Four Hawaii Island residents are challenging Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval of Army monitoring plans for depleted uranium, or DU, at Pohakuloa. Big Island Video News.

A long-simmering threat to Hawaii Island’s honeybees has resurfaced. American foulbrood, a disease caused by bacteria that infect bee larvae, was discovered in a hive in Volcano last week. Tribune-Herald.

A 39-year-old woman will serve 90 days in jail for her role in the distribution of more than 3,700 hydrocodone pills over 10 months while a receptionist for a medical center. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Liquor Control Commission has tentatively scheduled a special meeting for May 9 to hear public testimony on new liquor rules that allow the retail sale of alcohol 24/7. Maui News.

Maui veterans are calling for improvements to the Veterans Choice Program, an option that allows those who live far from Veterans Affairs medical facilities to seek care with civilian doctors. Maui News.

Piʻilani Highway near Kalepa Point in East Maui is now open following repairs conducted at a sink hole reported earlier today. Maui Now.


Kauai Police Department is hiring, looking nationwide for potential candidates. KHON2.

The Kauai County Council took a stance against discrimination Wednesday by passing an amended resolution. Garden Island.

Over a week before a video surfaced of a man being dragged off a United Airlines flight went viral, a California man experienced a similar situation from the same airline before he departed Kauai. Garden Island.

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