Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Milestone for Honolulu rail, Big Island coffee farmer faces deportation, China invited to 2018 RIMPAC, airport rename official, Portlock surfers seek access, Maui council passes $705M budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Mayor's Office
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell at rail trial run, courtesy photo
Honolulu rail officials tested a rail car on the partly-built elevated guideway for the first time today. They took it for a 3-mile ride, towing it between the Waipahu Transit Center and the West Loch Station. Associated Press.

The rail project got on track — literally — Tuesday afternoon when the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation ran a train along a portion of its guideway. Civil Beat.

The public got its first glimpse of a train car moving along Oahu’s partly built elevated guideway Tuesday, as testing began on the vehicle in Leeward Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

It was a moment nearly a decade in the making. On Tuesday, the first rail cars slowly made their way across the elevated guide way in Waipahu. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu’s rail project took a step forward Tuesday when cars moved along the elevated guideway for the very first time. KHON2.

The unexpected sight of the train on the tracks startled people going about their business in Waipahu town. KITV.


The Hawaii Council on Revenues left its quarterly fiscal forecast for the state general fund unchanged Tuesday, opting to not speculate on whether the Legislature will raise taxes to maintain funding for Honolulu’s over-budget rail project. Civil Beat.

China has been invited to return to Rim of the Pacific exercises off Hawaii in the summer of 2018 despite a new round of challenges between the United States and the rising Asian nation in the East China and South China seas. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii’s nearly 4,000 faculty members would receive annual pay increases of at least 2 percent over the next four years under a tentative deal reached with the state. Star-Advertiser.

The days of pizza and ice cream parties in Hawaii’s public schools are coming to an end. Garden Island.

Health insurers received a reprieve from an Obamacare fee this year, which in part helped to bolster the earnings of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, the state’s largest health maintenance organization. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii’s largest airport was formally renamed the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport this morning in a poignant ceremony in the Honolulu facility’s atrium building, which sits under the new signage. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu International Airport is now officially known as the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu International Airport renamed to honor late U.S. senator. KITV.

The notion of reselling workforce housing units — and whether the profits should be shared with the state — is at the crux of an ongoing debate over a state proposal to change the affordable housing rules in Kakaako. Civil Beat.

Residents and surfers expressed outrage Tuesday night about a new gate on a private lane blocking public access to a Portlock beach. Star-Advertiser.

A gate blocking public access to the ocean in East Oahu continues to be a hot topic issue for area residents and lawmakers. Hawaii News Now.

Residents demand action in battle over East Oahu beach access. KHON2.

An Oahu school has been without a fire alarm system for years. KHON2.

​Honolulu falls behind Mainland cities as sought after summer destination. Pacific Business News.

Three state representatives hosted a town hall meeting on medical marijuana Tuesday evening at Kapolei High School. KITV.

The sentencing of a college student charged with animal cruelty in connection with the killings of Laysan albatrosses at Kaena Point has been postponed until July. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii mechanical engineering professor admitted Tuesday in U.S. District Court that he allowed someone else to download child pornography video from his computer using a file-sharing program. Star-Advertiser.

A longtime restaurant in Honolulu featuring authentic Hawaiian cuisine is preparing to close its doors after serving customers for more than 50 years. Associated Press.

Hawaii Island

The plight of a Hawaii island coffee farmer facing deportation came under the national spotlight Tuesday as a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge took a broad swipe at the Trump administration and its immigration policies. Star-Advertiser.

A Trump administration order to deport a man who entered the country illegally and became a respected businessman in Hawaii was “inhumane” and “contrary to the values of the country and its legal system,” a judge on the nation’s largest federal appeals court wrote today in an unusually impassioned opinion. Associated Press.

How folks feel about a proposed fuel tax hike may depend on how close they sit to the road. West Hawaii Today.

Parties in the ongoing Thirty-Meter Telescope contested case have submitted their final arguments for consideration by hearings officer Riki May Amano. Tribune-Herald.

An undeveloped oceanfront parcel on Hawaii’s Big Island that includes 16,455 acres of land and some six miles of coastline, including Pohue Bay, is on the market for an asking price of $18 million. Pacific Business News.

A big piece of the Big Island has been put back up for sale after its owner never went through with a remote coastal resort development plan. Star-Advertiser.

Papakolea Beach at South Point was named among the world’s 28 “most extraordinary beaches.” Beaches were selected by the travel site Expedia for their “quirky features, breathtakingly divine vistas and memorable characteristics.” Tribune-Herald.


The Maui County Council gave its final approval Tuesday to the county’s $705.2 million fiscal 2018 budget, which will include slightly higher motor vehicle weight taxes to pay for more roadway improvement projects, which the community asked for, council members said. Maui News.

Maui corrections officer: Understaffing, overcrowding putting lives at risk. Hawaii News Now.

Public comments are due June 7 on an environmental impact statement preparation notice for a project to revamp Kaanapali Resort properties owned by the State of Hawaii Employees Retirement System. Maui News.

Fair coordinators are hoping Gov. David Ige will identify Neighbor Island fairs as a “purpose for public good” and waive wharfage fees to ship carnival rides and games to keep the popular events running in the face of rising shipping rates. Maui News.

Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. will receive a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant of $1,047,514 to help fund 13 Head Start centers on Maui and Molokai, according to an announcement from U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. Maui News.

The High Technology Development Corp. has partnered with entrepreneurs Nick and Brittany Heyd to share their business knowledge with tech innovators in the state. Pacific Business News.

Two New Care Providers Join Kaiser on Maui. Maui Now.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard gave the keynote address at Kihei Charter High School’s 16th commencement ceremony at the Maui Nui Golf Club in the Maui Research & Technology Park on Friday. Maui News.


The Hawaii Tourism Authority’s recently released visitor statistics show an 18.9 percent increase in visitor expenditures on Kauai for the first four months of 2017 over the time in 2016 — from $536.4 million in 2016 to $637.6 million in 2017. Garden Island.

Conservationists at National Tropical Botanical Garden have discovered new populations of a number of species listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, including laukahi (Plantago princeps var. anomola). Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Hawaii remembers fallen soldiers, whistleblower claims retaliation in USS Arizona ticket scheme, Camp Smith officer tangled in corruption probe, Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz rises in state Legislature, state unloading affordable housing complexes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

James Horton, Director of National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
courtesy James Horton, Director of National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
A sea of American flags fluttered across 38,000 graves on the green grass of Punchbowl cemetery Monday as the nation’s war dead were remembered and an overdue debt of gratitude was paid to Vietnam veterans decades after the contentious Southeast Asian war was fought and debated back home. Star-Advertiser.

About 2,000 people gathered at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Punchbowl on Monday to commemorate those who serve -- and those who made the ultimate sacrifice in their service. Hawaii News Now.

James Horton, Director of National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, reflects on changing public perception of today’s military. Hawaii Public Radio.

After blowing the whistle on a ticketing scheme at the USS Arizona memorial four years ago, a disabled veteran is speaking out for the first time about the retaliation he faced. Hawaii News Now.

A high-ranking civilian defense employee at Camp Smith is the latest former Navy officer caught in the ongoing investigation into the corruption scandal centered around Singaporean-­based defense contractor Leonard Glenn “Fat Leonard” Francis. Star-Advertiser.

How Did Donovan Dela Cruz Just Become Hawaii’s Most Powerful Senator? The longtime pro-business, pro-rail lawmaker has a history of ethics concerns, backroom dealing and a volatile temperament. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation is moving forward with plans to sell six state-owned affordable housing properties on three different islands to a private buyer. West Hawaii Today.

Despite months of negotiation and meetings, the Every Student Succeeds Act hasn’t undergone the changes that the Hawaii State Teachers Association wants to see. Garden Island.

Applications are still being accepted for a limited number of prekindergarten spots in 13 public charter schools for next school year. Star-Advertiser.

Most Of The Imported Seafood We Eat Isn’t Inspected. Hawaii experienced a hepatitis outbreak last year due to tainted scallops and may be on the verge of another due to bad ahi. Civil Beat.


The City Council will consider a proposal to allow a Waikiki nonprofit group to set parking fees, oversee freight and passenger deliveries, and make other transportation rules in the state’s No. 1 tourist destination. Star-Advertiser.

Beachgoers and surfers are the latest groups to object to a city plan to raise an additional $4 million by doubling parking prices and increasing parking enforcement hours in Waikiki and downtown. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu’s new “homeless court” so far has cleared a backlog of 268 cases since it began in January and — perhaps more important — has gotten four homeless defendants housed, including a chronically homeless man who now has an apartment after nearly 30 years on the street. Star-Advertiser.

A ship carrying a giant concrete-and-steel cradle built to hold ships out of the water so they can be worked on will be an unusual nautical sight to see off Honolulu International Airport today. Star-Advertiser.

The moving and visually stunning Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony remained hugely popular this year as tens of thousands of people descended on Ala Moana Beach Park on Monday. Star-Advertiser.

As the sun set Monday, tens of thousands lined the calm shores of Ala Moana Beach Park’s Magic Island to place illuminated lanterns on the water, watching them drift away into the horizon. Hawaii News Now.

A moving ceremony at Magic Island Monday evening as thousands of lanterns were released into the water at the Memorial Day Lantern Floating Ceremony. KITV.

The 19th annual Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony has once again brought tens of thousands of people together to honor loved ones who have died. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Feature film producers want the Big Island to ramp up its film-making gravitas with a state-of-the-art studio for indoor production. Tribune-Herald.

Mainland filmmakers spent an average of more than $17 on the Big Island for every Hawaii County resident in the past year. Tribune-Herald.

More than 100 pay respects at Memorial Day ceremony. West Hawaii Today.


A memorial for World War II veterans of Maui County was unveiled Monday at the Maui Veterans Cemetery, where a couple hundred people showed up to pay their respects on Memorial Day. Maui News.

Maui to Get $1M in Federal Funds for Head Start. Maui Now.

It's been a little more than five months since the last haul of a commercial sugar crop on Maui. The precise plans are still evolving for alternative crops on the land that was once used to plant sugar cane. But that's not the only question relating to big sugar-there's also a matter of hardware. Hawaii Public Radio.


Memorial Day speakers emphasize the high cost of war and the need to remember and honor the fallen. Garden Island.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Iolani Palace vandalized, Kauai cuts budget rather than raise taxes, Maui Mayor Arakawa announces Lt. Gov. bid, DLNR raises rents, Big Island man had 91 dogs, Molokai library celebrates 80 years, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Iolani Palace © 2017 All Hawaii News
A man is in custody for allegedly vandalizing three historic doors at Iolani Palace and a glass door at the state Capitol building Sunday, according to the state Department of Public Safety. Hawaii News Now.

A 57-year-old man has been arrested after Iolani Palace and the Hawaii State Capitol were vandalized. KHON2.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is wasting time and money by conducting a review of more than two dozen federally protected areas — including Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and the Pacific Remote Islands — to determine whether they should be abolished or their boundaries restricted, according to a letter sent to Zinke on Thursday and signed by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and 85 other House Democrats. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has pledged to forgo campaign contributions from political action committees, commonly known as PACs, joining just a handful of other members of Congress who have recently rejected the money from special interest groups. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has increased rents on nearly 300 month-to-month land permits by as much as 27 percent to account for its failure to adjust prices for years despite a 2005 board policy calling for regular reviews. Star-Advertiser.

Affordable housing and homelessness are two of the toughest problems Hawaii faces. A new non-profit is aiming the resources of homebuilders at these challenges. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii’s incoming education chief says she’s a school reformer who is committed to narrowing achievement gaps — though she’s also garnered some criticism in districts she’s led in the past. Tribune-Herald.

When Hawaii’s public school students return to classes in the fall, the program that serves up chicken burgers, pizza and nachos onto their lunch trays each day will have undergone a few changes. Tribune-Herald.

Kamehameha program celebrates 50 years of sharing Hawaiian culture with kids. Star-Advertiser.


Valuable but largely underused land along Honolulu’s urban waterfront is being readied for development again by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and this time a controversial element of residential use is not being sought. Star-Advertiser.

A City Council committee last week deferred a bill that would require periodic inspections and mandatory corrective action for unsafe conditions at commercial buildings, condominiums and apartments three stories or higher — a measure introduced in the wake of a fatal Ala Moana Center accident in which a railing collapsed. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu-based Nobscot CEO Beth Carvin launched a new social media platform on Tuesday called JamBios. Pacific Business News.

Martin Pahinui, son of famed Hawaiian musician Gabby Pahinui and a musician, vocalist, and Hoku Award-winning recording artist, died today at his home in Waimanalo, his family said. He was 65. Star-Advertiser.

Slack key guitarist, vocalist and musician Martin Pahinui died in his home Sunday morning after a long battle with cancer, according to family. KITV.

Hawaii Island

If Hu Honua Bioenergy’s long-delayed biomass power plant were to go online by the end of 2018, Hawaii Electric Light Company’s ratepayers would see increases in their electricity bills, according to an analysis HELCO filed Wednesday with the state Public Utilities Commission of a proposed power purchase agreement. Tribune-Herald.

After about eight years of planning, a mixed-use development along Komohana Street is closer to becoming a reality. Tribune-Herald.

A research and education center to be constructed about a mile north of the Puu Waawaa cinder cone moved a step forward this week with the publication of a finding of no significant environmental impact. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii State Department of Education and the University of Hawaii signed a memorandum of understanding with Maunakea Observatories to form an official working group for the Maunakea Scholars program. Pacific Business News.

Owner of 91 dogs praises Humane Society’s efforts to rescue animals. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa, who cannot run for re-election because of term limits, said Friday that he intends to seek the lieutenant governor’s seat in 2018. Maui News.

Maui County officials are baffled that state lawmakers decided to end limited liability immunity for county lifeguards, which “opens the floodgates” to personal injury lawsuits, a Maui County Council member said last week. Maui News.

Principal construction began last week on turning the former 310-room Makena Beach & Golf Resort into 50 condominium units and other structures that will be part of the Makena Golf & Beach Club, a the private beachfront community. Maui News.

Entrance fees to Haleakala National Park will be increasing Thursday to cover costs of improvements at the park. Maui News.

Warrant issued for ex-Potty Boot Camp operator in Hawaii. Associated Press.

A pilot program on Maui looks to use goats to manage weeds on the shoulders of some State Highways. Hawaii Public Radio.


When the Kauai County Council meets Wednesday, it is expected to approve the operating and Capital Improvement Projects budgets for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. submitted a $204 million budget in March. But when he submitted his supplemental budget on May 5, it reflected a $600,000 decrease, bringing it to $203.5 million. Garden Island.

Planning for a full-time Charter Review Commission is under way. Garden Island.

Nakamura reflects on first session as legislator. Garden Island.

Fisher named Kauai program director for The Nature Conservancy. Garden Island.


The Molokai Public Library celebrated 80 years of service to the community at a ceremony held on the front lawn Saturday. Hawaii News Now.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Tourism up, 2 Hawaii beaches make top 10, schools no longer graded, OHA secrecy irks beneficiaries, farm exchange program worries lawmaker, Oahu app replaces Nixle, low-income Maui renters face eviction, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Tourists visit rocky black sand beach © 2017 All Hawaii News
A surge in travelers from the U.S. mainland, Canada and Japan fueled a 7.5 percent increase in visitors to Hawaii last month compared to the same month last year. Associated Press.

Visitor arrivals and spending in the islands increased for the 11th straight month in April, keeping Hawaii on track to reach its sixth consecutive year of record tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s four core visitor markets led to strong tourism gains in April, offsetting declines from all other international markets, according to preliminary statistics from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

Maui, Big Island beaches make annual Dr. Beach top-10 list. Kapalua Bay Beach on Maui came in at No. 2 on the list, while Hapuna Beach State Park on Hawaii island came in at No. 8. Associated Press.

President Donald Trump’s revised executive order on immigration “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination,” a federal appeals court said Thursday in ruling against the travel ban targeting six Muslim-majority countries. Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin is spearheading the state’s effort to block President Donald Trump’s new executive order. Associated Press.

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin said Thursday that not even President Donald Trump is above the Constitution following a Virginia federal appeals court decision against the administration's revised travel ban. Pacific Business News.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that President Trump's controversial travel ban should be kept on hold, maintaining a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocks key elements of the executive order from being enforced. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a nationwide injunction against President Donald Trump’s Revised Executive Order, dated March 6, 2017, banning travel from six Muslim-majority nations. Maui Now.

Hawaii public schools starting this fall will no longer be ranked against each other on how well their students perform on standardized tests and other academic benchmarks. Star-Advertiser.

As it deals with infighting in the boardroom and a criminal investigation into its contract awards, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is facing new questions over the secrecy of some of its investments. Hawaii News Now.

A farm-exchange program which provides housing in exchange for work on organic agricultural operations is the source of growing concern from some state lawmakers. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu is bracing for some of its highest tides in more than a century in a rare event scientists describe as a test-run for a future of rising sea levels. Star-Advertiser.

City crews have brought in sandbags in anticipation of high surf conditions at Oahu beach parks, where water levels are expected to rise tonight and peak Friday — bolstered by astronomical “king tides.” Star-Advertiser.

King Tides Are Providing A Glimpse Of Hawaii’s Future. Volunteers help to document what happens when some of the year’s highest tides combine with a south swell and ongoing sea level rise. Civil Beat.

Parts of the state's most famous beach all but disappeared Thursday, as a "king tide" coupled with a south swell pushed up surf along Waikiki's shoreline to well beyond the normal high water mark. Hawaii News Now.

The Department of Transportation announced Thursday that it will add a new freeway lane on Moanalua Freeway from Red Hill to the Aiea Heights drive overpass, making more use of the current space by re-striping the area and preserving the amount of road space. KITV.

Beginning in early June, the Hawaii Department of Transportation will be working on the H-201 Moanalua Freeway westbound from the Halawa Interchange to the Aiea pedestrian overpass on the H-1 Freeway. KHON2.

A new emergency messaging app is replacing Nixle. The city announced the HNL Info app at a news conference Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

City says goodbye to NIXLE alerts and came up with their new mobile app. KITV.

A government crackdown on Oahu basil farms and their pesticide use practices has led to a settlement with a Waianae farm that has agreed to pay a $26,700 penalty. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Stadium officials said they are re-examining security plans in the wake of the Manchester concert bombing and other terrorist attacks. Star-Advertiser.

A former Honolulu nightclub is being fined for numerous violations that came to light after a violent clash between bouncers and customers last year. Hawaii News Now.

Three more cases of mumps have been confirmed on Oahu, the state Department of Health announced Thursday. Civil Beat.

The World, a luxury residential cruise ship, has docked at Aloha Tower during its year-long voyage that included stops at the four major islands. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

As the budget process winds down, Mayor Harry Kim is spending considerable time and effort meeting with various groups across the island to discuss the finer points of his office’s proposed $491.2 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. West Hawaii Today.

The county has hired a consultant and selected properties for two new wastewater treatment plants as it works toward complying with a federal consent order requiring the closure of gang cesspools in Ka‘u. West Hawaii Today.

Waikapuna eyed for conservation. Tribune-Herald.

State raising awareness of hala scale. West Hawaii Today.

Part two of a series on the homeless population in North Hawaii, with possible solutions from local nonprofits, churches and community groups for how to tackle the problem. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island leads spending, arrivals gains for Hawaii tourism in April. Pacific Business News.


Hundreds Of Low-Income Maui Residents May Face Eviction. Their taxpayer-subsidized apartment building was supposed to be affordable for 50 years. But a loophole could end that arrangement far sooner. Civil Beat.

A procedural change in the way the county Department of Liquor Control processes permits to sell alcohol for one-day events is jeopardizing Maui nonprofit organizations’ fundraising efforts, according to a petition circulated via email this week by the Maui Non-Profit Directors Association. Maui News.

The transportation department has accrued some unusual help to manage weeds next to Maui roadways, goats. KHON2.

Maui County Parks are going organic. A pilot project to create pesticide-free county parks is underway on the Valley Isle. Hawaii Public Radio.

In addition to more parking, residents want food trucks, a plaza and a children’s museum in Wailuku town, according to an online survey that concluded earlier this month. Maui News.

With reports of the ocean washing over Honoapiilani Highway in Ukumehame on Wednesday and Thursday, the National Weather Service is warning of possible coastal flooding in Maui County due to record-level spring “king tides.” Maui News.


The General Plan will keep land in Princeville zoned as resort. On Tuesday, the Planning Commission voted against the plan’s attempt to take away the resort designation, which it currently has. Garden Island.

Eleven people were arrested in the past two days for illegally camping in Kalalau Valley, according to the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources on Thursday. Garden Island.

Coco Palms takes spotlight at LBA meeting. Man tells legislators they have no authority over property. Garden Island.

State Reps. James Tokioka, Dee Morikawa and Nadine Nakamura, and Senate President Ron Kouchi offered a look at the highlights of the legislative session that wrapped up earlier this month. Garden Island.

‘King tides’ could be norm. Rising water offers chance for citizen science. Garden Island.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

USS Arizona Memorial employee took gifts from tour company seeking tickets, 5-8 tropical cyclones predicted, state sues car makers on airbags, Maui rousts homeless, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy National Park Service
USS Arizona Memorial, courtesy National Park Service
A National Park Service employee at the USS Arizona Memorial accepted gifts from tour operators in violation of ethics regulations, U.S. Department of Interior investigators said Wednesday. The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to prosecute. Star-Advertiser.

Investigators: USS Arizona Memorial Employee Took Improper Gifts. Tour operators gave the worker a jacket and golf course green fees, the U.S. Department of Interior found. Civil Beat.


The Central Pacific Hurricane Center today predicted five to eight tropical cyclones for the 2017 hurricane season. Star-Advertiser.

After two busy hurricane seasons, brace yourselves for an encore: Forecasters are expecting another above-average year for tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific. Hawaii News Now.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center released its outlook for the 2017 Central Pacific Hurricane Season, which begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. KHON2.

Climate conditions point to a near to above-normal hurricane season in the Central Pacific basin this year, forecasters announced today. Big Island Video News.

On the 25th anniversary of the season that brought devastating Hurricane Iniki to the islands, National Weather Service forecasters are warning of another possible busy hurricane season. Star-Advertiser.

A developing El Nino could result in a slightly busier than normal hurricane season this year, forecasters said today. West Hawaii Today.

For 2017, the outlook calls for a 40% chance of an above-normal season, a 40% chance of a near-normal season, and a 20% chance of a below-normal season, with 5 to 8 tropical cyclones expected to affect the Central Pacific. Maui Now.

Another cyclone season is winding up, and forecasters are predicting more storms than last year. Garden Island.


Scientists studying sea level rise at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa need your help. Impacts of some of our highest tides of the year are predicted to be seen this week. And the general public is being summoned to document those impacts along the thousand or more miles of coastline across the island chain. Hawaii Public Radio.

More than a dozen settled claims against the state of Hawaii will be paid under legislation signed into law Tuesday by Gov. David Ige. The claims total $17.9 million, an increase of almost $7 million from a similar claims bill last year. Civil Beat.

Hawaii has filed a lawsuit against three major automobile manufacturers for selling cars with dangerous air bags. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is suing auto manufacturers Ford, Nissan and Toyota over air bags that can spew shrapnel when they deploy. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Office of Consumer Protection filed a lawsuit against automakers Toyota, Nissan and Ford for unlawful practices in connection with the marketing and sales of vehicles with Takata airbags to Hawaii consumers. Pacific Business News.

UH Regents want to ensure coaches' salaries don’t go out of bounds. Star-Advertiser.

Maui and Big Island beaches make Dr. Beach's top 10 list. Associated Press.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell released his strategy to increase affordable housing on Oahu on Wednesday, packed with new regulations and incentives for developers. Hawaii News Now.

A City Council committee deferred a bill Wednesday that would place tighter restrictions on private sponsorships of parks and other city facilities after the Outdoor Circle raised concerns that the measure does not go far enough to prevent sign clutter and preserve Oahu’s natural beauty. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Sierra Club is pressuring state officials to require massive underground fuel storage tanks operated by the Navy be upgraded faster to protect a critical source of drinking water for Oahu residents. Star-Advertiser.

The Kailua Neighborhood Board passed a motion recently asking the city to revise its feral chicken removal program to focus on trapping roosters. Civil Beat.

The Board of Water Supply wanted feedback on the future of the Haiku Stairs -- and it got it. Nearly 700 suggestions poured in, about two-thirds of them just before Tuesday's close of the public comment period. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture on Wednesday declared little red fire ants eradicated from a Mililani Mauka neighborhood. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Green will become the first medical marijuana dispensary in Hawaii to have a “soft opening” in June, but customers won’t be able to buy products that elicit a high. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii technology startup will receive a federal grant of more than $1 million to research and develop a low-cost data acquisition system. Pacific Business News.

HDOT warns Honolulu airport travelers of limited parking during Memorial Day weekend. KHON2.

A king tide appeared to reign Wednesday along sections of Oahu’s south shore. Star-Advertiser.

Lifeguards and Hotels along Oahu's tourism hot spot are preparing for impacts from an incoming 'king tide' and south swell. Hawaii News Now.

One of the casualties of the King Tides was Hilton’s Friday night fireworks show. KITV.

A street in Mapunapuna is already flooded as businesses prepare for effects from a king tide. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Power’s future taking shape: BioEnergy Hawaii’s waste-to-energy plans clearer. West Hawaii Today.

Hu Honua Bioenergy reached a settlement in its federal antitrust lawsuit against Hawaiian Electric Light Co. and its parent companies, Hawaiian Electric Co. and Hawaiian Electric Industries, over a terminated power purchase agreement. Tribune-Herald.

An election challenge pending since 2014 will have to wait a bit longer before it’s resolved, now that a three-member panel charged with hearing it has eroded to a single member. West Hawaii Today.

The National Science Foundation is sponsoring an ecological observatory that will connect research sites throughout the United States for the next three decades, with one proposed for the Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve. Tribune-Herald.

Beach-goers and oceanfront residents should keep an eye out over the holiday weekend for tides that could rise more than foot higher than normal. Hawaii County Civil Defense spokeswoman Kanani Aton said Wednesday no county park or beach closures are planned, though that could change if warranted. Tribune-Herald.


Police and park rangers cleared out the homeless encampment Tuesday at Baldwin Beach Park that they said had become one of the largest on island. Maui News.

Maui Grown Therapies is aiming to open as early as July, selling lotions, tinctures, oils, capsules and concentrates at its first dispensary in the Maui Lani Village Center, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. Maui News.

Alexander & Baldwin, the parent company of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. that shut down in December, continues to negotiate with prospective buyers of the Puunene Mill. Maui News.

Two school bus companies — one new to the island — will be transporting public school students in Maui’s largest complexes beginning next school year. Maui News.

The Maui News reporters and photographers captured five awards — three of them first-place honors — in the 32nd Hawaii Publishers Association Pa’i Awards that recognizes works of Hawaii’s newspapers and publications. Maui News.


The United States Postal Service hasn’t yet scheduled another meeting to talk with the public about closing and relocating the Rice Street post office. Garden Island.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. recently attended the first Japan-Hawaii Economic Summit on the Big Island along with other Hawaii and Japanese leaders. Garden Island.

The Kapahi Bridge is scheduled to reopen this afternoon. Garden Island.

Prepare for ‘King Tides’. Predicted high tides for Kauai. Garden Island.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hawaii Democrats pan Trump budget, UH seeks to commercialize research, Board of Education OKs rail route impact fees, Caldwell to unveil affordable housing plan today, Kaui councilman fails to disclose marijuana business, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii road construction © 2017 All Hawaii News
For a second year in a row, lawmakers have blocked the DOT's request to increase taxes for Hawaii drivers, even though the tax hikes were backed by Gov. David Ige. The proposal would have increased the state fuel tax from 16 cents to 26 cents per gallon, bumped up annual registration fees from $45 to $50 and raised the motor vehicle weight tax by a quarter of a cent. Hawaii News Now.

In a move designed to strengthen the University of Hawaii’s position as a hub for economic development, the state is on the verge of adopting a program designed to help commercialize intellectual property created at UH. Civil Beat.

State confirms new timeline for medical marijuana as dispensaries harvest first crops. KHON2.

Members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation slammed President Donald Trump’s proposed budget Tuesday, saying it cuts critical programs for the poor and working class, such as Medicaid and food subsidies, to fund tax breaks for the rich, echoing a chorus of criticism from Democratic colleagues in Washington. Star-Advertiser.

The federal administration’s full budget proposal for 2018 drew strong criticism from Hawaii’s state representatives who called the plan "cruel" and "dangerous." Pacific Business News.

Hawaii legislators pan Trump budget. Garden Island.

The federal government’s full budget proposal for 2018, which it released on Tuesday, includes over $258 million in construction work a for various projects at Hawaii’s military bases. Pacific Business News.

A man acted strangely long before he caused a disturbance on a plane that prompted fighter jets to accompany it to Hawaii, but a lack of communication and an airline’s hesitancy to be caught on video booting a passenger could have played a role in allowing him to fly, experts say. Associated Press.


After more than two years of analysis, number-crunching and talks with developers and housing advocates, the details of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s affordable-housing strategy package is expected to go public today. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council is urging the formation of a Task Force to clear illegal homeless camps. Hawaii Public Radio.

A City Council committee on Tuesday revived a bill that would make it illegal for O'ahu residents to look at their phones while crossing a street or highway. KITV.

To accommodate an estimated 10,000 students expected to enroll in urban Honolulu schools as development swells along the city’s rail route, the Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved establishing a so-called school impact fee district from Kalihi to Ala Moana. Star-Advertiser.

Despite opposition from developers and the city, the Hawaii Board of Education voted Tuesday to establish a new school impact fee district along the planned Honolulu rail line from Kalihi to Ala Moana to help cover the cost of school services for the area’s anticipated population increase. Civil Beat.

Businesses along Waikiki's famous shoreline are prepping for a big high tide and incoming south swell that could bring coastal flooding later this week. Workers at Hawaiian Oceans Waikiki expect the elevated water levels will force them to alter their operations Thursday and Friday. Hawaii News Now.

At Ala Moana Beach Park, boards and sandbags have been put up to protect against the tides. KHON2.

A circuit judge Tuesday sentenced a former Honolulu police officer to 60 days in jail on multiple drug charges including the promotion of cocaine, marijuana and powerful painkillers. Star-Advertiser.

The Kahala Hotel and Resort is asking permission to use more state land for more weddings. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has approved 420 residential rooftop solar systems attached to batteries on Oahu, but the city Department of Planning and Permitting has given building permits to only 33. Star-Advertiser.

Despite relatively low spending on parks, Honolulu scored in the top third in an annual ranking of urban park systems in the 100 largest U.S. cities. Star-Advertiser.

Urban Honolulu is among the worst places to live in the U.S. if you're trying to save money, according to KITV.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Island’s low-income, elderly population could be hit particularly hard under President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, which would deeply cut a federal food assistance program throughout the next decade as well as other “safety net” programs for low-income people. Tribune-Herald.

Shunichi “Shun” Kimura, the Big Island’s last county chairman, its first mayor and a retired Hilo Circuit judge, died Saturday in California after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 87. Tribune-Herald.

West Hawaii dedicates Purple Heart Memorial. West Hawaii Today.

Papaikou retirees seeking patent for little fire ant bait stations. Tribune-Herald.


A Department of Land and Natural Resources enforcement officer is accusing his own agency of covering up the alleged misuse of a state-funded helicopter. Hawaii News Now.

More buses and routes could be ways to ease traffic along the congested Honoapiilani Highway between Maalaea and West Maui, community leaders told the Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization on Monday. Maui News.


Kauai County Council Chairman Derek Kawakami owns more than 14 percent of a company that’s hoping to grow medical marijuana in Hawaii. But you wouldn’t know that if you looked at the financial disclosure form he filed in January with Kauai County. Civil Beat.

A $5 million project to allow development of a substance abuse treatment and healing center for adolescents was unanimously approved by the Planning Commission Tuesday. Garden Island.

After Kauai’s only racetrack was repaved in 2013 thanks to capital improvement plan funds, the drag strip will now add electricity and a scoreboard for its 2018 season. Garden Island.

About 25 percent of Kauai’s keiki are not kindergarten-ready, according to the 2017 Kauai Early Childhood Care and Education Report under the Keiki to Career Kauai Initiative. Garden Island.

Kunoa Cattle Co. which manages a herd of 2,000 cattle on Kauai, has partnered with all Times Supermarkets locations on Oahu and Maui to sell its ground beef. Pacific Business News.

A decline in the price of scrap metal prompted Puhi Metals Recycling Center to start charging commercial haulers for dropping off their recyclables. Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hawaii has high consumer debt, Oahu airport fees to increase, Waimanalo landfill sparks debate, attorneys blamed for loss of lifeguard liability protection, counties react to king tides, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ala Moana Center © 2017 All Hawaii News
Hawaii’s high cost of living has given residents the dubious honor of having the second-highest consumer debt per person in the nation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s total consumer debt per capita increased from $51,810 in 2005 to over $67,000 in 2015, making it the second highest in the nation, according to a new report released by the Department of Business and Economic Development. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii residents are rising in the ranks of the indebted. Tribune-Herald.

County officials are blaming a group of prominent personal injury lawyers with strong ties to House leaders for thwarting an effort to extend most liability protection to lifeguards who might face lawsuits related to their jobs. Civil Beat.

It seems every few weeks yet another pundit predicts who Democrats might field for president in 2020. And in more and more cases, Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard makes the cut. Civil Beat.

New movie ‘The Islands’ looks for Native Hawaiian to play King Kamehameha. KHON2.

Parents challenge Hawaii's ukus, or head lice, policy in public schools. Hawaii News Now.

Scientists have issued a warning that Hawaii faces the threat of serious coastal flooding this week and in June because a rare convergence of rising sea levels and some of the highest tides of this year. Associated Press.


A final decision on the fate of the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill likely will be delayed again due to possible procedural errors by the Honolulu Planning Commission. Star-Advertiser.

A representative from the state Department of Transportation told a room full of pilots and private aviation owners on Monday they are facing double-digit rent increases at Honolulu airports. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply is seeking final public input on options for the future of the precarious Haiku Stairs hiking trail, with all comments due at the end of the day Tuesday. Civil Beat.

The controversial Haiku Stairs have been the subject of debate for years. Now, the Board of Water Supply wants to know what you think the future of the "Stairway to Heaven" should be. Hawaii News Now.

From the wife of the richest man in South Korea to the husband of the CEO of Hawaii’s largest publicly traded company, the first closings of the luxury condominium units at Park Lane Ala Moana appear to be to a mixture of international and local buyers. Pacific Business News.

The city wants to hear from you about a proposal to build a multi-tower, mixed-use development across from Ala Moana Center. KHON2.

The latest homeless point-in-time count indicates an increase among veterans on Oʻahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

Last year, Honolulu EMS responded to about 86,000 emergencies. EMS officials say that number will likely climb up as Oahu's population grows. KITV.

State officials have launched a project to study the pueo in an effort to better understand the owl’s ecology on Oahu and to develop standardized surveying methods and management practices. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu is among the top 10 destinations for this upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

A planned clean up of the Old Airport Park, set to coincide with the permanent relocation of the some 50-70 homeless individuals that reside there, has been a top priority of the administration since Mayor Harry Kim assumed office.  West Hawaii Today.

Homeless in North Hawaii: part one of a two-part series on how the homeless population in Waimea and throughout North Hawaii is growing. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County is hiring staff to fill empty positions at Kona Community Aquatic Center. West Hawaii Today.

Co-op launches effort to make Big Island pork industry viable. Tribune-Herald.


Maui officials react to king tide predictions. Maui News.


A swell will be arriving with the highest water levels of the summer late this week, and experts say tides could rise up to a foot above normal. On Kauai, that means low-lying areas like Hanalei and Kukuiula could be at risk for flooding, according to experts. Garden Island.

School bus contracts given. The Hawaii State Department of Education reached the final phase of its “Get on Board” initiative with new contracts on Kauai for the upcoming school year. Garden Island.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Honolulu Zoo struggling; schools superintendent, tourism officials, PUC appointee named; Maui and Kauai advance budgets; tropical storms, high seas expected for summer; Caldwell, Honolulu officials to get 5% raise, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 Al Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu Zoo © 2017 All Hawaii News
A year after the Honolulu Zoo suffered an embarrassing loss of accreditation from the Association of Zoos &Aquariums, three zoo exhibits are shuttered and the facility lacks a permanent director. Star-Advertiser.

A rare convergence of rising sea levels with some of the highest tides of the year could cause episodes of serious coastal flooding in Hawaii over the next few months, scientists are warning. Star-Advertiser.

More than 30,000 online public comments have already poured into the U.S. Department of Interior’s web-based docket system since the agency opened a review of more than two dozen federally protected areas, including the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and Pacific Remote Islands, at the direction of President Donald Trump. Star-Advertiser.

After years of legal wrangling, the state and advocates for foster parents thought they had a deal to help cover the cost of caring for foster children — but one state lawmaker torpedoed the settlement. Star-Advertiser.

An Arizona school district superintendent was tapped to serve as Hawaii’s next chief of public schools. Tribune-Herald.

The state Board of Education said Friday it has selected Christina Kishimoto as the new superintendent to lead the Hawaii State Department of Education. Pacific Business News.

Christina Kishimoto, superintendent of a public school district in Arizona, has been selected as the new Hawaii public schools superintendent, the state Board of Education announced Friday. Maui News.

Rep. Beth Fukumoto is expected to face tough questioning from members of the Democratic Party as she seeks their acceptance after ditching the Republican Party earlier this year amid a political dust-up over critical comments that she made about President Donald Trump. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige on Friday appointed James “Jay” Griffin, a natural energy researcher at the University of Hawaii Manoa, to an interim seat on the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Pacific Business News.

Two business and tourism veterans will join the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the government agency responsible for statewide tourism marketing. The state Legislature has confirmed Sherry Menor- McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, and Kelly Sanders, area managing director of Marriott Hotels and Resorts Waikiki, as HTA’s newest board members. Star-Advertiser.

Investigators Try To Figure Out Why Man Tried To Disrupt Flight. The man who created a disturbance on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu faces possible federal charges of interfering with a flight crew. Associated Press.

A University of Hawaii faculty member is causing a stir in conservative media circles by suggesting that white men need to quit their jobs to make room for minorities and women. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Souki’s House career lasted 35 years for good reason. Star-Advertiser.


The Honolulu Salary Commission is recommending 5 percent raises for the mayor, police chief and other top city officials. Civil Beat.

Even with the official number of homeless people soaring in their communities, some state and city lawmakers on Oahu say the latest homeless census gives them a better idea of how to plan for possibilities that could include hygiene centers and even tent cities. Star-Advertiser.

A former employee of DuPont Pioneer on Oahu is suing the company, claiming she was retaliated against for raising concerns about its use of pesticides. Civil Beat.

A planned public school envisioned to be a “vertical” prototype for urban Honolulu areas near transit stations is on track to be built sooner rather than later as part of a Kakaako project with two residential apartment towers. Star-Advertiser.

The City Council is advancing a bill aimed at addressing long-standing concerns about foul odors emanating from waters around the Honolulu Country Club in Salt Lake. Star-Advertiser.

Public comments wanted for study on future of Haiku Stairs. KHON2.

A $300 million waterfront retail village would be a welcome amenity for many Hoakalei Resort and Ocean Pointe homeowners in Ewa Beach, but some of them still want something else: $27 million from a jury award two years ago and more in pending claims. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Transportation plans to begin resurfacing Farrington Highway from Kili Drive to Kaena Point in Makaha in the coming weeks. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu International Airport’s name will be officially changed to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport at a ceremony on Memorial Day weekend, but the new sign is already up on the main airport building. Star-Advertiser.

AT&T workers in Hawaii continued their three-day strike on Sunday to fight for better wages and benefits. Four of Oahu's nine AT&T stores remained closed while workers rallied near Ala Moana Beach park. Hawaii News Now.

Resort Fees: A Hidden Pain For Tourists, A Windfall For Hotels. While consumer advocates decry costs for amenities like swimming pool access and in-room safes, the fees bring in an estimated $2.6 billion annually for hotels. Civil Beat.

Natives are recolonizing urban Honolulu. Native birds, that is. The white tern or Manu O Kū is thriving in Hawaiʻi’s most populous city, and so is its fan base – the Hui Manu O Kū. Hawaii Public Radio.

Commentary: Rail debacle should prompt developers, bankers to step up. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Chlamydia infections are circulating unchecked in Hawaii County, state Department of Health data shows. Tribune-Herald.

Kona led Hawaii Island in auto thefts in 2016 and is on track to do so this year, as well, according to data from the Hawaii Police Department. Tribune-Herald.

Dr. Sharon Bintliff left county councilmembers smiling after a vote in support of her nomination to sit on the ethics board. Big Island Video News.

In a case of justice grinding slowly but exceedingly fine, the Hawaii Island Board of Registration on Tuesday is scheduled to pick up a 2014 election dispute that first took a trip to the Hawaii Supreme Court. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo’s state senator says it “is really, really unfortunate,” that Hawaii County is still without an East Hawaii representative on the University of Hawaii Board of Regents. Big Island Video News.

The state Land Board rejected a petition from a Thirty Meter Telescope opponent seeking an online transcript of the project’s contested case hearing. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Office of Housing and Community Development has prepared its list of projects it plans to fund with allocations from a long-standing federal initiative, but it’s not clear how long that program will continue. Tribune-Herald.

After the rescue of more than 80 dogs from a South Kona property, the Hawaii Island Humane Society is looking to the community to give the animals temporary homes. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Council passed on first reading Friday an approximately $705.2 million fiscal 2018 budget. Maui News.

The Maui Planning Commission will hold a hearing Tuesday on ATC Makena Holding’s application for a special management area permit, but under a court order last week the panel will only acknowledge and accept petitions to intervene. Maui News.

The National Weather Service is expecting an “above-average year” for tropical cyclones, which could destroy huge sections of Honoapiilani Highway and isolate West Maui residents from the rest of the island for months — possibly a year, a senior forecaster and hurricane specialist said. Maui News.

A pesticide-free pilot program will launch in four Maui parks over the coming year in the county’s quest to find greener measures that won’t break the bank. Maui News.


The Kauai County Council voted 6-1 to approve $201 million for the next fiscal year on May 12. Oahu, Maui and the Big Island councils are expected to make decisions on their respective budgets by mid-June. Highlights of Kauai County budget, which is the highest in a decade, include reducing the mayor’s original proposal by $2 million without increasing property taxes. Garden Island.

Even with the threat of being open to lawsuits, lifeguards will continue to man their respective towers this summer. Garden Island.

Seventeen health-care professionals on Kauai are adding their voices to a request that Gov. David Ige ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos in Hawaii. Garden Island.

Kauai’s lawmakers will recap the legislative session at the Lihue Business Association’s Thursday meeting at Duke’s Canoe Club. Garden Island.