Monday, July 31, 2017

Tax hikes loom as state spends more than it collects, universal basic income debated, dock strikes unlikely, snorkel deaths studied, Honolulu official leaving in wake of critical audit, Big Island biomass gets PUC approval, Kauai Syngenta changes hands, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Charles Freedman
Hawaii state Capitol, courtesy Charles Freedman
For the second time in five years, the state is being warned that its tax collections likely won’t be enough to cover its costs in the years ahead, which may mean tax increases in Hawaii’s future. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Recently, some very notable people including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook have been championing the idea of “universal basic income,” which basically is a payment from the government to individuals simply for being alive. Our Legislature latched onto that idea, passing House Concurrent Resolution 89. West Hawaii Today.

Ocean safety advocates are working on ways to gather more data to determine why so many more visitors die snorkeling in Hawaii than local residents. Civil Beat.

With the impacts of climate change bearing down on Hawaii, government officials and community members need to make some important decisions about the islands’ iconic coastlines, said Dolan Eversole, a coastal hazards expert with the University of Hawaii’s Sea Grant program. Civil Beat.

A political scientist, acting as an agent for the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom in international proceedings, believes the time is right to go forward with an International Commission of Inquiry at the Hague. Big Island Video News.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said that early West Coast election results show an existing labor contract with waterfront employers represented the Pacific Maritime Association will be extended by three years. Pacific Business News.

New cases of mumps statewide have risen by close to 40 percent since late June, prompting health officials to continue monitoring the infection and encourage vaccinations. Star-Advertiser.


An audit of the Section 8 Tenant-Based Assistance Program administered by the city finds key deficiencies in several areas but says it generally meets federal requirements. Star-Advertiser.

City Community Services Director Gary Nakata is resigning from his post at the end of the week, Honolulu Managing Director Roy Amemiya said in a memorandum to Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s Cabinet officials late Friday. Star-Advertiser.

When the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission issued an order earlier this month accepting Hawaiian Electric Co.’s long-term plan for supplying power to customers, one part of the plan stood out: a 44 percent rate increase on Oahu over 10 years. Civil Beat.

A Hawaiian Electric Co. pilot program meant to encourage customers to shift energy use to the daytime has seen little interest. Star-Advertiser.

A leak in the basement of Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport may be a pricey problem to fix. Star-Advertiser.

The Fight To Save Ancient Hawaiian Archeological Sites. Fearing future development of a Leeward valley rich with cultural history, some community members are pushing for preservation. Civil Beat.

After months of fielding complaints from residents, the Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board wants to stop what it sees as overuse of the Waianae Coast by commercial tour groups that locals say clog the beaches and prevent easy public access. Civil Beat.

A third Oahu neighborhood will be getting a restricted parking zone. KHON2.

Friday night's plane crash above Kunia is the latest incident in a string of single engine aircrafts that have gone down in Hawaii over the last year. Hawaii News Now.

The plane that went down is the second plane from Aircraft Maintenance and Flight School Hawaii to crash on Oahu in the last month. KITV.

The bodies of Dean Hutton, Gerrit Evensen, Heather Riley and Alexis Aaron were discovered late Saturday afternoon at the wreckage of the aircraft in the Waianae Mountains above Kunia. The Beech 19A, manufactured in 1969, took off from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport for a sunset flight Friday. Star-Advertiser.

For months, Hawaii store owners and residents have prepared for the end of Ward Warehouse — and now it's finally here. Hawaii News Now.

Hotel executive Kelly Hoen has managed six Hawaii hotels in a career that now sees her as area general manager for Outrigger. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

The state Public Utilities Commission approved Hawaii Electric Light Co.’s contract with a half-built biomass facility on the Big Island on Friday. Star-Advertiser.

The state Public Utilities Commission informed Hu Honua Bioenergy on Friday that it approved its amended and restated power purchase agreement with Hawaii Electric Light Company. Tribune-Herald.

The state Land Board will hear oral arguments on a hearings officer’s recommendation in favor of the Thirty Meter Telescope land use permit Sept. 20 in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

A long-awaited public gun range for Hawaii Island may finally get a shot at success, depending on how the County Council handles a resolution up for vote next week. West Hawaii Today.

International competition and retirements are decreasing the number of commercial orchid growers in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Once a $90 million project expected to wrap up in September, phase two of the Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening has grown to a $105 million project now planned to be substantially completed next August. West Hawaii Today.

Access to the shoreline park at Kohanaiki should be easier, now that a new frontage road has been completed by developers of a luxury community there. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County and a property owner have been unable to agree on a purchase price for a large parcel in Hakalau Valley. Tribune-Herald.


Maui hospital raises fee but retreats after moms protest. The hospital raised the price for a private room to $672 from $152 on July 1 when Maui Health System, a subsidiary of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, assumed control of operations of Maui Memorial, Kula Hospital & Clinic and Lanai Community Hospital in the largest privatization in state history. Star-Advertiser.

Construction costs could hit as much as $75 million for the Wailuku Parking and Events Facility, which includes a multilevel parking structure and three-story building for retail, Maui County offices and special events space. Maui News.

Maui Electric Co. has been given the green light to expand its “Fast Demand Response” program from four to a projected 13 Maui businesses, which would receive bill credits to reduce their energy use with 10 minutes’ notice to stabilize the grid when demand exceeds generation. Maui News.

At least four repair projects are planned for sections of Piilani Highway in the vicinity of Kaupo, and one of them — the repair of Waiopai Bridge — has the remote community concerned because work could close the road for a month or more, according to Jonathan Starr, a board member of the Kaupo Community Association. Maui News.


About three months after announcing a six-month freeze on filling new vacancies in county jobs, the administration is changing course. Garden Island.

Hartung Brothers take over Syngenta Kekaha operations. Garden Island.

A new affordable housing project in Poipu has an aggressive construction timeline. Garden Island.

Kauai’s strong tourism season seems to be good for some, but not all, businesses. Garden Island.

The U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs approved lease agreements to build community-based outpatient clinics on Kauai and Maui. The project construction will total $9.9 million. Garden Island.


Molokai’s south shore is knee-deep in invasive algae. A new report from a team of scientists and volunteers provides a ‘good reality check for the community’ Maui News.

Engineers to present plan for ex-bombing range on Molokai. Public comment will be accepted during meeting scheduled for Kaunakakai. Maui News.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Visitor arrivals and spending increase, Honolulu mayor signs pedestrian crosswalk cellphone ban, bones unearthed at Kona park, Kauai man claiming kuleana land cleared of trespassing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki beach beauties © 2017 All Hawaii News
Visitor arrivals and spending grew for the 13th straight month in June, setting new monthly and midyear records and keeping tourism on track for a blistering full-year finish. Star-Advertiser.

Visitor spending increased 8.7 percent to $8.4 billion during the first half of 2017, while arrivals increased 4.3 percent to 4.6 million, compared to the same period last year, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority says spending by visitors surged nearly 9 percent during the first half of the year compared to last year. Associated Press.

Visitors in the first half of 2017 spent a total of $8.4 billion in the Hawaiian Islands, an increase of 8.7% compared to the first half of 2016, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Maui Now.

A report conducted by the Outdoor Industry Association shows that the outdoor recreation economy in Hawaii directly contributes 68,000 jobs, annually generates $7.8 billion in consumer spending, as well as $604 million in state and local tax revenue. Pacific Business News.

Save Beaches Or Property? Climate Change Will Force Tough Choices. A coastal hazard expert briefs Hawaii officials and others about the need to adapt to rising sea levels and warmer temperatures. Civil Beat.

An infusion of more than $1 million in federal money has been promised to support research on marine species in the Pacific Ocean. Garden Island.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet commander said Thursday he would launch a nuclear strike against China next week if President Donald Trump ordered it, and warned against the military ever shifting its allegiance from its commander in chief. Associated Press.

The mental health of alleged terrorist sympathizer Ikaika Kang, a U.S. army sergeant from Waimanalo, is under scrutiny at a time when the deep psychological wounds of war are getting more attention across the country. Civil Beat.

Transgender Army vet deplores president’s messages. Star-Advertiser.

Public comments are sought on the State Environmental Council’s preliminary draft of revised administrative rules for the preparation of environmental impact statements. Maui News.

More than 20 years have passed since the first charter school was authorized here in Hawai’i. Since then, public charter schools have fueled educational innovation to offer students and parents school choice. Next month, two more charter schools will open their doors. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Public Radio’s Board of Directors capped their first meeting of the fiscal year on July 24 by approving a 2017-2018 budget showing revenue of $5.49 million. Garden Island.

The latest forecast for Tropical Storm Irwin and Hurricane Hilary has them staying far to our east, and eventually crossing paths and becoming one storm. It's something called the Fujiwhara effect. Hawaii News Now.


Pedestrians on Oahu can still talk on their cellphone while crossing the street, but texting or using other electronic devices in a crosswalk is no longer allowed under a bill signed into law Thursday by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

It's official. Beginning in October, looking at mobile devices while crossing the street will be illegal. Hawaii News Now.

If you have a habit of using your phone while crossing the street, you might want to rethink soon. KITV.

Make sure you put your phones away when crossing the street. KHON2.

The Honolulu rail board is in final talks to hire as its new top executive a rail technology firm manager who once battled the city over its most expensive rail contract, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation. Star-Advertiser.

Contractor bails on multiple projects, costing city, state millions. Hawaii News Now.

Solar energy projects with the combined capability of powering more than 17,900 homes have been approved to connect to Hawaiian Electric Co.’s grid. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has gotten the green light from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission for its application to purchase energy generated by three solar farms being built by Houston-based NRG Energy Inc. Pacific Business News.

Efforts to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Honolulu this year — the 20th anniversary of when Hawaii’s Brook Lee was crowned — ended this week after pageant officials determined that the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena did not meet the event’s structural requirements. Star-Advertiser.

New details emerge as fire officials review response to deadly Marco Polo high-rise fire. KHON2.

The Honolulu Fire Department has revised the alarm status of the fatal fire at Marco Polo condominium to a 7-alarm fire from a 5-alarm fire after further review. Star-Advertiser.

The estate of prominent lawyer Gary O. Galiher is suing to block a new entity comprising the late attorney’s employees and associates from taking the records and files of the Galiher law corporation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Bones found in Kailua-Kona park. A cultural impact assessment for the Kailua Park master plan from 2010 indicated that ancient, undiscovered burial sites likely still existed in multiple areas within Old Kona Airport Park. West Hawaii Today.

A 3rd Circuit Court judge Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Kapaau man fighting his housing project’s ban on smoking, which includes smoking medical marijuana. West Hawaii Today.

Judge Riki May Amano's recommendation TMT organizers proceed with obtaining construction permits from the state land board has rattled those in opposition of the controversial project atop Mauna Kea. KITV.

Ownership of the Puna Kai shopping center property in Pahoa is expected to change hands this week, and the new owner says construction will begin within days. Tribune-Herald.

Parents who want to homeschool their kids don't encounter any resistance — not even if they're under investigation by state Child Protective Services, a Hawaii News Now investigation has found. Hawaii News Now.


Dealing with feral animals at small-boat harbors and amendments to dive-flag rules were among the subjects testifiers addressed during a Wednesday evening hearing on proposed rule changes to boating laws and rules at small-boat harbors. Maui News.

Since the beginning of the year, DLNR Division of State Parks maintenance staff on Kaua‘i have gathered, bagged, and airlifted 10.92 tons of rubbish from the Kalalau section of the Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park. Maui Now.

A “Talk Story with Gov. David Ige” event, hosted by the Hawaii State Teachers Association, will be held from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Baldwin High School Multipurpose Room in Wailuku. Maui News.


A man who claimed kuleana land on the North Shore is no longer facing a criminal trespass charge. Garden Island.

Questions about the Lehua Island rat eradication and restoration project were rampant at a Tuesday meeting in Waimea. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hearings officer gives thumbs-up for Thirty Meter Telescope, Kauai man gets 4 years prison for harassing monk seal, 3-hour wait in line for Dunkin' Donuts, Honolulu $1.5M in arrears in collecting subsidized rents, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Telescopes on Mauna Kea © 2017 All Hawaii News
The Thirty Meter Telescope received a positive recommendation from hearings officer Riki May Amano, buoying the beleaguered project’s chances less than a year from a self-imposed construction deadline. Tribune-Herald.

A former Hilo judge is recommending the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope project be granted a key state permit for work atop Mauna Kea, ending a lengthy contested case hearing that challenged the $1.4 billion project’s conservation district use permit. Star-Advertiser.

A construction permit should be granted for the Thirty Meter Telescope proposed for the summit of Mauna Kea on Hawaii Island, a hearings officer recommended Wednesday. Associated Press.

A retired Hawaii judge is recommending that the state land board approve a permit for the Thirty Meter Telescope, which would allow construction of the $1.4 billion observatory to proceed on a site atop Mauna Kea on the Big Island. Pacific Business News.

The hearing officer in the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearing has issued her decision, and is recommending a Conservation District Use Permit be granted, allowing the observatory to be built on Mauna Kea. Big Island Video News.

A former Circuit Court judge has recommended that the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope project be allowed to move forward atop Mauna Kea. Hawaii News Now.

A hearings officer is recommending that a construction permit be granted for a giant telescope planned for a Hawaii mountain summit that some consider sacred. KITV.

The contested case hearing officer for the Thirty Meter Telescope is recommending that the controversial project move forward. KHON2.

Read the judge's full 305-page Thirty Meter Telescope report here.


Community Services Block Grants: $3.7M Funding Uncertain. A joint legislative committee conducted a hearing on the status of federal funding for impoverished residents throughout the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii residents can stay up-to-date on more than 170 highway and road projects with a new interactive online map unveiled this week by the state Department of Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

Matson Inc. plans to speed up its ocean cargo service to the Republic of the Marshall Islands early next year. Star-Advertiser.


A federal program administered by Honolulu to subsidize rents for low-income people has $1.55 million in delinquent accounts but doesn’t have a debt collector, according to a city audit released this week. Civil Beat.

Officials with Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration told the City Council Public Works, Infrastructure and Sustainability Committee on Wednesday that they will look at ways of expanding sewer capacity on Oahu in response to concerns that applicants for accessory dwelling units are being turned away because of the limitation. Star-Advertiser.

Two Honolulu City Council members have introduced legislation that would ban cigarette smoking in motor vehicles carrying children under 18. Star-Advertiser.

A new bill introduced by two Honolulu City Councilmen takes aim at smoking in vehicles while a minor is present. Hawaii News Now.

City council considers banning smoking in vehicles in presence of minors. KHON2.

Using an electronic device while crossing the street on Oahu will soon be illegal. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is expected to sign into law Bill 6 Thursday, which bans pedestrians from using cell phones and other electronic devices while crossing the street. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell will sign Bill 6 into law Thursday afternoon. The law makes it illegal to look at a cellphone or other electronic devices while crossing a street or highway on Oahu. KITV.

It could soon cost businesses more to sell alcohol on Oahu. That’s because the fee to hold a liquor license may be going up, in some cases double what it is now. KHON2.

Group Pushes Street-Level Rail For Honolulu. Salvage the Rail proposes ditching the over-budget elevated railway plan in much of the city. Civil Beat.

On Oahu, the latest report by the Honolulu Board of Realtors found there was 2.7 months of remaining inventory for single-family homes and 2.8 months of remaining inventory for condos, meaning that if no more listings came on the market, the homes would sell out in that amount of time. Those numbers have been less than three months for nearly a year. Pacific Business News.

Olomana golf course appeals to state, military on flooding and late rent. Star-Advertiser.

The Diamond Head Lighthouse that stands today has been a lifesaving navigational beacon for the past 100 years, preventing vessels from running aground on the jagged reef over which it presides. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of Honolulu residents waited up to three hours Wednesday morning to get their hands on freshly made Dunkin' Donuts at the company’s opening of the first Hawaii store in more than 10 years. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Smoke caused evacuation of the control room of the Keck 2 telescope atop Mauna Kea Wednesday afternoon. Tribune-Herald.

After months of planning and discussion, Hawaii County is moving forward with plans to clean up the Old Airport Park. West Hawaii Today.

A smarter, stronger, more reliable electrical grid is the goal of Hawaiian Electric’s modernization plan to be discussed during two public meetings next week on Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.


Wide loads of materials for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope will close Haleakala’s summit to visitors from 10 p.m. Tuesday through 2 p.m. Wednesday, according to an announcement from the National Park Service. Maui News.

County considering an expansion of ag park with former sugar land. Maui News.

Hawaiian Airlines is seeking candidates for customer and ramp service contract positions at Kahului Airport. Maui Now.

Building A ‘Farewell Place’ For Maui Pet Owners. A woman gathers a group of volunteers to construct a facility at the Humane Society where people can say goodbye. Civil Beat.


A 20-year-old Eleele man has been sentenced to four years in prison for harassing a pregnant Hawaiian monk seal on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Fifth Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe on Wednesday sentenced 20-year-old Shylo Kaena Akuna of Lihue to serve four years in prison for harassing a critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal last year at Salt Pond Beach Park in Hanapepe, Kauai. Civil Beat.

A Lihue man accused of beating up a monk seal will serve four years in prison. Garden Island.

County approves collective bargaining agreement. Some Kauai council members do not believe it is the right time to approve firefighter raises. Garden Island.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources removed nearly 11 tons of garbage from the Napali Coast in ongoing efforts to clean up the area DLNR officials reported Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Hawaii state Capitol © 2017 All Hawaii News
HB 375, CD 1 (Act 214, Session Laws of Hawaii 2017) has been selected by the League of Women Voters and Common Cause Hawaii for their 2017 "Rusty Scalpel" award. The "Rusty Scalpel" award recognizes enactment of a bill whose subject has been substantially amended without opportunity for legislative review as required by the Hawaii Constitution.

Article III, Section 14 of our State Constitution provides “Each law shall embrace but one subject which shall be expressed in its title.”  HB 375 was titled “Relating to Taxation”.  

When introduced, HB 375 proposed amending income tax rates to negate any income tax liability for those at or below poverty thresholds. The Senate Ways and Means Committee was the first to drastically amend the bill, gutting its contents, and replacing it with provisions to repeal the sunset date for the refundable food/excise tax credit. Then during Conference Committee, the bill was drastically altered to appropriate $1 million, subject to a dollar for dollar match by the private sector, to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, working in conjunction with the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, for projects to address homelessness in tourist and resort areas. 

Corie Tanida, of Common Cause Hawaii said, “While addressing homelessness in Hawaii is important and commendable, an ‘appropriation’ is not the same as ‘taxation’.  The final version of this bill doesn’t pass the relatively ‘low bar’ of having the bill’s subject match the bill’s title.”

Article III, Section 15 of our State Constitution provides that “No bill shall become law unless it shall pass three readings in each house on separate days.”  The unambiguous intent is to provide  the House and Senate, separately, the  opportunity to thoroughly review every single bill.  Amending a bill’s subject in conference committee without such review ignores this Constitutional requirement.

According to Ann Shaver, President of the League of Women Voters of Hawaii, “The 2017 session was a ‘Good News, Bad News’ situation.  HB 375, CD 1 was the only real candidate for our 2017 ‘Rusty Scalpel’ award.  On the other hand, HB375, CD1 was the worst we’ve seen in the five years we have presented this award.”  On July 12, 2017, without the Governor’s signature, HB 375 became Act 214, Session Laws of Hawaii 2017.  


The League of Women Voters of Hawaii is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more information, visit

Common Cause Hawaii is a state chapter of the national Common Cause organization. Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to protecting and improving Hawaii’s political process and holding government accountable to the public interest. For more information, visit

Honolulu mulls high-rise sprinkler retrofits, WIC program trimmed, DOT dismantles homeless camps, Waikiki flotilla enforcement sought, Maui hospital takeover deemed a success, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News
Honolulu high-rises © 2017 All Hawaii News
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s bill to require that older residential high-rises be retrofitted with sprinklers in the wake of the fatal Marco Polo condominium fire was put on hold Tuesday by City Council members. Civil Beat.

Firefighters and condominium owners Tuesday met before a City Council committee for the first time since the July 14 Marco Polo fire left three people dead and discussed potential incentives for, as well as obstacles in the way of, retrofitting aging residential towers with sprinkler systems. Star-Advertiser.

Dozens of owners of Marco Polo apartments, where three people died recently in a fire that swept through the building, have secondary hallway doors with louvers that boost air circulation into their units but also can help a fire spread more quickly, residents and fire experts say. Star-Advertiser.

Two state agencies are now taking action over asbestos at the scene of the massive fire at the Marco Polo building. KHON2.

The state is cutting dozens of positions at the Women, Infants and Children — or WIC — program aimed at helping low-income mothers and children as part of a revamp officials say is needed to deal with a federal funding decline and higher payroll costs. Hawaii News Now.

A sailor’s computer input error on the Pearl Harbor-based destroyer USS John Paul Jones apparently caused an $80 million missile defense test failure off the coast of Kauai on June 21, according to Star-Advertiser.

State wants to change boating, harbor rules. KHON2.

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council held an unprecedented emergency meeting Monday to approve a letter urging the Trump Administration to maintain 11 marine reserves that are under federal review, including Papahanaumokuakea in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Civil Beat.

Nine-year-old Robbie Bond decided to do something about the threat of budget cuts to public parks — launching Kids Speak for Parks and the website as a way for children to speak up and share their experiences at parks and monuments in jeopardy of funding cuts. Star-Advertiser.

An Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee reports money from a Hawaiian princess is helping pay legal fees. Hawaii News Now.

Hurricane Hilary, churning in the Eastern Pacific off Mexico, is expected to crash into a cyclone that's also tracking westward — Hurricane Irwin — sometime in the next 48 hours, the National Hurricane Center said. Hawaii News Now.


Contractors began dismantling several homeless encampments near the H-1 freeway Tuesday, part of the state’s effort to keep areas near roadways clear of illegal encampments. Star-Advertiser.

State Steps Up Its Homeless Sweeps Along Highways. Aggressive new effort comes as officials question if moving people along encourages them to use shelters. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation is leading an effort to remove homeless encampments near major traffic corridors. Hawaii Public Radio.

Additional rescue personnel for the July 4 "floatilla" cost taxpayers $16,000. That led Honolulu's City Council to adopt a resolution calling for regulations against the event Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

It's only been about two weeks since the Fourth of July flotilla but some city and state officials don't want a repeat, and they are doing what they can to make sure that doesn't happen. KITV.

State and city law enforcement officials say they support a call for stiffer enforcement of regulations at the annual, mostly unorganized Fourth of July event known as Floatilla, but also stressed that they are already throwing all the resources they can at the problem. Star-Advertiser.

The state has fined Aloha Petroleum Ltd. $200,000 for fuel tank violations. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Petroleum has been fined $200,000 by the Hawaii State Department of Health for failing to notify officials about a "suspected fuel release" within 24 hours of finding it. Pacific Business News.

Some Hawaii students and other volunteers are getting their feet wet in the medical field, while simultaneously easing the workload for some doctors and nurses. It's all part of a new project at Queen's Medical Center geared toward improving patient’s experiences. KITV.

Honolulu ranks among the top 15 best cities to live, despite a low rank for affordability, according to a new WalletHub study. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Following demolition of the former Hilo Tropical Gardens, Kamehameha Schools officials say they will take a closer look at the management plan for their Keaukaha properties that could help identify future land uses. Tribune-Herald.

What went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again were topmost on the minds of members of the county Water Board on Tuesday as they heard an update on well breakdowns in West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

$5,000 arson reward fund remains on table. West Hawaii Today.

There’s a lot of rubbish in the Big Island’s rain forest gulches, and a Paauilo man is on a mission to remove it. Tribune-Herald.

Two native plant species are thriving today in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. Hawaii Public Radio.

Elson “Bobo” Kanaina Brown, the last member of the legendary band Hilo Hawaiians and son of founder William “Bunny” Brown, died Saturday surrounded by family at his Hilo home after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was 77. Tribune-Herald.


For five years, two planning guiding documents of Maui County have been at odds when it comes to short-term rental homes. Maui News.

The transition phase of the operational takeover of Maui County public hospitals by Kaiser Permanente subsidiary Maui Health System has ended, and it was a success, said an official with the new management. Maui News.

The transition phase is now complete for the Maui Health System, the Kaiser Permanente subsidiary which took over management of three Maui hospitals (Kula Hospital & Clinic, Lānaʻi Community Hospital and Maui Memorial Medical Center) on July 1st. Maui Now.

Some new enforcement strategies and more participation from Lahaina patrol and other officers contributed to significant increases in citations for seat belt and cellphone violations during the recent Click It or Ticket campaign, police said. Maui News.

The Maui Humane Society announced it has achieved a 92% Live Release Rate for dogs in Fiscal 2017, meaning more than nine out of every ten dogs who entered the shelter were either adopted, transferred to rescue partners for adoption, or returned to their owners. Maui Now.

Every summer, rice coral (montipora capitata) colonies around Maui and in the aquarium’s exhibits spawn shortly after the new moon cycle. Maui News.


Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. shared his plan for Kauai’s future Tuesday during the Kauai Chamber of Commerce’s 3rd Annual Mayor’s Luncheon held at the Sheraton Kauai Resort. Garden Island.

More than 50 people attended Monday's public hearing, hosted by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, to comment on proposed changes to boating laws and rules at harbors. Garden Island.

A young pueo, or Hawaiian short-eared owl that tangled with a vehicle in late March has died after being hit by another vehicle two months after it was rehabilitated and released back into the wild. Two more were found dead on Kauai’s roads on the same day, according to a press release from the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. Garden Island.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hawaii's worker shortage, state at odds over voter info, Schofield soldier in court, 'Peter Boy' father gets 20 years, Kauai seeks to save native birds, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki restaurant worker © 2017 All Hawaii News
There Just Aren’t Enough Workers To Go Around In Hawaii. The state labor director calls it a “perfect storm” as restaurateurs and retailers struggle to recruit — and keep — employees. Civil Beat.

A federal judge has cleared the way for President Donald Trump’s commission on election fraud to resume collecting detailed voter roll information from the states, but at least one election official in Hawaii says he won’t comply with the federal request. Star-Advertiser.

A U.S. Army soldier based in Hawaii pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of attempting to support the Islamic State group. Associated Press.

A Schofield soldier accused of trying to provide support for ISIS has pleaded not guilty. KHON2.

A federal judge Monday scheduled a trial date in September for Wheeler Army Airfield soldier Ikaika Erik Kang on four counts of trying to provide support to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Star-Advertiser.


A trustee with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has accepted nearly $16,000 from a Native Hawaiian heiress to pay for legal fees in her battle against fellow trustees. Civil Beat.

Native Hawaiian waterman Malama Chun of Maui filed a petition with the state Board of Land and Natural Resources on April 12, 2017, challenging the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources’ practice of issuing licenses to foreign fisherman who have been refused permission to land in Hawai’i by US authorities and have been ordered deported. Maui Now.

Royal Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Inc. said Monday that the company’s petition to claim that consuming macadamia nuts can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease under certain circumstances has officially been approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Pacific Business News.

Two of the three storms in the Eastern Pacific strengthened overnight. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines said Monday it will add three new daily routes between the neighbor islands and the U.S. West Coast in early 2018. Star-Advertiser.

A robust economy continued to boost Bank of Hawaii’s double-digit loan growth in the second quarter, with earnings per share exceeding analysts’ expectations. Star-Advertiser.

Wailuku artist Kirk Kurokawa’s “most significant” project in his artistic collection — the official painting of former Gov. Neil Abercrombie — was unveiled last week on Oahu. Maui News.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday signed into law a bill that bans nearly all plastic bags distributed at Oahu retail checkout counters starting Jan. 1, 2020. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council is considering a bill that would expand the city’s sit-lie ban another few blocks in the Ala Moana-Sheridan area. Civil Beat.

Honolulu’s Potholes Cost Drivers — And Taxpayers — Millions. A 2016 study found the city had the 11th-worst roads among large urban areas, and residents pay more than the national average for related car repairs. Civil Beat.

The police presence in Oahu’s main tourist hub could be getting a boost thanks to a gift that puts more boots on the ground. A Waikiki business group wants to give $85,000 to the city. KHON2.

The July Fourth Waikiki “floatilla” attracted a crowd of about 9,000 partyers, led to at least 30 alcohol-related injuries and cost the city and state more than $12,000 to police, so it’s little wonder officials want to halt alcohol use at future floatillas. Star-Advertiser.

The executive director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority said since April the number of illegal campers in Kakaako parks under HCDA supervision has nearly doubled. Hawaii News Now.

Bill to ban electronic devices for crossing pedestrians represents latest push to make roads safer. Bill 6, which is awaiting the mayor’s approval, would make it illegal to look at a phone, tablet, gaming device, or anything electronic while crossing the street. KHON2.

The Queen Kapiolani Hotel, a 312-room property across the street from Kapiolani Park, is starting a $30 million makeover. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Peter Kema Sr. was sentenced Monday in Hilo Circuit Court to 20 years in prison for the 1997 death of his 6-year-old son, Peter Kema Jr. Tribune-Herald.

Peter Kema Sr. was sentenced to 20 years in prison this morning for the manslaughter of his 6-year-old son, Peter Boy, whose fate remained a mystery for two decades until his parents recently acknowledge their roles in his death. Star-Advertiser.

20 years. That is how long it's been since Peter Boy Kema's death. It's also the sentence handed down to his father on Monday, for killing the Big Island boy. KITV.

Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth said he’s using lessons learned from the Peter Kema Jr. case to propose changes in the laws governing child abuse and home schooling and to advocate for a longer statute of limitations period for manslaughter. Tribune-Herald.

A lawyer for the estate of the late Peter Kema Jr. and the siblings of “Peter Boy” sent a cease-and-desist letter to a senior vice president of, attempting to persuade the online merchandising giant to pull the Kindle book series “Peter Boy: Hawaii’s Most Notorious Case of Child Abuse and Murder” from its website. Tribune-Herald.


Major changes are coming to boating and harbor rules, but those most affected say the state hasn’t consulted with them, or even made the rules readily available prior to public hearings scheduled for Thursday and Friday. West Hawaii Today.

PA system installed at popular Kailua-Kona beach park. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiian Airlines will add a new year-round flight from Los Angeles to Kona starting early next year. West Hawaii Today.


Ulupalakua Ranch on Maui is best known for its winery and cowboy culture, but not its Hawaiian dry forest. A 20-year forest restoration project on Ranch lands is changing that. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui Electric Co. is seeking approval by the state Public Utilities Commission to refurbish one of its 21-megawatt petroleum-fired turbines at the Maalaea Power Plant, which will cost an estimated $2.6 million. Maui News.

Three months after being forced to vacate its longtime dance studio in the Old Kula Community Center, the Alexander Academy of Performing Arts has found a new home in Haliimaile that will allow it to add classes, teachers and more studio space in the coming months. Maui News.

Maui’s electronic recycling program should reopen August 5th after being closed for several weeks. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Airlines will add a new non-stop daily route between Portland and Maui, starting Jan. 18. Maui Now.

Move over, Kona. Maui coffee is getting much stronger. Maui News.


Noisemakers and motion sensors are just a few of the new tools scientists and conservationists are combining with traps to reduce predators in remote endangered seabird nesting areas. Garden Island.

There are nearly 400 predator traps scattered throughout Kauai's Hono O Na Pali Natural Area Reserve. Hawaii News Now.

The county Housing Agency will be hosting a community meeting Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Koloa Neighborhood Center to discuss plans for a new workforce housing development. Garden Island.

Boardwalk from Kawaihau Road to highway is open. Garden Island.


State officials say they're moving ahead with a second attempt at eradicating rats from a tiny island near Niihau, but critics of the plan say they're worried about the potential risks to the marine environment. Hawaii News Now.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Grant to fund coral reef education, feral cats topic at Conservation Congress, human rights organization seeks help for Hawaii's foreign fishermen, sewer capacity slows Honolulu housing plan, Kona mulls homeless cleanup, Tropical Storm Greg fizzles, Hurricane Hillary forms, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Coral and fish © 2017 All Hawaii News
Those who study Hawaii’s coral reefs are hoping a recent $715,000 federal grant awarded to the state of Hawaii will amp up both the education and conservation of the underwater ecosystems. Associated Press.

Attorney General Doug Chin joined California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 18 attorneys general in sending a letter to President Trump urging him to maintain and defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Maui Now.

A human rights complaint has been filed with an international commission to investigate claims of human rights violations in Hawaii’s commercial fishing industry.Associated Press.

We Do Practically Nothing To Control Feral Cats Threatening Rare Seals And Birds. While Hawaii’s animal rights and environmental groups are sharply divided on solutions, there’s little government support even for steps the two sides agree on. Civil Beat.

State officials have granted hundreds of thousands of dollars in discounts to a family of companies affiliated with Navatek Ltd. as part of a deal to settle claims that included alleged “loss of business opportunity” on state-owned waterfront land where the companies operate under a month-to-month permit. Star-Advertiser.

A federal grand jury in Hawaii indicted a U.S. soldier Friday for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group. Associated Press.

Carilyn Shon, an energy efficiency program manager at the Hawaii State Energy Office, has been named the agency’s administrator. Pacific Business News.

 The remnants of Fernanda will continue moving west today, across Oahu and Kauai, as two tropical storms and a hurricane continue heading toward the Central Pacific.  Star-Advertiser.


Lack of adequate sewer capacity is the key reason most of 344 preliminary applications for accessory dwelling unit permits have been denied by the city since the ADU program began in 2013, a problem that’s spurred Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin to urge Mayor Kirk Caldwell to speed up expansion of Oahu’s sewer system. Star-Advertiser.

Some urge sprinkler mandates across US after Honolulu fire. Associated Press.

To pay or not to pay? That is the question owners and boards of older Honolulu high-rise condos have grappled with for decades as they considered retrofitting their buildings with automatic sprinkler systems. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday will sign Oahu's latest plastic bag ban into law. KITV.

On Monday, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell will sign Oahu’s plastic bag ban expansion into law. KHON2.

The new upscale International Market Place opened nearly a year ago with 30 shops and restaurants in the heart of Waikiki, unrecognizable from the previously cluttered maze of kiosks selling cheap souvenirs and trinkets. Star-Advertiser.

About 300 Royal Kunia residents in Central Oahu have some new neighbors, and that’s not sitting well with the community that long expected manicured golf fairways and putting greens to grace a vacant piece of land bordering its homes. Star-Advertiser.

After five straight years of sliding enrollment at the University of Hawaii’s flagship Manoa campus, university President David Lassner has set an ambitious goal to hold enrollment flat for the upcoming fall and boost it back up to 20,000 students by 2020. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Mayor Kirk Caldwell, the City Council, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and the state Legislature have made a culture of looking the other way when it comes to the financial and managerial lapses that have doubled the cost of Oahu rail to $10 billion and delayed its opening by six years. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Offenses such as bullying and harassment were on the decline last year in Hawaii Island public schools, though the number of more serious misconduct cases — such as fighting and use of illicit drugs — increased slightly. Tribune-Herald.

As plans move forward to clean up homeless camps at Old Kona Airport Park, the results could be a template for how law enforcement and community agencies respond to homeless issues in the future. West Hawaii Today.

Taking the bus: Cost an issue as Hele-On management strives to improve. West Hawaii Today.

Federal housing officials have withdrawn a voucher for Phase 2 of the Mohouli senior housing project, prompting Hawaii County to help cover rent subsidies for future tenants of the 30-unit development in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Saving South Point: Implementation of resources management plan still years away. Tribune-Herald.

Results of a recent survey of Hilo Medical Center employees will be used to help improve the hospital’s work environment. Tribune-Herald.

A skate park won’t be built at a Hilo Bayfront parking lot after all. Tribune-Herald.

Puna’s La Hoolokahi Ka La Hui 2017 was held at Uncle Robert’s ‘Awa Club in Kaimu-Kalapana on Saturday evening; one of several events striving to unite various Hawaiian organizations across the islands. Big Island Video News.

The father of “Peter Boy” Kema is set to be sentenced Monday, bringing some closure in one of Hawaii’s most notorious murder mysteries. Hawaii News Now.


Maui County Council Member Yuki Lei Sugimura and local nonprofit groups will propose to the Liquor Control Commission next month further changes to single-event liquor license procedures that would streamline the application process to prevent burdensome requirements that threaten the groups’ fundraising events. Maui News.

A major portion of the Old Makena-Ulupalakua Road in South Maui would be reopened as a historic trail under an out-of-court settlement between the landowner and various organizations, including Maui Tomorrow. Star-Advertiser.

A settlement in the fight over a south Maui community modifies development plans by allowing for fewer buildings and more open space. Hawaii News Now.

After high-rise blaze, property managers mull fire suppression. Cost to retrofit older Maui complexes with sprinklers considered too expensive by some. Maui News.

Maui coral bleaching in spotlight at free screening. Maui News.

Maui District Health Officer Dr. Lorrin Pang sees firsthand how bad the opioid pain reliever epidemic has become. Maui News.


Proposed changes to state boating rules will be up for discussion at a meeting on Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Wilcox Elementary School Cafeteria. Garden Island.

The county Parks and Recreation Department has partnered with Kauai Beer Company to spruce up Kalena Park. Garden Island.

Education is important, but doesn’t necessarily determine your ability to advance in the workplace, said Steve Yoder, Kauai County Republican chair. Garden Island.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hawaii preps for North Korea missile, more Honolulu homeless sweeps planned, Land Use Commission rejects Maui development, rules mulled after condo fire, Tropical Storm Fernanada no longer threat, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

U.S. Air Force
Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile, U.S. Air Force
The state of Hawaii is rolling out a preparedness plan in the unlikely event that North Korea launches an intercontinental ballistic missile at the Aloha State. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is kicking off an educational campaign aimed at helping residents and visitors figure out what to do if the state is the target of a nuclear missile attack from North Korea. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Plan Prepped for N Korea Missile Threat. Maui Now.

Hawaii is beginning an education campaign to prepare islanders for what to do in the event of a North Korean missile attack. CNBC.

In the wake of North Korea's ongoing nuclear tests, Hawaii will begin rolling out an educational campaign on Friday hoping to teach residents and visitors what to do should a missile launch from the reclusive country reaches the island’s shores. NBC.

The Trump administration will ban American citizens from traveling to North Korea, U.S. officials said Friday. Associated Press.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has nearly twice the amount of campaign cash as his colleague from Hawaii, Sen. Mazie Hirono. And yet, Schatz’s name won’t be on the ballot again until 2022, while Hirono’s first six-year term is up next year. Civil Beat.

Hawaii consistently ranks among the healthiest states, but a federal survey found Native Hawaiians are in unusually bad health. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped in June to 2.7 percent, from 3.1 percent during the same month a year ago, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii employers added 1,200 jobs in June, but the unemployment rate remained stuck at 2.7 percent for the fourth month in a row, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Star-Advertiser.

A summer of resistance is the overarching theme to protest the Trump and Pence Administration in Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tropical Storm Fernanda is slowly weakening as it moves further west, but it will still have some weather impacts to the Hawaiian islands over the weekend. Hawaii News Now.

Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s executive who was the inspiration behind the best-selling book and Oscar-­nominated film “Moneyball,” will give the opening-day keynote at the 2017 Global Tourism Summit. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii tourism officials have tapped Billy Beane, whose statistical methodology inspired the best-selling book and Oscar-nominated film "Moneyball," to deliver the opening keynote address at the 2017 Global Tourism Summit in September. Pacific Business News.


The state Department of Transportation will use $4 million in funding to bolster homeless sweeps — using sheriff’s deputies as early as Monday in a new approach to keeping encampments dismantled as it begins clearing parts of Nimitz Highway and the H-1 freeway. Star-Advertiser.

An agreement reached with the Navy will allow the city to enforce its sidewalk laws — and thus clear the homeless — along the scenic Pearl Harbor bike path from Aiea to Pearl City, starting the second week of August. Star-Advertiser.

After years of complaints, the massive homeless encampment that spans the Pearl Harbor Bike Path will soon be torn down. Hawaii News Now.

A Honolulu City Council committee will consider a resolution Tuesday asking the state Board of Land and Natural Resources to ban alcohol and disorderly behavior at holiday “floatillas” off Waikiki Beach, as the state has done for similar events on the Kaneohe Bay sandbar. Civil Beat.

A Honolulu city councilwoman is concerned about the the cost of added regulations in the wake of the deadly Marco Polo fire. Hawaii News Now.

The panic, stress, and heroism on the day of Honolulu’s biggest fire in decades is revealed in hours of Marco Polo fire incident logs Always Investigating has obtained. KHON2.

Location is key. A pool is a plus, as are views and new appliances. But whether a condominium has a fire sprinkler system suddenly has become a top-of-mind issue in Honolulu’s real estate market. Star-Advertiser.

Insurance May Not Be Enough For Some Marco Polo Condo Owners. Civil Beat.

Clean up still underway at the Marco Polo high rise following Friday's fire. Island Insurance companies shedding light on its claims Thursday. KITV.

A state judge has dismissed felony marijuana possession charges against a former Waiawa Correctional Facility prison guard and her husband because the prosecutor took too long to take the case to trial. Star-Advertiser.

Some summer session students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have been living in a dorm without hot water for two weeks. KHON2.

Sears Holding Corp. is closing its last Kmart store on Oahu, which will leave the retailer with just two Kmart locations in Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents on Thursday approved UH-Hilo Chancellor Don Straney’s reassignment to a new position within UH leadership. Tribune-Herald.

A Marine officer was critically wounded after being shot during night live-fire training this month at Pohakuloa Training Area, officials said. Tribune-Herald.

An ambulance was brazenly stolen from the emergency room entrance of Hilo Medical Center on Thursday afternoon. Tribune-Herald.

The search for Peter Boy: A 20-year murder mystery, a family that never gave up. Hawaii News Now.


State Land Use Commission members rejected by a 6-0 vote Thursday a final environmental impact statement for the Piilani Promenade project, but the panel’s action didn’t necessarily put an end to the development proposed for 75 acres in north Kihei. Maui News.

Iao Valley State Monument, which has been closed since September due to record flooding in the valley, will remain off limits to the public a bit longer, until early August, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Wednesday afternoon. Maui News.

The public is advised of a water quality exceedance of enterococci at Honolua Bay, Maui. Maui Now.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has approved new lease agreements to build two outpatient clinics in Hawaii, on Maui and Kauai. Pacific Business News.


Education and conservation are priorities for those who study Kauai’s coral reefs, and they’re hoping a recent $715,000 federal grant awarded to the state will amp up both. Garden Island.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced Monday that Hawaii will receive over $2 million in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration to enhance airport operations and runway safety at the Lihue, Kahului and Molokai airports. As part of the grant funding, Lihue Airport will receive $1,057,500. Garden Island.

On Thursday afternoon, Edward Myers, Anthony Chavez Jr., Kinsey Gregory, Kevin Kamakahi, Alexander Lacson Jr. and David Phillips, from the 88th Police Recruit Class, were sworn in as the newest officers of the Kauai Police Department. Garden Island.