Monday, July 3, 2017

Lifeguard lawsuit immunity ends, Matson strike averted, Oahu historic property tax hike advances, hemp plans progress, Maui hospital takeover complete, journalists win SPJ awards, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii lifeguards © 2017 All Hawaii News
 A 15-year-old state policy granting immunity to county lifeguards from civil liability ended Friday, but it’s business as usual for the roughly 350 of them as they patrol Hawaii waters this Independence Day weekend. Star-Advertiser.

With mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever and Zika virus continuing to be a threat to Hawaii, the state is ramping up its vector control capacity in an effort to help prevent an outbreak — or at least meet one with greater force. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Companies has submitted a draft of its plan to modernize the power grids on the five Islands it serves to bring more renewable resources online. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii is going to need more caregivers. The state’s seniors, those 65 and older, made up 17.1 percent of Hawaii’s 1.4 million residents in 2016 — a jump from 14.3 percent in 2010, according to recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Star-Advertiser.

‘What Does The US Government Have Against Grandmothers?’ Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin says the Trump administration’s scaled-back travel ban is illogical in establishing close family relationships. Civil Beat.

Hawaii and Undocumented Immigrants: Part 2. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Navy is planning to forward-deploy another three-ship “amphibious ready group” in the Pacific — a move that will add to highly prized ship-to-shore capability in the maritime-dominated region as well as bring more than 4,400 sailors and Marines and millions of dollars in economic impact to the chosen destination. U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono thinks it should be in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

A new, 154-foot Coast Guard “fast response cutter” scheduled to be commissioned in Hono­lulu in October represents the first in a series of new cutters anticipated in coming years as District 14 revitalizes a fleet that’s between 25 and 50 years old. Star-Advertiser.

Matson Inc. reached an agreement with two key unions Friday, avoiding a strike that posed a threat to Hawaii’s supply of everything from food to building materials. Civil Beat.

Matson has been able to avoid a strike after reaching a tentative contract agreement with two of its unions, with only hours to spare before the expiration of the current contract. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu-based Matson Inc. on Thursday said it will pay its shareholders a third quarter dividend of 20 cents per common share. The shipping company said the figure represents a 5.3 percent increase over the previous quarter's dividend. Pacific Business News.

The cost of a private ­school education in Hawaii continues to climb as the state’s largest independent schools are charging on average 4.5 percent more in tuition for the upcoming school year, according to a Honolulu Star-Advertiser analysis, with most school officials citing the cost to retain good teachers as their biggest expense. Star-Advertiser.

After months of delay, the state Department of Agriculture is moving forward with its goal of developing a line of Hawaii hemp seeds and an eventual statewide hemp industry. Tribune-Herald.


Owners of Oahu properties designated historic residences would need to pay $700 more annually under a bill that has received an initial nod from the City Council Budget Committee. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii Circuit Court judge ruled Friday that the city must turn over documents to Civil Beat related to embattled deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha’s employment with the Honolulu prosecuting attorney’s office. Civil Beat.

The median rent for a two-bedroom unit in Honolulu in June rose to $2,120 a month, nearly $1,000 more than the national average, a new report shows. Star-Advertiser.

For years, city transit officials have struggled to meet Oahu’s demand for Handi-Van service — a demand they say is the highest in the nation per capita. Now, without a fare increase, the service will be stretched “to the point of failure,” those officials are telling City Council members. Star-Advertiser.

UH football player possibly paralyzed after diving in waters off Waikiki. KITV.

A plan to dismantle a breakwater to prevent risky dives on Oahu's south shore is moving forward. Hawaii News Now.

Officials renamed the city’s aquatic center in Waipio in honor of the late U.S. Rep. K. Mark Takai during a ceremony Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

On A Mission To Save Hawaii’s Most Endangered Native Plants From Extinction. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Civil Beat Named Hawaii’s Best News Site For 7th Straight Year. The Hawaii Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists makes its annual award presentations. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

State Senator Josh Green has officially asked Governor David Ige to declare a state of emergency in West Hawaii over the ongoing water crisis. Big Island Video News.

County scrambles to fix wells but repairs more than a week away. West Hawaii Today.

A revised bill banning disposable polystyrene — popularly known as “styrofoam” — is coming back to the Hawaii County Council next week. Tribune-Herald.

Kona’s Community Development Plan was upheld as law Monday by the Intermediate Court of Appeals, sending a proposed development back to the county Planning Department. West Hawaii Today.

Kona coffee farmer tries to stay upbeat amid deportation proceedings. Star-Advertiser.

On June 23, the Hawaii County Council voted to adopt a resolution to award a Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Maintenance Stewardship Grant to Na Mamo o Kāwā. Big Island Video News.

West Hawaii Today won six awards, including two first-place honors, in the annual journalism contest hosted by the Hawaii chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital, and Lanai Community Hospital officially transferred operations from state provider Hawaii Health System Corporation to Maui Health System, a subsidiary of Kaiser Permanente, on Saturday. Hawaii News Now.

The Maui Region staff has created a legacy video to document this day as the Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital, and Lānaʻi Community Hospital become part of the Maui Health System, a subsidiary of Kaiser Permanente. Maui Now.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs wants faster, stricter protections for central Maui sand dunes after Always Investigating exposed the extent of sand exports and business connections on Oahu. KHON2.

With news of possible further mining of the sand dunes of Central Maui, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees has formally called for a halt to the practice. Star-Advertiser.

Summit focuses on affordable housing hurdles. Maui News.

Maui News staffers and a columnist received 11 awards, including five first-place honors, from the Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter during the 2016 Excellence in Journalism Awards ceremony Friday night on Oahu. Maui News.


Kauai Humane Society is currently finalizing its contract with Kauai County, but it’s expected the county will contribute around $795,000 in Fiscal Year 2017-18. Garden Island.

An intern at the Limahuli Garden and Preserve came across a dead snake on her morning jog along Kuhio Highway in Haena Friday. Garden Island.

Hanalei Watershed Hui and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary have partnered together to protect their corner of the planet. Garden Island.

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