Monday, September 25, 2017

Too many tourists, not enough doctors; lawsuit over abortion choices; Honolulu police chief drama drags on; Hawaii County hiring questioned; black band coral disease resurfaces, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Too many tourists? Sustainability was the theme of this week’s “global summit” put together by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii anti-abortion pregnancy centers went to court to argue that a new law violates their right to free speech and religion. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s doctor shortage is worsening, except on the island of Kauai, according to the most recent data by the University of Hawaii Physician Workforce Assessment. Star-Advertiser.


The Honolulu Police Commission is expected to whittle its list of police chief candidates down to a handful when it meets Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Morale a major problem at embattled police department, some say. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: It rankled when former police Chief Louis Kealoha, facing a federal corruption investigation for allegedly involving the department in a family legal dispute, was paid $250,000 by the Police Commission to go away. It stings even worse to see that while the taxpayer money went away, Kealoha really didn’t. Star-Advertiser.

Sgt. Kim Buffett, one of the high-profile faces of the Honolulu Police Department as the head of CrimeStoppers, will retire at the end of the month after 29 years and 10 months on the job and take her experience dealing with criminals, cops and journalists to Hawaiian Airlines as Hawaiian’s new head of guest services operations. Star-Advertiser.


Ten years and $1 billion. That’s what it likely will take to replace the state’s aging Mayor Wright Homes low-income public housing complex in Kalihi with seven times as many rental apartments in a new high-rise community for residents earning a broad range of incomes. Star-Advertiser.

The trick, says Sharon Schneider, is to keep Kaimuki “cool and funky, but not scruffy.” So some merchants are sprucing up the storefronts along the community’s Waialae Avenue business district — in some cases, beautifying those strips of land between sidewalks and curbs that belong to the city. Civil Beat.

Could permits to park on the street help curb trespassers entering the Haiku Stairs trail, also known as the Stairway to Heaven? KHON2.

Kiewit Construction has won the bid contract for the first construction phase of Honolulu Harbor’s Kapalama Container Terminal. Pacific Business News.

Oahu is booming with murals, but two recent disputes have highlighted the legal issues and bad feelings that can arise when building owners that originally allowed artwork later decide to do something different with their property. Star-Advertiser.

Aiea Intermediate will be closed Monday, Sept. 25, due to a power outage. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

‘POI’ creates sticky situation for HR: Merit Appeals Board to take up critical audit. For some county job seekers, the word “POI” — short for “person of interest” — represents their worst fears come true. The acronym on a request-to-fill form means there’s already a preferred candidate for the job, even before the position is advertised in an open recruitment. West Hawaii Today.

A recent federal court ruling allows criminal defendants who have not been proven guilty to appear in court without shackles, saying the restraints go against their constitutional rights. West Hawaii Today.

The state has fined a businessman who claims to have pioneered commercial sales of the bitter fruit noni, after he bulldozed a road to harvest a noni orchard planted illicitly on state land while claiming to own the property under authority of a nonexistent federal court. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim plans to sign a bill passed by the County Council that would ban the use of polystyrene foam food containers on the island in two years. Star-Advertiser.

Fewer Hawaii Island public school students met grade-level standards on state tests last year than their counterparts statewide, according to new data from Hawaii’s Strive HI Performance System. Tribune-Herald.

The Merrie Monarch Festival is close to finding solutions for housing hula halau displaced after Mayor Harry Kim informed the festival the troupes would no longer be allowed to sleep in county gyms. Tribune-Herald.

The friends and family of Peter Boy Kema got some closure on the Big Island this weekend. Hawaii News Now.


A little over 200 snails from a dozen sites in West Maui, Upcountry, Kihei and Hana are being tested for rat lungworm disease in an attempt to track and combat the mollusks that caused an unparalleled outbreak on the island earlier this year. Maui News.

About 200 snails on Maui Island are being tested for rat lungworm disease in an attempt to track the mollusks that caused an unparalleled outbreak on the island this year. Associated Press.

Baldwin Beach – ‘back to its natural state’ With homeless camp gone, beach is available for parkgoers — but work is still needed. Maui News.

NOAA Fisheries announced it had released the 1,000th sea turtle (honu) that was rescued and rehabilitated in Hawai‘i at Tavares Beach on Maui’s North Shore. Maui Now.

Federal fisheries officials released the 1,000th sea turtle rehabilitated in the Hawaiian Islands, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Maui News.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife will have application forms for the 2018 Lanai axis deer hunting season available at all DOFAW offices statewide beginning Monday, Oct. 2. Maui Now.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz will be the keynote speaker at the 11th annual Hui Holomua Business Fest, which will take place Oct. 11 at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu, the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday. Maui News.


Black band disease is once again spreading through some corals around Kauai, according to Hanalei researcher Terry Lilley. Garden Island.

Retail Shops On Hawaii Farmland: Kauai Dispute Could Set A Precedent. A company points to a 2012 state law as it sues for the right to sell its coffee beans and cigars on agricultural land. Civil Beat.

Proposed changes to commercial marine license fees will be explained by the Department of Land and Natural Resources in public hearing meetings set for Oct. 5 and Oct. 10 on Kauai. Garden Island.

Crime statewide lowest since 1975. Rape rises on Kauai; unclear if due to reporting change or actual increase. Garden Island.

The Deadliest Beach On Kauai Might Surprise You. A researcher analyzed drownings over 42 years. The beach with the most fatalities isn’t considered the most hazardous. Civil Beat.

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