Friday, August 31, 2018

Hawaii sets tourism record, FEMA, Homeland Security, tour state disasters, lawsuit filed over school bullying, Honolulu advances new homeless laws, more news from all the Hawaiian islands

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July sets single-month record for Hawaii visitors. Despite volcanic-activity related softening on Hawaii island, more visitors came to Hawaii in July than in any other month in the state’s history. Star-Advertiser.

Federal pay freeze could affect tens of thousands of civilian workers in Hawaii. According to the latest numbers from the government, Hawaii has more than 23,000 federal workers including those that work at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. KHON2.

State investigating "price gouging" complaints. About 30 people from Oahu, the Big Island, Maui, and Kauai filed complaints with the state that they paid too much. KITV.

Federal response to Hurricane Lane 'just the beginning'. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen arrived in Hawaii on Thursday, one week after rain from Hurricane Lane began pounding Hawaii island, and said the federal government will continue to respond in the wake of the powerful storm. Star-Advertiser.

Lawsuit Slams DOE For ‘Grossly Inadequate’ Anti-Bullying Policies. The suit asks for a court-appointed special master to oversee the anti-harassment program in the Hawaii Department of Education. Civil Beat.

Three families who say their children were bullied or harassed in Hawaii public schools have filed a class-action lawsuit against the state Department of Education. Hawaii News Now.

Classrooms getting more crowded as more kids enroll in public school. KHON2.

Hawaii counties are seeking to block a ballot question that would amend the state constitution to give the Legislature the power to tax investment real estate to fund schools. Associated Press.

During this year's legislative session, state lawmakers approved the language for a statewide ballot referendum on a new amendment to the state constitution. If approved by voters, the amendment would create a state-wide property tax on certain investment properties to fund public schools. But attorneys from all of Hawaii's county governments are now challenging the proposal. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii County joins ballot fight: Lawsuit seeks to strike education tax off Nov. 6 ballot. West Hawaii Today.

A group commissioned by Gov. David Ige has created guidelines for earlier diagnosis and prevention of the potentially crippling rat lungworm disease. Star-Advertiser.

Steroid, spinal tap among new rat lungworm guidelines. Tribune-Herald.

Local Tech Company Aims to Help Farmers Work Smarter. With recent funding from a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, Smart Yields is now trying to make it easier for local farmers to comply with food safety standards. Hawaii Public Radio.

More than 100 people have applied to become the next CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority to replace George Szigeti, who will step down at the end of October. Pacific Business News.


Committee advances 2 bills targeting building violations. The City Council Zoning Committee on Thursday advanced two bills that target unscrupulous builders and property owners, but postponed a decision on a third bill. Star-Advertiser.

Committee OKs bills to clear homeless from city sidewalks. A City Council committee Thursday approved two bills that would make it illegal for people to obstruct or lodge on city sidewalks. Star-Advertiser.

More Oahu parks to be secured overnight in expanded effort to curb vandalism. Starting this weekend, more than a dozen parks in Leeward, Ewa, and Central Oahu, will be secured and monitored overnight. KHON2.

Applicants sought for Waikiki affordable housing complex for seniors. The Ainahau Vista II project is intended for low-income seniors ages 55 or older. Hawaii News Now.

Jim Nabors' Diamond Head estate on the market for $15M. The oceanfront Hawaii estate belonging to the late Jim Nabors, known best for playing Gomer Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Gomer Pyle: USMC” in the 1960s, is on the market for $14.88 million. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

County wish list grows to $800M. The cost of Hawaii County’s wish list for what is needed to recover from the Kilauea disaster has increased to $800 million, according to the county’s No. 2 official.Tribune-Herald.

Tentative steps toward relaxing restrictions on access to the Puna eruption zone are in the works, with Hawaii island officials preparing to remove two roadblocks in the next week on routes that lead to rugged, 40-foot-tall cooled lava flows that crossed a highway near the coastline. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen joined state officials for a briefing on various disaster recovery efforts. Big Island Video News.

No lava spotted at fissure 8. That appears to mark the first time that lava was not seen anywhere since the eruption on Kilauea’s lower East Rift Zone subsided almost four weeks ago. Tribune-Herald.

Pahoa’s Future Discussed With Community Leaders. Approximately 40 to 50 people met at Liko Lehua Pauahi CafĂ© on Thursday, Aug. 30, at 2 p.m. to discuss some of their ideas and concerns with government officials that were available. Big Island Now.

The new commander at Pohakuloa Training Area worked a room of both military supporters and critics during a public meeting in Hilo Wednesday night. Big Island Video News.

Commentary: Puna councilwoman should leave now. Even though it’s only been a week since Puna Councilwoman Jen Ruggles stunned her colleagues by announcing she will refrain from voting or sponsoring legislation because she fears she would be violating international law and committing war crimes against the Hawaiian Kingdom, that’s a week too long to waste on nonsense. West Hawaii Today.

Hurricane Lane Adds to a Wet Year for Big Island Farmers. Hawaii Public Radio.


Ex-Maui Police Officer Sentenced In Theft, Bribery Scheme. The officer took $1,800 from a man during a traffic stop in 2015. Associated Press.

Kuleana landowners and volunteers confront officials. Frustrated kuleana landowners who felt abandoned by the county and community volunteers, who sorted piles of donations, confronted officials Wednesday night in the wake of three brush fires that burned more than 2,000 acres and destroyed at least 21 structures — most of them belonging to kuleana landowners. Maui News.

Restoring water to Kauaula Valley residents top priority. Kuleana families are busy cleaning up before they can rebuild after devastating fire. Maui News.


A former Kauai Police Department officer who was convicted of harassment by stalking and the use of a computer in the commission of a separate crime was sentenced to five years of probation and community service in Fifth Circuit Court Thursday. Garden Island.

After enduring pummeling from Lane, Kauai in 'disaster mode'. Hawaii News Now.

Alakai O Kauai charter school opened to 148 students Wednesday for a full day of class. Garden Island.

While the islandwide brown water advisory hasn’t yet been canceled by the state Department of Health, the county Department of Water has canceled the do not drink advisory for customers in Wainiha. Garden Island.

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