Friday, November 30, 2018

New tourism chief named, data breach at Marriott, Supreme Court won't reconsider Thirty Meter Telescope ruling, Hawaiian Airlines opening mainland tech office, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaiian Airlines at Honolulu airport ©2018 All Hawaii News
Isle tourism still pacing ahead of 2017. The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported Thursday that total arrivals in October rose 4.4 percent year-over-year to 770,359. Star-Advertiser.

Former hotel housekeeper and executive is tapped to lead HTA. A former hotel housekeeper, who went on to become a top Marriott hotel executive, will be the first hotelier ever to lead the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Star-Advertiser.

Chris Tatum named new CEO of Hawaii Tourism Authority. Tatum, the area general manager at Marriott International in Hawaii, was elected by the tourism agency’s 12-member board on Thursday. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority’s board of directors on Thursday unanimously confirmed the appointment of longtime tourism executive Chris Tatum as its new president and CEO. Garden Island.

Massive, extended data breach at Marriott’s Starwood hotels. The information of as many as 500 million guests at Starwood hotels has been compromised and Marriott said that it’s discovered that unauthorized access to data within its Starwood network has been taking place since 2014. Associated Press.

Marriott announced Friday a hack of its Starwood guest reservation database system. The hack potentially affects the information of up to 500 million guests. Reuters.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has allocated nearly $3.6 million in funding to support 130 programs in 2019 that it says “perpetuate Hawaiian culture, protect natural resources, and showcase community events.” Star-Advertiser.

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Ige Spent $3.2 Million On Re-Election Campaign, New Reports Show. The incumbent governor, who won in a landslide, spent spent six times as much as his Republican challenger. Civil Beat.

Ige to be sworn in to second term next week. After winning his re-election bid earlier this month, Gov. David Ige is set to be sworn in for his second term next week at the rotunda in the state Capitol. Hawaii News Now.

Governor seeking team players. Gov. David Ige and Lt. Gov.-Elect Josh Green are recruiting qualified and dedicated individuals who are interested in working for state government in various positions across Hawaii. Garden Island.

Lieutenant Governor-Elect Plans Homelessness Strategy. After fourteen years in the State Legislature, Dr. Josh Green is going to be sworn in as Lieutenant Governor next Monday. Although many consider the Lieutenant Governor’s job to be minimal — change of name, IDs and marriage licenses and such — Green has big plans. Hawaii Public Radio.

In ‘game-changer,’ Hawaii given approval to use Medicaid dollars to help chronically homeless. Hawaii is one of the first states in the country given the go-ahead to use federal Medicaid dollars — typically reserved for health care costs — to help homeless people move into housing. Hawaii News Now.

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Gabbard’s New Hampshire trip marks possible presidential run. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is scheduled to speak Sunday to progressive Democrats in New Hampshire as part of a series of discussions with prospective Democratic presidential candidates, a further indication that she is indeed looking at running for the Oval Office in 2020. Star-Advertiser.

A presidential run for U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard? Her travel schedule hints at the possibility. KITV.

2018 Central Pacific hurricane season wraps up today. The 2018 Central Pacific hurricane season officially ends today. However, a developing El Nino could potentially fuel some offseason action. West Hawaii Today.

A destructive 2018 Hawaii hurricane season comes to a quiet end. Hawaii News Now.

The 2018 Central Pacific hurricane season set a record. Forecasters call the year "unprecedented" with six tropical cyclones. KITV.

Marijuana might reverse heart failure, University of Hawaii study finds. Alexander Stokes, assistant professor in cell and molecular biology at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine, said the potential medical benefits of cannabis to treat heart disease are promising. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines to open IT center in Arizona. Hawaiian Airlines said Thursday it will open a technology center in the Phoenix area in the first quarter. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu City Council: "No" to Franken Poles. The Honolulu City Council is putting the brakes on a proposal to improve cellphone coverage and generate millions in non-taxpayer revenue. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Council to take up emergency measures for building permits. A resolution urging Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration to implement emergency procedures to help with building permit delays passed the Honolulu City Council’s Zoning and Housing Committee, a day after the mayor announced initiatives to speed up the permit process. Pacific Business News.

A Plan To Keep Homeless Offenders Out Of Jail In Honolulu. Police and the prosecuting attorney’s office are still deciding what nonviolent crimes qualify the homeless to participate in a diversion program. Civil Beat.

After years of legal wrangling, judge dismisses Kealohas' civil suit against city Ethics Commission. A judge has dismissed a years-long case against the city Ethics Commissions, brought by ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, a former deputy prosecutor. Hawaii News Now.

Aloha Stadium upgrade plan moves forward. The process of determining a successor to Aloha Stadium will enter its most significant phase in more than five years next month, when work on a stadium master plan and environmental impact statement is scheduled to commence. Star-Advertiser.

Palehua Windfarm Announced for Leeward Oahu. Over Thanksgiving week Hawaiian Electric announced it reached an agreement to purchase power from Eurus Energy America. The company will build and operate a windfarm on Palehua Ridge above the existing fossil fuel powerplant. Hawaii Public Radio.

Huge swell saves homes threatened by erosion, changes beaches. The biggest swell of the season has come and gone with another one on the way next week. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Supreme Court Will Not Reconsider TMT Ruling. With the exception of changes to some footnotes in the original order, the Hawaii Supreme Court on Thursday denied a motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioners in the case of the Thirty Meter Telescope planned for Mauna Kea. Big Island Video News.

Find Hawaii Supreme Court opinions on the Thirty Meter Telescope issue here and here and here.

Tourism sluggish in Volcano. The reopening of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has brought visitors back to nearby Volcano, but perhaps not as quickly as some expected. Tribune-Herald.

Lava checkpoints nixed: Last two manned barriers will be removed next week. Hawaii County will remove its remaining checkpoints on roads in lower Puna next week, but some restrictions may still apply for nonresidents entering Leilani Estates. Tribune-Herald.

Private company plans lava viewing area in Puna. The public could soon have authorized — and unauthorized — access to see firsthand the aftermath of Kilauea Volcano’s Puna eruption. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Board on Geographic Names received three name proposals to rename fissure 8. The board plans on giving a status report in the next seven to 10 days. KITV.

Hawaii island mayor honored for keeping community safe. He was named a Homeland Heroes Mission Awardee by the Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today for his ongoing efforts during Kilauea's latest eruption. KHON2.

The Mokupapapa Discovery Center was filled with concerned fishermen on Wednesday night, who wanted to know more about a study that looks at possible non-commercial fishing regulations. Big Island Video News.

Marni Herkes dies after long illness. A tireless community volunteer best known for her long service as the chamber’s executive director died recently, leaving behind a legacy of civic-minded engagement. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Audit critical of liquor department and commission. Lack of transparency, ‘arbitrary’ rules among issues raised. Maui News.

The Hawaii Commission on Water Resource Management has adopted instream flow standards for Kahoma and Kanaha streams in West Maui. Maui Now.

Age of utility scale solar has begun on Maui County. Projects in Lahaina, Kihei blessed with larger ones on horizon. Maui News.

Two large scale solar farms were blessed on Maui in separate ceremonies on Wednesday in Lahaina and Kihei. Maui Now.

Workers at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali will be returning to their jobs today after going on strike Oct. 8, according to a union official. Maui News.

Kauai

Kawakami names cabinet. Mayor-elect Derek Kawakami announced plans Thursday to replace a number of county government officials, including Managing Director Wallace Rezentes, who will now serve as deputy director of parks and recreation. Garden Island.

Kauai visitors spending more. Kauai welcomed 103,089 visitors in October, up 2.4 percent from October 2017, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s report released Thursday. Garden Island.

A Kauai elementary school became first DOE school to serve taro. This is part of Aina Pono, the Hawaii State Farm to School Program. KITV.

Organic farm next to Facebook CEO's Kauai property on the market for $23M. A Kauai farm that grows organic ginger and turmeric and is adjacent to land that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently acquired to add to his Hawaii holdings is on the market for sale for $22.95 million. Pacific Business News.