Monday, December 31, 2018

Hawaii Supreme Court weighs in on Honolulu council race, complaint filed over GOP campaign finance, media weigh in on top 2018 stories, new laws for 2019, more top state and local government news from all the Hawaiian islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Diamond Head aerial view ©2018 All Hawaii News
No fishing at Waikiki to Diamond Head shoreline in 2019. Environmental advocates like the idea of a closure, but think the time frame needs to be longer for it to be effective. KITV.

More than two years after Gov. David Ige’s administration unveiled a 10-year, $378 million plan to escalate the state’s fight against invasive species, much of it remains unfunded and the governor plans to ask the Legislature to provide only a fraction of what was envisioned for the next two fiscal years. Star-Advertiser.

A longtime critic of the Hawaii Republican Party is alleging top state GOP leaders violated federal campaign spending laws by illegally funneling excess contributions to Cam Cavasso during his campaign for the U.S. House this year, but Republican Party Chairwoman Shirlene Ostrov says the party assistance to the Cavasso campaign was legal. Star-Advertiser.

A new law that goes into effect Tuesday aims to put a tighter leash on dog owners who fraudulently try to pass their pets off as service animals. Star-Advertiser.

With the 2018 hurricane season now behind us, the state has mailed out surveys to some Hawaii residents asking how prepared they are to face a major hurricane. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Ceded Lands Revenue Debate Simmers At Capitol. Big Island Video News.

Ahi prices are up as tradition is coming at a higher cost. KHON2.

The year that was 2018 might best be known in Hawaii for its explosions — the ones that did happen and the big one that didn’t. Star-Advertiser.

As the year comes to an end, Hawaii News Now takes a look back at the impressive and unforgettable stories of 2018 in this digital documentary. Hawaii News Now.

Star-Advertiser photographers pick their photos of the year. Star-Advertiser.


State Supreme Court to decide fate of City Council race with razor-thin win. Nearly eight weeks after the general election, one of the closest races still hasn’t officially been decided. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Supreme Court says elections of Ozawa, Fevella uncertified. On Friday, the five Justices ordered state and city election officials to provide the following to Waters and LoPresti: information setting forth the margin of error for the electronic vote counting machines when applying the tabulation procedures, and -information setting forth how the intent of the voter is ensured in a close election without a hand count. KHON2.

Impeachment Waits While City Considers Paying Kaneshiro’s Legal Fees. A judge puts the case on hold to give the City Council time to decide if taxpayers must provide the prosecuting attorney with a lawyer. Civil Beat.

The petition to oust Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro is being described as uncharted waters. KHON2.

A new report by Honolulu Auditor Edwin Young concludes that a ban on foam or polystyrene food containers on Oahu would not reduce litter on the island, but would negatively affect some smaller businesses. Star-Advertiser.

More than 100,000 residents and visitors are expected to view the annual Fireworks by Grucci display that will begin at 11:55 p.m. tonight from a barge in waters off Waikiki Beach. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Leilani Estates residents are giving up on a lawsuit they filed against Hawaii County that would have returned a security checkpoint to the neighborhood devastated by lava. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii County Council is being asked to add projects related to damage caused by recent disasters to the capital budget and accept funds for a recovery plan for Puna. Tribune-Herald.

The partial closure of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park does not appear to be keeping tourists away from Volcano, to the relief of businesses that depend on them. Tribune-Herald.

With a new year just around the corner, improvements at the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole continue. West Hawaii Today.

Aloha, 2018! The Tribune-Herald’s top stories of the year. Tribune-Herald.


Fate of Fong land in Keokea now up in the air. Dispute over water meters, subdivision puts Grandma’s site in question. Maui News.

Applications and proposals for a recycling grant program through the county Department of Environmental Management are being accepted for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. Maui News.

A project to honor Maui County’s Mayors and Managing Directors was unveiled Thursday afternoon featuring a Wall of Mayors and a Wall of Managing Directors on the 9th Floor of the County Building in Wailuku. Maui Now.


Peter Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines president and CEO, will be the keynote speaker at the Jan. 15 meeting of the Kauai Chamber of Commerce at the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort. Garden Island.

Top 10 stories: A look back at 2018. Garden Island.

Friday, December 28, 2018

State keeps Pearl Harbor open in federal shutdown, FEMA sending $61M to Big Island, Ozawa to be Honolulu council chairman, Kalapana band founder Bilyeu dies, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy NPS
USS Arizona Memorial, courtesy NPS
The Hawaii Tourism Authority on Thursday agreed to provide $126,000 in emergency funding to keep the USS Arizona Memorial visitor center staffed and open during the partial government shutdown — which could extend into the new year. Star-Advertiser.

Emergency funds approved to keep Pearl Harbor monument open as shutdown drags on. Hawaii News Now.

How Pearl Harbor Historic Sites stay open during government shutdown. KHON2.


Hawaii won’t top earlier projections of 10 million visitors this year, but is still expected to have record tourism. There were more tourists visiting the islands year over year in November, with total arrivals up 4.3 percent to 781,990, according to the latest report released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono announced today that she will donate pay she receives during the partial government shutdown to food banks in all four counties across Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hirono says she’ll donate salary earned during government shutdown. Hawaii News Now.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs says state agencies have been vastly under­reporting to the Legislature the amount of revenue they are generating from the state’s public land trust and that OHA’s share of that revenue should be more than double what it’s currently receiving. Star-Advertiser.

OHA Wants A Lot More Ceded Land Money From The State. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs says the annual cap of $15.1 million is too low and that state agencies should do a better job reporting their revenues. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii is expected to sign a new contract with the U.S. Navy for $80 million worth of research during the next five years for projects ranging from cybersecurity to renewable energy. Civil Beat.

Here’s a look at some of the laws set to take effect in the new year. Hawaii News Now.

Injured Workers Still Searching For Relief. A key lawmaker is promising to again pursue reforms in Hawaii’s workers’ comp system during the upcoming legislative session. Civil Beat.

Malani Bilyeu, founding member of iconic Hawaiian band Kalapana, dies. Hawaii News Now.

Malani Bilyeu, founding member of Kalapana, dies. KHON2.

Malani Bilyeu, founding member of Kalapana, and Hoku Award-winning solo artist, dies. Star-Advertiser.

Sashimi prices are still uncertain as the new year approaches. It’s still too soon to say what kind of prices customers will face as demand for sashimi rises with the arrival of the New Year. Star-Advertiser.


Trevor Ozawa will likely take the gavel as chairman of the Honolulu City Council when the new Council meets for the first time Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

East Honolulu Councilman Trevor Ozawa could be the new chairman of the Honolulu City Council, replacing his political ally Ernie Martin, who leaves office at the end of the year. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Over $61 Million From FEMA For Hawaii County After Eruption, Hurricane. According to a series of communications from Hawaii County Finance Director Deanna Sako to the Hawaii County Council, FEMA is providing funds to be used for the repair of damages from the eruption of Kilauea Volcano, as well as the flooding caused by Hurricane Lane. Big Island Video News.

An environmental assessment is being drafted for a proposed small satellite launch facility in East Hawaii. The Alaska Aerospace Corp. operates the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Kodiak Island and wants to build its next site for launches closer to the equator. Tribune-Herald.

The Alaska Aerospace Corporation is considering developing a commercial spaceport on the Island of Hawaii, possibly in the Keaau area. Big Island Video News.

Puna Geothermal Venture’s $150,000 donation to Hawaii County aimed at helping Puna residents affected by the Kilauea eruption was unrelated to its request to build an emergency access road over the lava flow, says its Hawaii representative. Tribune-Herald.

Tourism to the Big Island was down from last year for the sixth month in a row in November, according to preliminary data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Tribune-Herald.


Lieutenant Governor Josh Green will deliver the keynote address at the Maui County Council inauguration on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019 at 10 a.m. in the Council Chamber. Maui Now.

Council organizational meeting set for Jan. 2. Maui News.

A bill restricting the use and sale of polystyrene foam food service containers in Maui County goes into effect on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. Maui Now.


Zuckerberg Could Still Absorb Tiny Parcels Into His Estate. The Facebook founder said he would no longer try to acquire “kuleana” parcels held by families for generations on Kauai’s North Shore, but now they’re being auctioned off. Civil Beat.

On The Rebound: Natural Resources Bounce Back After April Floods. Hawaii Public Radio.

While some federal programs are screeching to a halt as a result of the ongoing government shutdown, life on Kauai is pretty much business as usual. Garden Island.

The tourism industry on Kauai is continuing a strong push to the finish of 2018. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Navy issues EIS for sonar testing, training; Ige reappoints three department heads; Pearl Harbor stays open amid federal shutdown; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Humpback whale feeding, breeding zones. NOAA

The U.S. Navy is moving forward with training and testing in Hawaii-Southern California waters after re-evaluating potential environmental impacts of their activities. “These military readiness activities include the use of active sonar and explosives at sea off the coasts of Hawaii and Southern California,” according to the final EIS. Garden Island.

Read the Navy's Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement here.

Winter on Maui means it’s time for humpback whales. More than half of the North Pacific humpback whale population, estimated at over 20,000 strong, visit the waters of Maui Nui each year. Hawaii Magazine.

The year 2018 has been a record one for Hawaiian monk seal pups born in the main Hawaiian isles, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige has reappointed leaders at three state departments, his office announced today, including the Department of Transportation, Department of Human Resources Development and Department of Taxation. Star-Advertiser.

Tatum takes over at HTA amid tourism challenges. Created by the Legislature in 1998, the tourism authority believes it’s found a power hitter in Chris Tatum. Star-Advertiser.

Court Cases Open Window Into Marshallese Adoptions. A lawsuit by a Kentucky couple alleges that an Arkansas attorney offered to fly a Marshallese birth mother to the U.S. despite a treaty that bars such travel. Civil Beat.

Japanese-Americans are more likely to accumulate fat in their liver and abdomen compared to other ethnicities. That's according to the latest research from the University of Hawaii's Cancer Center. Hawaii Public Radio.

YEAR IN REVIEW: The repercussions of Hawaii’s false missile alert are still being felt. Hawaii News Now.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Remembering this year’s record breaking hurricane season. Hawaii’s 2018 hurricane season was among the most destructive in years. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii taxpayers claim close to $86M in renewable energy tax credits in 2016. The state of Hawaii dished out $85.8 million in renewable energy tax credits in 2016, down from $98.6 million during the previous year. Pacific Business News.


As government shutdown drags on, nonprofits scramble to keep Pearl Harbor monument open. Despite the partial government shutdown, the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument is still open — thanks to the generosity of several nonprofits. Hawaii News Now.

Since the government's partial shutdown several Hawaii national parks have seen a shake-up in services. But places like the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, - a historic site that drew in just under 2-million visitors last year - according to park stats isn't one that's closing quietly. KITV.

Not Everyone’s Thrilled To Have A Film Crew In The Neighborhood. “Magnum P.I.” is generating complaints from businesses and residents about the way it commandeers streets and parking places. Civil Beat.

Fraud alleged in local trash company bankruptcy. A commercial refuse hauler that stiffed the city on $3 million in garbage disposal fees may not have actually dumped that debt obligation through bankruptcy two years ago. Star-Advertiser.

The trains may one day run on time, but the construction of the track certainly hasn't. At $8.3 billion, not including finance charges, the Honolulu rail project is the largest public works project in Hawaii history and, according to a policy analyst at the conservative think tank Cato Institute, "the most expensive per capita of any publicly funded rail project in the modern age." U.S. News & World Report.

Twelve parcels of land for sale, including the Willows, could change Moiliili neighborhood. KHON2.

Back in business: Ala Wai Community and Neighborhood parks re-open. Since October, the parks have been closed for crews to revamp the public areas. KITV.

With students out of school for winter break, families hoping to check out certain libraries are out of luck. Three Oahu branches are temporarily closed because of emergency work or other issues. Hawaii News Now.

State orders brothers to fix decrepit Kakaako roads or stop charging for parking. A state agency is ordering two brothers to either fix up the streets they claim they own in Kakaako or stop charging parking fees. Hawaii News Now.

A former U.S. Housing and Urban Development employee accused of collecting Section 8 rental assistance on properties she and her husband managed and controlled pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court Wednesday to five counts of wire fraud. Star-Advertiser.

The new year means changes for some fishermen. Starting January 1, 2019, the Waikiki-Diamond Head shoreline will be off-limits for fishing. The ban will last for all of 2019. KHON2.

Firecracker permit sales drop in Honolulu for New Year’s. Firecracker permit sales are down this year with 3,000 fewer sold compared to last year, the Honolulu Fire Department reported. Star-Advertiser.

A couple of Nevada residents are suing to evict the people living in Duane “Dog” Chapman’s Portlock home because Chapman and his wife have allegedly defaulted on their house payments. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Harry Kim thanked Puna Geothermal Venture executives for a six-figure donation, a short time before the company was granted permission to cut an access road over the inactive lava channel that isolated the company’s power plant during the summer eruption of Kilauea Volcano. Big Island Video News.

Ookala residents frustrated by latest dairy discharge. On Monday, Big Island Dairy, which is set to cease operations next year, discharged nearly 600,000 gallons of wastewater into Kaohaoha Gulch. Tribune-Herald.

Report examines benefits, feasibility of basalt facility. A new study commissioned by the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems suggests the island could make a name for itself in this small but growing industry. Tribune-Herald.

Alii Drive culvert replacement project delayed. A county project to replace a deteriorating culvert on Alii Drive will get started a little later than previously estimated. West Hawaii Today.

Making Food More Affordable For The Hungry. Nearly 13 percent of Hawaii Island residents are “food insecure,” according to the USDA — well above the statewide average. Civil Beat.

21st Annual Mochi Pounding Set For Dec. 29 At Akiko’s. Traditional mochi pounding will return to the small village of Wailea this weekend, and the public is invited. Big Island Video News.


The South Maui Parking Lots Improvements Project will continue construction with the closure of Keawakapu Beach parking lot, at the corner of Kilohana Drive and South Kihei Road, on Wednesday, Jan. 2. Maui Now.

The comment period for the Kalaupapa National Historical Park General Management Plan and Environmental Assessment has been extended to Feb. 1. Maui News.

Maui’s law banning foam takeout containers goes into effect at the end of the year. The county law bans polystyrene foam food containers, which popular local plate lunches are typically served in. Associated Press.

Hale Kau Kau: 1.5 Million Meals and Counting. Today, South Maui’s only daily soup kitchen, Hale Kau Kau, served its 10,000th consecutive day of meal service. Maui Now.


Kauai officials have agreed to pay $1 million to the family of a man who died after being hit by a police cruiser. Associated Press.

Kauai Medical Clinic recently broke ground on its new 7,900-square-foot facility at the Safeway-anchored Kauai Village Shopping Center. Pacific Business News.


The comment period for the Kalaupapa National Historical Park General Management Plan and Environmental Assessment has been extended to Feb. 1. Maui News.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Foreign investment soars, owners to face fines for fake service animals, homeless qualify for Medicaid housing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu ©2018 All Hawaii News
Amid already hot housing market, foreign investment in Hawaii properties soars. Decades after the collapse of the Japanese investment bubble, foreign investment in Hawaii is making a big comeback. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii to roll out database to track school repair backlog. The Hawaii Department of Education is rolling out an online database to track the estimated $868 million backlog of repair and maintenance projects in the public school system. Associated Press.

Homeless people in Hawaii who are enrolled in Med-QUEST, the state’s Medicaid program, will have access to housing support services starting Jan. 1 that were previously offered to only a handful. Civil Beat.

As Ed Case prepares to be sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives in January, he’s been hiring key staff and gearing up for what he hopes will be major reforms in Congress. Star-Advertiser.

Claiming an ordinary dog to be a service animal will soon be illegal in Hawaii. Thanks to a law passed in July, the new year will add “misrepresentation of a service animal” to the state’s list of offenses punishable by a civil penalty. Tribune-Herald.

Circus and carnivals in Hawaii can’t bring lions, tigers or bears in for the show thanks to updated state rules signed by Gov. David Ige, and the head of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture says it’s been a long time coming. Garden Island.

Hawaii’s economy remained relatively strong through the year, with continued job growth, increasing wages and tax revenues that exceeded government projections in 2018, according to an annual financial report released last week by the Department of Accounting and General Services. Garden Island.

IMAGES OF 2018: A Year Of Alarms, Elections, Lava And A Notable Passing. The mother of all false alerts preceded very real disasters that flooded Kauai with rainwater and the Big Island with lava. Then came the threat of Hurricane Lane. Civil Beat.


State Hospital overtime raises safety concerns. Big paychecks for overtime, also leads to big concerns about safety at the Hawaii State Hospital. KITV.

State and county officials, social service agencies and law enforcement are working together to address the highest per capita rate of homelessness in the country, but more needs to be done, according to the regional coordinator for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. Star-Advertiser.

'It’s paradise’: Crowds head to the beach, trails for a sunny Christmas Day in Hawaii. A sunny Christmas Day sent throngs of merry-makers to Oahu beaches and parks Tuesday, where first responders were out in full force, too. Hawaii News Now.

Nearly 5 years after a huge fuel leak at the Red Hill Bulk Storage Facility, a forum will be held so people can get answers about preventing future leaks while protecting our water supply. KITV.

No flood, tsunami, earthquake or hurricane — not even retirement or a near-fatal heart attack — can keep Danny Tengan from readying East Honolulu residents for disaster. Star-Advertiser.

Water service will be temporarily suspended for four hours this morning at Magic Island, also known as Aina Moana, for a shower improvement project. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii officially down to one refinery. In line with the findings of the Hawaii Refinery Task Force's interim report from November 2013, one of the state's two refineries has, as predicted, officially ceased its refining operations before the year 2020. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Embattled dairy intentionally discharges 800,000 gallons of sewage into Big Island waters. Hawaii News Now.

Big Island Dairy Discharges More Wastewater Amid Heavy Rains. Hawaii health officials say the diary, which was fined for spilling nearly 8 million gallons of wastewater this summer, is pumping out nearly 800,000 gallons in the latest incident. Civil Beat.

The owners of Big Island Dairy illegally discharged Monday roughly 600,000 gallons of sewage that contaminated coastal waters through Kaohaoha Gulch. Star-Advertiser.

Water within Kaohaoha Gulch was contaminated with animal waste due to an overflowing retention pond at the dairy facility caused by heavy rainfall, health officials say. Big Island Video News.

Waimea residents and others will get a chance next month to weigh in on which of two air service providers they’d rather see offer subsidized flights out of the Waimea-Kohala Airport. West Hawaii Today.

The reins of the Big Island’s fourth-largest private landowner quietly changed hands last week. The new president of W.H. Shipman Ltd. is Margaret “Peggy” Farias, previously the chief financial officer and treasurer of the Keaau-based company. Tribune-Herald.


Timeshare resorts report occupancy rate of 91.8% in Q3. Maui News.

Chief: Officers’ actions ‘justified’ in shooting. Suspect, who was shot to death, drew a handgun, he said. Maui News.

New video of Sunday’s deadly officer-involved shooting in Wailuku was released at a press conference today at the Wailuku Police Station. The 23 second encounter at the Kaohu Street, South Market Street intersection, came following a chase that ensued for approximately 12 minutes. Maui Now.

Maui Electric is proposing to assume ownership and operation of the existing electric vehicle fast-charging network established on Maui through the JUMPSmartMaui demonstration project. Maui Now.

Maui Electric Co. on Friday proposed to assume ownership and operation of the JUMPSmartMaui electric vehicle fast-charging network on the Valley Isle. Pacific Business News.


The last several miles of road along Kauai’s North Shore remain closed to the public since the April flood. Local residents are limited to commute along one lane of the highway and only during scheduled convoy times. Hawaii Public Radio.

More than 100 threatened and endangered seabirds have fledged from the Nihoku restoration site within the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge in the past four years. Garden Island.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Hawaii Supreme Court overturns public records exemption, feral cat feeding at harbors banned, Honolulu rail meets federal deadline, Maui Styrofoam ban to begin, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Feral cat feeding in Hawaii ©2018 All Hawaii News
 Gov. David Ige has approved new rules for the state’s small boat harbors that prohibit camping and the feeding of feral cats at the harbors. Star-Advertiser.

The backlog of repair and maintenance projects at Hawaii’s public schools is an estimated $868 million, roughly three times worse than what legislators were told in January. Star-Advertiser.

For the first time since statehood in 1959, Hawaii’s population declined for two consecutive years with fewer births, more deaths and a greater number of residents moving to the mainland. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii and Japan have signed a memorandum of cooperation for a reciprocal partial exemption of driver’s license exam requirements. Star-Advertiser.

Former President Barack Obama back in Hawaii. When Barack Obama was President of the United States, it was an annual tradition to spend the holidays in Hawaii. It looks like that tradition is continuing. KHON2.


Hawaii Supreme Court Overturns 30 Years Of Government Secrecy. The ruling says that the city of Honolulu — as well as many other government agencies — have withheld public records for decades using an excuse that doesn’t exist in state law. Civil Beat.

In win for transparency, state Supreme Court overturns restrictions on public records. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige is pushing forward on plans to relocate Oahu’s overcrowded jail in Kalihi to Halawa Valley, inserting $5 million into his proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 for studying financing options for the facility, which is estimated to cost about $525 million. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Meets Federal Demands On Rail Project. City and rail officials satisfied federal requirements that they spend $44 million in local funds on the project, pursue a public-private partnership and update their financial recovery plan. Civil Beat.

The Federal Transit Administration said all requirements have been met in order for it to proceed with a review of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s revised recovery plan on Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Partners In Care — the group organizing January’s six-day census of Oahu’s homeless — needs hygiene products and volunteers in every community. Star-Advertiser.

Christmas Eve homeless sweep upsets civil liberties groups. The city gears up for a Christmas Eve homeless sweep in Waikiki. Before dawn, crews will enforce the Sidewalk Nuisance Ordinance and the Stored Property Ordinance, and civil liberties groups are upset at the timing. KITV.

Coast Guard welcomes Cutter Kimball, the first of its kind to call Hawaii home. Hawaii News Now.

A Hawaii historian is looking to preserve an old Quonset hut on Oahu that was possibly part of a segregated encampment for black laborers and enlisted men during World War II. Star-Advertiser.

Aulani lauded for embracing Native Hawaiian language. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

The Big Squeeze: an analysis of tax and fee increases island residents are expected to pay. West Hawaii Today.

The Big Squeeze, Part 1: Five county taxes and fees are increasing. West Hawaii Today.

The Big Squeeze: Part 2, the state. West Hawaii Today.

The Big Squeeze: Part 3, utilities. West Hawaii Today.

Lava rock could lay foundation for basalt industry. The Big Island produced a lot of new lava rock this year, and some of it could be the raw material for a new local industry, according to a report commissioned by a state agency. Star-Advertiser.

The bikeshare program in Kailua Village is doubling from three to six bike stations, thanks to action Wednesday by the County Council. West Hawaii Today.


Plate lunches soon will need a new plate. New law bans foam takeout containers starting Dec. 31. Maui News.

Old post office for bus hub land exchange is approved. Final council meeting of term: Lease pact involves old Wailuku Post Office. Maui News.

Officer Involved Shooting in Wailuku Under Investigation. Maui Now.


The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative Nominating Committee has selected three candidates for its Board of Directors election on March 23, all of them incumbents: Calvin Murashige, Jan TenBruggencate and Peter Yukimura. Garden Island.

Kauai forestry experts have been operating at elevated levels on Kauai since a more virulent form of rapid ohia death was found on the island for the first time last week. Star-Advertiser.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Surfrider grades beaches, Oahu getting major military projects, Alexander & Baldwin sells 41k acres of Maui sugar land, Big Island residents oppose vaccinations, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Girl playing on Waikiki beach ©2018 All Hawaii News
Hawaii received a C-plus in the Surfrider Foundation’s annual State of the Beach Report Card, which grades 30 U.S. states and the territory of Puerto Rico on policies that address climate change, shoreline erosion and extreme weather. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources has joined forces with various marine and animal protection organizations to make it easier for people to report illegal aquarium collecting activity across the state. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii-based marine and animal protection organizations have joined forces with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources to make it easier for people to report illegal aquarium collecting activity across the state. Garden Island.

NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary reminds the public that humpback whale season in Hawaii is underway. Maui Now.

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights now supports federal recognition of Native Hawaiians. In a major reversal, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is supporting federal recognition of Native Hawaiians. Star-Advertiser.


Pentagon awards contract for powerful missile radar defense system on Oahu.  The Missile Defense Agency has awarded Lockheed Martin a $585 million contract to design and build a powerful ballistic missile radar defense system on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

New $680M Coast Guard cutter arriving in Honolulu. The first of two new $680 million Coast Guard cutters is expected to arrive in Honolulu Saturday, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

Police Chief: Sharing Information With Kaneshiro Not In City’s ‘Best Interest’. Mayor’s office is “seriously considering” Susan Ballard’s request that the prosecuting attorney be excluded from public safety meetings because of reports he’s under investigation. Civil Beat.

Here’s the email the police chief sent to the city about Honolulu’s prosecutor. Hawaii News Now.

Citing what it said were the lowest fees in conferences it competes in, the University of Hawaii athletic department began laying the ground work for raising the mandatory athletic fee it charges students. Star-Advertiser.

String of major storms proved fatal blow to popular Nalo Farms. Repeated bouts of severe weather has lead to the closure of Nalo Farms. Hawaii News Now.

Nalo Farms closes business after being impacted by April's heavy rains. A well-known Waimanalo farm impacted by last April's heavy rains is now shut down for good. KITV.

Hawaii Island

Public testifiers spoke out in opposition to immunization and examination requirements for school attendance in Hawaii. Big Island Video News.

It's a Big Island power plant, but now an Oahu County political party is getting involved. Thursday night, the Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities is holding a public event to talk about Hu Honua Bioenergy power plant. KITV.

A crew is working to remove a derelict boat that’s been sitting on the makai side of Queen Kaahumanu Highway, south of Kua Bay, for more than a month. West Hawaii Today.

Charter Commission chairman to speak in Honokaa. Tribune-Herald.


A&B sells all of its farm holdings for $262 million. Alexander & Baldwin, which grew sugar cane on Maui for 150 years and ceased operations in 2016, is leaving agriculture behind on the island, announcing the sale of its 41,000 acres of farm land for $262 million to a farming venture between a California investment group and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board. Maui News.

New Era of Ag on Maui: A&B Sells 41,000 Acres to Mahi Pono. Alexander & Baldwin today announced an agreement that will launch a new era of agriculture on Maui.  According to company executives, the agreement provides for the sale of the former Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company lands to Mahi Pono LLC for purposes of cultivating a variety of food and energy crops, ensuring the continued agricultural use of these lands, the preservation of green, open space in Central Maui, and a consistent and long-term source of revenue for the local economy. Maui Now.

A&B sells 41,000 acres of former Maui sugar lands. Alexander & Baldwin has sold about 41,000 acres of former Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company lands on Maui as part of a $262 million deal aimed at boosting local food production. Hawaii News Now.

Former HC&S land on Maui sold for $262 million. KHON2.


The Maui County Planning Department will hold a public hearing on proposed revisions to the Department’s Administrative Rules for the Agricultural District. Maui Now.

MPD seeks recruits to fill more than 40 vacant positions. Some police officers have been reassigned to work patrol shifts, and some promotions are being delayed, as police continue recruiting officers to fill more than 40 vacant positions. Maui News.


Community-Focused Rebuilding on Kauai's North Shore. A new community-driven initiative on Kauai's North Shore aims to ensure residents have a say in rebuilding their coast after the massive flooding earlier this year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai woman pleads guilty to stealing almost $365K from US government. Hawaii News Now.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Federal recognition for Native Hawaiians advances, Senate panel quizzes University of Hawaii, Oahu hotel occupancy falls following strike, bioenergy plant fined for discharge, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Native Hawaiians guarding the Hokulea ©2018 All Hawaii News
Civil Rights Panel Backs Federal Recognition For Native Hawaiians. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights reversed its 12-year-old opposition, and now supports providing Native Hawaiians similar status to Native American tribes. Civil Beat.

Senators Put UH Finances Under A Microscope. A proposal backed by Gov. David Ige to expand a community college scholarship program to four-year schools is met with skepticism. Civil Beat.

An internal audit has given the University of Hawaii a clean bill of health when it comes to its financial management of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness Legislative Priorities: $218M. The Homelessness Coalition of state, county, faith-based and social services organizations is setting its priorities for the upcoming legislative session. Hawaii Public Radio.

Green: Reclassifying drug treatment as ‘primary care’ could help more addicts into recovery. Hawaii News Now.

Delays, Denials, Wasted Tax Dollars: DOE’s Troubled Treatment Of Injured Workers. A Civil Beat investigation found frequent shortcomings with how Hawaii’s education department handles workers’ comp claims. Civil Beat.

The Hidden Cost of Shipping Your Holiday Package. The Jones Act governs maritime shipping within the domestic United States. In essence, it says that any shipment from one U.S. port to another, it is required to come on a ship built in the United States, owned and operated by an American company, and crewed by American citizens or residents. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii received a C-plus in the Surfrider Foundation’s annual State of the Beach Report Card, which grades 30 U.S. states and the territory of Puerto Rico on policies that address climate change, shoreline erosion and extreme weather. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources has joined forces with various marine and animal protection organizations to make it easier for people to report illegal aquarium collecting activity across the state. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii-based marine and animal protection organizations have joined forces with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources to make it easier for people to report illegal aquarium collecting activity across the state. Garden Island.

NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary reminds the public that humpback whale season in Hawaii is underway. Maui Now.


In surprising candor, Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard is expressing concern about the city prosecutor’s potential impact on criminal cases and his attendance at public safety meetings while he faces a federal investigation. Hawaii News Now.

November was not kind to Oahu hotels, with occupancy falling below 80 percent for the first time since March 2017. It didn’t help that workers at four of Waikiki’s major beachfront hotels owned by Kyo-ya Hotels &Resorts and operated by Marriott were involved in a 51-day strike. Star-Advertiser.

A single street in Kalihi has become a dumping ground for abandoned vehicles. Hawaii News Now.

Yoga Gains A Place Behind Bars In Hawaii. Louisa DiGrazia won a $35,000 grant from the Legislature to expand yoga classes throughout Oahu’s correctional facilities. Civil Beat.

HPD wants to issue smartphones to all officers. The smartphone could become an official crime fighting tool for HPD. Police Chief Susan Ballard is pushing the idea to help officers do their jobs more efficiently and safely. KHON2.

HPD officer hit with more domestic abuse charges while out on bail. A Honolulu police officer awaiting trial on multiple counts of domestic abuse was back in state court Monday on more charges. Star-Advertiser.

The Missile Defense Agency has awarded a $585 million contract to Lockheed Martin to design, develop and deliver its Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii. Maui Now.

Hawaii Island

Relief for Puna, cesspool conversion and more neighbor island participation in state government are among an inventory of priorities for five Hawaii Island legislators who briefed the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce at a breakfast meeting Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch is fining Hu Honua Bioenergy $25,000 for discharging industrial wastewater into the ocean Nov. 9 at the biomass power plant under construction in Pepeekeo. According to the DOH, the discharge was intentional and violates state law. Tribune-Herald.

The state Department of Health fined Hu Honua Bioenergy, a renewable energy firm, $25,000 for illegally discharging wastewater last month at its Pepeekeo facility. Star-Advertiser.

Health Officials Cite Hu Honua For Illegal Wastewater Discharge. Big Island Video News.

The Hawaii County Department of Water Supply is proposing to roll back its power cost charge come the beginning of February. West Hawaii Today.

Luquin ‘very close’ to opening new Pahoa restaurant. After a year of delays, a popular Pahoa restaurant will finally open its new location in 2019 after being destroyed last year. Tribune-Herald.


Progress has reportedly been made in Alexander & Baldwin’s attempt to find farming use for the company’s thousands of acres on Maui that were formerly planted in sugarcane. Maui Now.

With some residents noticing an increase in illegal fireworks being set off earlier this year, a community event will be held Saturday to collect donations to help animals distressed by fireworks. Maui News.

Molokai plan wins council approval. Isle residents concerned with zoning guidelines. Molokai residents are “generally very happy” to finally have an updated community plan after 17 years, but they’re concerned about new zoning guidelines that leave “the door wide open” to development that could be opposed by the community. Maui News.


Three Department of Land and Natural Resources employees on Kauai have been disciplined for ethics violations. Joseph Borden, the district manager for the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation was forced to resign last week due to falsifying government documents to favor a private contractor, forcing employees to lie on equipment disposal records, and  improperly accepting gifts from contractors. Two other employees, harbor agents Manuel Andrade and Kathy Rosare were fined $2,000 and $1,200 for using State resources for personal business. KITV.

The Kauai district manager for the Department of Natural Resources’ boating division resigned last week after an investigation revealed he falsified documents in order to award dozens of government contracts to businesses run by his friend, according to documents released Tuesday by the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. Garden Island.


Molokai plan wins council approval. Isle residents concerned with zoning guidelines. Molokai residents are “generally very happy” to finally have an updated community plan after 17 years, but they’re concerned about new zoning guidelines that leave “the door wide open” to development that could be opposed by the community. Maui News.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Cesspool mandate looms, Kauai DOBOR manager fined, resigns after no-bid contracts, Honolulu prosecutor impeachment filed in court, grumbling about state Senate assignments, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Oahu aerial view ©2018 All Hawaii News
Hawaii homes with cesspools must be upgraded by 2050. But, a State Environmental Council Committee is calling for more scientific evidence to drive this mandate. Hawaii Public Radio.

Some Grumbling Over Senate Committee Posts. A few senators are upset about their assignments and say traditions are not being followed, but President Ron Kouchi says any complaints are baseless. Civil Beat.

State Education Board Plans To Lobby Legislature Directly. The BOE wants to help field questions about the byzantine inner workings of the budget for public schools. Civil Beat.

Delays, Denials, Wasted Tax Dollars: DOE’s Troubled Treatment Of Injured Workers. A Civil Beat investigation found frequent shortcomings with how Hawaii’s education department handles workers’ comp claims. Civil Beat.

Thousands of Hawaii teens admit to injecting illegal drugs — and help for these users is hard to find. Hawaii News Now.

VA Secretary Visits Hawaii, Maps Out Plan for Modernization. Hawaii Public Radio.

Used to bucking establishment, Tulsi Gabbard eyes White House run. Associated Press.


A petition to impeach Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro has been submitted to Circuit Court, and could ultimately lead to a judge being asked to weigh in. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu businessman Tracy Yoshimura filed an impeachment petition against Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro in state Circuit Court on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Petition Filed With Court To Impeach Prosecutor Kaneshiro. A total of 864 signatures were submitted, and at least 500 must be verified before the process can move forward. Civil Beat.

Petition to impeach embattled city prosecutor filed in state court. Hawaii News Now.


Sea Life Park being investigated by Labor Department after receiving $130K in fines. The state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations said it is investigating safety violations at Sea Life Park Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

The state is investigating Sea Life Park for alleged safety violations. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu real property values this year soared 6.8 percent to their highest on record — $275.46 billion — the city said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The military contractor whose vintage fighter jet crashed at sea and sank off Kewalo Basin a week ago has been working with local salvage company Parker Marine and might consult with Navy divers in an effort to recover the plane, the Coast Guard said. Star-Advertiser.

Results from a survey by Alexander & Baldwin Inc. showed that Kailua residents are most concerned about traffic, crowds and tourism, and support keeping Pali Lanes, the longtime bowling alley which became a touchstone of controversy between the community and the real estate company. Star-Advertiser.

Police on Oahu receive numerous reports of illegal fireworks. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric adds 4th solar-plus-storage project on Oahu. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Personnel changes in county Public Works, Planning. The county announced Tuesday that Public Works Director Allan Simeon, who was appointed in April, will step down from that job on Jan. 31. He will remain an engineer with the department. Tribune-Herald.

One Hawaii County department director is stepping down and a previous director is returning as a deputy. Big Island Video News.

The two top officials at Hawaii County’s Department of Water Supply received pay raises Tuesday after a performance evaluation by the Water Board during its last meeting of the calendar year. West Hawaii Today.

A wrongful death lawsuit against a former Hawaii County police officer is moving forward with a trial scheduled in federal court in June. The family is suing former officer Jody Buddemeyer, Hawaii County and the Hawaii Police Department for the wrongful death of husband and father, Jeffrey Surnow, 69, of Michigan, after he was fatally struck by the former officer while riding a bicycle on Waikoloa Road on March 1, 2015. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Innocence Project letter asks state AG to ‘take action’ against retired judge. The Hawaii Innocence Project is accusing a retired Seattle judge of interfering with its attempt to exonerate a man convicted of the Christmas Eve 1991 abduction, rape and murder of Dana Ireland. Tribune-Herald.


Settlement reached over alleged gender discrimination within the Maui Police Department. Maui County and a former police captain reached a settlement Tuesday over an alleged gender discrimination case. Hawaii News Now.

Ige’s proposed budget contains funds for county. Millions set for school and hospital subsidies, harbor improvements. Maui News.

Band director no longer at Baldwin. Rodrigues was on paid leave pending an investigation of sexual misconduct. Maui News.

Final payments made in queen’s celebration grant. Nearly $37,000 of $100,000 returned to the general fund. Maui News.


The Kauai district manager of the state Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation resigned last week to resolve allegations that he falsified records to award 42 state contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars to one contractor without competitive bidding, according a settlement with the state Ethics Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Six bills are scheduled for public hearing at the Kauai County Council meeting Wednesday, giving taxpayers the chance to voice their opinions on proposals related to affordable housing, sewage system infrastructure repair, fire department staffing and a new helicopter hangar in Kilauea. Garden Island.

The Kauai Police Department may be getting new a DNA analysis system. Garden Island.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Ige proposes 7.2% budget increase, Honolulu prosecutor refuses to step down, Hawaii homelessness drops in new report, Lingle speaks to Maui vets, Kauai water diversion approved, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Office of the Governor
Gov. David Ige presents budget, courtesy Governor's Office
Gov. David Ige is taking a cautious approach to the state’s biannual budget, holding back on about $100 million in proposed spending next year in case general fund growth is lower than expected. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Ige Submits "Conservative" Budget Request to Legislature. The Governor submitted his executive budget request to the state legislature today as required by law. Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor David Ige released his state budget proposal for the next two fiscal years. In it, more than $400 million toward public education. KITV.

State says budget proposal more conservative. Governor David Ige says he's taking a more conservative approach to the budget. He says the state may get about $150 to $180 million less in revenue in the current fiscal year than projected. KHON2.

Ige seeks two-year $31B budget. Gov. David Ige’s requested budget for the next two years includes an increase in the state’s disaster fund as well as increased staff to manage the lingering effects of 2018’s natural disasters. Tribune-Herald.

Ige proposes major expansion of ‘free college’ program for low-income students. Under a proposed budget to be presented to the state Legislature, Gov. David Ige would expand the Hawaii Promise program to all four-year colleges in the UH system with $19 million in funding over fiscal years 2020 and 2021. Hawaii News Now.

Girls’ locker rooms in governor’s budget, but advocates say more needs to be done.  Gov. David Ige unveiled a budget proposal Monday that includes $400 million over the next two years for school improvements, including the building of facilities for girls athletics. Hawaii News Now.

Ige takes 'cautious approach' with executive budget proposal. Gov. David Ige revealed his administration’s executive budget proposal for Fiscal Biennium 2019-21, which includes a total operating budget of $15.47 billion for financial year 2020 and $15.7 billion for financial year 2021. Pacific Business News.

Sylvia Luke Wants To Change The Way The State Spends Money. Agencies should have to justify every penny they ask for, says the House Finance Committee chair. Civil Beat.


U.S. Senate introduced a bill to ensure future alerts are more effective. Senators unanimously passed the Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement or READI Act. KITV.

A new report that looks at homelessness in America in 2017 underscores the progress Hawaii has made in the last two years, when the state’s overall homeless rate has consecutively dropped 9 percent. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii homeless rates among highest. A federal report released Monday said Hawaii has a higher number of homeless people per capita than any other state except New York. Garden Island.

Schatz wants pesticide banned near schools. The Prohibit Chlorpyrifos Poisoning Students Act would take Hawaii’s state ban to the national level, according to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. Star-Advertiser.

Huge Barrier For Trapping Plastic Waste In The Pacific Isn’t Working. Changes are planned for the effort to sweep up the giant patch of trash between Hawaii and California. Associated Press.


For the first time Monday, embattled city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro responded to growing calls to step aside, saying that he was elected for four years and that his office is being run effectively. Hawaii News Now.

Drive to Impeach Honolulu Prosecutor Will Test City’s Vague Law. Keith Kaneshiro said Monday he had no plans to step aside after reportedly receiving a target letter from federal investigators. Civil Beat.

Pressure mounts on city's top prosecutor to step aside while he's under investigation. A probe to reexamine cases handled by the prosecutor's office is one some of the city's defense lawyers say they're on a mission to do. KITV.


Doug Chin, former lieutenant governor and attorney general, joins downtown law firm. Star-Advertiser.

Major Donation Buoys Hopes for Relocating Waianae Homeless Village. A homeless community on Oahu’s leeward coast is one step closer to finding homes. The group received a $150,000 donation to help fund a plan to transition the residents of Pu'uhonua o Waianae to permanent housing. Hawaii Public Radio.

Queen’s sees results with innovative program that helps house medically-fragile homeless patients. Every month, up to 600 homeless people are admitted into the emergency room at the Queen’s Medical Center. Many of them are repeat patients. Hawaii News Now.

Dozens of rare Hawaiian snails were released into the wild after being born and raised at the Honolulu Zoo. KHON2.

Troon takes over golf course management at Hawaii's Turtle Bay Resort. Troon has taken over management of the two golf courses at Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu, including an 18-hole course designed by PGA legend Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, which is consistently ranked as one of the top courses in Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

SHOPO says Hawaii Island Police need body cameras, department agrees; though funding an issue. Hawaii Island Police remains the only department without.  KHON2.

No Aloha At These Rough And Tumble Neighborhood Meetings. Community associations around Hawaii County are charged with tasks such as maintaining roads in substandard subdivisions, and no one oversees them. Civil Beat.

Repairs to Honokaa gym floor underway but another delay possible. Years after flooring in the Honokaa Armory was damaged, repairs are underway, although the work could still face more delays. Tribune-Herald.

Released Hawaiian Crow Found Dead In Forest. The critically endangered Alala, one of only a handful recently released into the wild, was found under a tree root on December 6. Big Island Video News.

Premier Restoration Hawaii opened its first facility on the Big Island, an expansion that includes a planned investment of close to $500,000 in new equipment and human resources over the next three months. Pacific Business News.


You aren’t born a leader, says Lingle, you become one. Former governor charts her path to politics for nisei veterans series. Maui News.

Opportunity Zones, tax incentives could aid redevelopment. Maui County zones have been set up that offer tax incentives to encourage investments in those lower income areas as part of a federal program. Maui News.


Kauai Island Utility Cooperative gets permit renewed for water diversion. The State Board of Land and Natural Resources approved Monday a staff recommendation for the holdover of a revocable permit for water use at the Blue Hole diversion, allowing Kauai Island Utility Cooperative to continue to operate two hydroelectric facilities which contribute 1.5 megawatts of energy to the island’s renewable portfolio. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor-Elect Victorino Announces 13 More Appointments. Mayor-elect Mike Victorino announced today a new appointment as director for the county Department of Finance, 10 deputy directors, the new administration’s budget director and the director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development. Maui Now.

No plans to fix Morgan Ponds. The seawall separating Morgan’s Ponds from the ocean at Lydgate Beach Park is still damaged, about eight months after debris from April floods put a hole in the rock wall. Garden Island.

The Kauai Medical Clinic in Kapaa got a lot bigger to be able to provide more primary care opportunities for residents in the Eastside, Monday. Garden Island.