Thursday, December 6, 2018

Hawaii second-worst for driving, sprinklers for Honolulu high-rises, University of Hawaii faculty holds anti-Thirty Meter Telescope press conference, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

file photo
Honolulu traffic file photo
No surprises here: In a new study, Hawaii is ranked the second-worst state for drivers. The study, conducted by Bankrate, gave Hawaii some of the worst numbers in several areas related to safety, cost and driving quality. It analyzed commute time information, traffic fatality data, road condition reports and gas prices — all of which Hawaii drivers deal with on a daily basis. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii placed 2nd for worst drivers across the nation, according to study. Personal finance site Bankrate.com has ranked the best and worst states for drivers related to cost, safety, and driving quality. KITV.

Commuting Oahu: ‘It Takes Your Time And It Gives You Back Stress’ Some of us live closer to our jobs than ever. But it’s taking longer to get there. And the cost in lost time, dollars and home life is heavy. Civil Beat.

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 Former carpenters’ union official is Green’s chief of staff. Lt. Gov. Josh Green appointed a former carpenters’ union official to be his chief of staff months after a super PAC funded by the union spent more than $1 million supporting his candidacy in the Democratic Party primary. Associated Press.

Bravery of USS Vestal crew saved many lives. History focuses most on the cataclysmic explosion on the USS Arizona and sunken battleship memorial — still a tomb for over 900 crew — in remembering the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian monk seal has eel removed from its nose. On Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program posted to its Facebook page a photo of a juvenile monk seal with what appears to be a spotted eel in its nose. Star-Advertiser.

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross reputed to be the world’s oldest known bird in the wild, has returned to Midway Atoll and laid another egg, federal wildlife officials confirmed earlier this week. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Sprinkler extension denied. At its last meeting of 2018, the Honolulu City Council failed to override Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s veto of a bill easing condo fire safety rules, but gave the final green light for Waikiki’s first, large-scale rental complex in decades and moved forward with proposals regulating vacation rentals and “monster” houses. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council failed to override the Mayor’s Veto of an important fire sprinkler bill. Bill 72, allows high-rise condominiums without fire sprinkler systems an additional 2 years to complete a life system evaluation and retrofit. Hawaii Public Radio.

High rise fire inspections to remain at three years vs. five, post-Marco Polo fire. The Honolulu City Council voted five-to-three on Bill 72. This keeps high rise building fire inspections to three years instead of five. KITV.

City Ethics Commission Is Investigating Far Fewer Cases Than 2 Years Ago. Director Jan Yamane, who took over from Chuck Totto, is emphasizing training over investigation in an effort to change the culture. Civil Beat.

Legal community urges action against Honolulu prosecutors mixed up in federal criminal probe. There is growing pressure on the city Prosecutor’s Office after a Hawaii News Now investigation revealed First Deputy Chasid Sapolu was sent a subject letter from the Department of Justice. Hawaii News Now.

Islandwide Homeless Restrictions Approved — But Are They Legal? A recent federal court ruling has some cities pulling back their bans on homeless people camping in public places. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

With the legal fight against the Thirty Meter Telescope appeared to be over, University of Hawaii faculty, staff and students took their case to the public Wednesday in a press conference on the UH Manoa campus. Star-Advertiser.

Energy experts discuss grid resiliency, redesign against external threats. The components of the concept were part of a panel discussion Wednesday at a conference on energy storage trends and opportunities convened by the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority and held at the Sheraton Kona at Keauhou Bay. West Hawaii Today.

As checkpoints come down inside Leilani Estates, Hawaii Island residents face uncertainty for future. KHON2.

Puna’s New Councilmember Ashley Kierkiewicz Looks Ahead. Big Island Video News.

Paradise Helicopters expands Big Island service. Kona-based Paradise Helicopters is expanding its service to the Waimea-Kohala Airport on the Big Island with the launch of a new tour. Pacific Business News.

Home sales drop on Hawaii's Big Island, prices flat. The median price of a single-family home on the Big Island in November was $358,000, which was a decline of 3.57 percent from $371,250 during the same month last year. Pacific Business News.

Maui

Upcountry skate park just needs a fence. While not popular, county says it’s needed for safety. The Pukalani community will get its gift of a skate park probably early next year, and it will come with what some may call extra wrapping — a fence. Maui News.

Tourism on Maui appears to have weathered storms. October visitor arrivals, spending up, HTA data show. Tourism officials appeared to downplay the impacts of storms Lane and Olivia that arrived weeks apart in August and September following the release of October tourism data last week. Maui News.

Kauai

A bill that proposed to reform the county’s affordable housing policy did not pass a second hearing at the Kauai County Council meeting last week, losing in a 6-1 vote. Garden Island.

Former PMRF worker accused of wire fraud. The U.S. Pacific Fleet on Oahu is still putting together the pieces of how a woman allegedly stole nearly $356,000 from the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility. Garden Island.

Kauai condo prices jump 35% in November. The median price of a condo on Kauai last month was $550,000, an increase of 35.47 percent from $406,000 in November 2017. Pacific Business News.