Thursday, January 31, 2019

Newborn humpback whale video mesmerizes researchers, Ige signs early childhood public-private partnership, Gabbard to launch presidential bid Saturday, double the money for Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kauai audit finds cash mismanagement, pCard misuse, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

UH footage captures newborn humpback minutes after birth. Rare drone footage captured by the University of Hawaii Marine Mammal Research Program shows a newborn humpback whale gliding along near the ocean’s surface, sometimes riding on its mother’s back. Star-Advertiser.

Governor David Ige signed the Hawaii Early Childhood State Plan today. The Governor said the plan involved hundreds of community stakeholders and organizations who will be involved in implementing the private-public effort. Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor Ige signs first 'Hawaii Early Childhood Education State Plan'. Governor David Ige signed the first ever 'Hawaii Early Childhood State Plan' Wednesday. KITV.

Gov. David Ige’s ambitious proposal to expand Hawaii’s statewide public preschool system unveiled in his recent State of the State address turns on the idea of restructuring some K-6 elementary schools. Civil Beat.

The Legislative Keiki Caucus is sponsoring 24 senate and house bills focusing on the education, health and well-being of children. Hawaii Public Radio.

The number of unvaccinated kindergartners grew again in Hawaii last year. In the 2017-18 school year, some 518 kindergarten students at public and private schools in the islands got vaccination exemptions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hawaii News Now.


Key Lawmakers Are Trying To Water Down Inspection Rules For Elder Care Homes. House and Senate bills would undercut a new law that requires unannounced state inspections of care homes by making those optional. Civil Beat.

Several bills introduced in the state Legislature this month might be the last straw for Hawaii. Six bills so far have been introduced that would, if passed, prohibit or otherwise limit the use and distribution of plastic straws. Tribune-Herald.

Dozens Of Proposed Bills Could Change The Way We Vote. Recounts in close elections, all-mail balloting and easing the voter registration process are among the measures this session. Civil Beat.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs would see its share of public land trust revenue more than double to $35 million under a bill advanced by a state House committee Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Increased funding for OHA approved by House Committee. The House Committee on Water, Land & Hawaiian Affairs today passed out HB 402 which establishes $35 million as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs' pro rata share of the public land trust and transfers a lump sum of $139 million to OHA for underpayment of the public land trust funds. KHON2.

Some Question Calls For Tougher Penalties On OHA Takeover Group. Native Hawaiian activists sharply criticized their actions, but not everyone agrees on how best to respond to members of the obscure “Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi.” Civil Beat.

Dan Kouchi, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii’s new assistant vice president for government affairs and alliances, will not be lobbying at the office of his father, Senate President Ron Kouchi of Kauai. Garden Island.

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard plans to kickoff her presidential campaign Saturday at an event on the great lawn of the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

Gabbard announces venue for 2020 presidential campaign kickoff. Hawaii News Now.

Heavy rain and floods on Kauai, flooding in East Oahu, lava on the Big Island, and a series of hurricane and storm threats made 2018 a very busy year in terms of disaster preparation and response. A critical list of suppliers for food and water right after a disaster has been pushed back one year by the very agency tasked with coordinating emergency responses. KHON2.

Hawaii hotels tops in the nation for revenue in 2018. Pacific Business News.


King’s Village businesses make way for a timeshare. The demise of King’s Village, which had more than 45 stores, represents the end of an era in Waikiki. King’s Village was really Waikiki’s last small business stronghold after the 2013 closure of the International Market Place. Star-Advertiser.

A final goodbye to King's Village in Waikiki. Most of the businesses at King's Village Shopping Center in Waikiki have already moved out. KITV.

A rescue boat that cost taxpayers $118K sits mostly idle in a Kewalo Basin yard. When Gov. David Ige and Mayor Kirk Caldwell unveiled the new rescue boat at Kewalo Basin nearly three years ago, state and city officials said it would improve emergency response along Oahu’s south shore. Hawaii News Now.

Affordable housing campus for kupuna celebrates its pre-opening. About 50 people celebrated the pre-opening for the Hale Mahaolu Ewalu Phase I affordable senior housing campus Wednesday morning in the Kulamalu Town Center. KHON2.

State officials said today that The Falls of Clyde, the historic ship, is taking on water and beginning to sink at Honolulu Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Bishop Museum will retain ownership of its Waipio Valley lands. The news comes three years after the Oahu-based museum declared in January 2016 its intent to sell its substantial acreage within the historic agricultural community. Tribune-Herald.

After passing legislation to extend leases for the Kanoelehua Industrial Area last year, state lawmakers are again turning their attention to improving Hilo’s hotel area on Banyan Drive. Tribune-Herald.

Kona resort aims for 2022 reopening. Construction is underway at the iconic Kona Coast getaway as real estate investment firm Kennedy Wilson prepares to reopen the resort that has been shuttered since the March 2011 tsunami devastated the grounds. West Hawaii Today.

Kona Village, now managed by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, will reopen in 2022, a news release announced on Wednesday. Big Island Video News.

Kona Village Resort set to reopen with a major face lift. Hawaii News Now.


Mayor Michael Victorino on Tuesday backed away from his inauguration day pledge to open the Central Maui Landfill on Sundays, beginning in February. Maui News.

Spence, Goode garner support, criticism at review. Panel recesses after public testimony on director choices. Maui News.

200-Room Windward Hotel Planned in Kahului, Maui. An Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice has been filed for a 200-room hotel proposed for construction within the Maui Business Park Phase II in Kahului. Maui Now.

Mahi Pono, LLC, today announced the appointment of Larry Nixon as General Manager. Nixon joined Mahi Pono on January 28 and will be managing the company’s farming operations on Maui. Maui Now.


County audit reveals accounting backlog, purchase card misuse. The county’s finance department is over a year behind in its quarterly cash counts and some county employees are not following laws that require them to get approval prior to making purchases on county-issued credit cards, according to two reports issued last month by an independent accounting firm. Garden Island.

The torrential rains that flooded Kauai in April set a national record for the most rainfall in a 24-hour period, weather officials confirmed today. Star-Advertiser.

Officials from the National Weather Service confirmed Wednesday that Kauai broke the U.S. record for rainfall in a 24-hour period in April. Garden Island.

Kauai sets new national record for rainfall. KHON2.

April's rain total on Kauai breaks national record. National Weather Service officially reports record rainfall total from April 15th on Kauai. KITV.

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