Monday, January 7, 2019

Obama encourages next generation at East-West Center, former Lt. Gov. Tsutsui to head Maui farm venture, Ige works to fill Cabinet, Jim Nabors' home sold, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Obama Foundation
Former President Barack Obama, courtesy Obama Foundation.
Former President Barack Obama stressed the importance of cultivating the next generation of leaders during a speech Sunday night at the East-West Center that harked back to his roots as a community organizer in Chicago. Star-Advertiser.

Obama: ‘We Have A Deficit of Leadership And We Need New Blood’. The former U.S. president launched a program in Hawaii this weekend aimed at nurturing future leaders in the Asia-Pacific region. Civil Beat.

Former President Obama speaks at UH Manoa for launch of foundation’s Asia-Pacific leadership program. Former President Barack Obama spoke at a private gathering Sunday at the East-West Center, his foundation's first major event in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Facebook video of Obama's address. Star-Advertiser.

Tulsi Gabbard Is A Rising Progressive Star Despite Her Support For Hindu Nationalists. A possible run for president has prompted the Hawaii congresswoman to publicly distance herself while continuing to court them in private. Civil Beat.

Gov. Ige’s New Cabinet Is Still Almost Half Empty. He has made 11 appointments so far, and nine of the department heads are carryovers from his first term. Civil Beat.

The private money that’s keeping Hawaii’s national parks open is running out. Hawaii News Now.

Vacation rentals in Hawaii appear to have displaced timeshares as the third most sought-after lodging choice behind hotels and condominiums in 2018. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Public Safety violated federal law when it ignored a Halawa Correctional Facility inmate’s requests to engage in certain Native Hawaiian religious practices, according to a court ruling. Star-Advertiser.

Task Force Criticizes ‘Punitive Mentality’ Of Hawaii Criminal Justice System. The group opposes the construction of a bigger Oahu Community Correctional Center and calls for a new focus on rehabilitation. Civil Beat.

The Law Enforcement Standards Board is asking the state Legislature for additional time and money to create and implement statewide standards for training and certification of county and state law enforcement officers. Tribune-Herald.

State senators on Friday questioned why Gov. David Ige’s administration chose to file lawsuits over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies but declined to join in class- action litigation against drug manufacturers and distributors that are being blamed for the opioid epidemic across the country. Star-Advertiser.

Humane Society backs bill allowing dogs at restaurants. The Humane Society, along with its fellow animal rescue organizations on neighbor isles, is pushing for a bill this legislative session that would give restaurant owners the discretion to adopt dog-friendly policies. Star-Advertiser.

A new rule bans feeding and abandoning feral animals at small boat harbors statewide. Governor David Ige approved the rule in December 2018 in an effort to help protect native and endangered species being threatened by feral animals. KHON2.

The state Department of Accounting and General Services' annual small claims report shows the state paid $179,148.77 to resolve 174 claims during the last fiscal year. KHON2.


Oahu home prices hit 2018 records amid slowing sales. The annual median price paid for a single-family home rose nearly 5 percent to a high of $790,000, and the annual median price paid for a condominium increased nearly 4 percent to a record $420,000. Star-Advertiser.

Deadline to Appeal Property Tax Assessments Approaching. Properties in several districts saw value increases around or above 10% last year, resulting in a higher tax bill for homeowners. Hawaii Public Radio.

A state senate candidate who's challenging his election loss calls Hawaii's recount law "unconstitutional." Matt LoPresti still holds out hope for a recount and he submitted a response to the Hawaii Supreme Court Friday. KITV.

State and city officials plan to temporarily postpone homeless sweeps a week before — and during — the upcoming annual Point in Time Count to try and ensure an accurate census of Oahu’s homeless population. Star-Advertiser.

Veggies Really Are Cheaper In Chinatown — If You Know How To Shop. The secret to bargain prices: An alternative network of local suppliers, low overhead, selling out daily and less fussiness about the perfect-shaped fruit or vegetable. Civil Beat.

New medical cannabis dispensary opening in Kaneohe. A new medical marijiana dispensary will be opening on the Windward side. KITV.

The sale of an oceanfront estate near Hawaii’s Diamond Head that belonged to the late Jim Nabors closed on Friday for $12 million to an undisclosed buyer. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Some $6.8 million in new fuel tax money barely survived a close County Council vote last month, but its future seems more assured now that the Department of Public Works has released a working list of resurfacing projects to be completed with the money. West Hawaii Today.

Keaau isn’t the only place the state has explored the idea of establishing a spaceport in recent years. Tribune-Herald.

A development expected to bring 450 units to Kailua-Kona is moving forward. Developers expect to file an application related to the project with the county’s Planning Department this week. West Hawaii Today.

The Thirty Meter Telescope keeps coming up in conversations at the Hawaii State Capitol. Big Island Video News.

National park closure creates sprawling consequences in, around Honaunau Bay. West Hawaii Today.

Developers seek to build 30-megawatt solar farms. The agreements require approval of the state Public Utilities Commission, and the documents were submitted for review Dec. 31. Tribune-Herald.


Twenty-one businesses have asked the county to delay enforcement of the ban on foam containers until after they sell the last of their affected noodles, such as the popular Cup Noodles and Maruchan Instant Lunch. Maui News.

Mahi Pono could generate 1,000-plus jobs. Former lieutenant governor joins company, set to begin farming on 41,000 Maui acres, as new vice president. Maui News.

Former Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui will join Mahi Pono, LLC, as its Senior Vice President of Operations and will lead the farming venture on Maui. Maui Now.

Former Hawaii Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui has been named senior vice president of operations of Mahi Pono LLC, the company that recently purchased 41,000 acres of former sugar cane land from Alexander & Baldwin Inc. Pacific Business News.

The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center on Maui is naming former state Sen. Jill Tokuda as its new executive director. Associated Press.

New Kahikinui renewable energy proposals sought. Process restarts after NextEra, Sempra efforts failThe Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is again seeking applicants for renewable energy projects in Kahikinui in southeast Maui after previous proposals, including one from a NextEra subsidiary, fell through. Maui News.


Tourists Keep Coming To Queen’s Bath Despite The Deadly Danger. The county and a community association try to discourage visitors, especially during the wettest months, but tour books point the way. Civil Beat.

Anaina Hou Community Park’s new playground is open for business and already popular with local families, according to organizers. Garden Island.

The National Tropical Botanical Garden and Kauai Community College present their first collaborative event of 2019 in the ongoing Earth Matters public lecture series at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday with a panel discussion, “Building Resilience in the Face of Climate Change.” Garden Island.