Monday, May 6, 2019

Exploring Hawaii's coral reefs, slowing economy is new normal, raises for lawmakers but not minimum wage, Anderson to chair Honolulu council, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii coral reef ©2019 All Hawaii News
Hawaii’s reefs provide more than $835M in flood protection, study shows. A new study places a dollar value on Hawaii’s reefs — not for their natural beauty or as a tourist attraction, but for their function in providing flood protection. Star-Advertiser.

Researchers put a dollar value on the protection coral reefs provide Hawaii shorelines ... and it’s big. Hawaii News Now.

Upcoming summit on climate change addresses more than just environment. Experts say the problem reaches into social, humanitarian, and even architectural matters. KITV.

Hawaii scientists develop technique using DNA to study coral reefs. With coral reefs coming under increasing threat from climate change, University of Hawaii at Manoa scientists have developed a technique that could help the biologists working to save them. Star-Advertiser.

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Economists say slower growth is ‘new normal’. University of Hawaii economists say the state’s slowing growth is becoming more entrenched and people had better get used to it. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers didn’t pass a minimum wage hike, but are getting raises of their own. State lawmakers who couldn’t reach a deal to increase Hawaii’s minimum wage of $10.10 an hour are being criticized for accepting pay raises for themselves. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers achieve mixed results on ethics and election reform. Hawaii’s 2019 legislative session was set to be a banner year when it came to ushering in campaign finance and election reforms and limiting the influence of money in politics — at least to hear leaders of the House tell it. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers wrapped up the 2019 session of the Legislature last week, adjourning after approving bills to decriminalize marijuana, launch new state-funded preschools and switch to mail-in voting for all elections beginning in 2020. Star-Advertiser.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees on Thursday cut the $22,200 annual allowance for each trustee by two-thirds and placed other limitations on the funds. Star-Advertiser.

New Federal Rules Block Driver’s Licenses For Micronesians In Hawaii. State officials say new federal guidelines prohibit many Pacific Islanders from getting licenses and state IDs that comply with the REAL ID Act. Civil Beat.

Andy Winer, Longtime Schatz Chief Of Staff, Is Leaving. He plans to work as a consultant in the private sector. Civil Beat.

Commentary: The Legislature Really Blew It This Year. The people of Hawaii got lip service this session when it came to helping them in their time of need. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Mazie Hirono’s rancorous attacks play into Trump game plan. There’s a wise adage warning against wrestling with pigs: You just both end up covered in mud, and he loves it. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu Council Set To Elect Ikaika Anderson Chair. Ann Kobayashi will be vice chair and Carol Fukunaga floor leader. Civil Beat.

Ozawa Won't Challenge City Council Special Election Results. Hawaii Public Radio.

Final State Audit On Rail Finds Overpayments To Contractors, Billing Issues. The audit relied on a small sample of invoices so it’s not clear whether those billing problems within HART extend to other rail contracts, the state auditor said. Civil Beat.

'Mighty Mo's' repairs continue as the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII nears. A chunk of the battleship USS Missouri’s superstructure is under wraps again as part of a $3 million restoration — the latest as the famous memorial continues its never-ending battle against rust, but more particularly, as the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II looms next year. Star-Advertiser.

Caldwell Refuses To Halt Construction At Waimanalo Beach. Hundreds of local residents are opposing the city’s plan to build a ball field complex at well-loved Sherwood Forest beach park. Civil Beat.

After layoffs, hotel workers wonder what's next for hospitality industry. The Modern Honolulu laid off about 30% of its workers last week after a timeshare company bought the hotel in April 2018. Now, tourism figures show timeshares and vacation rentals are on the rise statewide. KHON2.

Waianae farm steps up growth of produce and college grads. MA'O Organic Farms, which started in 2001 with 5 acres and today covers 45 acres, recently bought 236 acres in the valley that could make the unique enterprise Hawaii’s largest organic farm. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kim budget expands to 93 new employees. Proposed $583.9M budget is 12.7% higher than this year. West Hawaii Today.

As officials work on a recovery plan, residents lament lack of access to homes, property. Hawaii County officials are targeting the end of the year for developing a proposed recovery plan for lower Puna. Tribune-Herald.

County wants critical look at 1992 landfill contract. In 1992, the county inked a generous, endless contract with Waste Management Inc. to create and operate a landfill at Puuanahulu. Then the courts gave the private garbage giant a little more. West Hawaii Today.

Coast Guard proposal would prohibit persons, vessels from Ironman swim course. A proposal to prohibit vessels and persons from encroaching on participants taking part in Ironman World Championship-related swim events within Kailua Bay is being floated by the U.S. Coast Guard. West Hawaii Today.

The Windward Planning Commission voted on Thursday to give a positive recommendation to an application for a development between Clem Akina Park and Dodo Mortuary in the Puueo section of Hilo. Big Island Video News.

Residents propose county buy Kona Vistas subdivision parcel. A group of residents opposing plans for a 450-unit development next to their neighborhoods is asking a county commission to propose the county buy the property to stop the development and instead preserve the area for the public. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Committee Approves Emergency Housing at Old UH Maui College Dorm. The measure recommended for passage on first reading by the County Council would authorize the mayor to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. for the construction of emergency housing at the former dormitory site. Maui Now.

25 years hence, recovery work continues on the island of Kahoolawe. In ancient times, the 45-square-mile island was a place where navigators learned to find their way across the Pacific. Anniversary of sign-over ceremony is a time for reflection and vision. Maui News.

Kauai

County nearing contract to track illegal vacation rentals. Even with the announcement Wednesday the county of Kauai will allow legal transient vacation rentals in the Lumahai, Wainiha and Haena area, the county has yet to implement new software that will be used to track illegal TVRs, something Planning Director Kaaina Hull has been tasked with spearheading. Garden Island.

Statues of Hawaii king and queen to reign in front of museum. Statues of past island royalty will soon begin their reign in front of a Hawaii museum. Associated Press.

Preserving plants and animals. Plants and forest birds aren’t the only endangered animals on Kauai — Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles, Newell’s shearwaters, and the nene goose are all on the list as well. Garden Island.

Kahoolawe

25 years hence, recovery work continues on the island of Kahoolawe. In ancient times, the 45-square-mile island was a place where navigators learned to find their way across the Pacific. Anniversary of sign-over ceremony is a time for reflection and vision. Maui News.

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