Showing posts with label Affordable Care Act. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Affordable Care Act. Show all posts

Monday, October 8, 2018

Panel seeks independent oversight of state jails, inmates mistakenly released, tent cities planned for homeless, gecko speed-dials from Kona animal hospital, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Inmate overflow area at Hawaii County Community Correctional ©2018 All Hawaii News
Task force calls for jail oversight committee. The lack of public information about inmate suicides is just one reason a 13-member task force chaired by Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Michael Wilson is recommending the state create an independent oversight commission to inspect and monitor correctional facilities, investigate complaints, report findings to the public and shepherd in broad reforms to Hawaii’s prison system. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Bail System Keeps Poor People In Jail Longer — So Where’s The Fix? A state task force’s recommendations to the Legislature on pretrial procedures won’t contain any “big surprises,” despite calls for reform. Civil Beat.

The state wants to open 6 ‘ohana zones’ for the homeless. (Just don’t call them tent cities). The state Legislature funded the project with up to $30 million. Hawaii News Now.

An inventory of land owned by the state and who pays to use it has been laid out in a new statewide public online database after more than a decade of efforts to create such a system. Star-Advertiser.

State unveils new database of land holdings and revenue. KITV.


If You Don’t Vote On Constitutional Questions, You’ve Just Voted ‘No’. Thanks to a 1997 Supreme Court ruling, the deck is stacked against the ConCon and the constitutional amendment for school funding. Civil Beat.

In one month Hawaii voters will decide whether or not to amend the state constitution. The specific amendment under consideration would create a property tax surcharge to fund public education. Hawaii Public Radio.

Will the proposed constitutional amendment raise taxes for everyone? KHON2.

Teachers go door-to-door to urge voters to support surcharge to fund education. Opponents say the proposed constitutional amendment is poorly-written and vague. Hawaii News Now.

Ad Watch: First TV Spot Says A ConCon Would Cost Too Much. But a new political action committee with powerful friends doesn’t cite a source for its estimated price of a constitutional convention. Civil Beat.


The Office of Elections conducted an accuracy test of the vote counting system Saturday morning on Oahu. It’s the system that will be used in the Nov. 6 general election to count the ballots from voters around the state. Hawaii News Now.

Ballot machines tested ahead of November election. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige has nominated Keith K. Hiraoka to serve on the state Intermediate Court of Appeals. Star-Advertiser.

About 32,000 people in Hawaii currently purchasing Affordable Care Act plans will see lower premiums in 2019 than the rates initially proposed by Hawaii Medical Service Association and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranked Hawaii 16th best in the country for state government policies and programs aimed at becoming greener users of energy. Star-Advertiser.

Monday is Discoverers' Day in Hawaii and it has not been a state holiday by statute since 1988. KHON2.

Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay and Hawaii’s wealthiest full-time resident, moved up 10 notches to No. 38 on this year’s list of the 400 richest Americans compiled by Forbes magazine, with a fortune worth $2 billion more than a year ago. Pacific Business News.


The Hawaii Tourism Authority is considering a request from Mayor Kirk Caldwell to chip in at least $500,000 to help the city host next year’s U.S. Conference of Mayors. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu’s housing market hit another record in September with the median price of single-family homes climbing to $812,500. Star-Advertiser.

Ex-Kamehameha Schools Teacher Convicted Of Filming Students In Shower. Gabriel Alisna faces another trial on sexual assault charges for allegedly inappropriately touching a teen. Associated Press.

Former Kamehameha Schools teacher found guilty. KHON2.

Manoa Falls Trail to reopen Monday after 2-week closure. Crews stabilized weak points after surveying the area. The popular Manoa Falls Trail and Aihualama Trail will reopen Monday after the Department of Land and Natural Resources deemed the area safe following a rockfall incident last month. Hawaii News Now.

Popular Manoa Falls Trail to reopen after rockslide. KHON2.

Project Talent seeks clues to aging well by tracking former Hawaii teens now in their 70s. Star-Advertiser.

Public paychecks: What does a city mayor earn? Here's how Mayor Kirk Caldwell stacks up against 56 major city mayors. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Since March 2013, 23 inmates were mistakenly released from Hawaii jails and prisons with 16 — more than two-thirds — released from Hawaii Community Correctional Center. Tribune-Herald.

Two county programs to remove abandoned vehicles are being declared a success, with 331 junk cars either removed or being scheduled to be removed so far. West Hawaii Today.

Fee increases and rule changes are being proposed for many uses of state small boat harbors and facilities. The Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation is seeking approval from the state Land Board this Friday in Honolulu to initiate the rule-making process and hold public hearings on its proposal. Tribune-Herald.

The National Park Service will fully reopen Mauna Loa Road to vehicles on Mon., Oct. 8, along with Mauna Loa Trail, the 13,677-foot summit and both high-altitude cabins. Big Island Video News.

Gecko inundates people with phone calls at Kailua-Kona animal hospital. KHON2.


Bridge project is delayed. Controversial plan that drew resident criticism could now take years. Maui News.

Maui’s second large-scale photovoltaic solar project came online last week in Lahaina. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Electric Company’s second large-scale photovoltaic solar project came online this week on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. Maui Now.

New Disinfection Method for Maui Water Treatment. Maui Now.


In little over a month, Kauai voters will head to the polls to vote on a new mayor, a new County Council, several charter amendments and two state constitutional amendments. Garden Island.

Businesses and individuals affected by April’s flooding may be eligible for free employment relief through a U.S. Department of Labor Disaster Dislocated Worker Grant. Garden Island.


High-tech hydroponic kitchen planned on Lanai. Facility is a part of Larry Ellison’s indoor agricultural venture. Maui News.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Hawaii increasing election security, no veto override session, Kamehameha Schools pays $5M to settle student sex abuse lawsuit, Coco Palms back on track, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii ballot testing ©2018 All Hawaii News
State Details Plans For Spending $3.1 Million In Election Security Funds. Software and staff upgrades will make Hawaii’s voting system less vulnerable to cyber attacks, officials say. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers won’t override Ige vetoes. House and Senate lawmakers will not meet in a special session this year to attempt to override any vetoes of bills by Gov. David Ige, but the state Senate will meet Monday and Tuesday to consider approving the appointments of four District Court judges. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Ige Signs 11 Measures Into Law. Big Island Now.

New law preserves Affordable Care Act measures for Hawaii residents. Hawaii News Now.

Budding nonprofit looks to document whale sharks in Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

Dick’s Sporting Goods could be coming to Hawaii. Dick’s Sporting Goods may be preparing to enter the Hawaii market, according to public documents that show the big-box retailer registered with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to do business in the state last month. Pacific Business News.


Kamehameha Schools has agreed to pay $5 million to settle a civil lawsuit filed by the families of four former students of a teacher who is accused of secretly recording students showering in his faculty apartment. Star-Advertiser.

$5M settlement reached in Kamehameha Schools sex assault case. Hawaii News Now.

Kamehameha Schools settles case involving former teacher accused of videotaping kids. KHON2.

A settlement has been reached between Kamehameha Schools, three parents, four former students and Gabriel Alisna, a former high school speech teacher and debate coach. Alisna is being criminally prosecuted for videotaping and assaulting students. KITV.


City lawyers work hard to ensure sidewalk bills will withstand challenges. Over the past four years, city attorneys have warned Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the City Council not to enact laws that would place a ban on sitting and lying on Oahu sidewalks because they did not think they could stand up to constitutional challenges. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii businessman Duane Kurisu is asking the Honolulu City Council for permission to build a 150-foot radio tower next to Kahauiki Village, a low-income housing project along Nimitz Highway that Kurisu built with help from the state and local governments. Star-Advertiser.

An eviction case against former employees of Hawaiian Heiress Abigail Kawananakoa was dismissed Thursday. The family of the Kawananakoa's  former maid and chauffeur claim a Pearl City home was gifted to them by the heiress in 2016. KITV.

Saturday driver licensing hours offered through August 25 on Oahu. KHON2.

A Boston-based nonprofit backed by two national lenders is offering no-fee home mortgages with below- market interest rates for Hawaii residents at a free five-day event that starts today in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

A newly renovated Hawaiian monk seal exhibit is once again open at Waikiki Aquarium, with Hoailona the monk seal cruising around his new home. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Ige signing bill that bodes well for Banyan Drive, Kanoelehua lessees. Gov. David Ige will visit Hilo today to sign a redevelopment bill intended to revitalize Banyan Drive and the Kanoelehua Industrial Area. Tribune-Herald.

Only 4 homes remain in Kapoho as eruptions continue on the Big Island. Hawaii News Now.

Safety the biggest hurdle to creating lava viewing site. Hawaii County is continuing to pursue a site for a lava viewing area, but overflows from the fissure 8 channel and other hazards are presenting challenges. Tribune-Herald.

With the eruption in lower Puna settling into a fairly consistent pattern, state elections officials are considering opening a polling place for Pahoa on primary election day. Tribune-Herald.

One of the many impacts of the ongoing lava eruption on the Big Island is on the supply of electricity. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lake Waiau’s water levels remain robust almost five years after it nearly disappeared amid years of drought. West Hawaii Today.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is moving forward with an  11,000-acre management plan to replace rutted dirt roads crisscrossing the 2.5-mile distance to popular Green Sands beach with a pedestrian path and emergency access road. Civil Beat.


Requests for proposals for Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Community Enrichment, Kukulu Ola and Aloha ‘Aina programs open June 13, and informational sessions are set countywide later this month. Maui News.

Maui resident Kyoko Kimura, director of owner relations for Aqua-Aston Hospitality, will take her seat on the board of directors at this month’s meeting of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Maui News.


Coco Palms back on track. In lieu of a trial, a summary judgment hearing ended the Coco Palms property dispute in a Kauai courtroom on Thursday. Garden Island.

Seeking balance at a North Shore gem. Gov. David Ige says he thinks it’s a good idea to try and start construction on the new plan for Haena State Park while post-flood restoration work is ongoing on the North Shore. Garden Island.

$500K for cultural center. The Kauai Philippine Cultural Center could be completed by year’s end. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Sunscreen oxybenzone ban advanced to protect coral, 100 attend assisted suicide forum, Hawaii's county workers highest paid, Legislature mulls Affordable Care Act, Honolulu mayor pushes for general excise tax surcharge, spectacular lava poses danger to onlookers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii coral © 2017 All Hawaii News
A proposed ban on sunscreen products containing oxybenzone, which includes most of the sun protection items currently on store shelves, was approved by the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee on Tuesday. Civil Beat.

The House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection on Tuesday advanced a bill that would prohibit the sale of sunscreens containing the chemical oxybenzone. Garden Island.

The House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection today advanced House Bill 600, introduced by Representative Nicole Lowen (District 6, Kailua-Kona, Holualoa), which would prohibit the sale of sunscreens containing the chemical oxybenzone. Maui Now.

About 100 people attended a forum on physician-assisted suicide Tuesday in the state Capitol auditorium. Attendees heard details of House Bill 201 (Relating to Aid in Dying), listened to experiences from patients and doctors, and had some of their questions answered about the matter. Star-Advertiser.

Congress is taking steps to repeal part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act commonly referred to as Obamacare.   Hawai’i lawmakers are also advancing legislation to protect residents who might lose their medical coverage. Hawaii Public Radio.

Concerned about the dissolution of the Affordable Care Act, state lawmakers are introducing bills to merge into Hawaii law the consumer protections they consider the best parts of the federal program. Associated Press.

Lawmakers Debate Bills To Make It Easier To Evict People. Housing Committee Chairman Tom Brower says he hasn’t decided about measures to amend the landlord-tenant code. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has decided to personally pay for her trip to Syria, following new stories about her trip sponsor being a backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard says she will “personally reimburse” all the costs of her recent week-long trip to Syria. Civil Beat.

New data released on Tuesday reveals county workers in Hawaii make the highest average wages in the nation, compared to employees from counties in other states. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Democratic Party is pulling its business from First Hawaiian Bank in support of Dakota pipeline protests. Hawaii Public Radio.

A former Hawaii State Supreme Court associate justice has died. Justice Mario Ramil was sworn in in 1993, and served for nearly a decade. KHON2.


If state lawmakers will agree to extend the half-percent excise tax surcharge on Oahu to provide desperately needed funding for the city’s rail project, the city would be willing to share the tax revenues from that surcharge with the state, according to a pitch made Tuesday by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and City Council Chairman Ron Menor. Star-Advertiser.

Funding of police chief’s severance raises dispute: Does the Police Commission have the authority to spend HPD money? Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric announced Tuesday it has revived three major solar projects on Oahu that it terminated last year not long before the company that was supposed to build them filed for bankruptcy. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a $9.8 million military contract to a joint venture between Hawaii contractors Aulii Construction and Nan Inc., for work at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

The developer of a long-planned condominium project at the southern slopes of Punchbowl Crater in Honolulu is moving ahead with its development after filing building permits totaling $22 million. Pacific Business News.

A recent approval to build a seventh condominium tower at Ward Village is now on hold after the project’s developer filed objections to a few conditions imposed by a state agency regulating development in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

A man who got sick with Hepatitis A during last year's outbreak is demanding money from Genki Sushi and the chain's food suppliers, and he isn't alone. Lawyers are embroiled in dozens of cases related to the outbreak, including 3 class-action lawsuits. Hawaii News Now.

Maintenance issues persist in aging dorms at University of Hawaii at Manoa. KHON2.

New details about the investigation into the slaughter of 15 protected Laysan albatrosses at Kaena Point are contained in court documents filed by an attorney for one of the defendants. Civil Beat.


The chief of the Hawaii Fire Department and at least two department staff flew to the state Capitol this week to testify in favor of a bill that would add an extra ambulance in Puna. Tribune-Herald.

Just months after Hawaii County celebrated an $11.6 million upgrade to Mauna Kea Recreation Area, the county announced Tuesday the park has been closed until further notice. West Hawaii Today.

Scientists discovered they're dealing with not one but two strains of deadly fungus obliterating Ohi'a Lehua trees on the Big Island. KITV.

VIDEO: Spectacular “Lava Hose” Continues Plunge Into Sea. Big Island Video News.

A long, lateral crack in sea cliffs built by Kilauea Volcano has scientists worried about a second collapse into the ocean. Star-Advertiser.

Authorities are cracking down on visitors entering an off-limits area inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to get a closer look at the lava spewing into the ocean. National Park Service law enforcement officers have cited 28 people since a large delta collapsed a month ago, forming a fire hose of lava. Hawaii News Now.

Donation brings companion to Kona’s most famous, loneliest donkey. West Hawaii Today.


An empty bunk bed and two mattresses lying side by side on the floor — only steps away from the toilet — is a common sight in Maui Community Correctional Center cells originally designed for two inmates. Maui News.

Chancellor urges Legislature to establish $2.5M financial aid fund. Maui News.

The County of Maui Department of Environmental Management announced it is soliciting grant applications/proposals from the public for the use of available funds from the DEM Recycling Grant, Fiscal Year 2018. MauiWatch.


Three free workshops on food safety and spoilage are being offered around the island as a part of a statewide effort to promote safe and healthy local food in schools. Garden Island.

Anthony Morita is new community relations sergeant. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hawaii 2015 in review, albatrosses killed on Oahu, minimum wage rises, audit blasts state Obamacare system, graphic signs spur Hilo outrage, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Black-footed Albatross with chick, Midway Atoll NWR Pic:Wieteke Holthuijzen  USGS
Three of the top local news stories in Hawaii in 2015 sprang from situations that few observers anticipated would lead to major headlines — building the Thirty Meter Telescope, dodging the bullet in a record hurricane season, and public outcry over hot classrooms. Star-Advertiser.

With presidential vacations as bookends, the year in the islands featured David Ige’s shakedown cruise, the still-unfolding TMT-Mauna Kea controversy and new attempts to solve the old problem of homelessness. Civil Beat.

2015: The year in review; Telescope controversy, Kenoi’s pCard abuse, dengue fever among top stories of the year. Tribune-Herald.

Top stories of 2015. From barking dogs, bleached coral new stores, and the Aloha Doc, the Garden Island saw its share of news. Garden Island.

Coming with the new year is a hike of 75 cents in our state’s minimum wage. Hawaii is one of 14 states where workers will now see more in their paychecks. Hawaii’s hourly wage will be $8.50. Civil Beat.

Poor planning and a “lack of effective leadership” within the state Department of Human Services prevented its $155 million computer system from meeting some of the objectives of the federal Affordable Care Act, according to a new report by the Hawaii state auditor. Star-Advertiser.

In a report released Wednesday, the state auditor faulted Hawaii’s Department of Human Services in failing to implement the state’s online system for the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare. Civil Beat.

Honolulu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii counties stand to receive millions more in funding next year from the state's transient accommodations tax if the Legislature approves a working group’s report released this week. Pacific Business News.

The U.S. military, with a lot of smokers, is toeing the line on Hawaii’s new ban on cigarettes and tobacco for anyone under 21, which takes effect Friday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Department of Education has received special recognition by the national U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation 2015 Leaders & Laggards report listed the Aloha State for its progress as measured by the National Assessment of Education Progress. Civil Beat.

The following fireworks shows will take place throughout the state to usher in the new year. KHON2.

Three Laysan albatrosses were killed, several others are missing, and 15 nests were destroyed at the Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve, state conservation enforcement officials said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

State and federal officials are investigating the deaths of three Laysan albatrosses and the destruction of at least 15 albatross nests at Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve. Hawaii News Now.

Next year's November ballot will not include questions about dismantling the rail authority, labeling GMO products or raising the minimum wage. The Honolulu Charter Commission denied all those proposals at a hearing on Wednesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now.

El Nino put a damper on Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s road repaving plans, but the crews have continued their work despite the challenges. KITV4.

The deaf and visually impaired will have an opportunity to experience Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Saturday at Ward Theatres, marking the first movie showing to provide such accommodations as required under a new Hawaii law. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Telcom and Raycom Media, owner of Hawaii News Now, have agreed to extend their current contract,, eliminating a potential blackout through Jan. 8. Star-Advertiser.

Area residents maintain that Lanikai’s popularity has soared since TripAdvisor dubbed its beach the world’s best a few years ago. Also, a coastal science professor known as Dr. Beach, who ranks public beaches in the United States — based on best sand and water quality, environmental management and amenities — and others have spotlighted Lanikai as a top beach. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama spent much of Wednesday afternoon, the 12th day of his Hawaiian vacation, with family and friends at a luau hosted by a childhood friend and golf buddy. Star-Advertiser.

Eight new confirmed cases of dengue fever were added Wednesday to Hawaii Island’s running tally, which now stands at 190. Meanwhile, the state Department of Health’s Big Island Vector Control offices in Hilo and Kona, which are responsible for controlling the populations of mosquitoes that carry the disease, are preparing to hire one additional worker each, with an online listing for the jobs set to close today. Tribune-Herald.

Police were called in Wednesday morning when counter-protesters physically removed signs they find offensive in a Downtown Hilo park that has a playground for small children. Tribune-Herald.

A disagreement over a notorious collection of signs at a county park in Hilo led to a temporary upheaval on Wednesday, as opposing viewpoints clashed on the sidewalk beside Lincoln Park. Big Island Video News.


November arrivals to Maui increased 2.8% to 193,355 and visitor days increased by 3.8% in November 2015, compared to last year. Maui Now.

Maui island is on a record-breaking pace to push beyond a total of 2.5 million visitor arrivals by air this year. Maui News.


The number of travelers to Kauai went up by 0.8 percent as compared to this time last year, according to a Tuesday news release from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Garden Island.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Hawaii smoking age to be highest in nation, Ige signs second homeless proclamation, press following Obama on Oahu, Kauai police begin wearing body cameras, state plans condo closures on Hilo's Banyan Drive, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Overflowing ashtray in Waikiki beach park
Hawaii will become the first state in the country to raise the smoking age to 21 from 18 in January. Star-Advertiser.

On Thursday Gov. David Ige signed a second supplemental proclamation that the administration said will allow the state to continue coordinated efforts with the counties to provide emergency shelter, long-term housing and services “to those without homes.” Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has extended the state’s emergency proclamation on homelessness by 60 days, which will allow for continued coordination on social service and housing efforts, his office said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

The federal government is allowing more time for a group of migrants in Hawaii to enroll in health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. Associated Press.

Overall, the statewide average hotel occupancy rate was 77.2 percent, up 6.7 percentage points, while the average room rate rose 1.7 percent to $229.37 a night. Pacific Business News.

Maui County and Oahu are outpacing the rest of the state in getting residents behind the wheels of electric vehicles, according to an annual report issued this month by the Hawaii State Energy Office. Maui News.


In keeping with their holiday tradition, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama paid a visit to the U.S. Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe Bay on Christmas Day to express the nation’s gratitude to service members. Civil Beat.

After the First Family spent the morning at their Kailua vacation home opening Christmas gifts and singing carols, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama made their annual visit to the cafeteria of Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay Friday afternoon to briefly speak to troop members and their families. KHON2.

After several days of rainy weather, Sunday provided just enough sunshine for President Barack Obama and family to strike the most visible presence of their Christmas holiday in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama may be one of the most powerful men in the world but he admits to feeling "small" when working out alongside Marines at their gym on base in Hawaii. Associated Press.

As President Barack Obama and the first family criss-cross the Hawaiian island of Oahu for their annual holiday vacation, the White House reporters tasked with following Obama and his entourage, known as the pool, are documenting his every move. Sometimes things get a little weird. Politico.

Greg Jaffe, a Washington Post reporter who is part of the White House press pool during the Obama family vacation, has co-authored a piece titled Hawaii can’t seem to name anything after native son Obama. Civil Beat.

An outpouring of concern and support for nearly 260 homeless people living near the Waianae Boat Harbor encourages Twinkle Borge to work even harder for those who call the area home. A leader in the encampment situated on about 19 acres of preservation-zoned state land between Waianae High School and the boat harbor, Borge is looking into forming a nonprofit to help generate funding for her “houseless” community known as Puuhonua O Waianae Village. Star-Advertiser.

A new way of registering students for classes and tracking their progress at the University of Hawaii Manoa could help students graduate faster and possibly save families and taxpayers millions of dollars, administrators say. Civil Beat.

The Hawaiian Humane Society is once again taking on a larger share of the city’s animal care and control services on Oahu thanks to an $800,000 boost by the City Council and a new agreement between the nonprofit and the Caldwell administration. Star-Advertiser.

According to numbers from the Honolulu Fire Department more people are buying fireworks permits. KHON2.


Expiration of land leases on Banyan Drive and in the Kanoelehua Industrial Area is prompting the state to look at changing the way it manages the rental agreements and possibly consolidating properties. Tribune-Herald.

Most of the time, Cliff Kopp is a Kailua-Kona dentist. But come Christmas, he’ll be homeless, at least temporarily. West Hawaii Today.

The Thirty Meter Telescope project — thwarted by the one-two punch of protesters blocking construction and the Hawaii Supreme Court invalidating its permit — lost more than $1.76 million this year while its grading equipment sat idle atop Mauna Kea.Star-Advertiser.

No safety check? No insurance? No license plate? No problem. That’s according to a group of Big Island residents who think they have a constitutional right to travel without state and federally imposed licensing, registration and safety checks. West Hawaii Today.

The future of Hawaii Island meat is parked in Waimea. The state’s first producer-owned mobile slaughterhouse arrived in October, and will provide a means for small-scale ranchers and farmers to access local retail markets when it opens for business. Tribune-Herald.

The banana bunchy top virus, a plant disease that stunts the growth of banana plants and deforms their fruit has been found north of Hilo, where farmers worry it could find its way into the deep gulches of the Hamakua Coast, making containment a more difficult task. Tribune-Herald.


The state Department of Transportation has issued a finding of "no significant impact" for its plans to construct the next phase of the Lahaina bypass project. Maui News.

With the blessing of generous donations, Kaahumanu Church’s steeple has been patched, and the roof of the church’s preschool building has been replaced, said Kahu Wayne Higa. Maui News.

The next Maui Energy Conference + Exhibition will tackle the issue of whether Hawaii's 100 percent renewable energy target is realistic and whether utilities are on board, according to a draft program for the conference scheduled for March 16 to 18 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Maui News.


Kauai police officers are the first in the state wearing body cameras as a dispute lingers over whether the union should have gotten final say on the policy. Associated Press.

In a room police use for briefings, Kauai Police Department Officer Troy Sakaguchi was showing seven patrol officers how to use their brand-new body-worn cameras. Garden Island.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Business groups push Ige to enforce law on Mauna Kea for Thirty Meter Telescope, big Obamacare rate hikes coming, Environmental Council seeks board members, floating windfarm coming to Oahu south shore, new rules for Big Island public land management, Maui deputy prosecutor seeks top job, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Big Island Video News
Mauna Kea TMT blockade, courtesy Big Island Video News
Nearly a year since a ceremonial groundbreaking took place atop Mauna Kea for construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope, progress remains stalled. On Sunday, fourteen pro-business groups expressed their displeasure over the lack of any headway and demanded Gov. David Ige provide “safe passage” so the $1.4 billion telescope can be built. The groups include various chambers of commerce as well as pro-union trade groups. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige has neglected to fill a number of vacancies on the state’s Environmental Council and members say that is crippling the agency. Civil Beat.

Obamacare is getting pricier for Hawaii residents. The state approved a 27.3 percent rate hike for Hawaii Medical Service Association’s individual members and a 34.4 percent increase for Kaiser Permanente members in Affordable Care Act plans for 2016. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii has the highest average mortgage closing costs in the nation, driven, in part, by high third-party fees, according to a ranking by Pacific Business News.

Life of the Land, one of 28 intervenors taking part in the regulatory review of the sale of Hawaiian Electric Co. to NextEra Energy Inc., asked the two companies to provide a document log regarding discussions they have had to end the proposed acquisition. In their response, Hawaiian Electric and NextEra Energy said that “no such document has been created.” Pacific Business News.

With the vote to elect delegates for a Hawaiian constitutional convention just weeks away, critics say the way the election is being handled is flawed. Hawaii News Now.

Oct. 15 is the deadline for all Native Hawaiians to register to vote in the election of delegates to a constitutional convention, or aha. Civil Beat.

A year ago, the federal Department of the Interior, DOI, travelled throughout Hawai‘i soliciting comments on a path to Hawaiian nationhood.  Last week the DOI proposed a rule to facilitate governmental relations if Hawaiians form a unified government on their own. Hawaii Public Radio.


Former state Energy Administrator Ted Peck has teamed up with a year-old, Oregon-based renewable energy developer on a plan to bring a 400-megawatt floating wind farm to a site 15 miles off Oahu’s South Shore. Star-Advertiser.

State regulators are demanding answers from Hawaiian Telcom about why repairs to rain-soaked telephone lines took weeks and even up to one month in some cases. Hawaii News Now.

Some people living in tents and tarps around the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center said Monday they have no idea where they’ll go when city crews move in this week to clean out the last and densest portion of the Kakaako homeless encampment. Star-Advertiser.

When it comes to overall driver satisfaction, Honolulu finishes dead last in a rating of U.S. metropolitan areas, according to data from the navigation app Waze. Civil Beat.

The city would be required to maintain vegetation along roads whose ownership is in dispute under a bill before the Honolulu City Council. Star-Advertiser.

The senior enlisted sailor on the Pearl Harbor destroyer USS Michael Murphy was relieved of his duties in the wake of ship-based equal opportunity complaints, the Navy said today. Star-Advertiser.

It's no longer used for launching vessels. Instead, beachgoers use the boat ramp at Pokai Bay for parking, despite No Parking signs and police issuing parking tickets. Hawaii News Now.


A land management fund that voters approved in 2012 will finally get rules to ensure proper disbursement and monitoring, thanks to a bill the County Council will consider Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Creating town or neighborhood centers, adding recreation facilities and paving roads are among the goals listed in a new Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Master Plan. Developed by a committee of HPP residents, the planning document is intended to improve services in the massive Puna subdivision and address issues that long have plagued its residents, including substandard roads. Tribune-Herald.

Work began Monday on chipping through the roughly 10-foot-thick layer of lava 500 feet long that overran Cemetery Road last October in Pahoa, Hawaii Island. Star-Advertiser.

What began in 1941 as a small vocational school serving 183 students has ballooned into Hawaii Community College, with more than 3,000 students enrolled in 26 different programs. Tribune-Herald.

Romeo, a 4-year-old Labrador retriever, is safe and sound after falling 20 feet into a ground crack Saturday evening in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Tribune-Herald.


More than two dozen people gathered at Kahekili Beach Park on Maui over the weekend for the statewide “Bleachapalooza” event, organized to bring attention to the damaging effects of coral bleaching in the islands. Maui Now.

There’s now an easier way to volunteer your time, energy, expertise and resources to Maui nonprofits:, a website built by the Maui County Department of Housing & Human Concerns’ Volunteer Center as part of its Get Connected program. MauiTime.

A free, interactive map displaying car break-ins, assaults and other crimes is available online, allowing Maui County residents to check the safety of their neighborhoods and to identify areas where they might want to exercise caution. Maui News.

Coqui frogs are small in size - but the impact of their presence is huge. That's been understood for quite some time on the Big Island of Hawai'i…but it's a growing and unpleasant discovery for some residents in upcountry Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.


Former deputy prosecutor Lisa Arin will officially declare herself a candidate for the office of Kauai’s Prosecuting Attorney on the steps of the 5th Circuit Courthouse at 12:30 p.m. today. Garden Island.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hawaii set to lose federal Safe Drinking Act funds, state #2 in military money, Affordable Care Act waiver makes Hawaii first, more on medical marijuana dispensaries, Punchbowl condo project opposed, sex offenders get special treatment, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Freshwater stream enters Pacific Ocean © 2015 All Hawaii News
The federal government is withholding $8 million — or all of the 2015 fiscal year funding that’s earmarked for repairing Hawaii’s drinking water infrastructure — because the Hawaii Department of Health continues to do a poor job of spending federal funds, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Department of Health shouldn’t receive any more federal funds under the Safe Drinking Water Act until it cleans up its own act, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General said in a report made public Monday. Daily Caller.

Read full EPA report on Hawaii's drinking water infrastructure spending here.

Hawaii still ranked No. 2 in the nation in fiscal 2014 among states with the greatest military spending as a percentage of gross domestic product, but those expenditures slipped to $7.6 billion in 2014 from $8.1 billion the previous year, the Department of Defense said in a new report. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s first draft of an Affordable Care Act waiver proposal is the first of its kind in the nation. The state is seeking public input on a waiver to harmonize its relatively progressive Prepaid Health Care Act, which passed in 1974, with the federal health care law. Pacific Business News.

Protections Proposed for 49 Hawaii Species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to add 10 animals and 39 plants to the Endangered Species Act. Civil Beat.

Should lawyers be allowed to represent medical marijuana dispensaries that are legal under Hawaii state law but not under federal law? That’s the question the state Supreme Court is grappling with, and it’s asked for public input. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii’s record run of visitor arrivals and spending could be in jeopardy next year even though airlines are bringing more seats to the islands than ever before. Star-Advertiser.

While the visitor growth in August was not as strong as in previous months, Hawaii’s visitor industry continues to exceed 2014 records in spending and arrivals. Spending reached $10.3 billion for the first eight months of 2015 and contributed $1.1 billion in state tax revenue. West Hawaii Today.

Virgin America, AirAsiaX and Jin Air will begin operating flights between Hawaii and the West Coast and Asia by the end of the year, the Hawaii Tourism Authority says. Pacific Business News.

State lawmakers have confronted the issue of how to allow charitable giving by candidates in a way that creates a public benefit but doesn't give incumbents an unfair advantage over those seeking to challenge them politically. Maui News.

Treating Hawaii’s Sex Offenders: ‘Here, We Don’t Give Up on People’ Of the state program’s 800-plus “graduates,” only 20 have returned to prison after committing a new sex crime, a recidivism rate of slightly more than 2 percent. Civil Beat.


Plans for a contentious condominium project on the makai slopes of Punchbowl crater will be subject to a public hearing Wednesday morning. Star-Advertiser.

Pearl Harbor was once known as Oahu’s “bread basket” because it was such an important fishing area, teeming with ocean life. But since the construction of the iconic U.S. military base, the pristine harbor has been marred by environmental disaster. Civil Beat.

The cost of a parking ticket and other traffic violations on the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus would significantly increase next summer under a proposal that would bring campus fines in line with citations from Honolulu police and state sheriff’s deputies. Star-Advertiser.

More than a year after a violent fight between a Honolulu police officer and his girlfriend was caught on surveillance video, the internal investigation is finally done. HPD Sgt. Darren Cachola was not indicted for domestic violence but his own department could hand down stiff punishment against the 19-year veteran of the force. Hawaii News Now.

Goto Construction has been contracted by the city to refurbish 15 playgrounds across Oahu, and they’re hoping to bring a new one online every week. KHON2.


NASA’s announcement Monday that it found evidence of liquid water on Mars was reassuring for a University of Hawaii at Hilo team hoping to select the landing site for the first manned mission to the red planet. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Public Utility Commission has granted the request made by Parker Ranch subsidiary Paniolo Power Company, LLC to withdraw from the HEI-NextEra merger docket. Big Island Video News.

A trial begins today in a lawsuit that accuses the state Department of Land and Natural Resources of failing to properly oversee the Army’s use of ceded lands at the Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.


Kahului is one of the most tax-friendly places for retirees in Hawaiʻi, according to a recent study from SmartAsset, a New York-based financial technology company. Maui Now.


Visitor expenditures on Kauai increased 15.5 percent (to $1.1 billion), which was boosted by the growth in visitor arrivals (up 4.5 percent to 802,554) and air seats into Lihue (up 5.2 percent to 473,200). Per person per day spending also saw a double-digit increase of 12.2 percent, which helped the island maintain its momentum for the first eight months of 2015. Garden Island.

The Department of Public Works used sand to fill holes at Kapaa Beach Park after an old cesspool was removed Monday morning. Garden Island.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Hanabusa-Schatz race catches national eye, Hawaii's first gay divorce, tour guide says he was forced to lie about shark bite, Hawaii Supreme Court makes judge hold hearing on closing courtroom, Kaui museum director fired, police called to block Big Island surf spot, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

U.S. Senate campaign 2014
Schatz, Hanabusa (c) 2014 All Hawaii News
In Colleen Hanabusa’s U.S. Senate candidacy, what remains of former U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye’s mostly Japanese American political machine is fighting for supremacy against a younger and whiter progressive wing led by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz that is trying to become Hawaii’s new ruling class. Washington Post.

Politico, one of the nation's top political magazines, issued a report December 26, citing the race between U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-HI, and Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, D-HI, as one of the top 10 political races to watch. Hawaii Reporter.

Same-sex couple files for divorce. KHON2.

Hawaii taxpayers have among the nation’s highest return when it comes to funding of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by WalletHub, a financial resources website that analyzed tax dollar benefit by state. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has ordered a state judge to hold a hearing on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser's request to unseal closed court proceedings in federal agent Christopher Deedy's murder trial. But the order issued Thursday did not address the newspaper's other request for a court order prohibiting Circuit Judge Karen Ahn from closing the courtroom in the future unless she gives the public and media a chance to object. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Karen Ahn must explain why she closed certain proceedings during a high-profile murder trial last year, including on the final day of deliberations when she cleared her courtroom of spectators and the media before announcing a deadlocked jury. On Thursday, the Hawaii Supreme Court ordered Ahn to provide a legal explanation for her decision to exclude the public from some parts of the trial of Christopher Deedy, the U.S. State Department agent who shot and killed a Kailua man in a Waikiki McDonald's. Civil Beat.

President Barack Obama hit the golf course in Hawaii with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Thursday. Associated Press.

How President Barack Obama spent Day 13 of his holiday vacation in Hawaii on Thursday. Associated Press.

Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection
Bruce Kim signed on as executive director of the state Office of Consumer Protection in July 2011 and it's been a wild ride ever since. From the mortgage foreclosure crisis ascendant when he first took the post to the current worries about the data breach at Target stores nationwide that could have affected as many as 121,000 Hawaii shoppers, Kim has been applying his legal background and the resources of his office to make sure consumers are not abused. Star-Advertiser.

Social Media Breathes New Life Into Hawaii Activism. Civil Beat.

A former deck hand for a Haleiwa shark tour company said he lied to medical personnel at the direction of his bosses to cover up an on-the-job shark bite he suffered last year, a charge the company denied Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

A collection of North Shore residents and surfers started the new year Thursday with a lawsuit against state transportation officials to remove the controversial new parking barriers at Laniakea Beach. Star-Advertiser.

A Houston-based energy company estimates Hawaiian Electric Co. could save 30 percent or more on its fuel costs by burning the firm's compressed wood pellets instead of fuel oil to generate electricity. Zilkha Biomass Energy conducted a series of studies in 2012 and 2013 that demonstrated the feasibility of burning its "Black Pellets" in steam boilers at the Waiau and Kahe power plants. Star-Advertiser.

An army of city workers and volunteers swarmed over Sunset Beach on Thursday, hauling away truckloads of debris from a stretch of coast where high surf and tides left at least a half-dozen Rocky Point homes in danger of being washed away. Star-Advertiser.

The damage exposes Oahu’s long-term inability to adequately regulate construction on its shores. Hundreds of homes, businesses and pieces of island infrastructure have been built too close to the ocean. And with scientists forecasting that coastal erosion will worsen in the coming years, the state's failure to prepare for the future leaves beachfront residents increasingly vulnerable, state and county officials concede. Star-Advertiser.

There could soon be a bumper crop of logos identifying locally grown produce, if a resolution proposed by Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille takes root at Tuesday’s Governmental Relations and Economic Development Committee meeting. West Hawaii Today.

The owners of Mill Road in Papaikou hired off-duty police officers to restrict access this week, frustrating residents who said they weren’t given a warning from the owners nor a sufficient explanation from police. Tribune-Herald.

A sinkhole that swallowed a truck earlier this week near Paauilo could be filled as early as today. Crews with Goodfellow Bros. were working “around the clock” to repair a portion of Pohakea Mauka Road damaged Monday when a culvert collapsed during heavy rainfall, said foreman Clifford Cox. Tribune-Herald.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources will close the Puako boat launch ramp on the Big Island for two days next week to remove a loading dock damaged by high surf. Associated Press.


The Maui Nui Botanical Gardens will begin charging admission on Jan. 15. Maui News.

The state Real Estate Commission will hold its monthly committee meetings on Maui next week, allowing residents to participate and learn about licensing laws and other regulations. Maui News.


Ballots for Kauai Island Utility Cooperative’s special election related to smart meters are in the mail. All co-op members have a chance to weigh-in on the KIUC board’s recent decision to charge additional fees to the roughly 3,000 customers who have chosen not to use a wireless smart meter. Garden Island.

After 27 years of living in Kokee State Park and working as executive director of Hui o Laka Kokee Museum, Marsha Erickson claims museum Board of Trustee president Frank Hay offered her a choice — resign or be fired for cause. Garden Island.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Affordable Care Act to have minimal impact on Hawaii, school lunch prices spike, Kauai neighborhood cleared of toxic arsenic, dioxin in soil, Hawaii County Council mulls $31M bond issue, tsunami debris hits Molokai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Affordable Care Act
Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito courtesy photo
In compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Monday he has selected HMSA's existing health care benefits package that will serve as the base line for all future insurance coverage offered in the state come 2014, when the law is fully implemented. Star-Advertiser.

A healthcare plan offered by the Hawaii Medical Service Association will be the template for all insurance plans offered to the public when President Obama’s universal coverage law begins in 2014, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced today. Hawaii Reporter.

A package of health insurance benefits created by the Hawaii Medical Service Association will serve as the state’s benchmark for the minimum amount of coverage health insurers in Hawaii must provide in 2014 and 2015 under the federal Affordable Care Act. Pacific Business News.

Gov. Neil Aberceombie's June 28, 2012 statement on Affordable Care Act ruling.

The cost of school lunches in Hawaii has been rising, and one menu item in particular costs almost twice as much today as it did three years ago: hot dogs. Civil Beat.

It has been four months since the teachers union wrapped up a prohibited-practice case before the Hawaii Labor Relations Board — more than enough time, the union argues, for the board to decide whether the state violated members' rights when it imposed a contract in July 2011. The Hawaii State Teachers Association has asked the state Supreme Court to compel the labor board to issue a quick ruling in the case. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said state negotiators have met several times with a federal mediator to try and reach a contract agreement with Hawaii teachers. KITV4.

The Public Land Development Corp. will meet Oct. 11 in Honolulu to consider the approval of a strategic plan as well as some changes to its draft administrative rules. Big Island Now.

Hawai`i residents are worried about what the state’s new Public Land Development Corporation will mean for land across the state. The PLDC’s five member board has been granted increased powers to develop public property. Now board members are considering some changes to the rules, in an effort to ease residents’ concerns. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii will soon be the new site for a high-tech device that harnesses wave energy to create electricity. Hawaii News Now.

The next installment of senate hearings into the University of Hawaii Stevie Wonder concert fiasco take place Tuesday. KHON2.

Here's a list of the people invited to testify Tuesday, Oct. 2., before the State Senate Special Committee on Accountability about the University of Hawaii's Stevie Wonder concert fiasco. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority on Monday that issued a request for proposals for its 2013 Product Enrichment Program that supports community-based cultural and natural resource programs. Pacific Business News.


Most voters have long since made up their minds about the Honolulu rail project, and their opposition has put Ben Cayetano in good position to become the city's next mayor. Civil Beat.

Similarities in capaign ads  continue to raise questions about whether any campaign finance laws have been shirked — everyone involved denies this — the ads also highlight the influence of outside money in the Honolulu mayor's race. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii officials showed off $1.3 million worth of repairs to UH's College Hill mansion eight years ago and said that "nothing major" remained to be done. But today, $680,000 worth of "major" repairs are under way at the UH president's unoccupied mansion — and running two weeks behind schedule. Star-Advertiser.

The first phase of a $135 million upgrade to Hawaii’s largest public housing complex is nearing completion, and a group of units has become available for rent to low-income families. Star-Advertiser.

Bicycling on Oahu suffers from the chicken-and-the-egg problem. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Company has been working on the Ko'olau ridge for about a month now. They are trying to upgrade Oahu's power grid. KITV4.

The Honolulu Marathon is expected to generate record revenue for Hawaii this year with one of the biggest races in its 40-year history. Star-Advertiser.


The county’s current mayor and his old boss-turned mayoral rival disagreed Monday night over whose administration could take credit for at least one big West Hawaii project. West Hawaii Today.

A proposed $16.8 million bond issue for a South Kona police station has ballooned to $31.4 million, thanks to amendments adding other projects offered by two Hilo council members originally opposed to the bond authorization. West Hawaii Today.

The Windward Planning Commission is looking for guidance on how it can tap into a $2.1 million Geothermal Asset Fund. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawa­uchi, who has endured a firestorm of criticism for her handing of the primary election, admits she has made errors but promises to press ahead and ensure the general election Nov. 6 goes smoothly. Star-Advertiser.


A federal judge ordered a $15,000 fine Monday for a Maui rancher who arranged the transportation of axis deer and mouflon rams between Maui and Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

The next in a series of community meetings will be held tonight to discuss the county’s 2013-2014 budget. Maui Now.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its hired consultants will hold a public meeting in Lahaina on Tuesday to review a draft Wahikuli-Honokowai Watershed Management Plan. Associated Press.

Mokulele Airlines is expected to launch its daily service flights between Kahului and Hana airports today, with one-way fares starting at $59. Maui News.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Health have completed a Superfund Removal Program cleanup removing more than 814 tons of contaminated soil from residential and commercial properties in Kilauea, Kaua‘i, according to an EPA press release Monday. Garden Island.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state Health Department have completed removal of toxic soil at a Kilauea neighborhood on Kauai, the agencies announced Monday. Star-Advertiser.

All of car dealer/developer James Pflueger’s co-defendants in a tax evasion case pending in federal court have  pleaded guilty. Hawaii Reporter.

The Kaua‘i County Council last week gave its stamp of approval for the Office of Prosecuting Attorney to apply, receive and expend $210,000 in federal grants for two programs. But decision on a request to apply for $35,000 in federal grants for a youth diversionary program was postponed for a week. Garden Island.


Japanese Tsunami Debris Arrives on Molokai. Molokai Dispatch.