Showing posts with label Albert Hee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Albert Hee. Show all posts

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Navatek CEO arrested, charged with $12.8M PPP scheme, test kit shortage keeps interisland travel closed, state offers $500 restaurant cards to jobless, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Navatek Robotx awards 2019 publicity photo

Honolulu CEO charged in a $12.8 million PPP scheme. Martin Kao, 47, the chief executive officer of Martin Defense Group, previously known as Navatek LLC, was charged with two counts of bank fraud and one count of money laundering. Star-Advertiser.

Prominent Hawaii Defense Contractor Arrested For CARES Act Fraud. Martin Kao is a prolific political donor whose company, Navatek LLC, has received millions of dollars in federal contracts. Civil Beat.

Businessman accused of trying to scam banks out of millions in federal stimulus funds. A prominent Hawaii businessman has been arrested in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud banks of more than $12.8 million in federal Paycheck Protection Program funds, money that was supposed to be used to help buoy struggling businesses. Hawaii News Now.

CARES Act fraud allegations: Navatek CEO arrested. Martin Kao was arrested Wednesday for allegedly defrauding the federal government of $12.8 million in CARES Act funding. KITV4.

Navatek CEO arrested on federal bank fraud and money laundering charges. Martin Kao, CEO of Honolulu-based defense contractor Navatek LLC, (renamed Martin Defense Group in July) was arrested Wednesday on bank fraud and money laundering charges, in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud banks of more than $12.8 million in CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program funds. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii CEO accused of $12.8M in fraud virus assistance loans. The CEO of a company that was one of Hawaii’s largest recipients of the Paycheck Protection Program defrauded banks of more than $12.8 million in money meant to assist businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, federal authorities said Wednesday. Associated Press.


Ige: Shortage of tests means testing program for inter-island travel a ‘challenge’. The governor said Wednesday he has no plans to lift the inter-island traveler quarantine, and acknowledged a shortage of tests locally means the pre-travel testing program for trans-Pacific visitors will likely not be extended at first to include local island hoppers. Hawaii News Now.

Interisland Travel Won’t Return Any Time Soon
. The mandatory, 14-day interisland travel quarantine will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. Big Island Now.


$500 restaurant card, call center to aid isles’ jobless. As many as 100,000 residents receiving unemployment benefits are expected to receive $500 in pre-loaded, debit-type cards to be spent at local restaurants, while the state on Wednesday brought on board the first of 200 more agents to handle unemployment claims, including the most difficult cases where people continue to challenge their denials of eligibility. Star-Advertiser.

Unemployed Workers Will Get Cards Worth $500 To Spend In Local Restaurants. Chamber of Commerce Hawaii cites data showing the $75 million restaurant card program will save 1,000 jobs. Civil Beat.

$500 restaurant card coming to Hawaii’s unemployed.
If you’re unemployed, the state’s newest economic plan is looking to keep money in your bank account, and food in your stomach. KHON2.

‘Restaurant cards’ slated for the unemployed: Program will provide $500 that only can be spent at eateries. Hawaii residents who are receiving unemployment insurance benefits will receive $500 to be spent at Hawaii restaurants before mid-December. Tribune-Herald.

Pre-Paid $500 Restaurant Card Program to Help Struggling Hawai‘i Workers and Business. A new Restaurant Card Program was announced today during a news briefing hosted by Governor David Ige, that will provide pre-paid $500 cards to people who have qualified for unemployment insurance, for use at any Hawai‘i restaurant. Maui Now.

Unemployment Call Center Among CARES Act Initiatives.
The most immediate initiative involves $5 million the state unemployment (UI) office will use to staff a new 200-person call center, which began operations Wednesday. Big Island Now.

300 workers hired for call center to help with Hawaii unemployment insurance. A new virtual call center for Hawaii unemployment insurance claims launched on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

State opens unemployment insurance call center. Gov. David Ige announced the state’s new unemployment insurance call center yesterday. Garden Island.

State Launches Virtual Call Center for Unemployment Insurance Claims. The state of Hawaiʻi today launched a virtual call center to help claimants obtain information relating to their unemployment insurance claim, Gov. David Ige announced in a news release. Maui Now.

Petition filed against Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Some of Hawaii's jobless have yet to see an unemployment check, and now they're taking their frustration to court. KITV4.


Federal Communications Commission lodges $50M fine against isle telecom firm. The FCC imposed a $49.6 million fine against Sandwich Isles Communications along with parent company Waimana Enterprises and former sole shareholder Hee for what the agency contends was $27 million in undue payments received from the federal Universal Service Fund to establish and maintain high-cost communications network operations serving about 3,600 Department of Hawaiian Home Lands customers. Star-Advertiser.

FCC fines Sandwich Isles nearly $50M. The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday fined Sandwich Isles Communications, its parent company and the owner of both entities nearly $50 million for violations that resulted in millions of dollars in improper payments. West Hawaii Today.

Sandwich Isles Communications founder fined $49 million by FCC. Sandwich Isles Communications and founder Albert Hee are being fined more than $49 million by the Federal Communications Commission. KHON2.


Teachers union disputes DOH’s reopening metrics. The Hawaii State Teachers Association is urging all schools statewide to only allow distance learning through the second quarter after claiming that the state’s metrics for reopening schools are far less strict than those recommended by federal health authorities. Tribune-Herald.

HSTA calls on DOE to iron out standards to bring students back to campus. The chair of the state Board of Education says public schools won’t be ready to welcome some students back to campus when the 2nd quarter begins Oct. 12. Hawaii News Now.

Ethnicities of Public School Teachers and Students Don’t Match. Nearly 180,000 students attended Hawai‘i public schools in 2017-18. Almost 25% of those students were Native Hawaiians, the largest group. Filipinos and Whites were second and third at 22.5% and 18.7%, respectively. Hawaii Business magazine.


HI-EMA ships first round of free PPE to qualified local businesses. The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) is already shipping the first round of free personal protective equipment (PPE) to local businesses, but it is not too late to apply for the program. Orders will be accepted until Nov. 15, 2020. KHON2.

VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 30: 121 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. There are currently 140 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state, including 47 people in intensive care. The state’s intensive care beds are at 70% capacity. Civil Beat.


Over 1K Oahu residents sign up for free job training classes. The goal of the Oahu Back to Work is to provide 2,000 trainings for qualified applicants, who must be adults on Oahu whose employment was disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

What’s Stalling The Effort To Update Honolulu’s Parking Policies? Local developers are pushing back against an ambitious bill aimed to make Honolulu’s urban design more walkable. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Is Seeing A Boom In Military-Backed Mortgages. Changes to borrowing limits and a drop in housing prices are driving a big increase in home loans. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Beach parks reopen today. All beach parks on Hawaii Island reopen at 7 a.m. today following a nearly monthlong closure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. West Hawaii Today.

New Hawaiʻi Island COVID Rule: Beach Parks Reopen, Quarantine Clarified. Nightclubs and large venues must remain closed, and all persons must abide by face covering, physical distancing, and gathering requirements of no more than 10 persons. Big Island Video News.


Family sues over father’s death at Hilo veterans home. A wrongful death lawsuit against the operator of the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo has been filed by the sons of Chris Drayer, a decorated Vietnam War veteran who died after contracting COVID-19 in Hawaii’s largest coronavirus nursing home outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

Lawsuit filed against Avalon in vets home COVID-19 death. The family of a veteran who died from COVID-19 at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility’s management, Avalon Health Care Group. Tribune-Herald.

COVID cases double at Life Care Center. COVID-19 cases have doubled at Life Care Center of Hilo, and one resident has been hospitalized at Hilo Medical Center, where that person is undergoing a new coronavirus treatment protocol. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island Mayoral Race Pits Prosecutor Against Businessman. On Hawaii Island, what began as a crowded race among some 16 mayoral hopefuls is now a head-to-head battle to the finish line for local entrepreneur Ikaika Marzo and county prosecutor Mitch Roth. Hawaii Public Radio.


Why Is This New Super PAC Spending Big Bucks On Maui Council Races? Little is known about Hui O Maui Citizens For Change but the group is backing conservative-leaning members. Civil Beat.

Committee debates Olowalu workforce housing project. The County Council Affordable Housing Committee wrestled Tuesday with more than two dozen conditions proposed for a workforce and market-rate project with 59 lots on about 30 acres of West Maui land. Maui News.

Four Finalists Named in Search to Fill Maui Liquor Control Director Vacancy. The finalists are Peter Hanano, Thomas P. Higgins, Timothy R. Poindexter and Layne N. Silva. They will be interviewed at a special meeting of the Liquor Control Commission beginning at 9 a.m. Oct. 14, 2020. Maui Now.

‘Overwhelming’ Need Continues for 30 Emergency Food Distribution Sites in Maui County. Since mid-March, when the Covid-19 pandemic led to an abrupt shutdown of Maui’s tourism economy, emergency food distribution sites have sprung up at more than 30 locations around the island, and on Molokaʻi and Lanai. Maui Now.

Non-Hawaii residents to pay parking fee at Ahihi-Kinau. Starting on Oct. 1, out-of-state visitors to the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve on Maui will be charged a $5 parking fee. KHON2.


Kawakami asks Ige to approve post-travel program. Kauai County inched closer on Wednesday to a two-test system to detect COVID-19 infections once the state opens further to tourism on Oct. 15 as Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami formally asked the governor’s office to approve a program to require a second test after visitors arrive on the island. Garden Island.

Meet the candidates: Jade Wai‘ale‘ale Battad. Wai‘ale‘ale Battad is part Hawaiian, Portuguese, French and Irish, and is a proud alumna of Kapa‘a High School with three daughters: Tara, Tori and Tyli. Garden Island.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hawaii hotel revenues at record high, opinion: struggling GOP eats its young, Hee must report to prison, Kenoi trial scheduled for October, Honolulu nixes neighborhood board changes, Big Island land going to farm bureau, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hapuna Prince resort © 2016 All Hawaii News
April business showered Hawaii’s hotel industry with monthly records for revenue, average daily rate and revenue per available room. Star-Advertiser.

A federal judge denied Hawaii businessman Albert S.N. Hee’s request Monday for more time to turn himself in to begin serving his prison sentence for tax fraud. In 1995 the Hawaiian Homes Commission awarded Waimana a nonbid, exclusive license to provide telephone and telecommunications services on state Department of Hawaiian Homelands properties. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: There is nothing sadder than watching Hawaii’s struggling Republican Party sink lower and lower. Everyone wants a healthy two-party system. But it looks like that’s not going to happen here anytime soon. Civil Beat.

Seeking Third Term, Tulsi Gabbard Focuses On Defense, Foreign Policy. The Hawaii congresswoman continues to oppose “regime-change wars,” and pushes for better defense against North Korean missiles. Civil Beat.

When the filing deadline for Hawaii elections closed Tuesday, it turned out that Brian Schatz was facing 11 challengers in his re-election to the U.S. Senate. But many of the candidates are political also-rans who have lost previous races for a variety of seats or they are first-time contenders. And none currently holds office, let alone much of a campaign fund. Civil Beat.

In the months leading up to the December 2014 announcement that Hawaiian Electric Industries had reached a $4.3 billion merger deal with Florida-based NextEra Energy, Hawaii Gas officials said they were noticing an “unusual chilling” of the conversation they had been having with the state’s biggest electric utility about importing liquefied natural gas. Civil Beat.

As coral reefs disappear at a record pace in Hawaii and abroad, scientists and leaders from across the globe will meet on Oahu later this week to discuss potential solutions at what’s billed as the largest coral reef symposium ever. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian, Delta airlines lead in on-time arrivals; Spirit last. Associated Press.


The Honolulu Charter Commission voted to not advance a proposal that would have asked Oahu voters to consider scrapping neighborhood boards and redirecting a portion of funding to other efforts aiming to increase civic participation. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s fire chief picked up high marks in his third annual performance evaluation from the Honolulu Fire Commission last month, according to the Fire Department. Chief Manuel P. Neves was appointed by the Fire Commission in February 2013. The chief is evaluated annually. Star-Advertiser.

A 10-year-veteran of the Honolulu Police Department, who triggered a manhunt last week, was released from the hospital Friday and charged today with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. Star-Advertiser.

Court papers allege deaf and blind school principal tried to cover up sex assault scandal. Hawaii News Now.

Shirokiya opened the doors to its long-awaited, $35 million Japan Village Walk on Monday for a preview at Ala Moana Center. The 44,860-square-foot space housing 56 shops and 900 seats will open next week. Star-Advertiser.

Shirokiya Holdings Inc. will open its new Shirokiya Japan Village Walk retail and restaurant complex on the ground floor of the Ala Moana Center’s new Ewa wing on June 25. Pacific Business News.


Jury selection in the trial of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi will start the week of Oct. 10, a clerk for Honolulu Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario said Monday. Tribune-Herald.

The county is poised to lease 440 acres of improved grazing land for $1 a year to the Hamakua County Farm Bureau. West Hawaii Today.

A longtime marijuana activist facing criminal charges of selling marijuana for running a now-defunct medical marijuana collective is suing in an attempt to stop the opening of state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. Tribune-Herald.

Homeless man attacked; Incident unites Pahoa to help victim find justice. Tribune-Herald.


Hawaii Gas buys Maui property primed for development. Pacific Business News.

Get Out and Vote at the Queen Ka`ahumanu Center this Saturday, June 18. Register to vote, meet Maui County candidates and prepare yourself for the upcoming elections. MauiTime.

Pavement marking, sign installations and traffic signal improvements will cause alternating lane closures on Kaahumanu Avenue and Main Street this week, according to the state Department of Transportation. Maui News.


When the Kauai County Council meets Wednesday, it will discuss two resolutions which propose taking two pieces of legislation to the people, including a county manager form of government. Garden Island.

Three different county laws are going before the federal appeals court, including Kauai’s pesticide disclosure law, in a hearing that will decide how much authority Hawaii counties have within their own borders. Garden Island.

Organizers of a benefit concert to raise money for cancer treatment say police intimidated attendees by setting up a roadblock barricading the event and checking each car that passed through, ultimately affecting their ability to raise money. Associated Press.

Thomas Oi of Lihue filed his papers to be included on the ballot for the office of State Representative of District 15. Garden Island.

Kauai’s Kokee State Park is home to the Alaka‘i Wilderness Preserve. At an elevation of one mile, it’s the world’s highest rainforest swamp. Hawaii Public Radio.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

End of an era for Hawaii sugar as last mill to close, Hee sentenced to prison in telcom scam, Hana pier pau, Honolulu government salaries high, investment group to buy Island Air from Ellison, Hamakua Springs, Uncle Billy's shuttering, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Wendy Osher
Maui sugar mill, photo by Wendy Osher, Maui Now
The owner of the last sugar plantation in the state has decided to quit farming what was once Hawaii’s biggest crop in a move that will lead to layoffs for nearly all of the Maui farm’s 675 workers and mark the end of the long, sweet industry in the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s last sugar plantation will stop growing sugar cane this year, marking the end of an industry that strongly influenced Hawaii’s politics, economy and culture for more than a century. Civil Beat.

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. on Wednesday announced that it is “transitioning out of farming sugar” at its Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. plantation on Maui to move toward diversified agriculture and will lay off nearly all of its 675 employees there. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii’s last sugar plantation is getting out of the sugar-growing business, signaling the end of an industry that once powered the local economy and lured thousands of immigrants to the islands. Associated Press.

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. today announced that it is transitioning out of farming sugar and will instead pursue a diversified agricultural model for its 36,000-acre Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company plantation on Maui. Maui Now.

The last sugar plantation in the state, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co., will be phasing out of sugar by the end of the year and moving into a diversified agriculture model, parent company Alexander & Baldwin announced. Maui News.

Hawai‘i’s last sugar plantation is closing. Alexander and Baldwin announced Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company on Maui will stop producing sugar by the end of the year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Alexander & Baldwin will lay off hundreds of workers as it transitions away from farming sugar by the end of the year, it was announced Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

The year 2016 will mark the end of an era in Hawaii. After 180 years in the state, the sugar industry is shutting down. Hawaii's last remaining plantation is phasing out it's sugar operations this year. As the industry goes away, so does jobs. KITV4.

The sugar farming industry in Hawaii is coming to an end, with the last Hawaiian sugar plantation to shut down by the end of the year. Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company is transitioning out of farming sugar and will instead pursue a diversified agricultural model. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige said the state plans to put in place a rapid response team to help the 645 workers at Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. who will lose their jobs beginning in March. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii leaders react to the end of Hawaii's sugar era. Pacific Business News.

Albert Perez, executive director of the Maui Tomorrow Foundation, commented on today’s announcement that A&B is transitioning out of farming sugar and will instead pursue a diversified agricultural model for its 36,000-acre Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company plantation on Maui. Maui Now.

Generations of Maui families are feeling the body-blow of the reality that Hawaii’s last sugar plantation will close at year’s end, but not all are able to articulate those feelings. Star-Advertiser.

Those who have been waging a campaign to stop cane burning on Maui were practically euphoric Wednesday, following the announcement that sugar would be phasing out of production. Star-Advertiser.


The Hawaii Medical Association is making recommendations for Hawaii’s nascent medical marijuana dispensary system, saying it wants doctors to have a say in the process. Civil Beat.

Nuclear Victims: Will We Help Vets Who Cleaned Up After Atomic Blasts? Hawaii Congressman Mark Takai pushes to compensate military personnel exposed to radioactive soil and debris in the Marshall Islands. Civil Beat.

Following another round of lineup changes, Na‘i Aupuni announced Wednesday that 154 people will attend the February convention to discuss Native Hawaiian self-governance. Four delegates were added to the list after Na‘i Aupuni learned that delays and failures with computer systems caused candidates to miss the deadline to sign up for the convention, or aha. Star-Advertiser.

Na‘i Aupuni announced Wednesday that 154 individuals will participate in the February ‘aha to discuss self-governance. Garden Island.

Less than three years after he bought the struggling carrier, billionaire Larry Ellison is relinquishing control of Island Air to an investor group headed by Hawaii venture capitalist Jeffrey Au. Star-Advertiser.


The Hawaii Community Development Authority is facing a budget deficit because of $1.2 million in annual funding taken away after the state gave 30 acres of land in Honolulu to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in a deal meant to resolve a decades-long dispute. Pacific Business News.

Businessman Albert S.N. Hee was sentenced to 46 months in prison Wednesday for seven federal tax convictions, with Senior U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway describing Hee as a person who helped “tons of people,” but also engaged in a well-organized, long-term pattern of cheating on his taxes. Waimana Enterprises Inc. in 1995 won the exclusive license to provide telecommunications services to customers on Hawaiian home lands, and in 1996 partially assigned that authorization to Waimana subsidiary Sandwich Isles Inc. Star-Advertiser.

Businessman Albert Hee has been sentenced to 46 months in federal prison on charges that he took millions of dollars from his telecommunications company, Waimana Enterprises, to pay for personal expenses — including massages. Civil Beat.

Four Honolulu officials make more than $200,000 annually and another 110 earn more than $100,000. Civil Beat.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell appears to be on pace to hit his goal of upgrading aging restrooms and playgrounds at 40 Oahu parks and has even found the resources to install new play equipment to replace broken items at an additional dozen facilities. Star-Advertiser.

It will cost taxpayers $25 million to fix the ventilation fans in the H-3 tunnels. KHON2.

It's a dispute over a dump in Nanakuli. Some neighbors in that area are filthy mad about the landfill in their backyard, and now the company in charge of the trash site wants to make the landfill larger. KITV4.

Honolulu police are cracking down on the use of illegal fireworks after the police department received a record number of fireworks-related calls leading up to 2016. Associated Press.

Development plans for the former Aiea Sugar Mill site will be tweaked to comply with federal restrictions that came with the money used to buy the property, but community stakeholders and officials continue to move forward nearly 15 years after work began on a master plan. Star-Advertiser.

The median price of a single-family home on Oahu in 2015 reached a record $700,000, an increase of 4 percent from 2014, while the median price of a condominium for the year rose 3 percent, according to the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

It took nine years, but Oahu’s housing market finally hit a new hundred-grand level — $700,000 — for annual median prices of single-family houses. Star-Advertiser.


Road projects throughout the county suffered from a 2014 lava flow emergency that drew attention and resources eastward to Puna. The County Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to return more than $2 million in lapsed gas tax revenues to the projects where they were originally intended. West Hawaii Today.

The County Council helps those who help themselves. A group raising money to fight a dengue fever outbreak in the South Kona fishing village of Milolii discovered that Wednesday, when it was awarded $5,000 from South Kona/Kʻau Councilwoman Maile David’s contingency relief fund. West Hawaii Today.

Hamakua Springs Country Farms on the Big Island of Hawaii is shutting down, its owner announced on his blog late Wednesday afternoon. The 600-acre banana and hydroponic vegetable farm in Hilo was once known for its tomatoes, which it stopped producing about two years ago. Pacific Business News.

Saddle Road is set to lose some of its last sharp curves and dangerous disposition. Road and Highway Builders, an affiliate of Texas-based Sterling Construction Co., is the low bidder on a $57 million 6-mile stretch above Hilo, and work is set to start in the next few months, the company announced. West Hawaii Today.

Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel — a fixture on Banyan Drive for half a century — will close Feb. 1. Aaron Whiting, hotel manager and grandson of founder William J. Kimi Jr., said the family exhausted its options and more as it sought to keep the aging hotel running while facing the expiration of its state land leases. Tribune-Herald.


Based on feedback and input received from the Hana community, the Hawaii Department of Transportation will not proceed with the Hana Pier rehabilitation project. Instead, the pier will be removed completely. Hawaii News Now.

Don Medeiros was sworn in Wednesday morning as director of the county Department of Transportation. Maui News.

Hoapili Hale, the state 2nd Circuit Court building in Wailuku, was expected to reopen today after being closed at noon Tuesday because of a sewage water leak. Maui News.

Whale-watch tour operators and cetacean researchers and experts report that humpback whales returned to Hawaiian waters a couple of weeks later than in recent years but currently are quite plentiful and at normal numbers. Maui News.

Potential rules governing barking dogs on Kauai underwent major renovation Wednesday as the County’s Committee of the Whole took on their current barking dog bill. Garden Island.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Native Hawaiians call off election, Health Department publishes medical marijuana dispensary rules, state dinged in CDC dengue report, predawn Honolulu raid rousts homeless, Maui jail overcrowded, Kauai dairy at issue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaiian recognition hearings with U.S. Department of the Interior 2014 file photo ©2015 All Hawaii News
Facing the likelihood of a protracted legal fight, Na‘i Aupuni said Tuesday it will skip its contentious Native Hawaiian election and go directly to a four-week convention in February with all 196 candidates being offered seats as delegates. Star-Advertiser.

In a move designed to circumvent a pending federal court challenge to elections for a Native Hawaiian governance convention, leaders of the group organizing the vote announced Tuesday morning that the election has been terminated, but all 196 delegate candidates have been invited to be seated for the convention. Civil Beat.

An election for Native Hawaiians has been canceled, officials from Na'i Aupuni announced in a news conference Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

The status of two lawsuits involving the Nai Aupuni election voter pool is uncertain after the organization announced Tuesday it is canceling the election but proceeding with plans for a constitutional convention concerning the establishment of a Native Hawaiian government. Civil Beat.

The election process that would have sent delegates to a February constitutional convention intended as a step toward Native Hawaiian self-governance has been canceled in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision. Tribune-Herald.

The election of native Hawaiian delegates to a gathering on self-governance has been terminated, but the formal ‘aha will go forward. Na‘i Aupuni, the independent organization that was facilitating the election until a U.S. Supreme Court ruling froze the process, announced today that all candidates will be offered a seat in the convention as delegates. Big Island Video News.

Nā Makalehua and their supporters – a group of young Native Hawaiians who sought candidacy in the Na‘i Aupuni elections – announced that they will move forward to the convention and discussions of Hawaiian self-governance. Maui Now.

A unique election considered a major step toward self-governance for Native Hawaiians was terminated Tuesday because of litigation challenging the process that could take years to resolve. Associated Press.

An election to determine a way forward on self-governance for Native Hawaiians has been cancelled. Still leaders from the group Na’i Aupuni say they will go forward with a four-week long constitutional convention next year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Na'i Aupuni announced its decision Tuesday morning to terminate the ongoing Native Hawaiian election. The announcement comes after the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in early December that granted an injunction to block the counting of ballots. KITV4.

Opinion: Naʻi Aupuni's decision to allow all 196 candidates to participate in February's planned convention is an illegal attempt to circumvent the U.S. Supreme Court and proves that its purpose, all along, was to ensure federal recognition. Hawaii Independent.


The Hawaii Department of Health has posted the interim administrative rules for the medical marijuana dispensary licensing program on its website. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Department of Health published its interim administrative rules on Tuesday for the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary licensing program. Pacific Business News.

The state Department of Health on Tuesday released 63 pages of rules governing medical marijuana dispensaries, detailing the application process, security, quality control, auditing of records and operations for grow centers and dispensaries. West Hawaii Today.


A new analysis by commercial real estate firm CBRE finds that the emerging alternative accommodation industry in Hawaii may not have a significant impact on hotels, and might actually attract tourists that may have otherwise stayed away due to expensive lodging. Pacific Business News.

A state Senate leader and a key environmentalist are questioning why Hawaii wants to equip its conservation officers with additional firepower — specifically 20 semi-automatic rifles and 10 12-gauge shotguns. Civil Beat.

The state says there’s been some significant progress on the road to Hawai‘i’s clean energy objectives. The Hawai‘i State Energy Office released its Energy Resources Coordinator’s Annual Report for 2015. Hawaii Public Radio.

A Legislative Working Group is preparing its final report and recommendations to support thousands of family caregivers throughout the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Federal Judge Susan Oki Mollway delayed sentencing Honolulu telecommunications executive Albert Hee for a second time Tuesday, citing concerns about whether he would be able to get appropriate medical care for his food and environmental allergies in prison. Star-Advertiser.

Albert Hee's sentencing has been postponed again after he was convicted of tax fraud. This is the second time a judge delayed his sentencing over conerns he won't get the healthcare treatment that he needs in prison. Hawaii News Now.

Sixteen people have been killed by gunfire in Hawaii this year, mostly in the 2nd Congressional District representing rural Oahu and the outer islands. There were four gun deaths in the 1st Congressional District, which includes Honolulu and Kapolei. Civil Beat.

Apartment List recently analyzed Census data from 2007 through 2014 to show which cities and states have the most cost-burdened renters – meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent. Hawaii has the second-largest share of cost-burdened renters in the country, the report found. Civil Beat.


The state initiated a sweep well before daylight at Kewalo Basin Park on Tuesday, rousting the homeless from their encampments starting at 2 a.m. Star-Advertiser.

An attorney for the family of the man who was caught on video being pepper sprayed and hit multiple times with a baton by a police officer during an arrest plans to sue the city for police brutality. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Charter Commission provides a once-every-10-years opportunity to amend the City Charter, which spells out the basic structure of city government and the rights of its citizens, similar to what what the state and federal constitutions do for those levels of government. Civil Beat.

Hundreds of calls are flooding the Honolulu Police Department from people who are complaining about illegal fireworks. KHON2.

Retired St. Francis nuns will be allowed to remain at their Manoa convent, it was announced today. The Syracuse, N.Y.-based order that operates the convent had announced earlier this month it would close it and move 24 retired nuns to the Plaza, a senior assisted-living center in Pearl City. Star-Advertiser.

Protests Pay Off: Sisters Can Remain At Saint Francis Convent. A plan to move 24 aging nuns to an assisted living facility in Pearl City had spurred protests from the sisters themselves, as well as Saint Francis School students and faculty. Civil Beat.


In its first assessment of the Big Island’s dengue fever outbreak, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the public health response has been adequate, but it also noted concerns with mosquito control efforts and staffing levels at the state Department of Health. Tribune-Herald.

Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention completed a full interim assessment of the Hawai’i Department of Health’s response to the dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island, following his early visit to the state. Big Island Now.

Water wells on the thirsty west side of the island continue to have problems, but the county Department of Water Supply is trying to get malfunctioning wells up and running as soon as possible. West Hawaii Today.

Na Wai Ola Public Charter School in Mountain View is working to find funds to make its payroll after overextending itself in an expansion at the beginning of the year. Tribune-Herald.

The warden of Maui Community Correctional Center acknowledged Monday that continued overcrowding at Maui's largest jail is the biggest problem that the jail staff and state officials and lawmakers face. Maui News.

Ground was broken Thursday for the Kulamalu affordable rental project with completion targeted for early 2017. Maui News.

There apparently is an undisclosed prospective buyer for the Maui Mall, who is seeking to close the purchase by the end of the year, according to tenants at the Kahului shopping complex. Maui News.


The dairy proposed in Mahaulepu Valley was at the forefront of people’s minds at Gov. David Ige’s third Community Connection forum at the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center Tuesday night. Garden Island.

Hawaii’s police union plans to make due on its threat to halt the Kauai Police Department’s body camera program, which is set to launch next week. The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers believes it must sign off on the department’s policy regulating the technology before it can be used. Civil Beat.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. joined the  Green Government Challenge, an opportunity for county employees to share knowledge with each other about going green and sustainability. Garden Island.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Environmentalists seek tougher tuna rules, Maui mulls tax breaks for affordable housing, butterfly arrives in Hawaii, IRS probe shows Hee's political spending, charter changes coming to Honolulu, trial on Pohakuloa munitions cleanup, Supreme Court seeks lawyer rules on medical marijuana dispensaries, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii fish market © 2015 All Hawaii News
Environmentalists on Friday asked a federal judge to stop the National Marine Fisheries Service from allowing Hawaii-based fishermen to attribute some of the bigeye tuna they catch to U.S. territories. They argue the agency is enabling the fishermen to circumvent international agreements aimed at controlling the overfishing of a popular tuna species known as ahi. Associated Press.

Researchers from the University of Hawaii say they’ve identified a tiny newcomer to Hawaii that’s been settling across the islands with “remarkable” speed. The Sleepy Orange, a butterfly commonly found across the Americas — from the Southern United States all the way to Brazil — was first spotted on Oahu in 2013. It has since become common on Maui, and also spotted on Kauai, Molokai, Hawaii Island and even Kahoolawe. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Supreme Court is seeking public input on whether to amend its rules to allow attorneys to help clients who are applying for high-stakes licenses to run medical marijuana dispensaries. The court’s Disciplinary Board issued a formal opinion last month saying lawyers shouldn’t provide legal services to help establish or operate medical cannabis businesses because that would assist in committing a federal crime. Civil Beat.

The IRS investigation into Sandwich Isles Communications Inc. also exposed some eye-popping spending in a politically connected corner of Hawaii’s business community that benefited from hundreds of millions of dollars in federal subsidies and contributed generously to the campaigns and causes of many of the state’s leading politicians. Star-Advertiser.

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.


Hawaiian Electric Co. has given the green light to nearly 10,000 rooftop solar systems on Oahu this year, and still the rush of applicants outpaces what the utility can approve. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu residents have until Oct. 31 to submit proposals to the Honolulu Charter Commission for improving the city and county government. As of Friday only six proposals have been submitted, but the commission chair still anticipates that the ultimate response will be similar to 2005, when 180 proposals were made. Civil Beat.

Is the City Violating the Law in Destroying Homeless People’s Property? As the ACLU launches a legal battle against Honolulu’s sweeps of homeless encampments, it points to a case in Los Angeles in which that city’s sweeps were ruled unconstitutional. Civil Beat.


A lawsuit claiming the state breached its duties to protect public lands used for the Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area will go to trial this week. Filed by Big Island residents Clarence Ching and Mary Kahaulelio, the suit says the Department of Land and Natural Resources failed to ensure that munitions are cleaned up after military exercises as the Army’s existing 65-year lease for the lands between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa requires. Tribune-Herald.

Flooding that turned coffee fields into wastelands of rock this week has Kainaliu coffee farmers asking how the water can be managed in a way that doesn’t pit neighbor against neighbor. West Hawaii Today.

Only one Hawaii County Council seat will be open because of term limits next year, and two political neophytes are already planning to run for it. West Hawaii Today.


A Maui developer is seeking to create a largely rural residential subdivision near Lahaina on 271 acres of land zoned for agricultural use. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would provide a $75,000 property tax assessment exemption for landowners who rent to lower-income residents in the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development voucher program was introduced Thursday by Maui County Council Member Robert Carroll. Maui News.

After 2nd Circuit Court implements its upgraded security system for Hoapili Hale on Oct. 9, all courthouse visitors will go through a single screening location on the first floor before they can enter the building. Maui News.


A Navy-funded project landed five scientists on a research boat in the waters between Kauai and Niihau earlier this month in an effort to learn more about the effects of sonar on whales and dolphins. Garden Island.

A group of homeless people in Lihue have set up a semi-permanent tent city in the forested lot between Walmart and Wilcox Memorial Hospital. The owners of the lot are in the process of clearing it and have given the homeless people who live in tent city three weeks to vacate the premises. Garden Island.


After dangerous winds and huge swells led to the cancellation of a world-renowned canoe race, stranding competitors on Molokai, some say Hawaiian Airlines increased fares in the rush to fly off the island. About 750 paddlers were left looking for flights off the island Saturday when race officials called off Na Wahine O Ke Kai, which is sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines. Associated Press.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tropical disturbance threatens Hawaii, state Supreme Court overturns Waikiki hotel variance, Kaiser Permanente picked for Maui hospitals, Kakaako tech park advances, Sandwich Isles ousts Hee, Kauai to learn about coral bleaching, Kona timeshare project cleared, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Central Pacific Hurricane Center
2:02 a.m. Thursday Hawaii storm track, courtesy Central Pacific Hurricane Center
A developing weather system about 800 miles southeast of Hilo has a high chance of forming into a tropical cyclone in the next few days, according to forecasters. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s long-term care ombudsman is lobbying the federal government to take action that better protects the elderly from inadvertently signing away their right to sue a nursing home should a dispute arise during their stay there. Civil Beat.

President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders arrived in Hawaii on Tuesday for the first time on a mission to better understand issues facing the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. Star-Advertiser.

Sandwich Isles Communications Inc. is planning a corporate restructuring that will remove owner Al Hee from “any management responsibilities or involvement” with the company in the wake of Hee’s convictions this summer on federal tax charges, the Hawaiian Homes Commission was told Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.


The Hawaii Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned a city variance that was necessary for Kyo-ya to replace the existing eight-story Moana Surfrider Diamond Head Tower with a 26-story hotel and residential tower. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has ruled that the city shouldn’t have granted a variance to allow a 26-story hotel and residential tower to encroach on a Waikiki shoreline. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s highest court has overturned a city variance granted to Kyo-ya Hotels that would have allowed them to construct a new building along Waikiki Beach outside the developmental restrictions enacted for the Waikiki Special District. Hawaii Independent.

State officials heading a technology park in Kakaako published a draft environmental assessment Wednesday that estimates an initial $39 million phase of what is being called the “Innovation Block” could be completed by 2018, followed by two more perhaps equally costly phases in 2020. Star-Advertiser.

A technology park meant to boost tech industry jobs in the state could be coming to Honolulu as soon as 2020 under a plan being pushed by a state development agency. Hawaii News Now.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources  and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District are holding a public meeting on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 to present the Draft Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed Ala Wai Canal Project. KHON2.

Honolulu paid $167,500 to two hikers who said they were brutalized by officers, but its Police Department overruled a finding that excessive force was used. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii is moving ahead with plans to lease more than 150 acres of vacant land next to the UH-West Oahu campus for mixed-use development to help support the growing Kapolei university. Star-Advertiser.

Transit-oriented developments key in addressing Honolulu's housing crunch, state official says. Pacific Business News.

The City continues its sidewalk enforcement in Kaka’ako and has placed nearly one-third of the homeless individuals and families into emergency shelters. Hawaii Public Radio.

The 77-foot sunken fishing vessel Judy K — covered in mud, algae and barnacles — was floated Tuesday for the first time in eight months at Pier 16 thanks to the Army’s 7th Engineer Dive Detachment taking on the recovery as training. Star-Advertiser.


The alala hasn’t been seen in the wild for about 13 years, but an effort to prevent Hawaii Island’s native crow from going the way of the dodo could soon begin to pay off. According to a draft of the state’s revised Wildlife Action Plan, there are now 114 alala being raised in captivity — enough to begin reintroducing the birds to the island’s forests as early as next year. Tribune-Herald.

A planned condominium timeshare development mauka of Alii Drive has been downsized slightly to accommodate neighbors’ concerns about a family graveyard. West Hawaii Today.

The $60,000 that the IRONMAN World Championships pay to use the Kailua Pier for four days would be cut in half, under a request that the state Board of Land and Natural Resources will consider on Friday. West Hawaii Today.

County workers are piecing together a flood-damaged road shoulder on Kuakini Highway in Kailua-Kona — again. West Hawaii Today.

A Kailua-Kona man who punched a shark and saved a surfer friend has been awarded a Carnegie Medal for heroism. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui Region board of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation has selected Kaiser Permanente as a potential partner for Maui's three public hospitals. Maui News.

The state’s public hospital system has selected Kaiser Permanente to operate and manage three Maui county hospitals. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Health Systems Corp.’s Maui Regional System Board announced Wednesday that it has selected Kaiser Permanente to enter negotiations with the state and the Maui board to manage the three state-owned hospitals in Maui County. Pacific Business News.

Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui today raised concerns over the selection of Kaiser Permanente by the Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corporation’s Maui Regional System Board as its choice to operate its facilities under a planned partnership. Maui Now.

Maui resident Christopher Profio is asking the Maui Planning Commission to include sugar cane smoke as a factor when granting special management area use permits. Maui Now.

The Water Resources Committee on Wednesday recommended adoption of a resolution approving land purchase agreements for the expansion of the ʻĪao Water Treatment Facility and development of Wailuku Well 1, Committee Chair Gladys Baisa announced. Maui Now.

Short-term rental approved for Helen Hunt, denied for Fleetwood. Planning commission hears requests. Maui News.


Researchers reported a successful result from this week’s bait experiment to eliminate the rat population on Lehua Rock. Garden Island.

Bleachapalooza, a statewide effort to train Hawaii residents how to identify and report sightings of coral bleaching, is coming to Kauai. Garden Island.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Honolulu rail plan redo; lights, wind turbines killing island birds, state Health Department defies law, stops posting care home data; Navy vet can't raise flag; man arrested for marijuana dispensary; county drops drug-test requirements, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Environmental Protection Agency
EJScreen lets you zoom in on environment
A new online mapping tool has been developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to promote environmental justice. The tool, called EJScreen, provides detailed information about pollution, traffic congestion, toxic spills, air quality, sources of water pollution and other environmental hazards, and combines this with census data to identify areas where there are high levels of poverty or where certain ethnic groups are concentrated. Star-Advertiser.

Despite a state mandate, the Hawaii Department of Health has stopped posting online the inspection reports for nearly 1,700 adult care homes and several other types of long-term care facilities that it oversees. Civil Beat.

A state license awarded to businessman Albert Hee to provide telecommunications services on Hawaiian homelands requires that Hee apply some of his profits to job training and education programs for Native Hawaiians, but Hee now says his company has never actually paid out any benefits under that provision. Star-Advertiser.

American Airlines said over the weekend that an Airbus A321 aircraft that flew from Los Angeles to Honolulu on Aug. 31 had not been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration to make extended flights over the ocean to Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

We hear a lot about how much it costs to live in Hawaii.  But how much do people in the Islands make? Pacific Business News has a paycheck report. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lower gas prices mean big sales for big cars and one expert said these lower prices may stick around for a while. KHON2.


Honolulu rail officials have spent just over $100 million in final design plans to build the second half of the island’s 20-mile transit project, but they’re not certain how much of that work they’ll ultimately use. So it’s unclear for now how much of that money will be wasted. Star-Advertiser.

Wednesday marks one year since Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed Honolulu’s first sit-lie bill into law, banning people from sitting and lying on Waikiki sidewalks 24 hours a day. The new law quickly shifted the landscape in the government’s handling of homelessness. Star-Advertiser.

On Oahu, many families are homeless because they couldn’t pay the rent. Experts say rent subsidies are a cost-effective way to keep families off the streets. Civil Beat.

A lawsuit over tainted rail votes and a new ethics complaint against the Ho‘opili development point up how deeply the Honolulu City Council resides in the pocket of Hawaii’s building industry. Star-Advertiser.

Going green is costing Honolulu millions of dollars. Some say the city would save more money if residents tossed recyclables in the rubbish. KITV4.

A strict homeowner's association policy in Kapolei has one Navy couple crying foul. They've been cited and could be fined $100 if they don't take the flag pole they installed on their front porch. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii County will  no longer require a urinalysis or medical examination from people who get conditional job offers for positions that are not considered safety sensitive and do not fall under federal transportation safety regulations. Star-Advertiser.

A 58-year-old Mountain View man is facing 31 charges for allegedly operating an unlicensed medical marijuana dispensary out of his Fern Acres subdivision home. Tribune-Herald.

A community hall full of Ocean View residents were left without answers Friday evening as the developers of a massive commercial solar project failed to show for the meeting. West Hawaii Today.

SunEdison, owner of the Kaheawa Wind Projects I and II above Maalaea, is asking the state for permission to increase the number of Hawaiian hoary bats and nene that may be accidentally killed by its wind turbines. Maui News.

A failed merger between two Hawaii solar energy firms has led to the filing of dueling lawsuits, including the latest one that has Honolulu’s Solar Wave suing Maui’s Haleakala Solar for at least $500,000 for work done in a joint venture, according to the lawsuit filed in First Circuit Court in Honolulu. Pacific Business News.

The state is seeking reimbursement from the federal government for most of the $14.5 million it paid for 78.1 acres for a runway protection zone for Kahului Airport and has prepared a draft environmental assessment as part of that process. Maui News.

Hawaii regulators have ruled in favor of Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. Inc., giving the Honolulu-based firm a $327 million contract for work at Kahului Airport on Maui after the contract award had been protested by Honolulu’s Nan Inc. Pacific Business News.


More than 100 endangered seabirds recently required care after falling from the sky due to lighting issues at Kokee State Park. Garden Island.

The Department of Parks and Recreation plans to dig up and open an out-of-service cesspool that may be leaking bacteria into the water at Kapaa Beach Park. Garden Island.

About a dozen chickens turned up dead on the Hawaiian island of Kauai earlier this week, and the Aloha State is determined to figure out why. Civil Beat.

Protesters were back outside of Hanalei Elementary School Friday and the number of students present in the combined kindergarten and first grade class has dwindled, according to parents. Garden Island.