Showing posts with label Earthjustice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Earthjustice. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

House Speaker Saiki resurrects state property tax bill, groups sue DLNR over aquarium collectors, coronavirus hits Hawaii tourism, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News
School of fish in Hawaii ©2020 All Hawaii News
State agency has not protected reef fish, lawsuit says. Earthjustice filed suit Monday against a state agency it says is sidestepping the law when it comes to the regulation of tropical fish taken from Hawaii’s reefs for the commercial aquarium pet trade. Star-Advertiser.

DLNR draws lawsuit. The State’s Department of Land and Natural Resources is drawing a lawsuit from the environmental law firm Earthjustice, claiming the agency has created loopholes for the aquarium fishing industry to continue unregulated. Garden Island.

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Saiki Proposes Tax Funding Measure To Raise Teacher Pay. Under the House Speaker’s plan, voters could approve a constitutional amendment giving the Hawaii Board of Education power to increase property taxes. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers seek to add new property tax to fund teacher pay. The bill comes a little more than a year after the Hawaii Supreme Court struck down a similar ballot question less than three weeks before the 2018 general election. Pacific Business News.

Bill introduced to better pay Hawaii's teachers. Speaker of the House Scott Saiki introduced the bill that would allow the public to vote on whether or not the Board of Education should be able to raise property taxes to fund teacher salaries. KITV4.

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Bill: Don’t Let State Workers Access Online Porn. Government facilities that provide free WiFi would also require blocking filters. Civil Beat.

A bevy of marijuana bills: Full legalization, dispensary improvements among proposed measures. After 2019 brought several changes to marijuana management at both the state and county level, dozens of new marijuana-related bills have been proposed in 2020. Tribune-Herald.

OHA Submits Package of Proposed Bills. As part of its mandate to advocate for Native Hawaiians, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs submits a package of proposed bills to the Hawai`i State Legislature each year. Maui Now.

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Agencies scramble as trips to and from China are scrubbed amid the coronavirus outbreak. The outbreak of the 2019 coronavirus is hitting travelers between Hawaii and China as well as Hawaii companies that rely on their business. Star-Advertiser.

Report: Two-Thirds of Hawaii Residents Struggle Financially. Residents cope by working multiple jobs, living with relatives and tapping savings, a new study shows. Civil Beat.

Major Decrease In Hawaii’s Cost Of Living Unlikely, But A Little May Be Enough. According to Peter Fulekey, an economist with the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, the price of goods and services in Hawaii are 18.5 percent higher than the national average. Hawaii Public Radio.

Midwives prepare for licensing. Midwives in Hawaii are gearing up for new licensing requirements that will go into effect this summer. Tribune-Herald.

New suitor comes forward to buy Hawaiian Telcom’s parent company. An unsolicited potential acquirer has upped the ante for Hawaiian Telcom’s parent company, and investors are speculating that the offer may have fueled a bidding war. Star-Advertiser.

Bank of Hawaii posts 7.8% earnings increase and announces 4 new branches. Bank of Hawaii Corp. reported today that its net income rose 7.8% in the fourth quarter amid solid loan and deposit growth. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Kalama vigil tonight, Enriquez funeral Thursday. A candlelight vigil will be held tonight at Sandy Beach to honor the memory of Honolulu police officer Kaulike Kalama, whom friends and family have described as a “quiet hero,” whose calm presence made him the “rock” that others looked to as a source of strength. Star-Advertiser.

City considers creating a new utility (and fee) for tackling storm water. The city is considering a new utility ― and a fee for residents ― in order to better manage storm water runoff. Hawaii News Now.

Renewed calls for law enforcement on central O'ahu ag-land. Hawaii State Senator Donovan Dela Cruz (D) is calling for a security presence on state agricultural lands in Wahiawa. KITV4.

Kakaako tower facing extraordinary maintenance fee hike. Living in Kakaako was supposed to be pretty affordable for several hundred moderate-income Hawaii residents who bought into a condominium tower via lottery last year at Ward Village. Star-Advertiser.

Nearly one year after fatal Kakaako crash, new plans to improve safety at intersections. Tuesday, Jan. 28 will mark one year since the deadly Kakaako crash that injured six people and killed three pedestrians, local doctor, Travis Lau, Reino Ikeda from Japan and Casimir Pokorny from Pennsylvania. KHON2.

Major make-over for Ewa Beach park set to begin. Nightly closure signs have gone up at One'ula Beach Park, just the start of major multi-million dollars improvements. KITV4.

How These Makaha Neighbors Saved A County Park From Crime And Weeds. When police and social services agencies couldn’t help, this small band of neighbors took matters into their own hands. And it worked. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Construction ongoing: Kona prosecutor’s office delayed, completion now set for March. Hawaii County prosecutors will have to wait a couple more months before they can move into their new home at the West Hawaii Civic Center. West Hawaii Today.

Stinky problem points to need for sewer solution. A sewer system for Naalehu has been talked about for decades, but it can come none too soon, as a stinky problem last week demonstrated. West Hawaii Today.

County begins Alii Drive sinkhole repair work. Work is underway to repair damage to Alii Drive caused by a sinkhole that opened late last year fronting Coconut Grove Marketplace. West Hawaii Today.

Aliʻi Drive Sinkhole Repair Project Begins. The county says traffic on Ali‘i Drive fronting Coconut Grove Marketplace will be reduced to one lane during daylight hours as crews work to repair damage caused by sinkhole. Big Island Video News.

National Park Works To Reopen Popular Lava Tube. The unpaved Escape Road will close while repairs continue at Nāhuku, also known as Thurston Lava Tube, damaged during the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea. Big Island Video News.

Escape Road at HVNP to Close Temporarily. An unpaved emergency route between Highway 11 and the comfort station at Nahuku (Thurston Lava Tube) will be closed to the public starting Tuesday, Jan. 28 while repairs to a faulty electrical line are made. Big Island Now.

Maui

Kaiser Permanente No Longer Has Contract For Med-QUEST Coverage On Maui. Med-QUEST, the state’s health and medical coverage for low-income individuals, has awarded healthcare providers HMSA, United Healthcare, AlohaCare and Ohana Health Plan contracts that take effect in July. Hawaii Public Radio.

Stubbs Named Kihei Charter Head of School. Stubbs replaces former Head of School John Colson, who has been with the school for several years and will now serve as an educational consultant. Maui Now.

Fewer turtles found stranded in 2019 than in year previous. Fishing gear – mainly nets – continues to be the greatest cause of marine entanglements. Maui News.

Pro-life marchers take to the streets in Kahului. A sign-waving crowd of about 190 people makes its way along Puunene Avenue in Kahului Saturday morning while taking part in the annual Maui March for Life. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai United Way funding being considered. Nonprofit organizations that provide human services to the people of Kauai can now apply for Kauai United Way funding covering the period from July 2020 through June, 2021. Garden Island.

Small group rallies against abortion on Kauai. Garden Island.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

State, EPA agree on pesticide use, court approves Zuckerberg land sale, Katherine Kealoha's grandmother testifies, tourism industry opposes Honolulu tax, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Kauai taro fields ©2019 All Hawaii News
HDOA, EPA reach resolution about impact of chemicals. Tuesday, Earthjustice announced an informal resolution agreement between the two agencies, one that forces the state Department of Agriculture to start implementing restricted-use pesticide reporting, annual public disclosure of the reports, maps that indicate buffer zones around schools and public notice of the prohibition of chlorpyrifos use. Garden Island.

State, EPA reach agreement on how to implement law aimed at regulating pesticide use. The Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with the state Department of Agriculture on how to implement Act 45, which was signed by the governor last year. Hawaii News Now.

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To help solve Hawaii’s housing crisis, some leaders are looking to Singapore. An affordable housing delegation from Hawaii -- made up of lawmakers, state and city housing officials, developers, architects, entrepreneurs, and community advocates -- traveled to Singapore last month to learn how the island nation overcame a major housing crisis and now touts one of the highest home ownership rates in the world. Hawaii News Now.

Federal Fisheries Council Has A Long History Of Secrecy. Wespac has for years resisted releasing information, fighting public records requests, lawsuits and even congressional inquiries. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Katherine Kealoha’s grandmother gives tearful testimony. Florence M. Puana, a 99-year-old great-great-great-grandmother with an eighth-grade education, testified in a videotaped deposition aired Tuesday that she trusted her attorney/granddaughter, Katherine Kea­loha, to manage a reverse mortgage on Puana’s home only to discover that $23,976.69 of the money went to a lavish breakfast for then-Police Chief Louis Kealoha at the Sheraton Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

She Says She Was Betrayed By Her Granddaughter, Katherine Kealoha. Jurors watch the video testimony of Florence Puana, 99, in the public corruption trial of the Kealohas and three police officers. Civil Beat.

She said to trust her’: Kealoha’s 99-year-old grandma tells her story to jury. In an emotional, hours-long video deposition played for jurors Tuesday, Katherine Kealoha’s 99-year-old grandmother talked about how she trusted her granddaughter -- and how devastated she was to learn “she wasn’t the person I thought I knew.” Hawaii News Now.

KEALOHA TRIAL: Jurors watched video testimony of Florence Puana, Katherine Kealoha's grandmother. KHON2.

Katherine Kealoha's grandmother says that she 'didn't know' about a joint checking account. Florence Puana did not have a card, nor a checkbook for the bank account. KITV.

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Hawaii Tourism Industry Opposes Proposed Property Tax Increase, Say It's Paying For Rail. Members of the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association, opposing Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s proposal to raise real property taxes for hotels and resorts, say they're being made to bear the burden of the $9 billion rail system. Hawaii Public Radio.

Last ditch effort afoot to quash proposed property tax hike for hotels. Leaders from the hotel industry gathered on the lawn of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Tuesday in a last ditch bid to block an increase in their property taxes. Hawaii News Now.

Leaks detected in deck of Honolulu rail line. The concrete deck of the elevated Honolulu rail line has cracks in a “handful” of areas that have been allowing rain to leak into the hollow interior of the structure, according to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's homeless: Dying on the streets. For many homeless residents, death is just part of life on the streets. KITV.

Project To Help Homeless Imperiled By Major Donor’s Bankruptcy. A local philanthropic organization formed to reduce homelessness may never get on its feet following a recent bankruptcy case involving its first major donor, a one-time violent criminal turned entrepreneur. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Raises for firefighters. With more than 30 black-shirted firefighters crowding into council chambers and watching them closely, three County Council members switched their votes Tuesday to give unanimous support to their raises. West Hawaii Today.

State wants case involving cop closed off. Prosecutors are looking to have a felony drug case thrown out at the request of the police chief because a key witness is a sworn police officer under internal investigation. West Hawaii Today.

Disaster bill packed with aid for Big Island, including funds for HVNP, HVO, farmers and more. The long-delayed $19.1 billion disaster relief bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday contains some “sorely needed” funds for Hawaii Island and other parts of the state struggling to recover from natural disasters. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Carlos, Alexa PenaVega caught up in Maui’s vacation rental housing debate. Acting couple seeking short-term rental permit for Kihei home. Maui News.

A popular Maui beach is the subject of a turf war between paddlers, businesses. A county council committee considered a measure that would ban commercial activities at Lahaina’s Hanakao’o Beach Park, otherwise known as Canoe Beach. Hawaii News Now.

New invasive caterpillar threatens rare native plants on Maui. State officials are warning of a new, invasive insect destructive to mamaki plants – the Ramie caterpillar — which has been detected on Maui. Star-Advertiser.

Construction down on Maui since rental car facility finished. Most still employed but no more large jobs in pipeline. Maui News.

Kauai

Land auction involving Facebook CEO gets court’s OK. A retired University of Hawaii professor Tuesday bid nearly $2.2 million to wrest 2 acres of land on Kauai from a few hundred family members in a forced court auction initiated partly by Facebook’s billionaire CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Star-Advertiser.

Andrade buys all four kuleana. Carlos Andrade, a retired history professor and partial heir to several small land parcels on Mark Zuckerberg’s North Shore estate, outbid a group of his distant relatives during a court hearing on Tuesday, purchasing all four of the contested lots for just over $2 million. Garden Island.

Former Las Vegas Captain Adapts To New World As Kauai Police Chief. Todd Raybuck commanded one of nine patrol divisions packed into a single city. Civil Beat.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Public hearings set for harbor fee hikes, Ige named to defense council, another subpoena for Honolulu rail authority, pay increases planned for Maui mayor and council, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ala Wai harbor ©2019 All Hawaii News
People who use any of Hawaii’s small boat harbors, offshore moorings, landings or wharfs will have a chance to comment on new proposed fees and rules at a series of five public hearings to be held around the state in early March. KHON2.

White House Picks Hawaii Governor Ige For Council. Governor David Ige has been appointed co-chair of the Council of Governors, a defense-related body consisting of five Democrats and five Republicans. Big Island Video News.

A yearlong operation to crack down on the diversion of pharmaceutical drugs in California, Nevada and Hawaii has resulted in 41 doctors having their licenses or U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration registrations to prescribe controlled substances taken away and the seizure of $3.1 million. Five  of the 41 licenses or registrations taken away were from Hawaii medical professionals. The Hawaii operation also resulted in the execution of five search warrants and seven arrests. Star-Advertiser.

Seven arrested, five search warrants served in year-long federal drug operation. US Attorney for Hawaii Kenji Price warns the public that while the federal operation may officially be ending, his office will still be vigilantly prosecuting medical workers who break the law. KITV.

Legislation to negotiate for the acquisition of the Federal Detention Center is moving rapidly through the Legislature, but the idea still faces big obstacles. Civil Beat.

US Supreme Court Ruling Boosts Hawaii Effort To Limit Property Forfeiture. Hawaii’s policy for seizing property has long been criticized because it can affect people who are only suspected in crimes, sometimes not even charged. Civil Beat.

Hawaii attorney Isaac Moriwake was recently named the new managing attorney for Earthjustice’s Mid-Pacific office in Honolulu, succeeding Paul Achitoff, who recently retired. Maui Now.

Hawaii ocean cargo transportation firm Matson Inc. increased its revenue last year but earned less profit because of a huge tax benefit the year before. Matson on Thursday reported earning $109 million last year on $2.2 billion of revenue. That compared with a $232 million profit on $2 billion of revenue a year earlier. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has been served with a new grand jury subpoena seeking information about payments made to tenants and property owners who were relocated to make way for the $9.2 billion Honolulu rail project. Star-Advertiser.

Feds Are Investigating HART’s Relocation Payments. The criminal probe widens as the Honolulu rail agency is served with its second subpoena, this time seeking records concerning payments to property owners along the rail route. Civil Beat.

HART Second Federal Subpoena Covers Relocation Move. A federal investigator is expected to visit Honolulu next month as part of a developing grand jury probe into the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, the agency charged with building the city's rail project. Hawaii Public Radio.

Another HART subpoena, targeting overpayments to move out of rail's way. HART has received a second subpoena, this time from the federal Department of Transportation OIG, collecting documents for a grand jury looking into relocation payments and real estate acquisition management, for people and companies that had to move out of rail's right of way. KHON2.

'Hold on to your pocketbooks!' says city council chair after second subpoena to HART. The head of the city council says this second subpoena further erodes public confidence on the rail project and could cost taxpayers even more money. KHON2.

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Embattled city prosecutor was denied access to officer-involved shooting scene. Embattled city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro was denied his usual crime scene access in Mililani on Wednesday night after HPD officers shot and killed a 26-year old man. Hawaii News Now.

Katherine Kealoha Says She’s Mentally Unfit To Stand Trial But The Judge Disagrees. Newly unsealed court records show how the former city prosecutor and her attorney tried to have her declared mentally incompetent. Civil Beat.

Some 400 potential jurors will be called for first of 3 trials against the Kealohas. A federal judge on Thursday rejected Louis and Katherine Kealoha’s effort to have fraud, conspiracy and obstruction charges against them thrown out. Hawaii News Now.

Two Honolulu Police Shootings In Less Than A Day, One Of Them Fatal. The fatal shooting involved a man who attempted to ram an officer with his truck in Mililani, police said. Hours later, officers shot a suspect in Waikele. Civil Beat.

The closure of Pali Highway due to multiple landslides is affecting foot traffic for some Kailua businesses, but mostly it’s an inconvenience for those who live and work in the area. Star-Advertiser.

A Virginia-class attack submarine, one of the most valuable Navy warships in the era of “great power” competition with China and Russia, served as a platform for the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force’s change of command Thursday at Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hilo landfill closer to closure. The state Department of Health is seeking public comment on a draft permit for closure of the Hilo landfill. Tribune-Herald.

Sometime in 2019, the South Hilo Sanitary Landfill will close. And that will only be the beginning, says the Hawaii County Environmental Management director. Big Island Video News.

The County Council passed Bill 12 on final reading on February 20, appropriating $170,355 in private donations into a 2018 lava disaster relief account, earmarked for specific projects in Puna. Big Island Video News.

Opportunity Zones: A federal program designed to boost investment in low-income communities could unlock a windfall for businesses in some of the nation’s poorest regions, but without much oversight written into the law, it’ll take those communities’ residents, stakeholders and policymakers working together and with investors to make it work. West Hawaii Today.

A preliminary map released this week by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the thickness of lava flows from Kilauea volcano’s most recent eruption. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Pay hikes for mayor, council on agenda. The county Salary Commission will be meeting at 8:30 a.m. Friday to discuss possible salary adjustments for the mayor and County Council. Maui News.

The Maui Salary Commission plans to discuss and take possible action on salary increases for Maui County Council members and the Mayor during a special meeting set for 8:30 a.m. Friday in the Mayor’s Conference Room. Maui Now.

After once being proposed as a “megamall” in north Kihei and undergoing many revisions thereafter, the embattled Piilani Promenade project may revert back to its original form — as a commercial and light industrial subdivision. Maui News.

Kauai

Managing mangrove. Makaloa is now growing in a wetland behind the pavilion at Niumalu Beach Park, a slender reed that’s traditionally been used for basket- and mat-weaving. Garden Island.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Feds: Kealoha sent secret supportive texts to suspect she was prosecuting, Legislature advances vacation rental tax, deadly force bill dies, environmental group sues Maui over street lights, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

pool photo
Katherine Kealoha
Feds release Katherine Kealoha’s secret texts. Former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha sent secret messages of support to a defendant in a drug-dealing case Kealoha was prosecuting, according to documents released Wednesday by federal prosecutors. Star-Advertiser.

In court filings Wednesday, federal prosecutors offered new details into the investigation into Katherine Kealoha’s alleged misconduct as a deputy city prosecutor ― along with the role that city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro allegedly played. Hawaii News Now.

Kealoha And Her Brother Are Free Pending Trial On Drug Charges. The former city prosecutor and Dr. Rudolph Puana are accused of running an illegal opioid racket out of his medical clinic. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii pain doctor and his former prosecutor sister were released on bond Wednesday while awaiting trial on charges they dealt opioids. Dr. Rudolph Puana and his sister, former Honolulu deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, stood side-by-side as they pleaded not guilty to a 54-count indictment alleging she used her position to cover up their crimes. Associated Press.

Former deputy city Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her brother, a Big Island physician, pleaded not guilty to dozens of drug charges in federal court on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha was back in court today. This time with her brother facing dozens of drug charges. Both plead not guilty to the allegations. KHON2.

The attorney for Rudolph Puana, a Big Island doctor and brother of former Honolulu Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, said he's ready to go to trial. The siblings pleaded not guilty Wednesday to dozens of drug charges in federal court. They're both out on bail awaiting trial. KITV.

Prosecutors: Elect them, or appoint them? Honolulu's top prosecutor has been elected since 1980. Before that it was a position appointed by the mayor, which became a lightning rod for accusations of corruption at worst -- and cronyism, at a minimum. KHON2.

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Vacation-rental tax bill advances at Legislature. A state proposal is back to allow vacation-rental hosting platforms like Airbnb, VRBO and Home­Away to collect tens of millions of dollars in state taxes generated by transient accommodations while making it illegal for them to do business with any rental operators who are breaking county laws. Star-Advertiser.

State Lawmakers killed a bill Wednesday that would have given residents more rights to defend themselves and their families from attackers by using deadly force within their own homes. KITV.

Legislature’s New Approach: Inspect Budgets In Bite-Sized Chunks. Dozens of programs and offices are getting closer scrutiny under a new House process that’s less reliant on the Finance Committee. Civil Beat.

A bill addressing Climate Change preparing Hawaii for rising sea-levels passed through a pair of Senate committees Wednesday. The measure would prevent development along shorelines projected to be impacted, and to reduce the amount of people potentially affected by future coastal hazards. KITV.

At the State Capitol, Senators are fast tracking a proposal that would give housing vouchers of $500 per month to more than 1,300 teachers who work in the state's hardest-to-staff schools. KITV.

Former state lawmaker was influential feminist, advocate for Native Hawaiians. Former state lawmaker Jackie Young, an influential feminist in Hawaii, died on Sunday. Hawaii News Now.

The chief executive of Southwest Airlines says the Dallas-based carrier is considering adding nonstop flights between Las Vegas and Hawaii. Associated Press.

Oahu

The House Committee on Transportation passed House Bill 327 that would allow the use of Oahu’s zipper lane for single occupant vehicles, for a price. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bill would abolish bus fare program for low income. The bill would also increase single-ride fares to $3 from $2.75, day passes to $6 from $5.50, monthly passes for seniors to $8 from $6 and annual passes to $45 from $35 and single TheHandi-Van fares to $2.25 from $2. Star-Advertiser.

Official charged in money laundering free on bond. Master Halbert is one of at least two FSM officials accused of assisting Frank James Lyon, co-owner of civil engineering firm Lyon Associates Inc., in securing contracts worth $7.8 million for FSM government projects in exchange for bribes. Star-Advertiser.

Developer’s plan for pricey farm lots, equestrian operations in Mokuleia moves forward. A developer has taken major steps toward turning a controversial North Shore project into reality. The plan would split up historic Dillingham Ranch and sell pricey farm lots to buyers who could build homes on the agricultural land. Hawaii News Now.

State Looks To End The Battle Over Kakaako’s Disputed Roads. A new move by the attorney general could resolve the longstanding question of who owns the pothole-plagued roads. Civil Beat.

The state is urging current and former students of Argosy University-Hawaii to obtain their academic and financial records from the school as soon as possible in case it shuts down suddenly. Star-Advertiser.

State officials on Wednesday issued an urgent message to Argosy University students in Hawaii, advising them to get their affairs in order ahead of the potential closure of the campus. Hawaii News Now.

State Urges Argosy Hawaii Students to Take Necessary Steps to Continue their Education. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Mauna Kea draft rules don’t limit Hawaiian culture, university says. The university is now asking for public comment on the latest revision of the draft rules. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii has released revisions to its proposed administrative rules for the Maunakea Science Reserve. Tribune-Herald.

Construction of a permanent Federal Inspection Station to allow for continued international arrivals beyond 2021 at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole remains on track for completion ahead of deadline. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island microalgae producer Cyanotech Corp. boosted sales in its fiscal third quarter to a record but failed to achieve a profit because of higher costs. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Health confirmed two new cases of rat lungworm disease, both of which were contracted on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County is being sued by two Hawaii environmental protection groups over the installation of LED street lights. Represented by the non-profit Earthjustice, the suit alleges the County of Maui Department of Public Works failed to perform mandated review of potential harm to wildlife. Hawaii News Now.

Hearing Friday on bat deaths at wind farm. A hearing on Auwahi Wind Farm’s plans to increase the limit on incidental deaths of the endangered Hawaiian hoary bats in its turbines from 21 to 140 through 2032 will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at Kula Elementary School. Maui News.

The Department of Parks and Recreation is in the process of securing a contractor to complete repairs to the boilers that service the 50-meter pool and training pool at the Kihei Aquatic Center. Maui Now.

Despite rumors circulating about its closing, Charley’s Restaurant and Saloon, a 50-year-old landmark for food and entertainment on Maui, will remain open for the time being, a restaurant official said Tuesday. Maui News.

Kauai

The county is suing the owners of a vacation home in Wailua for allegedly using the property as a transient vacation rental in violation of county zoning ordinances. Garden Island.

An excavator operator working at a Kauai recycling plant was treated for severe burns last year after accidentally triggering a massive blast that was caught on camera — and authorities believe they know who will be held accountable for the explosion. Hawaii News Now.

County of Kauai officials on Wednesday, in partnership with Lihue Safeway and Intellectual Technology Inc., launched the island’s first self-service kiosk for motor vehicle registrations. KHON2.

In about the time it takes to write a check, amass the necessary documents, place everything in an envelope, and seal it, the new registration documents and emblems could be ready — using the county Department of Finance Motor Vehicle Registration section kiosk at the Safeway store in the Hokulei Village. Garden Island.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Green energy money may go to schools, donated swim gear stolen from soldiers, Waikiki fireworks revived, 47 want to be Honolulu zookeeper, grant award questioned, Maui reconsiders liquor law, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii beach scene © 2017 All Hawaii News
Wondering if your favorite beach is safe for a swim? You’ll know a lot sooner now that the state is implementing new public notification procedures that require signs posted as soon as test results show the water quality does not reach safety standards. West Hawaii Today.

The state might pull one-third of the money from its stagnant $150 million green energy loan program to help lower electrical bills at Hawaii’s public schools. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers this year approved a grant worth hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to a privately owned Hawaii island well-drilling company through a process usually used to fund nonprofit social service organizations, and some lawmakers are wondering why. Star-Advertiser.

Governor to explore possibility of special session for rail. KHON2.

VIDEO: Officials Testify On Hawaii Missile Defeat Programs. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii had the eighth-fastest growing solar market in the United States in the first quarter of 2017, adding 76.4 megawatts of solar capacity between January and March, according to a new report. Pacific Business News.

XLR8UH, the University of Hawaii’s accelerator program, was named one of the nation's best startup accelerators of 2017. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The latest report card shows that homeless people placed into market-rate apartments through the city’s Housing First program continue to do better than their counterparts on the street — and are far less likely to use drugs and alcohol, get arrested or rely on hospital emergency rooms. Star-Advertiser.

Demand for farm land is so great in Hawaii, Aloun Farms is trying to speed up its sale of acres in Central Oahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Sorry State Of Many Honolulu Parks. Millions of dollars have been spent on Oahu parks in the past decade, but some have fared better than others. Civil Beat.

Members of the state Land Use Commission last month threw the question of keeping open Oahu’s only public landfill back to the Honolulu Planning Commission to clear up technical errors, but not before criticizing city officials for foot-dragging. Star-Advertiser.

The city received applications from 47 people hoping to be the next director of the Honolulu Zoo, but only 10 were deemed qualified, city Human Resources Director Carolee Kubo said Friday. Star-Advertiser.

The city is moving forward on plans to shore up a portion of the crumbling sea wall that protects Kapiolani Park between the Queen’s Surf groin and the Waikiki Aquarium. Star-Advertiser.

Twenty-five years of weekly fireworks in Waikiki almost came to an indefinite end Friday after a disagreement over how much money the show’s organizer should pay for impeding public use of the beach fronting Hilton Hawaiian Village during the event. Star-Advertiser.

Kaimuki High School is the latest-starting public school in Hawaii, and according to a preliminary study, students there think the later morning bell may make for better health and academic performance. Civil Beat.

Supporters of LGBT rights gathered at the state capitol on Sunday for the Honolulu Equality March for Unity and Pride. Hawaii News Now.

Survey Of Homeless Kids To Include Sexual Orientation Information. A national survey found 40 percent of homeless youths identify as LGBTQ. Service providers will soon have data for Oahu. Civil Beat.

After a man allegedly damaged glass doors at Iolani Palace late May, appraisers said the price tag of the doors is $375,000. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Members of a nonprofit group were disheartened over the theft of swim gear donated to soldiers, training on the Big Island, for their rest and relaxation. West Hawaii Today.

Two Hilo colleges are divided over stone altars, or ahu, with inverted Hawaii flags constructed on campuses by students. Associated Press.

Hilo colleges are taking different approaches to two on-campus ahu — or stone altars — which a student group claims it constructed to bring attention to “124 years of genocide continuing on the Hawaiian community.” Tribune-Herald.

Entries for a lottery that will determine the waiting list order for two local affordable housing projects are being accepted online through June 14. The lottery is scheduled for June 20. West Hawaii Today.

The days of Pagoda Hilo Bay Hotel — formerly known as Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel — are coming to an end. Tribune-Herald.

A Hawaii island lava tour boat operator was fined $15,000 Friday for three violations of state boating rules. Star-Advertiser.

Though the enthusiasm and passion for getting involved in Hawaii’s young hemp industry was on display during Saturday’s conference, many in attendance also expressed concern about potential stumbling blocks in the path. Tribune-Herald.

Doctors at the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu have begun making virtual rounds to treat the most critical intensive care patients on Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

Graham Ellis, who made headlines this week after he was picked up by the Department of Homeland Security and subsequently given 45 days to depart the country voluntarily, will leave a few loose ends on Hawaii Island when he returns to England on July 20. West Hawaii Today.

Turtle monitoring efforts ramp up: Nesting season is a busy time for researchers. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Maui Liquor Commission will meet on July 12 for a public hearing to consider proposed changes to the existing rules that were implemented in February. Maui Now.

Simply put, there isn’t enough federal and state money to pay for all of Maui County’s highway maintenance and expansion needs — now projected to cost $3.1 billion through 2035, members of the Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization heard last week. Maui News.

Maui Police Department Chief Tivoli Faaumu has received high marks in all categories in his annual review and evaluation by the Maui Police Commission. Maui News.

Chemical farming’s impacts on Maui’s environment and the public will be the topic of discussion at a gathering at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Paia Community Center. Maui News.

Median prices for single-family houses and condominiums on Maui increased by double-digit percentages in May as low inventory prompted buyers to snap up properties at a rapid pace. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

The Kauai County Council is expected to discuss several requests from the county to apply for grants for services at its meeting Wednesday beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Historic County Building. Garden Island.

The environmental law group Earthjustice is asking for better survey methods for finding marine mammals in target areas for military weapons testing around Kauai. Garden Island.

After almost 20 years since legalization, medical marijuana patients on Kauai may be able to purchase state-approved cannibas by October. Garden Island.

County cemeteries are filling up. KHHA president is seeking additional land for Kekaha Hawaiian Cemetery. Garden Island.

Waioli Corporation gets $550,000 to build interactive park featuring Hawaii locomotives. Garden Island.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Racial bias claimed in civil rights complaint over pesticides, attorneys say Kenoi had more important things to do than repay pCard, Kim builds Cabinet, congressional delegation vows to help fishermen, Maui mayor signs emergency proclamation for flood relief, Kauai seeks transportation money, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hilo, Hawaii 2015
Spraying pesticides in Hilo waterway, 2015 file photo
A complaint filed Wednesday charges the state Department of Agriculture and the state Agribusiness Development Corp. with discrimination by allowing pesticides to drift into neighborhoods that are largely Native Hawaiian. Star-Advertiser.

Two Hawaii community groups have filed a civil-rights complaint against the state Department of Agriculture and Agribusiness Development Corporation for not doing enough to protect Native Hawaiians from pesticides sprayed on fields near schools, hospitals and homes. Civil Beat.

Environmental lawyers are asking federal agencies to investigate pesticide dust drifting into Native Hawaiian communities in West Kauai and Molokai. Earthjustice said Wednesday it filed a complaint with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Associated Press.

A Civil Rights violation complaint has been filed against Hawaii Department of Agriculture and Agribusiness Development Corporation on Wednesday for leasing land near Native Hawaiian communities to heavy pesticide users. Garden Island.

State and federal agencies supporting agriculture partnered with vegetable seed developer Monsanto on Wednesday to encourage small Hawaii farmers to produce more local produce. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard each said Wednesday that they were “disturbed” by the conditions that Hawaii’s longline fishing fleet is subjecting its predominantly foreign workforce. Civil Beat.

Members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation said Wednesday that they are looking at ways to improve the safety and working conditions of hundreds of foreign workers that crew Hawaii fishing vessels following an Associated Press investigation that found instances of human trafficking, wages as low as 70 cents per hour and unsanitary boat conditions. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s three-person congressional delegation expressed outrage on Wednesday following an Associated Press report on alleged labor abuses and human rights violations endured by crew members on some Hawaii fishing fleets. Pacific Business News.

Fishing industry pushes back following questions about labor practices. Hawaii News Now.

The Military Tries To Sell Itself As Positive Environmental Force. The U.S. Army, Navy and Marines made a pitch to conservationists from around the world that they share the same goals. Not everyone is buying it. Civil Beat.

Speaking of his own experience after his son Beau’s death, Vice President Joe Biden consoled the family of the late Rep. Mark Takai on Wednesday, telling them to “hang on to each other” to make it through the rough days. Associated Press.

Oahu

A $4.2 million settlement has been reached in a medical malpractice lawsuit by the family of a 32-year-old Nanakuli man who went to the emergency room with a sore throat and died. Star-Advertiser.

Heavy rains prompted the state Department of Health to issue a brown water advisory for Oahu. Associated Press.

Every year, tens of thousands of Hawaii schoolchildren get a free flu shot at their school. But this year, many of them may end up going to a doctor's office for the vaccination instead. The shots usually happen in the fall, but have been delayed until January because of the Hepatitis A outbreak on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

Attorneys defending Mayor Billy Kenoi on theft and other charges said in a legal document “the big picture, big thinking mayor had bigger things to do than think about monthly reimbursements” of personal charges made with his county-issued credit card. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor-elect Harry Kim is bringing back some old hands and adding new blood to county government as he puts his Cabinet together. West Hawaii Today.

The Umauma Bridge rehabilitation project is now scheduled to finish in March — about a year later than initially expected. Tribune-Herald.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is calling for an “immediate review” of the care that the Department of Veterans Affairs provided to a 68-year-old Vietnam combat veteran who died of lung cancer Saturday on Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

It was teamwork that led Jason Foxworthy to being honored as the Officer of the Year. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Mayor Alan Arakawa signed an emergency proclamation today following torrential flooding through ʻĪao Valley that knocked out a waterline, flooded several homes with mud and debris and destroyed a significant portion of the County’s Kepaniwai Park parking lot area. Maui Now.

The Mayor's Office has rescheduled an East Maui fiscal 2018 budget meeting from Tuesday evening to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at Helene Hall in Hana, according to an announcement. Maui News.

The Maui Planning Commission supported two council-proposed bills Tuesday, one designed to strengthen enforcement on illegal short-term rentals, and another aimed at deterring buyers from turning affordable homes into short-term rentals. Maui News.

Maui County Council hopefuls Alika Atay and Dain Kane distinguished themselves as "very different" candidates Monday night, as they tackled multiple issues during a public forum in their home district. Maui News.

Kauai

From taxing car rental companies and charging port fees on cruise ships to simply making cuts in the budget, Kauai County councilmembers bounced ideas off each other in an effort to get the projects off the ground. Garden Island.

It will definitely be darker on Pacific Missile Range Facility beginning tonight as the base begins its “Dark Skies” program. PMRF will be turning off all non-essential lighting on the base and modifying night time operations to help protect rare Hawaiian seabirds and prevent “shearwater fallout.” Garden Island.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hawaii Health Department sued over lack of elderly home inspection reports, cool schools bids come in lower, Kauai water quality lawsuit filed, campaign money follows incumbents, bottled volcanic water comes right from the tap, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii Health Systems Corp.
Leahi Hospital, courtesy Hawaii Health Systems Corp.
The state’s failure to post inspection reports of state-licensed care facilities online has prompted advocates for the elderly to go to court to force the state to comply with the law. Civil Beat.

A senior citizens advocacy organization is suing the Hawaii Department of Health for failing to post inspection reports online for care homes that serve seniors and the disabled. Star-Advertiser.

Construction bids for the state’s “cool schools” initiative have started to trend lower since the Department of Education announced last month that an initial round of proposals came in significantly over budget. Star-Advertiser.

American fishermen are digging in for a fight over a proposal to shut down the vestiges of the U.S. harvest of shark fins, prized for soup and traditional medicine in Asia, and send a message to the rest of the world. Associated Press.

Why It’s So Hard To Find A Fresh Voice In Hawaii Politics. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has an easy route to re-election. Oh, there are candidates who’d love to unseat him. They just struggle to get noticed. Civil Beat.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono isn’t up for election until 2018, but she continues to add more cash to her campaign coffers. Hirono raised $111,352 from April 1 to June 30, according the latest reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Civil Beat.

It’s interesting that U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard thinks she needs more money, as she raised more than $420,000 in the April-June period and reported nearly $1.9 million in cash on hand. Civil Beat.

Oahu

A Board of Water Supply crew is patching a water main break in a sinkhole on Punaluu Valley Road that has left residents without water and a road on which to exit their neighborhood by vehicle. Star-Advertiser.

Darby scooted off to the north a weaker storm Monday, but not before pounding Oahu with enough rain Sunday night to stop freeway traffic, knock out power, spill sewage and trigger some serious flooding. Star-Advertiser.

Feds Finalize $175 Million Plan To Protect Waikiki From Flooding. Tropical Storm Darby was a reminder that a much bigger 100-year flood could devastate Honolulu’s economic engine. Civil Beat.

Honolulu not building enough housing for its population, report says. Pacific Business News.

For the first time since state Rep. John Mizuno originally ran for the Legislature 10 years ago, he faces a Democratic primary opponent in the race for House District 28, which encompasses Kalihi Valley, Kamehameha Heights and part of Kalihi. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Rod Tam Crosses The Aisle To Try To Come Back. Talking with Rod Tam about his guilty plea, his nights in jail and why he’s running for the state Senate as a Republican. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

County water is source of premium brand. The California Department of Public Health is investigating a complaint about Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water involving “issues such as labeling and source water requirements associated with Waiakea.” Tribune-Herald.

No one on the Big Island has been issued a concealed carry license and that is unlikely to change any time soon in the wake of a recent Ninth Circuit Court ruling, attorneys say. West Hawaii Today.

The lava flow from Kilauea’s Pu‘u ‘O‘o vent crossed the Kalapana emergency route Monday afternoon as it approached the coastline. Tribune-Herald.

An active lava flow from Kilauea Volcano’s Puu Oo vent was less than a quarter-mile from the ocean as of Monday morning, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Star-Advertiser.

The 61g lava flow has crossed the coastal emergency road that connects the Chain of Craters Road in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to Kalapana. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Plans call for opening a new burial site at the Maui Veterans Cemetery by mid-September, which would add much-needed space for deceased veterans and their spouses, state and county officials said last week. Maui News.

A public hearing on the revised draft Honua'ula Habitat Conservation Plan will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the J. Walter Cameron Center in Wailuku. Maui News.

Five blacktip reef shark pups have recently became a part of the marine life at Maui Ocean Center. Maui Now.

Kauai

The nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice filed a lawsuit Monday against Hawaii’s Agribusiness Development Corporation alleging it allows pesticides and chemicals to flow unchecked through Kauai’s Mana Plain and into waterways. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Department of Health and Agribusiness Development Corporation are both facing a lawsuit for allegedly polluting Kauai’s Westside waters. Garden Island.

A draft environmental assessment on a proposed residential treatment facility for adolescents on Kauai battling substance abuse is now available for public review. Star-Advertiser.

A draft environmental assessment is being prepared for the repair or replacement of the Kapaa Stream Bridge, on Kuhio Highway near mile marker 10. Garden Island.

Patricia Wistinghausen said the first day representing Kauai as a delegate in the Democratic National Convention was “crazy and crowded.” Garden Island.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Earthjustice to join Hawaii County GMO battle, House committees mull right to farm, home rule, pesticides bills, lobbyists fined for not filing, House to probe Rep. Calvin Say residency, bill would ban e-cigs, betel nut products at state beaches and parks, retailers prepare for West Coast shipping strikes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii County GMO rally © 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii County won’t have to go it alone in its fight to regulate genetically modified crops on the island. The County Council, by a 6-3 vote late Wednesday, agreed to allow attorneys from national advocacy groups Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety to assist in the county’s defense of a lawsuit filed by Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association and other agriculture and biotechnology groups. West Hawaii Today.

A Hawaii House committee that deals with agriculture will take up bills that tackle pesticides and farming practices. One proposal states that counties should not be able to pass laws or regulations that restrict a farmer's rights. Associated Press.

The Hawaii House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection is holding a hearing Thursday morning on a bill that would block large agricultural companies from spraying pesticides near schools. Civil Beat.

The developer-funded Land Use Research Foundation and its executive director, David Arakawa, have agreed to each pay a $2,000 fine to settle charges for failing to register as lobbyists with the state Ethics Commission. Star-Advertiser.

High-level state employees have agreed to pay thousands of dollars in fines to settle allegations by the Hawaii Ethics Commission that for years they accepted free rounds of golf from top private firms who had business before the state. Civil Beat.

State health officials want the Legislature to bail them out for not meeting a statutorily required deadline to start posting inspection reports for adult care homes online beginning Jan. 1. And Gov. David Ige is looking to help accommodate them, despite saying on the campaign trail last year that he would ensure the deadline was met. Civil Beat.

A proposal to create a new inspector general's office that would have the authority to investigate administrative agencies for complaints alleging fraud, waste, abuse or corruption got a cool reception from officials of several state agencies during a state Senate committee hearing Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Employees wouldn't have to give bosses the passwords to their social media accounts under a bill in the state Legislature. Associated Press.

State lawmakers are trying to make voting easier to improve record low voter turnout rates in Hawai’i. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Medical Service Association, which in August stopped selling small-business insurance on the Hawaii Health Connector, is opposing a bill that would force it to reverse that decision. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers want to make the state’s largest health insurer resume selling plans on the troubled state-run health insurance exchange after it withdrew citing technical problems. A bill calling for the move was introduced after Hawaii Medical Services Association, also known as HMSA, stopped selling plans on the employer side of the exchange. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s consumer advocate, Jeff Ono, has recommended that the Public Utilities Commission reject a petition by renewable energy groups to delay reviewing the sale of Hawaiian Electric Co. to Florida-based NextEra Energy until the commission resolves pending cases related to the electric utilities’ long-term energy plans and future business model. Civil Beat.

Bill proposes state-wide ban on tobacco in state parks. Would include electronic smoking devices and betel nut products as well. Hawaii Independent.

A proposal to enlarge the Hawaii Board of Education from nine to 11 members took at step forward Wednesday by gaining the approval of the Senate Education Committee. Civil Beat.

Matson Inc., one of the largest ocean shippers of goods to Hawaii, said Wednesday that cargo will continue to flow into the state, despite a labor contract dispute between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Pacific Business News.

Costco and other retailers in Hawaii are stocking up in preparation for a potential cargo shipment lockout that could happen within a week due to a labor dispute on the West Coast. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii is ranked sixth in the nation for sustainable building design. That's according to the U.S. Green Building Council's annual ranking of top 10 states released Wednesday. Illinois ranked No. 1. Associated Press.

Taxpayers cover costly tab of Washington Place compound. KHON2.

Millionaires aren’t what they used to be, especially not in Hawaii. People who don’t pay attention to real estate markets might not know it, but the days of the million-dollar mansion in the islands are long gone. Today that kind of cash would barely buy this 1,100-square-foot eight-decade-old home in Manoa. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s top epidemiologist says the state is prepared to do “whatever is necessary” to protect the public from non-vaccinated residents who might contract measles. West Hawaii Today.

Opinion: Ige’s Department of Land and Natural Development? Governor Ige's latest DLNR leadership move is a serious blow to advocates for resource protection and the ethical and legal use of water and a boon for development interests. Hawaii Independent.

Opinion: The Hawaiians — Building a Nation and the Road Ahead. The time has come to begin answering the difficult questions about what comes next. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Calvin Say
In what's believed to be an unprecedented move for the state Legislature, House leaders have decided to formally investigate whether to strip one of their own of his seat based on residency issues. House Majority leaders announced Wednesday that they've formed a special committee to consider the latest challenge over whether Rep. Calvin Say (D, Palolo-St. Louis Heights-Kaimuki) actually lives in the House district that he's represented since 1976, and thus whether he's qualified to represent it. Star-Advertiser.

A group of six state House lawmakers will be investigating whether Rep. Calvin Say actually lives in the Palolo district he’s been elected to represent for decades. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii House of Representatives is taking up a challenge that questions whether a member is eligible to serve. House Speaker Joseph Souki on Wednesday appointed a committee to consider the challenge. It was brought by six Palolo voters who say the former Speaker Rep. Calvin Say doesn't live in the district he represents. Associated Press.

The Hawaii House of Representatives is taking up a challenge that questions whether Calvin Say,  one of its longest serving members is eligible to continue holding his seat. KITV4.

The city is considering dressed-up shipping containers as a way to provide affordable housing on Oahu. At a news conference held Wednesday on Honolulu Hale's lawn, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he wants to work with Faith Action for Community Equity Hawaii, or FACE, and the City Council to find ways to address the housing crisis. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's fourth -- and biggest -- Whole Foods store is slated to break ground later this year on the bottom two floors of a 38-story condominium tower in Kakaako after a state agency approved the estimated $390 million project Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Exclusive, shocking allegations against Honolulu Police Department Officer. Hawaii News Now.

The defense in a civil trial against the Honolulu police chief's wife started its case Wednesday by trying to cast doubt on the credibility of the uncle suing her. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Traffic safety concerns, reduced property values and a lack of water — those concerns are topping the list for Puuanahulu residents who oppose a U.S. Forest Service proposal to locate a science and education center in their community. West Hawaii Today.

Lava rock left by the June 27 lava flow is being cleared from the Pahoa solid waste transfer station this week as Hawaii County prepares for the facility’s reopening March 1. Lava poured through the transfer station’s fence last November and pooled on a driveway used by garbage trucks along its perimeter before stalling. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Despite being one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana 15 years ago, Hawaii's laws regulating how patients can access the drug are still significantly flawed, a state Health Department official said Tuesday. Maui News.

Target will be opening the doors to its first Maui store - one of 15 the retailer will open across the nation this year - in the Puunene Shopping Center in Kahului at 8 a.m. March 4. Maui News.

Kauai

Residents and visitors looking to frolic in clean water should, in general, head for the ocean and steer clear of river mouths. Garden Island.

The Eastside is rocking and rolling with renewed vigor and life, and many are giving credit to the Royal Coconut Coast Association. Garden Island.

A house built from a shipping container was dedicated Saturday at the Kauai Community College in recognition of the student project “Hoouluwehi: Sustainable Living Institute on Kauai,” which is designed to provide students with experience in constructing sustainable housing. Garden Island.