Showing posts with label Edward Snowden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edward Snowden. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Ige budget gets cool reception in Legislature, down-sized Pacific fleet worries China-watchers, Snowden attorney to teach University of Hawaii class, 2,600 complaints about fireworks, Honolulu police revive gambling probe, lava lake explosions at Kilauea, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kilauea eruption Saturday, photo courtesy of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Gov. David Ige’s proposed budget for next year got a frosty reception Monday from some leading state lawmakers who say they are worried about both how much the governor proposes to spend and about some upcoming expenses Ige didn’t include in his spending plan. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Finance Director Wes Machida sidestepped a host of questions from members of the House and Senate money committees Monday, but assured lawmakers that he will provide more details about the overall state spending plan in the coming weeks. Civil Beat.

US Pacific Fleet shrinks even as China grows more aggressive. Questions about whether the Pacific Fleet has enough resources are more of a reflection of regional anxieties than the Navy’s actual capability, said its commander, Adm. Scott Swift. Even if the entire fleet was in the South China Sea, he said, he’d still get asked whether the U.S. was bringing more forces. Associated Press.

Hawaii bankruptcies plunged in 2015 for the fifth year in a row, according to data released Monday from U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Hawaii. The 1,569 cases last year were down 7.8 percent from 1,702 in 2014 and were the lowest since 1,381 cases were filed in 2007. Star-Advertiser.

NextEra Energy Inc., the company looking to buy Hawaiian Electric Industries for $4.3 billion, is assisting HEI on the utility’s renewable-energy plan at no charge, which has raised concern among at least two groups involved in the sale’s review. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii chapter of the Better Business Bureau revoked 130 companies’ membership this year for owing thousands of dollars in membership fees to the BBB. Pacific Business News.

Federal wildlife officials reopened a public comment period for a draft environmental impact statement regarding the eradication of mongooses and rodents in Hawaii’s native ecosystems and wildlife refuges. Associated Press.


The public, apparently fed up with illegal fireworks activity, made 2,600 complaints to police in December, said Honolulu Police Department Assistant Chief Alan Bluemke. Star-Advertiser.

A man arrested after National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration volunteers called police to report he was harassing a Hawaiian monk seal at a Nanakuli beach has filed an excessive force lawsuit. Associated Press.

A man who was pepper-sprayed, beaten and arrested by a Honolulu police officer in 2014 after chanting on a beach next to an endangered monk seal filed an excessive use of force lawsuit in federal court last week. Civil Beat.

Ben Wizner, a national ACLU attorney and head lawyer for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, will co-teach a seminar at the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law this month. Pacific Business News.

Four years after a major gaming rooms case was dismissed, the Honolulu prosecutor's office appears ready to try again. Hawaii News Now.

Why Are Online Classes, Degrees Hard To Get At The University Of Hawaii? UH Manoa offers two fully online degree programs, a stark contrast to the 16 programs offered on average at comparable institutions. Civil Beat.

The late Don Ho is alive and well — “Tiny Bubbles” and all — at the University of Hawaii-West Oahu. The university’s ʻUluʻulu Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi recently acquired the complete collection of the entertainer’s films, videos and personal memorabilia from the Donald Tai Loy Ho Trust. Star-Advertiser.


After nearly 12 years in office, state Sen. Josh Green has built a massive campaign war chest of more than $500,000 — money he is considering using for a run for either governor or lieutenant governor in 2018. Tribune-Herald.

Rockfalls into the lava lake at Kilauea on Hawaii island triggered small explosions at the summit early Monday morning and Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

The public is invited to learn about the eruptive events of Kilauea Volcano during a presentation by a USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist later this week. Tribune-Herald.

A historical area of land on the Southern Coast of Hawai‘i Island will be protected from development. Hawaii Public Radio.

One of two people taken into custody by police in what was dubbed “Freedom Ride 2016” told a judge Monday he was “the only living being in this courtroom, a child of creation.” Tribune-Herald.

Road and Highway Builders LLC, an affiliate of the Texas based Sterling Construction Co., was the lowest bidder for the $61 million contract to reconstruct the Saddle Road on Hawaii's Big Island, the parent company said. Pacific Business News.

The state Department of Transportation will decide this week whether to move forward with improvements to Hana's 90-year-old pier, a project fiercely opposed by Hana residents who fear the arrival of commercial activity and high costs. Maui News.


January is National Mentoring Month. A proclamation was issued by Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Garden Island.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tulsi reveals future husband, failed preschool ballot measure resurrected as Senate bill, Kauai tour boat strikes humpback whale, Edward Snowden speech a hit, religious groups at national parks, Honolulu stables in uproar, 3 in running for Maui House seat, more government and politics news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii hotel pool party © 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii's hotel industry finished 2014 with a new total hotel revenue record of $5.4 billion. The statewide hotel industry had the nation's second-highest average daily room rate. While Hawaii's 2014 occupancy rate only grew 0.05 percent year-over-year to 77 percent, it ranked fifth best in the nation behind New York, San Francisco/ San Mateo, Los Angeles/ Long Beach and the Miami/Hia­leah markets. Star-Advertiser.

Tulsi Gabbard has broken her silence on who she will be tying the knot with. The 33-year-old congress woman will marry 26-year-old Abraham Williams. Williams is a cinematographer and has known Gabbard since before they started dating in April. Hawaii News Now.

Things to watch at state Legislature this week. Associated Press.

Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower on the run, spoke at ACLU Hawaii’s First Amendment Conference live Saturday, via a video link from Moscow, Russia. Civil Beat.

Lisa Wong was impressed Saturday by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, who appeared live in Hawaii via a video link from Moscow. Wong was among some 800 attendees at the sold-out Davis Levin First Amendment Conference at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Star-Advertiser.

A bill to establish a statewide pre-kindergarten program -- a program that failed on the ballot in 2014 -- passed through the Senate Committee on Education on Friday afternoon. Senate Bill 844 would set up a $33 million program to establish pre-K offerings at public and charter schools that would be administered by the Executive Office on Early Learning. Civil Beat.

Researchers at a biotech company co-founded by a medical student from Hawaii have taken human fetal kidneys that would have been discarded and transplanted them into rats, where they thrived. Their ultimate goal is to grow such organs in animals and make them available to children and adults who need lifesaving transplants but can't get them because of the shortage of donated organs. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would that would waive college tuition for high school students in dual credit programs was approved by the Senate Committee on Education on Friday afternoon. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Senate has hired Jill Kuramoto to be its new communications director. Kuramoto, who replaces Thelma Dreyer, starts the job Feb. 23. Civil Beat.

Is Carleton Ching the Man to Protect Hawaii’s Public Lands? Important issues are ahead for the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and some of them are likely to involve the company that currently employs the nominee to head the agency. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Medical Service Association, Blue Zones LLC, and Healthways, Inc. selected three Hawaii communities on the Big Island and Oahu as the state's first Blue Zones project demonstration communities. Pacific Business News.


The statewide board of doctors in charge of reviewing driver's license applications for disabled and elderly drivers has been unable to fill four of its five seats, preventing more than 100 would-be drivers on Oahu from getting their licenses for the last six months. Star-Advertiser.

Where does state Rep. Calvin Say actually live? It’s a question that’s been debated for years, both informally among concerned citizens and formally before judges and county boards in Honolulu. Now there’s a new effort underway — believed to be the first of its kind in Hawaii — to settle the matter. Civil Beat.

New pact will guide use of city stables. A horse enthusiast who runs a concession fears for the future of the equestrian center. Star-Advertiser.


A Jehovah’s Witness group is taking its message to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, leaving at least one regular park-goer dissatisfied with park policy. West Hawaii Today.

A number of smaller film projects continue to take advantage of Hawaii Island’s world-class vistas and renowned hospitality. A total of 68 productions received Hawaii County film permits and reported $8.7 million in expenditures here in 2014, according to Hawaii County Film Commissioner Ilihia Gionson. Tribune-Herald.

Cindy Evans, D-North Kona, Kohala, has introduced a bill that would appropriate $200,000 for lifeguarding services at the increasingly popular and often dangerous North Kona beach. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island lawmakers are hopeful a renewed push to establish medical marijuana dispensaries will clear the hurdles this time around. West Hawaii Today.

Isle coffee farmers raising tiny bugs to attack pesky coffee borer beetle. West Hawaii Today.

The state’s largest health insurer announced the start of a new effort Friday to improve the health of East and North Hawaii residents. Tribune-Herald.

The Maui County Democratic Party’s Council Nominating Committee today narrowed the list of candidates for the vacant District 13 House seat to three finalists today. The finalists include Lori Buchanan of Molokaʻi, Lynn DeCoite of Molokai, and Lucienne De Naie of Huelo on Maui. Maui Now.

Three candidates touted their experience in infrastructure, farming and community work as they were nominated Saturday to replace District 13 state Rep. Mele Carroll. Maui News.

Babes Against Biotech is urging Maui Democrats not to select a local farmer for Mele Carroll’s vacant seat in the Hawaii House of Representatives. The anti-GMO group posted on its Facebook page Friday a plea to the party’s District 13 selection committee tasked with selecting three candidates to replace Carroll, who resigned Feb. 1 for health reasons. Civil Beat.

Lack of permits and licenses could mean the end for Loiloa. Maui News.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday accepted and approved a hearing officer's report that recommended withdrawing several parcels of land from state forest reserves on Maui, including nearly 400 acres owned by Hana Ranch. Maui News.

Hui O Na Wai Eha members staged a rally Friday afternoon at the Wailuku Stream Bridge to protest what the group's vice president said has been a failure to comply with or to enforce last year's mediated settlement to return diverted water to the stream. Maui News.

The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui has completed a three-year, $70 million renovation project to create a "luxurious vacation experience for guests" of the 22-acre Wailea resort. Maui News.


Major changes including a new visitor center could be on the horizon for the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. On Thursday, the refuge released its Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan which details its vision for the area and potential management priorities for the next 15 years. Garden Island.

A boat struck an adult humpback whale Thursday morning along Kauai’s South Shore while heading out on a snorkeling tour. Garden Island.

Five new positions in the Kauai Fire Department’s Ocean Safety Bureau allowed for several promotions within the department. Garden Island.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sex trafficking targeted in Hawaii Legislature, Japan prime minister may visit Pearl Harbor, Snowden plans live video at ACLU conference, GMO faces legislative stalemate, UH seeks $75M more, geothermal plant fined for hiding emissions, commission nixes Molokai affordable housing plan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Pearl Harbor © 2015 All Hawaii News
The government of Japan sought to tamp down a report by one of its major newspapers that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering visiting Pearl Harbor in the spring, 70 years after the war in the Pacific waged by Japan against Allied forces drew to a close. Star-Advertiser.

People who benefit from the illegal sex trade are expected to be the target of new laws this legislative session, including a measure that would get tough on those who solicit prostitutes. Civil Beat.

Hawaii: sex trafficking hub of the Pacific. Prostitution is a major industry in Hawaii, but with no sex trafficking laws on the books, the victims involved in the industry have no protection and no easy way out. Hawaii Independent.

Lawmakers blasted the University of Hawaii for lax oversight of the struggling Cancer Center, which officials have cautioned will run out of money in two years, in a wide-ranging budget hearing Thursday at the state Capitol. Star-Advertiser.

For some universities, even some the size of University of Hawaii, licensing revenue generates anywhere from millions of dollars to more than $100 million a year. By comparison, nine University of Hawaii patents were issued last year, generating royalty revenue of about $145,000. Pacific Business News.

The University of Hawai’i presented its two-year budget request, asking for a $75M hike, to a joint legislative finance committee today. Hawaii Public Radio.

Health Department Flaunts Law Calling for Online Access to Care Home Reports. Hawaii's program remains far from implementation despite an 18-month lead time to meet the Jan. 1 deadline to make inspection reports available online. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange, Hawaii Health Connector, has been under fire for being the most costly in the nation, and a new report from the Hawaii Commerce and Consumer Affairs Department shows the Connector won’t be fiscally sustainable until 2022. Hawaii Reporter.

The strong positions that Senate Agriculture Chairman Russell Ruderman and House Agriculture Chairman Clift Tsuji have taken on each side of GMO laws almost guarantee a stalemate on issues such as state preemption of county farming regulations, counties’ home-rule rights and just about anything dealing with GMO limits or labeling when the state Legislature convenes for its regular session Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii lawmakers will soon be getting an update about how utilities are dealing with solar connectivity issues. The briefing will be held at the state Capitol on Tuesday. Associated Press.

Bills in the Legislature would make it easier for tourist crime victims to testify. KHON2.

Officials representing the state’s four counties say they will come together to push for five separate bills when the state Legislature convenes next week. Garden Island.

Sam Slom, the Senate’s lone Republican, and minority staff have unveiled their priorities for the 2015 legislative session, which convenes Jan. 21. Civil Beat.

The U.S. government is considering extending to Native Hawaiians the same type of tribal recognition that many American Indian tribes have had for generations, potentially giving special status to more than 200 programs and securing lots of federal money, including nearly $14 million for health care, $32 million for education and $10 million for housing. The issue has reawakened distrust between moderates who generally support the idea and absolutists who want to see the kingdom rebuilt, even if it means chasing an all-but-unattainable goal — dissolving the state of Hawaii. Associated Press.

Edward Snowden, who publicized documents revealing U.S. government surveillance on a massive scale, will appear live via video link from Moscow at a forum in Honolulu on Feb. 14. Star-Advertiser.

Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower on the run, will be speaking at ACLU Hawaii’s First Amendment Conference live via a video link from Moscow, Russia next month. Civil Beat.

The nonprofit raising money for President Barack Obama’s future library has picked up the pace of its fundraising, with up to $4.4 million rolling in during the final months of 2014, records released Thursday show. Associated Press.

The flu season has hit Hawaii suddenly with hospitals reporting a surge in patients. Star-Advertiser.


Rental fees and other revenues collected at the Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park should go directly into a dedicated fund that would pay for improvements, the popular complex's advocates say. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Police Department hiring new dispatchers to take 911 calls. Star-Advertiser.

A study that was just released points out a list of problems with the Makaha's drainage system. One of those is the Makaha stream. When it's not kept clean, it gets clogged and the backed up water overflows into the community. KITV4.


The Hawaii Department of Health on Thursday fined Puna Geothermal Venture $23,700 for violations related to the release of poisonous gas amid Tropical Storm Iselle in August. Associated Press.

The state Department of Health has fined the Puna Geothermal Venture in Pohoiki on the Big Island $23,700 for emission and notification violations related to the release of hydrogen sulfide during Tropical Storm Iselle in August. Star-Advertiser.

With only days to go before the 2015 legislative session, three of West Hawaii’s state lawmakers discussed how they plan to champion West Hawaii priorities and those benefiting the island in general. West Hawaii Today.

Firefighters were battling two brush fires Thursday near Pahoa sparked by lava that had burned a combined 350 acres by the evening. The lava flow sparked both blazes, which were aided by strong winds and dry conditions. Tribune-Herald.


Recognizing that its customers have been "enduring a high bill environment," Maui Electric Co. is forgoing the opportunity to seek an increase in base rates this year, meaning no change to those rates "at this time," according to a Dec. 30 filing with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Maui News.


Kauai's scenic beauty as a popular backdrop among Hollywood producers is fueling a move to build a creative technology hub for filmmakers as well as the community. Star-Advertiser.

The County of Kauai is moving forward with plans to allow Kauai beekeepers to have their hives tested for the presence of pesticides and other threats, including the varroa mite and small hive beetle. Garden Island.


The Molokai Planning Commission voted against a community plan amendment and zoning change Wednesday that would have allowed a 16-unit affordable housing project in Kaunakakai to move forward. Maui News.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Re-election likely for Hawaii Gov. Abercrombie, Honolulu councilman signs off on $1.2M loan from campaign contributor, GMO bills die in state Legislature, $27M makeover for Ellison resort, Murdoch to take Dole private, Snowden fallout continues, Maui undecided on Gene Simmons' bar, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Abercrombie work =success
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie file photo
Hawaii governors live and die by the health of our economy, and its robust condition ahead of the 2014 election is the main reason Gov. Neil Abercrombie is flying high despite low approval ratings throughout his first term. Star-Advertiser.

The trial of a federal agent charged with killing a man inside a Waikiki McDonald's should be moved to U.S. District Court because publicity about racial issues and animosity toward the federal government could hinder a fair trial in state court, his attorney argued Tuesday. Associated Press.

The whistleblower who brought the NSA and PRISM into Americans’ living rooms is without a job. Almost as a postscript to the dramatic story, Booz Allen Hamilton, the federal contractor that employed 29-year-old Edward Snowden in the Hawaii office of the National Security Agency, announced Tuesday that the company had fired the former CIA technical assistant. Hawaii Reporter.

The father of the girlfriend of Edward Snowden described the leaker of national secrets as a shy and reserved man with convictions, but said today he’s “still shocked” by the news about him. Associated Press.

A blog authored by Edward Snowden’s girlfriend provides potential answers to several questions about the NSA leaker’s time working for the agency in Hawaii. The blog, which has since been deleted, also indicates Snowden may have enjoyed a final visit with his family before seeking refuge in Hong Kong last month. Talking Points.

A defense contractor accused of giving military secrets to a Chinese girlfriend half his age has moved to a Hawaii halfway house while he awaits trial, according to court records and his attorney. Associated Press.

The former CIA employee who leaked top-secret information about U.S. surveillance programs said in a new interview in Hong Kong on Wednesday that he is not attempting to hide from justice here but hopes to use the city as a base to reveal wrongdoing. Associated Press.

It’s been 35 years since voters amended the state constitution to say our public officials should have “the highest standards of ethical conduct,” and requiring the state and counties to establish codes of ethics. This seems like plenty long enough to work out the kinks in the law and get used to how it works. Civil Beat.

The state is reviewing the criteria that is used to evaluate care homes after the Legislature passing a bill this past session requiring the Department of Health to post the inspection reports online as of 2015. The bill, if Gov. Neil Abercrombie signs it or allows it to become law, says the reports must be fair to the care homes and to the public that depends on them. Civil Beat.

During the last session of the state Legislature, critics of genetically engineered food made a push to set labeling requirements for grocery shelves. Over a half dozen bills to label transgenic food, mostly focusing on imported items, were introduced. None of the bills made it through, partly due to concerns that they may be found unconstitutional. Tribune-Herald.

The effort to get the Akaka Bill passed has started again. Today Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz delivered a speech on the Senate floor for Native Hawaiians. Hawaii News Now.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard joined with 35 other Democratic freshmen to express reservations about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (TPP FTA) negotiations and the prospect of delegating Fast Track “trade promotion authority” to the President. Hawaii Independent.

Jeff Mikulina, CEO of Honolulu-based Blue Planet Foundation, and Mark Glick, the head of Hawaii’s state energy office, have been invited to attend President Bill Clinton’s third annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting. Civil Beat.

State roundup for June 12. Associated Press.


Honolulu City Council Chairman Ernie Martin said he signed off on two documents tied to cancellation of $1.2 million in loans to the nonprofit Opportunities and Resources Inc., whose leader contributed $4,200 to his political campaign committee. Martin said he does not believe there was a conflict of interest because he was not involved in the decision to forgive those loans. Star-Advertiser.

Federal records released Tuesday show Honolulu City Council chair Ernie Martin received more than $4,000 in campaign contributions from the president of an organization that had been given millions of dollars in grant money by the city department he ran. Civil Beat.

Honolulu has been ranked as the most expensive city in the U.S. to visit, according to TripAdvisor's TripIndex Cities 2013. KITV4.

Faustino Somera is among about 15 former Ewa Plantation workers and their spouses who were promised by plantation bosses, and later the city, that they could stay in their Varona Village homes until they died. But in the nearly two decades since the promises were made, little else has been done to maintain what many call the place that time forgot, or to make sure the homes there are available to former sugar workers as planned. Star-Advertiser.

The Ewa Plantation Cemetery spreads out over eleven acres. There are about 500 grave sites on the property, but the grass is so tall in spots it swallows grave markers. Hawaii News Now.

Sgt. 1st Class Maurice Smith, an Army journalist stationed at Fort Shafter, was on a rescue mission Tuesday to save his fallen comrades — the many homeless veterans who call Hawaii streets their home. Star-Advertiser.

A 150-pound boulder that came crashing down a hillside in Kalihi Valley on Monday has residents feeling nervous. It’s the same street where massive boulders damaged three homes last year. KHON2.


Genetically modified food has been on store shelves for 17 years in the United States. But determining what products contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, remains a challenge for even the most conscientious consumers. Tribune-Herald.

The 73,524-square-foot Waikoloa Highlands Center on Hawaii’s Big Island is on the market — again — this time for a slightly higher price of $23.2 million. Pacific Business News.

Thousands of people lined Akoni Pule Highway Tuesday morning to honor King Kamehameha I on the day named after him. West Hawaii Today.

Two examples of Hawaii’s living history are currently moored in Hilo’s Radio Bay as their crews prepare to continue a voyage around the state that will expand to a worldwide trip next year. Tribune-Herald.

With veteran rock 'n' roller Gene Simmons as one of its partners, Paia merchants and residents have mixed feelings about the new Rock & Brews restaurant and bar concept rolling into town. Maui News.

A Maui County Council committee will consider on Monday a resolution authorizing it to conduct an internal investigation into the potential misuse of county funds to demolish the Old Wailuku Post Office and conduct master planning for the Kalana O Maui campus expansion. Maui News.

Sen. Roz Baker and South Maui Rep. Kaniela Ing will hold a "talk story" and "End of Session Wrap-up" meeting with constituents from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Kihei Charter School campus at the Lipoa Center. Maui News.


Cockfighting has been around for more than 6,000 years, according to historians. On Kauai, it was introduced by Filipino immigrants during the island’s early plantation days. Garden Islabnd.

The Kauai County Council will put on its hospitality hats to host the 2013 Hawaii State Association of Counties annual conference at Kauai Beach Resort over two days next week. The conference begins June 20, with the annual HSAC executive committee meeting and general membership meeting. Garden Island.

The release of more than $41.2 million for capital improvement projects statewide includes funding for a string of projects on Kauai. Garden Island.


A new flight service is landing on Molokai, bringing in a small business attitude that has already proven successful in Kalaupapa. Makani Kai Air is offering five flights daily to Honolulu and back, which began June 8, while keeping its twice daily Kalaupapa flights. Molokai Dispatch.


The Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay is scheduled to get a $27 million makeover, which includes renovations to its existing 236 rooms, upgrades at 140 Restaurant and the addition of a sushi bar and teppanyaki stations at Nobu Restaurant. Billionaire Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison’s Lanai Resorts LLC recently submitted a special management area assessment for renovations permit to the Lanai Planning Commission. Pacific Business News.

Less than a year after he sold the island of Lanai, David Murdock is taking Dole Food Co. private again. The 90-year-old billionaire surprised Wall Street by offering $645 million to buy the 60 percent of Dole that he didn't already own. Hawaii News Now.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hawaii media spotlight turns to Snowden's girlfriend, workplace; lawmakers and public react; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Edward Snowden
Bikini-clad Lindsay Mills cavorts in Hawaii with boyfriend Edward Snowden according to this You Tube screen capture
The girlfriend of Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked classified documents about US surveillance operations, has apparently blogged about the couple's life in Hawaii and her uncertainty about the future without her "man of mystery". The Guardian.

Watch the YouTube video here.

The live-in girlfriend of National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden was described by acquaintances Monday as a dancer and acrobat who was on Oahu about a year. Star-Advertiser.

Edward Snowden’s most intimate connection to Hawaii in the months leading up to a massive leak of top-secret American surveillance techniques is a 28-year-old acrobatic dancer named Lindsay Mills. Civil Beat.

Booz Allen Hamilton said Tuesday that it has fired Edward Snowden from its Hawaii operations following Snowden's confession over the weekend that he had been the source of leaked documents detailing top-secret National Security Agency surveillance programs. Pacific Business News.

Pacific Guardian Center
The former Kunia resident who’s accused of leaking classified U.S. government information worked for one of the best firms in Hawaii. KHON2.

A day after former Hawaii resident Edward Snowden revealed that he leaked top-secret government information to the media, his employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, would say nothing beyond a written statement posted Sunday on its website. Star-Advertiser.

Edward Snowden, the man who said he's responsible for leaking information about classified surveillance by the U.S. government, was one of about 350 Hawaii employees of the contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, sources told Hawaii News Now. Booz Allen Hamilton's Hawaii office is headquartered downtown in the Pacific Guardian Center at the corner of Nimitz and Alakea.

National Security Administration surveillance programs recently revealed by the media are "troubling" and "unacceptable" and deserve a thorough investigation to determine whether they were an abuse of government power, members of Hawaii's all-Democratic congressional delegation said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Last week saw revelations that the FBI and the National Security Agency have been collecting Americans' phone records en masse and that the agencies have access to data from nine tech companies. But secrecy around the programs has meant even basic questions are still unanswered.  Here's what we still don't know. Has the NSA been collecting all Americans' phone records, and for how long? It's not entirely clear. Pro Publica.

Edward Snowden's revelation about secret NSA surveillance programs was a reminder that intelligence-gathering and intrigue related to it go way back in Hawaii and are alive and well today. Star-Advertiser.

The leaker who revealed top secret U.S. surveillance programs says he hopes to find shelter in Iceland, but he may be disappointed by the reception from a new government seen as less keen than predecessors to attract exiles and Internet renegades. Hawaii Reporter.

With the recent identification of Edward Snowden as the man who leaked National Security Agency documents detailing anti-terrorism programs unknown to the public, Hawaii is home to yet another man accused of releasing top-secret government information. Star-Advertiser.

Local experts react to reported NSA leaker. KHON2.

The Hawaii Health Connector said Monday that the state’s first online health insurance exchange has received the next stage of federal approval to launch on Oct. 1. Pacific Business News.

A new state law removes the University of Hawaii president's power to serve as the chief procurement officer for construction contracts. Associated Press.

In the event of a large tsunami, surging water levels could easily course past two rows of houses, across a flat clearing, and reach an important one-story cinder-block building in Ewa Beach. Employees in the exposed structure joke about the irony of their situation, which isn't entirely surprising given that they work in the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Civil Beat.

The state's film industry is expecting a big boost in business thanks to a new law. With an enhanced tax credit starting next month, companies like Hawaii Media Inc. predict more productions will be shooting in the islands. Hawaii News Now.

An estimated $400 million polysilicon plant built in eastern Idaho by Hawaii firm Hoku Scientific Inc. now has only eight workers, all security guards, after its last engineer exited last month amid dwindling hopes the facility will ever produce materials for solar panels. Associated Press.

State roundup for June 11. Associated Press.

Sewer rates on Oahu are going up again on July 1. KITV4.

The Academy of the Pacific is shutting down due to financial struggles and dwindling enrollment at its Alewa Heights campus, following more than 50 years of educating "out-of-the-box learners," school officials said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii is hoping a late "push" will stimulate the sale of slow-moving football season tickets. Star-Advertiser.

A nonprofit group that provides shelter, training and work experience for the elderly and people with learning disabilities is the focus of two separate investigations regarding the use of $7.9 million in Community Development Block Grant funds, which were given to the city by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. KITV4.


Some Hawaii Island residents have told Margaret Wille she doesn’t need to be in a rush to prohibit genetically modified crops here. But the Kohala councilwoman said she’s seeing both proposed GMO projects on Hawaii Island that concern her, and ways banning GMO here could provide the county with an economic boost. West Hawaii Today.

For Hawaii’s floral industry, genetic engineering may be an idea whose time is near. Fifteen years after the transgenic Rainbow papaya was commercialized, scientists say the state’s valuable flower crops could be the next to benefit from the controversial technology. Tribune-Herald.

Anthurium isn’t the only flower that University of Hawaii scientists have considered for genetic engineering. Research has also been done on making a virus-resistant orchid, but funding has dried up, leaving that effort on hold, said Teresita Amore, assistant researcher with the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Tribune-Herald.


A council committee will consider a resolution that if approved, would authorize an investigation into the “potential misuse” of county funds, Policy Chair Riki Hokama announced today. The resolution reportedly seeks authorization to investigate funding of the  Old Wailuku Post Office demolition, and master planning for the expansion of the Kalana O Maui campus. Maui Now.

A husband and wife on Maui have filed a class-action lawsuit against the Oregon fruit distributor whose frozen berry mix has been linked to four cases of hepatitis A in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

With Maui Memorial Park at capacity, the Wailuku cemetery has begun construction on its second mausoleum. Maui News.

California-based developer Brian Hoyle is more optimistic than ever that funding will come through in the next several months and he can finally build the long-awaited West Maui Hospital and Medical Center. Maui News.

Even in the usually slower shoulder season of tourism, many Maui hotels are still seeing gains in occupancy rates and earnings, according to the latest Hospitality Advisors LLC report. Maui News.


Scientists continue to look for clues to what is causing an outbreak of skin disease in Hawaiian puffer fish on Kauai's North Shore, but have had some success using a marine epoxy to slow the large-scale kill-off of diseased coral in the same area. Star-Advertiser.

A group of South Kauai landowners and residents agreed that more must be done to address development, roadway safety and parking concerns in long-term community plans, according a straw poll taken Saturday. Garden Island.

Kauai Planning & Action Alliance will be “Celebrating 10 Years and Charting the Future” at their annual meeting in a few weeks — and they want the public to speak up. Garden Island.


Seven years after Molokai veterans began the process to construct a veterans center, the building is finally nearing completion. But the group is far from celebrating. Hawaii Public Radio.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hawaii media track whistleblower Edward Snowden, GMO crops analyzed, monk seals under attack, pickup truck drives into ocean, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The Guardian newspaper
Edward Snowden, as seen on The Guardian
The man who detailed two top-secret National Security Agency surveillance programs gathered some of the information at his workplace in Hawaii before leaving several weeks ago for Hong Kong, media sources reported Sunday. The Guardian newspaper identified Edward Snowden, 29, as the source of the leaks, which have touched off the latest national debate about secret government monitoring of Americans' activities. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii real estate agent says Edward Snowden and his girlfriend moved out of their home in a quiet neighborhood near Honolulu on May 1, leaving nothing behind. Century 21 real estate agent Kerri Jo Heim says Sunday that the owner of the house wanted the couple out so that the home could be sold. Associated Press.

A weathered American flag sticker on the front window of the Waipahu neighborhood where fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden lived until recently fleeing to Hong Kong reads: “Freedom isn’t free.” The 29-year-old may prove to be one of the most consequential whistleblowers in years, if not decades, for orchestrating intelligence leaks that have left the Obama administration defending widespread domestic monitoring of American citizens. Civil Beat.

Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed secrets about government surveillance activities, worked and lived on Oahu before leaving the country to seek asylum. Hawaii News Now.

Residents living on Eleu Street in Waipahu say they are a tight-knit community. Neighbors say Andrew Snowden and his girlfriend didn't speak to anyone in the neighborhood. KITV4.

The whistleblower who leaked classified information about the U.S. government’s secret surveillance programs was identified Sunday as a man who had been living here in Hawaii. KHON2.

The British newspaper ‘The Guardian’ identified the man as Edward Snowden- a 29-year-old contractor who claims to have worked at the National Security Agency and for the CIA. KHON2.

Hotels in Hawaii set monthly records in April for room revenues, revenue per available room and average daily room rates. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed a law increasing tax credits for filmmakers to help expand Hawaii's movie industry. Abercrombie signed the measure last week boosting film tax credits from 20 to 25 percent in counties with fewer than 700,000 people. Star-Advertiser.

A bill to create a public financing option aimed at lessening corporate influence on campaign elections died in the final hours of the last state legislative session, which ended May 2. But supporters of election reform are hoping it will resurface next session. Maui News.

Hawaii's congressional delegation has proposed changes to the composition of the state's advisory council on Native Hawaiian educational issues. Under changes proposed Thursday, the Native Hawaiian Education Council would have to include elected officials, and all members would be required to have at least five years of experience in Native Hawaiian education. Star-Advertiser.

Public discussions among University of Hawaii regents about the future of the university's presidency Thursday turned into deep deliberations about the UH's mission and whether its priorities and values are in need of some fine-tuning. Civil Beat.

On Thursday, the University of Hawaii Board of Regents said it will launch a nationwide search for Greenwood’s replacement. In the past, that work has required a head-hunting firm that costs taxpayers more than $100,000. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii chefs and restaurant owners will play a role on two upcoming episodes of the Cooking Channel’s “Man Fire Food with Roger Mooking” airing this month. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for June 10. Associated Press.


The percentage of Oahu voters casting ballots in the biennial Neighborhood Board elections increased slightly this year, the third such election conducted entirely online and by phone. Star-Advertiser.

City crews came out to work on Sunday to begin dredging a stretch of Makiki Stream that has been prone to flooding. Hawaii News Now.

Two beachfront houses in Aina Haina once marketed as potential destination wedding locations by former swimsuit model Kathy Ireland have suspended business while owners attempt to resolve more than $140,000 in unpaid city fines over charges of illegally conducting weddings in at least one of the homes. Star-Advertiser.

The president of a group that helps the elderly and disabled asked a Pearl City contractor for a $90,000 donation as she was giving the company a job worth millions of dollars, a request that appears to violate anti-kickback laws. Civil Beat.

Just days after announcing it was shutting down the Honolulu Weekly says it’s coming back. How it’s coming back remains unclear at this time. KHON2.


Food is no longer what it used to be. Over the last two decades, the commercialization of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, has transformed how some of the world’s crops are produced. Tribune-Herald.

Biotech companies have mostly focused on corn and soybean for creating genetically modified crops. But research is also under way in Hawaii that would impact one of the state’s most widely consumed staples — rice. Tribune-Herald.

If anyone could be crowned the King of Corn in Hawaii, it would be Jim Brewbaker. As a scientist with University of Hawaii at Manoa, he has spent a half century studying and breeding different varieties, finding ways to cross-breed disease resistance and improve the production of one of the world’s most widely grown cereal crops. Tribune-Herald.

A hindrance to the growth papaya industry is the acceptance of transgenic crops abroad. Japan, which has historically been a major consumer of Hawaii papaya, didn’t accept the Rainbow variety until December 2011, and it still makes up a tiny fraction of exports to the country. Tribune-Herald.

Yet another delay in the prosecution of Roger Christie will keep the Hawaii cannabis advocate jailed without bail for well over three years before a jury trial is held in the case. Star-Advertiser.

The address says it all — 1 Crater Drive — the quintessential visitor experience at the Kilauea summit in a newly refurbished hotel and restaurant overlooking Halema‘uma‘u Crater. That’s the Volcano House, a historic lodge that reopened in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park June 1 after being closed for nearly three years. Tribune-Herald.

A long-awaited highway construction project in West Hawaii may be closer to to finally getting underway. Hawaii Public Radio.


California-based developer Brian Hoyle is more optimistic than ever that funding will come through in the next several months and he can finally build the long-awaited West Maui Hospital and Medical Center. Maui News.

Puu Kukui Elementary School has yet to open it doors for the first time but is already just 50 students shy of its capacity. Maui News.

While Alexander & Baldwin Inc. reached agreement this week to acquire Grace Pacific Corp. in a $235 million deal, company officials expect day-to-day operations to be "business as usual." Maui News.

Entering its 14th year, the 2013 Maui Film Festival will be bringing dozens of films to our island over a five-day stretch later this week. The films will be screened from June 12 to 16 at the Celestial Cinema located at the Wailea Gold and Emerald Golf Course, the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului, and the Seaside Cinema located between the Four Seasons Maui and the Grand Wailea. Maui Now.


In this two-part series, The Garden Island takes a look at the Hawaiian monk seal and how folks from two sides see the same creature so differently. Garden Island.

Here on Kauai, the mere mention of a Hawaiian monk seal can quickly stir up conversations about their origin, eating habits and whether references to the seals can be found in traditional Hawaiian chants. Garden Island.

Locally-produced products and the outlets which distribute them were pulled together on Thursday in an effort to re-energize the Kauai Grown program. Garden Island.

A Lihue man who was arrested Saturday after driving his pickup truck into the ocean has been identified. Garden Island.

The Kauai National Wildlife Refuge Complex will fence off a 7-acre area to protect native coastal planes and birds, including Hawaiian geese, endangered nene, and moli, or Laysan albatross. Associated Press.