Showing posts with label GMO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GMO. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

$2.4B rail bailout bill signed into law, Hawaii reacts to Trump DACA termination, bird, fish deaths in wake of Lehua rat poison drop, A&B says no GMO crops on Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Sept. 5, 2017 courtesy photo
Gov. David Ige signs rail bailout bill, governor's office photo
Gov. David Ige signed into law Tuesday Senate Bill 4, an estimated $2.4 billion bailout package that island leaders hope will finally complete the transit project to Ala Moana Center, following three years of steep cost increases that have left its outcome uncertain. Star-Advertiser.

Legislation to help pay for Honolulu's rail transit project became law Tuesday with Hawaii Gov. David Ige's signature. Pacific Business News.

Governor Signs Rail Funding Bill Into Law, Next: Transient Accommodations Tax. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. David Ige signed a bill into law Tuesday to bail out Honolulu’s rail project. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige today signed the rail funding bailout bill, SB 4, after completing legal and policy reviews of the measure over the weekend. Maui Now.

And with the stroke of the governor’s pen, Senate Bill 4 becomes law. The legislation was passed by the State House and the Senate during a divisive special session. Big Island Video News.

Gov. David Ige signed a bill Tuesday that provides additional funding for Honolulu’s financially troubled rail transit project. Maui News.

Newly appointed House Majority Leader Cindy Evans of Hawaii island could lose her leadership role in a bit of collateral damage from the Honolulu rail controversy. Star-Advertiser.

Within minutes of the Honolulu rail bailout bill being signed into law Tuesday, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued a statement crediting the state House and Senate for “hard work” on the legislation. Civil Beat.


There used to be a time in Hawaii when an incumbent governor was a shoo-in for re-election. But in the 2014 primary election, now-Gov. David Ige unseated a fellow Democrat. Now U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is attempting to do the same to Ige. Associated Press.


President Donald Trump’s decision to end a program that allowed young, unauthorized immigrants known as “Dreamers” to stay in the country has sparked fear in families who could be ripped apart and drawn condemnation from Hawaii leaders. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s representatives in the U.S. Congress strongly condemned the Trump administration’s decision Tuesday to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Civil Beat.

Demonstrators lined the sidewalk outside the Federal Building in Honolulu, holding signs to voice their opposition to the decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). KITV.

Dozens gathered in front of the Prince Kuhio Federal Building Tuesday evening to rally against President Donald Trump’s plan to phase out a program offering protections to young illegal immigrants. KHON2.

At least 100 protesters took to the streets of downtown Honolulu on Tuesday afternoon, part of nationwide rallies against President Donald Trump’s plan to rescind the Obama-era program that protects young undocumented immigrants who came to the country as minors. Civil Beat.


Convincing Landlords That Housing The Homeless Is Good Business. By promising guaranteed rent and regular check-ins, shelters are creating networks of landlords willing to rent to homeless people. Civil Beat.

Retired Maj. Gen. Kelly McKeague, a 1977 Damien Memorial School graduate, was named director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency on Tuesday, returning to the program that was mired in controversy several years ago. Star-Advertiser.

The Pentagon announced retired Maj. Gen. Kelly McKeague, a 1977 Damien Memorial School graduate, is the new director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Associated Press.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will award $7.6 million in federal funding to Hawaii to prevent and respond to natural disasters, terrorism, and other emergencies. Garden Island.

Twenty-four companies have what it takes to be named to this year’s list of Hawaii’s Best Workplaces. Pacific Business News.


Blaisdell Park free of homeless for now. Star-Advertiser.

Cuts in funding leads to a halt in Kakaako park homeless sweeps. Hawaii News Now.

New rental housing and retail is coming to the Diamond Head side of Waikiki when Queen Emma Land Co. begins the long-anticipated redevelopment of a tired 2.5-acre tract of prime leasehold land. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Communities in Kailua-Kona and Puako are battling contamination from cesspools leaking into the nearby sea. But the solution won’t be easy — nor will it be cheap. West Hawaii Today.

Kahilihili Road, which will provide a means for motorists to make left turns in to and out of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority, opened Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

A Kona doctor arrested on suspicion of prescription fraud last year pleaded not guilty to charges Tuesday afternoon. West Hawaii Today.

Condominium sales have lost momentum on the Big Island, dropping 22.7 percent in August after a 60 percent increase in July, according to statistics from Hawaii Island Realtors provided by Hawaii Information Service. Pacific Business News.

‘Part of who we are’: Harvey relief volunteers with Hawaii ties exude aloha spirit. Tribune-Herald.

The Big Island Fair is returning to Kailua-Kona after the threat of storm last year forced the carnival to cancel, interrupting 30 years of consecutive entertainment to the Big Island each September. West Hawaii Today.


The head of Alexander &Baldwin’s diversified agriculture operations told a Maui County Council committee Tuesday that the company is not farming any genetically modified crops for food or for animal feed. Maui News.

Several key school bus routes on Maui have been restored after a driver shortage had disrupted the start of the school for hundreds of students, Hawaii education officials said Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Dimino Named Complex Area Superintendent for Baldwin-Kekaulike-Maui. Maui Now.

A Kihei man says he found suspected ordnance along a South Maui road last week and turned it into the Maui Police Department for disposal. Maui News.

Mālama Maui Nui will host a cleanup at the Kahului Harbor small boats ramp from 9 a.m. until noon on Sept. 16, 2017. The cleanup will kickoff the annual Get the Drift and Bag It! campaign. Maui Now.


The monitoring team on Lehua Island has collected 45 dead fish and two dead birds from the near-shore waters, after two applications of rodenticide were dropped from a helicopter over the island. Garden Island.

After numerous social media posts, photos, and videos showing dead fish or birds that posters claim were killed by a rodenticide currently being used to eradicate non-native, damaging (invasive) rats from Lehua Island, the DLNR, Island Conservation, and other Lehua Island Restoration Project partners have deployed on-island monitoring teams to investigate. Maui Now.

Photos and video of dead fish and birds washing up on Lehua Island have been spreading on social media days after rat poison pellets were dropped from a helicopter on the steep cliff side of the island to eradicate invasive rodents. Star-Advertiser.

Single-family home and condominium sales experienced double-digit decreases on Kauai in August, dropping 27 percent and 11.5 percent, respectively, according to statistics from the Kauai Board of Realtors provided by Hawaii Information Service. Pacific Business News.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Bills for free tuition, school funding, Zuckerberg's land plans, $2B housing bond flow in new legislative session, Ige's State of the State address today, lower coffee rules to stay, Maui to vote on GMO repeal, veto override, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Wind farm on Big Island
President Donald Trump has disputed climate change, pledged a revival of coal and disparaged wind power, and his nominee to head the Energy Department was once highly skeptical of the agency’s value. What this means for states’ efforts to promote renewable energy is an open question. Associated Press.

Hawaii could soon join other states in offering tuition-free college under legislative proposals to have the state pick up the cost of tuition and other school expenses for needy students enrolled at University of Hawaii community colleges. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Cash-Strapped Small Schools Struggle To Operate. The teachers union and a Maui state representative will push proposals to better fund remote neighbor island schools. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers are introducing dozens of measures that aim to solve Hawaii’s homelessness crisis and increase affordable housing, including a proposal to issue $2 billion in state-backed bonds to develop public housing, shelters and apartments. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority faces losing its sunshine exemption in the wake of criticism from lawmakers and members of the visitor industry that it isn’t transparent about how it spends tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to market the islands. Star-Advertiser.

State health officials are pushing this year to restore adult Medicaid coverage for basic dental care nearly eight years after it was cut amid the 2008 financial crisis. Star-Advertiser.

As Hawaii struggles to stem homelessness and prison overcrowding, Gov. David Ige wants to take a new approach: connecting people arrested for low-level drug crimes with social services rather than putting them behind bars. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige will give his third State of the State address to the Legislature at 10 a.m. Monday in the chamber of the state House of Representatives at the Capitol. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Fellow Democrats faulting governor for lack of decisiveness and clear leadership. Star-Advertiser.

Robert Farrell, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ new chief of enforcement, pledged to work on improving efficiency and providing more resources to staff as he takes the reins as helm of DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement. Star-Advertiser.


The Honolulu Police Department let millions of budgeted dollars lapse unspent, while some divisions, including the police commission, have seen spending soar in recent years. KHON2.

Honolulu motorists whose commute includes the east end of H-1 and the adjoining Kalanianaole Highway should plan detours when heading home this week, as workers are expected to be repairing a broken water main until Thursday. Star-Advertiser.


Six Hawaii County department heads and seven deputy directors make less than their subordinates, an issue the county’s Salary Commission will focus on at a meeting next month. Tribune-Herald.

A compromise among coffee producers statewide is leading to continuation of lower standards that were temporarily put in place in 2014 in the wake of an invasion of coffee berry borers. West Hawaii Today.

Two Kona legislators are pushing for management changes at the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor as its state of disrepair, and the overall quality of other harbors like it, have become a growing source of frustration across Hawaii Island. West Hawaii Today.

Honomu residents will ask the county Parks and Recreation Department to save their iconic banyan trees. Tribune-Herald.

Starting today, all Priority Mail stamps sold around the country will feature an image of Hilo’s Liliuokalani Park and Gardens. Tribune-Herald.


The Family Life Center’s new state contracts for emergency shelter and other services for Maui homeless people have forced the facility to reduce its number of beds from 50 to 18 and to discontinue shelter services for families and men. Maui News.


Over 120 years have passed since a handful of businessmen with loyalties to the U.S. led a coup d’etat to overthrow the Kingdom of Hawaii, but some Native Hawaiians on the Garden Isle continue to advocate sovereignty. Garden Island.

Solutions to Kapaa’s traffic will be discussed Thursday at a public meeting hosted by the Kapaa Business Association. Garden Island.

Council to vote on mayor veto, GMO repeal. Garden Island.

School transgender guidelines implemented smoothly. Garden Island.


Entire Island of Lana'i without power. KITV.

Lanai High & Elementary School will be closed Monday due to the power outage on the island, the state Department of Education announced at 9 p.m. Sunday. Maui News.

A Hawaii lawmaker said Friday he plans to introduce a bill aimed at closing what he calls a “legal loophole” that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is using to gain ownership of small pieces of land, or kuleana lands, within his 700 acres of oceanfront property on the island of Kauai. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Dairy Farms, a long-planned 699-cow operation on the island of Kauai being funded by billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s Honolulu investment firm Ulupono Initiative, has reached a key milestone. Pacific Business News.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Ala Wai to be disrupted by repair work, Hawaii union clout dims, Maui mulls charging for county parks, passes 12% raises for officials, Kauai council to repeal failed GMO bill, Kim to investigate unpermitted sea wall, HMSA revamps payment protocol, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ala Wai jogger © 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaiian Electric Co. is proposing to spend an estimated $14 million to replace two old high-voltage cables that run across the bottom of the Ala Wai Canal with new lines installed deeper underground. Star-Advertiser.

As Trump takes aim at unions, labor's clout has dipped in Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

A former teacher and the teachers union are teaming up to ensure that Hawaii Board of Education meetings will continue to be videotaped for those who cannot attend. Civil Beat.

Sandwich Isles Communications Inc., the politically connected Hawaii telecommunications company that provides services on Hawaiian home lands, is being warned that its Federal Communications Commission authorization to operate may be revoked. Star-Advertiser.

Fisheries Commission Takes Steps To Keep Observers Safer. The last-minute agreement represented one of the week’s few accomplishments, but more action on tuna is expected next year. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Medical Service Association has decided to phase in a major overhaul of its payment system to doctors. The state’s largest health insurer, with 3,000 doctors in its network, is changing the way it reimburses its primary care physicians to a fixed monthly rate for each patient in a practice, instead of paying them based on the number of patients they see and the number of services they provide. Star-Advertiser.

It’s well known that Hawaii faces a critical housing shortage. As Pacific Business News reports, different challenges exist at all price points. Hawaii Public Radio.

A record number of students are earning undergraduate degrees within four years from the University of Hawaii at Manoa — the result, officials say, of nearly a decade of initiatives aimed at better supporting student success. Star-Advertiser.

Rural commuters in Windward Oahu who rely on TheBus are getting some relief after enduring several years of scaled-back service, but it remains to be seen whether they’ll keep those gains in the long term. Star-Advertiser.

A federal measure known as the 21st Century Cures Act that could boost grant funding by millions of dollars per year for the University of Hawaii Cancer Center has won approval from Congress, and President Barack Obama is expected to quickly sign it into law. Star-Advertiser.

Starting Monday, Thomas Square will close to the public for six months. The park will be undergoing maintenance and improvements. KHON2.

New Kakaako condos debut urban community associations. Star-Advertiser.

Some students at Shafter Elementary School have been using the library and cafeteria as classrooms since last school year while three portable rooms have sat vacant on the campus for about two years, leading an area legislator and parent to question the state Department of Education about the delay. Star-Advertiser.

Some residents displaced five months ago by Tropical Storm Darby are back home in a Honolulu neighborhood. Associated Press.

Despite Oahu’s tight inventory driving median home prices up, the luxury real estate market is still strong, according to Hawaii real estate experts. Pacific Business News.

Commentary: Financial fumbling makes difficult task of paying for rail even more onerous over time. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Marathon is not just a race, but a spectacle. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Marathon is more than a race. It’s an exhibition, festival, visitor attraction and business — and it’s huge. Pacific Business News.

Lance Mizumoto resigned last week from his position as vice chairman and chief operating officer of Central Pacific Financial Corp. and its subsidiary, Central Pacific Bank, the Honolulu-based bank said in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission early Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

The land board is waiting on the Banyan Drive Hawaii Redevelopment Agency before it decides what to do with the Pagoda property. Here is what new mayor Harry Kim says about the agency and the Banyan Drive situation. Big Island Video News.

Mayor Harry Kim says his administration will check on the status of a nonpermitted seawall built at Lalakea pond following complaints from some park users. Tribune-Herald.

A recent Puna Geothermal Ventures community meeting in Pahoa included some of the usual back and forth between industry watchdog group Puna Pono Alliance and PGV officials, but ended with a handshake and a word of thanks. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County Democrats are proposing new rules for selecting candidates to fill legislative vacancies after some controversy over the process of filling Rep. Clift Tsuji's seat. Associated Press.

The Volcano School of Arts &Sciences is developing plans for a new campus, replacing what it calls inadequate and deteriorating facilities. Tribune-Herald.

Moku Loa, Hawaii Island’s chapter of the Sierra Club, held its annual meeting Saturday evening, with more than 25 people gathering at Wailoa River State Park. Tribune-Herald.

The state Judiciary held the 2016 Self-Help Desk Recognition Awards Friday to celebrate the work of Hawaii Island attorneys who provided free legal information to more than 500 Hawaii Island residents seeking assistance during the past year at the Kona Courthouse in Kealakekua. West Hawaii Today.


Free entry for everyone at Maui County parks could become a thing of the past. Last week, the county Cost of Government Commission heard a suggestion to charge park entry fees for visitors and businesses from Vice Chairwoman Annie Alvarado. Maui News.

The Maui County Salary Commission approved a 12 percent pay increase Friday for Mayor Alan Arakawa, his department directors and their deputies, although a problem with the posted meeting agenda could void the pay hike, at least temporarily. Maui News.

Hawaii's only remaining sugar mill is wrapping up its final harvest, with the last cane haul set for Monday. Hawaii News Now.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources is allowing Alexander & Baldwin to continue diverting East Maui streams, even though the company’s Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. is ending sugar cane production this year. Maui News.

New budget director cites past experience. Araki-Regan has come under fire for her connection to mayor. Maui News.

The County of Maui announced its 2016 Employee Recognition Awards following ceremonies that were held on Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi. Maui Now.

After settling fines and violations in late July 2015 for $500,000 — the largest amount ever levied by the Maui County Department of Planning — Paia businessman Michael Baskin has missed the original deadline for full payment by more than four months. Maui News.


When councilmembers gather for the first full council meeting of the new term this week, they are expected to discuss repealing the GMO bill that was recently ruled invalid in federal court. Garden Island.

KCC group attacks illegal dumping. Garden Island.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Special report: 7 Hawaii media takes on 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on GMO

Katja Jordan King
Kauai anti-GMO rally, courtesy Katja Jordan King
Biotech companies operating in Hawaii scored a major victory Friday when a federal appeals court threw out ordinances on Kauai, Hawaii island and Maui that banned or restricted the cultivation of genetically modified crops and sought greater regulation over pesticides. Star-Advertiser.

Monsanto, Syngenta and other seed companies that farm in Hawaii won a significant victory after a federal appeals court ruled that counties can’t regulate pesticides or genetically modified crops. Civil Beat.

A federal judge has ruled that three Hawaii counties can't enact their own bans or regulations on genetically modified crops and pesticides, handing a victory to the major agriculture companies that fought the regulations. Associated Press.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled that three Hawaii counties cannot regulate genetically modified crops or pesticides. Pacific Business News.

A partial ban on growing genetically modified crops in Hawaii County will remain invalid following a ruling Friday in the U.S. Court of Appeals. Tribune-Herald.

A federal appeals court has sided with supporters of GMO, or genetically modified organisms, by affirming an earlier district court ruling in their favor. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii counties and cities don’t have the authority to regulate genetically engineered crops and pesticide use, according to a decision handed down Friday from the U.S. Court of Appeals. Garden Island.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Schools, businesses close as Hurricane Madeline nears Hawaii, Ige signs emergency proclamation, Obama set to arrive today, World Conservation Congress continues as planned, Syngenta to leave Hawaii, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

National Weather Service
5 a.m. Wednesday Hurricane Madeline track, National Weather Service
At 500 AM HST (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Madeline was located 140 miles ESE of Hilo. Madeline is moving toward the west near 14 mph and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Madeline will pass dangerously close to the Big Island later today. NOAA.

At 5 a.m. Wednesday, Madeline’s maximum sustained winds decreased to 80 miles per hour, which still means the cyclone is a Category 1 hurricane. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige signed a pre-landfall emergency proclamation on Tuesday, as the state prepares for possible impacts from hurricanes Madeline and Lester. The proclamation authorizes the expenditure of state monies for quick and efficient relief of disaster-related damages, losses and suffering resulting from the storms. Maui Now.

Hurricane Lester maintained its Category 4 strength early Wednesday as it churned toward the Central Pacific. Big Island under Hurricane Warning as Madeline nears state. At 5 a.m. Wednesday, the eye of Lester was about 1,085 miles east of Hilo. Hawaii News Now.

To hear some describe it, the World Conservation Congress is the Olympic Games, World Cup and Super Bowl of the world’s conservation community. Let the games begin Thursday as more than 8,500 delegates from 194 countries convene in Honolulu for the premier conference of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Star-Advertiser.

Olelo Community Media announced Tuesday that it will provide over 20 hours of “exclusive” live local coverage of the IUCN World Conservation Congress. Civil Beat.

President Obama is coming to the world conservation congress in Honolulu to herald the creation of the world's largest ecologically protected area, Papahanaumokuakea. Hawaii Public Radio.

In 2008, as economies around the world were reeling from the collapse of the U.S. financial market, a taro farmer on Maui had an idea to bring the world’s largest conservation conference to Hawaii. Civil Beat.

One of Hawaii’s biggest seed companies caught up in lawsuits and protests over genetically modified crop farming and pesticide use has decided to sell its local operations. Syngenta, a Swiss agribusiness behemoth, announced a decision Tuesday to seek a buyer for its Hawaii operations, which include nearly 6,000 acres of land it leases or owns on Oahu and Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Enrollment at Hawaii public schools dipped slightly this school year to 179,902 students, the Department of Education said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Enrollment in Hawaii’s public and charter schools is slightly down for the new school year, according to a report by the state Department of Education. Pacific Business News.

A class action lawsuit recently filed in federal court accuses two prominent law firms, and more than 70 condominium associations they represent, of “the wrongful and unlawful sale” of condominium units through an improper foreclosure process. Civil Beat.


The President of the United States will arrive in Honolulu Wednesday evening, and city officials are warning the public of major road closures during rush hour. KHON2.

Honolulu’s tardy, over-budget rail project could lose $1.55 billion in federal funds if it is not built as first planned all the way to Ala Moana Center, the Federal Transit Administration told city officials in a meeting in San Francisco this week. Civil Beat.

Crews on Tuesday began installing three modular housing units in Waianae for working homeless individuals and homeless families with children. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has executed a 35-year lease with the Secretary of the Army for a planned power plant in Central Oahu that has the state’s largest utility paying the Army $308,515 annually for a total of $10.8 million during the entire lease term, Pacific Business News has learned.

U.S. District Judge Michael Seabright has ruled that redactions the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made to a University of Hawaii biolab inspection report were — for the most part — proper. Civil Beat.


The following are closed or postponed due to the approaching hurricanes. Big Island Now.

The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education plans to close public schools on Hawaiʻi Island on Wednesday, Aug. 31 and Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016 as Hurricane Madeline continues its path towards Hawaiʻi. Maui Now.

Ride it out. That was the survival plan for two residents of a Hilo homeless encampment Tuesday as Hurricane Madeline — followed by Hurricane Lester — marched toward Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.

The National Weather Service still was expecting the center of Hurricane Madeline to pass just shy of South Point today in a forecast issued Tuesday evening. But the cyclone could deliver more than a glancing blow. Tribune-Herald.

Members of People’s Advocacy for Trails Hawaii, government officials and biking enthusiasts took shelter from the sun under a makeshift canopy at Hale Halawai Tuesday to celebrate the kickoff of Bikeshare Kona Hawaii Island and an accompanying Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Campaign. West Hawaii Today.


Kaiser Permanente's Maui Health System is now set to take over Maui County's three hospitals on July 1, a year later than the original transfer date, leaving hospital officials with "some hard decisions" on how to deliver health care in the interim. Maui News.

Six green sea turtles get a new home. Maui News.


The Department of Water will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 7, regarding the proposed amendments to the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Water Supply, Part 5 Facilities Reserve Charge (FRC) Section III – Applicability. Garden Island.

Kauai saw an increase in visitors, and their spending, in July. The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported that 120,166 guests came to the island last month, up 3.2 percent from June. Garden Island.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Federal court hears GMO arguments, Honolulu ethics chief steps down, cesspool tax credit unpopular, Kauai council kills county manager plan, Ige asks courts to allow Maui hospitals room to breathe, one ballot initiative survives Hawaii County Council, residency complaint in Maui council race, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy federal court system
Screenshot of GMO hearings in U.S. District Court in Honolulu
A federal appeals court is weighing whether Hawaii counties have the right to regulate genetically modified crops and impose restrictions on how farmers apply pesticides. Three California-based judges flew to Honolulu to hear oral arguments Wednesday in a string of cases involving regulations on genetically engineered agriculture in Kauai County, Hawaii County and Maui County. Civil Beat.

Observers packed a federal courtroom in downtown Honolulu on Wednesday to watch attorneys for several of the world’s agricultural giants and opponents of genetically engineered farming battle over three county laws that target GMO crops and pesticide use. Star-Advertiser.

The fight over regulating genetically engineered crops in three Hawaii counties was back in a federal courtroom Wednesday as some agricultural giants look to protect their farms from bans against modified food. Associated Press.

Fern Rosenstiel said Wednesday’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing has been a long time coming. That’s because the federal appellate court heard three cases dealing with pesticide labeling and GMO laws created by Hawaii, Maui and Kauai counties. Garden Island.


State efforts to phase out use of cesspools and encourage use of other wastewater systems are off to a slow start. A statewide ban on new cesspool construction began in March, two months after a law providing tax credits to help homeowners upgrade cesspools to a septic system or an aerobic tank system went into effect. Tribune-Herald.

The U. S. House of Representatives has approved an amendment to the Department of Defense 2017 appropriations bill that would provide $5 million to “initiate planning and design for a new ballistic missile defense radar in Hawaii,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said in a press release Wednesday. Civil Beat.

The embattled head of electrical workers union faces new allegations that he oversaw an improper union vote that doubled dues for hundreds of Hawaii union members. Hawaii News Now.

Scientists believe they found two new species of colorful reef fish and for the first time collected a male Hawaiian pigfish during a 25-day expedition to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Star-Advertiser.

Researchers in Hawaii have discovered three probable new species of fish while on an expedition in the protected waters of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. Associated Press.


Chuck Totto’s decision Wednesday to step down under duress as the city’s longtime ethics director ends a years-long saga of his butting heads with Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration, Caldwell’s recently appointed city Ethics Commission members, and even members of Totto’s own staff. Star-Advertiser.

The longtime executive director of the city agency responsible for ethics enforcement resigned Wednesday. Civil Beat.

The embattled executive director of the Honolulu Ethics Commission, Chuck Totto, has resigned, effective immediately. Totto had led the commission since April 2000. Hawaii News Now.

After more than 16 years, the head of the Honolulu Ethics Commission has resigned. KHON2.

Honolulu Mayor Candidate Profiles: Kirk Caldwell. Hawaii Public Radio.

A desire to kick Kirk Caldwell out of office brought three top Hawaii Democrats together Wednesday at a press conference to voice their support for Charles Djou for mayor. Civil Beat.

Since November, the city has purchased and gutted a former private school in Makiki and plans to open it early next year as the first project of its kind in which the city will serve as landlord to as many as 75 low-income and homeless people. Star-Advertiser.

Howard Higa, president of The Cab taxi company, said Wednesday he has had enough of Hawaii politicians dillydallying when it comes to the regulation of app-based ride-hailing companies Lyft and Uber. Civil Beat.

Biotech startup Cardax Inc., seeking additional capital as losses mount, has increased the pay of two of its top officers who previously had seen their compensation reduced to minimum wage of $8.50 an hour. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii businessman Duane Kurisu to partner with city, state on homeless housing project. Pacific Business News.


A charter amendment giving the County Council more control over department heads is unlikely to make it to the Nov. 8 ballot, following its postponement Wednesday in the face of scattered opposition and several proposed changes. West Hawaii Today.

Petitioners say the Thirty Meter Telescope, as well as the newly incorporated PUEO group, should not be allowed to intervene in the upcoming contested case hearing. Big Island Video News.

Persistent questioning Wednesday by County Council members eventually arrived at the cost of perks a developer is seeking to build affordable housing and a senior care facility on Hualalai Road: $1.8 million. West Hawaii Today.


For now, Maui Memorial Medical Center and its staff continue to cover shortages and to deal with uncertainties created by a federal appeals court injunction halting the operational transition of the public hospital to the private Kaiser Permanente, but the hospital's CEO warned that those efforts cannot be sustained for long and "will fall apart." Maui News.

The Maui Planning Commission approved plans Tuesday for a hybrid seawall and rock revetment fronting the Hololani Resort, where residents, like many of their neighbors, fear for the safety of their homes perched precariously on the West Maui shore. Maui News.

The Maui County clerk's office is investigating a complaint about the residency qualification for Maui County Council candidate Alan Kaufman, an Upcountry veterinarian. Maui News.

South Maui Rep. Kaniela Ing's announcement of his endorsement by the Sierra Club of Hawaii has led to a political tit-for-tat with his Democratic primary opponent, Deidre Tegarden. Maui News.

The Maui Police Department advises motorists that the speed limit between has been temporarily reduced on the Mokulele Highway between the Maui Humane Society animal shelter and North Kīhei Road. Maui Now.


Arguing that a council-manager form of government would not solve the county’s problems, the Kauai County Council unanimously voted Wednesday to kill a resolution that would have let the people decide. Garden Island.

Four council members voted to approve a bill that allows additional dwelling units to be built on ag land. Bill No. 2601 amends the county code relating to ADU’s by removing the deadline for those units to be built. Per the code, ADUs had to be built by 2024. Garden Island.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 13, 2016

GMO bans slated for federal court, union to appeal Kauai police cameras, lawsuit filed over medical marijuana dispensaries, Oahu redevelopment spurs opposition, Honolulu ethics director under attack, Maui development nears settlement, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News
GMO papaya at Hilo farmer's market © 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaii County’s failed ban on outdoor cultivation of genetically modified crops will be aired Wednesday in a federal court in Honolulu, one of three county cases being appealed after local laws were struck down. West Hawaii Today.

State officials are planning to amend a law that exempts certain agricultural structures from building permits, after U.S. officials warned that the law could jeopardize federally funded emergency and flood coverage for Hawaii. Maui News.

A $150 million ratepayer-supported renewable energy program remains almost entirely untapped. Associated Press.

About 2,500 people are expected to attend the International Coral Reef Symposium June 19-24 at the Hawaii Convention Center. It will mark the first time the Aloha State has hosted the quadrennial event, and only the third time it’s been held in the United States. Civil Beat.

Researchers with the University of Hawai‘i are measuring the impact of millions of tons of munitions dumped at sea over several decades.  In 1970, an international treaty better known as “The London Convention” stopped the Department of Defense from disposing of chemical weapons in the ocean. Hawaii Public Radio.

The annual removal of debris in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands hauled in the equivalent of six cars of garbage. West Hawaii Today.

Small boat fishermen have nothing to fear from the potential expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, according to a group of Native Hawaiians. Garden Island.

Hawaii Governor David Ige on Sunday ordered that the Hawaii state flag be flown at half-staff at the state Capitol and at other state agencies and locations until sunset on June 16. The action honors the victims of “the terrible attack” that occurred last night in Orlando, Florida,” the governor’s office said in a statement. Civil Beat.

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal today from a group of American Samoans who say the United States should grant full citizenship to people born in the U.S. territory. Associated Press.


The Paradise Park redevelopment plan in Manoa is emerging as a flashpoint in a primary challenge to House Higher Education Chairman Isaac Choy, a Democrat who has represented the state House district that includes Manoa since 2009. Star-Advertiser.

After waiting decades for promised renovations, residents of a former sugar plantation village are being asked for input on redevelopment plans. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu officials are moving forward with plans to redevelop a former sugar plantation village built in the early 1900s after promising renovations to residents of the largely neglected area decades ago. Associated Press.

Dan Grabauskas, executive director of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, and Brennon Morioka, deputy director, recommend that the new elevated rail system terminate Downtown as the board reconsiders options for the over-budget project. Pacific Business News.

A Civil Beat review of Ethics Commission records, meeting minutes, emails, correspondence and interviews with those familiar with the commission’s work show that city Ethics Director Chuck Totto has been under attack by Kirk Caldwell and those he’s appointed ever since the mayor took office in 2013.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Downtown Honolulu to ‘Iolani Palace on Sunday as part of community rally and cultural event E HUI ANA NA MOKU: ‘Aina Protectors Unite. KITV4.


The embattled president of a now-defunct medical marijuana collective is suing to block the opening of state medical marijuana dispensaries. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s medical marijuana dispensary law isn’t perfect — far from it — but it’s a start, and the state needs to begin somewhere. That’s how lawmakers characterized the up-and-coming dispensary system Thursday evening to a fired up crowd in Pahoa, many who pointed out what they called flaws in the way the law was written. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Councilwoman Margaret Wille withdrew her proposal to repeal a section in the Hawaii County Code that allows a real property tax exemption for island credit unions. Big Island Video News.

General contractors on Hawaii Island are staying busy even as the construction sector is easing down from last year’s peak. Tribune-Herald.

Melissa Takahashi said that when she graduated from Waiakea High School on Hawaii island in 2000, she enjoyed chemistry and did well in mathematics but never thought she would be working on cutting-edge research to prevent the spread of global diseases like the Zika virus. Star-Advertiser.


After a revised archaeological survey and pending approval of a habitat conservation plan, the Honua'ula project is nearing settlement of a more than 3-year-old lawsuit in which the Sierra Club and Maui Unite challenged the adequacy of the South Maui development's final environmental impact statement. Maui News.

Hawaii Commercial & Sugar Co. is not admitting fault under a proposed settlement that reduces a $1.3 million air quality and reporting fine tied to Puunene Mill to $600,000. Star-Advertiser.

Solar companies and industry groups say that the cap on residential rooftop photovoltaic system hookups to the power grid on Maui could be reached by this week "and almost certainly no later than the end of the month." Maui News.

An approximately $26 million renovation of Whalers Village is "timely" and sorely needed for the nearly half-a-century-old shopping center, a Kaanapali resort official said Friday. Maui News.


The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers said it will appeal a ruling by the Hawaii Labor Relations Board that Kauai police did not need the union’s approval prior to implementing body-worn cameras. Garden Island.

Kauai high school students are making some of the right choices when it comes to their health and well-being, but some improvement is still needed. Garden Island.

Daynette “Dee” Morikawa (D-16, Niihau, Lehua, Koloa, Waimea) is seeking her fourth, two-year term as a state House representative for Kauai. Garden Island.

Monday, May 23, 2016

National Park fees increase, Hawaii GOP convention exposes schism over Trump, Honolulu charter amendment could erase neighborhood boards, state and federal lawmakers fight homelessness, Kauai's Rapozo seeks 7th term, unemployment rate drops, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park lava glow © 2016 All Hawaii News
Beginning June 1, daily entrance fees at all national parks in Hawaii, including Haleakala National Park and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, will increase. Star-Advertiser.

Flush with an extra $3 million it never requested to address island homelessness, Gov. David Ige’s administration is being pressured to better coordinate the state’s homeless efforts as impatient legislators await progress. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Senate has approved an appropriations bill that includes “additional money for homelessness and affordable housing programs which will help Hawaii, Sen. Brian Schatz said in a statement Friday. Civil Beat.

Officials say a staff shortage in the state’s Child Welfare Services agency has resulted in social workers juggling twice as many as cases of child abuse and neglect as they should. Associated Press.

A large banner reading “Defeat Hillary, Vote Trump!” expressed the sentiments of many of the several hundred people who attended Hawaii’s Republican state convention Saturday at the Filipino Community Center’s Casamina Flores Ballroom in Waipahu. But not every local Republican backs the New York businessman-turned-politician, and that led to turmoil when state Rep. Beth Fukumoto Chang took the stage. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers were reluctant again this year to strengthen the state ethics code or to tighten the rules lobbyists must follow. The Hawaii State Ethics Commission tracked more than 16 bills related to ethics and lobbying this past legislative session, which ended May 5. Each and every one died, many without so much as a public hearing. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.2 percent, seasonally adjusted, in April, from 3.8 percent during the same month last year, as the state’s labor force grew to nearly 690,000, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Pacific Business News.

The most ethnically diverse state in the country, Hawaii also has the highest proportion of non-English speakers. Tribune-Herald.

President Barack Obama on Friday joined the chorus of public officials honoring Hawaii Congressman Mark Takai, who announced Thursday he will not seek re-election but instead focus on his battle with cancer. Civil Beat.

The national retail chain Sports Authority has thanked all its loyalty members and said that “it is with great sadness” that it’s closing the program on Wednesday, May 25. KHON2.


The Honolulu Charter Commission might ask Oahu voters to consider eliminating neighborhood boards, using the money saved to fund other means of increasing civic participation. Star-Advertiser.

About a month after the Attorney General's office's charities division opened a civil investigation into questionable spending by the Bishop Museum's former CEO, Hawaii  News Now has learned that the AG's office has launched a separate criminal probe. Multiple sources tell us that the museum is cooperating with the criminal investigation and has handed over a number of documents relating to its former president Blair Collis' use of his museum credit card.

Even though the city and state have been teaming up to clear out the persistent Kakaako homeless encampment, one member of the board that oversees the waterfront parks says the population is growing to dangerous levels. Star-Advertiser.

Two lesbians who were arrested by a Honolulu police officer after he saw them hugging and kissing in a North Shore grocery store were recently awarded $80,000 to resolve a lawsuit they filed last October. Civil Beat.

Plans to redevelop a key section of Haleiwa town won approval from the City Council Zoning and Planning Committee on Thursday, despite opposition from the North Shore Outdoor Circle and others worried it might harm an adjacent Hawaiian fishpond. Star-Advertiser.


The telescopes atop Mauna Kea help support a local science and technology industry. But could they also attract more manufacturing jobs? A feasibility study by Hawaii’s High Technology Development Corporation will try to find out. Tribune-Herald.

Not all Native Hawaiians oppose construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea, a group of community leaders said Friday. The group has formed the nonprofit Perpetuating Unique Educational Opportunities Inc. — known by its acronym PUEO, for the endemic owl of Hawaiian myth and legend — and has filed a motion to intervene in the contested case currently underway. West Hawaii Today.

Kalani Flores, an appellant in the Thirty Meter Telescope court case, made his case in opposition to new rules that will regulate cultural practices on Mauna Kea. Big Island Video News.

For several years, a small office in the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism has been pursuing a spaceport certification for Kona International Airport, which would make it one of the few hubs for proposed commercial flights into suborbit. Tribune-Herald.

Two firefighters who claim they were stripped of their badges by Fire Chief Darren Rosario for publicly criticizing him are suing the chief and the county. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island farmers in line for permits to begin experimental industrial hemp production say the crop could be a major boon for agriculture. West Hawaii Today.

Sayonara, Japanese? Despite dramatic decrease of speakers in Hawaii, some vow to keep it alive. Tribune-Herald.


Hawaii’s attorney general has asked a federal appeals court to lift or modify an injunction halting the transfer of three state-owned hospitals in Maui County to private control under Kaiser Permanente, saying the time frame does not allow the state to reverse course and run the facilities as public hospitals. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii's attorney general is asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift or change an order issued Tuesday that suspended work to transfer Maui County's three public hospitals from the state to Maui Health Systems, a subsidiary of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. Maui News.

The Maui County Council passed the fiscal year 2017 budget on first reading Friday, with changes that included eliminating biodiesel fuel taxes and reappropriating housing funds originally targeted for photovoltaic systems. Maui News.

Hawaiian Homes broke ground to celebrate the beginning of construction for the first phase of the Keokea-Waiohuli subdivision in Kula on Thursday. The subdivision will be the future home for 46 Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries and their families. Hawaii News Now.

"The Last Harvest" is a series chronicling the various aspects of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.'s final harvest as it shuts down at the end of the year after a 145-year run. The shutdown of HC&S represents the end of sugar in Hawaii. The installments will run periodically throughout the year. Maui News.


Keeping the administration in check, maintaining the budget and fighting for the safety of hard-working families is what Mel Rapozo wants do to if elected to a new term on the Kauai County Council. Garden Island.

Over the decades, Mother Nature has been pretty tenacious about breaking down the three bridges that cross Wainiha Stream on Kuhio Highway. Once again, there’s talk about replacing them. Garden Island.

Construction of a beachfront timeshare slated to be built on the Eastside is expected to begin in the fall.Coconut Beach Resort, owned by Symmetry Property Development and SPD II Makaiwa Development Resort Development LLC, will begin construction of its 330-unit resort in the Coconut Plantation Resort Area in Kapaa in September. Garden Island.

Dozens of people waved signs along Kuhio Highway in Kapaa Saturday, supporting organic farming and condemning genetically engineered food. The rally was part of the global March Against Monsanto event. Garden Island.