Showing posts with label Gene Simmons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gene Simmons. Show all posts

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hawaii may score America's Cup, Legislature mulls gay conversion therapy, tax relief for farmers, university may hire local president, Dog the Bounty Hunter wants more laws, Schatz supports minimum wage hike, Kauai residents to pay fee to opt out of smart meter, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

America's Cup 2013 courtesy photo
The CEO of Larry Ellison's America's Cup champion Oracle Team USA says officials are talking with other venues, including Hawaii, about hosting the 2017 America's Cup because San Francisco isn't offering the same terms it had for last year's sailing races. Pacific Business News.

The next America’s Cup could be sailed off a Hawaiian beach, on San Diego Bay or in some other port instead of returning to a San Francisco Bay course bordered by the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. Associated Press.

State lawmakers will hear testimony Monday on a bill that would define "conversion therapy" as a form of child abuse. HB 1789 would ban the act of "conversion therapy" on minors. Hawaii News Now.

A bill making its way through the Hawaii Legislature seeks to provide a small measure of relief for livestock producers by exempting transportation costs for milk, poultry and other meats from the state’s general excise tax. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island Rep. Richard H.K. Onishi (Hilo, Keaau, Kurtistown, Pahala, Honoapu, Volcano) is calling for stronger protections for Hawaii’s farmers and ranchers by introducing a bill to strengthen Hawaii’s Right to Farm Act. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii lawmakers have proposed a number of bills this year aimed at making sure Hawaii is better prepared to deal with a toxic spill in the wake of the September molasses leak at Honolulu Harbor that killed thousands of fish and devastated coral reefs. Civil Beat.

Dog the Bounty Hunter, America’s best-known bounty hunter says it’s time for Hawaii to start regulating bounty hunters. Tribune-Herald.

Are you Filipino? The Hawaii Legislature has a caucus for you. Do you like spaceships? There's an AeroSpace Caucus, formed just this year. Support island agriculture? Check out the Local Food Caucus, another new hui. When it comes to getting certain types of legislation passed, caucuses are often the way to go. They allow lawmakers to work closely with like-minded colleagues, build support for issues of importance to them and raise the profile of their bills above the several thousand measures introduced each year. Civil Beat.

Schatz, Hanabusa
Deeper divide shown as Schatz, Hanabusa split on budget deal. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa — rivals in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate — cast different votes. Schatz voted with the majority, including every Senate Democrat. Hanabusa was one of just 32 Democrats in the House to vote against the deal. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz is giving his support to a package of proposals that includes a significant raise to the minimum wage. Schatz is one of 29 co-sponsors of the minimum wage bill, introduced in November. Tribune-Herald.

Longline fishing boat owners said they expect to lose millions of dollars in tuna catches in the central and western Pacific under an agreement in which the United States will reduce its longline tuna catch for three years starting in 2015. Star-Advertiser.

The search for the next University of Hawaii president, now into its seventh month, is shifting to focus on finding a local candidate and possibly forgoing the hiring of an outside search firm. And that candidate could be interim President David Lassner. Star-Advertiser.

Tom Yamachika was named interim president of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii at a special board of directors meeting Jan. 16. The board acted quickly to name a successor to Lowell Kalapa, the long-time voice of the foundation, following Kalapa’s death in late December. Associated Press.


Hawaii Sen. Clayton Hee is advocating for a new law that would create a park by Laniakea Beach on Oahu’s North Shore in an effort to address coastal erosion and get the state to move faster on long-held plans to fix traffic problems by the beach. The proposal is one of two bills that the influential lawmaker introduced last week in response to destructive waves wearing away beaches the North Shore. The second bill sets aside money for University of Hawaii scientists to create a beach management plan to mitigate coastal erosion in the area. Civil Beat.

Authorities have arrested an adult corrections officer at Halawa Correctional Facility in connection with a continuing investigation on methamphetamine dealing at the prison. Hawaii News Now.

Concerns about child harassment and a hostile work environment at a private college-preparatory school in Kapolei are alarming parents, driving away teachers and raising questions about the consequences of letting private schools in Hawaii regulate themselves. Civil Beat.


More than $13 million is headed for the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority to construct a new frontage road and intersections, upgrade a seawater pipeline and renovate administrative offices. West Hawaii Today.

The president of the Drug Policy Action Group told about 75 people at a “talk story” session about medical marijuana on Sunday that it is “a very exciting time to be involved with” marijuana activism. Tribune-Herald.


Gene Simmons and friend
Looking every bit the rock stars that they are, all dark shades, tight jeans and pursed lips, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of Kiss welcomed county officials and other well-wishers Sunday to an event celebrating their soon-to-open Rock & Brews restaurant. Star-Advertiser.

A surge in shark attacks on Maui during the past year, including two fatal ones, hasn’t stopped people from surfing and swimming in the warm ocean waters that surround the island. But it spurred sales of devices that claim to keep sharks away by emitting an electric pulse. Associated Press.

The Maui County Council gave initial approval for the county to pay a penalty of $70,000 for alleged violations at the Central Maui and Molokai landfills in 2011. Maui News.

The state Department of Transportation has completed a draft environmental assessment for a nearly $3.2 million project to protect the shoreline and Kahului Beach Road from eroding into the ocean. Maui News.

The Maui County Council gave initial approval Friday to various bills, including one to keep county pools open during holidays and another to set building height limits in hotel districts. Maui News.


The board’s decision stands. Members of Kauai Island Utility Cooperative voted to keep a fee structure in place that charges only members who opt out of using a smart meter. Garden Island.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative voted to keep fees that are charged to customers who don't want to use the company's wireless smart meter to measure their energy usage. Star-Advertiser.

The Kauai County Council is reconsidering a measure that may change the tasks for a specialized group charged with framing a study on pesticides and genetically modified organisms on Kauai. That measure, passed on the heels of Bill 2491, sets forth guidelines for a group of at least 12 people to lay the groundwork for an Environmental and Public Health Impacts Study. Garden Island.

Last year, 77,500 tons of trash were disposed of at the county’s Kekaha landfill. And that’s a problem. That landfill is near capacity and will eventually have to be closed. The best way to extend its life is to reduce the amount of waste, an average of 210 tons a day, being delivered there. The county of Kauai has a plan. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hawaii health director and Birther foe Fuddy killed in plane crash, auditor dings state tourism agency, Maui Council fights Sunshine Law, Honolulu moves to bus advertising, 14th shark attack of the year, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Health Director Loretta Fuddy and Gov. Neil Abercrombie
State Health Director Loretta Fuddy was killed, but eight other people survived, after a small commuter airplane crashed into the ocean shortly after taking off from Kalaupapa Airport Wednesday afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

Loretta Fuddy, the director of Hawaii's Department of Health, died in a plane crash off Molokai Wednesday. She was one of nine people aboard a Makani Kai Air flight scheduled to take off at 3:15 p.m. and fly to Honolulu. The flight crashed about a half-mile off the coast of Molokai. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Health Director dies in plane crash off Molokai. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 8 people were rescued, but Loretta Fuddy, 65, who is the director of the state Department of Health, did not survive. Deputy Health director Keith Yamamoto was rescued.Hawaii Reporter.

Multiple sources tell Hawaii News Now that Loretta Fuddy, director of the state Department of Health was killed in a small plane crash Wednesday afternoon off Kalaupapa.  Eight others survived. The Cessna Grand Caravan operated by Makani Kai Air reportedly went down at about 3:45 p.m. while heading from Molokai to Oahu.

Loretta Fuddy
Loretta Fuddy, 65, became acting health director in January 2011, after Gov. Neil Abercrombie's first nominee, Dr. Neal Palafox, withdrew his name at the governor's request. Just after being appointed and confirmed as the permanent health director, Fuddy made news in April 2011 when she verified the authenticity of certified copies of President Barack Obama's birth certificate proving that he had in fact been born in Hawaii. Obama had requested the release to end years of so-called birthers' claims that he was born in Kenya and not eligible to be president. Star-Advertiser.

Even after Hawaii took over the top spot as the healthiest state in one national report, state Health Director Loretta Fuddy was advocating for even more services for the disadvantaged. Hawaii News Now.

KITV4 has confirmed from two state government sources Hawaii's Health Department Director Loretta Fuddy died in the plane crash off Molokai Wednesday.

The news is hitting close to home for those who worked with Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy as well as those she helped. People who knew her say she was a genuine person who always cared for others. KITV4.

Governor Neil Abercrombie appointed Loretta Fuddy to her position more than two years ago. In her role as state health director, she also served as the mayor of Kalawao County on Molokai. KHON2.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority plans to ask the state Legislature to make changes to a law outlining the requirements for a single tourism marketing plan and will implement other internal improvements after a critical state audit. The audit accused the HTA of poor stewardship of the public money that supports Hawaii's $14.4 billion visitor industry, which accounts for 20 percent of Hawaii's economy. Star-Advertiser.

The state agency that is supposed to help academic researchers secure grants from government institutions and private funding sources is under scrutiny by Hawaii lawmakers who say it's being used to facilitate projects completely outside of its purview. The Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii is attached to the UH for administrative purposes only and is exempt from a range of state regulations, including the procurement code and certain civil service laws. Civil Beat.


The Honolulu City Council gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill that would allow advertising on the exteriors of city buses. Bill 69 now goes to the Council Budget Committee for further discussion. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council members shelved two resolutions that could have forced the city to either cancel or postpone the planned sale of 12 affordable housing complexes to a private group but also rejected a proposal to reaffirm support for the $143 million plan. Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who has been pushing Council members to support the so-called Honolulu Affordable Housing Preservation Initiative deal first reached by his predecessor, former Mayor Peter Carlisle, said he and his staff will meet with officials from Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners LLC today to try to salvage the deal. Star-Advertiser.

A $142 million business deal that would transfer ownership of a dozen of Honolulu’s public housing complexes to a private developer was left on the verge of collapse Wednesday night. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Councilmember Ikaika Anderson will announce his plans Thursday regarding a homeless community under the Nimitz viaduct. Anderson's plan will involve using a state-owned vacant lot adjacent to the viaduct to provide temporary shelter and basic sanitary services for the homeless. He said he would like the city and state to work together in finding better shelter. The press conference takes place at 12:30 p.m. at the Makai lot of Nimitz Highway. Hawaii News Now.

Current and former faculty of the University of Hawaii's Cancer Center are imploring the Board of Regents to support a change in leadership at the research center, citing a host of alleged offenses by embattled director Michele Carbone, including mismanagement of funds and retaliating against employees. Star-Advertiser.

King's Village Shopping Center, a retail complex in Waikiki designed to resemble Honolulu around 1900, may be redeveloped into a luxury condominium hotel. A local development partnership that bought the center last year announced its redevelopment idea Wednesday, saying that planning is in a preliminary phase and that more details will be made public as they are finalized. Star-Advertiser.

Organizers of this past weekend’s Honolulu Marathon say nearly 31,000 people signed up for this year’s race. As usual, about half of them came from Japan, many bringing relatives and friends. It’s simply the latest statistical reminder of the importance of the Japanese tourism market to the state’s economy. Civil Beat.


Hawaii recorded its 14th shark attack of the year Wednesday as a 29-year-old Captain Cook man reported being bitten by a 10- to 12-foot tiger shark off Punaluu on Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

A Captain Cook man is recovering from wounds to his hand and leg following an apparent shark attack Wednesday morning in waters near Punaluu Beach Park in Ka‘u. West Hawaii Today.

Parker Ranch on the Big Island, one of the largest private landowners in Hawaii, could become a major energy player following the University of Hawaii’s recent discovery that the Waimea ranch’s land might have potential for geothermal resources, Parker Ranch CEO Dutch Kuyper told Pacific Business News on Tuesday.

The county Board of Ethics, concerned that some Finance Department employees have a say about how their own property is valued for tax purposes, has scheduled a fact-finding hearing for next month. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Council has gone to court to keep the state's public information agency from forcing the county to turn over minutes from a closed-door executive session. It's a case that could have significant ramifications for the state's ability to crack down on violations of the state's Sunshine Law, which requires meetings to be held in public.  Civil Beat.

The Maui Planning Commission unanimously rejected appeals Tuesday that were aimed at challenging permits for the Rock & Brews restaurant, with project partners that include KISS hard rockers Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Maui News.

The Maui Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of land-use changes that would allow expansion and greater development flexibility for the Maui Research & Technology Park in Kihei. Maui News.

After a total of eight shark incidents in Maui waters this year, two of them fatal, Mayor Alan Arakawa shared with us his thoughts about mitigation and ocean safety. Maui Now.

The Maui Highways Division will resurface Kahekili Highway starting Monday and continuing through April 30. Star-Advertiser.


Kauai's auditor is claiming he's being retaliated against for an audit that reported a high-ranking elected official was improperly using a county gas card. Associated Press.

The Hanalei Plantation Resort project has entered a new phase with the publication Monday of its environmental impact statement preparation notice. Garden Island.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Share of hotel tax biggest issue for Hawaii counties, high shipping costs a growing concern, new consultant for Honolulu rail, Kiss opening Maui restaurant, Molokai feels short-changed by Larry Ellison's Island Air, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Kona hotel pool scene (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Hawaii’s four mayors and county councils are working to reach unanimous agreement on key tax issues so they can lobby the Legislature next year with a louder and more unified voice, officials said. The counties want to protect their share of the hotel tax revenue and have the state grant them a new taxing power so they can raise more funds, according to interviews with mayors, council members and legislators. The Hawaii State Association of Counties has invited the state's Council of Mayors to its meeting Wednesday in the hopes of reaching consensus on how to approach state lawmakers about the transient accommodations tax, general excise tax and other issues. Civil Beat.

Moving a container here from Los Angeles costs nearly 10 times more than moving that same container from Los Angeles to Shanghai, some three times farther. And that cost for shipping to and from Hawaii from the west coast is set to rise again. Hawaii Reporter.

The Navy’s top submarine commander in the Pacific says budget issues won’t affect his ability to deploy submarines next year. But Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer said he’s concerned cuts to the civilian workforce at the nation’s naval shipyards will mean submarines won’t be ready to deploy as quickly in 2015 and beyond. Associated Press.

Former State Welfare Worker Charged with Tampering with Government Records and Misapplication of Property. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaiian Airlines is starting to sell tickets for its first-ever direct flight to China. The airline plans to launch nonstop service from Honolulu to Beijing on April 16. It will operate the flight three times a week. Associated Press.


Local transit officials announced Tuesday they have awarded a $46.1 million contract to the consulting firm CH2M Hill Inc. to help oversee the next phase of Honolulu's rail project. Star-Advertiser.

A new contractor is taking over some of the oversight on Honolulu’s $5.26 billion rail project, and will be paid nearly $50 million to do so. On Tuesday, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation awarded a contract to CH2M Hill, an international engineering firm, to replace Parsons Brinckerhoff. Civil Beat.

'Virtual line' eases wait at satellite city hall. A low-cost system city workers developed lets people sit down rather than stand in queues. Star-Advertiser.

A former city street sweeper fired from his job after admitting to theft in an overtime scam was rehired by a different city department three years after losing his job. Hawaii News Now.

A developer is proposing to build 499 rental loft apartments in downtown Kapolei aimed at young professionals. But some community representatives say the area has plenty of housing and needs more places for young professionals to work. The local office of Ohio-based development firm Forest City Enterprises Inc. presented plans for the project called Kapolei Lofts at a meeting Monday night before the planning and zoning committee of the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board. Star-Advertiser.

Two Kamiloiki Elementary School students were sent to a hospital Tuesday morning after their Hawaii Kai school was evacuated following reports of a strange odor on campus. Star-Advertiser.

A contract that allows federal workers to trap and capture feral pigs at the city's Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden was allowed to lapse, resulting in increased damage to the grounds. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii County is still grappling with how to develop rules following a new state law exempting nonresidential structures on farms from building permits and plan reviews. The law, which went into effect July 1, allows structures such as sheds, barns, greenhouses and other buildings not intended for living space to be built without permits on commercial farmland within the agricultural district. West Hawaii Today.

After the Thirty Meter Telescope is built on Mauna Kea, it won’t be able to hold onto the title of world’s largest optical telescope for long. Other large observatories, including a telescope with a 39-meter mirror in Chile, are planned and may be completed a few years afterward. But Sandra Dawson, TMT spokeswoman, assured a luncheon of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii on Tuesday that it will remain the most advanced. Tribune-Herald.


Rockers Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the band Kiss are planning to be on Maui for a late January opening celebration for the Rock & Brews restaurant in Paia. Pacific Business News.

The Outlets of Maui, a retail and restaurant center under construction in the space once occupied by the former Lahaina Center, is scheduled for a soft opening Thursday, according to information released by the Maui Visitors Bureau. Maui Now.

The state Public Access Room, a division of the Legislative Reference Bureau, will conduct a series of free workshops on Maui called "We the Powerful!" the first week of December. Maui News.


An upcoming election to vote on whether Kauai Island Utility Cooperative should be charging additional fees to customers who choose to keep their old electric meters is pegged to cost about $63,000. Garden Island.

A popular south shore Kauai beach will undergo a small-scale sand replenishment project to address erosion. The county's Department of Parks and Recreation says the Poipu Beach project is scheduled to begin Dec. 9 and is expected to be completed by the end of the week. Associated Press.


Because of frequent and seemingly interminable delays, folks who live on the Friendly Island are not feeling very friendly toward Island Air. Dozens of Molokai residents who spoke with Civil Beat said they feel like the company is giving them short shrift, perhaps in favor of routes to Lanai. That island's owner, billionaire Larry Ellison, bought Island Air in March.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Super Senator(?) Schatz, OSHA turns inspections back to Hawaii, builder tapped for Coco Palms, former state senator dies, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii senators
U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono file photo
Brian Schatz, Hawaii's Super Senator? The Hawaii politician has a slick PR machine. But can he lead? Civil Beat.

A new Nissan Pathfinder, two power saws, tickets to a trendy nightclub and a full sized male mannequin. Those were some of the pricier – or more unusual items – found in the campaign expenditure reports of Hawaii lawmakers. Hawaii Reporter.

OSHA turns manufacturing back over to the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division just as Federal funding is again in jeopardy. Hawaii Independent.

Cal Kawamoto, who served in the state Senate for a decade and was a tireless advocate for Waipahu, died on Sunday after suffering a heart attack earlier this month. He was 73. Star-Advertiser.

Kona Brewing Co.’s Longboard Island Lager bottle was recently honored by the Glass Packaging Institute for its “innovation, package design and consumer appeal” during the group’s annual Clear Choice Awards at Pack Expo. Pacific Business News


An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment Wednesday charging a former teacher's aide at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind with sexually assaulting a student at the school. Star-Advertiser.

Homeless advocates have filed the first legal challenge to the city's sidewalk nuisance law which went into effect in July. Brian Brazier, an attorney for De Occupy Honolulu which has set up camp at Thomas Square, said the confiscation of personal belongings constitutes an unreasonable seizure. Hawaii News Now.

It is no surprise that Lex Smith, a well-connected attorney, has been a key player in the contentious efforts to develop the rustic Kahuku Village on the North Shore into a multi-million dollar real estate development. Civil Beat.

The new owners of Tesoro Corp.'s Kapolei oil refinery say they are poised to take advantage of a boom in North American crude supplies that could allow the facility to ramp up its production of gasoline, jet fuel and other products. Star-Advertiser.

North Shore residents told state transportation officials that barricading the parking lot at Laniakea Beach is not the solution for traffic problems in the area. More than a hundred area residents attended a meeting Wednesday night at Haleiwa Elementary School of the Department of Transportation's Task Force on re-aligning Kamehameha Highway at Laniakea, with about two dozen airing their concerns. Hawaii News Now.

Homeless leave Pawaa as city closes down park. Officials say the area needs cleaning for visits by South Korean groups. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii Kai man is getting ready for a battle with the city in court over a pothole. Donald Fehlmann is suing the city because he says it’s refusing to pay for damage to his car. KHON2.

Kaiser High School Principal John Sosa has been placed on paid leave as the Department of Education conducts an investigation. It's unclear what the investigation entails. Star-Advertiser.


Funding for the second phase of the Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening project isn’t in any danger of lapsing, at least not on the federal end, officials assured the Kona Community Development Plan Action Committee Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

“Get a grip; we are zero ‘frightened,’” wrote jailed cannabis minister Roger Christie in an email sent to the Tribune-Herald on Wednesday in the wake of news that he and his wife, Share Christie, had accepted a plea deal with prosecutors in their federal marijuana distribution case. Tribune-Herald.

A Keaukaha man says he plans to continue to protest Hawaii Electric Light Co. online and on the street after chaining himself to the utility’s Hilo office door earlier this month. Tribune-Herald.


A finding of no significant environmental impact has been issued on the proposed consolidated car rental facility for Kahului Airport, and officials hope construction can begin in March. Maui News.

Famed rocker Gene Simmons from KISS and his wife Shannon Tweed were in Hawaii in January 2008 to film two episodes of their television reality show, Family Jewels. While they were in town, Simmons was the keynote speaker at the Smart Business Hawaii Annual Business and Investment Conference. Hawaii Reporter.

An activities booking business, The Maui Fun Co., has closed, leaving behind possibly more than $100,000 in debts to activity providers, from downhill bike operations to luaus. Maui News.


Kauai-based Unlimited Construction Services has been chosen as the design-build contractor for the redevelopment of the iconic Coco Palms Resort on Kauai’s Eastside, the developers said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

The owners of Coco Palms Resort in Wailua announced Wednesday they have sent most of the reconstruction permits to the county and have picked their team to rebuild the hotel. Garden Island.

In an effort to take the guesswork out of what container a recyclable should be placed in, the county’s Recycling Office has developed image-based signage with a local flair for the public’s use. Garden Island.

The revised master plan for Kokee and Waimea Canyon state parks is back with the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Garden Island.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hawaii governor signs preschool bills, medical marijuana bills to be signed today, Feds to set rules for Hawaiian Homelands, permit granted for Gene Simmons Maui restaurant, Honolulu council tackles smoking bans, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

preschool bill signing
Hawaii preschoolers sing before bill signing
Surrounded by preschoolers, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill Monday that expands early childhood education. Even though it’s a far cry from what Abercrombie envisioned, he declared, “No other piece of legislation this year was more important.” The bill funds $1.16 million for administrative costs and $6 million in subsidies to help 900 children. Associated Press.

Hawaii moved closer Monday to providing universal preschool under legislation Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed that establishes a statewide school readiness program. Star-Advertiser.

universal preschool bill
Preschool bill signing
Governor Neil Abercrombie calls the 'school readiness' bill the most important legislation of the session. Parents in Hawaii pay an average of 640-dollars per month to send their child to preschool. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s first changes to its medical marijuana laws since their inception 13 years ago will begin with a bill-signing today, after the legislation survived a rather short potential veto list released Monday by Gov. Neil Abercrombie. West Hawaii Today.

Legislative leaders say they plan to meet with other lawmakers this week but do not expect a special session to override any of the nine bills on Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s potential veto list. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie notified lawmakers Monday that he intends to veto just nine of the 293 bills they passed. Last year, he had 20 bills on the list and went on to veto 14. In 2011, his potential veto list included 25 bills and he vetoed 17. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday notified Hawaii lawmakers of his intent to veto nine of the 293 measures that passed the Legislature during this year’s session. Pacific Business News.

For the first time in nearly 100 years, the U.S. government may soon have formal rules for the federal law designed to put eligible Native Hawaiians onto homestead lots. The U.S. Department of the Interior on Monday notified the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands of its intent to establish rules related to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, which set up a trust comprising roughly 200,000 acres throughout the islands for homesteading purposes. Star-Advertiser.

On March 1, Gov. Neil Abercrombie called for the formation of a Sequestration Impact Response Team to address nationwide federal spending reductions. The team is still trying to fill the 25 slots with people from government, the military, business and non-profits. Hawaii News Now.

The third National Climate Assessment aims to help federal, state and local officials to adapt to mounting environmental challenges that are likely to result from warming waters, higher average temperatures, more extreme weather, and rising sea levels. Civil Beat.

Hawaii falls smack dab in the middle of a list that rates overall child well-being across the country. Civil Beat.

While some analysts have compared the state’s growing unfunded pension and retirement benefit liabilities as a “tsunami,” overwhelming state taxpayers with an enormous debt, the comparison isn’t valid, says a new Senate Minority report. Hawaii Reporter.

Federal and state authorities are asking boaters to call in when they see dead whales floating at sea. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration regional marine mammal response manager David Schofield says early reporting allows officials to locate dead whales and tow the carcasses away from the islands. Associated Press.

State roundup for June 25. Associated Press.


Three bills designed to curb smoking in public places on Oahu will be on the agenda of the City Council Public Safety and Economic Development Committee today. Star-Advertiser.

A nonprofit group under investigation for possible misuse of federal grant money received nearly $30 million in contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense between 2000 and 2012. Opportunities and Resources, Inc., also known as ORI Anuenue Hale, runs a wellness center and workplace for elderly and developmentally disabled people next to the Dole Plantation in Central Oahu. Civil Beat.

Oahu nonprofit groups may now request as little as $25,000, instead of a minimum of $50,000, from the city's new Grants in Aid Fund, city officials announced Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Although Honolulu's new sidewalk nuisance law is more than two months old, enforcement won't begin until next Monday. The city was forced to delay implementation if Bill 7 until new administrative rules could be written. KITV4.

Aliiolani Hale, the 139-year-old downtown Honolulu building that is home to the Hawaii Supreme Court and the iconic statue of Kame­ha­meha I, is about to undergo nearly $3 million in repairs. Star-Advertiser.

A  plan by a geologist and former mineral exploration company chief executive to establish an organic cacao farm in Wai­kane Valley took a step forward with publication of a draft environmental assessment Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

Members of the public can provide feedback on the latest designs for three planned rail stations — West Loch, Waipahu Transit Center and Leeward Community College — during a 6:30 p.m. meeting today at Waipahu Intermediate school, 94-455 Farrington Highway. Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, the semiautonomous government agency overseeing the entire rail project, is holding the meeting. Star-Advertiser.


More than 50,000 of the state’s kids — or 17 percent — lived in poverty in 2011, up from 13 percent in 2005. Hawaii County, in particular, continues to have the highest child poverty rate, increasing from 18 percent in 2008 to almost 30 percent in 2011, according to statistics released Monday. West Hawaii Today.


Rock & Brews LLC, a California-based restaurant chain involving rocker Gene Simmons of Kiss fame, which has plans to open in Paia on Maui, is moving ahead as the state of Hawaii recently approved its special management area minor permit. Pacific Business News.

Camp Maluhia, the largest Boy Scouts of America camp in Hawaii, received $1.5 million from the state for facility improvements and repairs as part of $41.2 million in state funding for capital improvement projects released by Gov. Neil Abercrombie on June 6. Maui News.

The Maui County law says sign waving too close to roads, crosswalks or intersections can distract drivers and become a hazard so there are space restrictions. But residents say it's not fair that the law is being selectively enforced. Kevin Olson's sign reads, "MPD spotter van ahead in the Times Super Market parking lot. Be smart." Holding that sign got Kevin Olson a $50 ticket. Hawaii News Now.


The Department of Water will hold informational meetings over the next few weeks to discuss the scheduled 11.2 percent water rate increase that will take effect on July 1. Garden Island.

A proposal to be introduced by the Kauai County Council Wednesday would mean a significant hike in dog-license fees — especially for owners of unneutered and unspayed dogs.Garden Island.

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.