Showing posts with label Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cesspool rules in limbo, OHA chair and UH Cancer Center head step down, Kauai dairy farm wins approval, agencies seek FEMA funds in lava disaster, Maui ends Kihei curbside recycling, rail speeds up, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hibiscus blooms along Hawaii coast © 2014 All Hawaii News
Responding to public opposition, the state Department of Health dramatically watered down its proposed rules phasing out cesspools, but it’s unknown if Gov. Neil Abercrombie will sign the package before he leaves office Monday. West Hawaii Today.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee Colette Machado announced Tuesday that she would step down as chairperson of the nine-member board when the new panel takes office in December. Star-Advertiser.

Matson Inc., the largest ocean cargo transportation company in the state, announced Tuesday that freight rates to and from Hawaii will rise an average 5.4 percent effective Jan. 4. Star-Advertiser.

A strong flow of recovery and reconstruction supplies through Hilo Harbor kept Young Brothers shipping totals on the rise at that port, even as other maritime entry points around the neighbor islands saw cargo volume slip 2.1 percent in the third quarter. West Hawaii Today.

Texas-based Blue Jay Wireless, has received so much government money through the federal Lifeline cellphone program over the past year that the former head of the state Public Utilities Commission is calling for an investigation. Civil Beat.

Michele Carbone, the embattled leader of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center who resigned on Friday, has issued a detailed account of his triumphs while director of the center. Civil Beat.

A report by the Center for Disease Control found that lax security measures and a number of safety hazards at the University of Hawaii's biolab. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii State Rep. Bob McDermott is slamming the University of Hawaii over its refusal to disclose data collected from middle school students during a controversial sex education program. Hawaii Reporter.

A state employee has been charged with felony theft after an act she allegedly committed while working for the governor. Authorities said Roxanne Kamalu used a computer in September 2013 to spend hundreds of dollars in state money for personal benefit. KHON2.

Opinion: Why is Medical Marijuana Legal Only for Green Thumbs? Fifteen years after its approval, Hawaii’s process is changing. But that won't necessarily make it any easier for patients to get their medicine. Civil Beat.


Former banker Roy Amemiya Jr., once praised by politicians and civil servants for helping maintain the integrity of city government, is back at Hono­lulu Hale, this time as Mayor Kirk Caldwell's second-in-command. Star-Advertiser.

Lanes in sections of H-1 and H-2 near Leeward Community College will be closed at night beginning next week as workers begin building a section of Honolulu's $5.16 billion elevated rail guideway that will connect Waipahu to Pearl City, officials with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation said. Pacific Business News.

Another round of partial freeway closures is slated to begin next week — this time for construction of the rail guideway overpass. Star-Advertiser.

Starting Monday the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (Hart) will start the most dramatic piece of construction along the 20 mile rail route and with it there will be considerable traffic impacts. Hawaii News Now.

Removal of a filthy water feature at Chinatown's Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Park should be completed by the end of November, giving hope to residents that the work will eliminate an unhealthy and unsafe haven in the neighborhood and draw more people to the Hawaii Theatre next door. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawai’i Community Development Authority met one last time before the new Governor takes office and approved the development of two high rise towers in Kaka’ako. Hawaii Public Radio.

Attorney General's Office staffers armed with a search warrant seized records from the financially ailing Halau Lokahi Public Charter School on Tuesday for an investigation into expenditures. Star-Advertiser.

Lava that recently was threatening homes and a nearly $4 million waste transfer station continued to cool Tuesday as Hawaii County prepared to reopen a closed section of Pahoa Village Road in time for Thanksgiving. Tribune-Herald.

Eight applications have been submitted by qualifying organizations and state and county agencies seeking federal reimbursement for protective actions taken or planned in response to the June 27 lava flow ahead of the Dec. 3 deadline. West Hawaii Today.

Maui County announced that its pilot "3 Can Plan" curbside recycling project in Kihei will end Feb. 1 after a 2year run. Maui News.

Future plans for Pāʻani Mai Park in Hāna, Maui, will be the focus of discussion for an upcoming meeting hosted by the Maui Department of Parks and Recreation. Maui Now.


Hawaii Dairy Farms has been awarded building permits for its proposed $17.5 million, 578-acre dairy in the Mahaulepu Valley. Garden Island.

A planned Kauai dairy has received building permit approval from the county. Hawaii Dairy Farms announced Tuesday the state Department of Health has completed its review, which allowed for the approval of the building permits. Associated Press.

A county employee has filed a civil complaint against the County of Kauai, alleging retaliation and violations of the whistleblower’s act. Garden Island.

The old pavilion/comfort station at Hanamaulu Beach Park is scheduled for demolition starting at 8:30 a.m. today and is expected to be completed by the end of the day. Garden Island.

Monday, November 24, 2014

More join Maui GMO fight, homeless the bane of Chinatown, lava flow costs taxpayers and home sales, Ige building Cabinet, Kauai homeless drop, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Maui GMO opponents courtesy photo
A week after a federal judge granted Monsanto a temporary injunction halting the implementation of Maui County's voter-approved initiative that would temporarily ban the cultivation of genetically engineered crops, proponents of the measure filed to dismiss the federal lawsuit challenging the initiative. Maui News.

Two organizations have separately filed motions in federal court seeking to defend Maui County’s temporary moratorium on genetically engineered crops after expressing doubt as to the county’s commitment to the ordinance. Civil Beat.

At a seminar for new governors last weekend in Colorado hosted by the National Governors Association, Gov.-elect David Ige learned that a governor's most precious resource is time. Star-Advertiser.

Conservation groups are suing the National Marine Fisheries Service over a new rule that increases the amount of Big-Eye Tuna (ahi) that can be legally caught.  The lawsuit says that a ruling issued on October 28th, nearly doubles the amount of tuna that can be caught in the central and western Pacific. Hawaii Public Radio.

Opinion: Gov. Neil Abercrombie's graceless excuses seeking to spin his landslide loss as somebody's fault other than his own is making him difficult to ignore and further tarnishing what's left of his legacy. Star-Advertiser.


A Circuit Court judge has ruled there was prosecutorial misconduct in a high-profile alleged gambling case that resulted in hundreds of sweepstakes machines being seized, nine people being arrested, and a 414-count indictment -- the largest in the state's history. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell received about 100 letters and emails in three months complaining about the homeless. Most are from local residents, not tourists. Civil Beat.

Like other business operators in Chinatown, Sam Say said he has noticed an influx of new faces in the area's homeless community in recent months, a possible result of the ban on sitting and lying on sidewalks that took effect in Wai­kiki in September. Star-Advertiser.

At Transit Oriented Development Summit, Experts Urge Honolulu to Dream Big. Speakers at Saturday's conference suggest adding more financing options and focusing on very low-income housing to improve growth around rail. Civil Beat.

The newly renovated, brightly-lit Makai Market Food Court at Ala Moana Center is a big hit with both diners and restaurant owners alike. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii’s state campaign spending commissioners want the Honolulu city prosecutor to investigate a case brought by former Gov. Ben Cayetano against Pacific Resource Partnership’s political action committee. Hawaii Reporter.


The slow-moving lava flow from Kilauea volcano is costing more than frayed nerves. It’s also costing county taxpayers millions of dollars. West Hawaii Today.

Lower Puna real estate sales fall sharply amid lava threat. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai'i County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira and his team are going door-to-door along Pahoa Village Road letting residents know they're going to re-open the street as soon as crews finish removing the cinder piles surrounding the heat-protective wraps that were installed around the Hawaiian Telcom poles. They're expected to be finished by Monday, so officials are telling the families living there to prepare for the barricades at Post Office Road and Apa'a Street to come down sometime tomorrow afternoon. Hawaii News Now.

Officials hope to reopen the remainder of Pahoa Village Road in time for the Thanksgiving Day holiday, Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said Friday. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Council approved two business measures Friday on first reading - one to reduce permitted vacation rental property tax rates and a second to allow home businesses in neighborhoods under certain conditions. Maui News.

Maui County Council Member Don Couch has introduced a measure that he hopes will help defuse a conflict over strained communications between council members and their staffs and county department directors and other administration officials. Maui News.

Scientists are saying the shark most likely to bite you likes hanging out in shallower waters. Tiger sharks are often the most likely culprit in shark bites in Hawaii, and researchers are beginning to believe the tiger shark's favorite destination is Maui. Associated Press.


In the last fiscal year, the state’s homeless population increased by 3 percent. On Kauai, however, homeless numbers dropped nearly 10 percent, according to a new University of Hawaii report. Garden Island.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Many Hawaii homeless new arrivals, Abercrombie says same-sex marriage highlight of gubernatorial term, PAC spending case sent to prosecutor, Hawaii council advances e-cig ban, Kakaako construction gone wild, Maui could hike water rates in droughts, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Honolulu homeless © 2014 All Hawaii News
About 6 percent of Hawaii's homeless population — or about 600 people — arrived in the Aloha State in only the last 12 months, according to a new University of Hawaii report. In addition, about 16 percent of the homeless population — or about 1,600 people — told Hawaii social service workers they became new residents within the last five years. Star-Advertiser.

Opponents of a proposal to put in place the city's "sit-lie" ordinance in business districts across Oahu plan to hold rally at Hono­lulu Hale starting shortly before midday Thursday to urge Mayor Kirk Caldwell to veto the bill passed by the Honolulu City Council. Star-Advertiser.

A Statewide Homeless Awareness Conference on O’ahu is scheduled for Friday. It will bring service providers and government agencies together to look for viable solutions. Hawaii Public Radio.

An immigration reform proposal expected to be unveiled by President Barack Obama today could protect hundreds of undocumented immigrants living in Hawaii from deportation. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Wednesday described the legalization of same-sex marriage as his proudest accomplishment as governor and said he wished he had done more to convince the public of the need for shared sacrifice near the end of the recession. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Attorney General David Louie plans to appeal a court’s decision requiring the release of financial disclosure statements of certain state board members, which is expected to keep the records private while that lengthy process plays out. Civil Beat.

Opinion: Hawaii Needs to Spread a Little Digital Aloha. Our new governor should take steps — even if they're costly — to drag the islands’ computer systems into the modern world. Civil Beat.


The city prosecutor's office is now tasked with deciding whether criminal charges are warranted in connection with two complaints related to the 2012 mayoral campaign activities of the Pacific Resource Partnership Political Action Committee. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu prosecutors will decide whether to file criminal charges against the Pacific Resource Partnership’s political action committee for failing to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars spent during the 2012 mayoral campaign, among other violations. The state Campaign Spending Commission voted 3-1 Wednesday to refer two complaints against PRP to city prosecutors. Civil Beat.

A global engineering and design firm that holds three Oahu rail project contracts has purchased a rival company that holds the contract to oversee the design firm's work, forcing city officials to look at ways to resolve an apparent conflict of interest. Star-Advertiser.

The former lead prosecutor in the gambling, money laundering and racketeering case involving arcade sweepstakes machines is facing possible sanctions for failing to show up in state court Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Pearl Harbor is getting a fourth Virginia-class submarine next week, adding to the high-tech firepower the Navy has said will accompany the rebalance to the Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii developer Stanford Carr's Keauhou Lane project, which includes 388 residential units in a 400-foot high-rise tower, along with 35 townhouse units in a 42-foot mid-rise tower, is slated to start construction in late March or early April. Pacific Business News.

Better coordination between landowners, developing a business improvement district and subsidizing retailers were some of the ideas tossed around at a town hall meeting in Downtown Honolulu that focused on the pedestrian experience in the growing Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako. Pacific Business News.

Opinion: Imagining Kakaako — How Our Hearts Lead Us Astray. The area is developing all too quickly thanks to public/private cooperation on steroids and the lack of urban vision. Civil Beat.

Reece Huculak-Kimmel has become known as the million-dollar baby. The 11-month-old Canadian girl was prematurely born at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children on Dec. 10 and her parents are now responsible for a $950,000 bill that insurance won't cover. Star-Advertiser.


A bill prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes anywhere smoking traditional cigarettes is banned moved ahead Wednesday to its final vote, after attempts to first amend, then delay, the measure were batted away by a County Council majority. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County’s Civil Defense chief said he will continue to assess whether road restrictions should be lifted as the June 27 lava flow remains calm near Pahoa. Tribune-Herald.

US House Panel Gets Volcano Hazard Update. Reps. Hanabusa and Gabbard were among those at the congressional hearing that included testimony from Hawaii officials. Civil Beat.

The June 27 lava flow took centerstage Wednesday during a Congressional subcommittee hearing on volcano monitoring in the United States. Tribune-Herald.

The comptroller for the state Department of Accounting and General Services has joined the lineup of opposition to placing the Keauhou aquifer under the control of the state’s water commission. West Hawaii Today.

Two top administrators of the state Department of Health’s Adult Mental Health Division appeared in a Hilo courtroom Tuesday to explain delays in performing a mental examination for a woman jailed several months for relatively minor offenses. Tribune-Herald.


Members of the council committee on water resources today passed a bill on first reading that seeks to establish special water rate actions and conservation measures during times of water shortages and drought. Maui Now.

Lahainaluna High School staff, students, supporters and local politicians have formed a Lahainaluna Boarding Department Working Group to sustain the historic and nearly 200-year-old program that has been hit with funding problems and the phasing out of traditional and lucrative farming programs. Maui News.


The Kauai County Council soundly defeated a proposal encouraging Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s administration to create a low-interest loan program that would help residents upgrade their cesspools to septic systems on the heels of imminent changes to state Department of Health rules on wastewater. Garden Island.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ige slowly filling Cabinet, Abercrombie asks that Aila stay at DLNR, state Medicaid plan misleads 318k beneficiaries, Honolulu prosecutor mislaid rape cases, Maui council defers polystyrene bill, Kapoho fish kill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Island's new Saddle Road © 2014 All Hawaii News
Gov.-elect David Ige will bring Ford Fuchigami back to the state Department of Transportation as its director. Fuchigami had served as the department's interim director before taking a post Nov. 1 as director of the city Department of Enterprise Services. Star-Advertiser.

Outgoing Governor Fired Up About Climate Change. On a night of passionate statements about the planet's future, Gov. Abercrombie urges Gov.-elect Ige to keep William Aila as head of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii has enlisted a familiar face to lobby for federal research dollars in Washington, D.C., under a new contract signed last month. Jennifer Sabas, the former chief of staff for the late U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye, will be part of a two-person lobbying team from The National Group that will try to secure funds in fields such as astronomy, ocean sciences and food sustainability. Civil Beat.

The state Medicaid health insurance program, which has more than 318,000 beneficiaries, mailed out fliers in August incorrectly stating that Kaiser Permanente Hawaii is not accepting new Quest members. Star-Advertiser.

A new study analyzing poverty and income inequality in U.S. counties concluded that Hawaii County has high levels of poverty and inequality. The report by the Population Reference Bureau also found that while Maui County has relatively low poverty rates, it has high inequality. Civil Beat.

Thousands of veterans in Hawaii have started to receive "Choice Cards" from the Department of Veterans Affairs that are meant to provide health care in the community as an alternative to long waits for VA appointments. Star-Advertiser.

An Air Force colonel is joining the Hawaii public school system's leadership team. The state Department of Education said Tuesday Dan Carlson will head the Office of School Facilities and Support Services as an assistant superintendent. Associated Press.

They are essential to the success of Hawaii's child welfare system.  They take in abused and neglected children, some with complicated physical or emotional problems, and temporarily care for them, house them and nurture them. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: Let’s Tackle the Public Policies Promoting Obesity. A soda tax is just one idea. There are other public policies to be considered. Civil Beat.


About one month after officials implemented a new reservation system and policy, Handi-Van users are still outraged by the service they're receiving. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu doctor to serve in Ebola hot zone. Death rate among health care workers infected with virus nearly 57 percent. KITV4.

City prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro stunned Honolulu City Council members Tuesday when he admitted several rape cases were never prosecuted because the office lost track of them. KHON2.

City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro apologized and took personal responsibility for the mishandling of a negligent-homicide case that has left the grieving family of an Ewa Beach man continuing to seek answers two years after he died from injuries he sustained when hit by a truck near his home. Star-Advertiser.


A new building will be cropping up at the West Hawaii Civic Center in a few years, thanks to initial action Tuesday by the County Council Finance Committee. The committee unanimously agreed to forward to the council with a positive recommendation a $9.6 million appropriation to plan and construct a building for the county Prosecutor’s Office. West Hawaii Today.

Following a wave of testimony supporting new regulations on aquarium collectors, a County Council committee on Tuesday postponed action, saying more scientific information is needed before a bill is implemented. Most council members said, however, they would, if they could, favor a total ban on commercial aquarium fish collection. West Hawaii Today.

A significant fish kill in the Kapoho tide pools this weekend represents yet another worrisome event within a fragile ecosystem that is seemingly under siege from all sides. Tribune-Herald.

Residents seemed to hold mixed views on a county project to bring sewer lines to the Lono Kona subdivision. But even those in support of the plan at a public hearing Tuesday night in Kailua-Kona worried about how the system would impact their wallets. West Hawaii Today.

A $28 million program aimed at benefiting farmers will continue in its current state a little longer, despite fears some landowners are abusing the program at the expense of other taxpayers. West Hawaii Today.

Geologists say a tube system that has supplied lava to the outer reaches of the June 27 flow could slowly be refilling several miles upslope of Pahoa while breakouts continue to keep the threat far from homes. Tribune-Herald.

As lava continues to move slowly toward Pahoa, costs are increasing for Hawaii County, including those for emergency services and road construction.  But there's another cost:  the county's long term potential for revenue. Hawaii Public Radio.


After listening to more than two hours of public testimony, the Maui County Council's Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee deferred action Monday on a bill that would ban the use and sale of polystyrene disposable food containers in Maui County. Maui News.

The Maui County Council will form a Committee of the Whole next term to handle litigation matters, the hiring and payment of special counsels, indemnification and settlements, according to Council Member Mike White's office. Maui News.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa is accepting applications for seats on two dozen county boards and commissions. Associated Press.

A workshop on a draft West Maui watersheds study will be hosted this month by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Maui News.

The University of Hawaiʻi will offer four financial aid workshops in Maui County for Native Hawaiian students interested in attending college, and those interested in applying for college scholarships. Maui Now.

Monsanto Co. and Dow Chemical Co. are challenging a law in Maui County. The law, approved by voters Nov. 4, bans cultivation and experiments with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Hawaii Reporter.


Outgoing Kauai County Council Chair Jay Furfaro is sponsoring a measure that encourages Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and his administration to create a low-interest loan program that would help qualified Kauai residents living near steams, rivers, oceans or shorelines convert their cesspools to septic systems. Garden Island.

A Kauai County Councilmember is asking the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to help preserve the character of Hanalei Bay by restricting large vessels from its waters. Garden Island.

Animals — chickens, sheep, geese and feral pigs — on Grove Farm Company land are the likely source of pollution ending up in Waiopili Stream in Mahaulepu. Garden Island.

Each day, at the picnic tables fronting the Historic County Building, dozens of people gather. They are a community of homeless. Garden Island.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hawaii officials urge U.S. Army not to leave islands, Navy working on renewable energy research, Abercrombie recognized for gay marriage, lava flow poised to consume garage, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Pohakuloa Training Area © 2014 All Hawaii News
State and city officials are asking for the public's help in fending off a proposal that would reduce Army personnel in Hawaii by 20,000 and cost the state $1.35 billion. Star-Advertiser.

With the U.S. Army looking at restructuring its forces, community leaders, lawmakers and military supporters gathered at Honolulu Hale this morning to launch a campaign that aims to keep Hawaii's heroes in the islands. KITV4.

The U.S. Army is considering a proposal that would eliminate close to 20,000 soldiers and civilian workers from Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter as part of its 20-20 “force structure realignment.” This could severely impact Hawaii’s economy, with officials estimating a loss of $1.35 billion. KHON2.

The U.S. Navy is putting millions of dollars into renewable energy research in Hawaii. The Defense Department is the largest energy consumer in the U.S., and has long been worried about having to rely on expensive fuel oil for military operations. Associated Press.

Hawaii has become ground zero for a Pentagon research drive to develop alternative energy in areas including Asia and the Pacific, where the need to travel long distances -- and use lots of fuel oil to do it -- has been identified as a national security risk. Star-Advertiser.

Outgoing Gov. Neil Abercrombie will be given an award for his work to legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaii. Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who leaves office Dec. 1, will be given an award next week for his work to legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Gov.-elect David Ige took his first step as the incoming leader of Hawaii, announcing he will appoint Mike McCartney as his chief of staff. Associated Press.

David Ige: Engineer, Technocrat … and Ballet Dad? Hawaii's governor-elect recently opened up to Civil Beat about his entry into politics, why he stayed and how fatherhood may have slowed his legislative ascent. Civil Beat.

David Ige takes office with few political debts. The new administration's first test may be dealing with powerful interests. Star-Advertiser.

With 12.5 percent of all children born prematurely in the islands, Hawaii once again earned an average "C" grade for premature births even as the national rate dropped to a 17-year low of 11.4 percent. Star-Advertiser.

Students and faculty at the University of Hawaii are joining forces to try to force solutions to the system's spiraling financial crisis. Hawaii Reporter.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration is having second thoughts about relocating 100 homeless people to a vacant lot on Sand Island. Civil Beat.

Interest in Hawaii as a test bed for wave energy technology is swelling as companies flock to Kaneohe Bay to prove the durability of their power-generating devices in the Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

A house in the Windward Oahu town of Kailua that Hawaii native Barack Obama once used as a getaway just months before he was elected president has been sold for $9.5 million. Pacific Business News.


A lava breakout in the area of Apa’a Street near the cemetery has entered a private property and is only 5 yards away from the garage area of a residential structure. Civil defense says it is possible that these buildings may be affected by the advancing flow later today. Big Island Video News.

According to Hawaii County Civil Defense, Sunday morning’s assessment of the June 27 lava flow from Kilauea Volcano shows that the flow front remains stalled with very little activity and has not advanced over the past 10 days. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said Friday officials are not considering re-opening Pahoa Village Road despite the front of the June 27 lava flow from Kilauea stalling for more than a week.Tribune-Herald.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard might have been in Pahoa as a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard, but her fatigues hardly helped in her blend in with the other men and women in uniform at a lava informational meeting Thursday evening. Tribune-Herald.

People seriously late on their sewer bills could soon find their water shut off, under a measure winning initial approval Friday. West Hawaii Today.

A team of representatives from the research and development company Makani spent Wednesday evening in Waimea assuring pilots that an experimental wind project won’t interfere with flights. West Hawaii Today.

Group launched to stop alleged turtle poaching. West Hawaii Today.


Some Maui parents cheered the Legislature's approval of $130 million for a new high school last year, believing it meant a new school would open by 2016. But due to how the funding was structure, the state Department of Education said the school will have to be built in phases and won't open until perhaps 2020. Associated Press.

The Maui County Council on Friday approved amendments to the county's public sign ordinance in accordance with a U.S. District Court settlement involving a free-speech lawsuit stemming from a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march in Wailuku. Maui News.

Maui County Council Chairwoman Gladys Baisa and other concerned citizens have been assured by Gov. Neil Abercrombie that he will not sign off on proposed changes to cesspool rules in Hawaii, Baisa told The Maui News on Friday. Maui News.


Living treasures honored. Garden Island.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Sweeping new police powers block media lava access, Kauai minister wants his peyote back, Maui GMO foe accused of buying votes, Honolulu rail work stifles businesses, Ige picks up Abercrombie votes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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National Guard blocks lava access © 2014 All Hawaii News
Dozens of Hawaii National Guard members in combat gear arrived in Pahoa Thursday to help local officials man checkpoints and patrol the area. But the efforts to restrict access to this small town 20 miles southwest of Hilo is causing friction between the civil authorities and journalists here to cover the disaster. At issue is a new law that gives local authorities sweeping powers in times of natural disasters. Civil Beat.

More than 80 members of the Hawaii Army and Air National Guard deployed this morning in Puna to assist police as the June 27 lava flow continues its relentless march in Pahoa. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii National Guard is deploying troops to a rural Hawaii town as lava makes a slow crawl toward a major road and threatens to further isolate the community that got its start during the lumber and sugar-plantation heyday. Associated Press.

Local media, national press and now onlookers are all descending on sleepy Pahoa town in hopes of catching a view of the lava flow. The road block on Pahoa Village Road is as far as non-residents can come. The lava is not visible from the roadblock yet but the smoke is. KITV4.

The leading edge of the lava flowing out of Kilauea Volcano came within 156 yards of crossing Pahoa's main road Thursday — and less than a half-mile from cutting off Highway 130, the main artery for the 8,200 residents of lower Puna. Then, at 5 p.m., the front of the 13.5-mile-long river of lava suddenly stalled. Again. Star-Advertiser.

The June 27 lava flow stalled at its front Thursday outside a Pahoa home while activity continued about 400 yards upslope. Tribune-Herald.

VIDEO: Evening Lava Flow Update – Thursday, Oct. 30. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials say the Puna lava flow's leading edge has not moved at all since Thursday morning.  Officials say that while the front has stalled it is still active upslope.  Meanwhile the front has shown signs of widening with breakouts along the flanks or margins. Hawaii News Now.

The molten lava creeping down the hill in Pahoa is consuming everything in its path.  Electric company officials feared the wooden utility poles in the path of the lava would burn down on contact, cutting off power to the area.  So workers with Hawaiian Electric Light Company sought advice from experts at UH Hilo and the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.  They settled on a design that would wrap the pole in a heat resistant coating. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ten miles from Pahoa, a rural Big Island town that is being menaced by a stream of lava from Kilauea volcano, there’s another community that was almost entirely swallowed by the molten rock nearly 30 years ago. Today, a few dozen recently built homes sit on Kalapana’s rolling black fields — offering a glimpse of life after lava. Associated Press.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ige and Abercrombie
Many political donors and interest groups that had supported Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the past have gravitated toward state Sen. David Ige since the Democratic primary, a shift that has benefited Ige's campaign both politically and financially. Star-Advertiser.

Medical marijuana advocates are applauding a new law that aims to improve housing protection by voiding provisions in state rental agreements that had allowed a tenant's eviction based on their status as a registered medical marijuana patient. Star-Advertiser.

Homelessness is on the decline across the United States, just not in Hawaii. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued its latest estimates on homelessness Thursday based on its annual point-in-time count. Civil Beat.

The number of homeless counted annually in Hawaii has climbed 18 percent since 2010 while the national tally has dropped steadily, according to a report released Thursday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Star-Advertiser.

Enrollment at Hawaii public schools dropped slightly this year, mostly due to a later entry age for kindergarten that took effect this school year. Star-Advertiser.

The way to get lower rates in Hawaii is to start directly substituting solar energy for oil, especially with bigger solar projects that end up being cheaper than oil, the former chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission told Pacific Business News on Thursday.

Opinion:  Preschool amendment fails our children. While early learning programs are vital to our childrens' futures, the current proposal (Ballot Questions 4) to allow public dollars to fund private preschool operations is not the way we ought to go about creating those programs. Hawaii Independent.


North Shore Races Heat Up As Election Nears. Campaigns turn ugly as candidates divided on ideology and development controversies battle for two coveted seats. Civil Beat.

A federal judge approved a $1.5 million settlement Thursday between the families of five men who died in a 2011 fireworks explosion and fire at a Waikele storage bunker and the company that held the master lease to the Navy's former munitions bunker complex. Star-Advertiser.

Waikiki's Fort DeRussy Beach Park now has nightly closure hours. The city advisory Board of Parks and Recreation on Thursday set the closure for 2 to 5 a.m. in an effort to allow the city to enforce its laws on the state-governed beach where homeless campers have taken advantage of a jurisdictional loophole to avoid being cited for violating city regulations. Star-Advertiser.

As construction for rail moves down its planned route along Kamehameha Highway, so does its impact on businesses. Some Aiea companies are complaining about a sudden drop in customers. But are HART officials listening? KHON2.

Out at the Hoakalei Country Club in Ewa Beach, near the 18-hole golf course's clubhouse, may be something that definitely doesn't belong: the hastily buried remains of a Japanese aircrew whose dive bomber went down Dec. 7, 1941, during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.


The finish line for the Laaloa Avenue extension has been pushed back to the end of the year, but the stalled Mamalahoa Bypass project to the south appears closer to moving ahead. West Hawaii Today.

A retired Hawaii County economic development specialist has been appointed to the state Agribusiness Development Corporation board of directors, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Thursday. Day Day Hopkins will assume the seat representing Hawaii County. West Hawaii Today.


Did a supporter of the Maui ballot initiative calling for a temporary moratorium on GMO farming offer to buy votes to help get the measure passed? That’s what the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office is currently looking into. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Health has confirmed four additional cases of measles on Maui and Kauaʻi, bringing the total number of confirmed measles cases in these two separate clusters in Hawaiʻi to seven, and the total reported cases for the year to nine. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. is working with the state Commission on Water Resource Management to comply with a mediated agreement to return diverted water to Iao Stream, a company official said Thursday. Maui News.


The defendant in a drug possession case against a Native American church that was dismissed in February was in 5th Circuit Court again on Monday to ask for an order that the police return property held in evidence, including ceremonial peyote. Jesse Shane Johnson, 38, minister for Beauty Way of the Four Directions of the Native American Church of Hawaii, had a felony narcotics case against him dismissed on Feb. 28. The decision included a court order to the Kauai Police Department for return of evidence. Garden Island.

Police are urging parents to inspect Halloween candy. The warning is in part due to a marijuana-coated candy that is gaining popularity in states where marijuana and marijuana edibles are legal. Garden Island.

The number of regular students in kindergarten to 12th grade in Maui County public schools declined 2 percent from last school year to 19,818 students, but the number of kindergartners plummeted even more - 31 percent - likely due to new age requirements that took effect in August. Maui News.

Hawaii landed at the bottom of a list by an agency that recently ranked each state in political engagement, and that’s not surprising to some Kauai residents. Garden Island.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hawaii lava flow beautiful but unpredictable, outside money pours into negative campaign ads, Hawaiians evicted from homelands, outreach to Waikiki homeless, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii County
Hawaii lava Wednesday Oct. 29 afternoon, courtesy Hawaii County
The unpredictable lava that's invading Pahoa came within 100 feet of a two-story home Wednesday and then suddenly stalled, underscoring the difficulty of predicting what the flow will do next. Star-Advertiser.

After consuming a shed and a pile of tires the day before, the June 27 lava flow moved within 100 feet of a home Wednesday and continued to threaten a cluster of residences on Pahoa Village Road. The stream of 2,000-degree molten rock continued its descent at an average rate of 10 yards an hour as it advanced within 280 yards of Pahoa’s main road. Tribune-Herald.

On Wednesday evening, people were already waiting by the post office to witness the lava crossing Pahoa Village Road. They came from all over the island, brought their lawn chairs, and camped out next to the police road block, hoping to have a good view of the flow’s arrival. Nearby smoke could be seen above the trees. Big Island Video News.

Lava ignited small fires behind Pahoa Village Road on Wednesday night while a resident stood with her Pahoa neighbors and watched in awe. Star-Advertiser.

Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, moves gradually and persistently as she deposits lava across the Big Island of Hawaii. People in the small town lying in its path say the lava will reshape the community yard by yard as it slides toward the ocean. Associated Press.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials say the Puna lava flow is now approximately 200 yards from Pahoa Village Road. They say the flow front is moving through a private residential property in a northeast direction at a rate of approximately 5 to 10 yards per hour. Hawaii News Now.

The molten river of lava flowing from Kilauea volcano continued its slow advance toward Big Island homes in the community of Pahoa on Wednesday. Civil Beat.

The flow continues to remain active and has advanced approximately 55 yards since 6:30 this morning and is currently approximately 202 yards from Pahoa Village Road. KHON2.

surveying lava
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard surveys lava
Lava that has entered a rural Hawaii town has been described as a disaster in slow motion. After months of creeping through uninhabited areas of the Big Island, it reached Pahoa this week, crossing a residential street, burning down a garden shed and inching toward homes and a main road that goes through downtown. Associated Press.

Lower Puna residents who receive government housing assistance, already stressing over the threat of lava consuming their homes, are facing a new fear. They may have to leave their beloved community. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island residents are feeling the throat-scraping effects of the approaching lava flow, just one more aspect of this creeping disaster. KITV4.

As the Puna lava flow advances closer and closer to the homes here along Pahoa Village Road, most residents can do nothing more than watch and wait - wondering what direction it will take and when it will pass through. Hawaii News Now.

Did state Sen. David Ige really want to tax pensions? Was former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona actually behind teacher furloughs? The answer to both questions is "no." But that is not the impression left by a flurry of negative advertisements sponsored by mainland political action committees, also known as super PACs, trying to influence voters before the November election for governor. Star-Advertiser.

Democrat David Ige leads in the polls in the race for Hawaii governor, and he’s raised more money than Republican Duke Aiona. In another category often overlooked, Ige has also held nearly twice as many campaign fundraisers as Aiona since the Aug. 9 primary. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Venture Capital Association will hold a gubernatorial forum on Thursday. All four candidates for governor are expected to attend the event at the Plaza Club in Honolulu. Associated Press.

Hawaii super PACs eclipsed a record this year for spending on local races, according to the latest Campaign Spending Commission data. So far this election cycle independent expenditure committees — better known as super PACs — spent $5.9 million supporting or opposing various candidates for office. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has been largely out of the public eye ever since his historic loss in the August primary, but his appearance at an advocacy event for affordable housing earlier this week showed the lame duck governor hasn’t lost his passion. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has nominated the former head of the now-defunct Public Land Development Corporation to serve on the Agribusiness Development Corporation, a state board tasked with diversifying Hawaii’s farming industry. Civil Beat.

State lawmakers today convened a second Department of Health update on preparations for the Ebola Virus, should it strike Hawai’i.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Governors of New Jersey, New York and Illinois have imposed mandatory quarantines for health care workers who treated Ebola patients in West Africa. But Hawaii Department of Health officials said Tuesday no such plan will be implemented in the islands. Hawaii Reporter.


State deputy sheriffs have evicted six families from a Hawaiian homestead property in Waimanalo that has also been used as a farm for abandoned animals. Star-Advertiser.

Developers, unions, prominent attorneys and Realtors have thrown tens of thousands of dollars into the Honolulu City Council races this year, in which Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga is challenged by Sam Aiona for the District 6 seat and Tommy Waters and Trevor Ozawa are competing in District 4. Civil Beat.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has chosen a design team to develop a plan for the 30 acres in Kakaako Makai the state agency acquired two years ago from the state of Hawaii in a deal meant to resolve a dispute that dates back to when it formed in 1978. Pacific Business News.

The Institute for Human Services, with support from the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, is starting a full-time homeless outreach program in Waikiki in the hopes that it will bring stability to the district's homeless population and end the litany of complaints that threatens the health of the state's key visitor industry. Star-Advertiser.

The Institute for Human Services is launching a full-time homeless outreach program aimed at reducing homelessness in Waikiki. Associated Press.

Tripler Army Medical Center held its first large-scale Ebola response exercise Wednesday, simulating a patient showing up there and at the Schofield Barracks Health Clinic with symptoms of the disease. Star-Advertiser.

The JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko Olina will be renamed Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina and is scheduled to be reopened under the Four Seasons flag in December 2015. Pacific Business News.

Half a century of time wasn't kind to a cluster of low-rise apartment buildings on the edge of the University of Hawaii's Manoa campus. But today the small neighborhood along Kolo Place between the H-1 Freeway and UH's athletic complex has a fresh look following a $6.6 million renovation. Star-Advertiser.


The new Hawaii Community College - Palamanui is on course to be completed in May, according to the project’s superintendent. West Hawaii Today.

National Park Service officials are seeking feedback on a plan to quadruple the entry fee to the popular Puuhonua o Honaunau site in South Kona. West Hawaii Today.


The Hawaii Commission on Water Resource Management announced Wednesday that required "in-stream flows" have been returned to required levels to Iao and Waikapu streams, but members of Hui O Na Wai Eha remained unconvinced. Maui News.

Maui's spike in visitor spending for the first three quarters of 2014 - the only island to log double-digit increases compared to 2013 - reflects growing consumer confidence and the abundance of opportunities for visitors to shop, eat and play on the island, according to the Maui Visitors Bureau executive director. Maui News.

More bad news for print media. The Maui Weekly was closed by its publisher, Joe Bradley, on Monday. The weekly went to press this week with its last edition and its web site is no longer available. Civil Beat.

The Maui Weekly newspaper published its last issue on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, and its online version is no longer accessible via the internet. Maui Now.


Voters on Kauai and Niihau will have three opportunities in the general election to amend sections within the Kauai County Charter, the county’s governing document. Garden Island.

A blessing held Tuesday in Kapahi marked the start of the construction phase of the county’s islandwide bus shelter project. Garden Island.

An appeal regarding an arbitration grievance over a police promotions process dating back to 2007 was sent back to 5th Circuit Court with a partial union victory.  The state Intermediate Court of Appeals on Oct. 16 affirmed in part and vacated in part a 5th Circuit order to confirm an arbitrator’s award, and denied in part the county’s motion to vacate the award. Garden Island.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lava enters farmland -- schools, roads, polling places threatened, Health Department mum on Ebola hospitals, Schatz lobbies for less ahi protections, record big bucks in GMO fight, tourism up, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Courtesy Ena Media Hawaii & Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
Lava flow Tuesday Oct. 28 Courtesy Ena Media Hawaii & Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
Kilauea’s June 27 lava flow claimed its first structure Tuesday morning as it continued to carve a jagged black scar through the green Pahoa landscape, set on a collision course with Pahoa Village Road. Tribune-Herald.

After traveling a circuitous 13.5-mile route over four months from Kilauea Volcano, the threat from a river of lava suddenly became real Tuesday when it destroyed its first structure on Hawaii island, took on a utility pole wrapped in untested, anti-lava technology, blackened the sky after setting tires on fire and led Hawaii County police to abandon their Pahoa substation. Star-Advertiser.

Lava ignites tire fire, while Governor Abercrombie tours the flow front. Big Island Video News.

Lava flow advances; 40-50 homes in projected impact path. Hawaii News Now.

courtesy Hawaii Volcano Observatory
courtesy Hawaii Volcano Observatory
One structure has been destroyed as the July 27th lava flow picked up speed, moving through private property. As of 5:30 p.m., scientists say the flow was 340 yards from Pahoa Village Road and about 985 yards from Highway 130. KITV4.

Lava is expected to slither past properties across the street from Jeff and Denise Lagrimas' home on Hawaii's Big Island as it works its way to the ocean. Associated Press.

Hawaii County Civil Defense eruption and lava flow information Update for Tuesday, October 28 at 6:15 p.m. The flow continues to remain active and has advanced approximately 45 yards since this 1:30 this afternoon and is currently approximately 370 yards from Pāhoa Village Road. KHON2.

Hawaii Chief Election Officer Scott Nago said today that voters assigned to Pahoa Community Center (district and precinct 04-03) who live north of the lava flow are instructed to vote at Hawaiian Paradise Community Center (district and precinct 04-01) on general election day. Civil Beat.

The state is asking Pahoa voters who could be impacted by the June 27 lava flow to plan on casting their votes at an alternate site. Tribune-Herald.

Keonepoko Elementary became the first public school to close as a result of the June 27 lava flow. As the flow continued its advance, students and staff gathered for one final assembly Tuesday to bid farewell to the 23-year-old school and help keiki with the transition, said Principal Brandon Gallagher. Tribune-Herald.

Teachers' and students' laughter, tears and aloha marked the last day before the approaching lava flow breaks up Keonepoko Elementary School. Star-Advertiser.

As lava continues to snake through the Pāhoa area,  most local residents are feeling anxious.   And the adults in a family need to address not only their own concerns but also the fears of their keiki. Hawaii Public Radio.

Health officials have reversed course and won't be identifying the hospitals they have designated as Ebola facilities due to fears of stigmatizing the medical centers. Officials said last week that they had designated four Oahu hospitals whose staff will receive intensive training to handle the disease that has killed thousands in West Africa. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii will not impose mandatory quarantines for returning healthcare workers who have treated Ebola patients in West Africa. Hawaii News Now.

The latest Hawai’i Campaign Spending Commission report is out. And the leading candidates running for Governor are expressing mixed feelings about so-called Super Political Action Committees or PACs spending millions on local campaign ads. Hawaii Public Radio.

“No” on No. 4. That is the consensus of 50 percent of voters surveyed in a new Civil Beat poll. Only 34 percent are in favor of amending the state constitution to allow the state to use public funds to help pay for privately run early education programs.

Early learning advocate The Good Beginnings Alliance has spent more than a half-million dollars on television ads to lobby support for a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow spending public funds on private preschool programs, according to the latest round of campaign-finance reports. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary:  A last-minute debate has flared up in recent weeks over one of five proposed constitutional amendments on the general election ballot. Amendment 2, if approved by voters, would authorize the state “to issue special purpose revenue bonds and use the proceeds from the bonds to assist agricultural enterprises on any type of land.” Civil Beat.

Hawaii High School Confidential: Where All Politics Is Truly Local. Civil Beat asked the 2014 candidates why their schooling plays such a part in their campaigns and what kind of kids they were.

Sashimi or sustainability. Which is more important? For U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, it appears to be sashimi, especially if it means fresh ahi for the holidays. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s longline fleet may be rejoicing over a new opportunity to catch ahi, but a coalition of environmental groups are not on board with the increased catch. West Hawaii Today.

A record 57 tons of marine debris was captured by this year's annual National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cleanup expedition to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, including the largest net ever removed from the area, an 11.5-ton monster large enough to fill up a 20-foot shipping container. Star-Advertiser.

The global system of submarine telecommunication cables that support our connected world is deaf, dumb and blind to the external ocean environment and represents a major missed opportunity for tsunami warning and global climate monitoring, according to University of Hawaii scientists and a United Nations task force. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii visitor spending for the month of September reached $1.08 billion, a 1.4 percent increase from the same month a year ago, and visitor arrivals reached 622,163, a 4.1 percent increase, according to the latest statistics released Tuesday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

Spending and arrivals rose in September as Hawaii tourism remained slightly ahead of the three-quarters pace set during the record years of 2012 and 2013. Star-Advertiser.

A Japanese deputy mayor died this weekend after being pulled from the water in Waikiki, one day after accomplishing his task of establishing a sister-city relationship in the islands, Honolulu officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

An award-winning educator known as "Mr. Pearl City" will be honored Wednesday for his volunteerism and community leadership with the renaming of a site as the Shigeo Ushiro Neighborhood Park. Star-Advertiser.

Residents of Honolulu have been engaging in extra-marital affairs in record numbers according to new data from Hawaii Reporter.


Forward Progress, a Honolulu-based political action committee allowed by law to raise and spend unlimited amounts, has pumped more than $100,000 into a campaign to elect Ron Gonzales for County Council District 9, eclipsing threefold the money he raised on his own. West Hawaii Today.

Opinion: Media reports about the health study commissioned by Mayor Billy Kenoi remind us that advancing geothermal energy must go hand in hand with public safety and well-being. Civil Beat.


Seed companies and their allies have raised nearly $8 million to defeat a Maui County voter initiative that seeks to temporarily ban GMO farming, according to reports filed with the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission on Monday. Civil Beat.


So far this year, incumbent Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. outraised his challenger Dustin Barca by more than $10,000 and outspent him by more than $100,000, according to the latest round of campaign reports released Monday. Garden Island.

Residents living along the island’s Royal Coconut Coast say they are wary of recent changes to current plans for a large timeshare resort near Coconut MarketPlace in Waipouli. Garden Island.

Visitors to Kauai are in the mood to spend money. Lots of money. Through the first nine months of the year, visitors spent around $1.1 billion on The Garden Isle, a 5.8 percent increase over the same time frame last year. And that was despite fewer people — 844,814, a drop of 1.1 percent from 2013 — coming to Kauai through September. Garden Island.