Showing posts with label Hawaii Rep. Tom Brower. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hawaii Rep. Tom Brower. Show all posts

Friday, October 16, 2015

Gov. Ige reports on Japan-China trip, Honolulu rail costs rise to $6.57B, feds support Native Hawaiian election, University of Hawaii seeks $16.2M budget increase, tigers denied for Hilo zoo, ABC's Jamie Zimmerman drowns on Kauai, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard bloodies nose in surfing mishap, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Gov. Ige visits Gov. Onaga of Okinawa, courtesy photo
Gov. David Ige and first lady Dawn Amano-Ige returned from a diplomatic mission to Asia this week where they visited Okinawa, Japan, and Guangdong, China, to promote economic development, tourism, international student exchanges and the further development of renewable energy. Star-Advertiser.

Ending months of uncertainty, Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced Thursday that he has appointed Scott Glenn to serve as director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control. Glenn will take the reins in November from Jessica Wooley, whose term ended June 30. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. Ige is still opposed to NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co., even after seeing more than 50 new commitments the Florida firm made in its updated sale application. Pacific Business News.

The University of Hawaii will seek $16.2 million in additional state funding for operations next fiscal year under a supplemental budget request approved unanimously Thursday by the university’s Board of Regents. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii regents agreed Thursday to request $16 million in additional funds for the 2017 fiscal year from the state. Pacific Business News.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents voted Thursday to approve a $700,000 settlement over the removal of former basketball coach Gib Arnold. Hawaii News Now.

The $700,000 settlement between the University of Hawaii and fired head basketball coach Gib Arnold is one of several costly contract disputes for the university over the last decade. Hawaii News Now.

The U.S. Department of the Interior says a judge shouldn't grant an injunction against an election process that's underway for those with Native Hawaiian ancestry. The department filed what's known as a friend-of-the-court brief in a lawsuit challenging the election. The lawsuit says a race-based election is unconstitutional. Associated Press.


The cost of the city’s rail project is now expected to swell to $6.57 billion as rail officials Thursday made public a new outline of the rail financial plan that incorporates additional utility work, traffic signals and finance charges that had not been included in previous cost estimates. Star-Advertiser.

For the 50.6 percent of Oahu voters who approved the city's rail project in 2008, the original price tag was estimated at $5.3 billion. Nearly seven years later, the cost of the elevated rail line has ballooned to more than $6.5 billion. KITV4.

The only quandary facing Honolulu Authority of Rapid Transportation board members Thursday was figuring out how to pay for future contracts and repay any debt incurred since the City Council has yet to approve an extension of the General Excise Tax. Civil Beat.

Construction of new Oahu SPCA shelter hit with violation notices. Hawaii News Now.

Rep. Tom Brower has been keeping close tabs on the homeless sweeps in Kakaako. KHON2.

U.S. Rep.Tulsi Gabbard injured her nose in a surfing accident Thursday morning at a surf spot area in Waikiki known as “Number Threes.”  Star-Advertiser.

For those interested in taking a look at sections of the sunken USS Arizona not normally seen — those below the murky waters of Pearl Harbor — the National Park Service is diving on the historic battleship and broadcasting it on a live webcast Saturday. Star-Advertiser.


Several amenities have been trimmed from the plans of a long-awaited Waimea district park after the construction bids came in higher than anticipated. The first phase of the project, originally expected to cost about $30 million, has been downsized to $23.87 million, because of “insufficient funds to award the contract at the basic bid amount,” according to a Sept. 14 letter from the Department of Public Works to winning bidder Nan Inc. West Hawaii Today.

There will be no permit for the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens to import tiger cubs from an Oregon big cat breeder, at least for now. In a meeting Wednesday in Honolulu, the state Department of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee on Plants and Animals decided not to forward the county zoo’s request to bring in two Bengal tiger cubs to the Board of Agriculture for its consideration. Tribune-Herald.

An open discussion was held on Wednesday evening at the University of Hawaii concerning Na’i Aupuni, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs-funded nation-building effort. Big Island Video News.


State legislators come home to talk story. Maui News.

The County of Maui Department of Transportation is seeking public input on proposals to increase Maui Bus Service, as outlined in the draft Maui County Short-Range Transit Plan. Maui Now.


In September of 1970, Tom Summers, a surfer from California, arrived on Kauai and landed his first job building a 400-room expansion at the Coco Palms Resort. Garden Island.

Jamie Zimmerman, a doctor and reporter with ABC News’ medical unit, has drowned while on vacation in Hawaii. She was 31. Associated Press.

Jamie Zimmerman, a doctor and reporter with ABC News' medical unit, has drowned while on vacation in Hawaii. She was 31. Zimmerman apparently lost her footing while trying to cross the Lumahai River on Kauai's north shore and was swept out to sea. Star-Advertiser.

County officials have issued another notice about the importance of residents using their refuse carts properly. Garden Island.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hawaii representatives fight GMO labeling override in Congress, state officials ignore ethics law, Native Hawaiian roll to be published, Brower presses charges against homeless, no bag-tag for Hawaii County, Mauna Kea rules not enforced, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
sign in Hilo organic grocery © 2015 All Hawaii News
Those at the forefront of Hawaii’s movement against genetically modified organisms reacted strongly Thursday against a U.S. House of Representatives measure to block state and local governments from requiring food companies to disclose whether their products contain GMOs. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Congressman Mark Takai voted against a bill that seeks to stop states from requiring companies to label genetically engineered food. The measure introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo, a Republican from Kansas, passed the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday with a vote of 275-150. It goes next to the Senate. Civil Beat.

A bill that would allow federal policy on labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms to supersede local efforts passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on Thursday went to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to speak against legislation that blocks local attempts to require mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically engineered ingredients. Garden Island.

If passed by Congress, the bill that’s aimed at lifting GMO labeling requirements would become federal law, which also means it would supersede any local laws that are made in Hawaii. KITV4.

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission is chasing down state employees and board members who have failed to file their financial disclosure statements for 2015. s of Tuesday, there were 67 state employees and 321 members of boards and commissions who have yet to file their disclosure statement for this year. That’s about 21 percent of everyone who’s required to file by law. Civil Beat.

The Native Hawaiian Roll Commission will soon make public a certified list of names of nearly 100,000 people of Hawaiian ancestry who could form the voting base to create a Native Hawaiian government. Star-Advertiser.

Overcrowding and safety concerns highlight bigger issues the state hospital is looking to address. KHON2.

A Hawaii lawmaker, who chairs the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, said that he, along with other lawmakers, are quietly looking at other alternatives should the NextEra Energy Inc. $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co. not go through. Pacific Business News.

Venture accelerators have only been in Hawaii for two years, but they’re already having an impact on the local startup and investment community. Pacific Business News.

At $7.75 per hour, Hawaii’s minimum wage is higher than two dozen states. But when you adjust for the high cost of living in the islands, that wage is only worth $6.67, according to a new analysis by the Washington Post. Civil Beat.


City emergency officials joined Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Thursday to unveil broadened tsunami evacuation maps for the island, which now include large inland swaths of Oahu vulnerable to rare, extremely strong tsunamis. Star-Advertiser.

Tsunami experts warn if a 9-plus magnitude earthquake occurs in the Eastern Aleutian islands, a tsunami heading to Hawaii could be worse than the 1946 tsunami that ravaged Hilo and killed 159 people. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Ethics Commission voted Thursday to rescind a strict media policy that severely curtailed what its executive director and even the commissioners themselves could say, opting for new guidelines that would allow a little more freedom. Star-Advertiser.

The homeless encampment in Kaka’ako, reportedly with more than 200 tents, was the focus of the state representative who claims he was attacked there and the Honolulu City Council. Hawaii Public Radio.

The city plans to open a “safe haven” in the next month to accommodate the growing homeless population in Kakaako, Honolulu Managing Director Roy Amemiya said Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii lawmaker said Thursday he will press charges against whoever assaulted him in a homeless encampment in Honolulu last month. Associated Press.

State Rep. Tom Brower announced Thursday that he’s pressing charges against the homeless teens who allegedly attacked him last month in Kakaako. Civil Beat.

After state Rep. Tom Brower told reporters that he plans to pursue criminal charges against at least one of the two cousins who allegedly started the attack June 29, he agreed to speak to Rose Pu‘u at the same street corner of Ohe and Olomehani streets where the attack began. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Education and several contractors have been fined $1.45 million for violating solid-waste laws during the renovation of Radford High School’s track field last year. Star-Advertiser.

State Sen. Breene Harimoto (D, Pearl Harbor-Pearl City-Aiea) says he will undergo surgery soon after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last week. Star-Advertiser.


A pay-as-you-throw bag-tag bill for garbage was trashed by the County Council Environmental Management Committee on Thursday, following public opposition. West Hawaii Today.

More than a week after going into effect, the new emergency rules restricting access on Mauna Kea, which protesters of the Thirty Meter Telescope say unfairly target them, have yet to be enforced. Tribune-Herald.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is proposing to subdivide five 10-acre parcels in the Panaewa area of Hilo into approximately 80 half-acre lots for native Hawaiian beneficiaries who are on the wait list “and/or to existing lessees who need to relocate due to lava or other hazards.”  Big Island Video News.

There’s still plenty of room for students in the first classes to be held at Hawaii Community College — Palamanui, but those who want to register better hurry. Registration deadline is Aug. 1. West Hawaii Today.

With one deadline passed and a second looming, a nonprofit organization is a few hundred thousands dollars away from owning a 47-acre swath of sacred and historical grounds in Keauhou. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Council Land Use Committee recommended first reading approval Wednesday of zoning changes for Ka Lima O Maui to move ahead with an eight-unit rental housing project in Wailuku for adults with disabilities. Maui News.

Aloha House has agreed to pay $45,000 to 19 employees in back wages, damages and penalties, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Maui News.

A pygmy sperm whale was found beached at Keawakapu in South Maui on Wednesday morning, July 22, 2015, according to representatives with the non-profit Ocean Defender Hawaiʻi group. Maui Now.

After nearly 20 years of operating Puhi Sewer and Water Co., Kauai engineering firm Aqua Engineers purchased the wastewater treatment facility from Grove Farm Co. Inc. for an undisclosed price, officials from both firms said Thursday. Garden Island.

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is seeking public comment on proposed management actions aimed at preventing the local extinction of the Hawaiian petrel, also known as the ‘Ua’u, a federally endangered seabird that is endemic to Hawaii. Garden Island.

Kauai residents have three chances to catch a panel discussion about the dangers of Roundup weed killer featuring experts from the United Nations and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ige reiterates opposition to Hawaiian Electric-NextEra sale, Hawaii Obamacare vendors seek $2.7M, term limits on Kauai, the forbidden island of Niihau, University of Hawaii muzzles anti-GMO researcher, Honolulu battles homeless, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii state Capitol © 2015 All Hawaii News
NextEra Energy Inc. is holding its ground as it faces criticism from the state. The Florida-based company said Tuesday it is committed to its proposal to buy the state’s largest electric utility despite Gov. David Ige recommending the sale be rejected. Star-Advertiser

Hawaii lawmakers are quietly looking at other alternatives should the NextEra Energy Inc. $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co. not go through, the state representative overseeing the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection told Pacific Business News Tuesday.

Gov. David Ige said he’s opposing the proposed sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries to Florida-based energy giant NextEra Energy, saying the mainland company has failed to explain how it would align with the state’s renewable energy goals. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige and two key state agencies are not convinced that it would be in the public’s best interest for Hawaiian Electric Industries to sell itself to Florida-based NextEra Energy. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige explained why his administration is opposing the proposed NextEra-Hawaiian Electric merger Tuesday. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige said Tuesday he doesn’t support the sale of Hawaiian Electric to Florida-based NextEra Energy. The sale was approved by Hawaiian Electric’s shareholders in June but still needs approval from the state Public Utilities Commission. Associated Press.

The Governor conducted a news conference today to outline the state’s position in opposing the proposed merger of Hawaiian Electric Industries with NextEra Energy, Incorporated. Hawaii Public Radio.

Two vendors continue to seek a total of $2.7 million in reimbursement for services provided to the Hawaii Health Connector, the nonprofit health insurance exchanged confirmed Monday. Pacific Business News.


The biggest encampments are getting the most publicity as Honolulu grapples with homelessness, but it’s the smaller enclaves that a city crew clears away repeatedly in response to complaints. A Civil Beat analysis found 164 sweeps occurred in the latest two-month period.

State Rep. Tom Brower says he will make an announcement early next week pertaining to whether he will press charges against two homeless teenagers who allegedly attacked him last month near an homeless encampment in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Ethics Commission may backtrack on its recently adopted news media policy that prohibited Executive Director Chuck Totto and other staff members from interpreting or commenting on the commission’s decisions and advisory opinions. Civil Beat.

Sixty faculty members at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have signed a letter sent to Manoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman, the vice-chancellor for academic affairs, and Maria Gallo, Dean of the university’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources asking that the university acknowledge the restrictions and violations of academic freedom imposed on CTAHR Professor Hector Valenzuela. Hawaii Independent.

State education officials hope a new public school set to open next week in Kapolei can serve as a model for fast-tracking construction projects while containing costs. Star-Advertiser.

City issues fines for North Shore 'junkyard' property. Land manager says he's building a 'state of the art' farm. KITV4.

A contractor hired by the city began cleaning a Kaimuki home which neighbors have been complaining about for years. Star-Advertiser.

Veteran Honolulu journalist Denby Fawcett is headed to Washington, D.C., to participate in an interesting presentation sponsored by the national museum of journalism history, the Newseum. “Eyewitness to History: Women Reporters Who Covered Vietnam” features Fawcett and three other female former Vietnam war correspondents discussing their experiences. Civil Beat.


Hawaii County Council members say they are prepared to take action on a recent audit recommendation that the nine-member body address gaps in the county’s purchasing card policy. Tribune-Herald.

A project to bring water to a Ka‘u coffee farm, generate electricity to run it and have extra power left over to create a hydrogen filling station has caught the attention of the county Agriculture Advisory Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Opinion: As the protests and civil disobedience against the planned Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea continue, and those arrested are being processed through the courts, one of the repeated themes is the belief the mountain’s self-described “protectors” can’t be charged with violating state law because the State of Hawaii has no jurisdiction over them. Civil Beat.


Members of the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce recently elected an all-female executive team to lead the board of directors. MauiTime.


Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. on Tuesday told The Garden Island that he supports the Kauai County Council’s efforts to give voters the opportunity to repeal term limits, but said the plan should be expanded beyond just council members to also include the executive branch.

Kauai has the largest nene population. It’s home to 90 percent of the world’s Newell shearwaters. And it’s a refuge for many other threatened and endangered birds, thanks to the work of conservationists. Garden Island.

A single family has owned the island for more than 150 years and — even though it’s only 17 miles from resort-lined Kauai — Niihau remains surprisingly insulated from the outside world. Civil Beat.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Honolulu rail on track, Ige vetoes eight bills, Tongan, Micronesian and Native Hawaiian students most likely to be suspended, Hawaii council chairman takes lobbyist's gifts, Kauai police settle sexual harassment case, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit
Honolulu rail project, courtesy HART
Rail leaders gathered Tuesday to tout progress on one of the most complicated and dramatic maneuvers needed to complete Oahu's rail transit system, but they also acknowledged that construction is taking its toll on many businesses in Leeward Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

O’ahu’s 6-billion dollar rail transit project marked a major milestone today as construction moves toward Pearl City. Hawaii Public Radio.

There’s a bit of relief when it comes to construction of the city’s $6.2 billion rail project. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation announced Tuesday, the elevated guideway for the driverless train has crossed all of the westbound lanes of the H-1 Freeway near the H-2 merge.  KITV4.

Gov. David Ige vetoed eight bills Tuesday, including measures that would have created a new crime of sex trafficking and allowed University of Hawaii graduate students to unionize to bargain for better pay and working conditions. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has followed through on his previously announced plans to veto eight bills. That includes measures to combat sex trafficking, allow University of Hawaii graduate students to unionize and clarify the order of succession for lieutenant governor. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has vetoed a total of eight bills passed during the 2015 legislative session, including one that would have doubled the monetary value of retail goods that suspected thieves can steal before they are charged with a felony. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has vetoed a bill that would have created a victim-centered approach to combating sex trafficking in Hawaii, citing concerns that changes to the law could make it more difficult to prosecute pimps, a claim that advocates for sex trafficking victims dispute. Associated Press.

A bill to establish Hawaii’s first medical marijuana dispensary system will become law at midnight Tuesday, without Gov. David Ige’s signature. Pacific Business News.

Opinion:  What killed Hawaii’s sex trafficking bill? A step in the right direction toward combating sex trafficking in Hawaii has been torpedoed by some of the very people trying to end the exploitative practice; the evidence points to internal political squabbling as the reason.  Hawaii Independent.

In 2013-14, Tongan, Micronesian and Native Hawaiian students were suspended at four times the rate of their Japanese peers and were twice as likely to be suspended as white and Filipino students. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has been awarded an $8.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to a press release from Hawaii’s congressional delegation. Civil Beat.


The Waikiki Neighborhood Board and community members applauded state Rep. Tom Brower on Tuesday, his first appearance at their monthly meeting since an attack by homeless youth on him during a walk though the growing Kakaako encampment last month. Star-Advertiser.

Tackling the homeless issue in Kakaako requires a coordinated response by various landowners and government agencies, Gov. David Ige said Tuesday at the Hawaii Publishers Association's quarterly meeting. Star-Advertiser.

Just four months after Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson said he wouldn’t agree to allowing a new residential community at Malaekahana, City Council Chair Ernie Martin has introduced a planning document that would permit 875 homes in the area despite opposition from community groups like the Defend Oahu Coalition. Civil Beat.

Environmentalists are calling it one of the worst cases of stream pollution they've seen in years. A new report says that a 1,000-foot long drainage canal that runs from Barbers Point Beach Park to Island Recycling's Kapolei facility is heavily contaminated with lead, arsenic and petroleum products. Hawaii News Now.

It was a packed house Tuesday night as hundreds showed up at a town hall meeting to discuss the future of Maunalua Bay. KHON2.


County Council Chairman Dru Kanuha accepted $536 worth of airfare from unregistered lobbyists while sponsoring a bill benefiting them, according to gift disclosures filed with the county Board of Ethics. West Hawaii Today.

Gov. David Ige on Tuesday signed the new emergency rule that prohibits camping and restricts public access on Mauna Kea, the site of ongoing protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope. Ige said in a statement that the rule, which will remain in effect for 120 days, gives the state an additional tool to keep the road safe for all. Tribune-Herald.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo soon will fly the U.S. and Hawaii state flags at equal heights following protests late last year from students and community members. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Department of Water Supply finds that there will be no significant impact from a proposed water production well in North Kona, even though its located in the contentious Keauhou Aquifer. Big Island Video News.

A Hilo native who has run for Congress multiple times announced Monday his plans to run for Mayor of Hawai’i County in 2016. David “Kawika” Crowley, 64, said he will be setting up an exploratory committee in the upcoming weeks to secure his decision, but is confident he’ll be running next year. Big Island Now.


Maui County Council members will consider Thursday whether to authorize the settlement of two multimillion-dollar tax appeal cases, both involving wind farm companies alleging that the county improperly assessed their properties by including the value of wind turbines and towers as part of the tax assessment. Maui News.

Skippy Hau, an aquatics biologist with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources has dedicated much of his career to studying the life cycles and movements of fresh water fish, shrimp, and snails. Maui Now.

Although 10 million gallons of water per day has been returned to Iao Stream since October, it is hard to tell so far if more freshwater species are flourishing, said Skippy Hau, an aquatics biologist with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Maui News.


An audit of Kauai County’s payroll system found a lack of proper documentation, overpayments, and process flaws that create the potential for fraud. Garden Island.

The Kauai Police Department will pay $100,000 to settle a case alleging retaliation against a police sergeant who claimed she was sexually harassed. Garden Island.


A fishpond on the coastline of Lanai that is believed to be 800 years old is being restored this summer by children and adults. Associated Press.

A fishpond believed to be some 800 years old is being restored on the eastern coastline of Lanai by children and adults and will hopefully encourage future stewardship of the island's forgotten cultural resources. Maui News.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mauna Kea Thirty Meter Telescope stalemate drags on, Kauai mulls mayor-less government, Hawaii council to change law to suit judge's rezoning, Health Department wants comments on Maui cane burning, needles washing up at Keehi beach, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Photovoltaic panels in Honolulu
Hawaiian Electric Co. has submitted a new plan to Hawaii regulators regarding rooftop solar, which includes raising the cost of new systems being installed. Pacific Business News.

If there are new challenges to the construction of telescopes on Mauna Kea, the expansion of Turtle Bay Resort or the Honolulu rail system’s impact on historic sites, they could be heard in Hawaii’s Environmental Court, which debuted Wednesday. Supporters hope it will bring more consistency to environmental rulings. Last year, opponents said judges designated to the Environmental Court would be prone to improper influence. Civil Beat.


City Environmental Services Director Lori Kahikina acknowledged a shopping bag ban will be an adjustment for residents of Oahu, the last county in the state to implement an ordinance aimed at stepping up use of environmentally friendly checkout bags, but said the law is a compromise between environmentalists and businesses that have to pay more for compostable or paper bags. Star-Advertiser.

Several of the homeless people living in a warren of plywood- and pallet-hardened tents around the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center worry that Monday’s attack on state Rep. Tom Brower by two homeless teenagers will bring unwanted attention and force them to set up shop in someone else’s neighborhood. Star-Advertiser.

Those who frequent Keehi Lagoon Beach Park say needles have been washing up on shore more often. Hawaii News Now.


The County Council will fast-track changes to its concurrency laws to accommodate a Hilo District Court judge’s application to subdivide his property. Judge Harry Freitas and his wife, Sandra, want to rezone their 50-acre Mountain View property from agriculture 20 acres to agriculture 5 acres. The Windward Planning Commission had recommended against the rezoning. West Hawaii Today.

As University of Hawaii officials offer no timeline for reopening the Mauna Kea summit road and visitor center, some tour operators who rely on the mountain for business say that each day brings them closer to layoffs. West Hawaii Today.

Tourists and island residents hoping to visit Mauna Kea’s summit anytime soon likely will be left disappointed as the road closure is expected to continue through the end of the week. Tribune-Herald.

The Mauna Kea summit will remain closed to the public well into next week while officials ensure the safety of a road damaged last week during the protest that blocked construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope, officials said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Many of the protesters opposed to plans for a giant telescope atop Mauna Kea came down from the mountain for a large gathering Wednesday around the King Kamehameha statue in Honolulu. Associated Press.

A Hawaiian mediation process known as ho‘oponopono is being offered to the first group of protesters arrested on Mauna Kea as an alternative to prosecution. Tribune-Herald.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources approved more than $9,000 in fines for a Big Island tour company that operated unpermitted tours of the lava flow near Pu‘u ‘O‘o. Tribune-Herald.


The state Department of Health is soliciting public comments regarding cane burning on Maui after residents called in earlier this month with concerns about a May 27 burn that enveloped South Maui, an official said. Maui News.

Sign-waving protesters line Piilani Highway near the entrance to a Monsanto farming operation in north Kihei on Wednesday morning. The protest came a day after a federal judge struck down the Maui County moratorium on genetically engineered crops passed by voters last fall. The judge ruled Tuesday that the ordinance was "invalid and unenforceable." Maui News.


The Kauai County Council unanimously approved a resolution on Wednesday to form a council subcommittee to study a county manager form of government. Garden Island.

Members of the public testified Wednesday on a measure that would charge hikers who ignore warning signs for costs to rescue them if they get in trouble. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Judge strikes down Maui GMO ban, illegal immigrants can get Hawaii driver's licenses, Brower bruised in homeless fight, milk price drop threatens local dairy, Honolulu plastic bag ban begins, county faces ADA lawsuit over buses, park smoking ban, environmental court begins, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

genetically modified crops
Anti-GMO rally in Kauai, courtesy photo
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a Maui County ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops is pre-empted by federal and state law and invalid. Associated Press.

A federal judge Tuesday invalidated a Maui County ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops, ruling that the prohibition is pre-empted by federal and state law. Star-Advertiser.

A federal judge has invalidated Maui County’s moratorium on genetically engineered crops that voters approved last fall. Judge Susan Mollway said in a ruling filed Tuesday that the ordinance is “invalid and unenforceable” because it is preempted by state and federal law. That’s similar to the reasoning that Judge Barry Kurren relied upon to strike down both Hawaii County’s partial ban on genetically modified farming and Kauai County’s pesticide disclosure law last year. Civil Beat.

According to a federal judge, the initiative to put a hold on the use of GMO's in Maui County gets trumped by federal and state law. KITV4.

A federal judge today ruled that the Maui GMO Initiative passed by Maui voters in November 2014 is invalid because the county does not have the authority over the matter.  The order states that the County of Maui GMO ordinance is preempted and exceeds the county’s authority to impose fines. Maui Now.

Anti-GMO activists, who celebrated when the moratorium passed in November, are now vowing to keep fighting after a judge invalidated the ban on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has signed a bill into law that creates a limited purpose driver’s license for people who don’t have documents to prove they are legally allowed to live in the U.S. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has signed a bill that dedicates nearly $3 million of general funds to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs over the next two years. Civil Beat.

Among bills Gov. David Ige signed into law Tuesday are measures requiring members of certain councils, boards and commissions to undergo training in Native Hawaiian customs and rights; making it lawful to use human remains for traditional Hawaiian cultural burial practices; and creating a new exception for people without proof of U.S. residency to get driver's licenses. Star-Advertiser.

Governor David Ige signed a bill into law this morning that makes it mandatory for certain state councils, boards and commissions to attend a course on Native Hawaiian customs and rights to be administered by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Maui Now.

Hawai’i’s new Environmental Court system will be activated statewide July 1st.   It’s only the second specialized court of its kind in the nation, but has broad jurisdiction on almost everything dealing with the environment. Hawaii Public Radio.

A ban on smoking at state parks and beaches goes into effect Wednesday, expanding on another prohibition already in place in certain city and county parks in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Last week was former Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s 77th birthday and the longtime Hawaii politician was supposed to be celebrating it in part with the long-awaited unveiling of his official state portrait. Instead, Abercrombie’s space in the gallery of ex-governors that line the walls in the current governor’s office is still empty. Civil Beat.

The West Coast is the best coast when it comes to Hawaii tourism's visitor markets. Total visitor spending from the U.S. West jumped 19.9 percent in May to $447.4 million, up from $373.2 million in May 2014, according to data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.


A day after he was assaulted while taking photos at a large Kakaako homeless encampment, state Rep. Tom Brower insisted the attack was unprovoked. But the family of two teens involved said it came after the lawmaker laughed at the boys. Star-Advertiser.

Rep. Tom Brower
Suffers Facial Injuries in Altercation at Homeless Camp. Civil Beat.

After three years of warnings, it's finally here. The city's plastic bag ban becomes law Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Army divers said initial examination of the sunken fishing vessel Judy K at Pier 16 shows it is intact, but the earliest they could attempt to float the partially submerged 77-foot boat for removal would be September. Star-Advertiser.


A Maui man on a mission to improve access for the disabled across the state is on the brink of settling a federal lawsuit against Hawaii County government on allegations the county’s Hele-On bus system isn’t compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Agriculture, bowing to pressure from Meadow Gold Dairies, unanimously approved a 23 percent drop in the state-set wholesale milk price paid to the last locally owned dairy. Hawaii island's Cloverleaf Dairy owner Ed Boteilho Jr. said he may be forced to close his dairy. Star-Advertiser.

Citing safety concerns, University of Hawaii kept the road to Mauna Kea’s summit closed above the 9,200-foot elevation Monday as workers searched for signs of damage following last week’s Thirty Meter Telescope protest. Tribune-Herald.

A new environmental court makes its debut today with the task of handling cases that involve the often complex and specialized rules governing human interaction with lands and waterways. Big Island judges have been selected to hear cases that are now being assigned to an environmental schedule — proceedings which in the past were mixed with other criminal and civil matters on court dockets. West Hawaii Today.


Ridao retiring as director of Housing and Human Concerns. Maui News.


Kauai County Council Vice Chair Ross Kagawa is standing by a comment he made during a recent interview that said a potential upside of the new bed-and-breakfast ordinance is that it could give locals a chance to buy properties that can no longer be rented out by tourists. Garden Island.

Kaiser Permanente is planning to open a clinic on Kauai early next year, with the goal of providing subscribers with greater access to doctors and reducing patient wait times. Garden Island.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

General excise tax surcharge, medical marijuana dispensaries survive Ige's veto pen, sex trafficking, grad student unions, ethanol repeal do not, Rep. Brower hospitalized after alleged homeless attack, Thirty Meter Telescope protesters lose restrooms, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Gov. David Ige
Gov. David Ige will allow the half-percent excise tax surcharge for rail to be extended for five years to cover the cash-strapped Hono­lulu rail project's estimated $910 million shortfall, and will also allow the first medical marijuana dispensaries to be established in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii County now has an opportunity to add a half-cent local surcharge to the 4 percent state general excise tax, thanks to Gov. David Ige’s notice Monday that he will not veto a bill that includes the other counties along with Honolulu’s GET extension for its controversial rail project. West Hawaii Today.

The Kauai County Council will soon have to decide whether it wants to raise taxes. Gov. David Ige announced on Monday he will not veto legislation that gives the Neighbor Islands the option of levying a tax surcharge on the state’s General Excise Tax (G.E.T.) in order to raise money for transportation. Garden Island.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced Monday that he currently plans to veto eight of the 252 bills the Legislature approved this past session. Bills to combat sex trafficking, allow University of Hawaii graduate students to unionize and clarify the order of succession for lieutenant governor were among those he’ll potentially veto. Civil Beat.

Gov. Ige to veto 8 bills. Medical marijuana, rail tax not on veto list. KHON2.

Governor David Ige released his intent to veto list today. He also talked about the bills he will sign or allow to become law. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. David Ige on Monday announced his intent to veto two pieces of legislation that involve the University of Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Monday that he plans to veto a sex trafficking bill that many in law enforcement have said will make it more difficult to lock up pimps and madams. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige said he plans to veto a bill that would ban sex trafficking, making the state the only one in the nation without a comprehensive law on the subject. Associated Press.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said that he intends to veto a bill passed by the State Legislature that would repeal the ethanol facility tax credit and establish a renewable fuels production tax credit. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii is changing a law so that those who practice traditional Hawaiian clean burials won't be accused of abusing a corpse. The idea is being pushed by people who say there's not enough space in cemeteries to accommodate an aging population. Associated Press.

Governor David Ige has informed the Hawai‘i State Legislature of his intent to veto a list of eight bills. Maui Now.

Hawaii will hold its first three-day Cannabis Business Expo on July 17 at the Hawaii Convention Center hosted by the medical marijuana magazine Kaulana Na Pua. Civil Beat.

Any new Hawaii businesses that have not yet signed up for Affordable Care Act qualified health insurance plans may be blocked from receiving federal subsidies until an eligibility determination system is put in place by the state. Pacific Business News.


State Rep. Tom Brower, videotaping a homeless encampment in Kaka­ako, was reportedly assaulted by several people Monday afternoon and taken to the Queen's Medical Center, sources told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

A lawmaker involved in an altercation in Kaka'ako ended up in Queen’s Medical Center after videotaping several homeless people in the area on Monday. KITV4.

Jonah Iose, 14, and Isaiah Totoa, 17, said they got mad when state Rep. Tom Brower, also known as the sledgehammer lawmaker, refused to put away his camera after they asked nicely. Hawaii News Now.

A 37-year volunteer reserve officer of the Honolulu Police Department said he saw active-duty officer Vincent Morre assault a patron of an illegal gambling house in September but did nothing about it. Star-Advertiser.

A former probation officer pleaded guilty Monday to felony theft and forgery. Freeman Sasao, 56, a former Oahu circuit court probation officer, was charged with theft and felony offenses in May. Star-Advertiser.


The Hawaii National Guard is not among the options being discussed to reopen the road up Mauna Kea so construction crews can reach the site of the planned $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope, Gov. David Ige said Monday. Civil Beat.

Last week, the Governor stated that “we are a patient people in Hawaii”, but today David Ige’s patience appeared to be wearing thin. Big Island Video News.

Citing safety concerns, University of Hawaii kept the road to Mauna Kea’s summit closed above the 9,200-foot elevation Monday as workers searched for signs of damage following last week’s Thirty Meter Telescope protest. Tribune-Herald.

The Chinese are coming. So say tourism officials, who are advising island businesses to prepare themselves to handle an influx of tourists who are expected to become one of the most important markets for Hawaii businesses for the foreseeable future. Tribune-Herald.


Opinion: Watching the battle over the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea and now the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) on Haleakala has reached nearly comical proportions. MauiTime.


An arbitrator did not exceed his authority when he awarded promotions to three Kauai Police Department officers in 2009, according to a state Supreme Court ruling issued Monday. Garden Island.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hawaii County Council bans GMOs, Brower puts down sledgehammer, group wants minimum wage increase, sentencing in police extortion case, keeping the country country, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all righst reserved
Hawaii County GMO rally (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Efforts underway to raise Hawaii's minimum wage. Last increase in minimum wage 2007. KITV

State Rep. Tom Brower is packing away the sledgehammer he has used through the past few weeks to wreck stolen and abandoned shopping carts homeless people use to carry their belongings. Brower's unusual cart-destroying tactics made national news and sparked a storm of controversy after the Star-Advertiser on Monday first reported his actions.

A bill banning "lying on sidewalks" was shelved by the Honolulu City Council Public Safety and Economic Development Committee today after it became clear it did not have enough support to pass. Star-Advertiser.

Stanley Chang's Bill 59, CD1 was deferred by the Honolulu City Council Committee on Public Safety and Economic Development earlier today. Bill 59, Relating to Public Sidewalks, would have (with a few exceptions) made it illegal to lie down on sidewalks in Honolulu.  Hawaii Independent.

A labor arbitration panel has reached a draft contract with the union that represents 2,000 firefighters statewide, although details are not expected to be made public until the end of the month. Bobby Lee, president of the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association, said the union was informed of the draft award Friday. He declined to provide details such as the length of the contract, pending a 15-day review period by the parties, but said he was pleased with the plan. Star-Advertiser.

State agriculture inspectors found slugs in six of 60 shipping containers of Christmas trees arriving over the past weekend in Hawaii and held them. Last year, 50 percent of containers were infested with slugs and other pests. Star-Advertiser.

Russell Kokubun is stepping down from his post as chairman of the state Department of Agriculture to return to his Volcano farm and, to some extent, help friend and former Hawaii Senate colleague Colleen Hanabusa campaign for the U.S. Senate. West Hawaii Today.

Russell Kokubun, director of the state Department of Agriculture, is retiring at the end of the year. The former Hawaii island state senator and county councilman said he will return to his family farm in Volcano. His wife, Anne, an administrator for the state Department of Education, also plans to retire. Star-Advertiser.

Internationally renowned architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners of New York City has been selected along with Honolulu-based Clifford Planning & Architecture to design the Daniel K. Inouye library at the University of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

One or both of Hawaii's two oil refineries are likely to close by 2020 as their already thin profit margins are squeezed further by a shift to renewable energy sources, tougher environmental standards and other factors, members of a state task force warned. Star-Advertiser.

Doctors already contending with reams of paperwork brought on by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and its 30,000 new pages of rules and regulations say a 2008 federal law set to go into effect next year will compound their misery. Hawaii Reporter.


A government witness who told a federal grand jury that she and retired police Maj. Carlton Nishimura schemed to accept protection money from the operator of an illegal gambling house, recorded herself later telling her lawyer that she lied to the grand jury, then went in front of the grand jury again to say she didn't lie, could be released from custody as early as Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu City Council committee is meeting Wednesday to hear a new version of a resolution urging the city to address the sewer problems in Kakaako. Civil Beat.

A group adamant about keeping the country country sought answers from Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell Tuesday night. KHON2.

The co-owner of the Assaggio restaurants said business is continuing as usual despite her husband admitting in federal court last week that he laundered more than $1 million of illegal gambling proceeds through the popular Italian eateries. Star-Advertiser.

The state attorney general is conducting a theft investigation of teachers and staff at the Myron B. Thompson Academy who may have been paid improperly for compensatory time, chief investigator Dan Hanagami told a state judge Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.


The Hawaii County Council passed Bill 113 today in a landmark 6-3 vote. The bill restricts the expansion of transgenic crops grown on the Big Island by limiting most of their use to enclosed structures, such as a greenhouse. Tribune-Herald.

Despite opposition from most of Hawaii’s farming industry, the Hawaii County Council passed a bill Tuesday that prohibits biotech companies from operating on the Big Island and bans growing any new genetically altered crops.  Civil Beat.


Three public hearings are planned this week to collect testimony on proposed rule changes for Maui and Lānaʻi fisheries bag and size limits. The hearings are scheduled at 5:30 p.m. on the following dates and locations: Nov. 19 on Lānaʻi at the Senior Center on 7th Street; Nov. 20 in Hāna at Helene Hall at Hāna Bay Beach Park; and on Nov. 21 in Kahului at the Maui Waena Intermediate School cafeteria on Oneheʻe Avenue. Maui Now.

DT Fleming Beach Park in West Maui was closed at around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19, following the discovery of possible unexploded ordnance offshore. Maui Now.

Tommy Russo has a nose for bullshit. Political malfeasance? Animal cruelty? Police corruption? Environmental hazards? The Maui Time publisher and his shoestring staff routinely sniff out stuff people in power don’t want discovered — and then air it out in the alternative weekly Russo founded in 1997. Civil Beat.


To an untrained eye, it can appear to look like just a pile of rocks. But the structures signify much more than that. Garden Island.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sledgehammer lawmaker defends homeless hunt, Ag Chief Kokubun stepping down to join Hanabusa campaign, Hawaii mulls new prisons, Del Monte settlement first in human trafficking case, alleged embezzlement at Big Island Pop Warner league, Honolulu mayor ethics case heats up, deal reached with firefighter union, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Homeless along the Ala Wai  (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Despite a firestorm of controversy on Monday, state Rep. Tom Brower once again picked up his sledgehammer and went out to rid his Waikiki-Ala Moana district of shopping carts that homeless people use. He said people have told him that they appreciate the work he has done in the past several weeks to clear the district of stolen and abandoned carts. Institute for Human Services Director Connie Mitchell said Brower's actions could traumatize homeless people and incite street violence. Star-Advertiser.

Tom Brower has found a unique solution to houselessness: he destroys shopping carts with a sledgehammer (and awakens people sleeping at bus stops). Hawaii Independent.

State Rep. Tom Brower has taken a sledgehammer and a novel approach to Hawaii's homeless problem. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii is considering building a new prison on Oahu and new jails statewide to alleviate the state’s overcrowding crisis, including replacing the state’s largest jail, the Oahu Community Correctional Center, with a new facility. Pacific Business News.

A larger replacement for the Oahu Community Correctional Center at a new location is one piece of a possible major overhaul of Hawaii's crowded and old prisons and jails, state officials say. The overhaul could include new or expanded correctional facilities at its seven institutions and adding an eighth facility for a total prison bed space for up to 4,425 inmates. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reached a $1.2 million settlement with a former Kunia farm in a human trafficking lawsuit involving more than 150 Thai farmworkers. Associated Press.

Hawaii Agriculture Chairman, Hanabus campaign
Russell Kokubun is stepping down as director of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, in part to help Colleen Hanabusa with her U.S. Senate campaign, according to sources close to the campaign. Civil Beat.

State Rep. Rida Cabanilla has been fined $500 by the state Campaign Spending Commission for filing an inaccurate or false campaign-finance report.Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Fire Fighters Association union has received a tentative deal on a new collective bargaining agreement. According to HFFA President Bobby Lee, a draft arbitration award is now making the rounds throughout the islands. Civil Beat.

Taxpayers have spent $200 million to establish the network for the Affordable Care Act in Hawaii - $53 million on just the Hawaii Health Connector web site development and management alone. However, so far, just 257 individuals have secured healthcare through the exchange. Hawaii Reporter.

The numbers are in and they are low -- just a couple hundred people in Hawaii have signed up for insurance on the new Health Connector website. But it's not for a lack of trying. KHON2 found out the problems people are still having, and how they can be fixed.

The state Department of Health today is dropping off $250,000 worth of voluntarily forfeited OxyELITE Pro products at the HPOWER waste-to-energy plant in Campbell Industrial Park to be destroyed amid an investigation that has linked the dietary supplement to multiple cases of liver damage and acute hepatitis in the isles and around the country. Star-Advertiser.

Tiny Tern Island, a 25-acre strip of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that has been inundated with marine debris, could become a Superfund cleanup site if the Center for Biological Diversity gets its way. Civil Beat.

State roundup for November 19. Associated Press.

The seven-member Honolulu Ethics Commission voted unanimously Monday to back a request by Executive Director Chuck Totto to fire off a letter to Mayor Kirk Caldwell's administration, essentially urging city officials to retain the agency's budget request despite the objections of the Department of Corporation Counsel. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s top lieutenant reiterated the administration’s commitment to transparency Monday, despite lingering questions about its interference in ongoing ethics investigations. Civil Beat.

Kakaako’s designated central park is Kakaako Waterfront Park and Kakaako Makai and Mauka Gateway parks. But the state agency in charge of Kakaako development is moving full speed ahead with ridiculous proposals to remove large sections of valuable parkland from general public. Civil Beat.

The federal government has agreed to pay $67,500 to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who says she was raped by a prison employee at the federal detention center. Government lawyer Edric Ming-Kai Ching announced the settlement Monday in U.S. District Court. Star-Advertiser.

The first commercial airline service out of Kalaeloa Airport could become a reality early next year. Mokulele Airlines is seeking state and community support to operate daily service to Lanai, Molokai and Maui, as well as possibly Kona, from the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station. Star-Advertiser.


Following an announcement Monday that Del Monte Fresh Produce Inc. will pay $1.2 million and change its migrant worker policies to settle a discrimination lawsuit, two Big Island farms have less than a month to file their consent decrees in federal court detailing their own settlement agreements. West Hawaii Today.

An alleged embezzlement of possibly more than $100,000 in league funds may prevent a Hilo midget football team from traveling to Florida next month to play in the Pop Warner Super Bowl. Tribune-Herald.

A Big Island football team's trip to the national tournament is in jeopardy because of missing travel funds. As authorities investigate, the players' families are scrambling to come up with about $100,000 to get to Florida in less than three weeks. Hawaii News Now.

The Kona Judiciary Complex has had its proposed home approved, in concept anyway. On Nov. 8, the state Board of Land and Natural Resources granted preliminary approval for building the $90 million facility near the Makalapua Center, mauka of Queen Kaahumanu Highway. Tribune-Herald.


While Del Monte Fresh Produce has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle claims in a discrimination lawsuit involving Thai farmworkers, a trial is set for February on the claims against California-based labor contractor Global Horizons and Maui Pineapple Co. Maui News.

Maui Electric Company has formed a partnership with a mainland firm to manage new electric vehicle charging stations on Maui. Maui Now.

Scientists are posting on the Internet the movements of several tiger sharks that have been tagged with satellite and acoustical tracking devices in the ocean near Maui. The tagging is part of a two-year project to study the movement of the sharks and their behavior, including an attempt to determine their mating and pupping areas. Star-Advertiser.


It has been nearly 18 years since a 400-square-foot Hurricane Iniki shelter next to Kapaa Beach Park was converted into a Kauai Police Department substation. Garden Island.


Molokai residents have noticed a lot of temporary electricity outages lately… and energy researchers have proposed a multi-million dollar project they hope will solve the problem. Hawaii Public Radio.