Showing posts with label Hawaii hiking trails. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hawaii hiking trails. Show all posts

Monday, February 22, 2021

State edges toward vaccinating 70+, charging for hikers' rescue, $1M Honolulu homes may be classified affordable, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Daring view of Waimea Canyon, Kauai ©2021 All Hawaii News

Charging illegal hikers for rescue costs considered again by Hawaii lawmakers. Renewed efforts are underway in the state Senate to allow county first-responders to charge outlaw hikers for the cost of rescuing them — and issue criminal fines as well — at a time when government spending is under stress from the fallout of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Is The End In Sight? And How Will We Know It?
Vaccinations are key to how soon state and local officials will feel comfortable easing back restrictions on travel as well as business and social activities. Civil Beat.

DOH: Seniors 70 And Older To Get COVID-19 Vaccine ‘Soon’. As of January, Hawaii’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan had aimed to start vaccinating people 65 and older in March. Instead, officials with the Department of Health said Friday they plan to expand the pool of vaccine recipients to include people 70 and older sometime soon. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. KITV4.

State extends testing window for domestic travelers. Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Sunday confirms it is extending the testing window for inbound domestic travelers through Wednesday, February 24.  This in response to the severe weather across the mainland that has canceled or delayed flights. KITV4.

Hawaii Always Had A Hard Time Recruiting Teachers. The Pandemic Made It Harder. Hawaii is rethinking its teacher recruitment strategies, including virtual job fairs, but it’s a hard sell when even preexisting successful initiatives face a shaky future. Civil Beat.

Prison reform advocates worry key bills won’t survive legislative session. Prison reform measures, which gained momentum during the COVID pandemic, are now faltering in the state Legislature, advocates said. Hawaii News Now.

Gender Wage Gap Narrower In Hawaii, But Pandemic Greatly Impacting Women In The Workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked Hawaii eighth in the country when it came to the overall amount women earned compared to men. Based on 2019 data, for every dollar men were paid -- women earned roughly 85 cents. Hawaii Public Radio.

Suicides In Hawaii Have Declined During The Pandemic.
Calls to crisis hotlines and hospital admissions for psychiatric problems increased in 2020, but preliminary data shows no evidence of a spike in suicides. Civil Beat.

Critics say Agriculture Development Corporation should be shut down. State Rep. Richard Onishi said Friday scathing reports from the state auditor and the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization led to legislation that would abolish the Agriculture Development Corporation. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Farmers Need Better Data To Make Decisions. Federal and state budget cuts, combined with challenges in gathering data, have led to a shrinkage of up-to-date, accessible and comprehensive agricultural data in Hawaii in recent years. Civil Beat.

Hawaii first to get new warships that can pull up onto beaches. The Marine Corps later this year plans to activate in Hawaii its first-ever Marine Littoral Regiment — the centerpiece of a sweeping force redesign enabling troops to operate in small units with ship-killing missiles from the islands that dot the Western Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

Feb. 21, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 68 New Cases (33 O‘ahu, 28 Maui, 4 Hawai‘i Island, 3 Out-of-State). Maui Now.


‘Bold’ plan to develop leasehold condos on state land renewed. Such homes are intended to be built within a mile of city rail stations, and initially were described as feasibly costing $300,000 for three-bedroom units in buildings with pools and other amenities. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu affordable housing could include $1 million homes under state guidelines, which some have criticized as being ‘out of whack’. A two-bedroom home that costs $1 million technically can be defined as “affordable” for some households eligible for government-subsidized housing. Star-Advertiser.

Blangiardi asks state to lift some team sports restrictions with COVID cases declining. As COVID case counts continue to drop, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has hinted Oahu is on the verge of loosening restrictions for the first time since October. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu’s move to Tier 3 is only a step toward recovery
. Oahu is on track to move to Tier 3 of its COVID-19 reopening strategy this week after being stuck in Tier 2 since October, but some businesses are unsure what Tier 3 will mean to them and how much of a change it will bring. Star-Advertiser.

City says new e-scooter company in Waikiki is operating illegally. A new electric scooter company in Waikiki is challenging city laws. Hawaii News Now.

Aloha Stadium parking lot events prove popular with more being booked. Aloha Stadium was more or less condemned in December for future events with spectators, but the parking lot around the rusted 50,000-seat complex is being booked for a growing array of attractions. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

House introduces resolutions to form working group on Maunakea. A pair of resolutions was introduced Friday on the floor of the House of Representatives to form on working group on the management of Maunakea. Tribune-Herald.

Long waits loom for licenses: Renewals could take months as division faces backlog. Residents hoping to renew their driver’s licenses can still expect months-long delays thanks to a backlog at the County Vehicle Registration and Licensing Division. Tribune-Herald.

COVID-19 vaccine ‘mega clinics’ to open in Kona.
The rate at which the COVID-19 vaccine is being administered in West Hawaii should pick up pace thanks to a partnership that will bring “mega clinics” to Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Amphitheater, affordable housing highlight Palamanui deal.
Developer Palamanui Global Holdings sweetened the pot on a rezoning deal Tuesday by promising an outdoor performing arts amphitheater and affordable housing that’s more affordable, winning the massive development preliminary approval from a County Council panel. West Hawaii Today.

Bill introduced to address management of Honokohau Small Boat Harbor. A bill that would give a Honokohau Small Boat Harbor working group management authority over the facility with the state’s oversight and assistance is making its way through the state Senate. West Hawaii Today.


Fast-track affordable housing bill passes on first reading. A bill that would tighten affordable housing requirements for projects seeking fast-track approval under state law squeaked by with enough votes early Friday evening to pass on first reading before the Maui County Council. Maui News.

‘Maui Wowee’: County Council Sees Potential Financial Boost From Pot Industry.
Council members are hoping other Hawaii counties express support for marijuana legalization too. Legislative leaders and Gov. David Ige have long opposed the idea. Civil Beat.


Council resolution urging reopening of schools. County Councilmembers Mason Chock and Luke Evslin have introduced a new resolution, urging the state to reopen schools for full-time, in-person learning and allowing interscholastic sports competitions, as well as organized youth sports to resume for grades kindergarten to 12. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i resorts hope to bounce back from COVID-19 pandemic. Hokuala Resort at Timbers Managing Director Gary Moore is reporting an increase in the occupancy of the luxury resort since the start of January. Garden Island.

Sex-assault services in peril.
In January, the state proposed a $714,000-a-year cut to its contract with the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, which subcontracts for treatment services with the YWCA of Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Hiker rescue reimbursement bill advancing through Legislature, Ige not worried about federal rail funds, 'lava bomb' tour boat victim sues, Maui development fight, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hiker on Kilauea volcano ©2019 All Hawaii News
A bill that would require public safety agencies to seek reimbursement from hikers who are rescued while trespassing on public trails is making its way through the state Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

More security could be coming to the state Capitol, but how will that affect access? Hawaii News Now.

Legislators are considering a bill to require licensing or accreditation of all private schools in Hawaii because of fears unlicensed operations may be falling short of basic safety and other standards. Star-Advertiser.

Be Audited Or Die: New Budget Process Cracks Down On State Agency. The Hawaii Agribusiness Development Corp. manages about 3,300 acres of land and infrastructure acquired with $71.4 million in taxpayer money. Civil Beat.

Film industry leaders worry tax credit limit will turn away potential filmmakers. KITV.

Tobacco tax clears final Senate committee. After a decision by the state Senate Committee on Ways and Means Thursday, a new tobacco tax is one reading shy of heading to the House of Representatives for consideration. West Hawaii Today.

Statewide hotel occupancy dropped to its lowest January level in four years, as every major Hawaii isle began the year with fewer occupied hotel rooms. Star-Advertiser.

Study: Moving Ourselves Away From The Shoreline Is Hard But Doable. A new report sheds light on some of the critical factors for the state to consider when implementing a managed retreat strategy. Civil Beat.

Amazon spreading its wings in Hawaii. The online retail giant established a package receiving and distribution facility at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport nearly a year ago after deciding to fly its own cargo planes to Honolulu from Riverside, Calif. Star-Advertiser.


Ige Doesn’t Think HART’s Federal Funding Is Threatened. For now, Hawaii’s governor expects the funding will go forward despite an investigation into the rail project and the state’s recent lawsuit against the Trump administration. Civil Beat.

Lifeguards will be at Hanauma Bay longer. Starting Sunday, the popular Hanauma Bay extended its lifeguard hours. It's a pilot program that will be evaluated in a year. KHON2.

City making changes to prevent drownings at Hanauma Bay. KITV.

Retailers who pay top dollar to rent space in one of the nation’s premium shopping districts have joined Waikiki residents in pushing for a city ordinance to limit the number of street closure permits issued for Kalakaua Avenue. Star-Advertiser.

Former sex worker speaks out claiming police officers pressured her to perform sexual acts. This woman claims at least five Honolulu police officers pressured her to perform sexual acts. KITV.

Protesters tell Alexander & Baldwin: ‘Don’t be a deadbeat dad’. Dozens protested at Alexander & Baldwin Inc.'s downtown headquarters Friday, saying A&B and other companies like them are not paying their fair share of taxes. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu libraries start lending ukulele as interest grows. As interest in the ukulele soars across the country, the Aloha State is starting to make the perky little instrument available free to use through its public libraries. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

The first sewer fee hike in 17 years squeaked through the County Council on a 5-4 vote this week, but only after it was amended to spread the cost over five years instead of the three requested by the administration. West Hawaii Today.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency could end up spending $177 million on the Kilauea eruption. Tribune-Herald.

The family of an Illinois woman seriously injured last July when a “lava bomb” tore through the roof of a tour boat off Kapoho is suing the tour company and its owner in state court. Tribune-Herald.

A Hilo fire rescue specialist who was transferred to a Kailua-Kona fire station is claiming Fire Chief Darren Rosario retaliated against him after he filed an internal complaint of harassment and workplace violence about two coworkers. West Hawaii Today.

For the first time since Big Island legislators began seeking lifeguards for Kua Bay in 2013, a measure to secure life-saving personnel for the site was heard and passed by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. West Hawaii Today.

A resolution urging the county administration to increase funding to add more police officers in Puna is expected to appear on the Hawaii County Council’s Public Safety Committee agenda on March 12 in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Business owners in the town of Volcano are worried a new law regulating short-term vacation rentals on the Big Island will impact their village. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park hopes to reopen one of its prime attractions, the Thurston Lava Tube, this year after improving traffic congestion issues in the park. Tribune-Herald.

The Kamuela Vacuum Cooling Plant is in line for a face-lift. West Hawaii Today.


A Maui resident has sued the state, Maui County and a developer to stop construction of a housing subdivision after learning that at least 182 Native Hawaiian burials have been disturbed by the project. Star-Advertiser.

The Maui County Council on Friday approved eight nominees to respective department directorships, and rejected three appointees. Maui Now.

$257,000 Launiupoko Parking Lot Repaving Project Begins Monday. Maui Now.

Maui’s 12 sites logged nearly 100 whales in a 15-minute time period and 774 whales total during The Great Whale Count by Pacific Whale Foundation on Saturday, the second of three monthly counts, according to the foundation. Maui News.


In five years Kauai has seen the number of beach goers more than double, yet the number of rescues and drownings over that same period has decreased, according to the Kauai Lifeguard Association. Garden Island.

Species are springing to life on Kauai’s South Shore that haven’t been seen in more than 200 years, and it’s wetland rehabilitation that’s making it happen. Garden Island.

Monday, March 12, 2018

'Secret' Hawaii hiking spots on social media raise risky behavior, Legislature seeks tax hikes, Honolulu council shuffle, state Department of Education supports student walkouts, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Manoa's bamboo trail ©2018 All Hawaii News
Social media spur rise in risky scenic hiking. Within the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of the state trails, as well as people going to places that are obviously dangerous, among both visitors and locals alike. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers seek tax increases despite booming collections. These are the best of times when it comes to state tax collections, but Hawaii lawmakers are nonetheless considering an array of tax increases to help cope with long-term spending obligations such as pensions and health care for public employees. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers Ignore Tourism Industry, Pass New Taxes Targeting Visitors. Tourism officials aren’t happy with measures that could raise millions from taxes on timeshares and higher resort fees. Civil Beat.

The State Senate has drafted, discussed, and voted on several bills that leaders say are projected to generate approximately $72 million in revenues based on the Department of Taxation estimates. Maui Now.

Law enforcement experts recommend a statewide gun amnesty buyback program that they think would help decrease gun violence in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

The state House Judiciary committee has approved legislation that would expand animal-cruelty laws to better protect dogs chained up outdoors. Star-Advertiser.

‘Death with dignity’ advocate, outliving his cancer prognosis, reflects on issue. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Education says it will support students who plan to participate in the school walkouts planned nationwide to protest gun violence. Hawaii News Now.

Who’s Building Affordable Housing in Hawaii. Many high-profile developers include affordable housing as required by law, but some developers specialize in that type of housing. Hawaii Public Radio.

The National Disaster Preparedness Training Center is inviting the public to participate in a survey about residents' experiences and behaviors during January's false missile scare. Hawaii News Now.

The number of people looking for jobs in Hawaii is the lowest since 1991. The state maintained its record low unemployment rate at 2.1 percent in January, the same as the revised seasonally adjusted rates for December, November and October, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Star-Advertiser.


Palace Intrigue: Ernie Martin Tries To Return As City Council Chairman. Even as he runs for Congress, the North Shore council member may regain the chairmanship this month. Civil Beat.

Council members move to reinstate Martin as chair. KHON2.

City budget adds more lifeguards at Hanauma. Expect a bigger lifeguard presence at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve under a proposal that’s part of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s $2.16 billion operating budget for the coming fiscal year. Star-Advertiser.

Starting March 12, the City and County of Honolulu will begin replacing tens of thousands of light bulbs in street lamps across the island to put in more energy-efficient LED lights. KHON2.

The nonprofit health center running the Waianae Coast’s only emergency room is doubling the number of rooms available to treat urgent cases and expanding its reach in Leeward Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Waianae Health Center Completes $49 Million Improvement Project. KITV.

Architect Designs Low-Cost Housing, Often For Free. Russell Wozniak has become a leader of Oahu’s efforts to develop innovative solutions to the low-income housing shortage. Civil Beat.

Caldwell seeks kupuna input on surf contest reform. In mid-February, when the World Surf League canceled its 2019 Pipe Masters contest after the City & County of Honolulu rejected its bid to switch dates from December to January with its Pipe Pro meet, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced he would found an advisory committee to revise the city’s surf meet permitting rules. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. is adjusting its base rate to reflect savings from the new federal tax bill, resulting in a lower monthly electrical bill for Oahu customers. Star-Advertiser.

Peter Moon, an ukulele virtuoso, businessman and composer who contributed to a revival of Hawaiian music in the 1970s, died Feb. 17. He was 73. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Maunakea committee shrouded in anonymity. Mayor Harry Kim says his Maunakea committee, tasked with proposing a new management model for the mountain, met for the first time Friday. Tribune-Herald.

The pace of public projects has slowed as the county nears its prudent borrowing limits and seeks other revenue sources to build needed roads, wastewater systems, workforce housing and fire stations. West Hawaii Today.

Crowing Roosters Are Driving Some People Crazy On The Big Island. A Hawaii County Council member is proposing to restrict where the birds, many used for illegal cockfighting, can roost. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii County panel on Friday denied an appeal of a subdivision approval in the Puukapu Homesteads area of Waimea. Big Island Video News.

A small Waimea subdivision is causing big problems for a neighbor, who says work on the property is making her land flood. West Hawaii Today.

State social workers in Hilo oversee so many cases of abused and neglected children spread over a huge swath of Hawaii island that the situation has become a crisis, with workers unable to devote adequate time to cases even as the numbers continue to grow, according to social workers, foster parents, service providers and others familiar with the child welfare system there. Star-Advertiser.


County Council passes short-term rental legislation on first reading. Measure would require a property owner to wait five years for a permit. Maui News.

Community gets a glimpse of long-delayed Kihei high school. New Kihei High School concepts revealed: Parents plead for school to welcome all grades at once at scheduled 2021 opening. Maui News.

Girls basketball coach suspended pending investigation. Upcountry club team reorganizing, changing its name. Maui News.

Bowling alley rumors false for Maui Marketplace. Lease negotiations ongoing for old Lowe’s, Sports Authority spaces. Maui News.


Kauai police have seen an increase in the use of black tar heroin over the last two years. Associated Press.

Waimea Library manager helps award top national children’s book. Garden Island.

Bum Run raises awareness, money in fight against cancer. Garden Island.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hawaiian Telcom takeover, special session set, Bruno Mars seeks to save Waikiki Natatorium, Kona coffee farmer deported, defending Hawaii from missile strikes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaiian Telcom
Courtesy Hawaiian Telcom
Hawaiian Telcom, the state’s largest telecommunications company, and Cincinnati Bell are merging in a cash-and-stock deal worth $650 million. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Telcom shareholders have voted to merge with a telecoms firm on the mainland, but the company says there will be “no material change” to local jobs. Hawaii News Now.

Cincinnati Bell Inc. agreed to buy Hawaiian Telcom Holdco Inc. for $650 million and OnX Enterprise Solutions for $201 million as the Midwestern landline carrier joins the race to build bigger fiber networks to handle soaring internet traffic. Bloomberg.


Congressional delegation at odds with experts on defending isles from missiles. Star-Advertiser.

Legislators announce special session to hash out rail funding. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Legislature has scheduled a special session Aug. 28-Sept. 1 to try again to reach a deal on funding the remainder of Honolulu’s 20-mile rail project, now estimated to cost $10 billion. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige signed a bill Thursday that's aimed at assuring elderly couples will be able to stay together in community care homes. Hawaii News Now.

A proposal would ban new permits for commercial aquarium fishing and it’s sitting on the governor’s desk awaiting his decision. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige has reappointed three members of the Hawaii Land Use Commission, the governor's office said Friday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii’s marijuana dispensaries received another set-back this week when a key insurer pulled out of their market. Hawaii Public Radio.

A year-round career guidance and college-preparatory program that Kamehameha Schools runs for high school students outside of its three campuses is being recognized today with a national counseling award. Star-Advertiser.

Water catchment systems need to be properly maintained. Star-Advertiser.


Growing homeless encampments prompt proposal for armed park rangers. Star-Advertiser.

Is This Kahala Man’s Pitch To Help The Homeless For Real? Some people are skeptical of a man with a criminal past who says he wants to sell his multimillion-dollar Kahala home and give $200,000 to a foundation to help working homeless families. Civil Beat.

The state Land and Natural Resource’s Division of Boating and Ocean Resources division will be hosting a public meeting Monday night to gather input on the community's vision for the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor. Hawaii News Now.

Bruno Mars wants his fans to give him their attention for one of Hawaii’s landmarks, the Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu restaurants and other food-related businesses won’t be required to donate leftover or surplus food to the needy — at least not for the time being. Star-Advertiser.

A proposed plan could either require or recommend restaurants to donate leftovers to families who struggle to get food on the table. KITV.

The state has opened up a public comment period for a solar project set to be built in Kalaeloa near Hawaiian cultural sites. Star-Advertiser.

The Friday night fireworks show that the Hilton Hawaiian Village has been putting on for the public for more than two decades is now subject to rent closer to that imposed on all other fireworks shows for the portion of the public beach designated as a safety zone around the launch area. Civil Beat.

An online petition urging New York University administrators to expel a student from Hawaii recently convicted for his part in the destruction of more than a dozen federally protected Laysan albatross and their nests at the Kaena Point Natural Reserve has garnered more than 28,000 signatures since it was posted on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa has been selected, along with 21 universities across the country, to receive grants from NASA for research and technology development projects in areas critical to the agency's mission. Pacific Business News.

Residents in Lanikai are banding together following a violent dog attack in the neighborhood earlier this week. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

A respected Kona coffee farmer who lived illegally in the United States for nearly 30 years said goodbye to his wife and three children Friday night before boarding flights he paid for to San Francisco, Houston and finally, Morelia, Mexico, ahead of an immigration deportation order, his daughter said. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii County’s updated flood zone maps are now available after a yearslong revision effort by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Tribune-Herald.

More than 60 hikers were either cited or warned Saturday for trespass into the closed Kohala Forest Reserve on Hawaii, the Department of Land and Natural Resources said in a press release Saturday. West Hawaii Today.

The Division of Conservation & Resources Enforcement cited or warned over 60 hikers for trespass, and the state recorded video. Big Island Video News.

Bolstered by the passage of a similar measure on Maui, the Hawaii County Council on Friday moved an amended version of a bill banning polystyrene foam food containers to the Environmental Management Commission. West Hawaii Today.

A serious and lingering water shortage in North Kona came to a new head earlier this month with the failure of a fifth county well — leaving residents in the west side’s population center confused, angry and wondering when the problem is going to get a real fix. Civil Beat.

Are Puna and Kau being discriminated against? Jen Ruggles thinks so, especially when it comes to basic human services. Civil Beat.

Changes to Kealakekua Public Library schedule add hours, end Saturday access. West Hawaii Today.


While saying he’s open to “all options” to raise more money needed for Oahu’s troubled 20-mile rail mass transit project, Gov. David Ige expressed support for raising the state’s transient accommodations tax by 1 percentage point while maintaining the counties’ share of hotel room taxes at $93 million. Maui News.

Water quality staff members still aren’t sure what caused E. coli in Ualapue well samples in December and June, but county Department of Water Supply Director Dave Taylor assured residents that the water is “absolutely” safe to drink. Maui News.

More than 100 trees will be removed from the county right of way on Piʻiholo Road due to hazardous conditions. Maui Now.

Motorists can expect intermittent road closures along Piiholo Road beginning Monday morning while crews remove 20 hazardous eucalyptus trees, according to a Maui County announcement. Maui News.

Roadwork will start today in an area near the intersection of Haleakala and Hana highways, according to an announcement. Maui News.


The Community Coalition Kauai will hold a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at King Kaumualii Elementary School on the county’s General Plan update. Garden Island.

Plan aims to strengthen relations between tourism, community. Garden Island.

Saturday afternoon’s La Hoi Hoi Ea (Sovereignty Restoration Day) at Kauai Community College wasn’t just a day of remembrance and celebration of Hawaiian culture and tradition. Garden Island.

Jeff Stone’s project to revamp the Princeville entry on Kauai’s North Shore is almost to its final phase, according to representatives from The Resort Group. Garden Island.

Farmers boost profits by offering tours. Garden Island.


After years of speculation, wildlife officials have confirmed the presence of an endangered bat subspecies on Kahoolawe Island, located about 7 miles southwest of Maui. Associated Press.

Monday, June 6, 2016

New Hawaii website helps hikers find safer trails, big pukas in medical marijuana law, Hawaii County Council kills polystyrene ban, Maui Council approves $659.5M budget, Kauai pesticide study questioned, Land Board again confirms judge for Thirty Meter Telescope, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hiker on Pauoa Flats Trail © 2016 All Hawaii News
The state has launched its newly revamped website designed to help hikers easily find sanctioned trails in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Find the Hawaii trails website here.

Hawaii is the only state that doesn’t participate in the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics Program. Instead, state officials currently compile their own hate crimes report with information collected from local prosecutors rather than police. Associated Press.

There’s a “gray area” in Hawaii’s up-and-coming medical marijuana dispensary program that few are talking about: In order for dispensaries to procure their first batch of cannabis, someone’s going to have to break the law. Tribune-Herald.

NextEra Energy Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Co., the two companies involved in a $4.3 billion acquisition, were both silent on Friday, the day two companies contractually agreed that either could walk away from the deal. Pacific Business News.

Rat lungworm, a debilitating, sometimes fatal disease caused by parasites that worm their way into the human brain is the focus of a newly created state joint task force, but some say that’s not what’s needed. Star-Advertiser.


The cost to build the rail transit system has already increased from $5.3 billion to $8 billion. But the project will cost city taxpayers another $100 million a year once it's finally operating. Hawaii News Now.

A jump in offers above asking price, key market indicators showing continued strong demand and the rapid pace of condominium sales indicates strong competition continues for available residential properties on Oahu, according to a new report. Pacific Business News.

Loretta Sheehan, a former prosecutor, was nominated to the Honolulu Police Commission only on Friday, but she already has big ideas for how to rebuild trust in the agency after watching its stature crumble under the weight of scandals involving officer misconduct and excessive use of force. Civil Beat.

Police want to make it easier to become a radio dispatcher. The Honolulu Police Department’s Communications Division, which includes civilian police dispatchers who answer emergency and nonemergency 911 calls, says it streamlined a previously cumbersome application process to allow more people to apply and be hired. Star-Advertiser.

Videos of daredevils on a swing atop the summit of the forbidden Haiku Stairs hiking trail, thousands of feet above the H-3 Freeway, have been popular on social media. The Board of Water Supply, however, is hiring a contractor to take it down in the next few weeks. KITV4.

A state Circuit Court jury awarded the association of Lagoon Tower timeshare owners $5.7 million in damages to be paid by the association’s former board president after a 10-day trial in April. Star-Advertiser.


County Council kills bill banning foam food containers. West Hawaii Today.

Despite a continuing problem fielding enough members to vote on important issues, there will be no changes to the Board of Ethics this year. Nor will there be more than four consecutive terms for County Council members. West Hawaii Today.

The state Land Board on Friday again affirmed a retired judge to oversee Thirty Meter Telescope permit proceedings despite calls for her removal from the project’s builder and those who opposed building the telescope on Mauna Kea. Associated Press.

Big Island’s New Marine Reserve Was A Long Time Coming. The state’s decision to establish a “no take zone” along a popular stretch of the island’s west coast is hailed by some, derided by others. Civil Beat.

Forty or so fishermen lined Queen Kaahumanu Highway waving signs on Saturday to protest the establishment of the Kaupulehu Marine Reserve, the island’s first initiative to put a reef off-limits to fishing while a subsistence plan is drafted for the 3.6 miles of coastline at Kaupulehu Bay. West Hawaii Today.

In the four years since the county ordinance known as “Aliyah’s Law” went into effect, Hawaii Island police have ordered 2,168 vehicles towed at the drivers’ expense. Tribune-Herald.

A planned affordable- housing project on Hawaii island that is more than four years behind schedule is close to breaking ground on its first homes, but the master developer of the envisioned community with 2,330 residences on state land wants out. Star-Advertiser.


Maui County Council members gave final approval Friday to the $659.5 million fiscal 2017 budget, making a last-minute change to eliminate proposed increases in commercial ocean recreation activity permit fees. Maui News.

A bill that would require residents to own a property for five years before applying for a short-term rental permit could soon be headed to the Molokai, Lanai and Maui planning commissions for input from the public and commission members. Maui News.

After hearing sharply divided public testimony Friday, Maui County Council members referred to committee a proposal to switch from the current mayor-council form of county government to a council-manager system that includes an elected, but less powerful mayor. Maui News.

Offshore sand could help deter beach erosion in west Maui. The county planning department has been working with consultant Moffatt &Nichol since February on a study that resulted in the discovery of 300,000 cubic yards of sand off Kahana Bay in April. Associated Press.

Maui County shoreline planners are "elated" after discovering more than 300,000 cubic yards of "beach-quality sand" off Kahana Bay, which could replenish the beachfronts of numerous condominiums that have been slowly disappearing into the ocean. Maui News.

Officials at Lahainaluna High School are working to fix a water discoloration issue in bathroom sinks and hope to have it resolved by the beginning of next school year, acting Principal Joanne Dennis said Friday. Maui News.

The cross-country odyssey of a pair of glamorous twin sisters who found fame teaching yoga to the elite of South Florida and ignominy in a series of criminal incidents in Utah ended in bizarre tragedy May 29 when a white 2016 Ford Explorer veered off Hana Highway and plunged 200 feet onto a rocky shoreline. Star-Advertiser.


State regulators and experts in the fields of health and environmental science say that many of the recommendations put forward by a joint fact-finding group convened to study the potential hazards of pesticide use by large agricultural operations on the west side of Kauai likely aren’t useful, would cost millions of dollars annually and in some cases exceed state resources and expertise. Star-Advertiser.

For Councilman Arryl Kaneshiro, allowing Kauai residents to build multiple family dwellings on their property is a step in the right direction toward addressing the island’s affordable housing problem. Garden Island.

As of Friday, 20 Kauai residents filed papers, announcing their candidacy for different posts. Garden Island.

James “Jimmy” Tokioka (D-15, Wailua, Hanamaulu, Lihue, Koloa, Omao) — first elected to the state house in 2006 — is seeking his sixth, two-year term as a state house representative for Kauai. Garden Island.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Hawaii's 'Stairway to Heaven' could reopen, DLNR blasts Hawaiian Electric plan, gubernatorial and congressional candidates debate, Schatz, Gabbard mull lava escape plan, Honolulu rail transit plan advances, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

wikipedia public domain photo
Haiku Stairs, photo by Kirinwizard
An ad hoc community group formed to decide the future of Haiku Stairs released a report Thursday recommending that the popular attraction be reopened with access through Windward Community College's campus. Star-Advertiser.

A working group tasked with determining the best course of action for the Ha’iku Stairs said the status quo is not acceptable. The popular stairway in Kaneohe, also known as the Stairway to Heaven, has been closed for more than a decade. However, trespassers continue to climb the 3,922 steps. The 13-member working group recommended the city either tear down the stairs at a cost of between $3 million and $5 million, or “develop a managed access use plan.” KITV4.

For nearly 30 years, hikers have been denied legal access to Haiku Stairs, also known as “the Stairway to Heaven.” Now, there is a call to reopen the hiking trail, but only if all interested parties agree to a so-called “managed access plan.” KHON2.

The state blasted Hawaiian Electric Industries' new energy transition plan for being stuck in the past and doing more to benefit the utility than the public. The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, in an 86-page filing with the state Public Utilities Commission, registered its frustration with the utility, saying HEI is clinging to an old business model that is incapable of meeting the goal of moving Hawaii off fossil fuels and onto renewable energy.  Star-Advertiser.

Some solar customers who have been on the waiting list are finally getting hooked up and approved by Hawaiian Electric Co. But critics say the solar boom won’t last. HECO set up new regulations on solar last year that left a backlog of customers wanting to get on the grid and slowed the growth of the solar industry. KHON2.

National groups independent from the candidates are stepping up their attacks, especially in the close race for Hawaii governor. It’s the RGA versus the DGA — the Republican Governors Association versus the Democratic Governors Association. Civil Beat.

While repeating their stances on issues facing the next Congress, the candidates for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District also stuck to key campaign themes in a roundtable discussion aired statewide Thursday night on PBS Hawaii's "Insights." Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii would be able to expedite tuition decreases under a proposal the Board of Regents budget committee advanced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and a grassroots organization are using an online game to help get more Native Hawaiians interested in statewide elections. OHA and Kanu Hawaii created a game that allows voters to take an online quiz to see which candidates in the Nov. 4 general election best matches their own political opinions. Associated Press.


City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro defended his decision to let a grand jury decide whether a misdemeanor abuse charge should be made against a police officer in a highly publicized case. Star-Advertiser.

The firm creating Oahu's driverless train system might finally have landed a buyer, and that has rail board members seeking assurances that any upcoming sale won't disrupt or delay the $5.26 billion project -- which already faces other challenges to finish on time. Star-Advertiser.

The board overseeing Oahu's rail project voted unanimously Thursday to give Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Executive Director Dan Grabauskas a new three-year contract, which, if signed, would take effect this spring with a 5 percent raise. Grabauskas' current three-year deal, which pays an annual base salary of $245,000, ends in April. The new contract would pay Grabauskas a base of $257,000 and make him eligible for a 3.5 percent raise in the subsequent two years. Star-Advertiser.

A company under state investigation for allegedly dumping thousands of gallons of oil products near Kawainui Marsh is now in the cross hairs of city inspectors. That's after a former employee came forward with new allegations that the company poured thousand of gallons of petroleum sludge into the city's sewers. Hawaii News Now.

A Hawaii technology startup company wants to let bus riders be better informed when their bus will arrive with real-time display signs at bus stops. Star-Advertiser.

Kamehameha Schools’ plan to redevelop nearly 300,000 square feet of its commercial properties surrounding Kahala Mall in East Oahu into primarily retail space is gaining some traction, with leases on five commercial parcels mauka of the mall expiring during the next five years, a spokesman for the trust recently told Pacific Business News.


Hawaii’s three major gubernatorial candidates each pledged to do more to empower educators at the local level during their first debate on the Big Island on Thursday evening. Tribune-Herald.

Governor Candidates Assure Hilo Voters on Disaster Preps, Recovery. After Tropical Storm Iselle, and with lava poised to cut off a key highway, Hawaii County residents want a governor who will help. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz told a large crowd in Pahoa on Thursday night that they're doing all they can to press the federal government to pay attention to the small town on Hawaii island being threatened by lava. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard and U.S. Senator Brian Schatz addressed a packed crowd of more 500 anxious and concerned residents. They say their top priorities are ensuring uninterrupted postal service and the critical infrastructure needs of clearing Chain of Craters road -- which by all accounts will eventually become the only way in and out of the lower Puna district. Hawaii News Now.

The advancement of the June 27 lava flow appears to be slowing down yet again, potentially lengthening the time it could take to encroach upon Pahoa. Tribune-Herald.

West Hawaii residents tore into a proposed state water quality plan in Kailua-Kona Thursday night. Frustrations boiled to the surface, with people firing questions and not being satisfied with the answers they received from a state Department of Health official leading an informational meeting at the West Hawaii Civic Center. West Hawaii Today.

Members of the state Commission on Water Resource Management continued their investigation into a petition to designate the Keauhou aquifer as a water management area Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has appointed Margaret Masunaga as judge of the District Court of the 3rd Circuit. West Hawaii Today.


Acting Governor Shan Tsutsui signed a proclamation today declaring Oct. 9, 2014, as Līpoa Point Day in the State of Hawaiʻi. The Līpoa Point acquisition by the state effectively removes the threat of development, preserving the land in perpetuity for generations to come, and makes the way for the creation of a management plan. Maui Now.

Maui Land & Pineapple Co. retirees were able to breathe a sigh of relief Thursday after the state solidified its purchase of Lipoa Point for $19.5 million, which the company must use to fund pension plans for its former workers. Maui News.

The Maui County Council's Planning Committee advanced a bill last week that would regulate home businesses. Maui News.


Debra Lee-Jackson, a taro farmer from Kauai’s Puna District, said her nonprofit Hui Ho‘opulapula Na Wai o Puna has spent the last year working to understand water conditions and uses in the area. The Hui, made up of a group of landowners, lessees, taro farmers, fishermen and native Hawaiians seeking to restore and preserve Puna’s watersheds, is asking the council to support, via a resolution, its petition aimed at having South Puna — known as the Hanamaulu sub-aquifer — designated as a Ground-Surface Water Management Area. Garden Island.

Subsistence fishers, lineal descendants of Hāʻena and community members from across Kaua‘i and the rest of the state testified in support of the Hāʻena Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area rules. Hawaii Independent.

Friday, April 11, 2014

El Nino predicted, ethics complaint filed over trail liability bill, minimum wage bill goes to conference committee, Kauai group fights dairy, laptop plan falters, Kakaako fight gets personal, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii dawn (c) 2014 All Hawaii News
A warm-water mass churning across the tropical Pacific points to the development of El Nino, a periodic phenomenon that typically brings destructive weather across far reaches of the planet, two University of Hawaii scientists warn. Star-Advertiser.

The chances are growing that a weather-altering El Nino will develop in the Pacific Ocean later this year, the U.S. Climate Prediction Center said. Bloomberg.

Climate change is a critical development for anyone living on an island.  On Hawaii Island, it's not just a matter of concern, it's a topic of study.  And that will be highlighted as part of an upcoming television series. Hawaii Public Radio.

Rock climbers, mountain bikers and other outdoors enthusiasts filed an ethics complaint Thursday against a state House lawmaker over changes her committee made changes to a bill that could help expand public access to Hawaii's mountains and trails. Associated Press.

Disagreeing with the wishes of state Senate leaders, senators Thursday opted for conference committee negotiations with the state House over the minimum wage. Star-Advertiser.

A bill to raise Hawaii's minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2018 will go to conference committee after the state Senate decided to disagree with amendments made by the House. Pacific Business News.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has picked Edmund Aczon of the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters to join the state Land Use Commission, one of the most influential boards managing land use in Hawaii. The Senate Committee on Water and Land will take up his nomination on Monday afternoon. Civil Beat.

The future of a pilot program eyed as a model to eventually put laptops in the hands of all Hawaii public school students and teachers is uncertain now that lawmakers have zeroed out funds to continue supporting the initiative. Star-Advertiser.

EDU committee defends, confirms Don Horner. Concerns raised by the LGBT community and its supporters over Horner's ability to keep his faith out of his job backfire. Hawaii Independent.

On Tap at the Hawaii Legislature: April 11
. A selective list of bills, resolutions, hearings, briefings and events for Friday at the state Capitol. Civil Beat.

State roundup for April 11. Associated Press.


In a rare public outburst, state Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria on Thursday lashed out at state House Majority Leader Scott Saiki for implying that a bill that would allow the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs to pursue residential development near the waterfront in Kakaako is dead before conference committee negotiations have started. Star-Advertiser.

The majority leader of the state Senate is upset with the majority leader of the state House of Representatives over a bill regarding residential development in Kakaako. Sen. Brickwood Galuteria said on the Senate floor today that he was "incensed" about Rep. Scott Saiki reportedly saying that Senate Bill 3122 was "dead on arrival," even though the House on Tuesday voted 41-10 in favor of the bill's passage. Civil Beat.

A 21-year-old woman accused of breaking into Iolani Palace in February has been charged with criminal felonies. An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment Thursday charging Drew Paahao with criminal property damage and burglary. Star-Advertiser.

The City of Honolulu is facing tens of thousands of dollars in fines every day it fails to comply with stricter environmental controls at its Kailua Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. Every day, up to 15 million gallons of treated sewage and other waste is discharged from the plant into the coastal waters off Kailua and Mokapu Peninsula. Civil Beat.

Honolulu city officials are entering the second phase of a cleanup of toxic chemicals at the Waipahu Ash Landfill, which will focus on evaluating the long-term health and environmental risks at the site, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said. Star-Advertiser.

City to roll out nearly 100 Handi-Vans this year. KHON2.

Residents fed up with condition of Wahiawa District Park. Hawaii News Now.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Drone (c) 2014 All Hawaii News


Pohakuloa Training Area would host drone training flights for up to 12 weeks a year under a proposal to relocate a squadron of the unmanned aircraft from California to Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Construction of Hawaii Community College at Palamanui is moving ahead, with the pouring of concrete columns and foundations. This foundation work began last week and is expected to be completed at the end of April by the project’s general contractor F&H Construction, said Thatcher Moats of Hawaii Community College’s external affairs and relations. West Hawaii Today.

If the company is successful in its attempts to raise capital, one day the majority of the electricity on the leeward side of Hawaii Island could be produced by newly founded Parker Ranch subsidiary Paniolo Power Co. Tribune-Herald.

With the help of a new Big Island-based media program, local filmmakers, television producers and other entrepreneurs in the creative industries will now get to develop their projects in Hawaii, rather than having to take them to the mainland. Hawaii News Now.

A Kona woman and her newborn daughter are doing well, three days after roadside delivery by the father, a Hawaii Police Department officer. Tribune-Herald.


A wall in Pāʻia that was repeatedly vandalized and plagued by weeds, bottles, and trash, was transformed into a mural by youth from Maui Economic Opportunity. Maui Now.


A budget proposal by Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. to shift nearly $1 million in future tax revenues for public access and open space initiatives to an emergency fund is causing a stir among some county officials. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council approved a measure that would let voters decide if county officials and employees may represent private interests before boards, commissions and agencies they are not employed by. Garden Island.

A group of biologists and local residents are calling for the County of Kauai to reconsider allowing Hawaii Dairy Farms to move forward with its proposed $17.5 million, 582-acre dairy in Mahaulepu. Garden Island.

Pflueger's Sentencing for Ka Loko Dam Deaths Delayed Again. Hawaii Reporter.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hawaii near bottom in election administration, ousted Honolulu judge won't work, Maui anti-GMO petition nears 10k names, battle over religious use of schools, big rate hike for HMSA, counties could get more transient tax, 120 Kauai hikers rescued, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ousted ballot administrator Lori Tomcyzk and Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago (c) 2012 All Hawaii News file photo
Hawaii's troubled 2012 elections dropped the state closer to the bottom nationally in election administration, a new report contends. The Pew Charitable Trusts, in a report scheduled for release Tuesday, ranked Hawaii 41st in the nation in election administration in 2012, down from 25th in 2008. Georgia, Hawaii and Vermont had the largest decreases in election performance. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers are advancing a bill that would increase the portion of hotel taxes that go to Hawaii’s counties. The annual cap on the counties’ share is $93 million. They want a return to the 44.8 percent rate they received before the cap was imposed in 2011. Associated Press.

Chances are good that state lawmakers will OK  a bill allowing counties to collect a larger share of Hawaii's hotel room tax, although uncertainty remains. The mayors and Councils of all four counties are pushing hard for House Bill 1671, which eliminates a cap of $93 million on Transient Accommodations Tax revenues that counties divide among themselves. The ceiling has been in place since 2011.Star-Advertiser.

The state Senate Ways and Means Committee has recommended passage of a bill to give the counties a larger piece of pie from the state's hotel room tax revenue. But the measure was passed last week with a defective effective date of July 1, 2050, meaning that lawmakers want to cook up a final version in conference committee. Maui News.

What Laws Are Poised to Emerge From the 2014 Hawaii Legislature? Civil Beat.

Fewer than 1 in 6 Hawaii public school teachers say they fully understand how their performance rating is calculated under the state's controversial new evaluation system for teachers — which starting next school year will tie ratings to pay raises, tenure and termination — according to survey results released Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Senate appears set to confirm Don Horner’s reappointment to the state Board of Education for another three-year term. But a vocal array of LGBT activists and advocacy groups is determined not to let that happen, citing the prominent school official’s volunteer affiliation with New Hope Church. Civil Beat.

A religious liberty group is fighting an amended lawsuit that claims churches owe millions of dollars for renting Hawaii public school buildings for services. Associated Press.

Japanese visitors, who account for about 20 percent of the tourists in Hawaii, are staying closer to home for the traditional Golden Week holiday period, which Hawaii's travel industry counts on to bolster spring lows. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Medical Service Association said costs related to Obama­care are responsible for the bulk of a 12.8 percent proposed rate hike for most of the 77,000 small-business workers covered by the insurer. If approved by the state, health insurance premiums are set to rise for roughly 8,100 employers renewing health plans July 1. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gas has brought the first containerized shipment of liquefied natural gas to Hawaii, marking the start of a process that could eventually lead to lower energy costs for the state. Star-Advertiser.


Oahu Circuit Judge Patrick Border has refused to preside over criminal cases in his courtroom in the three weeks since he found out he was not being re-appointed to a second ten-year term, so the state Judiciary brought in a substitute judge to handle his court calendar. Hawaii News Now.

During March, sales of single-family homes increased by 6.5 percent, while condominium sales fell by 5.8 percent from March 2013. KHON2.


The filing deadline to run for public office is still two months away, but that hasn’t stopped 23 candidates from pulling nomination papers or filing for County Council seats. West Hawaii Today.

More than 100 people gathered at the North Hawaii Education and Research Center in Honokaa on Sunday to discuss a Senate bill that would establish a temporary working group to assess the future of Waipio Valley. Tribune-Herald.

Makua Lani Christian Academy has submitted an offer for the Hualalai Academy campus, after Kamehameha Schools officials decided against purchasing the property. West Hawaii Today.

The median price of a single-family Big Island home rose 22 percent to $329,750 in March, up from $270,000 in March 2013, according to figures from Hawaii Information Service. Pacific Business News.

GMO opponents on Maui gathered nearly 10,000 signatures for a petition barring genetically modified crops. Hawaii News Now.

Rescue workers successfully freed a humpback whale from a life-threatening entanglement in waters off of Lahaina, Maui on Sunday. Maui Now.

Humpback whale rescues have increased to three so far in this November-May season in Hawaii, putting the number a little higher than normal. Star-Advertiser.


The rescue of more than 120 hikers trapped by rapidly rising stream waters on Kauai's rugged Na Pali Coast on Sunday and Monday ranks among the largest rescues of stranded hikers on the island. Star-Advertiser.

More than 100 hikers were rescued by helicopter from Hanakapiai on Kauai’s North Shore after heavy rain and flash flooding left them stranded Sunday afternoon. Garden Island.

Development Sparks Effort to Designate Historic Coastal Trail on Kauai. Officials with the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Department of the Attorney General have said an historic, coastal trail, sometimes referred to as the Ala Loa, runs across those ahupuaa, and under the Highways Act of 1892, it is a public trail owned by the state. Civil Beat.


Three wildlife biologists spent the weekend tagging one of the world’s rarest species of shorebirds on Molokai. Hawaii Public Radio.