Showing posts with label Honolulu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Honolulu. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Two days from tourist reopening, Hawaii travel testing plans still up in the air; state reopens keiki lunch program, Blangiardi leads in Honolulu mayor's race, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Rick Blangiardi and Keith Amemiya

Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Blangiardi Holds Commanding Lead In Mayor’s Race. The former television executive is ahead of Keith Amemiya by 20 percentage points and enjoys broad support among most voters. Civil Beat.

Civil Beat-HNN poll: With just weeks to go, mayoral race swings heavily in Blangiardi’s favor. With just three weeks to go until the general election, former television executive Rick Blangiardi has taken a significant lead in the two-man race to become Honolulu’s next mayor, according to a Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now poll ― a lead some political experts say is probably insurmountable. Hawaii News Now.

Mayoral Candidates Differentiate Themselves on Pandemic Priorities, Leadership Style. Both Keith Amemiya and Rick Blangiardi say their top priority would be guiding Hawaii’s most populous island out of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have different approaches for doing so. Hawaii Public Radio.


Hawaii reopening plans hazy as pre-arrivals testing program set to begin. As of Monday state and county officials were still moving the goalposts on a program that’s already been delayed three times. Star-Advertiser.

Is Hawaii ready to welcome back tourists? Opinions vary among industry leaders. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii gears up for a return of quarantine-free air travelers. While many businesses gear up for a return of visitors, who don't have to go through quarantine, not everything is in place to get those air passengers to Hawaii without a hitch. KITV4.

What The Heck Is Going On With Neighbor Island Travel Rules? On Monday, officials for all three neighbor island counties expressed bewilderment with the failure of Gov. David Ige to clarify the status of Thursday’s reopening. Civil Beat.

Confusion mounts for visitors coming into the state using the pre-travel testing program. There are a lot of things riding on the state’s pre-travel testing program, which starts Thursday, Oct. 15. Mainland travelers who test negative for COVID-19 can skip the 14-day quarantine, which is why travelers say they don’t want to get it wrong. KHON2.

Confusion continues to surround traveler testing plans. Some officials questioned the legality and wisdom of the post-flight testing during a Monday meeting of the House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness. Tribune-Herald.


New Hawaii unemployment call center swamped. About 150,000 calls a day have flooded the virtual phone bank since it opened Sept. 30, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. That’s roughly 18,000 calls an hour, or 300 a minute. Star-Advertiser.

Grab-and-go meals resume for all keiki at Hawaii public schools. Children 18 years and younger may pick up free grab-and-go meals at 203 public schools across the state today through Dec. 18, whether or not they attend the school. Star-Advertiser.

Grab-and-Go meals available. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education started the free Grab-and-Go school meals program at 203 public schools for the fall semester. Garden Island.

Hawaii superintendent Christina Kishimoto says Acellus online curriculum will be phased out. An in-depth review of the Acellus Learning Accelerator has concluded the program should be discontinued as an option for full distance learning in Hawaii’s public schools. Star-Advertiser.

Department of Education to discontinue use of controversial Acellus program. A controversial online program used by thousands of public school students will soon be discontinued following a review by the Department of Education into the program named Acellus. KHON2.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 12: 42 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Hawaii health officials reported 42 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, all on Oahu except for five cases on the Big Island. One death was reported on Oahu. Civil Beat.


Caldwell: Oahu lacks capacity to test travelers second time, at least for now. As the state prepares to launch its long-awaited pre-travel testing program this week, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Monday that the city did not currently have the testing capacity to conduct a second test on arriving passengers and was not prepared to make a second test an element of the plan to relaunch Oahu’s tourism industry. Hawaii News Now.

Visitor COVID-19 cases to be reflected in Honolulu’s reopening tiers. The start of the state’s pre-travel testing will challenge Honolulu to keep its average of COVID-19 cases below 100 daily positives, as the county moves closer to loosening restrictions in a couple of weeks. KHON2.


Honolulu Council: Government Official Up Against Small Business Owner. In the race for Honolulu City Council District 3, seasoned government official Esther Kiaaina is facing off against Greg Thielen, a small business owner with an established family name. Civil Beat.

Another sweep of homeless encampment on Nimitz Highway scheduled for Thursday. Another sweep of homeless people on the state-owned Nimitz Highway medians — especially a notorious one on private land — is planned for Thursday by a private contractor hired by the state. Star-Advertiser.

City launches new farm to food program to help feed residents in need and rebuild businesses. A new program geared to helping not only families in need, but also farmers is set to take off on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

24-hour closure of beach access gates in Kailua fuels tension, backlash. The gates block off trails that lead to Kailua Beach, commonly referred to "Flagpoles," and well-known for its consistent surf break. KITV4.

Honolulu Club closes permanently after nearly 50 years. The nearly 50-year-old Honolulu Club, resurrected after its former owner emerged from bankruptcy in 2013, could not survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

After more than 40 years, Honolulu Club says goodbye. It’s a death of an institution. That’s what some say after learning the iconic Honolulu Club is permanently closed due to the pandemic. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Royal Kona Resort to reopen Thursday with start of pre-travel testing program. The iconic Royal Kona Resort overlooking Kailua Bay welcomes back guests Thursday following a seven-month closure amid the COVID-19 pandemic and multi-million renovation. West Hawaii Today.

University of Nations Provides Followup on Campus COVID Cluster. A total of 52 cases were identified and approximately 20 remain in isolation. Big Island Now.

Most Kona students with virus have recovered. A Christian college in Kailua-­Kona said more than half of its 52 COVID-19-infected students, faculty and staff are now recovered. Star-Advertiser.


Ige orally agrees to pre-travel test for inter-island travel to Maui County. Maui County Managing Director Sandy Baz has been in communications with neighbor island mayors and the governor alongside Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino. KHON2.

Governor Ige gives oral approval to allow interisland travelers to Maui
with negative COVID-19 test result. KITV4.


Maui County Files Suit Against Fossil Fuel Companies for Costs of Surviving Climate Change. Mayor Michael Victorino announced today that Maui County has filed a lawsuit against 20 fossil fuel companies for the rising costs and impacts of climate change, citing what he calls “a decades-long campaign of deception deployed by the defendants to hide their products’ known dangers from Maui’s citizens and businesses to maximize profits.” Maui Now.

Maui County files suit against 20 fossil fuel companies over climate change. The County of Maui is suing 20 fossil fuel companies over climate change impacts. The complaint, which was filed Monday, alleges the companies hid the dangers posed by their products for decades in order to maximize profits. Hawaii News Now.


Input sought on tourism management planning. Each county and its respective visitors bureau have worked to create steering committees comprised of residents representing their communities, the visitor industry, different business sectors and nonprofits. Steering committees for Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kauai began meeting in September. Maui News.

Mary Kielty Appointed as Deputy Director of Parks. The appointment of Mary Kielty as Deputy Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation was made today by Maui Mayor Michael Victorino. Kielty is a 27-year veteran of the Parks Department and succeeds John Buck, who recently retired. Maui Now.


Meet your candidates: Wally Nishimura. Kaua‘i County Council candidate Wally Nishimura has a vision for long-term change for his children. Garden Island.

Housing policy in final stages.
The Kaua‘i County Council is one step away from approving a revamped Housing Policy. Garden Island.

Pacific Current looks to reduce dependency on tourism. The Ka‘ie‘ie Waho Company, a subsidiary of Pacific Current, acquired Kaua‘i’s Port Allen Solar Facility in part to decrease the state’s dependence on the tourism industry. Garden Island.

DLNR encourages hunting in Kauai’s Honopu Valley ahead of fence installation. The state is encouraging hunting in Honopu Valley on Kauai’s Na Pali Coast. The DLNR is trying to clear the area of hooved animals as crews build a fence to protect endangered plants and seabirds in a 250-acre section. Hawaii News Now.


Frustration Rising On Moloka'i Homesteads Over Slow Internet For Distance Learning, Working At Home. Even before the pandemic, internet service on Molokaʻi was rarely ideal – spotty coverage, slow speeds and constant buffering. This has become an even bigger frustration for residents on the island’s Hawaiian Home Lands, where service is limited to one embattled telecom provider. Hawaii Public Radio.


Panel to discuss Lanai planning bills. Vacation rental permits and guidelines for business districts on Lanai will be topics of a Planning and Sustainability Land Use Committee meeting Tuesday. Maui News.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Hawaii to lift quarantine for those passing COVID-19 test, hospitals ready for anticipated virus surge, police discipline disclosure bill advances, Senate President: Zuckerberg didn't break quarantine, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Office of the Governor
Hawaii government officials announce reopening travel PC:Governor's Office
Ige: Hawaii’s Quarantine Will Be Lifted For Those Who Show Proof Of Negative COVID-19 Test. Gov. David Ige said officials expect to see a rise in virus cases, but Hawaii hospitals are equipped with the capacity to handle new infections. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige announces trans-Pacific testing program as alternative to quarantine. Starting Aug. 1, passengers with approved negative COVID-19 tests taken within 72 hours of their trip to Hawaii may bypass the state’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for out-of state passengers. Star-Advertiser.

Starting Aug. 1, pre-testing program will allow Hawaii travelers to avoid quarantine. Starting Aug. 1, travelers who test negative for coronavirus no more than 72 hours before arriving in Hawaii will be able to avoid the state’s mandatory quarantine. Hawaii News Now.

Travelers With A COVID-19 Test May Skip Quarantine Starting In August. As of August 1st, travelers coming to Hawaii will be exempt from the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine if they first get tested for COVID-19 and are negative for the virus. Hawaii Public Radio.

Don’t want to quarantine? Travelers will need to test negative for COVID-19 before coming to Hawaii. Hawaii Governor David Ige announced on Wednesday that a pre-travel testing program will be available to travelers coming to Hawaii as an alternative to the mandatory 14-day quarantine order. KHON2.

Hawaii to launch Covid-19 pre-testing program for travelers starting Aug. 1. Starting Aug. 1, travelers will have the option to get tested for Covid-19 prior to arriving in Hawaii as an alternative to the 14-day mandatory quarantine, Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

No Quarantine For Pre-Tested Out-Of-State Travelers To Hawaiʻi, Starting August 1. The announcement was made by Governor David Ige at a news conference held on Wednesday at the Honolulu International airport. Big Island Video News.

Travel to Reopen to Visitors with Pre-Travel Testing Program. Trans-pacific travel will reopen to visitors Aug. 1 under a pre-travel testing program as an alternative to a 14-day quarantine. Big Island Now.

State to launch COVID-19 pre-travel testing program for out-of-state travelers August 1. Travelers will have option to pre-test or quarantine. KITV4.

Ige to visitors: Get tested. Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday plans to reopen Hawaii to more visitors, months after the COVID-19 pandemic prompted mandatory two-week quarantines for those arriving from out of state. Tribune-Herald.

State plans for lifting quarantines. Beginning Aug 1, the state will implement a pretravel testing program for travelers to Hawai‘i as an alternative to the 14-day quarantine, Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday. Garden Island.

Gov. Ige: Hawai‘i to Implement Pre-Travel Testing Option on Aug. 1 as Alternative to Quarantine. Governor David Ige today announced that as of Aug. 1, the state will implement a pre-travel testing option for travelers to Hawaiʻi as an alternative to the 14-day travel quarantine. Maui Now.


Officials say Hawaii is ready for more COVID-19 cases. As state officials announced plans to allow in more air travelers as part of the next major step in opening Hawaii’s economy, they said the islands are well prepared to deal with the growing risk of additional COVID-19 cases and a possible second wave. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Economic Chief: Tourism Is ‘Who We Are’ And Must Be Rebuilt. But Mike McCartney acknowledged his agency still has not come up with a plan to address the short-term economic crisis facing the state. Civil Beat.

Hotel industry gears up for lift of trans-Pacific travel restrictions. Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association President and CEO, Mufi Hannemann, has anticipated for weeks, and he said the industry has been preparing with new best practices. KHON2.


Hawaii lawmakers advance police reform bill that’s been years in the making. Amid nationwide calls for change, Hawaii state lawmakers advanced a bill Wednesday that would make the names of police officers suspended or fired public. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers Move To Eliminate Exemption That Has Hidden Police Misconduct For 25 Years. House Bill 285 will now go to the full House and Senate for a final vote. Civil Beat.

House bill calling for public transparency, police reform passed. The bill requires the disclosure of the identity of officers who are suspended or discharged for misconduct in a report to the Legislature. KHON2.

Police accountability bill heads for final vote. A bill to release the identities of fired or suspended county police officers is headed back to the full Legislature for a final vote. West Hawaii Today.


Proposed public worker pay raises would cost more than $150 million. The public worker pay raises being advanced by House and Senate leaders would total more than $150 million in general funds, an expensive package that is raising questions among lawmakers who wonder how the state can possibly pay those raises and also cope with a $2.3 billion general treasury budget shortfall. Star-Advertiser.

House bill under fire after "gut and replace". HB2502 SD1, set for testimony Thursday morning in the Senate, is a far cry from its original draft in January. KITV4.

Local Businesses Re-examine Relationship with Kamaʻāina Customer. Businesses across the state are continuing to re-open after months of COVID-19 closures.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Local Restaurants Still Have Rough Recovery Ahead of Them. Hawaii Restaurant Association chairman estimates 40% of local restaurants will close by the end of the year. Hawaii Business magazine.

COVID-19 Budget Moves Out For Passage, But Not Without Controversy. Hawaii lawmakers have agreed to a plan to set aside millions in CARES Act funds to cover some of the benefits that unemployed workers will lose at the end of July. Hawaii Public Radio.

Board of Education Member’s Re-Confirmation Gets Committee Approval. Kili Namauu’s confirmation to a second term was not automatic, stalling when the Legislature was last back in session in May. Civil Beat.


Hawaii sees 16 new coronavirus cases as statewide total rises to 835. Hawaii recorded 16 new coronavirus cases today, as the statewide total of infections since the start of the outbreak rose to 835, state Department of Health officials said in their daily midday count. Star-Advertiser.

DOH Reports 16 New COVID-19 Cases. Hawai‘i Department of Health has identified 16 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the state total to 835. Big Island Now.


VIDEO: Honolulu mayoral candidates discuss issues critical to Waikiki. Five Honolulu mayoral candidates discussed issues critical to Waikiki during a Zoom conference call Wednesday evening hosted by the Waikiki Neighborhood Board and the Waikiki Improvement Association. Star-Advertiser.

Mayoral candidates debate virtually over issues in the Waikiki district and the economy. Wednesday’s mayoral debate took place virtually, the first in a long line as candidates get closer to election. The forum was hosted by the Waikiki Improvement Association. KHON2.

Karaoke, live performances now allowed at bars, restaurants across Oahu. A karaoke booth is now open for singers at Wang Chung’s Karaoke Bar in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

Struggling restaurants ask city for help. Restaurant industry leaders in Honolulu painted a very bleak picture for their businesses’ survival in testifying Wednesday before the City Council’s Economic Assistance and Revitalization Committee. Star-Advertiser.

Ala Moana owner details its 400-foot tower plan. The owner of Ala Moana Center is advancing a plan to build its first 400-foot residential tower connected with Hawaii’s largest shopping mall as soon as next year. Star-Advertiser.

UH Manoa housing crunch to leave 1,000 students looking off-campus. The University of Hawaii at Manoa will be facing a housing crunch for the fall 2020 semester, and possibly further into the future depending on the COVID-19 pandemic. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Libraries reopen with limited services. The Hawaii State Library System started phased reopenings for libraries throughout the state this month. Tribune-Herald.

DWS to Reopen for In-Person Services. The Department of Water Supply will begin offering in-person services by appointment only effective July 1. Big Island Now.


Agriculture Department proposal draws testimony. Questions remain over cost, vetting and need. While many agree on the goal of growing diversified agriculture to reduce Maui County’s reliance on the Mainland, the Maui County Council and the agricultural community are debating whether creating another county government department would help or hinder the process. Maui News.

MPD communications tower approved for West Maui site. The Maui Planning Commission approved a communications tower in West Maui that would serve as a backup in emergencies, though they barred the use of 5G at the site. Maui News.

HTA’s Hawai‘i Hotel Performance Report: Maui RevPAR Down 94.5% in May. According to the data, Maui County hotels reported RevPAR at $15 (-94.5%), with declines in both ADR to $117 (-66.4%) and occupancy of 12.6 percent (-63.7 percentage points) in May. Maui Now.


Sen. Kouchi: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg followed quarantine on Kauai. Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been seen on Kauai, where he owns a controversially vast amount of property on the North Shore. Hawaii News Now.

Four new virus cases confirmed on Kaua‘i. Health officials identified another household with positive cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, resulting in four new positive cases on the island and bringing the confirmed positive total up to 12. Garden Island.

Looking for COVID antibodies. Led by Dr. Tonyi Trpkovski, the Doctors of Waikiki team conducted tests for COVID-19 antibodies in a drive-through format in the parking garage of the Kaua‘i Beach Resort. Garden Island.

Emergency housing program maxed out. Five days after announcing a new $400,000 COVID-19 emergency assistance program, the County of Kaua‘i’s Housing Agency said on Tuesday, their emergency rental, mortgage, and utility assistance program has reached its current capacity of applicants and is no longer accepting new applicants. Garden Island.

Four Seasons luxury resorts on Lanai to reopen July 1. The luxury Four Seasons Resort Lanai and Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort at Koele, both will be reopening July 1 to Hawaii residents, while the quarantine remains in effect for trans-Pacific travel. Maui News.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cayetano unveils 'FAST' rail alternative, Hawaii Supreme Court won't reconsider rail ruling, Inouye asks Lingle to take down video, Lanai group won't learn Ellison's price, UH awash in PR, Big Island archeological study delays park, Navy cruiser gets reprieve, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Ben Cayetano
Cayetano's FAST rail alternative
Former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano is proposing a $1.1 billion plan to add express buses and contraflow lanes as an alternate solution to a $5 billion rail line to ease traffic on Oahu.Associated Press.

Honolulu mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano unveiled a transportation plan Thursday that features new Bus Rapid Transit routes, high-tech traffic signal systems to instantly respond to traffic snarls and plans for two-lane underpasses to ease the flow of traffic on Kapiolani Boulevard and other thoroughfares. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano presented his alternative–to-rail transportation plan today, saying the mix of expanded bus service, a two-mile extension of the airport highway viaduct, traffic underpasses beneath congested intersections and other features will cost $4.1 billion less than the planned elevated rail line. Hawaii Reporter.

Honolulu mayoral candidate and former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano on Thursday formally unveiled his mass-transit plan, which he touted as being a cheaper, better and more flexible alternative than the city’s $5.16 billion rail project. Pacific Business News.

Instead of being a candidate running against something, Ben Cayetano is now a candidate running for something. Civil Beat.

After waiting months to reveal deeper details about his traffic plans Honolulu mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano announced his bus rapid transit plan today.  But his opponent says it's too little too late. Hawaii News Now.

It's called FAST, for Flexible Affordable Smart Transportation, and mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano said Thursday it will be one-fifth the cost of rail. KITV4.

The mayor and city council chairman say mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano's bus rapid transit plan would not get federal backing for the current round of funding the rail authority has applied for. KHON2.

Cayetano's FAST website. click here.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle and City Council chairman Ernie Martin reacted quickly and negatively to Ben Cayetano's plan for a new Honolulu transportation plan. Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawaii Supreme Court on Thursday denied a request by the city to reconsider the court's unanimous Aug. 24 ruling that stopped construction of the $5.26 billion rail project. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Supreme Court on Thursday denied a City and County of Honolulu motion for the high court to reconsider its ruling on the city’s controversial $5.16 billion rail project. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii's peak summer tourist season is coming to a close, but visitor traffic is holding its own into fall. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye on Thursday asked Republican Senate candidate Linda Lingle to pull down a web video touting a relationship between the two, and said the video has given him the incentive to actively campaign for Lingle's opponent, Democrat Mazie Hirono. Civil Beat.

A national grant that provides training, test prep and incentives helped four Hawaii high schools make big gains in the number of students taking — and passing — Advanced Placement exams in 2012, officials announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii has hired two public relations firms with contracts worth $150,000  to supplement the work of 13 PR people already on the UH system payroll.  More than 30 other UH public relations staffers work on other UH campuses and at different UH schools statewide. Hawaii News Now.

The Navy said the Pearl Harbor cruiser USS Port Royal and three others based elsewhere that had been slated for early retirement in March will be kept on duty for an undetermined length of time. Star-Advertiser.

The company hoping to sell alcohol at the Honolulu Zoo has two more weeks to come up with a better plan. KHON2.

A new device that could rid Kaneohe Bay of invasive algae by 2015 was shown off Thursday by the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

The latest attack ad from the Pacific Resource Partnership that features footage of Honolulu mayoral candidate Kirk Caldwell raises questions about whether either of the two parties violated Hawaii's campaign spending laws. Civil Beat.

How much can the Pacific Resource Partnership spend on ad time in a single week? Here's a hint: it's a hefty fraction of the $1.3 million the pro-rail trade group spent airing TV ads before the primary.  Civil Beat.


Hawaii County is about to embark on an archaeological survey of its 784-acre Kawa Bay property, a process likely to add months to plans for an oceanfront park there and push any eviction of several Native Hawaiians laying claim to the property into the new year. West Hawaii Today.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie releases funds to bring more doctors to Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

The Public Utilities Commission’s public hearing on Hawaii Electric Light Co.’s rate increase and biofuel surcharge proposals is a month away, and all sides are digging in for what could be an explosive meeting. Tribune-Herald.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources will vote Friday  on a management plan for the Ka`u Forest Reserve. Big Island Now.

Federal and state authorities are trying to locate, track and hopefully sink at sea a floating dock that could be tsunami debris from Japan, a state Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman said today. Maui News.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is coordinating with NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard to identify the current location of a 30 by 50-foot floating dock that was last seen on Wednesday, Sept. 19, by fishermen off the north coast of Molokai. Hawaii News Now.

Plans are under way to renovate the Lahaina Center on Front Street into Maui's first outlet shopping center by next summer. Maui News.

Maui's tourism industry ended a strong summer with both increased visitor arrivals and spending in August, according to new data released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Maui News.


The annual Legislative Forum hosted by the state Council on Developmental Disabilities wrapped up an unusual week that had four political events crammed into four days. Garden Island.

A federal lawsuit claims teenage employees working at a Panda Express in Kapa‘a were groped and demeaned. Garden Island.

Taxpayers’ money that has already been approved to be spent on private attorneys’ fees on matters related to POHAKU (Productive Optimism Helps All Kaua‘i) diversionary program keeps snowballing: It is now at $35,000. Garden Island.


Lanaians for Sensible Growth, which was given approval by Hawaii regulators to intervene in the case of the transfer of utilities to Lanai owner Larry Ellison, have been denied access to confidential documents, including the price of the sale. Pacific Business News.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gender gap at Honolulu Hale, groups fight public record restrictions, Honolulu council bans plastic bags, Kauai leads state in income growth, Kahuku now top landfill site, securities chief resigns amid probe, monk seal killings spark new reward, Hawaii Island pool drains behind the times, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu Hale (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Men and women work different jobs at Honolulu Hale, and the men's jobs pay more. Civil Beat.

House Finance Chairman Marcus Oshiro and Senate Ways and Means Chair David Ige indicated conferrees have come to agreement on the operating side of the budget — but are still working toward a deal on the capital improvements portion of the budget. Civil Beat.

A range of organizations – from the Sierra Club to the Hawaii Independent – are petitioning legislators to protect government transparency. More than a dozen community, media and open-government organizations are waging a desperate fight today to save Hawaii’s Freedom of Information Law from its most serious erosion in its 24-year history. Hawaii Independent.

Lawmakers are poised to include $25 million for student transportation in the supplemental budget bill for next fiscal year, $17 million shy of what the Department of Education said it needed to preserve school bus services statewide. Star-Advertiser.

The state Legislature will be voting on Hawaiian language mandates in the coming week. KHON2.

Duane "Dog" Chapman and Beth Chapman seek to derail the Abercrombie administration's "Justice Reinvestment" initiative, a data-driven approach to reforming Hawaii's criminal justice system, which would include freeing up prison space. Civil Beat.

As contract negotiations continue between the state and its public school teachers, a newly adopted teacher evaluations policy remains a sticking point. Tribune-Herald.

State lawmakers reached agreement today on a bill requiring motorists to "move over" when approaching a traffic or crime scene where emergency responders are working. Star-Advertiser.

Peter Hsieh has resigned as chief attorney in the state Securities Enforcement Branch after the state began an investigation of his past professional and financial problems. Hawaii Reporter.

Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee have cautioned Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that an agreement between the U.S. and Japan over transferring more than 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam, Hawaii and other locations should not be considered final without congressional approval. Pacific Business News.

The Oahu group that’s fighting the new legislative maps has asked a federal judge to halt the upcoming election until new districts can be drawn. West Hawaii Today.


The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday passed a bill that would impose a fee on plastic bags retailers and restaurants provide to customers before banning them altogether effective July 1, 2015. Pacific Business News.

Oahu consumers will have until summer 2015 to get used to the idea of not getting a plastic bag when they shop at a grocery store or other retailer. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu could soon become the fourth and final county in Hawaii to implement a ban on single-use plastic checkout bags. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu City Council passed a bill today to ban single-use shopping bags on O’ahu in 3 years. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu is the only county in the state not to regulate plastic shopping bags, but now the city council has approved the plan to ban plastic shopping bags and some paper bags as well. Hawaii News Now.

A much-debated ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags was passed Wednesday by the Honolulu City Council, but if signed into law by Mayor Peter Carlisle, the ban would not take effect until July 1, 2015. KITV4.

A correction to a consultant's "data error" has upended the city's recently announced list for potential landfill sites, catapulting two upland Kahuku locations to the top spots while knocking the previous No. 1, Ameron Quarry in Kailua, halfway down the ranking. Star-Advertiser.

A military site in Kahuku has replaced a Kailua quarry as Honolulu's top choice for a new landfill. But that doesn't mean Kailua should start celebrating. Civil Beat.

People in Kailua are breathing a collective sigh of relief while people from Kaneohe to Haleiwa shudder at the latest news regarding a new landfill. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a plan to make an extra $450 million available for Honolulu's rail line in case the project runs out of money because of some unexpected mishap or disaster during construction. Star-Advertiser.

North Shore residents were given a big Wednesday announcement they were not expecting, that Kahuku and Pupukea are now top of the list for the City's next potential landfill sites. KHON2.

Honolulu's City Council split a vote, four to four, in a resolution that would have urged the State Legislature and the Food and Drug Administration to mandate labels of genetically modified food. KITV4.

State health officials inspected a two mile area along Kea'ahala stream today, from Kahukipa down to Kaneohe Bay. KITV4.


Concerns about an Elections Division in disarray have prompted Hilo Councilman Dennis Onishi to ask the state Office of Elections to intercede. Among the problems, Onishi said Wednesday, are clerks not qualified to accept state filings, voter lists for candidate campaigns delayed until June and longtime volunteers bowing out because of controversies over Elections Office firings. West Hawaii Today.

The county Department of Parks and Recreation is finally complying with a federal law mandating the replacement of swimming pool drain covers by December 2008. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Council could soon be discussing new legislation aimed at protecting Big Island residents from geothermal power plant leaks and blowouts. Tribune-Herald.


The Maui Planning Commission approved a county special use permit Tuesday for Verizon Wireless to install a 35-foot-high pole and cellular antenna - disguised as a palm tree - on agricultural land mauka of the Waiehu Golf Course. Maui News.

Former U.S. Rep. Ed Case said he's not afraid to tell people things he feels they need to hear, even if he and his campaign for U.S. Senate draw fire for it. Maui News.

A special native Hawaiian initiative is seeking the help of volunteers around the world to typescript thousands of pages of Hawaiian-language newspapers into a searchable database. Maui Now.


The head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources described the latest monk seal death as a "despicable act" as the reward for information grew to $40,000. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaiian monk seal was found killed on Kauai over the weekend, officials said Wednesday, bringing to four the number of suspicious deaths for the critically endangered species in six months.Associated Press.

Foul play is again suspected in the second death of a Hawaiian monk seal found on Kaua‘i this year, with the latest victim discovered Sunday, authorities said Wednesday. Garden Island.

The personal income of Kauai residents increased 3.7 percent in 2010 from 2009 on a per capita basis, the fastest growth rate of any county in the state, the federal government reported Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Owners of transient vacation rental properties, also known as TVRs, will now have to pay commercial rates for county trash collection services, the county Public Works Department reported Wednesday. Garden Island.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More Hawaii kids live in poverty, Honolulu sewer, water, refinery failing as APEC nears, Disney halts unprofitable Aulani time-shares, feds can't find rogue monk seal, mahi-mahi in short supply, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii children (c) 2011 All Hawaii News

Fourteen percent of Hawaii children in 2009 were living in families that earned less than the $21,756 federal poverty level for a four-person household — up from 13 percent in 2000 — according to a report from the University of Hawaii Center on the Family released Tuesday evening. Star-Advertiser.

The percentage of Hawaii's children who live in poverty and in single-parent homes have increased in the last decade, according to newly released data that focuses on the recession's impact on youth. Associated Press.

Former Honolulu city councilman and Hawaii congressman Charles Djou is expected to announce today that he will enter the race to unseat U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in a potential rematch of their 2010 race. Star-Advertiser.

Djou's 2012 Congressional Campaign to Focus on Job Creation. Hawaii Reporter.

In his first public response to an escalating labor dispute with the teachers union, Board of Education Chairman Don Horner said Tuesday the board is "fully committed" to supporting teachers and is grateful for the sacrifices they're making during a time of significant budget cuts. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Board of Education on Tuesday postponed its final vote on whether to reduce the number of social studies requirements for high school graduates. Civil Beat.

The State Board of Education began to tackle the big job of transforming Hawai’i’s teacher evaluation system today.Hawaii Public Radio.

The state expects to have an online system ready by Nov. 30 to process applications for civil unions, and to have documents available to couples planning solemnization ceremonies when the civil unions law takes effect Jan. 1. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's public-employee pension fund performed well for the year ended June 30 — more than doubling its actuarial investment yield. Civil Beat.

Walt Disney Company has temporarily stopped sales of time-share units at its new Aulani Resort on Oahu and fired some top mainland executives after discovering it was charging time-share dues here that were not high enough to be profitable. KITV4.

South Kona and Ocean View would no longer be in Rep. Bob Herkes' district, and North Kona's District 6 House seat would be open, under maps being considered by the state Reapportionment Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Local fishermen voiced angry opposition to a proposed expansion of a critical habitat zone to include waters and shoreline around the main Hawaiian islands last week to protect the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Civil Beat.

The Hawaiian monk seal population is about 1,100, of which 200 are living in waters surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands. West Hawaii Today.

A controversial decision by federal officials to “lethally remove” an adult Hawaiian monk seal that was attacking — and apparently killing — pups at Kure Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands had to be put on hold: The seal was nowhere to be found. Garden Island.

Hawaii is to receive a $2.5-million federal grant to repair and reopen an emergency evacuation route for Oahu's Leeward Coast. Associated Press.

The author of the Thirty Meter Telescope's environmental impact statement was grilled for more than three hours Tuesday about the telescope's visual impact during the second day of a contested case hearing in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

The Tesoro Corp.’s refinery in Kapolei has stopped production following a piping component failure Monday. Pacific Business News.

Aging Water System A Concern During APEC Meeting. KITV4.

With sewage levels beyond capacity at the Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant the city began the process of hauling raw sewage out on surface streets to Waipahu. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council members will discuss whether to give final approval to start building the hotel in Laie during a public hearing on Wednesday at 10 a.m. KHON2.

The Maui County Council Planning Committee is looking favorably at tweaking the agricultural zoning law to adjust the law on walls in the setback area. Maui News.

A Hawaiiana-inspired community mural project and engagement program has been funded by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Hawaii Independent.

Kauai County will begin the process of relocating the Kekaha lifeguard tower this week. Garden Island.

The East-West Center in Honolulu has received a grant worth more than $1 million to run a training and exchange program for U.S. and Pakistani journalists. Associated Press.

Maui County officials announced this week that it is ready to install the largest solar panel project in the county’s history. Hawaii Independent.

Mahi-mahi imports have dried up, forcing local restaurateurs to substitute other fishes and leaving food distributors wondering when they can meet customer demand. Tribune-Herald.

A developer seeking classification and zoning changes to allow a new subdivision north of Pualani Estates withdrew that request Tuesday following an outpouring of public opposition before a Hawaii County Council committee in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Public union rallies top Wednesday news

Hundreds of government union members rallied along Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo and thousands on the lawn of the state Capitol on Tuesday in a show of solidarity and strength as Gov. Linda Lingle and the state's unions remain at an impasse over unpaid furloughs.

The mandatory furloughs are equivalent to about a 14-percent pay cut for two year, although workers would have most Fridays off. Lingle is trying to close a $3 billion budget gap,and the furloughs would account for about half of that. Employees would get three Fridays a month off.

Other media accounts of the rallies and union negotiations:

State workers flooded the Capitol yesterday afternoon for a rally protesting Gov. Linda Lingle's furlough plans, accusing the governor of trying to wipe out the state's budget deficit at their expense.

More than 2,000 members from public worker unions arrived for a rally Tuesday at the state Capitol.

It was a monster rally for rights as thousands of Hawaii union employees invaded the state capitol Tuesday evening to fight Governor Linda Lingle's furlough plan, which amounts to 72 unpaid days off the next two years

University of Hawaii President David McClain says salary reductions -- whether through furloughs or pay cuts -- will have to be part of the university's response to cutting about $155 million from its budget over the next two years.

University of Hawaii President David McClain says he will seek pay cuts for faculty and administrators as part of a developing plan to address about $155 million in budget cuts over the next two years.

Friday, March 13, 2009

'Honolulu' author to sign books on Oahu

She had the great misfortune to have been born a girl in the waning days of the Yi Dynasty in Korea, and so her parents named her Regret.

Forbidden from learning to read alongside her brothers, she grew ever more determined to pursue an education. When she discovered women in America were allowed to attend school, she enlisted as a picture bride and moved to Hawaii.

The reality of 1914 Hawaii wasn’t the paradise she expected, but Regret, now known as Jin, perseveres. Honolulu, the new mini-Michner style book by Moloka’i author Alan Brennert, follows Jin’s journey through the sugar plantations and into the seedier side of Honolulu, touching on historical footnotes as diverse as the trial of Hawaiians accused of raping a white woman, and the creation of the aloha shirt.

The sweeping saga is already attracting the attention Brennert’s first book, Moloka’I, which was hailed as “a dazzling historical saga” by The Washington Post. Iit told the rich, compelling story of the island’s early leper colony and the human drama that was played out there.

Brennert will be signing copies of his books today and tomorrow on Oahu:

Friday, March 13 @ 6 PM
600 Kailua Road, #126
Kailua, HI

Barnes & Noble
Saturday, March 14 @ 1 PM
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI

Interview with author Alan Brennert

Q: Did the idea for Honolulu come out of your research for your previous book, Moloka’i ?

A: In a way. One of the most colorful periods of modern Hawaiian history was the so-called “glamour days” of the 1920s and 30s. Though I read about it in my research for Moloka’i, it was a time period I couldn’t really explore in depth in that book, since my main characters were held in isolation at Kalaupapa. These were the years when Hawai’i made its deepest impression on the American consciousness: the years of Matson liners, the China Clipper, Hollywood celebrities vacationing in Honolulu, and the Hawai’i Calls radio show that broadcasted popular hapa-haole music to the mainland. I found myself wanting to tell a story against that romantic backdrop.

Q: But Honolulu also presents a very different picture of Hawai’i in those “glamour” days.

A: Yes, there were almost two Honolulus existing alongside one another—or more accurately, interwoven, like the Korean patchwork quilts I write about in the book. Because at the same time this romantic, glamorous image of paradise was being exported to the American public, many Native Hawaiians and immigrants to Hawai’i labored on plantations for low wages or lived in poverty in Honolulu tenements. So Honolulu, the novel, is partly about this collision of image and reality...and how, in fact, the reality was actually far richer and more captivating.

Q: Is this why you’ve used so many actual historical figures in the book?

A: They’re not “historical” figures in the conventional sense; my whole point in using them is that many of these people have been largely lost to history. Chang Apana, for instance, was one of the great characters in modern Hawaiian history: a small, two-fisted Chinese-Hawaiian police detective who became one of the most celebrated police officers of his day. But most people today—if they know of him at all—know him primarily as the real-life inspiration for Earl Der Biggers’ “Charlie Chan.” The fantasy has eclipsed the reality. Yet Apana was really a much more colorful and fascinating character than his fictional counterpart, and that’s who I wanted to bring to light—along with other real-life people like “Panama Dave” Baptiste, May Thompson, and Joseph Kahahawai.

Q: Your protagonist, Jin, is a young Korean woman who comes to Hawai’i as a “picture bride.” Was she based on any specific person?

A: Like Rachel Kalama in Moloka’i, Jin is a fictional creation, but is inspired by any number of actual women who emigrated to Hawai’i between 1903 and 1924—Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. I chose to make her Korean because there had already been several fictional representations of Japanese picture brides, but once I started researching Korean culture of that era I saw the rich potential it held as a dramatic motivation for Jin’s journey. It’s been said that Korea in those days tried to be “more Confucian than the Chinese,” and for women it was an especially oppressive environment—which is what motivated many of them to seek a better life elsewhere, through matchmakers who promised a life of adventure and affluence in Hawai’i.

Q: How many picture brides actually made this journey?

A: Estimates range from between six hundred and a thousand. But these women were just a small part of a larger influx of immigrants—Asian, Portuguese, Spanish, Filipino—brought to Hawai’i by the sugar barons who needed laborers to work on the plantations. Those immigrants formed the basis of a polyglot population that today mirrors the kind of multi-ethnic society America is becoming. It’s a subject that’s more pertinent than ever since our new President is himself a product of Hawai’i’s uniquely multicultural society. Honolulu tells of how that culture came to be—and how its story is really the story of America itself.

About the Author:
Alan Brennert is the author of Moloka’i, which was a 2006-2007 BookSense Reading Group Pick and won the 2006 Bookies Award, sponsored by the Contra Costa Library, for the Book Club Book of the Year. It appeared on the BookSense, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Honolulu Advertiser, and (for 16 weeks) NCIBA bestseller lists. He lives in Sherman Oaks, California.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Everything old is new again

HONOLULU -- The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii rang in the New Year with a new state-of-the-art photovoltaic system that allows the nonprofit to generate clean energy and reduce its carbon emissions.

The powerful 12.6 kilowatt PV system was just installed atop the rooftop of the Conservancy’s downtown Honolulu office. Hawaii Energy Connection engineered and supervised the project in collaboration with Siu’s

Electric, the firm’s commercial installation partner.

“We are thrilled that these panels are helping us to reduce our use of petroleum-based fuel,” Suzanne Case, the Conservancy’s Hawaii executive director, said in a statement. “With our conservation mission, it’s imperative that we do our part and walk the talk.”

The Conservancy’s high-performance photovoltaic system is typically valued at more than $100,000. In a Power Purchase Agreement structured by Hawaii Energy Connection, the cost of the system was capitalized up front by a private investor and will be paid over time by the Conservancy as the user. The group will buy the power generated by the renewable energy system at a reduced rate below current utility pricing. The agreement structures the tax incentive provided by the state and federal governments to encourage users to install photovoltaic systems, to enable the investor to take the tax credit and thereby reduce the cost to the non-profit which otherwise could not use the tax credit.

The Conservancy purchased the Wing Wo Tai Building with its graceful gray stone facade on Nuuanu Avenue in 2005 to house its Honolulu office. Originally built in 1877 and rebuilt in 1916, the wood and stone structure survived the Great Fire of Honolulu in 1900 and now demonstrates how even historic buildings can be adapted to meet 21st century needs.

By late 2009, the Conservancy’s Molokai office will be outfitted with a similar system that will fully power the building — taking it totally off the grid.

“We are just doing what we can to tackle the global climate problem on a local level,” Case said. “By taking steps to shrink our own carbon footprint, we can be part of the solution.”