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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hawaii 2015 in review, albatrosses killed on Oahu, minimum wage rises, audit blasts state Obamacare system, graphic signs spur Hilo outrage, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Black-footed Albatross with chick, Midway Atoll NWR Pic:Wieteke Holthuijzen  USGS
Three of the top local news stories in Hawaii in 2015 sprang from situations that few observers anticipated would lead to major headlines — building the Thirty Meter Telescope, dodging the bullet in a record hurricane season, and public outcry over hot classrooms. Star-Advertiser.

With presidential vacations as bookends, the year in the islands featured David Ige’s shakedown cruise, the still-unfolding TMT-Mauna Kea controversy and new attempts to solve the old problem of homelessness. Civil Beat.

2015: The year in review; Telescope controversy, Kenoi’s pCard abuse, dengue fever among top stories of the year. Tribune-Herald.

Top stories of 2015. From barking dogs, bleached coral new stores, and the Aloha Doc, the Garden Island saw its share of news. Garden Island.

Coming with the new year is a hike of 75 cents in our state’s minimum wage. Hawaii is one of 14 states where workers will now see more in their paychecks. Hawaii’s hourly wage will be $8.50. Civil Beat.

Poor planning and a “lack of effective leadership” within the state Department of Human Services prevented its $155 million computer system from meeting some of the objectives of the federal Affordable Care Act, according to a new report by the Hawaii state auditor. Star-Advertiser.

In a report released Wednesday, the state auditor faulted Hawaii’s Department of Human Services in failing to implement the state’s online system for the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare. Civil Beat.

Honolulu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii counties stand to receive millions more in funding next year from the state's transient accommodations tax if the Legislature approves a working group’s report released this week. Pacific Business News.

The U.S. military, with a lot of smokers, is toeing the line on Hawaii’s new ban on cigarettes and tobacco for anyone under 21, which takes effect Friday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Department of Education has received special recognition by the national U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation 2015 Leaders & Laggards report listed the Aloha State for its progress as measured by the National Assessment of Education Progress. Civil Beat.

The following fireworks shows will take place throughout the state to usher in the new year. KHON2.

Three Laysan albatrosses were killed, several others are missing, and 15 nests were destroyed at the Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve, state conservation enforcement officials said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

State and federal officials are investigating the deaths of three Laysan albatrosses and the destruction of at least 15 albatross nests at Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve. Hawaii News Now.

Next year's November ballot will not include questions about dismantling the rail authority, labeling GMO products or raising the minimum wage. The Honolulu Charter Commission denied all those proposals at a hearing on Wednesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now.

El Nino put a damper on Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s road repaving plans, but the crews have continued their work despite the challenges. KITV4.

The deaf and visually impaired will have an opportunity to experience Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Saturday at Ward Theatres, marking the first movie showing to provide such accommodations as required under a new Hawaii law. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Telcom and Raycom Media, owner of Hawaii News Now, have agreed to extend their current contract,, eliminating a potential blackout through Jan. 8. Star-Advertiser.

Area residents maintain that Lanikai’s popularity has soared since TripAdvisor dubbed its beach the world’s best a few years ago. Also, a coastal science professor known as Dr. Beach, who ranks public beaches in the United States — based on best sand and water quality, environmental management and amenities — and others have spotlighted Lanikai as a top beach. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama spent much of Wednesday afternoon, the 12th day of his Hawaiian vacation, with family and friends at a luau hosted by a childhood friend and golf buddy. Star-Advertiser.

Eight new confirmed cases of dengue fever were added Wednesday to Hawaii Island’s running tally, which now stands at 190. Meanwhile, the state Department of Health’s Big Island Vector Control offices in Hilo and Kona, which are responsible for controlling the populations of mosquitoes that carry the disease, are preparing to hire one additional worker each, with an online listing for the jobs set to close today. Tribune-Herald.

Police were called in Wednesday morning when counter-protesters physically removed signs they find offensive in a Downtown Hilo park that has a playground for small children. Tribune-Herald.

A disagreement over a notorious collection of signs at a county park in Hilo led to a temporary upheaval on Wednesday, as opposing viewpoints clashed on the sidewalk beside Lincoln Park. Big Island Video News.


November arrivals to Maui increased 2.8% to 193,355 and visitor days increased by 3.8% in November 2015, compared to last year. Maui Now.

Maui island is on a record-breaking pace to push beyond a total of 2.5 million visitor arrivals by air this year. Maui News.


The number of travelers to Kauai went up by 0.8 percent as compared to this time last year, according to a Tuesday news release from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Garden Island.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Schism widens over Native Hawaiian election, student test scores drop, NextEra hearing draws crowds, Maui seeks more police, Kauai mulls county manager v. mayor, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Makawalu Photography
Walter Ritte leads Hawaiian rally, courtesy Makawalu Photography
Walter Ritte will announce Wednesday that he is disenrolling from the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission’s registry, withdrawing his candidacy as a Nai Aupuni election delegate and calling for a boycott of the election. Civil Beat.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs on Tuesday rolled out a website called Mo‘oaupuni, which is intended to present material relating to what’s referred to as “Hawaiian political landscapes.” Civil Beat.

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is holding community meetings statewide on proposed rule changes that include allowing the agency to accept DNA tests to establish family ties for eligibility for the homestead program for Native Hawaiians. Maui News.

Academic gains Hawaii public school students saw two years ago on the National Assessment of Educational Progress were essentially erased this year as math and reading scores slipped to 2011 levels on the standardized test known as the “Nation’s Report Card.” Star-Advertiser.

The percentage of Hawaii fourth and eighth graders proficient in math and reading declined in 2015, scores released Tuesday show. Hawaii's scores slipped in both grades and both subjects on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is administered every two years to a representative sample of students in each state. Hawaii News Now.

A group of Hawaii legislators is tired of the Health Department ignoring a state law that requires inspection reports of adult care homes and other long-term care facilities to be posted online. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission won’t let opposition to NextEra Energy's acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co. influence its decision on whether to grant final approval of the $4.3 billion deal, the agency's chairman told Pacific Business News.

As the state Public Utilities Commission prepares to weigh evidence in the proposed $4.3 billion merger of the Hawaiian Electric Companies and NextEra Energy, the companies requested intervenors pushing alternatives to the merger be excluded from an upcoming hearing. Tribune-Herald.

The state is working to increase ocean safety education for visitors in the wake of recent tourist drownings. Associated Press.


Hundreds crowded into McKinley High School's auditorium Tuesday to voice their opposition to Hawaiian Electric's NextEra merger. Hawaii News Now.

More than 250 Oahu residents gathered Tuesday night at the McKinley High School auditorium to voice their opinions on the proposed purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries by Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission heard an unfamiliar sound Tuesday evening — strong support for the proposed $4.3 billion sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries to NextEra Energy. Unlike on Maui and the Big Island where members of the public overwhelmingly opposed the deal, the Oahu residents who testified were far more evenly split. Civil Beat.

A University of Hawaii law school degree is one of the most valuable for the mind and wallet, according to the National Jurist magazine’s latest rankings. The UH William S. Richardson School of Law was recognized again as a "Best Value" law school for its significant rate of employed recent graduates as well as its students' low levels of debt. Pacific Business News.

Board of Water Supply Critical of Navy Red Hill Fuel Leak Mitigation Plan  Hawaii Public Radio.

The Air Force apologized Tuesday for unexpected early morning noise from fighter jets roaring over Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Kevin Mulligan, a retired union agent for the Hawaii Government Employees Association, and a member of the 12-person Honolulu Charter Commission, has submitted several proposals to the Charter Commission, including one that would lower the threshold for firing a police chief and another to create a completely new oversight agency to keep tabs on the department’s internal disciplinary process. Civil Beat.


The vast majority of Hawaii Island schools appear to be making improvements, according to the latest results of the fledgling Strive HI Performance System. However, the island as a whole continues to lag behind the rest of the state on most performance measures. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County has selected a preferred site for a wastewater treatment plant serving Naalehu. The site is located on state land makai of Mamalahoa Highway on the east side of the town. It borders property the county is considering purchasing in order to preserve former Makahiki grounds known as Kahua Olohu. Tribune-Herald.

An unhappy homeowner at the luxury Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is suing the resort and its developers, saying he and others aren’t getting the benefits they were promised when they built or purchased their homes. The suit claims that homeowners, their families and guests face crowded facilities and fees that have risen unfairly at The Hualalai Club, where a membership runs $250,000, plus $40,625 in annual dues. West Hawaii Today.

The Maui Police Department is seeking funding for five additional positions, including a police major and an emergency services coordinator, in its budget proposal for the 2017 fiscal year. Maui News.

Pregnant women can take advantage of new parking stalls designated for expectant moms at the Queen Kaʻahumanu Shopping Center in Kahului. Maui Now.


Kauai County Councilman Mason Chock will present a preliminary report this morning on the findings thus far of a subcommittee formed in June to study the possibility of switching to a county manager system of government. Garden Island.

A majority of the Kauai County Council changed its own internal rules to prevent any Councilmember from asking questions of the public when they testify. Hawaii Independent.

Jim Guerber, head brewer and owner of Kauai Beer Company, was elated when he heard that Kauai County was earmarked to receive $13 million in federal funds targeted at revitalizing the Lihue Town Core. Garden Island.


The Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission intends to ask the state attorney general to clarify the law that bans commercial activity in the reserve. Maui News.