Showing posts with label Land Use Commission. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Land Use Commission. Show all posts

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Ige signs 4 bills in honor of World Oceans Day, Maui council passes record high $1B budget, Land Use Commission votes to appeal short-term rental case to ICA, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Black triggerfish amid Hawaii coral ©2022 All Hawaii News
Governor David Ige signs four bills in honor of World Ocean's Day. (video) KITV4.

Improving the health of our oceans and beaches for World Oceans Day.
At least 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean annually, and plastic makes up 80% of all marine debris, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii mayors, Honolulu prosecutor team up to urge Gov. David Ige to veto bail reform bill. The four county mayors, Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm and representatives from the Honolulu Police Department joined forces Wednesday to urge Gov. David Ige to veto a bill that would eliminate cash bail for some nonviolent, low-level offenses. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Solar energy backers urge veto of bill on renewable power. A few hundred members of Hawaii’s solar power industry and environmental organizations came together Wednesday to publicly urge Gov. David Ige to veto a bill they say would cap growth of low-cost, environmentally friendly renewable energy. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Prisons Phone Service Provider To Repay Inmates Up To $67 Million. The lawsuit alleges Global Tel Link overcharged inmates and their families, and people who used the system have until next week to file for reimbursement. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi teachers union drops endorsement of U.S. Rep. Ed Case in favor of Sergio Alcubilla. Union president Osa Tui Jr. says Alcubilla is a better choice to represent the people of Hawaiʻi. The 1st Congressional District covers most of Oʻahu's urban areas. Hawaii Public Radio.

State Senate to Convene Special Session to Review Judicial Appointments. The Hawaiʻi State Senate will convene a special session for the purpose of reviewing the judicial appointments of Jill M. Hasegawa and Joanna E. Sokolow to the District Family Court of the 3rd Circuit – Hawaiʻi Island and Gregory H. Meyers to the District Court of the 5th Circuit – Kauaʻi. Big Island Now.

Hawaiian Airlines and Par Hawaii explore sustainable aviation fuels in Hawaiʻi. Hawaiian Airlines and Par Hawaii, announced plans today to join forces to study the commercial viability of locally produced sustainable aviation fuels, to replace all or a percentage of traditional kerosene-based jet fuel with fuel that is made with sustainable feedstocks.  Maui Now.

State DOA Panel to Consider Importing ‘Incompatible Male’ Mosquitoes to Help Control Wild Populations. The Plant and Animal Advisory Committee of the state Department of Agriculture is looking at importing “incompatible male” mosquitoes as a method of mosquito population control in the islands to help save several native honeycreeper species. Big Island Now. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Department of Health reports 8,033 new infections, 8 coronavirus-related deaths. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, increased to 19.2% from 18.4% reported last week. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Hawaii health officials identify Oahu resident with second probable case of monkeypox. State health officials on June 3 reported the first probable case of an individual who had symptoms consistent with monkeypox and recently traveled to an area with confirmed cases. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now.


Honolulu police clarify procedures for informing public after arrest of new chief’s son. Honolulu police will share crime highlights at regular intervals with the public and stop using the “do not post to media” designation on those highlights following an internal review of why the felony arrest of the incoming chief’s son earned that label. Star-Advertiser.

After more than a decade of controversy, council recommends burial plan for Kawaiaha‘o. On Wednesday the fate of hundreds of Native Hawaiian skeletal remains was finally determined by the Oahu Island Burial Council, which approved a plan to allow interment of iwi kupuna as close as possible to their original burial places at Honolulu’s oldest church. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Calls for safety improvements on Pali crosswalks continue. Pedestrian safety along the Pali Highway is a long-standing issue for Nuuanu residents, many including the widow of a man who was struck while crossing the Pali are calling for traffic signals to be installed, while the money that was aside for that project is close to expiring. KHON2.

Death, Fines And Captive Animals: Is Sea Life Park Part Of A Bygone Era?
Many have fond memories of Oahu’s sometimes controversial marine animal park, but what will be its role in a changing business? Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

LUC vows vacation-rental battle: Land Use Commission to take lawsuit to Intermediate Court of Appeals. A Kona judge’s order overturning Hawaii County’s prohibition of short-term vacation rentals in the agricultural district could set a statewide precedent, the state Land Use Commission said Wednesday in unanimously agreeing to seek a ruling from the Intermediate Court of Appeals. West Hawaii Today.

Six Injured After Helicopter Crash In Kaʻū. The Hawaiʻi County Fire Department says there were no fatalities at the scene of the crash. The tour helicopter went down between the Ranchos Subdivision and South Point Road. Big Island Video News. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

With a little help from Japan: Stone beaches rebuilt in Liliuokalani Park. After over two years of planning, four gardeners from Japan traveled to Hilo and built two suhama, or stone beaches, at Liliuokalani Park and Gardens. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County Council Approves Record-Setting $1 Billion Budget. The spending plan relies on increased revenue from taxing tourism accommodations and certain investment properties while lowering taxes for full-time residents. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

After leaving due to term limits, Hokama to run for Lanai seat. Longtime former Maui County Council Member Riki Hokama is looking to take his former seat back after having to relinquish it in 2020 due to term limits. Maui News.


KPD airport gun incident details emerge. A Kaua‘i Police Department deputy chief said a “brain fart” led to him to leave a loaded handgun in his carry-on backpack while going through a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Lihu‘e Airport security. Garden Island.

Battle over development heats up in Koloa town after blasting methods used. Some residents in Koloa town on Kauai’s south shore have long been opposed to a new condominium development. But now they’re upset that the developer has started using blasting methods as part of construction. Hawaii News Now.

Koloa site of cesspool scrap. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached an $18,000 settlement with a South Shore business after federal officials identified a large-capacity cesspool at Koloa Self Storage on Waikomo Road. Garden Island.

Can An Ancient Hawaiian Fishpond Turn A Profit? The owners of a recently restored Kauai fishpond are setting out to prove that this cultural resource can also be a money-maker. Civil Beat.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Superferry project still costing taxpayers millions, Hanabusa war chest dwindles, Police Commission won't pay officer's legal tab, Big Island condo development yanked after public opposition, Tropical Storm Fernanda weakens, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Superferry docked in 2010 in Honolulu © 2017 All Hawaii News
The Hawaii Superferry has been kaput for about eight years, but a new audit shows the state won’t finish paying off its more than $70 million in harbor upgrades and interest for the privately owned service until 2028. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s interisland ferry was shut down eight years ago, but the state still owes $33 million for the costly failure. Associated Press.

Eight years after the Superferry ceased operations in Hawaii, the state is still paying off more than $70 million it incurred from harbor improvements and interest, according to a recent report by the State Auditor’s office. Pacific Business News.

Eight years after the Hawaii Superferry shut down, the State Office of the Auditor says Hawaii must pay $32.6 million in expenses for the ship that once traveled between islands. KITV.

The Hawaii Superferry stopped operations over eight years ago and yet, the state auditor says, Hawaii continues to pay the exorbitant costs incurred to support it. KHON2.


Tulsi Gabbard Rakes In Far More Campaign Cash Than Colleen Hanabusa. The latest federal campaign finance reports indicate very different strategies by Hawaii’s congresswomen, and reinforce the notion Hanabusa may run for governor. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Health expects to certify Hawaii’s first medical marijuana testing laboratory by the end of the month. Star-Advertiser.

Groups have filed a human-rights complaint that aims to jump-start an investigation into conditions among foreign workers in Hawaii’s commercial fishing industry. Associated Press.

International students studying in Hawaii spent $225 million in the 2016-17 school year, a 25 percent dip from the year before, according to a report released Wednesday by the state’s resource center for economical and statistical data. Civil Beat.

A new report has found that international students have contributed more than $225 million to Hawaii's economy during the 2016-17 school year. Pacific Business News.

A state agency is seeking a buyer for 1,221 affordable rental apartments in an effort to improve the quality of the homes and maintain affordability for most of the existing tenants. The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. published a request for proposals last week to solicit bids from private investors for its portfolio of six rental projects on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

New Database Of Severe Worker Injuries In Hawaii. The federal government began requiring reporting of certain severe injuries in 2015, in hopes of improving worker safety. Civil Beat.

More than 1,300 people are taking part in the 3-day World Conservation Conference in Honolulu this week. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tropical Storm Fernanda continues to weaken as it inches closer to the Central Pacific. The cyclone, which has maximum sustained winds at 65 mph, is forecast to become a tropical depression by Friday. Hawaii News Now.


Since a city task force looked at the issue in 2005, estimating that about 300 residential high-rises did not have automatic sprinkler systems, not a single one of those projects has voluntarily installed the equipment, according to an informal survey of industry officials and a review of city building permit records. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Police Commission voted 4-2 Wednesday against providing legal counsel to a police officer who’s named in a high-profile civil lawsuit. Star-Advertiser.

Police commission votes against covering officer’s legal fees in lawsuit involving former chief’s wife. KHON2.

Police Commissioners Clash Over “Unconstitutional” Secret Hearings. Despite vehement objections from a former federal prosecutor and retired supreme court justice, the commission voted to hold hearings behind closed doors. Civil Beat.

Two Oahu-based community health centers will receive a combined total of nearly $3 million in federal grants to expand their health services. Pacific Business News.

State officials say a video of monk seal “Rocky” on Kaimana Beach protecting her pup from a nearby male monk seal should serve as a caution to ocean-goers to stay clear of Waikiki’s latest residents. Star-Advertiser.

 The number of homes sold at $1.5 million or higher decreased 16 percent in June, though sales were up 18 percent during the first half of 2017, according to a luxury Oahu housing report by Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. Pacific Business News.

SolarCity cofounder Peter Rive has quit Tesla Inc., just one month after his brother, Lyndon, exited the company. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

A plan to build a 306-unit condominium in Kahaluu died Wednesday after the developer withdrew its application for a needed permit. Ocean Villas at Kahaluu Bay LLC filed its official withdrawal of their special management area permit application with the county’s planning department, bringing to an end all efforts to develop the 42-acre parcel. West Hawaii Today.

A controversial 306-unit condo development planned for Kahaluu has been terminated. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County is not going to fight an appeals court ruling invalidating a South Kona development and requiring the county to treat Community Development Plans as law. West Hawaii Today.

A developer recently shut shoreline access through their property at Pepeekeo Point following a dispute with Hawaii County. Tribune-Herald.

A Marine officer was critically wounded after being shot during night live-fire training this month at Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii island, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

The public is invited to a launch event today to learn more about the Hawaii Island Business Plan Competition, an islandwide contest designed to help small businesses get started and/or grow. Tribune-Herald.

A residential estate on the slopes of Hualalai Mountain has been named the Best Outdoor Retreat in HGTV's 2017 Ultimate House Hunt. Hawaii News Now.


State Land Use Commission members heard from more than three dozen testifiers Wednesday afternoon, and testimony ran roughly 3-to-1 against approving the Pilani Promenade’s final environmental impact statement. Maui News.

Authorities with the Maui Emergency Management Agency say waves generated by distant Hurricane Fernanda are expected to lead to increasing surf along east facing shores the next couple of days, and this may lead to greater wave run-up along exposed windward coastlines. Maui Now.

Applications continue to be accepted for the one- and two-bedroom apartments at the County of Maui’s 56-unit Kulamalu Hale apartment rentals in Pukalani. Maui Now.

Maui veterans, who fought for years to consolidate medical, psychological and administrative services into a single location to reduce confusion, travel and overcrowding, claimed a significant victory Wednesday with the announcement of the approval of a new lease for a facility near Maui High School in Kahului. Maui News.


An experiment in community-based fishery management is underway on Kauai’s north shore. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kumano I Ke Ala, a nonprofit group whose aim is to empower a sustainable West Kauai and restore its resources, is hosting a community work day to remove the slit that has built up in the middle of the Waimea River. Garden Island.

Rotary Club names new president. Garden Island.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Ohia trees threatened, Ige defends Land Use Commission, greenhouses proposed for medical marijuana, albatross eggs removed from Kauai missile range, real estate rocking, Hilo Kamehameha statue to be repaired, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ohia lehua flower with raindrops © 2015 All Hawaii News
The bad news just got worse for Hawaii’s indigenous ohia trees. The trees are under attack by more than one strain of fungus, researchers at the University of Hawaii at Hilo have found. Star-Advertiser.

As the Hawaii Department of Health finalizes interim rules for the state’s new medical marijuana dispensary program, one definition could mean the difference of millions of dollars for entrepreneurs hoping to get into the business. The law creating the dispensary program says that medical cannabis must be grown in “enclosed indoor facilities. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige admits that there are a fair share of impediments to constructing more affordable housing developments on state-owned lands but says that calls from developers and housing industry experts to eliminate the state Land Use Commission are not the answer. Pacific Business News.

The Coral Reef Conservation Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this year awarded more than $8.4 million in grants and cooperative agreements to support conservation and scientific studies that benefit coral reef management. Hawaii’s share is $1.48 million, which will go to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the University of Hawaii, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii and the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. Civil Beat.

Dec. 13 marks the start of the Makahiki season and the Hawaiian new year. KHON2.


The total assessed value of taxable property on Oahu rose 6.1 percent over last year, a slightly smaller jump than a year ago, city officials said Friday. Overall, the value of all Oahu taxable property rose to $227.9 billion, up from $214.89 billion, the city’s Real Property Assessment Division reported. Star-Advertiser.

Many businesses along the rail line are taking a hit due to all the construction during this holiday shopping season. So the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) offered free shuttle rides on Sunday to help bring in customers. Hawaii News Now.

In Kakaako Parks, State Wades Into Thorny Issue of Property Confiscation. Homeless encampments grew to about 180 people as the state created the rules for what do with their property when it clears them out. And those rules are already under fire. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has cleared the solar photovoltaic systems from its October 2014 backlog that included 2,749 customers, the Honolulu-based utility said in public documents this week. Pacific Business News.

It was broken for 50 years, but on Saturday, the fishpond at Paepae o He'eia has been restored. KITV4.


As officer-involved shootings make headlines nationwide, the Hawaii Police Department said it’s continuing plans to issue body cameras to officers. The department has completed a pilot program and is now researching their best option. West Hawaii Today.

Scientists involved in Hawaii astronomy have a message for the builders of a giant telescope planned for a mountain held sacred by some Native Hawaiians: Hang in there. Associated Press.

When the state Supreme Court ruled on Dec. 2 that the Board of Land and Natural Resources erred in issuing the construction permit for the Thirty Meter Telescope, it sent a chilling message to the business community in general. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island’s dengue fever outbreak appears to be the largest in the United States since World War II, according to various reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health sites. Tribune-Herald.

Home sales are on the rise countywide, with buyers coming from around the state, the mainland, and countries as far-flung as Switzerland — to say nothing of the increase in local homeowners. Realtor Nancy Cabral, owner of Day-Lum Properties, called 2015 “the best year since the crash of 2008.” Tribune-Herald.

There’s no easy fix to solving the problem of heavy traffic congestion in Pahoa. Traffic delays increased dramatically over the past week after the Dec. 2 opening of a detour that routes cars past the construction site of a future roundabout. The roundabout is being built at the intersection of Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road. Tribune-Herald.

The long spear tip stolen from the King Kamehameha statue soon will be reattached. Tribune-Herald.


Officials with the company that's been contracted to build a state-of-the-art waste conversion facility at the Central Maui landfill say the project is still on target for completion in 2018, but at least one Maui County Council member isn't so sure. Maui News.

The Ma'alaea Community Association and Maui Tomorrow Foundation are suing Maui County and the developers of the proposed fast-tracked Ma'alaea Plantation subdivision over the environmental assessment for the development. Maui News.

Sea urchins, seaweed and fish formerly reserved to be eaten by Hawaiian royalty are flourishing at a South Maui fishpond since volunteers began restoring the historic landmark 10 years ago. Maui News.

Raw oysters imported from Korea and distributed by at least two Maui retailers have been linked to the norovirus illness. Maui News.


The U.S. military says it has shot down a missile off Kauai in a test of a missile defense system designed to protect NATO forces in Europe from attack. The Missile Defense Agency said Thursday that an Air Force C-17 aircraft launched a medium-range target over the ocean southwest of Hawaii on Wednesday. Associated Press.

Two dozen Laysan albatross eggs were collected from nests along the runway at the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, a historically popular breeding spot for albatrosses. Garden Island.


Monsanto Hawaiʻi has announced that its Molokaʻi farm has become the first company in Hawaiʻi to achieve “Wildlife at Work” certification by the nonprofit Wildlife Habitat Council.  Maui Now.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Lawmakers grill University of Hawaii officials on spending, Ellison's Lanai plans probed, Land Use Commission denies Maui development, NextEra says electric grid lacking, attorney general investigates stadium fallout, state cancels Honolulu airport commuter terminal, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
University of Hawaii-Hilo © 2015 All Hawaii News
In what’s become a December tradition, leaders from the University of Hawaii went to the state Capitol on Tuesday to make their case to the House Committee on Higher Education for additional budget appropriations. What UH President David Lassner got — this year and last — was a stern talking-to from Rep. Isaac Choy, who heads the committee. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawai’i briefed lawmakers about additional funding they are requesting for the next fiscal year. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state Public Utilities Commission met behind closed doors Monday for the second time in five days of hearings on Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed $4.3 billion purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co.’s efforts in reliability are currently poor at best, an executive with a NextEra Energy Inc. subsidiary said Tuesday at the ongoing regulatory hearings regarding the Florida energy giant’s proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of the Honolulu-based utility. Pacific Business News.

When it comes to something as crucial in our lives as electricity, can Hawaii trust outsiders to do the right thing? That was the fundamental question emerging Monday from the high-stakes hearing at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center to decide if NextEra Energy’s proposed $4.3 billion purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries will be approved. Civil Beat.

Fitch Ratings says it expects NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Industries to be approved and that over the long term the agency sees a bias toward positive rating actions for Hawaiian Electric Co. and HEI under the Florida utility’s ownership. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Budget and Finance is recommending that Hawaii Gov. David Ige include about $31 million in his 2017 supplemental budget request to fund public housing repairs and maintenance. That would be six times more than Ige sought last year, but still far less than the total amount needed to upgrade more than 6,000 aging public housing units. Civil Beat.

Hawaii will spend $6.8 million in tobacco settlement funds on anti-smoking campaigns this year. That’s the lowest level in years, and about half what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. Hawaii News Now.

The deadline for comment on a proposed bridge between Native Hawaiians and the US Government is closing soon. In the fall the US Department of the Interior proposed establishing a formal government-to-government relationship as part of the reconciliation process.  The proposal would give Native Hawaiians a legal framework that would help the native Hawaiian community work with the US government. Hawaii Public Radio.

Add yet another gig to Colleen Hanabusa’s growing work load: She will teach a course on the topic of “civil liberties in times of crisis” during the spring 2016 semester at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Civil Beat.

In the midst of the third global coral bleaching event on record, local communities can help recovery efforts by curbing soil runoff and protecting herbivores like parrotfish, researchers said. Maui News.

Commentary: Why Can’t Hawaii Spend All That Federal Money? State agencies can’t seem to spend all of the $2.5 billion in federal money they get each year, but they still turn down the offer of help to manage those grants. Civil Beat.


The state of Hawaii has canceled plans to build a new commuter terminal at Honolulu International Airport as part of the state's $1.7 billion airport upgrade, which will displace two interisland airlines. Pacific Business News.

Plans to build a new commuter terminal at Honolulu International Airport have been canceled because the project was too pricey. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's attorney general is reviewing a letter which says Aloha Stadium defaulted on its agreement with the U.S. women's soccer team. Associated Press.

A class-action lawsuit has been filed over the last-minute cancellation of Sunday's U.S. Women's soccer game, just as the state has launched its own investigation. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu City Council is considering hiring the Law Offices of Cary T. Tanaka to defend city Corporation Counsel Donna Leong in a lawsuit brought by the family of Sheldon Haleck, who died in police custody earlier this year. Civil Beat.


Scientists say that last week’s state Supreme Court ruling on the Thirty Meter Telescope puts not only that project’s future in limbo, but also jeopardizes observatories already atop Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

Exports of businesses at Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority played a major role in Hawaii’s aquaculture record-high sales in 2014, the ocean science and technology park’s executive director said. West Hawaii Today.


The state Land Use Commission on Monday denied acceptance of the Olowalu Town LLC and Olowalu Ekolu LLC’s Final Environmental Impact Statement. Maui Now.

After a grueling 11-hour meeting Monday, the state Land Use Commission voted to not approve a draft final environmental impact statement for development of a 1,500-home Olowalu town in West Maui. Maui News.

By a vote of six to one, the Hawaii Land Use Commission  voted late yesterday to reject the Olowalu Town project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement. The vote on the decade-old proposal to add 1,500 homes and about 4,000 residents to tiny Olowalu came at the end of a marathon hearing at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center that last around 12 hours. MauiTime.

The state Public Utilities Commission has approved an amended power purchase agreement between Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. and Maui Electric Co. that makes significant changes to the pricing and the commitments of power by the state's last sugar plantation to the utility. Maui News.


The county’s wastewater management folks are talking about using treated wastewater to irrigate various chunks of turf in Waimea, and they’re holding a public meeting from 6 to 8 tonight at the Waimea Canyon School cafeteria to bring the public up to speed on the project. Garden Island.

The Kokee Forest Restoration and Recovery Project on Kauai is being recognized by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service for the 2015 Western Regional Forester’s Honor Award. The project is ambitious in that it strives to reforest nearly 1,000 acres of burnt eucalyptus and pine plantations using koa and other native trees and plants. Garden Island.


Some longtime Lanai residents aren’t sure how much trust to place in billionaire Larry Ellison, who bought 98 percent of the island in 2012 and hasn’t made any major public appearances on the island. Star-Advertiser.

Business owner Jeremiah Littlepage expects bookings will speed up after the much-improved Manele Bay Hotel reopens in February, especially because Ellison’s purchase generated an incredible amount of awareness about Lanai. Star-Advertiser.

On Lanai, the island’s only visibly homeless man stands in stark contrast to the island’s beachfront resort that’s undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation. Hawaii News Now.

The premier luxury vacation destination on Lanai formerly known as the Manele Bay Hotel is scheduled to reopen Feb. 1 as the Four Seasons Resort Lanai looking ever-more-finely appointed after a $75 million overhaul that included gutting the guestrooms, stripping down the lobby and demolishing the pool. Star-Advertiser.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Endangered Hawaiian monk seal bludgeoned to death, rule-breaking education employees enjoy paid leave, clean energy surcharge added to electric bills, pair charged in illegal lava tours, University of Hawaii settles 1st Amendment lawsuit, new wildlife fence on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy National Oceanic and Atmosphereic Administration
Monk seal found dead on Kauai, photo courtesy NOAA
A young female Hawaiian monk seal was found dead at a beach in Anahola on Kauai after being bludgeoned on the side of the head, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

A female Hawaiian monk seal pup, one of several that survived a deadly dog attack in July, was found bludgeoned to death Sunday along a rocky beach in Anahola. Garden Island.

courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Monk seal in early 2014, courtesy NOAA
$5,000 Reward for Leads on Monk Seal Death on Kauai. The Hawaiian monk seal, born on June 2014, was found dead from blunt force trauma over the weekend. Civil Beat.

Authorities are investigating the killing of a Hawaiian monk seal pup on Kauai. The young female seal (RF58) was found bludgeoned to death at a beach in Anahola on Sunday, according to Department of Land and Natural Resources officials. Hawaii News Now.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in cooperation with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, is investigating the suspicious death of a Hawaiian monk seal on the northeast coast of Kauai. West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Education on average places one employee a week on paid leave while it investigates various complaints of alleged misconduct, and roughly 1 in 4 of those investigations takes longer than a year to complete. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. customers will see a new charge on their electrical bills this month that will be used to help finance clean-energy installations for low-income residents. The new charge — labeled the "Green Infrastructure Fee" — will pay for the state's Green Energy Market Securitization, or GEMS, program. Star-Advertiser.

Support for medical marijuana dispensaries is gaining momentum. And a newly released report could provide even more ammunition for those needing better access to the drug. The state auditor's report says pot pharmacies are necessary. Hawaii News Now.

On January 1st, control of the state medical marijuana system will be changing from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health.  But patients whose registrations expire this month are urged to reapply by December 12th to avoid any lapse in coverage.  Applicants must still obtain a signed physician’s statement before applying. Hawaii Public Radio.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz' wife, Linda Schatz, who held executive positions at Kamehameha Schools and Brookfield Homes Hawaii, recently joined homebuilder Forest City Hawaii as its development manager, the Cleveland, Ohio-based company said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Nani Coloretti to serve as deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, making her the highest-ranking Fili­pino-American in the administration of President Barack Obama. Star-Advertiser.

A former budget analyst for the state of Hawaii has been named deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Nani Coloretti was appointed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday. Associated Press.

Survivors of the aerial attack that destroyed the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941, are going the way of the Doolittle Raiders and Flying Tigers of similar World War II fame. There are fewer and fewer of the war heroes left as they age into their 90s. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: One Solution for Out-of-Control Rents. Many of the factors conspiring to create Hawaii’s housing crisis inspired the implementation of rent stabilization elsewhere. Civil Beat.


With the sit-lie ban in place on sidewalks in Waikiki and 15 other business neighborhoods across Oahu, Hono­lulu City Council members are turning their attention to a bill that would make it illegal to sit or lie down at six downtown Hono­lulu and Chinatown malls. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: Haseko Calls Disclosure of PR Plan ‘Embarrassing’. But a judge rules against the development company that is being sued over its decision to build a lagoon instead of the marina homeowners expected. Civil Beat.


A Kealakekua courtroom was packed with well-wishers Tuesday as a new judge took the oath of office. Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald administered the oath to Margaret Masunaga, a former Hawaii County deputy corporation counsel. West Hawaii Today.

A pair of University of Hawaii at Hilo students is claiming a victory for free speech after the school agreed Tuesday to settle a First Amendment lawsuit filed in April. Tribune-Herald.

A lawsuit brought by two students claiming their First Amendment rights were violated by the University of Hawaii at Hilo has resulted in a systemwide revision of the university's free-speech policy. Star-Advertiser.

Land use is usually a contentious topic, but only about a dozen people showed up at meeting Tuesday evening in Hilo to provide input to a state agency seeking to improve the process. West Hawaii Today.

The Kohala coast — known for pocket-sized, postcard beaches and for resorts carved out of a wasteland of lava — has a new distinction. Waikoloa is now ranked 8th on the list of the top 10 rising destinations in the U.S. in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards. West Hawaii Today.

The June 27 lava flow advanced another 350 to 400 yards as of Tuesday morning, placing its front about 2.7 miles from the intersection of Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road. Tribune-Herald.

Two guides who were involved in leading lava tours into the state Wao Kele O Puna Forest Reserve and Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve were arrested Monday by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers. West Hawaii Today.

Today in New Delhi, officials of the government of India signed documents establishing the country as a full partner in the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project. An international collaboration of institutions in the USA, Canada, Japan, India and China, the TMT project is working towards building a powerful, next-generation astronomical observatory at Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.


Hawaiian Electric companies are looking to work with businesses in order to manage electricity demand on the islands. Maui News.

Target is looking to hire approximately 250 team members for its new Kahului  store at the future Puʻunēnē Shopping Center, which is currently under construction and is set to open in March, 2015. Maui Now.


Rare native plant and animal communities that have inhabited a roughly eight-acre area at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge — including imperiled bird species found nowhere else on Earth — will be protected following the installation of the state-of-the-art fence east of the lighthouse. Garden Island.

The state Department of Agriculture and Kauai County are paying a consultant $100,000 to examine the possible health and environmental effects of pesticide use on genetically modified crops. Civil Beat.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Hawaii crackdown on public housing, court tosses Hawaii County GMO law, Land Use Commission erred in Kona development, Health Department probes Navy's Red Hill fuel leak, Maui tourist spending up 20%, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy U.S. Housing and Urban Development
Halekauwila Place in Kakaako, courtesy HUD
A federal and state crackdown has prompted increased evictions from public housing projects across the state, with more on the way. Sources said the feds are using FBI and IRS agents who could bring federal criminal charges against fraudulent tenants at 5,500 federal housing units across the state. Hawaii News Now.

A state employee has been charged with stealing state funds while working for Gov. Neil Abercrombie's office. Roxanne Kamalu was charged in a grand jury indictment Nov. 13 with second-degree theft and use of a computer in the commission of a separate crime. Star-Advertiser.

Seven University of Hawaii campuses have been awarded $69 million in grants for Native Hawaiian programs, from preschool through higher education. Pacific Business News.


Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson, Pacific Air Forces commander, will be the keynote speaker at the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7. Star-Advertiser.

The State Department of Health is leading a study on the 27,000-gallon fuel leak at the Navy’s Red Hill underground storage facility in January.  A task force subgroup is developing a report to the state Legislature due next month. Hawaii Public Radio.


Oversight of genetically modified crops in Hawaii remains the state’s kuleana, a federal judge ruled Wednesday when invalidating Hawaii County’s law restricting the use of transgenic plants. Tribune-Herald.

The Land Use Commission did not follow state law when it reverted land under a South Kohala development from urban to agriculture, the Hawaii Supreme Court said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Pahoa Village Road was reopened to through traffic between Apa‘a Street and Post Office Road on Wednesday. The approximately 0.5-mile section of the road was closed to nonresidents Oct. 26 as the June 27 lava flow entered Pahoa. Tribune-Herald.

A former county councilman has lost his civil lawsuit against the county. Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara ruled Monday Stacy Higa and wife Janice owe the county and former Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida more than $10,000 in legal fees to defend themselves from the lawsuit. Tribune-Herald.


Maui visitor spending for October jumped 20.1 percent, compared with last year, to $312 million, buoyed by a 6.9 percent increase in visitor arrivals to the island, according to Hawai'i Tourism Authority preliminary data released Wednesday. Maui News.

A total of 15 acres of open space along Hana Highway on the Kipahulu side of Hana town have been placed in conservation in an agreement between the landowners and the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. Maui News.


It took all of two nudges with an excavator Wednesday to topple the half century-old pavilion at Hanamaulu Beach Park. Garden Island.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Honolulu spills sewage despite EPA agreement, smoking ban coming to public housing, Hawaii Senate advances $11B state budget, state misses out on millions in Medicaid funding, Sierra Club reconsiders rail transit, Kauai police chief battle heads to court, Big Island zip line death preventable, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu's Ala Wai canal (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
More than a year after a major settlement between the Environmental Protection Agency and the city of Honolulu to address the thousands of gallons of raw sewage that flow into Oahu’s waterways annually, the volume of spills has not abated. Civil Beat.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Monday to advance a bill to prohibit smoking in and around Hawaii Public Housing Authority buildings. Star-Advertiser.

A Senate panel approved Monday its version of the $11 billion supplemental budget bill that focuses on education and core services along with key provisions of Gov. Neil Abercrombie's New Day initiative. Star-Advertiser.

Legislature Keeps Dogs in Restaurants Bill Alive. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday nominated seven Hawaii business leaders to fill seats on the Hawaii Tourism Authority, including two with ties to land use and development. Pacific Business News.

Governor Neil Abercrombie today made more nominations to several boards and commissions including the Hawai'i Tourism Authority and the Land Use Commission. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii is among the few states to not take advantage of a federal incentive program estimated to distribute as much as $80 million to Medicaid providers for the establishment of electronic health records. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Doctors Form Aid In Dying Advisory Council. Civil Beat.

Wind energy is at the top of the list of energy sources that Hawaii should be tapping to meet its renewable energy goals, according to a recently released federal study. Civil Beat.

Starting Aug. 1, nearly all ships en route to Hawaii will be required to switch to cleaner burning fuel as part of an treaty known as the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.That’s expected to raise the price of shipping a 20-foot container to Hawaii by an average of $18. KITV4.

The Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association is screening candidates to replace President and CEO Mufi Hannemann should he leave the job as his campaign for Congress heats up. Star-Advertiser.


The Sierra Club, Hawaii's largest grassroots environmental organization, is re-considering its position on the city's $5.3 billion rail transit project. Hawaii News Now.

The first of four candidates to be the next chancellor of the University of Hawaii-Manoa arrives today with the firm belief that Manoa needs to retain the chancellor's position to help drive Hawaii's economy. Star-Advertiser.

It's an important week for the future of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Starting Wednesday, candidates for the position of chancellor will begin visiting the campus. Hawaii News Now.

Hundreds of Kaneohe based Marines and sailors are on their way to Australia. KHON2.


The out-of-state bidder who scooped up all 16 Hamakua land parcels that were put out for leases has withdrawn his option on eight of the smaller parcels, saying he wants to make them available for local farmers. West Hawaii Today.

If work on the second phase of the Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening project had begun when the Department of Transportation initially expected, and had construction taken the two-and-a-half years the DOT estimated at the time, drivers would have four lanes of highway all the way to Kona International Airport by now. West Hawaii Today.

The zip line tower collapse that claimed the life of construction worker Ted Callaway on Sept. 21 was “immediate and catastrophic,” according to a report by an independent engineering firm. And, it appears it may have been preventable. Tribune-Herald.

In an annual competition hosted by the Roasters' Guild of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), three coffees from Ka'u were among the top 10 judged, earning them the coveted title Coffee of the Year for 2012. Associated Press.


The County of Maui is pleased to recognize the Water Resource & Planning Division for being one of the first government agencies to receive the Hawaii Green Business Program Award. KHON2.

With hula, chanting and song, family members and friends paid tribute Sunday to late Native Hawaiian leader and kahu Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr. Maui News.

A dozen dogs died after their kennel in Waikapu was intentionally set on fire Sunday night, fire officials said. Maui News.

Mainland Condo Owner Objects to Vacation Rental Bills. Maui Now.

The Kaua‘i County Council today begins a series of daily budgetary review meetings lasting at least until April 19 on the mayor’s proposed $161.21 million operational budget for fiscal year 2013. Garden Island.

State To Pay $210,000 For Fatal Kauai Wreck. Driver was drunk, high and missed a turn, but lack of lighting and an old bridge contributed. Civil Beat.

The Kauai police commission plans to file a complaint in court to ask for judgment on who has the authority to supervise and discipline the police chief. Associated Press.

The controversy over whether the mayor has authority to intervene with any department heads appointed by county commissions was the focus of a public hearing by the Kaua‘i County Charter Review Commission on Monday. Garden Island.