Showing posts with label Laura Thielen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Laura Thielen. Show all posts

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Schatz describes next round of federal bailouts, mainland storms force Hawaii vaccination cancellations, COVID-19 case count unknown due to lab failure, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Sen. Brian Schatz
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz PC:Star-Advertiser video grab

Sen. Brian Schatz hopes stimulus will prevent layoffs and furloughs, among other benefits. The next round of COVID-19 related federal stimulus could be enough to prevent layoffs and furloughs of Hawaii public workers, keep island businesses afloat and prevent renters and homeowners from losing their homes while extending unemployment benefits, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii online video program Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

Storms interrupt vaccine deliveries to Hawaii as the state sees a drop in cases. Bitter winter storms across much of the mainland this week so far have delayed shipment of 37,450 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Hawaii, with only 10,250 doses successfully delivered, the Department of Health reported Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

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DOE Superintendent Says Better Spacing Guidance Is Needed For School Reopenings. Christina Kishimoto said she’ll meet with state health officials and lawmakers Friday to discuss how best to proceed in light of new federal guidance. Civil Beat.

House Education Committee Recommends Using CARES Act Funding to Pay Hawaii Teachers. A bill at the state legislature would use the money to pay teachers to avoid furloughs and layoffs, and it has the support of the Hawaii State Teachers Association. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii’s Tax ‘Imbalance’: Would A New State Property Tax Fix It?
Some House lawmakers have hatched a complex plan to export more of Hawaii’s weighty tax burden to non-residents, but it would require an amendment to the Hawaii state Constitution and a huge leap of faith on the part of the voters. Civil Beat.

State to slash general assistance benefits as number of program recipients swells.
A key state benefits program that helps adults who are temporarily disabled and do not qualify for Social Security is being slashed. The state Department of Human Services confirmed Wednesday that the monthly check for the general assistance program will be slashed from $388 to $260 starting in March. Hawaii News Now.

Unemployment benefits start flowing again for many but not all. Those waiting on the second Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation were finally able to file their claims on Monday after more than a month-long delay as the state scrambled to re-implement the federal extension program on its outdated computer system. Hawaii News Now.

Proposal Would Make Information on Inmate Deaths Public. When a Hawaii inmate dies at any of the state's jails or prisons, the state Public Safety Department is required to provide a report to the governor withing 48 hours. A legislative proposal would require that same report be made available to the public and a copy given to the inmates' family. Hawaii Public Radio.

Senate Panel Kills Beef Bill. A Senate committee on Wednesday effectively killed a bill intended to impose operating restrictions on an Idaho rancher who has acquired about 70% of Hawaii’s beef processing capacity. Civil Beat.

Salina Kanai to serve as federal public defender in Hawaii.
Judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit have appointed Salina M. Kanai as the next federal public defender in the District of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

‘NCIS: Hawaii’ appears bound for the isles. A Hawaii spinoff of the popular series based on the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is in the works, but hasn’t been officially greenlit, People.com reported. Star-Advertiser.

Proposal To Protect Pacific Corals Exempts Military Training Areas. A National Marine Fisheries Service proposal to designate 230 square miles of critical habitat for seven threatened coral species in the Pacific Ocean is getting mixed reviews from environmental advocates due to an exemption for military training areas. Civil Beat.

For a second day, Hawaii is unable to report the actual number of new COVID cases.
The state said for a second day lab reporting issues meant it was not clear how many new infections were actually reported. Hawaii News Now.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Feb. 17: 29 New COVID-19 Cases And 1 Death. Low case counts this week are being attributed to a laboratory reporting error. The cases reported Wednesday included one on Hawaii Island, nine on Maui, 16 on Oahu and three residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Former state Senator Laura Thielen is confirmed as city parks director. The Honolulu City Council has confirmed former Hawaii State Senator Laura H. Thielen as director for the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation, which announced her confirmation in a press release this afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu airport businesses seek added protections from state. Airport concessionaires are asking state lawmakers to write into state law the types of relief available to them during the coronavirus pandemic and other emergencies that cause significant economic hardship. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu To Pay $1.9 Million After Bus Shelter Collapsed On Woman’s Legs. The lawsuit said the city should’ve known its bus shelter wasn’t safe. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Police Department ramps up recruitment efforts amid ongoing officer shortage. The Honolulu Police Department is 15% below its full staffing level and has sped up the application process to reduce officer vacancies. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Stadium district redevelopment plan gets divided in 2. A state plan to redevelop the 98-acre site of Aloha Stadium in Halawa with a private partner is now a two-part endeavor. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Measure aims to boost to Banyan Drive. Big Island legislators are backing a proposal to create a redevelopment district to revitalize the Waiakea peninsula and Banyan Drive. Tribune-Herald.

The $160M question: Is upgrading Kealakehe sewer plant to R-1 worth it? Mayor Mitch Roth’s top environmental official is taking a hard look at the advisability of upgrading Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant to produce R-1, the highest grade of recycled water, after the cost of the 20-year-old plan ballooned to $160 million. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui water use plan likely pushed back again. The Maui County Council is mulling whether to again push back the adoption deadline for the Maui Island Water Use Development Plan, a blueprint for protection, management and water use over a 20-year period. Maui News.

With Maui County paying $100,000 per month in rent for office space, the administration of Mayor Michael Victorino is proposing to buy the 6.3-acre Maui News building complex and turn it into county office space. Star-Advertiser.

Talks over hospital wages continue. Maui Health System and the hospital workers’ union have scheduled more negotiating dates as the two sides remain deadlocked over raises for employees, among other issues. Maui News.

Four Visitors Arrested on Maui for Alleged Quarantine Violation. Police say all four arrived on Maui on an O Ľahu flight without a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test and did not have approved lodging in which to complete the mandatory 10-day travel quarantine. Maui Now.  KHON2.

Kauai

SB1286 would make travel program uniform statewide. This bill would restrict the County of Kaua‘i from enacting additional rules to the state’s already established set, like its on-going post-arrival test option to be released from quarantine. Garden Island.

Business rally at Vidinha. More than 200 business owners across the island assembled at Vidinha Stadium’s parking lot on Wednesday to organize their concerns and find a way to send them to the county and state officials in hopes of opening tourism on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.


Friday, November 8, 2019

Navy headed to court on Red Hill fuel tanks, Deedy to be retried for assault, cop killer accomplices sentenced, dog rescued from lava tube, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

In this August 2007 photo, then Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter tours the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility.
PC: Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shawn P. Eklund / U.S. Navy
Sierra Club Sues To Stop Automatic Approval Of Red Hill Fuel Tanks. Department of Health permits are automatically approved if officials don’t take action on them within 180 days. Civil Beat.

In Shift, Navy Says It's Weighing Double-Walled Red Hill Fuel Tanks.  The U.S. Navy is now considering double-wall tanks for its fuel storage in Red Hill and says it will relocate the facility if that upgrade can't be done. Hawaii Public Radio.

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Naval Air Museum intends to fight ‘wrongful eviction’ from Kalaeloa Aiport. At the Naval Air Museum Barbers Point, old military vehicles and aircraft stand at attention waiting on visitors and tour groups that visit the Kalaeloa Airport. Hawaii News Now.

Air museum is being evicted over contract issues. A nonprofit air museum that opened 20 years ago and was built on Naval Air Station Barbers Point’s 57-year history is being evicted from state airport land over long-standing contract issues that led to a running dispute with the state Department of Transportation Airports Division. Star-Advertiser.

Naval Air Museum Barbers Point believes it's wrongfully evicted by the state. The non-profit’s administrators also pushing for discussions with the state towards a solution. KITV.

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A top CEO’s prescription for Hawaii’s tourism-driven economy: It’s time to diversify. Ajay Banga believes investments in Hawaii’s technology sector is important and logical because it does not need geographic proximity to enable success. Hawaii News Now.

Searching For New Ways To Keep Hawaii’s Mentally Ill Out Of Jails And ERs. At a mental health summit Wednesday, the judiciary and state agencies explored options for pre-trial diversions. Civil Beat.

Hawaii School System Convenes First-Ever Data Retreat. School officials and state board members got a deep look at statewide student performance, but some left wanting more. Civil Beat.

Sen. Laura Thielen Won’t Seek Re-Election To Hawaii Senate. Thielen said, “I’m going to end my time as a legislator, and get back to the doing.” Civil Beat.

Oahu

Caldwell reaffirms support for Ala Moana playground. Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Thursday doubled down on his support for a playground at Ala Moana Regional Park, issuing a statement defending the plan and the nonprofit created to find funding for the project. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Backers Of $3M Ala Moana Playground Carry Lots Of Clout. Donors linked to the non-profit group promoting the project have been large campaign contributors to the mayor and many council members. Civil Beat.

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Christopher Deedy can be re-tried but only for assault. Federal agent Christopher Deedy can be tried a third time in connection with a fight that led to the fatal shooting of a local man in Waikiki 8 years ago. KHON2.

State can retry Deedy for assault, court rules. A federal appeals court says the state can take U.S. State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy to trial a third time for the November 2011 shooting death of Kollin Elderts in a Waikiki McDonald’s restaurant, but not for manslaughter. Star-Advertiser.

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Coast Guard Responding To Cargo Ship Oil Spill In Honolulu Harbor. Officials said about 120 gallons of oil have been recovered so far. Civil Beat.

Officials Responding To Oil Spill From Cargo Ship In Hawaii. The U.S. Coast Guard says a cargo ship has spilled oil into Honolulu Harbor. Associated Press.

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Marine Corps wants to put up a retaining wall in Ewa Beach. The Marine Corps shooting range in Ewa Beach is eroding and in order to stop the damage caused by the ocean, it wants to build a retaining wall. KITV.

Sex assault conviction of wrestling coach thrown out by Hawaii Supreme Court in a case that sheds light on polygraph testing. The Hawaii Supreme Court has thrown out the sexual assault conviction of a wrestling coach accused of inappropriately touching the buttocks of a 14-year-old female wrestler at a tournament in 2012 in a case that could have lasting effects. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Guilty verdict reached on 4 counts in Waiki accomplice trial. Guilty verdicts were handed down Thursday for three defendants accused of aiding cop killer Justin Waiki following a six-week trial. West Hawaii Today.

Dirty recycling dooms program. Garbage in, garbage out. Hawaii County’s recycling program fell apart not because of a lack of markets, but because of dirty garbage dumped into the two-bin system, the Hawaii County Council learned Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Koa forest project proposed for ranch land. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources is considering approval of a project that would convert pasture land in Waimea into a koa forest over a span of 50 years. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island businesses ‘somber’ over TMT stalemate at Mauna Kea. Hawaii island’s business community says they’re spooked by what could be an economic warning sign. Hawaii News Now.

Ambient Air Quality Data Website Updated. Kilauea is not erupting and monitoring data have shown no significant changes over the past week, the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Maui police increasing hiring efforts as more vacancies open up. The Maui Police Department is upping their recruitment efforts because their number of vacancies keeps growing each year due to retirements and officers moving. KHON2.

Maui case gets day in high court. U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in Lahaina injection wells caseLawyers on both sides of the longstanding Lahaina injection wells case delivered their oral arguments Wednesday before the U.S. Supreme Court, whose ultimate ruling could determine how the federal Clean Water Act is used to regulate pollution to protected waters. Maui News.

Water Conservation Urged in West Maui Amid Ongoing Dry Conditions. West Maui residents and businesses are being urged to conserve water amid ongoing dry, hot conditions and low surface water flows at treatment facilities in Lahaina and Mahinahina. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kauai police officer accused of domestic abuse. A Kauai police officer is on paid administrative leave following his arrest on suspicion of abuse of a family or household member. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor, others promote walking to school for improved health, learning. About a dozen Kilauea School students, parents, school and public-safety officials joined Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami Thursday along a new route recently created to better guarantee the safety of students walking to school. Garden Island.

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Hawaii botanist rescues pup trapped for six days in 81-foot pit in Kauai forest. When a one-year-old hunting dog named Orange fell 81 feet into a shaft in the Lihue-Koloa Forest Reserve on Kauai, it was a state botanist who came to his rescue. Star-Advertiser.

A dog named Orange beat the odds thanks to a rescuer in orange. A 1-year-old hunting dog named “Orange” fell into 81-foot deep hole in the Koloa section of the Lihue-Koloa Forest Reserve last Saturday. Hawaii News Now.

Botanist Rescues Dog Trapped in 81-Foot Hole on Kaua‘i. A one-year-old Catahoula hunting dog, Orange, fell into the pit last Saturday, Nov. 2. Big Island Now.
Botanist descends 81 feet to rescue dog. The one-year-old Catahoula fell into the pit Saturday. Garden Island.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ige signals veto of social media, Airbnb tax, seven other bills, signs Maui stream diversion bill, Maui's first mayor dies, Djou gets rare union endorsements for Honolulu mayor, Hawaii Island police switching to Glocks, Kauai police files lawsuit, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy office of the governor
Gov. David Ige singles vetoes, courtesy photo
Gov. David Ige said he plans to veto nine bills. Among the nine is a bill that would prohibit employers from accessing or obtaining employees’ social media accounts and passwords. Associated Press.

The Governor today released the list of bills he intends to veto or needs more time to look over. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced Monday that he intends to veto nine bills, including a measure that would allow vacation-rental companies to collect taxes on behalf of the state. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige expects to veto a hotly contested bill that would allow transient accommodations brokers, such as Airbnb, to act as tax collection agents for the state, as well as eight other bills that he’s determined to be legally questionable, fiscally unsound or generally problematic. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Monday he intends to veto a bill that would allow Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and other alternative accommodations companies to act as tax brokers on behalf of the state. Pacific Business News.

Gov. David Ige detailed his "Intent To Veto" list in a press release Monday.  On the list are nine bills. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige notified legislative leaders and key lawmakers Monday that he intends to veto nine bills. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige notified legislative leaders and key lawmakers that nine bills are on the Intent to Veto list. The Hawai‘i State Constitution requires the governor to give notice to the Legislature by Monday’s deadline. Maui Now.

Young Brothers, Hawaii’s largest interisland cargo service provider recently invested tens of millions of dollars in four new tugs — the first to be delivered to the state in 2018 and the fourth by 2019. Garden Island.

Oahu
The city wants 10 additional months to submit to federal transit officials a plan for how it intends to proceed with its increasingly expensive rail project. Star-Advertiser.

Officials overseeing Oahu's billion-dollar rail project have expressed concern in recent months about staffing issues that could potentially delay progress on the rail. Associated Press.

The images of the mural taggers left on the rail cars were jaw dropping not just because they're elaborate... But for the apparent easy access to Honolulu's very expensive train. KITV4.

Rail officials hope the cleanup of a rail car vandalized by graffiti is done by the end of the week. KHON2.

A 1st Circuit Court of Hawaii judge ruled Monday that state Sen. Laura Thielen properly filed her nomination papers for re-election this year. Civil Beat.

Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that the Navy’s plan to secure and prevent future leaks at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility is moving forward and making progress. Star-Advertiser.

Three monitoring wells will be built near where 27,000 gallons of fuel spilled from the U.S. Navy’s Red Hill fuel storage tanks in January 2014. Civil Beat.

In seven months the Hale Mauliola homeless shelter on Sand Island has managed to get 61 individuals into permanent housing, but perhaps the greatest benefit is the lessons learned from the first-of-its-kind project that can be translated to other homeless projects in the future, according to Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu mayoral candidate Charles Djou scored endorsements Monday from five organized labor unions that had backed incumbent Mayor Kirk Caldwell in two previous bids. Star-Advertiser.

Charles Djou’s campaign acknowledged the novelty of the occasion of having received union endorsements in his campaign for Honolulu mayor. After all, the Republican politician had not received labor backing since 2006, and Democrats have historically sided with Democrats. Civil Beat.

The owner of a company that sells Hawaiian-themed souvenirs was sentenced to six months in jail this afternoon and fined $40,000 for smuggling walrus ivory and whale teeth into and out of the country and for importing black coral without a permit. The company, Hawaiian Accessories Inc., was also fined $50,000. Star-Advertiser.

Column: A Rare Chance To Explore Chinatown’s Mysterious Lofts. History is preserved in the apartments and businesses that most people will never see above street level in Honolulu’s Chinatown. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

The Hawaii Police Department is going the way of many federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and exchanging officers’ clunky old Smith &Wessons for sleek, new Glock 9 mm semiautomatic handguns. West Hawaii Today.

The latest lava flow from Kilauea’s Pu‘u ‘O‘o vent has begun to peek over the pali, providing curious onlookers an early glimpse of its glow from Kalapana. Tribune-Herald.

Things just got a lot louder at Kahaluu Beach Park, not to mention safer, thanks to a recently gifted long-distance communication system. The system lets lifeguard messages reach surfers 300 yards away from the north tower. West Hawaii Today.

Construction on the Waimea District Park continues, with the frame of the initial structure visible from Ala Ohia Road. A metal roof in nearly completed on one side of the covered play courts building that can be seen from the southeast side of town, atop exposed beams. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County consumers spent an average of $51,700 per household in 2014, with the bulk of those expenditures falling in three categories: housing, transportation and food. The number is less than both Oahu’s average ($62,280) and the nationwide average ($53,495). Hawaii County spends more on housing and food, but less on transportation as compared to the U.S. average. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Elmer F. Cravalho, who served as speaker of the state House, Maui County chairman and mayor for 12 years, died Monday afternoon under hospice care after a long illness. He was 90 years old. Maui News.

Elmer Cravalho, Maui’s first mayor, has died, county officials confirmed. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige on Monday signed a bill allowing Alexander & Baldwin to continue its more than century-old practice of diverting water from East Maui streams for at least three more years under current lease terms to the jeers of East Maui taro growers and environmentalists. Maui News.

Among the nine bills Gov. David Ige put on his list of potential vetoes Monday is one that aims to help Maui County public hospital employees as the facilities move to become privately operated by Kaiser Permanente. Maui News.

With some using Brexit as a cautionary tale of rushing a vote, dozens of testifiers made their case to a Maui County Council committee on Monday on a new form of county governance, which could be placed on the general election ballot in November depending on what council members decide in the coming weeks. Maui News.

California-based U.S. Realty Partners Inc. said Monday that it has acquired the Lahaina Cannery Mall in West Maui from an affiliate of Safeway for an undisclosed price. Pacific Business News.

Kauai

An assistant chief in the Kauai Police Department is suing the department and Kauai County. The civil court filing by assistant chief Mark Begley claims he was harassed and intimidated for following department procedures after a female officer accused another assistant chief of inappropriate behavior. KHON2.

Salvaging of the Coco Palms property is wrapped up, and demolition has begun. On Monday, heavy demolition equipment took to the 46-acre lot, tearing down the former cottages. Garden Island.

With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump the presumptive presidential nominees for the Democratic and Republican parties, many voters on Kauai have mixed feelings on who they’re supporting to be the next president of the United States. Garden Island.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Train to nowhere: Honolulu rail could stop miles short of destination, Chinese RIMPAC warships on the way, Thirty Meter Telescope hearing today in Hilo, Kauai seeks road repair fund without GET, Schatz wants expanded marine sanctuary, Ige signs CARE Act, other bills, lawsuits challenges Thielen candidacy, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy HART, as edited
HART rail transit map, with edits
With rail facing a more than $1 billion budget hole, Honolulu’s top elected leaders now aim to stop construction four miles and eight stations short of what was planned, leaving crews to build the most challenging, expensive and critical stretch at some future date, if possible. Star-Advertiser.

In an abrupt turnaround, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Thursday he supports cutting the city’s rail line nearly five miles short and stopping the elevated guideway at Middle Street in light of an estimated $1.5 billion budget shortfall and pressure from the feds. Civil Beat.

In a significant shift, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the city must live between "revenue boundaries" and should focus on shortening the rail route so that it ends at Middle Street rather than Ala Moana Center. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is urging the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to hold a public meeting that would consider ending rail at Middle Street, at least for now. KHON2.

Buildings have been knocked down and businesses have moved to make way for the rail. So now that it looks like rail will not make it past Middle Street, businesses that have already been bought out or forced to leave are left wondering what happens now. KHON2.

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A Chinese flotilla participating in the upcoming Rim of the Pacific maritime exercises left port Wednesday and will meet up with two U.S. Navy destroyers for the sail back into Pearl Harbor later this month, the Navy said. Star-Advertiser.

The Governor signed  the so-called Care Act into law, making Hawai'i the 31st state to mandate caregiver requirements for hospitals. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. David Ige Thursday signed Senate Bill 2453 authorizing alternative sentencing for aquatic violations. The new law provides clear legal authority to judges, allowing them to more effectively tailor sentences when aquatics statutes are violated. Associated Press.

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U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz made the proposal to expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument official Thursday in a letter to President Barack Obama. Schatz called for the monument to grow to 582,578 square miles, which would make it the world’s largest marine protected area. Civil Beat.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz on Thursday joined Native Hawaiian groups and environmentalists working to expand Papahanaumo- kuakea Marine National Monument and make it the largest marine sanctuary on Earth. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz is proposing to expand one of the world’s largest marine conservation areas in a way that preserves some fishing grounds for local fishermen. Associated Press.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz threw his support behind the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument Thursday in a proposal sent to President Barack Obama. Garden Island.

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Hawaiian Airlines’ pilots union, claiming that further mediation would be futile in its contract negotiations with the company, has petitioned the federal government to be released from mediation and instead be offered arbitration. Star-Advertiser.

The head of the military agency that searches for and identifies the remains of missing servicemen is resigning after just one year to take over a troubled nonprofit that cares for wounded troops. Associated Press.

Alternate Energy Inc., the Honolulu solar energy company that recently reached a $38,000 settlement with state regulators for allegedly misrepresenting information related to requirements for interconnecting solar energy systems, is blaming Hawaiian Electric Co. for creating the issue, one of its executives told Pacific Business News on Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

A Democratic state senator is the target of a lawsuit that seeks to keep her name off the 2016 election ballot. Sen. Laura Thielen, who represents a district that includes Kailua, Lanikai, Waimanalo and Hawaii Kai, is accused of submitting incomplete nomination papers to the state Office of Elections. Civil Beat.

Djou Challenges Mayor To Call For Return of Honolulu Ethics Director. The mayoral challenger says Chuck Totto’s resignation was “the direct result of political pressure from the administration.” Civil Beat.

Portable toilets, public showers, better coordination between businesses and even a government-sanctioned tent city were among the ideas proposed by lawmakers Thursday to address concerns about a growing — and increasingly hard-core — homeless population in Iwilei. Star-Advertiser.

BIC Tacos will open its second location on June 27 in the former Bistro! Downtown ground-floor space at the Davies Pacific Center office building in Downtown Honolulu, its owner told Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

More than 80 demonstrators waved signs in support of the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hilo on Thursday. This comes just a day before DLNR is scheduled to hold a hearing in Hilo to decide whether or not to allow the telescope to be built atop Mauna Kea, land Native Hawaiians deem sacred. Hawaii News Now.

The management of a charter school on the Big Island faced criticism from the state teachers’ union and state education officials during a State Public Charter School Commission meeting Thursday. Civil Beat.

Ka‘u Learning Academy’s first year of operations was “very challenging” for the school and the state’s Public Charter School Commission, staff monitoring the school’s operations and finances said this week. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Council passed a resolution Wednesday that authorizes the administration to negotiate for the purchase of land at Hakalau Point. Big Island Video News.

Internship program relies on Thirty Meter Telescope: Loss of key contributor would impact aspiring scientists, engineers. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A joint filing with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by the state and the United Public Workers on Wednesday reports "productive discussions" on a possible settlement of a dispute stemming from Kaiser Permanente taking over operations of Maui County public hospitals. Maui News.

Testifiers urged the Maui County Council's Water Resources Committee Wednesday not to go forward with amendments that would revise water allocation standards in the "Show Me the Water" bill and to halt any related action until the water department's Water Use and Development Plan is completed. Maui News.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization will be meeting at 9 a.m. Monday to discuss its purpose and operational document and its budget. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai residents may decide how they want the county to pay for road repair. During the Kauai County Council meeting Wednesday, the council unanimously voted to approve a resolution that proposed putting a County Roads Resurfacing and Reconstruction Backlog Fund on the charter, for residents to vote on in November. Garden Island.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Veto brewing for coffee certification bill, Ellison's Lanai purchase to close today, broadband coming to Molokai settlement, adult education downsized, Honolulu councilman scolded for abuse of power, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kona coffee cherries
Hawaii coffee growers remain divided over legislation that would do away with the state’s mandatory certifications of their coffee. Tribune-Herald.

The future of the state will depend much on the Big Island, particularly with its development of energy and agriculture, Gov. Neil Abercrombie told business leaders in Hilo on Monday. Tribune-Herald.

After reviewing more than 340 measures, Governor Neil Abercrombie today notified the State Legislature of his intent to veto 19 of those bills. Hawaii Reporter.

90 Percent of Hawaii's Incumbents are Running For Reelection. Hawaii Reporter.

Under a restructuring program, the 11 adult education schools across the state will be folded into two. KITV4.

State roundup for June 27. Associated Press.

Oahu

The Honolulu City Council plans no further disciplinary action against Councilman Ikaika Anderson, Chairman Ernie Martin said, after the Ethics Commission publicly scolded Anderson for misusing his office in trying to obtain special parking privileges and threatening retaliation against parking office employees. Star-Advertiser.

Federal special agent Christopher Deedy shot and killed Kollin Elderts at a McDonald's restaurant last year, but only after the Kailua man harassed a customer with racial slurs, assaulted Deedy and tried to grab the agent's gun, Deedy's defense attorney said in papers filed in federal court Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Hopefuls Differ on Big Issues. Civil Beat.

Reapportionment – the redrawing of election boundaries every ten years – almost always results in two incumbent office holders running against each other for the same district seat.   That’s what happened in House District 33 … consisting of the Newtown, Ai’ea and Halawa neighborhoods on O’ahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

The hotly contested primary race between state Sen. Pohai Ryan and challenger Laura Thielen spilled over into a Kailua Neighborhood Board meeting earlier this month. Civil Beat.

More help is on the way for Oahu drivers who are frustrated with the traffic nightmare on the H-1 Freeway. KHON2.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said Tuesday that it has reached an agreement with the City and County of Honolulu on a revised and expanded power-purchase agreement for the utility to buy electricity generated by the H-Power plant in the Campbell Industrial Park in West Oahu. Pacific Business News.

The new expansion at the H-POWER plant will help turn even more smelly trash into cash for the city. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

Gov. Neil Abercrombie will sign a bill today intended to make the Big Island a center for companies and space agencies working to make the moon habitable, a feat long left to the realm of science fiction but coming closer to reality. Tribune-Herald.

If Tuesday’s League of Women Voters of Hawaii County candidates’ forum featuring state Senate District 3 and 4 candidates is any indication, education is emerging as one of the issues that will shape the election season. West Hawaii Today.

Despite recent court orders establishing the county’s ownership of the property and denying Lui’s appeals of those orders, Mayor Billy Kenoi hasn’t ordered Hawaiian activist Abel Simeone Lui evicted, nor has the Hawaii County Police Department or the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office enforced the court’s wishes. The lack of action has some Ka‘u residents wondering whether the inaction is political, particularly as the mayoral primary approaches. West Hawaii Today.

A cattle ranch is teaming up with an investment organization funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar to research large-scale grass-fed beef production on the Big Island. Associated Press.

Maui

Maui Court Nominee Grilled By Senator. Hawaii Reporter.

At least 40 people gathered for an overnight vigil Sunday through Monday to honor the kupuna whose skeletal remains have been discovered and/or removed from the construction site of the Maui Lani Center across from Baldwin High School along Kaahumanu Avenue. Maui News.

Kauai

Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative Board of Directors on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution clarifying the process by which the co-op allows members to not have a smart meter installed. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved the Kilauea Lighthouse Village, an ambitious and controversial 46,800-square-foot mall in the heart of Kilauea Town. Garden Island.

Work on the decommissioning of the Lihu‘e Sugar Mill is on schedule and should be completed by the end of September, said Keith Roylance, the operations manager of NCM Contracting Group, during a monthly meeting providing updates on the decommissioning project. Garden Island.

Lanai

Once Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison owns the island of Lanai, seen here in this 2007 file photo, he would have to ask the Hawaii Land Use Commission for zoning changes for any development that's not already allowed on land zoned for agriculture. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has given interim approval to allowing Larry Ellison, the anticipated soon-to-be-owner of most of Lanai, to take over ownership of the island's three regulated utilities. Maui News.

The Public Utilities Commission has given interim approval for the transfer of three Lana’i utilities (electricity, water, and transportation) from Castle and Cooke to Larry Ellisons’ Oracle Corporation.  This clears the way for the sale of the island to close as scheduled June 27. Hawaii Public Radio.

Molokai

Next month, Kalaupapa residents can expect to receive broadband Internet service for the first time in the settlement’s history. Molokai Dispatch.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hawaii could ban Kona spearfishing, boaters fight licenses, Democrats sue to keep Thielen off the ballot, Pro Bowl returns, Honolulu firefighters fight over mayoral endorsement, bed and breakfasts to be limited on Molokai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ornate butterflyfish (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
West Hawaii’s shores could soon be the first in the state to become off limits to scuba spearfishing. Tribune-Herald.

50 Oahu boaters gathered in Aiea for the first of five public hearings on whether boaters should have a safety certificate or license. But the idea didn't go over well. KHON2.

A proposed rule requiring power boat operators to complete a boating safety course faced fierce opposition Wednesday at a packed meeting at the Hawaii Big Game Fishing Club at Honokohau Harbor. West Hawaii Today.

Laura Thielen
State Democrats have authorized the party to file a legal challenge to prevent Laura Thielen, a director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources under former Gov. Linda Lingle, from running for the state Senate as a Democrat. Star-Advertiser.

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, filed her nomination papers today for the U.S. Senate race. She's taking on former Congressman Ed Case in the primary, and if successful, will be pitted against former Gov. Linda Lingle or former State Senator John Carroll. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii needs to move away from identity politics, says a former Congressman now vying for the Democratic Party’s U.S. Senate nomination. West Hawaii Today.

The National Football League has given its embattled Pro Bowl a one-year reprieve for 2013, challenging its players and Hawaii to demonstrate how the 73-year-old all-star game can be made viable for the future. Star-Advertiser.

The National Football League said Wednesday that the 2013 Pro Bowl will be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, and league officials said they were working with the players to make the game more competitive. Pacific Business News.

Nearly a year after Gov. Neil Abercrombie equated a $4 million fee to keep the NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii to a "bribe," the governor has changed his tune. KITV4.

In 2011, 26 Hawaii non-profits received needed dollars and cents from the NFL Charities Pro Bowl Grant Program. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Honolulu officials abandoned a bus rapid transit system nearly a decade ago after public support waned and a new mayor took office. Civil Beat.

Honolulu's job market is improving, but at a slower pace than in the best-performing mainland cities, according to a report released Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

A rift between organizations representing firefighters and former firefighters widened Wednesday with Honolulu Fire Chief Kenneth Silva joining the finger-pointing. Star-Advertiser.

Firefighter retirees and union membership are at odds over endorsement of Ben Cayetano in Honolulu mayoral race. Civil Beat.

Retired Fire Chief Says Since Political Endorsement of Cayetano for Mayor, He's Received Threats, Retaliation; Current Chief Denies Tie. Hawaii Reporter.

Former teamsters leader Mel Kahele filed papers to run for the Honolulu City Council spot currently held by Tom Berg. KHON2.

The Honolulu Museum of Art received a 346-thousand dollar check from the State today for investing in an energy efficient cooling and ventilation system. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii

The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii is under fire from the state auditor's office for poor management and lack of transparency. Civil Beat.

Administrators restricted access to Kona Community Hospital Wednesday morning after receiving a threat. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A Regional Haze Implementation plan for Hawaii will be the focus of discussion during a public hearing on Maui tomorrow (Thursday, May 31, 2012) hosted by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Maui Now.

South Maui residents worried about extra traffic and potential development blurring the boundary between Kihei and Kahului urged Maui County Council members Monday to resist the inclusion of several hundred acres of land in Puunene in the urban growth boundaries of the draft Maui Island Plan. Maui News.

A meeting tonight in Lahaina called by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will help shape the restoration of Moku'ula, a political and spiritual center of Hawaii and home of ancient chiefs. Maui News.

Governor Neil Abercrombie announced the release of $250,000 for the planning and design of a community center on two acres of land in Nahiku on Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Hanalei Watershed Hui is inviting the public to a  June 6 meeting to address what is going on with Hanalei Bay Watershed. In addition, the hui is reminding the public the Hanalei Watershed Management Plan is ready for review and comment. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i beekeepers could sleep in peace, knowing the Garden Isle is the only major Hawaiian island free of the small hive beetle, a serious pest to honeybees. Until last week. Garden Island.

Molokai

A bill was signed into law last week that establishes new regulations for short-term rentals, also known as transient vacation rentals, in Maui County. Molokai Dispatch.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Improved Waikiki Beach greets Japanese 'Golden Week,' Honolulu sewer moratorium halts development, Oahu travel agent disappears with Arkansas band's money, Molokai group fights undersea cable, Kauai regulates ag solar, Hannemann stumps in Kona, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Waikiki Beach (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Beach users gave good reviews Thursday to the just-completed sand replenishment proj­ect that widened Waikiki Beach from the Duke Kahanamoku statue to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Star-Advertiser.

Riding on three months of strong momentum, Hawaii's tourism industry is already anticipating a healthy summer. Star-Advertiser.

A 27 percent gain in visitors from Japan last month bodes well for this weekend’s start of Golden Week, traditionally a high-volume period for Japa­nese tourists in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

The official at the center of the General Services Administration scandal over a lavish Las Vegas conference was reprimanded in 2011 for appearing in a campaign ad for Sen. Daniel Ino­uye, Roll Call, a Washington, D.C., magazine, reported Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Legislature

State House and Senate negotiators were still working late Thursday to reach an agreement on the state budget, a stalemate that left dozens of bills in limbo ahead of tonight’s procedural deadline to complete work before the legislative session ends. Star-Advertiser.

Passage of the single-most important bill at the Hawaii Legislature is being held up by the single-most controversial bill before lawmakers this session. Civil Beat.

A measure that would bring most of Hawaii's 1,600 mainland-incarcerated prisoners back is nearing key deadlines at the Capitol. The trend is already starting. KHON2.

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

Legislators effectively killed a bill Thursday that would have extended the University of Hawaii's controversial exemption from the state procurement code, a move hailed by some as a victory for government fairness and transparency but which UH lamented as likely to increase construction costs. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers are poised to pass two bills to overhaul the state's charter school system. But the focus has centered more on what the proposed law says charter schools don't have to do than any new requirements or expectations. Civil Beat.

Selling or smoking the synthetic drug "spice" is now a felony in Hawaii. KHON2.

Laura Thielen
Civil Beat has obtained portions of an email exchange between members of the party's State Central Committee conducted between April 10 and April 13 — the latter date just four days before Laura Thielen announced that she would run in the primary without the party's blessing. Civil Beat.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has its first woman president. Hawaii Public Radio.

About 9,000 U.S. Marines stationed on Okinawa will be moved to Hawaii, Guam and other locations in the Asia-Pacific under a U.S.-Japa­nese agreement announced Thursday. Associated Press.

Hawaii is one of only two states where consumers won’t see a piece of an estimated $1.3 billion in rebates from health insurers who spent more on administrative expenses and profits than allowed by the federal health care reform act, according to a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for April 27. Associated Press.

Oahu

The City and County of Honolulu Department of Environmental Services has issued a moratorium on new sewer connections from Halawa to Pearl City. Hawaii News Now.

The state granted owners of the Hale‘iwa Farmers' Market a second extension to vacate the site where they've held the popular weekend event for three years. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi has introduced a bill to amend the historic residential property tax exemption. Hawaii Reporter.

The plastic bag ban is still three years from starting, if Mayor Peter Carlisle approves it, but the movement toward biodegradable bags has already begun. Hawaii News Now.

Public housing getting modern renovations with private help. KITV4.

Nearly four decades since starting a renowned cookie empire, Wally Amos is poised to launch a company using the original recipe that made him Famous Amos. Star-Advertiser.

Officials at Southside High School in Fort Smith, Ark., have contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice after an Oahu travel agent told them via email he had lost $267,500 paid by the school for a summer trip to Waikiki. KITV4.

Hawaii

Mufi Hannemann

A U.S. representative’s job, congressional candidate Mufi Hannemann told Rotarians Thursday, is to advocate first for state residents. West Hawaii Today.

The site of the Big Island’s first geothermal power project may once again be put back to use. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii’s Doppler radars will be shut down, one at a time, beginning in May for upgrades to a next-generation system that will allow for better weather forecasts. Tribune-Herald.

We’ve failed: Hawaii County’s air is the second worst, by county, in the country for annual particle pollution, the American Lung Association says. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The new hearing officer in the case challenging a University of Hawaii telescope project on Maui is also UH president M.R.C. Greenwood's personal attorney. Civil Beat.

Maui Electric Co. is installing new, "smart" power meters that will enable the utility to remotely monitor electricity fed to more than 100 residents taking part in the Maui smart-grid demonstration project. Associated Press.

Maui Electric Co. has begun installing new, "smart" power meters in Maui Meadows, enabling the utility to remotely monitor electricity fed to more than 100 residents taking part in the Maui smart-grid demonstration project. Maui News.

Judge Adrianne Heely
The state Senate confirmed Adrianne Heely on Wednesday as a District Family Court judge for Maui's 2nd Circuit Court. Maui News.

Adrianne Heely has been confirmed as a family court judge on Maui. Associated Press.

Maui Judge Joseph E. Cardoza today was named Chief Judge and Administrative Judge for the Second Circuit Court. Maui Now.

The long-awaited Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport hotel is set to open in June, a month earlier than previously announced. Maui News.

Kauai

After a few deferrals and various amendments, a bill to regulate solar farms on agricultural lands passed a final vote Wednesday by the Kaua‘i County Council, although some council members wanted more time for scrutiny. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution to encourage schools to adopt anti-bullying policies and regulations. Garden Island.

Reid Judson is suing Norberto Garcia and Kaua‘i County for alleged negligence in an officer-involved automobile crash. Garden Island.

Molokai

A high-voltage undersea transmission cable planned for Massachusetts has been killed by one of the nation’s major utilities because it would be a “high-risk” installation, too expensive to construct, with too many severe environmental impacts and too difficult to maintain. Molokai Dispatch.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hawaii teachers fight evaluations, new state securities head has mishandled funds, Kauai councilman fights zoning charge, Cayetano leading polls for Honolulu mayor, Kauai mayor tapping $23M reserves to balance budget, jobless claims drop, Oahu may get Koreatown, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hilo Union School (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
As the state and teachers union resumed negotiations Thursday after months away from the bargaining table, the union raised new concerns about a bill that would require a performance management system for teachers, saying the latest version of the measure “would effectively strip teachers” of collective bargaining rights. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii teachers union and the state returned to the bargaining table Thursday, three months to the day since their last session. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association is up in arms over a bill that would require teachers to be on probation for three years before attaining tenure, and which would afford the state Department of Education the chance to establish a teacher evaluation system. Tribune-Herald.

The newly hired head of the state’s securities enforcement office allegedly defrauded a business associate in 2010 and failed to pay $900,000 in tax and child support debts over the past 10 years, according to public records. Hawaii Reporter.

Laura Thielen
The chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii was warned that a candidate didn't have to have its approval to run for office under the party's banner. Civil Beat.

Just two days after speaking out on the floor of the Hawaii State Senate about Laura Thielen, Sens. Clayton Hee and Pohai Ryan — both Democrats — were at it again Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Republican Fred Hemmings will announce later this month that he is running for the District 25 state Senate seat he held for a decade before retiring in 2010. Civil Beat.

John Waihee thought back to his childhood, when the whole notion of Hawaiian sovereignty wasn't even part of the political conversation. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Health Information Exchange, a nonprofit organization that aims to connect Hawaii's medical providers through electronic health rec­ords, launched a secure direct messaging and patient referral system Thursday in a first step to link the health care industry. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii set another record for gas prices on Thursday, with the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded hitting $4.60, according to AAA Hawaii’s Weekend Gas Watch. Pacific Business News.

The number of initial unemployment claims filed in Hawaii dropped by 25 percent year over year last week, with all four counties showing double-digit declines, the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

In observance of Good Friday, state and city workers will have Friday off. Hawaii News Now.

Ben Cayetano
Former Governor Ben Cayetano is leading in a number of polls in the race for Honolulu Mayor. Hawaii Public Radio.

Three state agencies threw their weight behind the proposed Koa Ridge housing development in Central Oahu at a state Land Use Commission hearing Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Bicycle advocates on Thursday gave city officials a petition with more than 1,000 signatures urging that bicycle lanes be installed along Wai­alae Avenue as part of a major road improvement proj­ect in Kaimuki.Star-Advertiser.

Oahu may get Koreatown. Associated Press.

Lawmakers to hold April 12 hearing on Koreatown designation. Associated Press.

A capital improvement project for Kewalo Basin Harbor valued at $18 million may hinge on a public-private partnership between the Hawaii Community Development Authority and Almar Management Inc. KITV4.

Hawaii
National Marine Fisheries Service revokes a permit to Kampachi Farms for a floating aquaculture project. West Hawaii Today.

Officials of Hawaii Oceanic Technology Inc. said Thursday the company has received a state permit that allows it to move forward with its plan to raise bigeye and yellowfin tuna in open-ocean cages. Star-Advertiser.

Community undaunted by vandalism, committed to replacing trees. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

About 4,700 Maui County public school students could see their bus service ended next school year under a state Department of Education plan to deal with bills currently wending their way through the state Legislature that could lead to significant funding shortfalls. Maui News.

State Land Use Commission members heard the end of testimony Wednesday, including impassioned pleas to protect Native Hawaiian burials, during their review of A&B Properties' plans to develop Wai'ale, a master-planned community on about 545 acres in Central Maui. Maui News.

A public informational meeting about maintenance dredging and pier work at Lahaina Small Boat Harbor will be held Friday at 2 p.m. in the Pioneer Inn Court Yard. Maui News.

The Hawaii State Senate honored the county-based Invasive Species Committees and Dr. Mohsen Ramadan of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture biological control program with a Certificate of Recognition Wednesday. KHON2.

Senator Baker Comments on ‘Vacation Rental Bills’ Controversy. Maui Now.

Kauai

The 5th Circuit Court recused the Office of the Kaua‘i County Prosecuting Attorney from its misdemeanor zoning violation case against county councilman Tim Bynum in 5th Circuit Court on Thursday. Garden Island.

In the next few weeks, Kaua‘i County Council will face the challenge of approving a budget for Fiscal Year 2013, balanced by Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s administration, using $10.75 million from the county’s reserve fund and $12.55 million in forecasted surplus from the current fiscal year. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i County Council had little issue with the County Auditor’s FY2012-13 budget request. Garden Island.