Showing posts with label Mel Rapozo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mel Rapozo. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

State employee furloughs, 46% shipping rate hike, more lock downs in store as Hawaii struggles with coronavirus, school starts with distance learning, downsized RIMPAC kicks off, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
New plans for the Ala Wai. See Oahu news section. ©2020 All Hawaii News
Ige Plans Furloughs For Public Workers Starting In November. The administration also plans to borrow $750 million and defer health fund payments to balance the state budget. Civil Beat.


PUC approves emergency 46% rate increase for Young Brothers. In a decision expected to drive up the already high cost of living on the Neighbor Islands, the Public Utilities Commission on Monday approved a jaw-dropping 46% rate increase for the state’s only inter-island cargo shipping company. Hawaii News Now.

PUC approves emergency 46% rate increase for Young Brothers. The Public Utilities Commission on Monday approved Young Brothers’ emergency request to increase rates by 46% — or $27 million — to keep the company afloat amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. West Hawaii Today.

PUC Okays Young Brothers’ 46% Rate Hike. In a decision issued Monday, the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission approved Young Brothers’ emergency request to increase rates by 46% with several conditions over the next 12 months. Big Island Now.

Young Brothers 46% rate increase approved by PUC. The Public Utilities Commission has approved Young Brother’s emergency request to increase rates by 46% with conditions. KHON2.


More restrictions expected as Gov. David Ige and Mayor Kirk Caldwell plan their next move. Ige said last week he was looking at reestablishing the stay-at-home order and delaying the relaunch of trans-Pacific tourism through a pre-travel testing program, set to begin Sept. 1. Star-Advertiser.

Further COVID-19 restrictions imminent. State officials agree further restrictions on Oahu are necessary to control the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases, but have not yet announced what those restrictions will be. Tribune-Herald.

As number of COVID-19 infections soar on Oahu, state says new restrictions are near. The state on Monday said Oahu residents should prepare for “additional targeted restrictions” as the number of new COVID-19 infections continues to soar. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii Health Director Bruce Anderson back on job after taking a few days off to ‘re-energize’. After taking a few days off last week ”to rest and re-energize,” beleaguered state Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson is back on the job today. Star-Advertiser.

3 key state leaders departing during pandemic. The heads of the state departments of Tax, Human Services, and Labor and Industrial Relations have left Gov. David Ige’s administration just since July while Ige still has two years left in his final term. Star-Advertiser.


COVID-19 committee says case data needed to slow coronavirus surge. Members of the House Select Committee on COVID-19 voiced their frustrations Monday with the state Department of Health’s response to the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

House COVID-19 Committee: ‘We Really Do Need Data’ To Get The Virus Under Control. The blue-ribbon committee of lawmakers and community leaders is pushing for state health officials to release more information and provide more effective public communication. Civil Beat.


Hawaii Office of Elections works to deter mail-in voter fraud with safeguards. Amid the flames of mail-in voter fraud claims being made by President Donald Trump before November’s general election, Hawaii election officials are confident that the process locally will be transparent and fair. KHON2.


DOE Struggles To Get Students The Technology They Need For Online Learning. The department is spending millions of dollars on laptops and mobile hotspots for low-income families but some devices have yet to arrive. Civil Beat.

Only a few teachers opt out of first day back at Hawaii public schools. Monday was the first day for students at public schools across the state, after the coronavirus disrupted their 2019-20 academic year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Public Schools Resume With Anxiety, Excitement of New Year. Hawaii public schools today begin a month of distance learning to kick off the new school year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Many Hawaii students spend first day online as virus surges. The statewide teachers union led an effort to delay the first day for students by two weeks. At the union’s urging, the Hawaii Department of Education later announced most schools would start the first four weeks online. Hawaii News Now.


Scaled Back RIMPAC Launches Amid Pandemic Concerns. The Rim of the Pacific international military exercise, or RIMPAC as its known, is held every two years on land, in the air, and on the seas around the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

Downsized RIMPAC kicks off with COVID-19 precautions. The world’s largest international maritime exercise — otherwise known as RIMPAC — was originally planned to have 30 countries, more than 50 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. Star-Advertiser.

RIMPAC to begin, but will be scaled back and held at sea only. RIMPAC, the world’s largest maritime exercises, begins Monday. But it will be scaled way back and only held at sea off the islands. Hawaii News Now.

RIMPAC begins military exercises in waters off of Hawaii. On Aug. 17, military officials kicked off the world’s largest international maritime exercise here in Hawaii, with some significant modifications. KHON2.

Big military exercise in Hawaii scaled back due to virus. The 27th Rim of the Pacific international military exercise will be considerably smaller than usual primarily. KITV4.


VIRUS TRACKER — Aug. 17: 174 New COVID-19 Cases. Multiple hospital workers at Queen’s hospital Punchbowl are isolating after testing positive for COVID-19. Civil Beat.

The Latest: 174 New Cases; Court Says Some Felony Defendants Can Seek Release. Hawaii Public Radio.


Hawaii Supreme Court OKs expedited release of eligible felons. The Hawaii Supreme Court on Monday issued a new order speeding up a plan to allow eligible felons and those charged with felonies to be released from Oahu Community Correctional Center quickly to help curb the spike in COVID-19 cases at the Kalihi facility. Star-Advertiser.

Court orders release of certain felons as COVID-19 grips state’s largest jail. As the new coronavirus continues to spread through the Oahu Community Correctional Center, the state Supreme Court on Monday ordered the release of certain felons to ease overcrowding at the Kalihi jail. Hawaii News Now.


Colleen Hanabusa Endorses Rick Blangiardi For Honolulu Mayor. The longtime Democrat chose the more conservative Blangiardi over self-proclaimed Democrat Keith Amemiya. Civil Beat.

Hanabusa backs Blangiardi in race for Honolulu’s next mayor. Former mayoral candidate and one-time U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa announced Monday that she was endorsing retired Honolulu television executive Rick Blangiardi for the city’s top job. Hawaii News Now.


Another proposal based off public feedback is suggested for Ala Wai flood control project. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is recommending a new plan for the controversial Ala Wai Flood Control Project. Hawaii News Now.


UH Manoa students move into dorms in the midst of pandemic. Parents and students weigh in on moving into University of Hawaii - Manoa dorms during a pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii students begin moving into residence buildings. At the University of Hawaii at Manoa, students began moving into on-campus housing on Aug. 17. KHON2.

Additional staff test positive for COVID-19 at Hale Nani Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. According to a letter sent to residents and their family members, two more staff members tested positive. KITV4.


Ex-CIA agent living on Oahu accused of spying for China. A former CIA officer who lives in Honolulu was arrested Friday on a charge that he conspired with a relative — who also was a former CIA officer — to communicate classified information up to the Top Secret level to intelligence officials of the People’s Republic of China, the Justice Department said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Former CIA Agent Arrested In Honolulu For Helping China Spy On US. Recordings of meetings obtained by the FBI show Chinese officials paying Ma and another co-conspirator $50,000. Civil Beat.

Media mogul Byron Allen to buy Hawaii ABC affiliate KITV. A division of Allen Media Group and Entertainment Studios announced today that it has signed a purchase agreement to buy KITV from SJL Broadcasting for $30 million. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County Says It Is Seeing Community Spread Of COVID-19. Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense changed its message on COVID-19 on Monday morning, saying that recent cases are not travel related. Big Island Video News.

Hawai‘i County Launches Rent, Mortgage Assistance Program. RMAP nonprofit partners are encouraging Hawai‘i Island residents who are at least 18 years old and lost income or work hours due to COVID-19 to prepare ahead to apply. Big Island Now.

Hilo courthouse security guard tests positive for COVID-19. Employees at the state courthouse in Hilo have been notified that a security guard who worked in the building has tested positive for the coronavirus. Tribune-Herald.

Pandemic suppresses Big Island film industry. Along with nearly every other industry in the state, the Big Island’s motion picture industry has drastically underperformed so far this year. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Mayor Keeps Eye on COVID-19 Case Count, Explores Job Creation. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino says he’ll look at potentially closing beach parks and reinstating other restrictions if the county continues to see double digit new cases over the next few days. Maui Now.

28 MMMC hospital COVID-19 cases; 2 new at Hale Makua. Maui Memorial Medical Center confirmed 28 COVID-19 cases at the hospital as of midday Monday, with the majority being health care workers. Maui News.

Maui Hospital COVID-19 Count Rises to 28. Maui Health confirmed that there are 17 health care workers and 11 patients at Maui Memorial Medical Center who have tested positive for COVID-19. Maui Now.

Kanaha Hotel has another public comment period. Project would build 200-unit hotel near airport, Costco. Maui News.

Police Issue 45 Citations Including Illegal Habitation of Vehicles in Pā‘ia Town. The Department of Housing and Human Concerns is surveying the area to locate campsites at Baldwin Beach Park and at adjacent properties. Maui Now.


Kauai Candidate Councilman Mel Rapozo Took Illegal Contributions, State Commission Says. The Campaign Spending Commission has taken the rare step of referring a case of false name contributions to the Attorney General’s Office. Civil Beat.

Council to workshop housing policy with stakeholders. Tomorrow, the Kaua‘i County Council will have an explanatory workshop to discuss the contentious reform of Ordinance 860, the county’s housing policy from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Garden Island.

Woman arrested for breaking quarantine. Kaua‘i police arrested 51-year-old Shannon Patrick of Longview, Washington on August 13 for violating Hawai‘i’s 14-day quarantine emergency and vehicle rental prohibition rules pertaining to COVID-19. Garden Island.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Pearl Harbor Day ceremonies to go on despite shooting, Board of Education OKs teacher pay raises, Big Islanders fight free Wi-Fi, 21 cattle die on Kauai-bound barge, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy National Parks Service
USS Arizona Memorial PC:U.S. Parks Service
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day commemoration will continue as planned Saturday. The annual commemoration ceremony marking the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor will continue as planned Saturday, three days after a US sailor killed two civilian workers and injured another before killing himself at the US naval base. CNN.

Navy sailor who killed 2 at Pearl Harbor shipyard was facing disciplinary proceeding. The U.S. Navy sailor who fatally shot two at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard on Wednesday and wounded a third was having disciplinary problems at work and had been enrolled in anger management courses, multiple sources confirm. Hawaii News Now.

Many questions hang over Pearl Harbor shooting. The troubled 22-year-old Pearl Harbor sailor identified as shooting three shipyard workers Wednesday and then killing himself may have come from a troubled ship. Star-Advertiser.

Gunman, two victims identified following Pearl Harbor shooting. The gunman and the two victims that died in Wednesday’s shooting incident at Pearl Harbor has been identified. KHON2.

30-year-old Wai'anae man identified as a victim in the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting. One of the two men killed by a US sailor at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard was identified on Thursday as 30-year-old Vincent Kapoi Junior. KITV.


School board approves plan to boost pay for special ed, Hawaiian immersion teachers. The Board of Education voted Thursday to give qualified, licensed teachers in the most critical shortage areas a big pay boost starting Jan. 7 to try to keep them on the job and attract more educators. Star-Advertiser.

BOE OKs pay increase for teachers in hard-to-fill positions. The state Board of Education on Thursday approved a proposal to address Hawaii’s continuing teacher shortage by increasing pay for classroom teachers in areas that have faced the most severe staff shortages. Tribune-Herald.

BOE Passes Teacher Pay Increases 7-2. Educators in specialized fields and hard-to-staff geographical areas are on track to receive extra compensation by January. Big Island Now.


‘One Giant Pediatric Measles Ward’: A Samoan Hospital Is Overwhelmed. Some of Hawaii’s medical team in Samoa are providing care at the hospital, which is strapped for equipment, space and manpower. Civil Beat.

Samoans grateful for Hawaii medical team. An emergency medical team from Hawaii, along with Samoan volunteers and aid workers from other countries, immunized more than 20,000 residents on the first day of a mandatory vaccination campaign. Star-Advertiser.

OHA Trustees Differ Over New Audit’s Analysis. Colette Machado says it confirms the office is moving in the “right direction” but Kelii Akina sees fraud and abuse. Civil Beat.


New HART Analyses Show Millions Of Dollars In Added Rail Costs. The projected costs to complete Honolulu’s 20-mile rail transit system have grown by about $70 million in the past four months, based on the local rail agency’s ongoing analyses of risks to the project. Civil Beat.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell reaffirms support for plastics ban. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell Thursday reaffirmed that he will likely sign a bill approved by the City Council Wednesday that would ban most food-service type, single-use plastics on Oahu by 2022. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Wi-Fi fears: Some don’t want free Wi-Fi at county facilities. Fear of radio wave exposure and a desire not to be around cellphone users inspired more than 50 people to send the County Council testimony opposing free Wi-Fi at county parks and facilities. West Hawaii Today.

Police operations on Mauna Kea are expensive ‘speed trap,’ county chairman says. Hawaii County police stationed on Mauna Kea have issued more than 7,600 traffic citations during the protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope, and a frustrated Hawaii County Council Chairman Aaron Chung is now describing police operations on the mountain as an enormously expensive “speed trap.” Star-Advertiser.

HELCO celebrates 125 years. At the end of the 19th century, Akima Brown Akui began working for the newly founded Hilo Electric Light Company. Tribune-Herald.


Opponents become backers of West Maui development. Pulelehua plan with bump to 500 affordable units hammered out at meeting. The state Land Use Commission on Wednesday credited community engagement with producing an agreement that may finally help move forward a West Maui housing and commercial development project that’s stagnated for more than a decade. Maui News.

PUC contested case hearing underway for Paeahu Solar project. The state consumer advocate Wednesday warned about “pursuing clean energy goals at any cost” and allowing the pursuit of renewables that could leave developers and neighbors “fighting against each other.” Maui News.

New Ban on Maui: Commercial Ocean Recreation Activities Prohibited on Sundays and Holidays. Starting on Jan. 1, 2020, the County of Maui will prohibit Commercial Ocean Recreation Activities at County beach parks on Sundays and holidays. Maui Now.


County hires Mel Rapozo. Former county councilmember Mel Rapozo has been hired as an investigator for the Kauai County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, according to a county spokesperson. Garden Island.

Critics: Deaths of 21 cattle on barge bound for Kauai ‘cruel and inhumane’. State Agriculture Department officials said 21 cattle died while they were being transported on a Young Brothers barge bound for Kauai last month. Hawaii News Now.

Let the healing begin. Teenagers struggling with substance abuse will soon be able to get the treatment they need without leaving the island. Garden Island.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Minimum wage, vacation rental, police disclosure bills die, while red light cameras, hemp, suicide bills advance; Rapozo wants to be Kauai auditor, more than half Maui school not vaccinated, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all right reserved
Ala Wai ©2019 All Hawaii News
Ala Wai Canal: Flood Control Project Will Do Little To Clean Up the Polluted Waterway. Federal engineers could ease the impacts of its plan if it also worked to restore the local ecology, conservationists say. The agency says its hands are tied. Civil Beat.

Minimum Wage Increase Dead For 2019 Session. Concerns about different rates of increase and the impact to employer health care plans scuttled a deal. Civil Beat.

A bill that would have increased the state’s minimum wage from $10.10 an hour to $15 an hour was killed at the last minute Friday. Tribune-Herald.

Lawmakers Shoot Down Airbnb Tax But Agree To Tax Big Real Estate Investments. A groundbreaking bill to collect revenue from real estate investment trusts moves ahead, but a plan to tax vacation rentals falls short. Civil Beat.

A bill that would have collected transient accommodations taxes from vacation rental platforms has died in a tie vote in the state Senate. The 12-12 vote came after impassioned discussion over whether the state should be collecting taxes from illegal vacation rentals without cracking down on them. Hawaii News Now.

It may soon be easier for mental health professionals and the court to force chronically homeless people with severe mental illnesses into treatment. Within hours of a deadline that would have killed the proposal, lawmakers voted unanimously Friday to pass changes to the the state’s Assisted Community Treatment Law. Hawaii News Now.

Red light cameras get green light. A proposed statewide red light detector system will first operate as a pilot program for at least a year. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii gun group aims to sue over ‘red flag’ law. SB 1466 would create a process that police or family members could use to petition Family Court for a protective order to prevent a person from accessing firearms if that person “poses a danger of causing bodily injury” to anyone, including himself or herself. Star-Advertiser.

Why The Police Misconduct Bill Failed To Pass The Legislature — Again. One lawmaker says the bill was too complex to pass this year. But another says the political will still just isn’t there. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Ag Department Likely To Get Hemp Program. Conferees at the Hawaii Legislature on Friday struck agreement on establishing a permanent industrial hemp program in the state’s Department of Agriculture. Civil Beat.

A bill headed to the governor’s desk would, if signed, change the state’s industrial hemp pilot program into a permanent program. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian salt could evaporate under federal ban. The FDA has issued a warning that the color additives used to make red and black Hawaiian salt—clay from Kauai and charcoal—are not approved as safe, thereby rendering the popular gourmet items technically illegal for sale. Star-Advertiser.

Legislature Cuts Size Of UH Regents Board. House Bill 398 will reduce the numbers on the board from 15 to 11 and restructure the distribution of regents on Oahu. Civil Beat.

Legislature Passes Suicide Prevention Bills. The Hawaii State Legislature recently passed two measures to help suicide prevention and awareness efforts. Maui Now.

The spike in measles cases on the mainland is raising concern that the highly infectious and sometimes fatal disease could break out here as well. Star-Advertiser.

State officials worry low vaccination rates in some Hawaii schools may cause health risk. State law requires all students from kindergarten to 12th grade to meet immunization requirements to go to school. KITV.


‘Monster’ house bill would punish builders for lying. A bill that makes it a misdemeanor to lie to a government investigator or inspector during a building inspection won approval from both houses of the state Legislature last week and is now awaiting action from Gov. David Ige. Star-Advertiser.

Mounting city fines don’t deter owner building monster home on steroids. The city has fined the owner of a Kalihi monster home more than $124,000 after he ignored orders to stop building a year and a half ago. Hawaii News Now.

Hirono Urges for Federal Funding to Clear Rape Kit Backlog. On a visit to the Honolulu Police Department Headquarters on Wednesday, Sen. Mazie K. Hirono highlighted the important role of federal funding in helping Hawaii law enforcement clear a backlog of 1,500 untested rape kits statewide. Maui Now.

Get ready for a fare war: Southwest launches inter-island service. Southwest Airlines launched its new inter-island service Sunday, with four round-trip flights between Honolulu and Maui and introductory fares as low as $29. Hawaii News Now.

Southwest inter-island flights take off between Kahului and Honolulu. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Next Round Of Hearings On Mauna Kea Rules Set For June. Another hearing will be held in Hilo and in Waikoloa, as the University of Hawaii invites the public to provide feedback on the latest draft. Big Island Video News.

Big Island to get bomb squad rig. The state recently awarded a $306,947 contract to Rainbow Chevrolet to provide three bomb squad vehicles, one each for Hawaii, Kauai and Maui counties. West Hawaii Today.

A project that would add 111 affordable housing units to West Hawaii is moving closer to reality. The Kaloko Affordable Housing Project upon completion would build out 111 two- and three-bedroom units on 10.75 acres off Hina Lani Street about 2 miles mauka (east) of Ane Keohokalole Highway. West Hawaii Today.

Major mixed-use plan marches forward. A development carrying about 300 residences and more than 200 hotel rooms passed a major milestone earlier this month when the county’s Planning Department determined the $65 million project won’t have significant environmental impacts on the area. West Hawaii Today.

Testing finds extremely high oxybenzone levels at Kahaluu Bay. The Kahaluu Bay Education Center last April commissioned testing to measure bay waters for the presence of oxybenzone, a chemical compound found in sunscreens and known to be harmful to coral ecosystems. West Hawaii Today.

Kalanianaole Avenue improvements continue. Work will widen Kalanianole Avenue from Kanoelehua Avenue to Kuhio Street to allow for a concrete sidewalk on the makai side, a paved shoulder on the mauka side, bicycle lanes in each direction, one through lane in each direction, a shared turn lane and installation of a 12-inch diameter waterline. Tribune-Herald.

Pahoa businesses still struggle while creating new attractions. A year after lava from Kilauea Volcano began shooting out of the ground on May 3, choking off tourism and destroying more than 700 homes, Pahoa town still needs any help it can get. Star-Advertiser.


Number of students exempt from vaccinations growing. Haleakala Waldorf School has highest rate of unvaccinated students in state. Maui News.

More than half of Maui school exempted from vaccination. Hawaii News Now.

Bill to limit tour boats at Molokini sails through Legislature. Boat operators voice support for amended measure. Maui News.

Town hall planned to address control of illegal fireworks. Residents have expressed concern over the increase in violations, impact on people, animals. Maui News.


County moves closer to selecting auditor. The County of Kauai and the County Council have begun the hiring process for a county auditor, according to one applicant, Mel Rapozo. Garden Island.

The National Tropical Botanical Garden has announced that the Limahuli Garden & Preserve will reopen soon. The garden has been closed since the April 2018 flooding which had major impacts on the garden’s infrastructure. Garden Island.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Slew of bills include plastic straw ban, raises for teachers, DUI jail times; Rapoza to run for Kauai mayor, GET hike mulled, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Snorkeler in Hawaii ©2018 All Hawaii News
Years of drownings highlight critical gaps in ocean safety education. Drowning — mostly while snorkeling at beaches with no lifeguards — is the biggest killer of tourists and has been for over a decade. KHON2.

Officials working to get a handle on spate of ocean-related deaths. Ocean safety urged as deaths spike: Over about 2 weeks last month, 9 men died in the waters off Maui. Maui News.

Overwhelming support at an initial hearing for a ban on plastic straws led to tentative approval last week from state lawmakers who were urged to act in a plea from 10-year-old Rylee Brooke Kamahele of Kipapa Elementary School. Star-Advertiser.

State Rep. Gene Ward wanted Gov. David Ige to release “security tapes” from the morning of Jan. 13 when the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency issued a false missile attack alert, but a spokesman for the agency says there are no such audio or video recordings. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige said Saturday he is confident last month’s false alarm about a ballistic missile heading toward Hawaii won’t happen again and he stands by his decision to begin the drills in the first place. Tribune-Herald.

State Rep. Kaniela Ing is proposing a state task force to study whether a government job can be provided for everyone who needs one. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would cap public school class sizes at 20 students and increase the new teacher salary to $55,000 per year. Tribune-Herald.

Private school enrollment shrinks in favor of public charter schools. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Auditor Demands Investigation Into Leak Of OHA Audit. Les Kondo says a release to the media of a draft audit into problems at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs violated state ethics law. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Is An Official Language So Why Isn’t It Used More? The dispute about whether a protester could testify in Hawaiian in court highlights the gap between the state’s two official languages. Civil Beat.

Critics race to stop bill to ban youth runners in long-distance events. Hawaii News Now.

New bill would require all boaters to purchase insurance for their vessels. KITV.

Bill aimed at extending jail time for those convicted of drunk driving. KITV.

A slew of bills focused on revising the state’s medical marijuana dispensary system have been introduced during the 2018 legislative session. Tribune-Herald.

Commentary: When Does Hawaii’s Famous ‘Aloha Kiss’ Become Sexual Harassment? In Hawaii’s hugging culture, it’s hard to tell when the traditional hug and kiss is innocent or inappropriate. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Fascinating to see who’s donated, and how much, to Ige and Hanabusa. Star-Advertiser.

The number of patients visiting the hospital for influenzalike illnesses has been on the rise, and now places Hawaii in the same category as most of the nation for flu activity, according to the state Health Department. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii bankruptcies jumped 8.3 percent in January after finishing 2017 down for the seventh year in a row. Star-Advertiser.


Seniors in a Kakaako housing complex are worried they will end up on the street after receiving notices that their rent is scheduled to go up to $916 per month, a sharp increase from the current monthly rate of $675. Civil Beat.

The FBI is investigating four Honolulu police officers who are accused of forcing a man to place his mouth on a urinal inside a public restroom, according to the police department’s top official. Associated Press.

Kealohas stopping mortgage payments could threaten legal team. Hawaii News Now.

The second of three new Coast Guard cutters to be stationed in Hawaii arrived Sunday, strengthening the capabilities for search and rescue operations around Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Mighty Mo’s $3.5M upper-deck renovation done. Star-Advertiser.

Here’s A Novel Idea To Help The Homeless — Vending Machines. A British charity plans to set up vending machines where homeless people can get items they need to survive on the streets. Civil Beat.

Rents decline in Honolulu, but Zumper, Apartment List reports differ on how much. Pacific Business News.

Officials with Haseko (Hawaii) Inc. intend to appeal a Circuit Court judge’s ruling that ordered the developer of Ocean Pointe and Hoakalei to pay $20 million to homeowners because of the company’s decision to change the plan from a marina to a recreational lagoon at the resort community in Ewa Beach. Pacific Business News.

Spectrum Hawaii, formerly Oceanic Time Warner, will shuffle the channel lineup as part of its plan to switch its signal from analog to digital. It says that switch result in increased broadband speeds and more HD channels. But local station Olelo may be left out in the cold. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

GET hike coming to council. Are smoother roads and better buses worth an extra half-penny at the register? West Hawaii Today.

Challengers in two key state legislative races are literally giving incumbents a run for the money, according to reports filed with the state Campaign Spending Commission. West Hawaii Today.

A bill to fund lifeguards at a popular, yet perilous, North Kona beach passed its first reading in the state House. West Hawaii Today.


Upholding a lower court decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a Lahaina sewage treatment plant is violating the U.S. Clean Water Act by allowing wastewater to reach the ocean. Star-Advertiser.

Invasive species officials estimate that 2 to 3 acres in Kaeleku in East Maui are infested with little fire ants and treatments of the area will be ongoing for a little over a year. Maui News.

During the first half of fiscal year 2018, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development issued nearly $6 million dollars in grant monies to various local organizations. Maui Now.

A proposed 67 percent fee increase from $30 to $50 for annual passes for three Hawaii national parks, including Haleakala National Park, will be reviewed during a Feb. 12 public hearing in Pukalani. Maui News.


Mel Rapozo files for mayoral run. Garden Island.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative announced Friday that the board has put money toward environmental studies for the Blue Hole and Waikoko diversions, which support the cooperative’s request for a long-term lease for the two diversions. Garden Island.

County officials are reminding Kauai property owners that the second installment of real property taxes for the 2017-18 tax year are due on Feb. 20. Garden Island.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Thirty Meter Telescope could influence governor's race, Trump travel ban hurts convention business, GET surcharge one hot potato, Arakawa seeks to fire water director, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Crowds at Daniel K. Inouye Honolulu International Airport © 2017 All Hawaii News
State economists have ratcheted up their expectations for Hawaii’s economy on the heels of a stronger-than-expected tourism market, increased air seats and a record-low unemployment rate. Star-Advertiser.

TMT controversy likely to figure in race for governor. Just months after taking office, Gov. David Ige found himself caught in the undertow of the fierce dispute over the Thirty Meter Telescope, a $1.4 billion project with determined supporters and fervent opponents.Star-Advertiser.

Hanabusa says UH had deal to clear way for telescope. U.S. Rep. Colleen Hana­busa said state lawmakers believed they had a “deal” with unnamed community members in 2010 that would clear the way for the Thirty Meter Telescope if the Legislature agreed to fund construction of the College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin is joining the growing field of local political figures who plan to run in the Democratic primary next year for the congressional seat representing urban Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin plans to run in the Democratic primary next year for the congressional seat representing urban Honolulu. Associated Press.

Trump travel ban, N. Korean threat erode convention center earnings. Travel ban woes lost the center its bid for the 2025 International Union for Nutritional Science, which went to Paris, and for Women Deliver 2018, which went to Canada, along with an electrical engineering conference slated for 2018 and an international medical association conference that would have come to Hawaii in 2022. Star-Advertiser.

Fight Over Trump Travel Restrictions Back To Appeals Courts. Hawaii’s challenge goes before a three-judge panel in Seattle on Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Democracy In Hawaii Needs A Tuneup — Here Are Some Tools To Do It. Government officials can do more to encourage public participation — and citizens need to stay engaged, conference participants say. Civil Beat.

HSTA Responds to Criticism of Public Unions. The President of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, Corey Rosenlee, responds to a recent interview on The Conversation that made the case for weakening public sector unions. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Last Wild Place. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is one of the most remote places on Earth. Now it’s threatened by climate change, pollution and politics. Civil Beat.

Navy, coral, whales topics of Wednesday Oahu meeting. Two councils will be jointly meeting to discuss coral, whales and their ecosystems in Honolulu on Wednesday. Garden Island.

Kamehameha therapist accused of abuse was respected member of society. Star-Advertiser.

UH Graduate Students Say GOP Tax Plan Could Derail Their Education. Many are already financially strapped, and one Republican proposal would increase their tax liability by thousands of dollars. Civil Beat.


Public forum to address future of Waikiki beaches. The erosion at Kuhio Beach, made worse by summer’s king tides and elevated sea levels, is the worst it’s been in a decade, said Dolan Eversole, a scientist for the University of Hawaii Sea Grant Program, who coordinates the Waikiki Beach Special District Improvement Association. Star-Advertiser.

Release of 70 rescued shearwaters launches Oahu Seabird Aid Program. The Hawaii Wildlife Center, based in Kapaau on Hawaii island, brought its rescue van to Oahu as part of the pilot, three-week Oahu Seabird Aid Program, which is here until Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Complications halt attempt to remove grounded boat. The Pacific Paradise is a-bobbing but still not a-budging from the Waikiki reef on which it has been stranded for more than seven weeks. Star-Advertiser.

'Pacific Paradise' isn't moving anytime soon. Coast Guard officials called off removal operations for the grounded fishing boat near Waikiki — yet again — on Sunday. Hawaii News Now.

Grounded fishing boat still stuck off Waikiki beach. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Time is running out for the County Council to consider a general excise tax surcharge granted by the state Legislature during its special session earlier this year. West Hawaii Today.

Federal regulators will give parts of Pohakuloa Training Area’s radiation monitoring plan another look in response to a petition from a Hawaii Island resident. Tribune-Herald.

With no public hearing scheduled for the U.S. Army Garrison Pohakuloa's draft Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan, the people decided to hold their own. Big Island Video News.

Big Island Dairy to process its own milk, bypassing Meadow Gold. Hawaii consumers can soon expect to see a new brand of local milk, and for the first time in a long time it will be direct from a major dairy. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii County is looking to acquire land for a wastewater treatment plant in Pahala through eminent domain. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island has a greater shortage of infant and toddler care options than anywhere else in the state, according to a report by the University of Hawaii Center on the Family. Tribune-Herald.

The Department of Health confirmed six more cases of mumps in Hawaii County in the past week as the outbreak of the virus continues across the state. West Hawaii Today.

NOAA symposium in West Hawaii creates space where marine science, management converge. West Hawaii Today.


County Department of Water Supply workers and members of the community urged Maui County Council members to retain Water Director Dave Taylor, despite Mayor Alan Arakawa calling for his ouster. Maui News.

Tour of East Maui Irrigation ditch system draws just 1 commissioner. Seven-member state panel will decide how much water to restore to taro farmers, residents after the closing of Maui’s sugar plantation. Maui News.

Na Wai Eha stream flow standards proposed. Exceptions to hearings officer’s report for Maui rivers due Jan. 5 to the state water commission. Maui News.

Kahului Elementary School students will be returning to school Monday with needed repairs completed and temporary arrangements made to accommodate the 137 students displaced by a suspicious fire that damaged six classrooms Nov. 24. Maui News.

Kahului Elementary School students to return Monday. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii’s Marijuana Scene Takes Center Stage At Kauai Conference. Politicians and industry reps attend the event in Poipu, where visitors wonder why the islands haven’t legalized recreational use. Civil Beat.

Mayoral candidates attend trade expo. The three current candidates for Kauai mayor — Derek Kawakami, Lenny Rapozo and Mel Rapozo — will be guest speakers at the Kauai Board of Realtor’s annual Christmas meeting on Thursday at the Kauai Marriott Beach and Resort Club. Garden Island.

Monday, May 23, 2016

National Park fees increase, Hawaii GOP convention exposes schism over Trump, Honolulu charter amendment could erase neighborhood boards, state and federal lawmakers fight homelessness, Kauai's Rapozo seeks 7th term, unemployment rate drops, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park lava glow © 2016 All Hawaii News
Beginning June 1, daily entrance fees at all national parks in Hawaii, including Haleakala National Park and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, will increase. Star-Advertiser.

Flush with an extra $3 million it never requested to address island homelessness, Gov. David Ige’s administration is being pressured to better coordinate the state’s homeless efforts as impatient legislators await progress. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Senate has approved an appropriations bill that includes “additional money for homelessness and affordable housing programs which will help Hawaii, Sen. Brian Schatz said in a statement Friday. Civil Beat.

Officials say a staff shortage in the state’s Child Welfare Services agency has resulted in social workers juggling twice as many as cases of child abuse and neglect as they should. Associated Press.

A large banner reading “Defeat Hillary, Vote Trump!” expressed the sentiments of many of the several hundred people who attended Hawaii’s Republican state convention Saturday at the Filipino Community Center’s Casamina Flores Ballroom in Waipahu. But not every local Republican backs the New York businessman-turned-politician, and that led to turmoil when state Rep. Beth Fukumoto Chang took the stage. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers were reluctant again this year to strengthen the state ethics code or to tighten the rules lobbyists must follow. The Hawaii State Ethics Commission tracked more than 16 bills related to ethics and lobbying this past legislative session, which ended May 5. Each and every one died, many without so much as a public hearing. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.2 percent, seasonally adjusted, in April, from 3.8 percent during the same month last year, as the state’s labor force grew to nearly 690,000, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Pacific Business News.

The most ethnically diverse state in the country, Hawaii also has the highest proportion of non-English speakers. Tribune-Herald.

President Barack Obama on Friday joined the chorus of public officials honoring Hawaii Congressman Mark Takai, who announced Thursday he will not seek re-election but instead focus on his battle with cancer. Civil Beat.

The national retail chain Sports Authority has thanked all its loyalty members and said that “it is with great sadness” that it’s closing the program on Wednesday, May 25. KHON2.


The Honolulu Charter Commission might ask Oahu voters to consider eliminating neighborhood boards, using the money saved to fund other means of increasing civic participation. Star-Advertiser.

About a month after the Attorney General's office's charities division opened a civil investigation into questionable spending by the Bishop Museum's former CEO, Hawaii  News Now has learned that the AG's office has launched a separate criminal probe. Multiple sources tell us that the museum is cooperating with the criminal investigation and has handed over a number of documents relating to its former president Blair Collis' use of his museum credit card.

Even though the city and state have been teaming up to clear out the persistent Kakaako homeless encampment, one member of the board that oversees the waterfront parks says the population is growing to dangerous levels. Star-Advertiser.

Two lesbians who were arrested by a Honolulu police officer after he saw them hugging and kissing in a North Shore grocery store were recently awarded $80,000 to resolve a lawsuit they filed last October. Civil Beat.

Plans to redevelop a key section of Haleiwa town won approval from the City Council Zoning and Planning Committee on Thursday, despite opposition from the North Shore Outdoor Circle and others worried it might harm an adjacent Hawaiian fishpond. Star-Advertiser.


The telescopes atop Mauna Kea help support a local science and technology industry. But could they also attract more manufacturing jobs? A feasibility study by Hawaii’s High Technology Development Corporation will try to find out. Tribune-Herald.

Not all Native Hawaiians oppose construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea, a group of community leaders said Friday. The group has formed the nonprofit Perpetuating Unique Educational Opportunities Inc. — known by its acronym PUEO, for the endemic owl of Hawaiian myth and legend — and has filed a motion to intervene in the contested case currently underway. West Hawaii Today.

Kalani Flores, an appellant in the Thirty Meter Telescope court case, made his case in opposition to new rules that will regulate cultural practices on Mauna Kea. Big Island Video News.

For several years, a small office in the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism has been pursuing a spaceport certification for Kona International Airport, which would make it one of the few hubs for proposed commercial flights into suborbit. Tribune-Herald.

Two firefighters who claim they were stripped of their badges by Fire Chief Darren Rosario for publicly criticizing him are suing the chief and the county. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island farmers in line for permits to begin experimental industrial hemp production say the crop could be a major boon for agriculture. West Hawaii Today.

Sayonara, Japanese? Despite dramatic decrease of speakers in Hawaii, some vow to keep it alive. Tribune-Herald.


Hawaii’s attorney general has asked a federal appeals court to lift or modify an injunction halting the transfer of three state-owned hospitals in Maui County to private control under Kaiser Permanente, saying the time frame does not allow the state to reverse course and run the facilities as public hospitals. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii's attorney general is asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift or change an order issued Tuesday that suspended work to transfer Maui County's three public hospitals from the state to Maui Health Systems, a subsidiary of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. Maui News.

The Maui County Council passed the fiscal year 2017 budget on first reading Friday, with changes that included eliminating biodiesel fuel taxes and reappropriating housing funds originally targeted for photovoltaic systems. Maui News.

Hawaiian Homes broke ground to celebrate the beginning of construction for the first phase of the Keokea-Waiohuli subdivision in Kula on Thursday. The subdivision will be the future home for 46 Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries and their families. Hawaii News Now.

"The Last Harvest" is a series chronicling the various aspects of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.'s final harvest as it shuts down at the end of the year after a 145-year run. The shutdown of HC&S represents the end of sugar in Hawaii. The installments will run periodically throughout the year. Maui News.


Keeping the administration in check, maintaining the budget and fighting for the safety of hard-working families is what Mel Rapozo wants do to if elected to a new term on the Kauai County Council. Garden Island.

Over the decades, Mother Nature has been pretty tenacious about breaking down the three bridges that cross Wainiha Stream on Kuhio Highway. Once again, there’s talk about replacing them. Garden Island.

Construction of a beachfront timeshare slated to be built on the Eastside is expected to begin in the fall.Coconut Beach Resort, owned by Symmetry Property Development and SPD II Makaiwa Development Resort Development LLC, will begin construction of its 330-unit resort in the Coconut Plantation Resort Area in Kapaa in September. Garden Island.

Dozens of people waved signs along Kuhio Highway in Kapaa Saturday, supporting organic farming and condemning genetically engineered food. The rally was part of the global March Against Monsanto event. Garden Island.