Showing posts with label Michelle Obama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michelle Obama. Show all posts

Thursday, February 17, 2022

State Capitol to reopen to the public soon, public schools continue mask mandate, Michelle Obama holds girls' roundtable, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii state Capitol ©2022 All Hawaii News

State House, Senate clash over when to reopen Capitol building to the public. Lawmakers Plan To Reopen Hawaii State Capitol To The Public On March 7. The House also intends to create a panel to review existing laws and propose ethics and campaign finance reforms. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s effort to lower the impaired driving limit is bolstered by a federal report. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing Friday on Senate Bill 2096, which would drop the threshold for the crime of “operating a vehicle under the influence on an intoxicant” to a blood alcohol concentration of .05 grams per deciliter, down from the current standard of .08 g/dL. Star-Advertiser.

President Joe Biden granted Hawaiʻi’s request Tuesday for a disaster declaration
in the wake of severe storms that tore through parts of the state late last year. Biden approves federal disaster declaration in wake of severe December storm. A powerful Kona low weather system brought heavy rains, flooding, high winds and landslides to the state in December. Hawaii Public Radio.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama leads roundtable in Hawaii with 8 girls from Oahu. Former First Lady Michelle Obama met with eight girls from Oahu for a roundtable conversation on Tuesday to learn more about their future aspirations and career goals. It was part of the first-ever Girls Opportunity Alliance roundtable discussion in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Despite changing policies elsewhere, Hawaii public schools are sticking to mask mandate. School districts around the country are dropping mask requirements. But Hawaii’s Education Department said there are no plans to change their masking policies. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii records 12 new coronavirus-related deaths, 203 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count includes 153 new cases on Oahu, four on Hawaii Island, 28 on Maui, nine on Kauai and nine Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Ethics Commission Rules Out Gift Disclosure For City Employees. However, the ethics commission is planning to propose that the Honolulu City Council consider lowering the cap on the value of gifts to $25. Civil Beat.

Killing in front of Kapolei police station sparks outrage.
A schizophrenic man with a lengthy arrest record allegedly beat a 48-year-old woman to death with a tree trunk in front of the Kapolei police station Tuesday evening, shortly after he was released pending investigation for attacking a police officer. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

HPD Chief Disputes ‘Inaccurate’ SHOPO Patrol Staffing Criticism. Honolulu Police Department Interim Chief Rade Vanic pushed back Wednesday against what he described as false claims by the state’s police union that the department is endangering Oahu residents by failing to staff enough police patrols. Civil Beat.

HART board appointees declined to sign a confidentiality agreement that calls for ‘criminal penalties’ for violating the pact. Two members of the board that oversees the city’s troubled rail project have declined to sign a new confidentiality agreement that calls for “criminal penalties” for violating the agreement. Star-Advertiser.

Condominium owners request more time from City Council to comply with fire safety codes. Condominium owners are asking for more time and more oversight from the Honolulu City Council to comply with a law that requires them to install fire sprinklers or pass a life-safety evaluation test. Star-Advertiser.

Olomana Trail is one of Oahu’s most popular hikes. It’s also one of the most treacherous. The thrill of hiking to Oahu’s steepest peaks entices thousands to Olomana Trail. But many people who decide to make the trek have no idea what the hike entails. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Concerns over axed eco-resort at Hilo beach spark community engagement discussions. Plans have been axed for a proposed 36-unit luxury eco-resort fronting a popular Hilo beach on Hawaiʻi Island. Concerns over shoreline development near Chock’s Beach in Keaukaha are prompting discussions by residents in this small coastal community. Hawaii Public Radio.

Neighbors of Kona Brush Fire Say Homeless Camps Reason for Recent String of Blazes. Neighbors of the brush fire Wednesday in Kailua-Kona that closed two highways and evacuated multiple subdivisions said there have been several brush fires in the area recently that they believe are started in the nearby homeless camps that go unchecked. Big Island Now.

COVID-19 infections plummet: Four Big Island cases reported Wednesday, down from a high of 834 a month ago. New COVID-19 cases on the Big Island dropped to the single digits Wednesday for the first time since December as the omicron surge continues to weaken. Tribune-Herald.

Charges against BJ Penn dropped.
The state has dropped charges of DUI and reckless driving against former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn. Tribune-Herald.


752-unit affordable housing project proposed in Waiehu. A 752-unit, 100-percent affordable housing project proposed in Waiehu could use roundabouts to calm traffic, include a transit center and be designed to fit the character of the area, the Maui Planning Commission recently suggested. Maui News.

Preliminary work announced for Kahekili Highway slope repair project. Topographic survey work and drilling of soil test borings for the Kahekili Highway slope repair project is now scheduled for Feb. 28 through March 9, 2022, in Kahakuloa. Maui Now.

Feds Propose Lifeline For 44 Endangered Species In Maui County. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a draft recovery plan for imperiled plants and animals on Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Civil Beat.


KFD urges hiker safety, nine rescues in 2022.  In the wake of several rescues, the Kaua‘i Fire Department has taken to social media to advise the public about the dangers of hiking. Garden Island.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

10K Hawaii restaurants inspected, Michelle Obama dreaming of a Hawaii Christmas, ivory sale ban sought, Honolulu pCards curbed, woman dies trying to smuggle meth into Maui in her vagina, Kauai looks at raising general excise tax, ethics on the Big Island, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Green pass on Hilo restaurant © 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii’s 18-month-old, color-coded food establishment inspection program temporarily shuttered three businesses and ordered them, along with 2,102 others, to fix multiple “critical violations” — but now all are back up and open for business, the state Department of Health’s Sanitation Branch announced Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Health recently completed inspections of virtually all of Hawaii’s more than 10,000 food establishments statewide to ensure they are in compliance with the rules of the state’s food safety code. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii State Department of Health Sanitation Branch has completed 10,000 inspections on food establishments statewide. Hawaii News Now.

Michelle Obama is marking the days off the calendar for her favorite holiday tradition: traveling with family and friends to Hawaii. The first lady said the family trip to President Barack Obama’s home state dates back more than two decades. Associated Press.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige reiterated his stance on liquefied natural gas, saying that shipping in this type of fuel as a replacement for oil for power generation in Hawaii is an unnecessary diversion of resources, and that the focus should be entirely on renewable energy investments. Pacific Business News.

One of NextEra Energy Inc.’s primary consultants helping the Florida energy giant secure approval for its proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co. charges between $650 to $700 per hour for consulting services during the past five years. Pacific Business News.

It’s big. It’s bold. And it faces an uphill battle in a Legislature known for being fiscally conservative — especially in election years. The Hawaii State Teachers Association’s recent proposal to raise the state’s general excise tax to fund a broad swath of education reforms is also the kind of dramatic action that new union leaders promised when they won the union election last summer in an upset over more experienced and entrenched union leadership. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers are expected to push for a statewide ban on the sale of ivory when the legislative session begins in January, in an effort to help curb the illegal slaughter of elephants in Africa. Star-Advertiser.

The 2016 legislative session is a little more than one month away and a number of lawmakers say homelessness will likely take center stage. But other issues will be considered again next year, including banning ivory sales in Hawai’i. Hawaii Public Radio.

On Monday, the Humane Society of the United States held a forum at the state Capitol to talk to lawmakers about passing a prohibition during the 2016 legislative session on the sale of ivory. Civil Beat.

The state's Land Board has approved a request to provide additional assault rifles and shotguns to conservation officers. Hawaii News Now.

Margaret “Peggy” Leong has spent the last eight and a half years working as a parish administrator at St. John Vianney Parish in Kailua. But for the past two weeks, Leong has had a very different job: Taking the reins of Hawaii’s newly minted medical marijuana dispensary program at the state Department of Health. Civil Beat.


The Honolulu City Council is considering a proposal that would expand the definition of taxicabs and taxi companies to include Uber and Lyft. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council members no longer will be able to use city-issued purchase cards to pay for travel and travel-related expenses under a “precautionary” policy change announced by Council Chairman Ernie Martin last week. Star-Advertiser.

Editorial: The whole local-government “pCards” chronicle provides an excellent illustration for the expression, “You can have too much of a good thing.” Star-Advertiser.

In an exclusive interview, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he's tried and failed to convince the police chief to speak publicly about the FBI investigation into him. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation opened a newly dedicated roadway Monday that it said that will “facilitate the efficient movement of goods through Honolulu Port facilities, while easing congestion on surface streets for the public.” Civil Beat.

Homeowners: Among the Christmas cards and holiday packages, expect to get something sobering in the mail this week. The city has started sending out real property assessments for 2016, and – no surprise – they’re higher than in 2015. Hawaii News Now.

Property values on Oahu are on the rise. So, what does that mean for property owners? KHON2.

Three Kaiser High School graduates are working to overcome voter apathy and get their classmates at the University of Hawaii more involved in solving local and global issues, starting with getting them to vote. Star-Advertiser.


In an unexpected move, the County Council on Monday breathed new life into a bill aiming to enlarge the county Board of Ethics. West Hawaii Today.

Measures limiting lifeguards’ liability, giving counties more authority to regulate vacation rentals, loosening the Sunshine Law and requiring safety checks for mopeds are among a package of seven proposals approved by the County Council on Monday to be sent to the state Legislature. West Hawaii Today.

Chad Keone Farias, Ka‘u-Keaau-Pahoa complex area superintendent, said he and others worked during the weekend to try to get a handle on a spate of fighting and arrests on campus, meeting with police, state Department of Education psychologists and counselors and state Department of Health professionals. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Department of Health is reporting three more cases of locally acquired dengue fever on Hawaii Island. As of Monday, December 14, state officials say there have been 149 confirmed dengue fever cases identified, an increase of 3 cases from the previous Friday. Big Island Video News.

The state Department of Transportation will discuss proposed improvements to the Hana Pier during a public meeting at Helene Hall on Thursday. Maui News.

Kahului Airport restrooms get a new look. The airport began to upgrade the 21-year-old facilities around two years ago. Maui News.

A woman accused of trying to smuggle meth into Maui is caught by police in California then later dies. But it wasn't your average drug bust. Police discovered the California resident hid the drugs in her vagina. Hawaii News Now.

On a calm February day off the coast of Maui, whale researcher Jim Darling cut the engine on his boat, dipped an underwater microphone into the ocean and caught a sound he'd never heard before in 30 years of research. Scientists report new sound that could be coming from humpbacks. Maui News.


The cost of your plate lunch could be on the rise, as well as many other daily purchases, if a proposed one-half percent increase to the general excise tax passes through the county’s chain of command. The issue arose this year after the state Legislature granted counties the right to establish a one-half percent surcharge on the GET. Counties have until July 1 to enact an ordinance that would increase the tax from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2027. Garden Island.

The FAA announced Monday it will require that aircraft, including drones, be registered to make it easier to identify owners and educate amateur aviators. Operating a drone is kind of scary, but it is fun said Kasey Nakashima, a Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School student, Monday. Garden Island.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Abercrombie pushes pre-K plan, state seeks taxes on online travel companies, Kauai beach among nation's most secret nude beaches, Honolulu school accused of breaking into Department of Education computers, Michelle Obama's visit disrupts Maui neighbors, county tax assessors evaluating own properties, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii preschoolers (c) 2014 All Hawaii News
Gov. Neil Abercrombie says he's confident lawmakers will back his administration's plan to fund public pre-kindergarten classes in the coming school year -- an important first step toward launching a comprehensive early childhood learning system that could eventually include partnering with private preschool providers to serve all of the state's 4-year-olds. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie says revised projections showing slower tax growth than originally anticipated are OK for his budget plans for the next fiscal year. Abercrombie said Wednesday that a supplemental budget submitted to the Legislature can accommodate revenue fluctuations and even slight declines. Associated Press.

Hawaii is facing serious threats from new alien species, state Health Department officials warned lawmakers Wednesday, saying more financial support and coordinated focus is necessary to stem an invasion of harmful insects capable of causing billions in economic losses. Star-Advertiser.

More than half of Hawaii’s uninsured are eligible for Medicaid, thanks to the state’s decision to expand the program under the Affordable Care Act. That’s according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Hawaii Public Radio.

After slapping the nation's largest online tour companies with a $750 million bill for back taxes, the state says the companies owe another $40 million. State Tax Court filings indicate that, Expedia and eight other Internet travel providers booked tens of millions of dollars in rental car business but paid no taxes on them. Hawaii News Now.

The US Navy has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment seeking approval to relocate a drone squadron from California to Hawaiʻi. The Marine Unmanned Aerial Squadron Three is currently stationed at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California. Maui Now.


Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Wednesday that his administration is committed to reaching a land preservation agreement with Turtle Bay Resort this year. The governor has asked state lawmakers for $40 million in general obligation bond money for a conservation easement that would be used to protect 610 acres near Kawela Bay and Kahuku Point from development. Star-Advertiser.

As the University of Hawaii begins tackling its $487 million repair and maintenance backlog, officials are bracing themselves for the surge in construction work at UH Manoa and what that means for students and faculty who will have to contend with significantly less classroom and office space on a campus that’s already bursting at the seams. Civil Beat.

The state attorney general said in court documents that the principal, elementary school vice principal and school secretary at Myron B. Thompson Academy likely accessed the state Department of Education's computer system to change employee attendance records to match false changes they made to the school's paper records. Star-Advertiser.

Attorneys for the city will continue to offer advice on ethics policies to city officials and employees despite concerns that doing so encroaches on the role of the Ethics Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Finding the City's Flow: Why Honolulu's Traffic Goes Against the Grain. Civil Beat.

2 tenants fret 2 different outcomes of potential sale of city rental units. One resident might have to move if the deal is completed, and the other fears her unit will not be improved if the deal collapses. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii agency in charge of overseeing the redevelopment of Kakaako on Wednesday approved another condominium project — 803 Waimanu St. — for Oahu’s so called Third City. Pacific Business News.

It took two redesigns and reducing the building's height by 20 stories, but developer Franco Mola finally got the OK from a state agency to put up a condominium at 803 Waimanu St. in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

Monday’s agreement by city officials and representatives of Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners LLC to continue negotiations on a $142 million sale of the lease interest in 12 city affordable complexes was contingent on the city’s willingness to discuss the possibility of “seller financing” to help the buyers. City officials on Wednesday said they are considering the possibility of allowing the group to hold off paying on a portion of the sale price to the city, and emphasized they are not looking at lending the buyer any money, or allowing the partners to leverage the city’s credit to gain financing. Star-Advertiser.


The county Finance Department violated the ethics code when it allowed staff appraisers to set the tax value of their own property, the Board of Ethics said Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

The Big Isle’s construction industry is back in business. “Things are picking up for sure,” Brian Ninomoto, president of the Hawaii Island Contractors Association, said. Tribune-Herald.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
(c) 2014 All Hawaii News
East Hawaii’s tourism industry could feel a slight pinch with the Port of Hilo reporting a decrease in the number of visits scheduled by passenger cruise ships in the coming year. Tribune-Herald.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is looking to impose the maximum civil fine of $2,500 against a Captain Cook man for allegedly conducting illegal commercial activity at Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park. Officers with the DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement went undercover in November to investigate unpermitted rentals of kayaks and other equipment at the popular bay known for its calm waters and teeming marine life. Big Island Now.

A Kona Bay Estates resident is looking to construct a new swimming pool on his property, just makai of a wall determined to be the shoreline. West Hawaii Today.

Much like President Barack Obama's annual two-week stay on the shores of Kailua Bay, first lady Michelle Obama's detour to Maui is causing disruption and a bit of annoyance in the neighborhood surrounding pal Oprah Winfrey's Kula estate. Star-Advertiser.

If rumors are true that the first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, is on Maui, the security around Oprah Winfrey’s Upcountry Maui estate is compelling evidence, as is the national attention via various media outlets. Maui Now.

With ownership of Haleakala Trail still disputed, the state and Haleakala Ranch are hoping to resolve the matter with an out-of-court settlement that would allow the ranch to keep the trail private in exchange for open public access to the Na Kula area on the south slope of the dormant volcano, which for years has been accessible only by helicopter. Maui News.

Department of Land and Natural Resources officers said 43-year old Matt Kinoshita, of Haiku, owner of Kazuma Surfboards, was paddle surfing about 75 yards off Ukumehame in 5 feet of water about 2 p.m. "when he saw the shark approaching him from the side with its mouth open." Star-Advertiser.

Matt Kinoshita, a surfer and firefighter on the Valley Isle, says he faced an eight-foot tiger shark at about 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon while standup paddling off Ukumehame in West Maui. Hawaii News Now.

A Maui playwright and author says he has found 116 instances of "striking similarity" between a screenplay he created more than two decades ago and the "Matrix" science fiction action films, as his $300 million federal copyright infringement lawsuit continues against Warner Bros. film studio and the team that produced the films. Maui News.


A Kauai County Council committee approved a bill Wednesday designed to bolster transparency by requiring lobbyists to register with the county and disclose financial and employment information publicly. The unanimous vote by all seven council members, who make up the Committee of the Whole, sends the bill to the County Council Jan. 16, as a procedural measure, for final consideration and public input. Garden Island.

Drone testing at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai is not a certainty even though the base is exploring the possibility with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, U.S. Navy officials in Hawaii said. Associated Press.

The public is invited to attend a meeting and provide input on a feasibility study regarding the potential access routes to the proposed landfill and resource recovery park on Maalo Road. Garden Island.

Kauapea Beach in Kilauea, Kauai, has made the list of The 5 Most Secret Nude Beaches In America. Excerpt: When else are you going to swim naked in a lava pool? “Secret Beach,” as the locals call it, is a long, golden strip of sand with views of both Kilauea Lighthouse and many a nude Hawaiian. There’s even a waterfall near the end if you’re feeling especially unclothed and adventurous. Civil Beat.

The CEO and president of Hawaiian Holdings, the parent of Hawaiian Airlines, says it operates on a thin profit margin — try a single family of four on a trans-Pacific flight. “Our margins are very, very tight,” he said Wednesday before about 100 people at the Kauai Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Courtyard Marriott Kauai. Garden Island.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hawaii growth slows, state seeks $8.8B for military, Obama vacation costs taxpayers $4M, Kauai to comply with lobbying law, Pasha ends interisland shipping, Haleakala Trail settlement nears, Oahu dentist investigated in toddler death, HIPP ag labels considered, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Pohakuloa Training Area (c) 2014 All Hawaii News
A new airstrip at Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii island, a return to live-fire training at Makua Valley on Oahu, a stronger state-military-business partnership, and military “liaisons” in Hawaii and Washington, D.C., are being pursued as the state seeks to maintain $8.8 billion in annual military expenditures amid defense budget cuts. Adm. Harry B. Harris, head of U.S. Pacific Fleet, called Hawaii the “gateway” to America’s re-balance to the Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

The state Council on Revenues on Tuesday lowered the state's revenue forecast for this fiscal year, expressing some doubt about the rate of Hawaii's economic growth. The council projected 3.3 percent revenue growth for fiscal year 2014, down from 4.1 percent in September, an estimated $43 million loss to the state. The council was unusually divided — the vote was 4-3 — because some members wanted to drop the forecast even lower, given signs that the economy is slowing. The council voted unanimously to keep the projection of 7.4 percent revenue growth for fiscal year 2015, when construction is expected to accelerate. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii Senate panel began its probe into safety conditions at the state mental hospital Tuesday, raising serious questions about dysfunction at the facility. The investigation, led by Sens. Clayton Hee and Josh Green, stems from reports of severe assaults on staff members by patients housed at the Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe. Civil Beat.

The state Senate will form an investigative panel with subpoena power to probe whether poor management at the Hawaii State Hospital has left workers at extreme risk of assaults by patients. The Senate will also investigate claims of nepotism among supervisors at the Kaneohe psychiatric hospital and whether workers who have spoken out about hospital conditions have been marked for retaliation. Star-Advertiser.

Ted Sakai, director of the agency that oversees Hawaii's prison system, rattled off his wishlist for the department. Among other things, he wants to add $4.6 million to his budget to pay for an additional 69 employees and cover an array of other expenses. Civil Beat.

More than 130 Family Court misdemeanor cases have been dismissed by state judges, and at least another 100 more will be tossed out, as a result of a recent Hawaii Supreme Court decision. Star-Advertiser.

The Obamas’ vacation cost taxpayers more than $4 million for travel, staffing, security, housing, car rentals and transportation of vehicles and a helicopter. But the expenses continue. First Lady Michelle Obama extended her own vacation, flying to the island of Maui, where she is spending time with family friend Oprah Winfrey. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii workers testing positive for marijuana dropped 7 percent in 2013 compared with the previous year, new data from Diagnostic Laboratory Services Inc. show. The use of marijuana, known locally as pakalolo, fell 11.5 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii could receive as much as $10 million in a one-time state "boost" to help buoy its financially struggling athletic department under a measure to be proposed by state Rep. K. Mark Takai. Tuesday, Takai (D-Aiea) said he will propose a bill that would allow the state to provide $2 in assistance for each $1 of new money raised by the athletic department up to $10 million. Star-Advertiser.

Living Hawaii: Priced Out of Paradise — Where $600K Is a Bargain Home. Civil Beat.


Honolulu is the second-most sought-after travel destination for 2014, according to the first State of Travel Report by online travel site Las Vegas was top-ranked.Star-Advertiser.

New year, new prices. Local residents are starting off 2014 with an expensive bang, paying more for their home. The cost for homes and rent is going up and so is the value of your property. KHON2.

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has begun an investigation of Kailua dentist Dr. Lilly Geyer after a 3-year-old girl fell into a coma while she was in the dentist's chair and later died. Star-Advertiser.

Negotiations on the $142 million affordable housing deal that would sell Honolulu’s 12 leasehold public apartment complexes to a private group will continue until at least the end of March, city officials said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

The city is offering to finance the sale of its affordable housing units. Chinatown tenants say this is a bad idea. Hawaii Independent.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority is planning to meet on Wednesday to vote on a proposal for a new 7-story residential building in Kakaako. The application by MJF Development Corp. is the second time the company has sought approval for a new building at 803 Waimanu St. Civil Beat.


Most County Council members are hip to the idea of a special label for local produce and products, but they’re not sure HIPP — Hawaii Island Produce and Products — is the way to go. And they definitely don’t like HIPP-O as a brand name for organic produce. West Hawaii Today.

Last year was a safer year on Big Island roads than 2012, which was the deadliest year on our streets and highways since 2004. There were 25 official traffic fatalities on Hawaii Island in 2013 compared to 38 the year before, a decrease of 34.2 percent. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Council’s Finance Committee gave a nod Tuesday to funding for Puna road projects and a community park for one of the district’s large subdivisions. In three 8-0 votes, the committee gave its support to adding the road and park projects to the county’s capital budget. Tribune-Herald.

A small group of Konawaena High School students gathered at Julian Yates Field Tuesday morning for a demonstration that sought to raise awareness about potential cuts made to the school’s library. West Hawaii Today.

Dozens of divers get rare opportunity to swim with whale shark. KITV4.

A Hawaii County councilwoman is introducing a bill to ban all genetically modified crops on Hawaii island, despite new limits already being implemented through a bill passed a month ago. Associated Press.


With ownership of Haleakala Trail still disputed, the state and Haleakala Ranch are hoping to resolve the matter with an out-of-court settlement that would allow the ranch to keep the trail private in exchange for open public access to the Na Kula area on the south slope of the dormant volcano, which for years has been accessible only by helicopter. Maui News.

Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines discontinued its interisland shipping service at the end of the year with the lapsing of its more than three-year interim authority. Maui News.

Thirty-six programs and events in Maui County were selected to receive support through the Hawaii Tourism Authority's Product Enrichment Programs. Maui News.

A Kauai County Council committee will consider a bill today aimed at closing a loophole that has allowed lobbyists appearing before the governing body to operate unchecked. Other local governments, including Maui and Hawaii Counties as well as the City and County of Honolulu, have lobbying laws that require lobbyists to register with respective county or state offices but no such law exists on Kauai County’s books. Garden Island.

Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility and the island of Niihau have been selected by the University of Alaska Fairbanks as one of 13 range sites for future drone research and testing. Garden Island.

A Kauai private investigator has filed suit against the Department of Public Safety for violating the procurement process in contracting out polygraph testing work. Garden Island.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hawaii tourism projects get $2.7M boost, lawmakers scrutinize Abercrombie's preschool plan, UH rec center 14 months behind schedule, Michelle Obama on Maui, indigent moms get attorneys, fire damages Hawaii Five-0 star's home, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki Spam Jam file photo (c) 2014 All Hawaii News
The Hawaii Tourism Authority has awarded more than $2.7 million in 2014 grants to 138 organizations statewide that enrich tourism through culture, natural resources and county-specific events across the isles. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has selected 138 statewide programs and events to receive funding and other resources through its Product Enrichment Programs for 2014, the state’s tourism agency announced Monday. Pacific Business News.

Some of the programs include Chinese New Year Festival 2014, Waikiki Spam Jam, World Whale Day on Maui and the Kau Coffee Festival on the Big Island. Associated Press.

Some lawmakers are wary of the Abercrombie administration's plans to move ahead with state-funded preschool, calling a nearly $6 million funding request premature ahead of a constitutional amendment that will be on the November ballot. The proposed amendment, which lawmakers reluctantly agreed to last session, will ask voters whether public funds should be spent on private preschool programs. Star-Advertiser.

A top priority for the governor is a $4.5 million funding request for 32 preschool classrooms at public schools in underserved or rural Hawaii communities. Associated Press.

New Head of Cultural Preservation in Hawaii Pledges Transparency. Federal and state officials are hoping that Alan Downer, who spent the last 27 years working for the Navajo Nation, will help mend the agency's relationships with the public, shore up its internal operations and, most importantly, lead the agency out of the cross-hairs of the National Park Service. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Republican Party has turned down a plea from the Hawaii Health Connector to use party leadership and legislators to recruit for the exchange. Hawaii Reporter.

State roundup for January 7. Associated Press.


A recreation center project being built at the University of Hawaii's flagship Manoa campus has suffered further delays and is now expected to be completed one year and two months late, Hawaii News Now learned Monday.  The $33 million project is being funded in part by $100-a-year athletic fees that UH Manoa began charging students in the spring of 2011.

Fire damages Alex O'Loughlin's Diamond Head home. Firefighters were called to Hawaii Five-0 star Alex O'Loughlin's home Monday afternoon after neighbors say they heard a loud boom. Hawaii News Now.

Last year was a record year for Oahu's housing market, as the median price for single-family houses and condominiums reached new highs. Yet, the growth was a relatively modest 5 percent, which economists predict will pale in comparison with much stronger gains this year and beyond. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu officials brokered a deal Monday to resuscitate the $142 million sale of 12 public affordable housing complexes to a private developer. The agreement relies on city coffers to make the transaction possible. Civil Beat.

The continuation of negotiations between the city and the group that agreed to pay $142 million for the lease interest in 12 Oahu housing complexes is contingent on the city's agreement to arrange "seller financing" to the partners. Star-Advertiser.

A painting project at a downtown Honolulu high-rise has been temporarily put on hold following complaints to the Department of Health. KHON2.

An ongoing stalemate between Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration and the Honolulu Ethics Commission could have long-standing implications for the ways city officials address government corruption and misconduct. Civil Beat.

A state judge has fined a defense lawyer $250 for telling the jury in federal agent Christopher Deedy's murder trial that the man he shot had resisted arrest in a prior case. City prosecutors wanted Circuit Judge Karen Ahn on Monday to fine Karl Blanke $1,000 and prohibit the Virginia lawyer from practicing law here. Star-Advertiser.


Indigent Hawaii parents who face losing custody of their children are guaranteed the right to a court-appointed attorney, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday. The ruling overturns a decision to terminate parental rights of a Kona mom who was 15 when she gave birth in 2009. Associated Press.

With a flourish of a brush stroke, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi set in motion Monday a project that promises to put a new face on downtown Hilo businesses. Tribune-Herald.

A month has passed since Mayor Billy Kenoi signed Bill 113, limiting the use of genetically engineered crops on the Big Island, but the Hawaii County Council may still get a second helping of the contentious issue. Ka‘u/South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford is bringing her own bill that would ban all modified crops back for discussion after the council’s Public Safety and Mass Transit Committee voted it down last September. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island residents and visitors celebrated North Hawaii Community Hospital founder, Hawaii Island philanthropist and pacemaker inventor Earl Bakken’s 90th birthday Monday. West Hawaii Today.

December was a generally weak month for the housing markets on Hawaii island and Kauai, though the softness did little to undermine what was mostly a positive year. Star-Advertiser.

Almost two years since it was completed, The Kohala Center’s Health Impact Assessment on Hawaii County’s Agriculture Plan has garnered national attention and helped produce meaningful effects on the local food system. West Hawaii Today.


A caravan of Maui police cars and black sport utility vehicles was sighted near Oprah Winfrey's house in Kula on Sunday morning, local residents said, fueling speculation that first lady Michelle Obama is visiting the island. Maui News.

With the use of a new one-man robotic total station, police traffic investigators could be spending half as much time mapping the scenes of fatal crashes. Maui News.

Hawaiian Airlines today announced plans to add daily non-stop service between Los Angeles and Maui this summer. Maui Now.


The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has spent about $14,000 campaigning for a yes vote in its current special election related to smart meters. Garden Island.

Anyone interested in ocean safety is invited to attend the Kauai Water Safety Task Force meeting at 3 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Department of Health office on Umi Street in Lihue. Garden Island.

It has taken a group of local residents and community volunteers more than three years to begin construction on a dog park in Wailua Homesteads Park. But it only took one night and one act to set those efforts back. Garden Island.

Food bank targets reached. Garden Island.