Showing posts with label OHA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label OHA. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Hawaii drops to No. 2 in homelessness, HUD funds to buy out lava victims, Westboro Baptist Church to picket Maui high school, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Homeless in Honolulu ©2020 All Hawaii News

Hawaii drops to No. 2 in homelessness as trends improve, officials say. Hawaii no longer holds the ignominious title as the country’s leading state in per capita homelessness. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Is No Longer No. 1 For Homelessness. New York Is Worse. Civil Beat.

Get Ready For An Economic Slowdown, State Economist Says. It’s not a recession yet but government should consider picking up some of the private sector’s slack as the construction industry wanes. Civil Beat.

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Rep. Chris Lee to seek Windward Senate seat. State Rep. Chris Lee has become the first prominent politician to announce plans to run for the soon-to-be- vacated state Senate seat held by Laura Thielen (D, Hawaii Kai-Waimanalo- Kailua), creating a fourth vacancy on the Windward side. Star-Advertiser.

Chris Lee Leaving House Seat For State Senate Run. The lawmaker is seeking the Kailua to Hawaii Kai seat being vacated by Laura Thielen. Civil Beat.

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Fighters and other aircraft will train over Hawaii for the Hawaii Air National Guard’s exercises. A dozen or more fighter jets are expected to roar off the reef runway at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport twice a day for the latest iteration of the Hawaii Air National Guard’s “Sentry Aloha” fighter exercise. Star-Advertiser.

OHA Returned $2M Of Ceded Land Revenue In 2019. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has previously pushed to have a cap on their ceded land revenues raised. Civil Beat.

Pushing to halt all aquarium fishing. Some conservation groups and Native Hawaiians are concerned the state isn’t following court orders for the environmental review of aquarium fishing and permit issuance in Hawaii. Garden Island.

Medicare Trims Payments To 8 Hawaii Hospitals. Medicare docks hospitals on an annual basis for too many patients returning to the hospital within a month. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Medical Service Association, the state’s largest health insurance company, has agreed to pay $180,000 and provide injunctive relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency announced Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Assistant Superintendent Retires From DOE. Another assistant superintendent in the Hawaii Department of Education has left, marking the third departure from the core leadership team within a span of six months. Civil Beat.

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Hawaiian Telcom announced Tuesday that its chief of staff, and former broadcast journalist, Su Shin has been promoted to president and general manager effective Feb. 10. She replaces John Komeiji, who resigned as president and general manager. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Telcom names new president and general manager. Hawaiian Telcom today announced that Su Shin, its Chief of Staff, has been promoted to President and General Manager effective February 10, 2020. KHON2.

Oahu

Audit: Honolulu Can’t Meet Building Industry Demands For Permits. Low pay, insufficient training and high turnover contribute to a permitting department that can’t keep up, the auditor found. Civil Beat.

City officials say new audit findings show help is needed at the Department of Planning and Permitting. A new audit found the department isn't keeping up with the demands of the building industry. KITV4.

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Oahu Grapples With Where To Place Its Next Landfill As It Confronts Its Waste Dilemma. About 30 trucks roll down Farrington Highway on the west side of Oahu every day to dump waste at the City and County of Honolulu's only municipal landfill, Waimanalo Gulch. Hawaii Public Radio.

Auditor: Handi-Van Software – And Perhaps Its Operator – Need An Overhaul. The Honolulu auditor’s latest update on Handi-Van performance finds some progress, but the busy paratransit service still needs a lot of improvement. Civil Beat.

City issues 260 citations for illegal short term vacation rentals across the island. Despite the crackdown, hundreds of short term vacation rentals are still operating on the Windward side of O'ahu. KITV4.

Vacation Rentals Are Still Thriving In Kailua. Critics warned that a bill to crack down on illegal vacation rentals would doom Kailua’s economy. But months later, the town still bustles with tourists and hundreds of vacation rentals. Civil Beat.

1 year later, city touts success of Punawai Rest Stop for homeless. One year after it first opened its doors, city officials say the Punawai Rest Stop for homeless on Kuwili Street is a big success. Hawaii News Now.

Punawai Rest Stop homeless program recognizes one year anniversary. The city’s Punawai Rest Stop is a homeless program that is working. KHON2.

Hawaii Island


Property buyouts mulled: County will use HUD funds to purchase land from those wanting to leave areas impacted by eruption. Tribune-Herald.

Contract awarded for road and trail repairs in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park announced Tuesday that it has awarded a $3.3 million contract to a construction company to repair roads and trails that were damaged during the 2018 eruption of Kilauea. Tribune-Herald.

Eruption-Damaged Road Repairs In HVNP Set To Begin. Repairs to roads and paved trails in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park that were damaged during Kilauea Volcano’s 2018 eruption and summit collapse are set to begin in February. Big Island Video News.

Making housing affordable: Council panel advances resolution to reach solution. Government officials agree Hawaii County needs to construct more affordable housing, and there’s also agreement on the steps that can be taken to do it. But how to pay for it is open to debate. West Hawaii Today.

Audit sought for subdivision, zoning statutes. A Hawaii County Council committee voted in support of an audit that would be the first step in rewriting two chapters of the county code. Tribune-Herald.

Council members give thumbs down to Kim nominee. A Hawaii County Council committee voted against recommending a nominee to the Leeward Planning Commission Tuesday after a vetting process failed to discover a disciplinary complaint against him. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

In election year, search for new county clerk underway. New Maui County Council Chairwoman Alice Lee hopes to have candidates lined up for the Maui County clerk and deputy clerk positions — the county’s top two elections officials — in about two weeks. Maui News.

Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket at Maui High on Friday. Maui Baptist churches are denouncing and disassociating themselves from the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, a widely recognized hate group that has announced plans to protest at Maui High School on Friday. Maui News.

Public Meetings to Discuss Hana Highway Bridge Updates. The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation will host a series of public meetings to discuss a project to improve six of the historic bridges along the Hāna Highway (Route 360), located between Huelo and Hana town. Maui Now.


Kauai

Cat kills Hawaiian petrel. A cat has been terrorizing Hawaiian petrel burrows in the mountains of the Hono NaPali Natural Area Reserve, and its latest kill was a chick involved in a scientific tracking project. Garden Island.

Molokai

Power slowly being restored to Molokai after island-wide outage. Most on Molokai were without electricity for much of the day Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Hawaii state bird no longer endangered, OHA audit finds $7.8M possible fraud, Honolulu B&B tax hiked, mixed results in Kauai sonar study, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Nene in Hawaii wetlands ©2019 All Hawaii News
Nene Downlisted From “Endangered” To “Threatened”. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt traveled to Oʻahu on Sunday to announce that the nene can safely be "downlisted" under the Endangered Species Act. Big Island Video News.

Nene’s status to be downgraded from endangered to threatened. Hawaii’s state bird is no longer on the edge of extinction. West Hawaii Today.

Feds: Nene Is Still Threatened But Not Endangered. The Interior Department has reduced the level of protection for Hawaii’s state bird. Civil Beat.

The Nene species is on the road to recovery. Hawaii’s state bird, the Nene, is on the road to recovery. That’s according to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. KHON2.

Hawaiian nene taken off endangered species list. 52 years ago, there were only 50 Hawaiian nene birds in the state and had to be declared endangered species. There are now 3,000 birds in Hawaii thanks to an intensive breeding program. KITV.

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OHA investigation identifies $7.8M of possible fraud. An independent financial review of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has identified transactions worth $7.8 million as potentially fraudulent, wasteful and abusive. 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.

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Lawsuit: DOE Retaliated When Staffer Reported Misuse Of Federal Funds. Carol Young says her troubles began when she blew the whistle on faulty payments to a DOE office worker. Civil Beat.

New Solicitor General Named. Kimberly Tsumoto Guidry has been named the new Solicitor General for the State of Hawaiʻi. Maui Now.

Health officials urge travelers to stay away from Samoa as measles death toll rises to 70. At least 70 people have died from the infectious virus in Samoa, while nine cases have been reported in American Samoa. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Council approves B&B property tax increase. Owners of bed-and- breakfast vacation rentals will likely pay more in property taxes starting next year after the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday approved a bill creating a new B&B tax category. Star-Advertiser.

How The Gas Company Plans To Fight A Bill Banning Gas Water Heaters. Hawaii Gas, the 115-year-old supplier of natural gas for Hawaii now at a crossroads amid the state’s shift from fossil fuels, is considering creating a separate community organization as part of a campaign to fight a Honolulu City Council bill. Civil Beat.

Nonplastic foodware might cause problems — or not. A bill banning the use of nearly all plastic plates, forks, knives and other food service items on Oahu was passed Wednesday by the Honolulu City Council, but there’s sharp disagreement about whether there will be enough nonplastic replacement goods available at a reasonable price when the prohibition takes full effect in 2022. Star-Advertiser.

Wahiawa has struggled since the collapse of the pineapple industry. But new projects, some supported by political leaders, are giving city leaders new hope. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

County throwing away more, recycling less. Hawaii County’s rate of recycling or otherwise diverting garbage from the landfill has dropped 48% in the past decade, according to a comprehensive report released Friday by a commission that meets once a decade to evaluate solid waste practices. West Hawaii Today.

Fujino named interim chief judge of Third Circuit. In addition to his criminal and civil court caseload, drug court and veterans court, Kona Circuit Court Judge Melvin H. Fujino is taking on a whole lot more. West Hawaii Today.

Study of Hilo Bay breakwater expected to begin in early 2020. A state and federal study to determine whether the Hilo Bay breakwater should be modified likely will begin early next year. Tribune-Herald.

Demonstration project seeks to reduce reliance on Christmas conifer imports. After five years of growing, an ongoing project to establish a Christmas tree farming industry on the Big Island is closer than ever to completion. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County bill wants police to tow cars from drunken drivers. It's a bill some lawmakers hope could save lives. KITV.

Inventory for single-family homes in Maui falls to new low. Maui County’s inventory for single-family homes dropped to a new low in November, with 442 properties available for sale in active status at the end of the month, according to the Realtors Association of Maui monthly report. Maui News.

DMVL is set to move into new service center in late 2020. The bottom floor of the new two-story Maui County Service Center — which will include the Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing — in Alexander & Baldwin’s Maui Business Park II is set to be operational by the end of 2020, a county spokesman said. Maui News.

Kauai

Mixed results in sonar study. Scientists studying sonar’s effect on marine mammals near the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands have released another report in an ongoing study for the Navy’s U.S. Pacific Fleet, and it’s showing the same kind of mixed results they’ve been documenting since 2011. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Audit finds Office of Hawaiian Affairs spent millions inappropriately, Honolulu threatens to cancel $53.6M traffic management contract, Maui won't pay mayor's legal fees, plastic straws, tiny homes, police standards mulled in Legislature, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii police officers ©2018 All Hawaii News
Bill To Regulate Police Officers Clears Another Hurdle. Hawaii is one of the few states without minimum standards for cops, but the Legislature is considering a measure to change that. Civil Beat.

The state agency responsible for improving the well-being of Native Hawaiians spent nearly double the amount on pet projects than on competitive grants, the state auditor said in a report released Tuesday. Associated Press.

Audit finds inappropriate spending of millions by OHA and trustees. During fiscal year 2015 and 2016, OHA spent nearly double as much on discretionary disbursements — $14 million — as it did on planned, budgeted and properly vetted and monitored grants — $7.7 million. Star-Advertiser.

After release of critical audit, OHA leaders admit: 'Change needs to happen'. Hawaii News Now.

State audit claims Office of Hawaiian Affairs misspent millions ‘with little restraint’. KHON2.

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Some hotels ditch plastic straws. Now, lawmakers want to ban their use. Hawaii News Now.

Bills Seek Tiny Homes on Hawaiian Home Lands. Senate Bill 2424 and House Bill 2473 seek to establish a public private partnership to leverage $5 million in state funds to create a $20 million revolving loan fund for the development of affordable tiny homes on Hawaiian Home Lands. Maui Now.

Bill Would Spare Micronesians A Yearly Trip To The DMV. The Department of Transportation opposes the measure, saying it could render all Hawaii driver’s licenses useless for flying. Civil Beat.

A Kansas father and husband who is fighting efforts to deport him to Bangladesh was taken off a plane that was flying him back to his native country and is being held at a detention center in Hawaii, his attorneys said today. Associated Press.

Congressional Budget Deal Likely Means More Federal Money For Hawaii. President Trump proposed massive cutbacks, but the opposite is likely to happen after a bipartisan deal lifted spending caps. Civil Beat.

The number of outpatient flu visits in Hawaii continues to remain higher than the national base line. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii State Board on Geographic Names Mulls Changes. Iao Stream or Wailuku River? Mauna Kea or Maunakea? These are just a couple of the challenges before the Hawaii Board of Geographic Names. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

The city has issued a notice of default to the contractor of the $53.6 million state-city Joint Traffic Management Center, citing numerous deficiencies on the part of Watts Constructors LLC that could delay the project’s completion. Star-Advertiser.

City threatens to cancel contract for multi-million dollar traffic center if problems linger. Hawaii News Now.

Rail Promised Lots Of Jobs But There’s No Sure Count Of What It’s Delivering. HART doesn’t keep track of the totals, but its point-in-time counts suggest fewer people are employed than had been projected. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Rail Project Pursuing Public-Private Partnerships for City Center Segment. The Honolulu Rail Transit Project is hosting a 2-day forum to attract private development partners. Hawaii Public Radio.

By a 5-4 vote the Honolulu City Council decided to postpone for two weeks a vote on a bill that would temporarily stop the city Department of Planning and Permitting from issuing building permits for larger-­scale houses. Star-Advertiser.

Settlement reached in alleged 2012 police brutality, cover-up case. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye Airport will get a new $1.1 billion concourse to increase the number of gates, add passenger capacity and provide a new international arrivals area, Gov. David Ige announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige, alongside the Hawaii Department of Transportation and members of the Airlines Committee of Hawaii, announced plans for a new $1.1 billion Diamond Head Concourse at the Honolulu international airport that will be built out over the next 10 years. Pacific Business News.

Leadership in the state House of Representatives tabled a bill Tuesday that would have protected roughly 200 residents of a long-standing homeless encampment near the Waianae Small Boat Harbor from being swept from the state-owned property. Star-Advertiser.

New renderings revealed Tuesday show the vision for the new Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. KITV.

A former employee of Waste Management Inc., operator of the city’s Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill admits to stealing more than $800,000. Star-Advertiser.

Waialua High School’s Glenn Lee, who kicked off Hawaii’s robotics movement, is the only American to reach the top 10 as a finalist out of 30,000 entries in the $1 million Global Teacher Prize competition. Star-Advertiser.

A Waialua teacher inches closer to a global teaching award, and its $1M prize. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

With a do-or-die hearing of a bill raising the general excise tax scheduled for next week, the administration and County Council are holding a bevy of last-minute community meetings to get feedback and explain their budget straits. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim and Finance Director Deanna Sako fielded questions and heard statements Tuesday night from West Hawaii residents sharing their voices on a proposal to raise the county’s general excise tax by one-half percent. West Hawaii Today.

A bill to fund two Big Island homeless villages died in the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Tuesday after clearing its first two committees. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Mayor’s plea for legal fees in Taylor suit shot down by panel. A Maui County Council committee on Tuesday voted against having the county foot the bill for private attorneys to defend Mayor Alan Arakawa and Maui County in a lawsuit filed by water director David Taylor, who is seeking to get back to work and off paid leave. Maui News.

The state Supreme Court has dismissed a misdemeanor charge against a weekly tabloid publisher who was detained when he used his cellphone to videotape a police traffic enforcement operation six years ago. Maui News.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has dismissed a misdemeanor charge against a weekly tabloid publisher who was detained when he used his cellphone to videotape a police traffic enforcement operation six years ago. Associated Press.

Kauai

The Federal Aviation Administration and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources have initiated an investigation into a report of a drone that struck a tour helicopter on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Realtor Neal Norman of Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers has listed a 16,000-square-foot home on 18.25 acres above Secret Beach on Kauai for $35 million. Pacific Business News.

Molokai

The majority of the county offices in the Mitchell Pauole Center in Kaunakakai will be moving to room No. 300 in the Moore Center at 2 Kamoi St. later this week due to a leaky roof. Maui News.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Hanabusa kicks off gubernatorial campaign; Rice, who fought race-based OHA elections, dies at 83; ferry not financially feasible; tax collections forecast to rise, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hanabusa campaign
U.S. Rep. Hanabusa campaign kickoff Monday, courtesy photo
Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa officially launched her campaign for Hawaii governor Monday against Gov. David Ige, saying Hawaii needs new leadership at the top to tackle critical issues like lack of affordable housing and limited job opportunities for future generations. Star-Advertiser.

Hanabusa Launches Campaign With Swipe At ‘Rudderless’ Ige. The Hawaii congresswoman says state government is “adrift” and needs a course correction. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa on Monday launched her campaign for governor by criticizing the incumbent for a lack of leadership and saying the state should consider establishing safe zones for homeless people. Associated Press.

Colleen Hanabusa said she is tired of the Hawaii government’s same old song and dance. Garden Island.

Heating Up: Hanabusa vs Ige in Governor's Race. Hawaii’s Senior Congressional Representative officially announced her candidacy for Governor today.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Hanabusa is officially running for governor and she isn't pulling any punches. Hawaii News Now.

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa launched her campaign officially for governor of Hawaii Monday. KITV.

Hanabusa formally launches campaign for governor. KHON2.

Calling for leadership, a strong vision and action, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa formally launched her campaign to become Hawaii’s next governor on Monday. Big Island Now.

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Study: Ferry not feasible. Perhaps to no surprise, a report — mandated by the Legislature and published on the state Department of Transportation’s website Monday — says an interisland or intraisland ferry system won’t work without a state subsidy. Tribune-Herald.

State tax collections forecast to rise. Economic experts in charge of forecasting Hawaii’s tax collections say the state’s revenue will grow at a slightly higher rate than expected, citing in part an anticipated stimulus effect from the Republicans’ federal tax cuts. Star-Advertiser.

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About 9 percent of University of Hawaii students say they have been sexually harassed, and 6 percent experienced unwanted sexual contact on or off campus, according to survey results released Monday. Star-Advertiser.

How Safe Do UH Students Feel? New Survey Gauges Their Views. A report breaks down students’ opinions and experiences regarding sexual harassment and nonconsensual contact. Civil Beat.

More than 22 percent of female students at the University of Hawaii have experienced dating or domestic violence, and about 12 percent have been sexually harassed or stalked during their time there, according to an expansive new survey released Monday. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii survey results show most domestic/sexual assaults were not reported to campus officials. KITV.

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Health Department proposes disinterment rules. The state Department of Health is implementing new mandates for digging up human remains, but rules covering disinterment of ancient or historic graves regulated by the Department of Land and Natural Resources remain unchanged. West Hawaii Today.

Patients, Providers Aren't Waiting For Dispensaries. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to roll back protection of cannabis businesses last week left a cloud of uncertainty over Hawaii’s medical cannabis dispensary program. Hawaii Public Radio.

'This is a work choice': Advocate looks to decriminalize prostitution in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Airlines said it will begin nonstop flights between Honolulu and Long Beach, Calif., beginning May 31 and that it finished 2017 by carrying a record number of passengers. Star-Advertiser.

First Hawaiian CFO leaving company. First Hawaiian Bank Chief Financial Officer Michael Ching is stepping down from his position effective Jan. 31 but will continue to assist the company on a consulting basis during the transition. Star-Advertiser.

Chipotle has no plans to open in Hawaii. Popular restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill will not be expanding to Hawaii any time soon, according to a recent update by the company. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Affordable-housing plan now aimed at seniors. A state agency has again scaled back a plan to build affordable housing on the Kalihi-Palama headquarters of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Rail Recovery Plan Remains A Work In Progress. HART’s board has declined to approve the plan for the $9 billion project until more details are fleshed out. Civil Beat.

Why Oahu’s Rural Homeless Have Often Been Undercounted. Getting a more accurate picture of the homeless population in remote areas is essential to providing services. Civil Beat.

Affordable housing community prepares to open for families in need. Kahauiki Village opens this Friday on 11.3 acres of land located between Nimitz Highway, Keehi Lagoon Park, and Sand Island. KHON2.

Security patrol newly reopened Kakaako Waterfront Park. After being closed for three months to repair damage caused by homeless campers, Kakaako Waterfront Park reopened Monday at 6 a.m., and by about 7:30 a.m. one person was already attempting to set up a tent. Star-Advertiser.

Online Anti-Crime Group Wants To Be A Political Force. “Stolen Stuff Hawaii” now has more than 100,000 Facebook followers on the lookout for each other’s property. Civil Beat.

DBEDT completes installation of largest solar PV system in Honolulu's business district. Hawaii's Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said it has completed the installation of a 300-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system at its Pier 2 facility in Honolulu. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

More than 1 in 10 University of Hawaii at Hilo students say they’ve been sexually harassed at some point as a student, and more than 18 percent have experienced dating and domestic violence while enrolled, according to a survey released Monday by the university system. Tribune-Herald.

Talking crime in Puna. Violent crime seemed to be on the minds of people who attended a forum Saturday on crime and drug abuse in Puna. Tribune-Herald.

Embezzler gets 9-year term, must pay school back $3.1M. As Chief Financial Officer Pablo Rivera was stealing more than $50,000 per month from the University of Nations, he was telling school officials that he had reduced spending at the Kona campus but that the nondenominational Christian school still needed $500,000 to stay afloat. Star-Advertiser.

First Hawaiian Paradise Park Public Park Master Plan Meeting Held. HPP residents and county planners got to work on Sunday, developing a master plan for a new county park in the Puna subdivision. Big Island Video News.

$3 Million in Improvements Slated for Honokaa High & Intermediate. Big Island Now.

Public response to Kona’s newly added low-income housing at Kamakana Villages was overwhelming, with several prospective tenants left on the outside looking in following the lottery process. West Hawaii Today.

Harold “Freddy” Rice, Big Island rancher and community activist, died at the age of 83, according to his family. In 1996, Rice challenged an OHA policy that limited voting eligibility for the office’s Board of Trustees to Native Hawaiians. Citing the 15th Amendment, which prohibits race-based voting discrimination, Rice sued. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County solar permits in 2017 dropped by 59 percent. The number of permits issued plunged 59 percent to 676 from 1,657 in 2016, according to data compiled by Marco Mangelsdorf, who tracks rooftop solar permits and is president of Hilo-based ProVision Solar. Star-Advertiser.

Two new infestations of little fire ants were discovered on Maui, the Maui Invasive Species Committee announced today. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Airlines is adding more flights to Kapalua, and an executive said that the airline is “constantly looking at” bringing back a direct flight between Maui and Las Vegas. Maui News.

Conference highlights benefits of cannabis. Maui News.

Haleakala National Park has awarded a maintenance contract to Maris Inc. for rock scaling work and vegetation removal at Oheo Gulch in East Maui. Park officials say the project will significantly reduce the potential for rock fall hazards or falling debris. Maui Now.

Construction is scheduled to begin at Honokowai Beach Park in West Maui, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, for replacement of the outdoor shower and shower drainage improvements. Maui Now.

Kauai

Report: Occupants have no claim. The two leaders of a mainly Native Hawaiian group occupying the former Coco Palms resort in Wailua apparently have no ownership rights to the property, according to papers obtained by The Garden Island, despite their contentions in the civil ejectment case against them in District Court. Garden Island.

Hearing set on bus stop rules. The County of Kauai Transportation Agency is holding a public hearing to receive comments on the proposed rules and regulations regarding county bus stops. Garden Island.

KCC enrollment on the rise. Kauai Community College opened its doors to the spring semester Monday, with an opening day census of 1,219 students, an increase of 9.5 percent over the same period a year ago when the college recorded 1,085 students. Garden Island.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hawaii's worker shortage, state at odds over voter info, Schofield soldier in court, 'Peter Boy' father gets 20 years, Kauai seeks to save native birds, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki restaurant worker © 2017 All Hawaii News
There Just Aren’t Enough Workers To Go Around In Hawaii. The state labor director calls it a “perfect storm” as restaurateurs and retailers struggle to recruit — and keep — employees. Civil Beat.

A federal judge has cleared the way for President Donald Trump’s commission on election fraud to resume collecting detailed voter roll information from the states, but at least one election official in Hawaii says he won’t comply with the federal request. Star-Advertiser.

A U.S. Army soldier based in Hawaii pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of attempting to support the Islamic State group. Associated Press.

A Schofield soldier accused of trying to provide support for ISIS has pleaded not guilty. KHON2.

A federal judge Monday scheduled a trial date in September for Wheeler Army Airfield soldier Ikaika Erik Kang on four counts of trying to provide support to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Star-Advertiser.

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A trustee with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has accepted nearly $16,000 from a Native Hawaiian heiress to pay for legal fees in her battle against fellow trustees. Civil Beat.

Native Hawaiian waterman Malama Chun of Maui filed a petition with the state Board of Land and Natural Resources on April 12, 2017, challenging the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources’ practice of issuing licenses to foreign fisherman who have been refused permission to land in Hawai’i by US authorities and have been ordered deported. Maui Now.

Royal Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Inc. said Monday that the company’s petition to claim that consuming macadamia nuts can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease under certain circumstances has officially been approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Pacific Business News.

Two of the three storms in the Eastern Pacific strengthened overnight. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines said Monday it will add three new daily routes between the neighbor islands and the U.S. West Coast in early 2018. Star-Advertiser.

A robust economy continued to boost Bank of Hawaii’s double-digit loan growth in the second quarter, with earnings per share exceeding analysts’ expectations. Star-Advertiser.

Wailuku artist Kirk Kurokawa’s “most significant” project in his artistic collection — the official painting of former Gov. Neil Abercrombie — was unveiled last week on Oahu. Maui News.

Oahu

Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday signed into law a bill that bans nearly all plastic bags distributed at Oahu retail checkout counters starting Jan. 1, 2020. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council is considering a bill that would expand the city’s sit-lie ban another few blocks in the Ala Moana-Sheridan area. Civil Beat.

Honolulu’s Potholes Cost Drivers — And Taxpayers — Millions. A 2016 study found the city had the 11th-worst roads among large urban areas, and residents pay more than the national average for related car repairs. Civil Beat.

The police presence in Oahu’s main tourist hub could be getting a boost thanks to a gift that puts more boots on the ground. A Waikiki business group wants to give $85,000 to the city. KHON2.

The July Fourth Waikiki “floatilla” attracted a crowd of about 9,000 partyers, led to at least 30 alcohol-related injuries and cost the city and state more than $12,000 to police, so it’s little wonder officials want to halt alcohol use at future floatillas. Star-Advertiser.

The executive director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority said since April the number of illegal campers in Kakaako parks under HCDA supervision has nearly doubled. Hawaii News Now.

Bill to ban electronic devices for crossing pedestrians represents latest push to make roads safer. Bill 6, which is awaiting the mayor’s approval, would make it illegal to look at a phone, tablet, gaming device, or anything electronic while crossing the street. KHON2.

The Queen Kapiolani Hotel, a 312-room property across the street from Kapiolani Park, is starting a $30 million makeover. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Peter Kema Sr. was sentenced Monday in Hilo Circuit Court to 20 years in prison for the 1997 death of his 6-year-old son, Peter Kema Jr. Tribune-Herald.

Peter Kema Sr. was sentenced to 20 years in prison this morning for the manslaughter of his 6-year-old son, Peter Boy, whose fate remained a mystery for two decades until his parents recently acknowledge their roles in his death. Star-Advertiser.

20 years. That is how long it's been since Peter Boy Kema's death. It's also the sentence handed down to his father on Monday, for killing the Big Island boy. KITV.

Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth said he’s using lessons learned from the Peter Kema Jr. case to propose changes in the laws governing child abuse and home schooling and to advocate for a longer statute of limitations period for manslaughter. Tribune-Herald.

A lawyer for the estate of the late Peter Kema Jr. and the siblings of “Peter Boy” sent a cease-and-desist letter to a senior vice president of Amazon.com, attempting to persuade the online merchandising giant to pull the Kindle book series “Peter Boy: Hawaii’s Most Notorious Case of Child Abuse and Murder” from its website. Tribune-Herald.

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Major changes are coming to boating and harbor rules, but those most affected say the state hasn’t consulted with them, or even made the rules readily available prior to public hearings scheduled for Thursday and Friday. West Hawaii Today.

PA system installed at popular Kailua-Kona beach park. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiian Airlines will add a new year-round flight from Los Angeles to Kona starting early next year. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Ulupalakua Ranch on Maui is best known for its winery and cowboy culture, but not its Hawaiian dry forest. A 20-year forest restoration project on Ranch lands is changing that. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui Electric Co. is seeking approval by the state Public Utilities Commission to refurbish one of its 21-megawatt petroleum-fired turbines at the Maalaea Power Plant, which will cost an estimated $2.6 million. Maui News.

Three months after being forced to vacate its longtime dance studio in the Old Kula Community Center, the Alexander Academy of Performing Arts has found a new home in Haliimaile that will allow it to add classes, teachers and more studio space in the coming months. Maui News.

Maui’s electronic recycling program should reopen August 5th after being closed for several weeks. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Airlines will add a new non-stop daily route between Portland and Maui, starting Jan. 18. Maui Now.

Move over, Kona. Maui coffee is getting much stronger. Maui News.

Kauai

Noisemakers and motion sensors are just a few of the new tools scientists and conservationists are combining with traps to reduce predators in remote endangered seabird nesting areas. Garden Island.

There are nearly 400 predator traps scattered throughout Kauai's Hono O Na Pali Natural Area Reserve. Hawaii News Now.

The county Housing Agency will be hosting a community meeting Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Koloa Neighborhood Center to discuss plans for a new workforce housing development. Garden Island.

Boardwalk from Kawaihau Road to highway is open. Garden Island.

Niihau

State officials say they're moving ahead with a second attempt at eradicating rats from a tiny island near Niihau, but critics of the plan say they're worried about the potential risks to the marine environment. Hawaii News Now.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Assisted suicide bill dies in Legislature, Trump judge threatened, 24/7 alcohol purchases now allowed on Maui, bacteria at Waikiki beach, fuel tax bill killed, hope for coral reefs, utilities model mulled by potential buyers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii New a rights reserved
Ornate butterflyfish with damaged coral © 2017 All Hawaii News
New information could be on the horizon for the world’s declining coral reefs, as well as a more complete picture of their health. Garden Island.

The FBI says authorities are aware that the federal judge in Hawaii who ruled against President Donald Trump’s travel ban has received threatening messages. Associated Press.

Hawaii lawmakers defeat a bill allowing terminally ill patients to end their own lives.The action comes after decades of debate, which culminated in hours of testimony Thursday morning.  Associated Press.

A bill that would allow terminally ill patients to obtain prescriptions for lethal doses of medication is dead for the year after the House Health Committee deferred the measure, saying, in part, that there were too many kinks to be worked out before the legislative session ends in May. Star-Advertiser.

A lack of specifics in the current draft of the controversial 'Death with Dignity' bill is partially the reason some lawmakers decided to table the issue. Hawaii News Now.

The House Health Committee killed a bill Thursday that would have made it legal for Hawaii adults diagnosed with a terminal illness to take medication that would end their lives. Garden Island.

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The state House and Senate separately — and unanimously — passed bills earlier this month to extend and expand tax credits for low-income people while raising taxes on the wealthy. Civil Beat.

A bill that would have increased Hawaii’s fuel tax to fund state highway improvement projects is dead. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii legislative committees have passed new versions of bills addressing vacation rentals. Lawmakers have been keen to devise ways to make sure vacation rental operators are paying transient accommodation taxes just like hotels. Associated Press.

Another attempt to consolidate management and planning for Hawaii’s airports is making its way through the state House of Representatives. Tribune-Herald.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees on Thursday approved a proposal to hire an independent certified public accounting firm to conduct a wide-ranging financial audit and management review of the agency and its subsidiaries. Star-Advertiser.

Firefighters’ meal allowance among points of discussion as contract negotiations continue. KHON2.

Companies are lining up to possibly buy Hawaiian Electric Co. subsidiary Maui Electric Co., the mayor of Maui County confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Washington D.C.-based Twenty First Century Utilities, a company looking to own and operate regulated utilities, proposed a business model that could be used in Hawaii at the Maui Energy Conference. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Energy Conference: ‘What Type Of Place Are We Trying To Create?’ Experts discussed Hawaii’s move away from fossil fuels amid buzz about another potential buyer for Hawaiian Electric. Civil Beat.

The Maui Energy Conference, which is currently underway in its fourth year, reports the highest amount of attendees in its short history, a conference organizer confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The state Health Department is warning the public about elevated bacteria levels at popular Kaimana Beach in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

State health officials are warning beach lovers in Waikiki about a spike in an “indicator bacteria” in the waters off Sans Souci Beach that could lead to diarrhea and vomiting. Star-Advertiser.

Sick beachgoers say 'cesspool' at Pokai Bay is source of infections. Hawaii News Now.

Some City Council members are trying to block transferring oversight of Thomas Square to the Department of Enterprise Services from the Department of Parks and Recreation amid concerns the move could commercialize the historic site. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers discuss homeless concerns as retailers prepare to open in Iwilei. KHON2.

If you park in front of your own driveway, you could get a ticket.  But, a proposal from Honolulu Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi could change that. KITV.

A scary encounter involving two female city workers and a homeless man is highlighting the need for increased security at Honolulu Hale. Hawaii News Now.

It might only be a temporary grass lawn, but construction of a “central plaza” at Ward Village in Kakaako is slated to move forward by the end of this year with the demolition of several warehouse buildings. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Planned upgrades at the Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant won’t only offer recycled water to irrigate growing Kona developments, they can also drastically reduce the discharge of nitrogen and phosphorus — two nutrients that can be harmful if they get into groundwater. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Residents on Maui can now purchase alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Maui is the first county in the state to relax existing liquor laws that restrict the sale of alcohol between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Hawaii News Now.

Maui County is the first in the state to allow stores to sell alcohol any time of the day. KHON2.

The Department of Liquor Control on Maui has lifted the time restriction on the sale of alcohol at retail locations and hotels in Maui County. Maui Now.

In addition to eliminating dry hours for alcohol sales at retail stores and hotels, the Maui County Liquor Commission approved rule changes allowing home delivery of alcoholic beverages and removing the more than three-decade-old cap on the number of hostess bars in the county. Maui News.

Work has begun on buildings in the first phase of Alexander & Baldwin’s Kamalani project in Kihei with the first affordable units expected to be completed in the summer, an A&B official said Wednesday. Maui News.

Kauai

The blessing of Koloa Landing, Phase III marked the completion of the $100 million expansion project on 25 acres leading to the rocky coastline adjacent to the Koloa Landing small boat launch site. Garden Island.

A claim filed by Kauai Police Department Chief Darryl Perry was discussed in executive session during the Kauai County Council meeting Wednesday. Garden Island.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

New records show U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard met twice with Syria's Assad, homeless campgrounds touted for Honolulu, Legislature mulls rent control, Styrofoam ban, public records backlog increases, economy to slow, state seeks help with pension fund, DLNR officer rape trial begins, OHA audit approved, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard © 2017 All Hawaii News
Gabbard met Syria’s Assad twice, filings reveal. Immediately after touching down in Damascus, Syria, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was off to an hour and a half meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad — a meeting she described as impromptu upon her return to the United States last month — according to travel forms she filed on Wednesday with the U.S. House Ethics Committee. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s amended travel forms show that she spent one and a half hours with Syrian President Bashar Assad. Civil Beat.

The state expects Hawaii’s economy in 2017 to grow at the slowest pace in four years but projects that visitor arrivals will top 9 million for the first time ever. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Employee Retirement System, which is underfunded and overcommitted by more than $12 billion, is looking for a real estate investment consultant to review the performance of its real estate managers and the overall program, Pacific Business News has learned.

The state Office of Information Practices favors government agencies in disputes and takes too long to resolve complaints over access to public records and meetings, according to a new report by The Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers consider statewide Styrofoam ban for food vendors. KITV.

State Sen. Glenn Wakai delivered a scolding to the leadership of the Hawaii Tourism Authority Wednesday for what he characterized as excessive spending by the agency, but Wakai said he is dropping his earlier proposal to prohibit the HTA from meeting in secret to discuss proprietary information. Star-Advertiser.

Rent control proposal takes aim at Hawaii’s sky-high housing costs. KHON2.

Hawaii Rep. Kaniela Ing wants lawmakers to pass a bill that would set up a pilot project for rent control. Civil Beat.

A measure introduced by State Rep. Kaniela Ing of Maui for a “rent control” pilot project will be heard in the House Committee on Housing, Feb. 9 at 9 a.m. at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol in room 423. Maui Now.

An Office of Hawaiian Affairs committee is taking the first step toward the most comprehensive financial audit in the agency's nearly 40-year history. The board's resource management committee voted Wednesday to authorize putting out a call for independent accounting firms that could conduct the audit. It's not yet known how much it will cost. Associated Press.

A proposed study of the over-representation of Native Hawaiians in the criminal justice system was put on hold by Hawaii lawmakers last week, partly because of wariness over the current political climate. Star-Advertiser.
 
Libraries Struggle With A New Role: Social Services Center. Hawaii provides library security guards, but so far bucks the trend of training employees to better serve patrons with special needs. Civil Beat.

A state House committee on Tuesday passed two bills that would allow the state to collect more tax revenue from Hawaii’s proliferating vacation rental and bed-and-breakfast properties while the counties figure out how to regulate them. Associated Press.

An ongoing NASA study of Earth and its ecosystems finally has landed in the islands, with dozens of scientists focusing their attention on a couple of high-profile natural phenomena Hawaii is famous for: corals and volcanoes. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

State lawmakers are considering bills to create official campgrounds for the homeless in Honolulu, an approach that is being strongly opposed by state Homelessness Coordinator Scott Morishige and the state Department of Human Services. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers are exploring setting up “safe zones” for homeless people to camp, one of an array of offbeat solutions to its homelessness crisis which ranks worst in the nation. Associated Press.

Two Hawaii state legislators say they plan to seek answers and perhaps push for reopening the case of a Honolulu toddler whose near-fatal assault never resulted in criminal charges, as detailed in a Civil Beat story on Wednesday.

This Honolulu Toddler Nearly Died In An Assault But No Charges Filed. The Honolulu Police Department investigation, focused on the family of a police officer, fell short of best practices, experts say. Civil Beat.

‘Rare’ Request Seeks To Hide Criminal Case Involving Allegedly Corrupt Cop  From Honolulu Prosecutor. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Police Commission bypassed Honolulu Police Department brass in authorizing a $250,000 severance check to outgoing Police Chief Louis Kealoha from what appears to be HPD money, but the commission chairman said the panel followed the law in doing so. Star-Advertiser.

The Kapalama Canal in Kalihi is projected to get a big makeover. Hawaii News Now.

A panel of Honolulu City Council members debated a bill Wednesday to make Honolulu’s plastic bag regulations more stringent, but decided to delay action until stakeholders can come up with a better method to encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable bags when grocery shopping. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Family Justice Center, a safe haven for domestic violence, sex assault and human trafficking victims, opened its doors in November. But so far, only three women have stayed there. Hawaii News Now.

A program designed to keep hundreds of kids safe and off the streets isn’t happening because of ongoing problems at a Makiki recreation center. KHON2.

There's a battle brewing over what the University of Hawaii should do with the former home of PBS Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

Sex assault trial of Department of Lands and Natural Resources officer begins. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Council on Wednesday unanimously accepted a public access trail and unpaved roadway from developers of a North Kohala parcel, despite the advice of Corporation Counsel Joe Kamelamela, who said county code requires the administration to inspect the property before taking it over. West Hawaii Today.

An upcoming $20.1 million project will bring traffic lights and turn lanes to two intersections on Kawailani Street in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

On Tuesday, the Hawaii County Council Committee on Public Works and Parks and Recreation was given an update on all the parks projects, completed and ongoing, around the Big Island. Big Island Video News.

The U.S. Coast Guard boarded two vessels operating illegal lava tours from the Pohoiki Boat Ramp between Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Maui County Board of Ethics deferred action Wednesday on a complaint against Maui County Council Chairman Mike White. Maui News.

Lawmakers are pushing several bills that aim to free up beds at Maui Memorial Medical Center by moving costly long-term care patients into other health care facilities. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Beach Hotel has cut back employee hours and lost its trademark ’80s dance night after losing its liquor license for the first time in July. Maui News.

Paia businessman Michael Baskin has paid Maui County the $190,000 balance of the largest fine ever levied by the Department of Planning, department Director Will Spence said Tuesday. Maui News.

Kauai

On Wednesday, the Kauai County Council unanimously passed Bill No. 2644, which allows the county to purchase 32 units built in the first phase of Hooluana at Kohea Leo, located at the intersection of Kuhio and Kapule highways. Garden Island.

Several lawmakers are voicing their support for the Hawaii Dairy Farms’ plan to operate a 699-cow dairy in Kauai’s Mahaulepu Valley. Garden Island.

The Navy plans to develop a a major solar farm and battery energy storage system on nearly 200 acres at the 2,134-acre Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands on the west side of the island of Kauai. Pacific Business News.

Short-term rental advocates say millions added to economy. Garden Island.

Lanai

Billionaire Larry Ellison is moving ahead with his project to develop a place for helicopters to land near one of the two luxury Four Seasons resorts he owns on the island of Lanai, Pacific Business News has learned.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Office of Hawaiian Affairs officials visit Mauna Kea amid protests, arrests; few affordable homes built under Honolulu plan; councilman cleared to accept pro-GMO trip; Campaign Spending Commission fines scofflaws; new solar deal on Kauai; disputes on Maui over energy, cane burning; monk seal rescued off Niihau, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Big Island Video News
Earl DeLeon speaks about Mauna Kea and Thirty Meter Telescope, courtesy Big Island Video News
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ administrator offered his commitment, though few specifics, to protecting indigenous rights and proper stewardship of Mauna Kea after meeting with Thirty Meter Telescope opponents Wednesday morning at their camp site near the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station. The meeting, which also included four OHA trustees, was held only hours after Hawaii County police and state Department of Land and Natural Resources officers arrested eight camp occupants during their second nighttime sweep to enforce emergency rules that prohibit people from staying there between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Tribune-Herald.

Earl DeLeon, who in the past has stood for Aloha Aina on Kaho’olawe and Hilo Airport, speaks to Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustees during Wednesday’s site visit to Mauna Kea and Hale Kukia’imauna. Big Island Video News.

Eight people were detained early Wednesday in the latest round of arrests in an ongoing battle over construction of a giant telescope atop a mountain many Native Hawaiians consider sacred. Associated Press.

State conservation officers arrested eight protesters on Mauna Kea early Wednesday morning in only the second enforcement action since the Board of Land and Natural Resources enacted a new emergency rule prohibiting camping on the mountain two months ago. Star-Advertiser.

Protesters aren't leaving Mauna Kea, and the state's not backing down on its camping ban. On Wednesday morning, eight protesters were arrested, including a man who was atop a structure at a campsite across the road from the Visitor Center. KITV4.

Seven women and one man were arrested early Wednesday morning for allegedly violating the Board of Land and Natural Resources' emergency rule, which prohibits access in the overnight restricted area along Mauna Kea Observatory Access Road. Hawaii News Now.

Eight people were arrested early Wednesday morning at a protest camp across the road from the Mauna Kea Visitors Center on Hawaii Island. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission on Wednesday approved a total of about $8,000 in fines for 13 political candidates and noncandidate committees, including former Hawaii island Rep. Faye Hanohano and the Castle & Cooke Inc. Legislative Committee, for filing late campaign spending reports. Star-Advertiser.

NextEra Energy Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Co., the two firms involved in a $4.3 billion acquisition, have completed a federal pre-merger notification program, one of the requirements they needed to meet prior to closing the transaction, the two companies said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

The Department of Education is trying to expedite the purchase of as many as 1,000 portable air conditioners in hopes of bringing temperatures to tolerable levels in the hottest public school classrooms. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Education is setting aside half-a-million dollars to buy air conditioning units to bring relief to students and teachers suffering in the heat. KHON2.

An abandoned Hawaiian monk seal pup found Monday on Niihau is the first from the main Hawaiian Islands to be admitted to the Marine Mammal Center’s Ke Kai Ola Hospital. Star-Advertiser.

An abandoned monk seal pup is now being cared for in Kona. Hawaii Public Radio.

A new survey ranks the Aloha State at No. 4 for best places to have a baby in the nation, and No. 1 for “baby friendly environment.” Civil Beat.

Oahu

Honolulu’s affordable housing policy requires that any developer seeking approval for a zone change set aside 30 percent of their units for people earning moderate incomes or less. Thirty percent may sound like a lot, but in fiscal year 2014, only 33 units were produced under that policy, known as inclusionary zoning. Civil Beat.

A Japanese firm’s 350-foot mixed-use condominium-hotel tower being planned for the former property of the Kyo-ya Restaurant in Waikiki was met with strong opposition by some community members and the area’s neighborhood board. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu Police Department officials are touting the launch of a service that can help first responders handle emergencies quicker and more efficiently. Star-Advertiser.

Behind the homes on Iliaina Street and just down the road from Kalaheo High School lays 10 acres of unused land. The city owns it and it doesn't need to sell it, but it’s an option it's looking into. KITV4.

The city has owned a ten-acre parcel of land above Iliaina Street in Kailua since 1961. Originally the Department of Education was going to build an elementary school on the site. But that idea died. The undeveloped land along Kalaheo Hillside is zoned residential and is now on the city's surplus list. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

One County Council member was cleared by the county Board of Ethics on Wednesday to accept a free trip to New York paid by a pro-GMO group later this month, while the acceptance of two free trips to Honolulu last year from anti-tobacco lobbyists by another council member remains pending before the board. West Hawaii Today.

A new science and technology building two decades in the making will soon be a reality at Waimea Middle School. West Hawaii Today.

Maui
Anaergia Services LLC has filed a complaint with Hawaii regulators against Hawaiian Electric Co. and its subsidiary Maui Electric Co. over a proposed energy project on Maui, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

The legal firestorm that is Maui Environmental Court’s new cane burning lawsuit. MauiTime.

Kauai

State Attorney: Public May Need Doctor’s OK to Visit Kauai Irrigation Sites. The water commission is planning a field trip to look at ditches and other waterways but state legal advisors are worried about the public tagging along. Civil Beat.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has signed a power purchase agreement with SolarCity for electricity from the first utility-scale solar array and battery storage system designed to supply power to the grid in the evening, when demand is highest. Garden Island.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has struck a deal with California-based SolarCity to develop what would become one of the first utility-scale systems in the United States to provide the utility with electricity whenever it needs it. Pacific Business News.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks will continue to accept public comments on the master plan and draft environmental impact statement for Haena State Park through Oct. 8. The required public comment period of 45 days, ended Tuesday, but State Parks will continue to accept comments in response to requests from the public to allow more time to review the large and complex document. Garden Island.