Showing posts with label Randy Iwase. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Randy Iwase. Show all posts

Monday, November 19, 2018

DLNR land policies scrutinized, PUC chair Iwase retiring, new homeless camp for Waianae, lawsuit over Leilani access, Molokai plan advances, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Pololu Valley lookout ©2018 All Hawaii News
Booming market, idle lands. Hard up for cash, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources nearly a decade ago identified 14 mostly vacant properties as having the best potential among its inventory of idled lands to start generating badly needed funds for park maintenance. Star-Advertiser.

Examples raising questions about DLNR’s oversight of state land. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has a poor track record of leasing idled lands on several islands that it described nearly a decade ago as having the best revenue-generating potential. Star-Advertiser.

Lease extensions stir controversy. When a ground lease expires, the buildings or other improvements on the land typically become the property of the landowner. Star-Advertiser.


New Shipping Rules May Drive Up Hawaii’s Power Bills. But experts say there is a silver lining: higher fuel prices will make renewable energy sources in Hawaii even more competitive. Civil Beat.

Hawaii PUC Chair Iwase to retire in late December. Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Chair Randall Iwase is retiring from public office in late December to spend more time with his family. Pacific Business News.

Commentary: Lt. Gov. needs a real job or save us the big salary. If Lt. Gov.-elect Josh Green wants to make a difference, he should convene a working group to conceive a real job description for the office, with meaningful constitutional responsibilities independent from the governor, and sell it to the Legislature and voters as a constitutional amendment. Star-Advertiser.

$1 Million Grant Keeps ‘Super Coral’ Research Alive. Scientists will continue the work of the late Ruth Gates to develop corals that are more resistant to the effects of climate change and create reefs that provide natural coastal protection. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii hotel workers strike, now at day 42, is likely to continue for at least another eight days. Star-Advertiser.

Conference spotlights Hawaii’s budding hemp industry. Hawaii has eight farms growing industrial hemp under a state-regulated project exploring the viability of the versatile plant as a commercial crop, and an upcoming conference aims to expand and share knowledge on the subject. Star-Advertiser.


New location discussed for Waianae homeless. Discussions are under- way to move the 270-person homeless encampment next to the Waianae Small Boat Harbor to unspecified, privately owned land farther mauka, and to erect wooden “tiny homes” for its residents. Star-Advertiser.

City Council Takes On Building Permit Backlog. The Honolulu City Council has given final approval to a bill that aims to streamline the process for getting a building permit. Hawaii Public Radio.

All aboard: HART invites public to explore rail cars. HART hopes to begin operations and welcome passengers aboard by Dec. 2020. Hawaii News Now.

Pearl Harbor shipyard changes planned to meet submarine need. The Navy says it wants to spend $5 billion over 20 years to improve Pearl Harbor shipyard’s aged infrastructure and to accommodate an expected increase in Virginia-class attack submarine work. Star-Advertiser.

City asks windward Oahu residents to weigh in on plans for aging bridge. Waiahole Stream bridge is 96 years old. Hawaii News Now.

The Battle Over the Waikiki Natatorium Continues. A new round over what to do about the Waikiki Natatorium has been touched off with a new alternative for a swim basin replacing the crumbling walls with a fiberglass mess. Former war veterans weighed in on the controversy over the weekend on veterans day...against the backdrop of the war memorial and ceremonies held there. Hawaii Public Radio.

Police, abuse victims call for stronger court system to end domestic violence. The state auditor found, over a four year period there were more than 7,000 arrests by Honolulu police for misdemeanor and felony domestic violence. KITV.

First-time buyers crowd seminars on The Central tower near Ala Moana. Technically, they’re not for sale yet, but condominiums in a planned tower next to Ala Moana Center are in high demand, and potential buyers are facing long odds in getting one of the designated affordable units. Star-Advertiser.

Dockless bikeshare rolls into Honolulu, but smooth ride not guaranteed. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Lax oversight by DLNR allows businesses to use state land for free at a Kona harbor. The Department of Land and Natural Resources for years has allowed fishing charters, a submarine tour operation and other private businesses at a public boat harbor on Hawaii island to use state land without paying rent, a Honolulu Star-Advertiser investigation has found. Star-Advertiser.

Judge calls inspections at Pohakuloa training area ‘grossly inadequate’. The spotty inspection record came to light as a result of a lawsuit Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners Clarence “Ku” Ching and Mary Maxine Kahaulelio filed against DLNR in 2014, alleging the department and its governing board breached their trust duties by failing to enforce the Pohakuloa lease. Star-Advertiser.

‘Local boy’ wants PTA to be a good steward. Self-proclaimed “local boy” Lt. Col. Loreto V. Borce Jr., commander at U.S. Army Garrison Pohakuloa Training Area, hit the ground running when he took over PTA in late May, with goals of readiness, workforce and community. West Hawaii Today.

Puna Councilwoman Eileen O’Hara has introduced a resolution urging Hawaii County to grant temporary control of Leilani Avenue to the Leilani Estates Community Association. Tribune-Herald.

Leilani Estates homeowners are asking the federal courts to order Hawaii County officials to maintain the security checkpoint that keeps out nonresidents, and to order the Federal Emergency Management Agency to continue paying for it. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiians concerned DHHL housing development dragging. The Department of Hawaiian Homelands issued a request for proposal in February of 2016 to develop 163 single-family lots across two sections of the Villages of Laiopua Hawaiian home lands properties. West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Health will hold a series of public hearings next month on the Big Island to discuss proposed changes to the state’s immunization requirements for school attendance. Tribune-Herald.

Funding for next step in Kealakehe Regional Park up for council vote this week. West Hawaii Today.

Updated county website in the works. West Hawaii Today.


The 324-unit Wailuku apartment project planned across from Longs Drugs in Kehalani advanced Thursday as the Maui County Council approved a resolution and a bill to pave its way. Maui News.

The state Department of Health will hold public hearings next month in Maui County to get community input on proposed amendments to state requirements for health examinations and immunizations for school attendance in Hawaii. Maui News.

In recent years, West Maui community members have been organizing to protect their shorelines. From 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 7, the broad umbrella group Na Papai Wawae Ulaula and the West Maui Preservation Association, along with other sponsoring organizations, will host a one-day symposium, “Disappearing Shorelines and Managed Retreat: A Conversation,” at Wai Ola Church. Maui News.


Free meals for Thanksgiving. Garden Island.

The Blood Bank of Hawaii announced its schedule of upcoming blood drives, calling on Kauai residents to give “the ultimate gift this holiday season.” Garden Island.


Updated Molokai island plan closer to final approval. New plan calls for maintaining Molokai’s rural character, farming. Maui News.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hawaiian Electric Co. barred from denying solar applications, excise tax surcharge advances, Calvin Say cleared, police kill, injure civilians during busy Big Island weekend, Honolulu, Hawaii County, Kauai mayors offer basic budgets, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 all Hawaii News all rights reserved
Solar panels in Hilo © 2015 All Hawaii News
The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission says Hawaiian Electric Co. can’t deny rooftop solar applications for any reason except technical difficulties. An agreement signed Friday by commission Chairman Randy Iwase and electric company CEO Alan Oshima says the utility has a duty to approve photovoltaic systems. Associated Press.

The price of oil has plummeted by more than 50 percent since July, falling to its lowest point in six years and buoying the hopes of cash-strapped residents that they will see major reductions in their electricity bills. But as statements covering February power usage begin rolling out, those residents may be disappointed by the relatively moderate dip in rates. Hawaiian Electric customers on Oahu, the Big Island and Maui will still be paying two to three times the national average for electricity. Civil Beat.

A proposal in the state Legislature that would give all Hawaii counties the opportunity to enact a 0.5 percent surcharge for public transportation projects on top of the 4 percent general excise tax is gaining some traction. Garden Island.

A Hawaii senator who is backed by the state’s powerful police union hit the brakes on a bill Friday that would have made public the names of officers suspended for misconduct. Civil Beat.

A coalition representing Native Hawaiian homesteaders has created a plan outlining ways to improve the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Their plan calls on the state government to fully fund the department, which is responsible for administering the Hawaiian Home Lands Commission Act. Associated Press.

A special panel of state lawmakers decided that Rep. Calvin Say meets the qualifications to serve in the House of Representatives, saying there was no compelling evidence behind a group of voters’ claims that Say doesn’t live in the district he represents. The House committee had been formed to investigate the latest challenge to former Speaker Say’s residency. Associated Press.

The commanding officer of the Pearl Harbor-based Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Mississippi was relieved of his duties Friday due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command, the Navy said. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: A controversial staff hire and her persistent digs at the president have caused many to question U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Whether the criticism endures depends in large part on her. Civil Beat.


After delivering a no-frills State of the City speech last week, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell will likely submit an equally low-key budget package to the City Council on Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council is seeking qualified applicants for the vacant post of city clerk. Former City Clerk Bernice Mau retired last year. Glen Takahashi, assistant city clerk, has been acting clerk since then. Star-Advertiser.

The Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services has received a $246,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for its programs that assist Hawaii public housing residents. Pacific Business News.


Union-negotiated pay hikes and federal and state mandates contributed to a workaday county budget expected to rise 4.3 percent to $434.7 million next year. The 2015-16 spending plan released by Mayor Billy Kenoi late Friday has few new frills, projects or services. West Hawaii Today.

A 31-year-old Hilo man is hospitalized in critical condition after a police-involved shooting late Saturday night in downtown Hilo, police said. Lt. Greg Esteban said two officers were involved in the shooting, which occurred on the Kilauea Avenue extension in downtown Hilo, shortly before midnight. Tribune-Herald.

A 63-year-old Michigan man was killed Sunday after being struck by an on-duty Hawaii Police Department officer in what the Hawaii County Fire Department described as a hit-and-run incident on Waikoloa Road in South Kohala. West Hawaii Today.

Following an outcry from local landscapers, Hawaii County has postponed implementing a program requiring commercial operators to haul their green waste to the landfills rather than dumping it at transfer stations. The program, originally slated to go into effect Monday, won’t be implemented until July 1. West Hawaii Today.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is apparently looking into whether the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. plantation is operating in compliance with federal clean air regulations. The agency sent a seven-page letter to the state's last remaining sugar grower Nov. 24, asking for documents and records about its biomass energy plant and cane burning operations. Star-Advertiser.

In a sign of Maui's worsening doctor shortage, Maui Memorial Medical Center is working on a contract with Kaiser Permanente to have its pediatricians cover patients at the hospital after private physicians told hospital officials they would no longer provide the service as of May 1. Maui News.

Alarm bells were rung again at the state Capitol on Friday, warning of the dire financial condition of Maui Memorial Medical Center and the Maui region of Hawaii Health Systems Corp. Maui News.

By early next month, a 40-bed skilled nursing and intermediate care facility may get the green light from the state to begin construction at the Maui Research and Technology Park in Kihei. Maui News.

Cary & Eddie's Hideaway Restaurant and Bar served its final last call Saturday night after being a mainstay eatery on Maui for 15 years. Maui News.

Rules for drones proposed. Maui enthusiasts offer differing opinions on FAA regulations. Maui News.


Kauai County will start to charge property owners for garbage pickup based on the size of their trash bin. Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. says the county is trying to reduce the waste going to the landfill. Associated Press.

County Managing Director Nadine Nakamura and Ernest Barreira, county assist procurement officer and budget team leader, presented the mayor’s budget analysis and recommendations at the Kauai Police Commission meeting Friday. The mayor intends to spread $8.2 million in cuts across all departments, agencies and offices. Garden Island.

For a little more than two decades, efforts have been made to divert not just discarded items but especially green waste from the Kekaha Landfill. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Obama to name Japanese internment camp a national monument, medical marijuana dispensaries advance in House, Senate to hear GMO labeling bill, school lunch prices could increase, Iwase popular PUC pick, Maui biogas project on hold, Galuteria owes $7k for declaring wrong residence, 160 acres on Oahu to be blanketed in solar panels, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy National Park Service
Old Honouliuli Internment Camp in Kunia, courtesy National Park Service

President Barack Obama will announce Thursday the designation of the old Honouliuli Internment Camp in Kunia as a national monument to "help tell the difficult story of the internment camp's impact on the Japanese American community and the fragility of civil rights during times of conflict," the White House said. Star-Advertiser.

For more than half a century, what had once been Hawaii’s largest and longest-operating internment camp was ignored and forgotten. To the hundreds of Japanese Americans who had been forcibly confined at the camp, the experience was a source of shame and rarely spoken of until it was rediscovered by historians more than a decade ago. Tribune-Washington Bureau.

A bill that would establish medical marijuana dispensaries and production centers in Hawaii passed through the House committees on Judiciary and Health on Tuesday afternoon. Civil Beat.

A bill to allow medical marijuana dispensaries across Hawaii — nearly 15 years after state leaders made medical use of the drug permissible — is still alive in the House. Star-Advertiser.

Michelle Tippens is one of nearly 13,000 patients in Hawaii who have conditions that could be treated with medical marijuana. But because there are no dispensaries in Hawaii, they’re left to fend for themselves, buying on the black market or growing it themselves. Associated Press.

The state Senate committees on Health and Agriculture will take testimony Thursday on a bill calling for the labeling of food with genetically modified organisms. Civil Beat.

Randy Iwase, whose nomination to head the state Public Utilities Commission was unanimously recommended Tuesday by a Senate committee, said it could take a year to 18 months for the commission to decide whether to approve the sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries to Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy Inc. Star-Advertiser.

There seems to be nothing but love for Randy Iwase. Gov. David Ige’s nominee to head the state Public Utilities Commission easily cleared a Senate committee hurdle Tuesday. He’s on track to be confirmed by the full Senate, possibly by the end of this week. Civil Beat.

Randall Iwase told state senators that if he’s confirmed as chairman of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, he will make public input a priority when tackling the commission’s biggest issue — reviewing NextEra Energy’s plan to take over Hawaiian Electric. Associated Press.

The Governor’s nominee to head the Public Utilities Commission was unanimously approved by a Senate panel today. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Board of Education's finance committee Tuesday tabled a proposal to raise school lunch prices by 30 percent over the next three years and challenged officials to instead look at cutting costs and boosting student demand for meals. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Education is asking for an increase of 10 cents more for breakfast and 25 cents for lunch not just for next year, but for the next three years. KITV4.

Warmer temperatures and unstable conditions created by climate change could make it harder for Hawaii's native species to survive, while creating a opening for invasive disease-spreaders like mice and mosquitoes, state Health Department officials said Tuesday. Maui News.

ALTRES Office/Professional and ALTRES Technical, divisions of ALTRES Staffing, Hawaii’s largest human resources organization, announced today a significant spike in demand for office and technical professionals across all islands. While the state continues to experience unemployment rates at record lows, Hawaii’s available workforce is thinning out. Hawaii Independent.

Opinion: Gov. David Ige’s nomination of development lobbyist Carleton Ching to head the Department of Land and Natural Resources continues to generate lots of heated reaction. Civil Beat.


Hawaii Sen. Brickwood Galuteria owes the City and County of Honolulu more than $7,200 in property taxes and fees after improperly claiming a homeowners’ tax break on property in Palolo Valley for the past four years. Civil Beat.

About 200,000 solar panels may soon cover about 160 open acres of land laced with kiawe trees and brush that stretch from the edges of Kamaile Academy to the base of the Waianae Mountains. The 27.6-megawatt project is one of eight large solar farms planned for Oahu that are expected to break ground by the end of the year in order to take advantage of lucrative federal tax credits. Civil Beat.

Two plans aimed at making it easier for Oahu properties to have two living units, and a bill cracking down on illegal vacation rentals, will be aired by the Honolulu Planning Commission at a public hearing Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Building a 95-unit condominium in place of 19 homes on the slopes of Punchbowl didn't go over well with neighbors when it was proposed eight years ago. Now a revised plan with 140 condo units is raising even more opposition. Star-Advertiser.

Nasty weather over the weekend wreaked havoc on many parts of the windward side including one of Oahu's very popular and illegal hiking trails. Haiku Stairs, better known as the Stairway to Heaven, saw "extensive damage" according to Ernest Lau, Manager and Chief Engineer at the Honolulu Board of Water Supply. Lau says that plans are being made to conduct an assessment of the "stairs" and they want to see if a landslide was responsible for some of the damage. Hawaii News Now.

In an effort to combat websites and blogs that have been driving people to the off-limits Sacred Falls State Park, the Department of Land and Natural Resources is stepping up its communication efforts about the consequences of trespassing. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii officials have long been warning people to stay away from Sacred Falls, a dramatic waterfall where a landslide killed eight hikers more than 15 years ago. Associated Press.


What if Hawaii Island residents owned their own electric utility? That’s the question being posed by a nonprofit group that filed on Feb. 11 a motion with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to intervene in the pending $4.3 billion sale of Hawaii Electric Light Co’s parent company, Hawaiian Electric Co. (HEI), to NextEra Energy. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative is seeking a seat at the table as the Public Utilities Commission considers the proposed merger of Hawaiian Electric Industries and NextEra Energy. Star-Advertiser.

Big Island business and community leaders have formed a nonprofit coop called the Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative to explore taking over Hawaii Electric Light Co., a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Co. Civil Beat.

An Ocean View man who has become the poster child for the debate over the harvest of aquarium fish pleaded no contest Tuesday to tearing the regulator from the mouth of Maui reef activist Rene Umberger in West Hawaii waters last May. Jay Lovell, an aquarium fisherman of 30 years, received a deferred six-month prison sentence on the charge of second-degree terroristic threatening. West Hawaii Today.

More than 50 testifiers and three experts on aquarium fish collection kept a Hawaii County Council committee busy into the evening Tuesday, as council members pondered two bills attempting to regulate sea life collectors and set standards for transporting fish. West Hawaii Today.

Kulani Correctional Facility warden Ruth Forbes has been put on leave pending a review of allegations by employees at the facility, the state Department of Public Safety said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz will hold a town hall meeting today in Hilo. The meeting will last from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Hilo High School cafeteria. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Electric Co. has decided to hold off on submitting to Hawaii regulators a power purchase agreement with California-based Anaergia Services for a proposed agricultural energy project that would generate up to 6 megawatts of biogas energy, according to a letter from the utility's president to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Pacific Business News.

The House Labor and Public Employment Committee on Tuesday passed House Bill 1075, which would allow the Maui region of HHSC — including Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital — to transition into a new private nonprofit under Hawai‘i Pacific Health, the state's largest medical provider. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks will close the Puʻuōlaʻi (Little Beach) area and a portion of Mākena Beach State Park in South Maui on Wednesday, Feb. 18, while DLNR staff and military ordnance experts conduct an investigation. Maui Now.

Heavy winds and rain Saturday knocked out power to more than 3,500 Maui Electric customers - and to a wastewater pump in Waiehu that caused a sewage spill. Maui News.

Officials from Starwood Hotels and Resort say they intend to convert a portion of the Sheraton Kauai Resort into timeshares by the end of this year as a part of a larger proposal to turn the worldwide corporation’s vacation ownership arm into a separate, publicly traded company. Garden Island.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Affordable housing lacking, Kaiser strike looming, Maui in trouble over injection wells, medical marijuana hearings begin, Coco Palms permits deferred, tempers flare over military meeting, geothermal drilling at issue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Apartments in Honolulu © 2015 All Hawaii News
The cost of renting a home in Hawaii has jumped at least 10 percent over the past two years, according to a new study. And given the lack of construction of affordable units, the state’s housing crisis is projected to get worse. Civil Beat.

Hawai’i’s need for more affordable rental housing was the subject  of a briefing today before a Joint Legislative Housing Committee. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii housing officials are reminding lawmakers that low-income families need more affordable housing. Associated Press.

Workers at Kaiser Permanente’s hospital and clinics in Hawaii plan to strike for six days beginning Feb. 2, the union representing them said Friday. Associated Press.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii will temporarily close down 10 of its smaller clinics on Oahu and the neighbor islands during a planned six-day strike by nearly 1,900 union workers, or about 43 percent of its workforce. The state's largest health maintenance organization announced Tuesday that it will reschedule elective procedures and nonurgent appointments and close the smaller clinics while consolidating resources to its larger medical facilities. Star-Advertiser.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii said Tuesday it plans to close 10 clinics on Oahu, Maui and Big Island and consolidate operations to its larger facilities next week, when unionized workers plan to walk off the job in what would be Unite Here! Local 5's first statewide strike in nearly 30 years. Pacific Business News.

Senate Committee Defers Public Records Bill. The Office of Information Practices objected to legislation requiring government agencies to maintain public records better. Civil Beat.

The Office of Information Practices, the agency responsible for making sure state officials and agencies are complying with open meeting and public records requirements of state law, is looking for a new home. Top on the wish list seems to be an administrative base where OIP can enjoy independence from undue political interference, and also minimize the inevitable conflicts that come from being part of state government while at the same time trying to hold state agencies and departments accountable. Civil Beat.

The state attorney general is asking the Legislature to pay more than $1 million to a former prison inmate who claims he became infertile because state prison doctors failed to properly treat him for an infection, and more than $450,000 to a woman whom a state jury found was sexually assaulted by a guard at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility. Star-Advertiser.

Randy Iwase, the man who may be in charge of helping to shape Hawaii's energy scene came out of retirement because he believes he and other stakeholders have a duty to set a foundation for a sustainable renewable energy future for the state. Pacific Business News.

Opinion: Hawaii Needs An Effective Opposition Party. Republicans need a new strategy — and soon — if they're going to be the balancing political voice this state sorely needs. Civil Beat.

Volunteers are surveying the number of homeless people in Hawaii, counting those living in shelters or on the streets. The annual Point-in-Time count started Monday and will be conducted through Friday. Associated Press.

Living Hawaii: Who Can Afford to Retire in the Islands? Civil Beat.


Tempers flared at a military meeting in Waikiki Tuesday night as Army leaders from the Pentagon invite the public to express how much of an impact a possible troop reduction in Hawaii could have. Hawaii News Now.

As the Army considers downsizing on Oahu, a theory making the rounds is that if Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield close, the state would inherit lots of family housing and barracks for the public that could offset a housing crunch. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii is holding two meetings, known as listening sessions, this week to get public feedback on possible troop reductions or restructuring here in Hawaii. Military spending is the second largest industry in Hawaii behind tourism. KHON2.

Under the $1.55 billion full funding grant agreement signed between the city, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration on Dec. 19, 2012, Honolulu must build an elevated rail line that’s 20 miles long, features 21 stations and has 80 rail cars. In addition, the rail line must open to the public by the revenue service date of Jan. 31, 2020. KITV4.

Hawaiian Electric Co. can safely connect almost 10 times the amount of solar generation the electric utility currently allows, according to a recent test sponsored in part by HECO. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion:  Stop broadcast license renewals for the Raycom Media cartel. The danger of the Hawaii News Now media monopoly. Hawaii Independent.


Big Island residents will be able to weigh in today on a number of administrative rule changes related to Hawaii’s medical marijuana program. Among the proposed changes are a new process for the Department of Health to consider approval of additional medical conditions to be covered by the state’s medical marijuana program; a new system of application processing, registrations, monitoring and disciplinary actions; physician requirements to participate in the program; registration of qualifying patients and primary caregivers; monitoring and corrective action; and procedures for maintaining confidentiality for patients and caregivers. Tribune-Herald.

Does Hawaii County’s nighttime drilling ban apply to Puna Geothermal Venture? That’s a question the County Council will grapple with again next week as the geothermal power plant in Pohoiki starts another around-the-clock drilling project to build a new well. Tribune-Herald.

Celebration hosted for Kona’s newest “lifeline” road. West Hawaii Today.

Residents of the Kona Ocean View subdivision finally have their water. But they will have to wait a little longer before the roads are put back together. The county Water Board on Tuesday agreed to add $183,150 and extend to Feb. 28 its contract with Koga Engineering and Construction Inc. so the contractor can repave subdivision roads that were in worse shape than first thought. West Hawaii Today.


For the second time in less than a year, a federal judge has ruled that the use of injection wells at Maui County's sewage treatment plant in Lahaina violates the federal Clean Water Act, a finding that could lead to a large penalty. Star-Advertiser.

A federal judge effectively ruled Friday that all four injection wells at the Lahaina wastewater facility are "illegal" and in violation of the Clean Water Act, leaving the county open to tens of thousands of dollars a day in civil penalties, a lawyer for a group suing the county over the wells said. Maui News.

Maui legislators and county officials said Hawaii Gov. David Ige gave a "very positive" and "pleasant" speech Monday morning at the state Capitol, though it was what he didn't say in his first State of the State address that caught some attention. Maui News.


In what marked their first bid to rebuild the Coco Palms Resort, developers from Coco Palms Hui LLC were greeted on Tuesday with a mixture of praise and skepticism before the county board charged with approving the building permits for their $135 million restoration project. The County Planning Commission unanimously deferred any decisions on the project until their 9 a.m. meeting on Feb. 10, but not before residents and visitors alike shared their two cents on renewed efforts to restore and reconstruct the Wailua resort, which has been closed since Hurricane Iniki struck Kauai in 1992. Garden Island.

Hawaii Dairy Farms has submitted an environmental impact statement preparation notice to the state Department of Health for its proposed $17.5 million dairy in Mahaulepu Valley. It is the first step in moving forward with the study, which HDF has agreed to conduct voluntarily in light of public concern surrounding the project. Garden Island.