Showing posts with label Rep. Beth Fukumoto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rep. Beth Fukumoto. Show all posts

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Kilauea eruption sends ash miles into air, Hawaii County Council advances general excise tax, Honolulu to cap ride-share prices, political races firm up, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Volcanic activity on June 6 PC:USGS
An ash eruption at the Kilauea summit sent a plume 10,000 feet above sea level Wednesday to punctuate a devastating 24-hour period in which lava covered the subdivision of Vacationland, leaving hundreds of homes likely destroyed. Star-Advertiser.

An explosive eruption at the summit of Kilauea Volcano sent an ash plume 10,000 ft above sea level at 4:07 p.m. on Wednesday. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano may be disrupting life in paradise with its bursts of ash and bright-orange lava, but it also has scientists wide-eyed, eager to advance what's known about volcanoes. Associated Press.

One U.S. Senate seat in Hawaii and both of our U.S. House seats will be on the Aug. 11 primary ballot. All 51 House seats are up for election along with 13 of the 25 state Senate seats. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly endorsed Beth Fukumoto to represent Hawaii's First Congressional district in the Democratic Primary. Hawaii News Now.

Why Women Lack Power In Hawaii’s Legislature. Men hold most of the leadership positions, setting the agenda and passing legislation. Civil Beat.


The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday passed a $2.6 billion executive operating budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Star-Advertiser.

Feds May Require Honolulu To Sell Bonds For Rail Project. The City Council’s latest plan to demonstrate a willingness to help pay for rail construction has hit a snag. Civil Beat.

A bill that would lead to a cap on how much Uber, Lyft and other transportation network companies on Oahu could charge during peak hours won a 6-3 approval from the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

City Council Votes To Cap Uber And Lyft Prices. The restriction would be the first of its kind in the nation, the ride-sharing companies said. Civil Beat.

New bill caps surge pricing on ride sharing companies. KHON2.

City Council shoots down mayor's plan to change parking at Ala Moana Beach Park. KHON2.

A Waikiki beach stand ordered to explain why it's not complying with its contract. According to the Department of Environmental Services, concessions at Kuhio Beach are required to provide daily canoe rides to customers. KITV.

The U.S. House has approved a measure that includes $199 million for a flood control project in the Ala Wai watershed, including the Ala Wai Canal that borders Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu’s $4 Million Food Fight. The City Council approved funding for a facility to turn table scraps into compost, but others want the waste used for pig feed. Civil Beat.

Woman faces more than 100 years in prison for stealing millions from non-profit. KHON2.

Staff members and clients of The Arc in Hawaii, a nonprofit organization that provides services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, packed a state courtroom Wednesday to hear Lola Jean Amorin plead no contest to two counts of first-degree theft, two counts of computer fraud, money laundering and 13 tax evasion charges. Star-Advertiser.

Lola Jean Amorin, 70, accused of embezzling nearly $7 million from the local non-profit, changed her plea to "No Contest" Wednesday. KITV.

UH-Manoa rises in another ranking of world’s universities. The University of Hawaii at Manoa is ranked No. 302 in the 2019 QS World University Ranking (QSWUR) by London-based Quacquarelli Symonds, according to the university in a news release today. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii has awarded a $33.3 million design-build contract to general contractor Kiewit Building Group and architecture firm Next Design for the design and construction of the Academy for Creative Media building on the UH West Oahu campus. Pacific Business News.

Oahu housing prices moved up slightly in May but sales continued to lag during the spring homebuying season amid concerns that rising interest rates may be starting to have a dampening effect. Star-Advertiser.

Home sales on Oahu declined by 8 percent in May, compared to a year ago, as the median price of a single-family home and condominium rose by more than 4 percent, according to separate reports from the Honolulu Board of Realtors and the Locations real estate firm. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Council passes GET-lite. It took a volcanic eruption and a few compromises to convince them, but a majority of County Council members now supports a half-sized version of the previously ill-fated general excise tax surcharge. West Hawaii Today.

A neighborhood called Vacationland had disappeared by Wednesday as lava poured into two oceanfront subdivisions, smothering hundreds of homes and filling an ocean bay, turning it into new land that now juts into the sea. Associated Press.

Mayor reflects on destruction of Kapoho. In the course of three days, hundreds of homes, farms and vacation rentals in Kapoho became buried under a relentless aa lava flow that turned lives upside down and erased an entire community from the map, leaving its iconic tide pools and gentle bay to live on in the memories of those who cherished them. Tribune-Herald.

Kilauea Lava Flow Swallows 279 Homes In 2 Coastal Subdivisions. An oceanfront subdivision known as Vacationland is the latest to be swallowed by lava flows as the Kilauea volcano continues to reshape the landscape on Hawaii's Big Island. Hawaii Public Radio.

After taking out entire neighborhoods and hundreds of homes in Kapoho, lava continues to reshape the coastline of the Big Island, cascading into the water and forming new land. Hawaii News Now.

Video Overflight: 300 Homes Destroyed in 48 Hours. Big Island Now.

Psychological Fatigue Sets in as Eruption Continues. Kilauea Volcano has been erupting for more than a month now. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tiny houses offer glimmer of hope — and home — for lava evacuees. As Hawaii County and the state discuss what to do about hundreds of lava evacuees, the first temporary housing project is already being built — without government help. Hawaii News Now.

20 micro-unit structures will go along along with some ancillary support facilities - such as restrooms and common area for meeting and dining - to be managed by HOPE Services. Big Island Video News.

Residents feel safe despite lava but chafe at government controls. Star-Advertiser.

Confusion, apprehension and frustration, along with a greater-than-capacity crowd, spilled out the open doors of the West Hawaii Civic Center’s County Council Chambers Wednesday night at a meeting to discuss deteriorating air quality in the region. West Hawaii Today.

A community meeting about volcanic ash and vog will take place today in Volcano. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Cooper Center. Tribune-Herald.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently published a notice of intent to prepare a draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement addressing the potential effects of operations and maintenance activities on the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat, Hawaiian goose and Hawaiian petrel at four wind farms in the state, including one in Kau. West Hawaii Today.

W. M. Keck Observatory officials on Tuesday disclosed the discovery of an oil leak from the hydraulic system supporting the Keck I telescope. Star-Advertiser.


A Maui committee has approved a charter amendment that would increase the penalty for illegal vacation rentals to $20,000. Associated Press.

A charter amendment to establish a $20,000 penalty for illegal transient accommodations and a proposal to streamline the processing of legal claims against the county were recommended for approval by a Maui County Council committee Tuesday. Maui News.

Maui County Council Member Elle Cochran pressed for answers Wednesday about the extent to which county directors, including Managing Director Keith Regan, contributed money to Mayor Alan Arakawa’s campaign. Maui News.

Maui candidates set for competitive election races. Seven vie for mayor’s seat; all council races contested. Maui News.

Gov. David Ige has signed a bill that will provide $700,000 for scholarships to help students attend community colleges in the University of Hawaii system, including UH-Maui College. Maui News.


Emergency permitting bill passed. Due to April’s historic flooding and landslides that left many homes destroyed or damaged, the Kauai County Council passed an emergency bill Wednesday that would expedite the permitting process for impacted homesteads, residential and agricultural buildings. Garden Island.

Nearly 2 months after historic floods, recovery on Kauai has just begun. Hawaii News Now.

First 2018 Kauai Hawaiian monk seal pup is a female. Kauai’s first monk seal pup of the season has already been weaned and the large pup is learning to forage for her own food on the South Side. Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Hawaii tourism takes a hit, cruise ships cancel Big Island ports, officials seek to plug geothermal well, air condition red in Puna; Honolulu rail seeks partners, Waikiki beach boys fight for survival, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Cruise ship docked in Hilo in better days ©2018 All Hawaii News
Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that it won’t make calls in Big Isle ports this week, widening tourism losses for the hard-hit island. Star-Advertiser.

Cruise ship Pride of America cancels Big Island visits. Tribune-Herald.

Tourism losses mount across the Big Island. Star-Advertiser.

==more VOLCANO news below at Hawaii Island category==

Beth Fukumoto Takes Her Hunt For Campaign Cash To DC. The Republican-turned-Democrat is banking on outside help from disgruntled Never Trumpers and progressives. Civil Beat.

Hawaii faces additional challenges to its standing as one of only two states to reject all forms of gambling after Monday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court opened wide the door to sports gambling. Star-Advertiser.

New EIS, EA procedures: Public hearings for rule changes set this month. A complete rewrite of the procedures that agencies and developers use for environmental assessments and environmental impact statements is the subject of statewide public hearings later this month. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii state pension fund commits to impact investing. Pacific Business News.

The Japanese government has announced Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko will visit Hawaii for the first time next month. Associated Press.

The widow of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye attended the keel-laying ceremony Monday for the future USS Daniel Inouye in Bath, Maine. Star-Advertiser.


HART Looking For Private Partners to Complete Last $1.6B City Center Rail Segment. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation – HART – wants to partner with private businesses to complete and sustain the city’s rail system. Hawaii Public Radio.

An $11.4 million settlement with an injured pedestrian indicates the city’s crosswalk policies are breaking the law, and endangering pedestrians. Hawaii News Now.

The two longtime operators of separate Waikiki beachboys stands say they intend to continue offering surf lessons, canoe rides, beach umbrellas and other services despite orders from the city to vacate their concessions today. Star-Advertiser.

A new scooter sharing program called Lime-S launched in Honolulu over the weekend. Pacific Business News.

Electric rental scooters hit sidewalks despite city prohibition. California-based Lime dropped about 200 electric scooters onto sidewalks in the Ala Moana, Waikiki and Kakaako areas Saturday and said about 1,500 riders took a spin over the weekend by paying $1 plus 15 cents a minute. Star-Advertiser.

City of Honolulu says new scooter pilot program operating illegally. KHON2.

Beretania Street was closed in the westbound direction from Ward Avenue for about an hour today after a member of the public dropped off possible military ordnance at the Honolulu Police Department headquarters. Star-Advertiser.

The Fight To Save A Sacred Owl In West Oahu. A nonprofit group based in Ewa Beach is concerned future development will destroy the habitat of the Hawaiian short-eared owl. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Effort Underway To Kill Puna Geothermal Wells. Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Tom Travis talks about the effort to secure PGV as lava erupts nearby. Big Island Video News.

Officials to kill active wells at Puna geothermal plant as lava creeps closer. Hawaii News Now.

Sulfur dioxide levels at ‘condition red’ in Lanipuna Gardens, county officials warn. Star-Advertiser.

Residents warned of dangerously high sulfur dioxide levels in lower Puna. Tribune-Herald.

'Red' air quality alert issued for areas near several active fissures. Hawaii News Now.

Condition RED Air Quality Danger Due To Eruption. Big Island Video News.

High sulfur dioxide levels from fissures prompt condition-red warning for residents. KHON2.

Fissures Near Lanipuna Gardens Releasing Dangerous Levels of Sulfur Dioxide. Hawaii Public Radio.

Escape road threatened, geothermal wells to be killed as lava approaches. Star-Advertiser.

Officials seek to shore up Pahoa lifelines, Mayor Kim says. Star-Advertiser.

The Time They Bombed Mauna Loa And Other Lava-Stopping Schemes. Diverting a lava flow is not as easy as some people — including then-Lt. Col. George Patton — once thought. Civil Beat.

Highway 130 opens Tuesday for local traffic only. KITV.

A man who lives near the large volcanic fissure that opened up Sunday and spewed lava near Halekamahina Loop Road in lower Puna called the event “absolutely deafening.” Tribune-Herald.

State eyes 'lava bridge,' other fixes to keep key roadways open. Hawaii News Now.

Schools react, respond to lava emergency. KHON2.

With smiles from ear to ear and exclamations of glee and awe, the 18 preschoolers from Kua O Ka La Public Charter School in Puna got up close and personal with the coastal bottlenose dolphins at Dolphin Quest at Hilton Waikoloa Village. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Department of Health reminds the public that its Crisis Line of Hawaii is available for residents, visitors and anyone affected by the Kilauea eruptions seeking help in coping with mental or emotional effects. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii County Prosecutor’s Office will remain on the case involving an ex-police officer accused of fatally striking a bicyclist in 2015. West Hawaii Today.

A crime of laziness: Public warned about poisoned prawns. West Hawaii Today.

The state has issued cease and desist orders to four Hawaii County men for the unlawful removal of tons of lava rock from the Mauna Loa Forest Reserve. Star-Advertiser.


Hana’s only gas station has shut down for 10 days, though a Maui Oil truck will provide gas at the site for a limited time each day, general manager Marni Aina said Monday, the first day of the closure. Maui News.


Peace, Quiet And A Revived Sense of Community. For those living beyond Hanalei, it’s tough to get to jobs or shop, but many feel liberated with the tourist mobs gone. Civil Beat.

The Kauai Emergency Management Agency is urging Kauai residents affected by the April 14-15 flooding to submit any unreported damages of homes and businesses. Garden Island.

Polihale State Park opened today, after nearly a month of work to restore the entry road damaged in the April flooding on Kauai. Garden Island.


With parts of the Molokai landfill expected to reach full capacity in coming years, Maui County is proposing expansions on the property to allow for the island’s future disposal needs. Maui News.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Experts study snorkel safety, Honolulu council strikes 'in lieu' fees for affordable housing, Fukumoto announces congressional bid, tourists average $600 nightly for luxury hotels, $100M highway money for Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii snorkel ©2018 All Hawaii News
In the last five years, 90 people have died in snorkeling related activities, according to the state Department of Health. And a rise in that number has prompted experts to try to figure out why. Hawaii News Now.

Several dozen stakeholders — including lifeguards, tour boat operators, doctors and members of the tourism industry — convened at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort on Wednesday to discuss the prevention of snorkel-related drownings among visitors in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii visitors were willing to pay, on average, nearly $600 a night to stay in a luxury property last month, which hotel executives say was one of the most remarkable months for Hawaii hotel performance in nearly three decades. Star-Advertiser.

New tax benefits likely overstated for Hawaii’s poorest. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which issued a report with the estimate March 12, now says it probably overestimated the average savings for 92,030 Hawaii taxpayers earning up to $10,000 under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Star-Advertiser.

State Rep. Beth Fukumoto, who garnered national attention for leaving the GOP, announced Thursday she’s running for Congress. Hawaii News Now.

She Was An ‘R,’ Now She’s A ‘D’ — And Running For Congress. State Rep. Beth Fukumoto hopes to ride anti-Trump sentiment to Capitol Hill. Civil Beat.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has a big idea. He wants to eliminate student debt for any one who needs a loan to attend a public college or university. Civil Beat.

Medical Aid In Dying: A Long Journey From No To Yes For These Lawmakers. More than a decade of life experiences and listening changed the minds of Hawaii legislators on an emotional issue that often divides people by faith and values. Civil Beat.

State lawmakers will hear a bill today that would cap the number of standardized tests students take at four per school year. House Bill 2117 says limiting the assessments would help “promote real-world learning experiences for Hawaii’s children.” Tribune-Herald.

A bill nearing a final vote in the state Legislature would require counties to dispose of abandoned vehicles on public roads within 10 business days of abandonment. Tribune-Herald.

The Cable Television Division of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs issued a decision and order keeping ‘Olelo’s community-access channels in their current locations until 2036, it was announced Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.


Caldwell likely to sign affordable housing bill. A new citywide affordable housing policy won final approval Wednesday from the Honolulu City Council. Star-Advertiser.

The City Council unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday that urges the mayor to address concerns about a plan to eliminate beachfront parking at Ala Moana Regional Park. Hawaii News Now.

A bill creating a monthly $5 charge for curbside trash pickup cleared its first hurdle at the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday but still has a long way to go. Star-Advertiser.

US prosecutors want one corruption trial against former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, his deputy prosecutor wife Katherine, three current officers, and one former police major. KITV.

Board of Water Supply seeks public feedback on proposed rate increases. KHON2.

The water is rising. Is Hawaii's largest public works project ready? Hawaii News Now.

Formerly homeless vets get a fresh start at West Oahu complex. Hawaii News Now.

Complete Streets community events slated for Kaneohe, Kailua, Pearl City. KHON2.

Firefighters have determined a Makiki fire in which a 49-year-old man was found dead last week was intentionally set, a Honolulu Fire Department spokesman said. Star-Advertiser.

FBI investigates Waipahu church for alleged human trafficking. Hawaii News Now.

Kapiolani Community College narrows search for chancellor to 3 finalists. Hawaii News Now.

More than 150 employers were on hand today for this year’s Star-Advertiser Career Expo. Hawaii Public Radio.

Employers search for rare ‘diamonds’ in rough job market. With the state sporting a February unemployment rate of 2.1 percent, the lowest in the country, more than 160 companies and organizations on Wednesday hoped to attract workers who are already employed to the Career Expo 2018 held at the Neal Blaisdell Center. Star-Advertiser.

Target is voluntarily recalling nearly 250 frozen food items sold at its Ala Moana location. The company says the products affected may be spoiled and can cause serious illness, if consumed. KITV.

Hawaii Island

Council eyes using portion of geothermal royalties to get internet access at Pahoa Community Center. Tribune-Herald.

Local TV Is Getting Bigger and Bolder. Na Leo TV has greatly expanded its staff, facilities and its presence on the island. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii Island doctor accused of prescription fraud changed his plea to guilty to some of the various charges he was indicted on last year. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Expected to Get $100M in Federal Highway Funds. The public is invited to learn about proposed federal transportation projects for Maui at four community workshops in April. Maui Now.

United States District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright sentenced 32-year-old Cody Joslin to 18 months in prison today, March 28, 2018, for theft of funds from the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Maui Now.


A bill proposing the $5.6 million purchase of land in Hanalei by the County of Kauai was moved forward at Wednesday’s County Council meeting. Garden Island.

People should think twice about jumping into the water at Koloa Landing right now, according to the Kauai chapter of Surfrider and the state Department of Health, as a brown plume was seen there Tuesday afternoon. Garden Island.

Anyone interested in being an extra in one of Hollywood’s upcoming action/adventure movies being filmed on Kauai can audition to be part of the cast or crew on Saturday. Garden Island.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Honolulu Zoo struggling; schools superintendent, tourism officials, PUC appointee named; Maui and Kauai advance budgets; tropical storms, high seas expected for summer; Caldwell, Honolulu officials to get 5% raise, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 Al Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu Zoo © 2017 All Hawaii News
A year after the Honolulu Zoo suffered an embarrassing loss of accreditation from the Association of Zoos &Aquariums, three zoo exhibits are shuttered and the facility lacks a permanent director. Star-Advertiser.

A rare convergence of rising sea levels with some of the highest tides of the year could cause episodes of serious coastal flooding in Hawaii over the next few months, scientists are warning. Star-Advertiser.

More than 30,000 online public comments have already poured into the U.S. Department of Interior’s web-based docket system since the agency opened a review of more than two dozen federally protected areas, including the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and Pacific Remote Islands, at the direction of President Donald Trump. Star-Advertiser.

After years of legal wrangling, the state and advocates for foster parents thought they had a deal to help cover the cost of caring for foster children — but one state lawmaker torpedoed the settlement. Star-Advertiser.

An Arizona school district superintendent was tapped to serve as Hawaii’s next chief of public schools. Tribune-Herald.

The state Board of Education said Friday it has selected Christina Kishimoto as the new superintendent to lead the Hawaii State Department of Education. Pacific Business News.

Christina Kishimoto, superintendent of a public school district in Arizona, has been selected as the new Hawaii public schools superintendent, the state Board of Education announced Friday. Maui News.

Rep. Beth Fukumoto is expected to face tough questioning from members of the Democratic Party as she seeks their acceptance after ditching the Republican Party earlier this year amid a political dust-up over critical comments that she made about President Donald Trump. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige on Friday appointed James “Jay” Griffin, a natural energy researcher at the University of Hawaii Manoa, to an interim seat on the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Pacific Business News.

Two business and tourism veterans will join the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the government agency responsible for statewide tourism marketing. The state Legislature has confirmed Sherry Menor- McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, and Kelly Sanders, area managing director of Marriott Hotels and Resorts Waikiki, as HTA’s newest board members. Star-Advertiser.

Investigators Try To Figure Out Why Man Tried To Disrupt Flight. The man who created a disturbance on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu faces possible federal charges of interfering with a flight crew. Associated Press.

A University of Hawaii faculty member is causing a stir in conservative media circles by suggesting that white men need to quit their jobs to make room for minorities and women. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Souki’s House career lasted 35 years for good reason. Star-Advertiser.


The Honolulu Salary Commission is recommending 5 percent raises for the mayor, police chief and other top city officials. Civil Beat.

Even with the official number of homeless people soaring in their communities, some state and city lawmakers on Oahu say the latest homeless census gives them a better idea of how to plan for possibilities that could include hygiene centers and even tent cities. Star-Advertiser.

A former employee of DuPont Pioneer on Oahu is suing the company, claiming she was retaliated against for raising concerns about its use of pesticides. Civil Beat.

A planned public school envisioned to be a “vertical” prototype for urban Honolulu areas near transit stations is on track to be built sooner rather than later as part of a Kakaako project with two residential apartment towers. Star-Advertiser.

The City Council is advancing a bill aimed at addressing long-standing concerns about foul odors emanating from waters around the Honolulu Country Club in Salt Lake. Star-Advertiser.

Public comments wanted for study on future of Haiku Stairs. KHON2.

A $300 million waterfront retail village would be a welcome amenity for many Hoakalei Resort and Ocean Pointe homeowners in Ewa Beach, but some of them still want something else: $27 million from a jury award two years ago and more in pending claims. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Transportation plans to begin resurfacing Farrington Highway from Kili Drive to Kaena Point in Makaha in the coming weeks. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu International Airport’s name will be officially changed to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport at a ceremony on Memorial Day weekend, but the new sign is already up on the main airport building. Star-Advertiser.

AT&T workers in Hawaii continued their three-day strike on Sunday to fight for better wages and benefits. Four of Oahu's nine AT&T stores remained closed while workers rallied near Ala Moana Beach park. Hawaii News Now.

Resort Fees: A Hidden Pain For Tourists, A Windfall For Hotels. While consumer advocates decry costs for amenities like swimming pool access and in-room safes, the fees bring in an estimated $2.6 billion annually for hotels. Civil Beat.

Natives are recolonizing urban Honolulu. Native birds, that is. The white tern or Manu O Kū is thriving in Hawaiʻi’s most populous city, and so is its fan base – the Hui Manu O Kū. Hawaii Public Radio.

Commentary: Rail debacle should prompt developers, bankers to step up. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Chlamydia infections are circulating unchecked in Hawaii County, state Department of Health data shows. Tribune-Herald.

Kona led Hawaii Island in auto thefts in 2016 and is on track to do so this year, as well, according to data from the Hawaii Police Department. Tribune-Herald.

Dr. Sharon Bintliff left county councilmembers smiling after a vote in support of her nomination to sit on the ethics board. Big Island Video News.

In a case of justice grinding slowly but exceedingly fine, the Hawaii Island Board of Registration on Tuesday is scheduled to pick up a 2014 election dispute that first took a trip to the Hawaii Supreme Court. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo’s state senator says it “is really, really unfortunate,” that Hawaii County is still without an East Hawaii representative on the University of Hawaii Board of Regents. Big Island Video News.

The state Land Board rejected a petition from a Thirty Meter Telescope opponent seeking an online transcript of the project’s contested case hearing. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Office of Housing and Community Development has prepared its list of projects it plans to fund with allocations from a long-standing federal initiative, but it’s not clear how long that program will continue. Tribune-Herald.

After the rescue of more than 80 dogs from a South Kona property, the Hawaii Island Humane Society is looking to the community to give the animals temporary homes. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui County Council passed on first reading Friday an approximately $705.2 million fiscal 2018 budget. Maui News.

The Maui Planning Commission will hold a hearing Tuesday on ATC Makena Holding’s application for a special management area permit, but under a court order last week the panel will only acknowledge and accept petitions to intervene. Maui News.

The National Weather Service is expecting an “above-average year” for tropical cyclones, which could destroy huge sections of Honoapiilani Highway and isolate West Maui residents from the rest of the island for months — possibly a year, a senior forecaster and hurricane specialist said. Maui News.

A pesticide-free pilot program will launch in four Maui parks over the coming year in the county’s quest to find greener measures that won’t break the bank. Maui News.


The Kauai County Council voted 6-1 to approve $201 million for the next fiscal year on May 12. Oahu, Maui and the Big Island councils are expected to make decisions on their respective budgets by mid-June. Highlights of Kauai County budget, which is the highest in a decade, include reducing the mayor’s original proposal by $2 million without increasing property taxes. Garden Island.

Even with the threat of being open to lawsuits, lifeguards will continue to man their respective towers this summer. Garden Island.

Seventeen health-care professionals on Kauai are adding their voices to a request that Gov. David Ige ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos in Hawaii. Garden Island.

Kauai’s lawmakers will recap the legislative session at the Lihue Business Association’s Thursday meeting at Duke’s Canoe Club. Garden Island.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gov. Ige slashes budget, Oahu loses population in census estimate, protection for Hawaii travel ban judge, House loses rare Republican after Trump criticism, rail tax survives, Honolulu tax hikes ahead, fighter jets coming, electricity increases, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo, Governor's Office
Ige with schoolchildren, courtesy photo
Budget cuts hit construction, schools. Gov. David Ige has proposed a package of spending cuts for the next two years that includes slashing the state construction budget financed with general obligation bonds to $1 billion from $1.5 billion during the next two years. Star-Advertiser.

Census: Oahu loses population for first time in a decade, while Hawaii Island hits national growth benchmark. Hawaii Island led the state in several measures of population increases, according to estimates released late Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii judge who blocked travel ban gets protection detail. The U.S. Marshals Service has flown in about a dozen deputies from the mainland to provide 24-hour protection for U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson. Hawaii News Now.


Fukumoto says aloha to GOP. Rep. Beth Fukumoto announced today that she is leaving the Republican Party, citing, in part, its failure to condemn elements of racism and sexism within its base. She will seek membership in the Democratic Party. Star-Advertiser.

Ending months of speculation, state Rep. Beth Fukumoto made it official Wednesday: She resigned from the Hawaii Republican Party and announced that she will seek membership in the Democratic Party of Hawaii. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii lawmaker who says she was pressured to give up her leadership post at the statehouse after criticizing President Donald Trump resigned Wednesday from the Republican Party. Associated Press.

Rep. Beth Fukumoto announced on Wednesday that she will be leaving the Republican Party and seeking membership with the Democratic Party.  At a press conference, she cited racism and sexism as the core reasons why she's leaving the GOP. KITV.


Lawmakers consider charging prepaid wireless users a 911 fee. A bill in the state Legislature would charge a fee of 1.2 percent on pre-paid wireless plans or cards, with the revenue going into the Enhanced 911 Fund.  Hawaii News Now.

Electricity bills increase across isles. The cost of electricity in the state is double the national average, as Hawaii residents paid an average of 27.68 cents a kilowatt-hour for electricity in December. The national average was 12.21 cents in the same month, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Energy, the ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program for Honolulu, Hawaii and Maui counties, accounted for more than $325 million in lifetime savings for its customers in its last program year, its top executive said Wednesday at an industry event on Maui. Pacific Business News.

Why Hawaii Must Become More Energy Resilient. Speakers at the Maui Energy Conference posed questions about what type of life the state wants to create for its citizens as it adapts. Civil Beat.

Iwase glad he rejected NextEra. Eight months after the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission rejected Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc.’s $4.3 billion bid to buy the state’s dominate electric utility, Commission Chairman Randy Iwase said he feels good about the decision. Star-Advertiser.

Randy Iwase, head of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, said he is very comfortable with the state agency’s decision to reject Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc.’s $4.3 billion deal to buy Hawaiian Electric Co. Pacific Business News.

Fighter jets flocking to Hawaii for combat exercise. An increase in fighter aircraft activity will be seen beginning next week as part of a new round of the recurring Sentry Aloha exercise, the Hawaii National Guard said. Star-Advertiser.


Mayor’s budget plan, tax and fee hikes get initial OK by Council. Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s $2.45 billion operating budget proposal and an accompanying slate of measures raising various taxes and fees won initial approval from the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council gives preliminary approval for increased bus and garbage fee.  The council voted in favor of increasing bus prices beginning January of next year.  Single fares would jump 25 cents to $2.75. KITV.

Council OK’s Bill Eliminating Cap On Rail Money. The Honolulu City Council approved a measure Wednesday to eliminate the $4.8 billion cap on how much general excise tax money can be used to build the city’s 20-mile rail project. Civil Beat.

Legislators differ on rail-tax extension. A rail-tax extension is back in play at the state Capitol — but the proposal will likely face more tough scrutiny and hurdles in the weeks ahead. Star-Advertiser.

House Restores Honolulu Rail Tax — For Now. For the mayor of Honolulu, a state legislative hearing this week on a bill to pay for rail was a bit of déjà vu.. Civil Beat.

House Transportation Committee Extends GET Surcharge for Rail Transit for an Unspecified Period. State funding for the Honolulu Rail Transit project cleared a critical hurdle in the House today. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Area for Rapid Transportation posts job ad for new CEO. The Honolulu Area for Rapid Transportation posted a job ad for a new chief executive officer last month. Pacific Business News.

City salaries reveal some employees make more than department heads. KHON2.

State clears homeless encampments from Diamond Head. Following six months of warnings, state law enforcement officers early Wednesday morning swept through 40 or so homeless encampments on the slopes of Diamond Head, where seven people had remained atop the Hawaii landmark. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii law enforcement agents have cleared dozens of homeless camps in Oahu's Diamond Head State Monument and issued citations to seven people who refused to leave despite weeks of warnings. Associated Press.

A private contractor hired by the state on Wednesday hauled away tons of trash from illegal homeless camps on Hawaii’s iconic Diamond Head crater.  Civil Beat.

A 78-year-old business could shut down due to problems after a homeless encampment moved into the neighborhood. KITV.

Sewage spill in Halawa prompts $465,000 fine. The state Department of Agriculture has been ordered to pay a $465,000 fine for discharging sewage into Halawa Stream on Oahu for two months last summer. Star-Advertiser.

State to dispute fine for massive Halawa sewage spill that lasted 2 months. Hawaii News Now.

Did Honolulu Cops Issue Fake Tickets Or Did The Honolulu Prosecutor Make Up The Story? Several defense lawyers who specialize in drunken driving cases are hoping to use Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro’s own words against him in an attempt to beat various DUI charges that have been filed against their clients in Oahu District Court. Civil Beat.


Telescope foes criticize slew of objections. Thirty Meter Telescope foes are crying foul after lawyers with the University of Hawaii at Hilo and the TMT International Observatory board filed numerous objections to exhibits entered in the contested case proceedings. Star-Advertiser.

Start of $75M Kona airport expansion celebrated. State and airport officials are moving forward with the facility’s first expansion to accommodate the 3 million people now filtering through the airport annually. West Hawaii Today.

County to negotiate for purchase of Hakalau valley land. The Hawaii County Council authorized negotiations for the purchase of an 83-acre parcel in Hakalau valley in a 9-0 vote Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

Scientists Say There’s Hope For Dying Ohia Trees. Researchers are closer to understanding a fungus that has infected 50,000 acres of Big Island ohia forest in little more than a handful of years. Civil Beat.

Second ride-hailing company begins operations on Big Island; Lyft goes live today. Less than a week after ride-hailing first arrived on the shores of the Big Island, a new transportation startup is set to begin operations. Tribune-Herald.

Senior Produce Program to cease operations after 10 years. The Food Basket, Hawaii Island’s food bank, announced its decade-old Senior Produce Program has ended. Tribune-Herald.


Haiku group sues county over housing project. Developer included in lawsuit that alleges an attempt to bypass public review, ag laws. A group of more than 200 Haiku residents has filed a lawsuit against the County of Maui and a proposed workforce housing development in Pauwela and is claiming that the project has circumvented public review and violated state and county agriculture laws, their attorney said last week. Maui News.

Panelist: ‘Food, water and energy must all intersect in agriculture’. Lack of coordination, inconsistent laws keep them out of sync, says sustainability expert Jonathan Koehn. Maui News.

Public input sought on MPD accreditation. Telephone and written comments will be accepted on the Maui Police Department’s ability to meet accreditation standards, and an assessment team from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies will be on Maui from March 27 to 30 to examine the department’s policies and procedures, management, operations and support system. Maui News.

Final birds from captive-breeding program released. Event marks the successful end to the recovery of the puaiohi birds into their native habitat. The final trio of endangered puaiohi birds bred in captivity — including on Maui — has been released to the wild on Kauai, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Tuesday. Maui News.

The Road To Hana Is Sometimes Paved With Bad Intentions. Some vehicles left behind by motorists with car trouble are vandalized. To make matters worse, emergency call boxes frequently don’t work. Civil Beat.


Council begins budget process. The Kauai County Council began work Wednesday on Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr.’s proposed $204 million operating budget for fiscal year 2017-2018. Garden Island.

Post office resolution rejected. Kauai County Councilmembers may not want to see the Lihue post office change sites, but some say it’s out of their control. Garden Island.

Mohihi Camp road, bridge completed. A $2.4 million project to replace three bridges along the Mohihi Camp 10 access road in Kokee State Park was finished two months ahead of schedule. Garden Island.

Coral New growth at Waipa. Coral cover could be increasing around Kauai’s North Shore. Garden Island.

KCC could be smoke-free. Kauai Community College may join the University of Hawaii at Manoa as a smoke-free campus. Garden Island.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Taxes for teachers; Legislature mulls polystyrene food container ban, drone restrictions, affordable housing bonds, extending rail tax; Molokai mule rides may shut down, Kauai bridge uproar, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii State Teachers Association 012717
Hawaii State Teachers Association Jan. 21, 2017 Honolulu rally
A number of bills to tax investors and tourists to improve public education are advancing through the Legislature. Hawaii Public Radio.

After postponing making a decision last Friday, a House committee Monday amended and passed two measures that would use taxes to provide more funding for public schools in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Scheduled for a joint committee hearing Wednesday, Senate Bill 1109 would ban food vendors from using styrofoam and other polystyrene containers. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers are advancing an assortment of bills this year to begin collecting state excise taxes that are owed for online sales of retail products, a step that one lawmaker estimates might haul in an extra $80 million a year for the state treasury. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii usually budgets tens of millions of dollars annually to subsidize affordable housing development, but Sen. Will Espero wants to increase that to $2 billion to tackle the state’s severe housing shortage. Civil Beat.

State supports increasing fines from $250 to $750 for distracted driving. KHON2.

Hawaii lawmakers are working to tackle the thorny issue of how to regulate drones again this year but have already sidelined one bill while acknowledging that a second measure will likely morph into a permanent working group to further study the issue. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers are considering new restrictions for drones that they say are aimed at helping keep the skies safe. Hawaii News Now.

A new Hawaii bill would add penalties and increase the amount of electric vehicle parking spaces shopping malls and other places would need to dedicate at their respective properties. Pacific Business News.

Legislation introduced Friday would prohibit registered lobbyists from serving on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs board of trustees. But there’s only one target of the bill at this point: Keli‘i Akina. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai representatives have introduced a bill that seeks a stricter sentence for people found guilty of family abuse of keiki. Garden Island.

Representative Beth Fukumoto is weighing whether to stay in Hawai‘i’s Republican Party. It’s a decision that has brought her the attention of national media. Hawaii Public Radio.

The federal court has approved a final settlement in a landmark lawsuit over the religious rights of Native Hawaiian inmates at the Saguaro Correctional Center, an Arizona prison where about 1,700 Hawaii prisoners are housed. Civil Beat.

President Donald Trump Seeks To Put Hawaii Case On Hold. The Trump administration says Hawaii’s challenge of travel ban should wait until a mainland case is resolved. Civil Beat.


Key Hawaii state senators are moving against the deal proposed last week that would extend Oahu’s rail tax in exchange for the city relinquishing a share of those rail dollars to the state for neighbor island projects. Star-Advertiser.

Rail Tax Surcharge Measures Face Big Votes This Week. The measures before Hawaii Senate panels call for extending the general excise tax hike on Oahu and returning the state’s skim to the city. Civil Beat.

A state senator held a town hall meeting, Monday night, to address the traffic tie up that left drivers stuck for hours, as they headed toward Hawaii Kai on the H-1. KITV.

A fraud and misspending investigation launched in 2013 at Kaiser High School ended years later without anyone being charged. But now players on both sides of that case are in the middle of an education shakeup. KHON2.

The city finally has come up with proposed new rules to crack down on the illegal vending that’s gone on at Oahu beach parks for decades. Civil Beat.

A new Hawaii bill would provide a major boost to the untapped potential of hydroelectricity on Oahu by pumping millions of dollars into a project that would utilize the Nuuanu reservoir in Honolulu. Pacific Business News.

The solar industry continues to dim as the number of solar energy system permits issued on Oahu in January was cut in half from the same period last year. Star-Advertiser.


The state Department of Transportation will begin swapping out speed limit signs on Daniel K. Inouye Highway, also known as Saddle Road, starting today. Tribune-Herald.

A new, increased speed limit is about to take effect on Saddle Road, also known as the Daniel K. Inouye Highway. Big Island Video News.

Another piece of a North Kohala shoreline trail is set to fall into place Wednesday, when the County Council plans to take up resolutions granting pedestrian and vehicle access. West Hawaii Today.


A pilot project to offset carbon emissions and restore forests around Kahikinui has been proposed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Maui News.

Abandoned building full of history. A lone two-story cement building standing in the middle of a field on the West Maui Mountains side of Mokulele Highway is a curious but familiar sight for passers-by. Maui News.

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is seeking to fill seven primary and alternate seats on its advisory council, according to an announcement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Maui News.


Public outcry over the construction of a $2.7 million, 20-ton bridge Keahua Stream on Kuamoo Road, in an area known as “loop road,” has sparked another public meeting on Kauai about the project. Garden Island.

A health facility, school buildings, affordable housing and park improvements are on the list of capital improvement projects Kauai legislators say are necessary for financing. Garden Island.

A pair of bills related that would change Hawaii law in response to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s “quiet title” actions filed against owners of small pieces of land, or kuleana lands, within his 700-acre oceanfront property on Kauai continue to move ahead in the state Legislature. Pacific Business News.

A next-generation guided missile with ramifications for the protection of Hawaii on Friday successfully intercepted a ballistic missile target west of the Hawaiian Islands in the first such shoot-down attempt, demonstrating a greater defensive capability for the United States and Japan, which jointly developed the missile.  Star-Advertiser.

Surfrider, DOH zero in on Moloa‘a Stream: A distinct odor saturates the area around Moloaa Bay during heavy rains, and it smells like sewage, according to area residents. Garden Island.


A popular Molokai mule tour is on the verge of shutting down after more than 40 years in operation. Kalaupapa Rare Adventures guides visitors on mule rides down a 1,600-foot cliff to the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula. Hawaii News Now.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

One of only six GOP legislators ousted as House minority leader after criticizing Trump, may switch parties; first two marijuana dispensaries get OK to grow; Legislature mulls police cameras, gun silencers; Maui man charged with threats to mayor; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Opening day Olelo interview of Rep. Beth Fukumoto, Facebook photo
The six lone Republicans in the state Legislature ousted their leader today in a House Resolution vote. Hawaii Public Radio.

Republicans in the Hawaii House of Representatives on Wednesday ousted minority leader Rep. Beth Fukumoto over her criticism of President Donald Trump, including calling him a bully at last month’s Women’s March in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

State Rep. Beth Fukumoto, the top Republican officeholder in Hawaii, may jump parties. Civil Beat.

A Republican State Representative in Hawaii is considering leaving the GOP and joining the Democrats due her party’s staunch support of President Donald Trump. Big Island Video News.

A Republican lawmaker in deep-blue Hawaii is considering switching parties to become a Democrat after she was pressured to give up her leadership role for criticizing President Donald Trump. Associated Press.

Hawaii's Republican Party on Wednesday elected State Rep. Andria Tupola as House Minority Leader, hours after passing a resolution that ousted Rep. Beth Fukumoto from the leadership role. Hawaii News Now.

Rep Beth Fukumoto: Beat up by her party, may defect. KITV.

A Hawaii lawmaker says she’s been bullied and attacked by her own party. Now Rep. Beth Fukumoto says she’s thinking of leaving the Republicans and joining the Democratic Party. KHON2.


While the state Legislature focuses on an estimated $650 million jail for Oahu, community correctional facilities on the Neighbor Islands are far more crowded. West Hawaii Today.

Aloha Green Holdings Inc. on Oahu and Maui Grown Therapies, led by former Maui Land & Pineapple Co. Inc. CEO David Cole, received approval Wednesday from the state Health Department to start growing medical marijuana. Star-Advertiser.

Two medical marijuana dispensaries are the first to receive approvals to acquire and grow marijuana for medical products in Hawaiʻi. Maui Now.

A number of measures have been introduced in both houses of the state Legislature that would dictate the purchase and use of dashboard and body-worn cameras for police officers in departments statewide. Tribune-Herald.

A bill aiming to legalize the use of silencers on firearms is gaining support from local hunters. Garden Island.

Mental health patient’s family hopes bill will prevent tragedy. Star-Advertiser.

Environmental Council Wants Hawaii To Redefine Success. The council is proposing the use of a “genuine progress indicator” to evaluate the state in a way that goes beyond dollars and cents. Civil Beat.

Petition Calls for Tulsi Gabbard’s Removal From Key US House Posts. Organizers and signers are “infuriated and deeply troubled” by the Hawaii congresswoman’s recent trip to Syria, where she met with Bashar Assad. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Public Interest Measures Surface At Legislature. On balance and when push comes to shove, money talks, and ethics walks. Civil Beat.


The Honolulu Police Department will ask the City Council to approve a $250,000 payment to outgoing Police Chief Louis Kealoha as well as reimbursement of those funds, HPD brass told the Police Commission on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Police Department doesn’t have enough money to pay outgoing Chief Louis Kealoha the $250,000 he and his attorney negotiated as part of a lucrative severance package that has raised eyebrows throughout the city. Civil Beat.

They’re supposed to uphold the law, but a new report is outlining some of the illegal activity Honolulu police officers have been caught doing. KHON2.

The Hawaii Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on whether a federal agent should face a third trial for fatally shooting a man in a Waikiki fast-food restaurant. State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy's attorney is expected to argue Thursday that another trial would be double jeopardy. Associated Press.

Something's broken at Honolulu Hale: Councilman Trevor Ozawa has been dealing with a shattered window after recent high winds but that's just the beginning of costly repairs for asbestos and water damage. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii regulators have rejected a request by The Howard Hughes Corp. to do away with conditions set for the approval of the newest mixed-use high-rise residential project within the developer's 60-acre Ward Village master-planned community in Honolulu, a spokesman for the state agency confirmed to Pacific Business News.


A state House budget bill includes $8.9 million for Hilo Medical Center capital improvement projects. Tribune-Herald.

East Hawaii legislators are encouraging residents to stay active in efforts to pass a series of bills aimed at the long-term economic revitalization of Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Pablo M. Rivera, chief financial officer of the University of Nations/Youth with a Mission, has been charged with wire fraud for allegedly embezzling at least $1.5 million from the organization over a period of more than two years. West Hawaii Today.

One of the two people charged with intentionally setting fire to a Kona courthouse last year was recently sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. West Hawaii Today.


A Wailuku man is again facing a charge alleging he threatened Mayor Alan Arakawa five years ago. Maui News.

Haleakala National Park officials reported roughly a third of normal crowds gathered to watch sunrise at the dormant volcano’s summit on Wednesday, the first day of the park’s new reservation system for early-morning visitors. Maui News.

The trend to buy locally grown Maui produce is strong and will last into the future, but a Maui purchaser said the government should step in to help, especially the small, local producers who have to deal with new regulations and Hawaii’s high costs. Maui News.

Medical marijuana sales could begin this summer on Maui after one of the island’s two licensed dispensaries received approval Wednesday to begin cultivation. Maui News.


The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has upped its renewable energy goal to achieving 70 percent renewable energy by 2030, the Lihue-based utility said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Asbestos has been found in the tile flooring of the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall entrance. Garden Island.

Joseph Kamai has been fighting for public access to an ancient Hawaiian footpath that encircles Kauai for more than two decades. Garden Island.