Showing posts with label Rep. Mele Carroll. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rep. Mele Carroll. Show all posts

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Judge orders Hawaii to fund Hawaiian Home Lands, sex trafficking ban advances, Green's residency questioned, more on Caldwell's Honolulu budget, elected attorney general bill advances, Kauai studies salaries, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
File photo: the late Rep. Mele Carroll leads Hawaiian group on land rights © 2016 All Hawaii News
The state of Hawaii must adequately fund the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, a judge said Monday. But the judge also said she is not ordering the state to appropriate a specific amount. Civil Beat.

Circuit Judge Jeannette Castagnetti said this week that she will strike from her November order language that instructs the state to boost funding for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to about $28.5 million from its current level of $9.6 million. Star-Advertiser.

The latest attempt to ban sex trafficking in Hawaii would treat minors who engage in sex work differently than adults in the industry. Associated Press.

Bills to elect judges and limit the number of terms that state lawmakers can serve are likely dead this legislative session. But a measure that would let voters elect the state attorney general is still alive. Civil Beat.

Wave energy and ocean thermal energy conversion, or OTEC, are two of the renewable energy resources that Hawaii will need to explore to bring the state closer to its 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2045, the head of the state’s Energy Office told Pacific Business News.

A bill that initially set out to require state energy regulators to determine there is a “substantial net benefit” in order to approve a utility merger has cleared its final committee hurdle in the House. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Wildlife Coalition is set to release a new investigative report Thursday morning that looks into the online trade of elephant ivory and related wildlife products in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Ivory is a hot political issue locally this year. Two bills before the state Legislature, House Bill 2502 and Senate Bill 2647, propose to ban all sales of elephant ivory in Hawaii, which is the third-largest ivory market in the U.S. after New York and California, both of which have recently passed ivory bans. Star-Advertiser.

The chief of the boat of the Pearl Harbor attack submarine USS Columbia was relieved of his duties today “due to a pattern of poor leadership,” the Navy said. Star-Advertiser.


Chronic homelessness will continue to be a major source of contention between Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and City Council members if deliberations on the fiscal 2017 budget package are any indication. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell wants the City Council to approve a $2.33 billion budget for fiscal year 2017, but judging from key Council members’ critical reactions Wednesday, it’s going to be a fight. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu City Council is recommending lifeguard coverage be expanded on O’ahu beaches. Hawaii Public Radio.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell's $2.3 billion budget includes money for a lot of the basic city services. The lion's share will go for sewer upgrades. It's part of a federal court settlement. KITV4.

Creating new positions in the City and County of Honolulu, and even a new division to help with affordable housing. That’s part of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year. He is asking for $2.3 billion, up 2.5 percent from last year. KHON2.

Despite being one of Hawaii's most iconic beaches, many visitors don't know Waikiki Beach is actually an engineered beach that has been filled with imported sand for decades. Waikiki has been facing erosion problems for years, so Hawaii lawmakers are pushing a bill to restore it. Associated Press.

NOAA stresses importance of reporting after mutilated sea turtle discovered. KHON2.

Four Kapolei students were named the inaugural winners of the Maunakea Scholars Program, believed to be the first of its kind in the United States that gives aspiring astronomers an opportunity to spend time at a major international observatory. Star-Advertiser.

Jon Riki Karamatsu, a former deputy city prosecutor and state legislator, was convicted today of drunken driving for the second time. Star-Advertiser.

Jon Riki Karamatsu, the former vice speaker of the House and deputy city prosecutor, was found guilty Wednesday of operating a motor vehicle under an intoxicant, according to the state Attorney General’s office. Civil Beat.


Sen. Josh Green’s Tale Of Two Cities. The longtime Hawaii Island lawmaker says he now spends about half his time on Oahu, including working a medical job in Honolulu. Civil Beat.

Eight new vector control workers should be helping fight the island’s dengue fever outbreak by next month, and the Hawaii National Guard may be called for a West Hawaii community cleanup day in the near future. West Hawaii Today.

Two previously identified hot spots for dengue fever in South Kona were discussed at the Hawaii County Council meeting on Wednesday. Local lawmakers talked about the reopening of Ho’okena Beach, and the possibility of Miloli’i catchment tanks becoming habitat for mosquitoes. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. confirmed Wednesday that it terminated a power purchase agreement with Hu Honua Bioenergy LLC. Tribune-Herald.

Two Hilo gaming establishments raided Tuesday by local and federal authorities were previously raided by law enforcement. Tribune-Herald.


Monique Yamashita takes over today as executive director of the 30-year-old Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center, the island's leader in providing transitional housing and other services for the homeless. Maui News.


Developers who hope to rebuild the historic Coco Palms Hotel near Kapaa said on Wednesday that a final financial commitment on funding for the $23 million project “could come at any hour, any day.” Garden Island.

Officials agree that considerable, and often unfair, pay discrepancies exist between certain Kauai County executives and their rank-and-file public employees, but precisely how to resolve the disparities — and in particular how to fund those irregularities — remains unclear. Garden Island.

Kanani Fu has been appointed as the county’s new director of housing. Garden Island.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Hawaiian Airlines cuts legroom, chief elections officer could face reviews, Honolulu committee advances Hoopili development, snubs Malaekahana, new charter school approved, Maui hospital denied, Kaui forest to be burned for fuel, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaiian Airlines interior © 015 All Hawaii News
Hawaiian Airlines passengers won't be able to recline their seats on any interisland flights by the end of this year. The state's largest carrier said Thursday it is retrofitting the 18 Boeing 717 aircraft it uses on interisland routes with new lightweight seats that will reduce legroom by about an inch under a reconfiguration and allow the airline to add five to 10 more passengers on each flight. Star-Advertiser.

The state's chief elections officer would have to undergo a performance evaluation after each general election under a plan approved by the state Senate. The bill, SB 622, requires the Elections Commission to provide the written performance evaluation to the Legislature. Associated Press.

Despite concerns from the departments of Health and Human Services, Hawaii lawmakers are pushing forward bills that would help the adult care-home industry make more money while potentially compromising the quality of services provided to those most in need. Civil Beat.

A bill that would make an exception for married couples who do not receive Medicaid to live together in the same Community Care Foster Family Home is advancing through the state House of Representatives. Star-Advertiser.

As a mark of respect for the late former state Rep. Diana “Mele” Carroll, Gov. David Ige has ordered that the flags of the United States and State of Hawaii shall be flown at half-staff at all state offices and agencies, as well as the Hawaii National Guard, from sunrise to sunset Friday to recognize services held on Oahu and Sunday, which is the day services will be held on Maui. West Hawaii Today.

The commercial solar energy market in Hawaii has turned into a race of sorts, a race for businesses to get their systems in place before a federal tax credit sunsets at the end of 2016. Pacific Business News.


The City Council Zoning and Planning Committee gave a preliminary thumbs up Thursday to one landscape-changing development scheme and a thumbs down to another one. A rezoning request for D.R. Horton Schuler Division's 11,750-home Hoo­pili project in West Oahu advanced 5-0. But Hawaii Reserve Inc.'s plan to develop a section of Malaekahana, between Laie and Kahuku, appears to be in serious jeopardy. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council Zoning and Planning Committee approved a planning document for the North Shore on Thursday but amended it to remove a highly controversial new residential community at Gunstock Ranch in Malaekahana. Civil Beat.

Ho’opili, a major residential and commercial project on O’ahu cleared its first major hurdle today following the completion of public testimony before a Honolulu City Council Committee. Hawaii Public Radio.

A Honolulu City Council committee has advanced a proposed development in West Oahu. The council’s zoning committee gave the green light Thursday for Hoopili’s next step. KHON2.

One controversial housing development has hit a major roadblock, while another in Kapolei has been given the green light to go ahead.The Honolulu City Council's Zoning Committee approved Bill 47 without including Envision Laie, a proposal that would have included nearly 900 new homes at Malaekahana in the Koolauloa section of Windward Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

After more than four hours of testimony Thursday, the City Council’s Zoning and Planning Committee approved the removal of language from the Koolau Loa Sustainable Communities Plan that could have paved the way for 875 homes to be built on land at Malaekahana. KITV4.

Oahu communities roundly oppose Malaekahana development. At a press conference today, the opposition to Malaekahana development expressed their reasons for supporting zoning chair Ikaika Anderson's proposed amendments to Bill 47. Hawaii Independent.

Elected leaders at Honolulu Hale and the state Capitol have been watching closely to see how their colleagues across Punchbowl Street will respond to rail's budget crisis. Now at least one Hono­­lulu City Council member appears concerned that his chamber might have waited too long to weigh in on a rail tax extension. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Pacific Health, the state's largest medical provider, is exploring a purchase of all or part of the financially struggling Wahiawa General Hospital. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: Oahu General Plan Provides Diversification and Sustainability. The Oahu General Plan is not perfect but it provides land-use diversification and sustainability for our small island home. Civil Beat.


The state’s only new charter school is set to open its doors in Ka‘u in July, following unanimous approval of its facilities Thursday by the Windward Planning Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Just over a year after North Hawaii Community Hospital merged with The Queen’s Health Systems, the Waimea facility is adding new equipment, rebuilding a management team and laying groundwork for stabilizing its workforce. Efforts to recruit badly needed doctors are also moving ahead, although more slowly than many would like, the hospital’s president Ken Graham told West Hawaii Today in an interview.

Christina (Tina) Neal has been chosen to serve as the new scientist-in-charge of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Neal succeeds Jim Kauahikaua, who served in the position for the past 10 years. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's new scientist-in-charge is coming to Hawaii from Alaska where she has been mapping and studying active Alaskan volcanoes for more than two decades. Garden Island.

Home prices on Hawaii's Big Island rose by single digits in February, while sales of condominiums rose and sales of single-family homes fell, according to data released by Hawaii Information Service on behalf of Hawaii Island Realtors. Pacific Business News.


A Maui County Council committee decided Thursday to re-examine rules and guidelines in the county's transportation contract for residents with disabilities with Maui Economic Opportunity amid recurring complaints from riders. Maui News.

The state Health Planning and Development Agency has ruled against Regency Namakua's application to build a 40-bed skilled nursing and intermediate-care facility at the Maui Research and Technology Park in Kihei. Maui News.

Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza and District Court Judge Adrianne Heely will hear Maui County's environmental cases when the new statewide environmental court program comes on line beginning July 1. Maui News.


Legal costs and fees to defend County of Kauai officials in two lawsuits filed by county employees totaled a little more than half a million dollars before settlements were reached, according to documents obtained by The Garden Island.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources and private partners have launched a $1 million-plus project that aims to remove 15,000 tons of burned pine and eucalyptus trees, many of them dead and standing hazards, and then replant with healthy hardwoods, including a large section of natives such as koa. As part of the project, the logs will be hauled off to Kauai's new $90 million Green Energy biomass plant, where they will be burned to generate electric power. Star-Advertiser.

The state has started cutting down trees on 300 acres of Kauai forest reserve that were scorched by wildfire in 2012 and sending the wood to be processed at a new biomass-to-energy plant. Associated Press.

The median price of a single-family home on Kauai shot up by more than 46 percent in February as the median price on the North Shore passed $1 million, according to data released by Hawaii Information Service on behalf of the Kauai Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hawaii unlikely for Obama library, bill seeks to make super PACs more transparent, Haleakala visitor center closes for repairs, Honolulu hotel employees try to unionize, state second in restaurant employees, Big Island mayor holds line on budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ala Moana food court © 2015 All Hawaii News
New data released by the National Restaurant Association shows that Hawaii's restaurant workforce represents 14 percent of the state's overall employment — 88,700 jobs in 2015 to be exact — the second highest in the nation. Hawaii follows behind Nevada at 16 percent, and is ahead of Florida at 10 percent. Pacific Business News.

The foundation developing Barack Obama's future presidential library has commissioned polling in Chicago to determine whether residents support building it on the South Side, people close to the foundation said, in the clearest sign to date that the library likely will go to the University of Chicago. Associated Press.

A bill in the Hawaii Legislature would make it easier for voters to understand who is supporting and funding political action committees. The bill targets super PACs, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on elections. Associated Press.

Mandating the use of ethanol as a transportation fuel in Hawaii was supposed to revive the local sugar industry and make the state more energy self-sufficient, but those plans never panned out. Instead, motorists here have been burning imported ethanol for almost a decade, and some state lawmakers want to abandon the ethanol requirement. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii could formally establish a statewide public preschool program within the public school system under advancing legislation — but the effort is unlikely to see any boost in funding beyond 21 classrooms set up this school year. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers on Wednesday shelved a bill that would have let voters decide whether the University of Hawaii should remain semiautonomous. Senate Bill 637 proposed a constitutional amendment to remove the "exclusive jurisdiction" the university's Board of Regents has over the "internal structure, management and operations of UH." Star-Advertiser.

It's difficult to find anyone who agrees with Hawaiian Electric Company's recent move to block new rooftop solar systems from going online. KITV4.

Living Hawaii: Warning Signs — Many People Can Earn More Elsewhere. The high cost of living in the islands is almost never factored into how much employers will pay here. Civil Beat.

Opinion: Why Does the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Exist? OHA is a well-funded agency with a big and often misunderstood mission on behalf of Native Hawaiians. Civil Beat.


A two-sentence state law to boost bicycle safety morphed this month to include a $500,000 grant for Honolulu to help run a vanpool program on Oahu. The evolution of Senate Bill 128 provides the latest example of Hawaii lawmakers shortcutting the legislative process, spurring some would-be supporters of the proposal to come out against it. Civil Beat.

Local developer and former politician D.G. "Andy" Anderson wants to expand Haleiwa's commercial core with more businesses and homes, but the project is drawing flak from North Shore residents. Star-Advertiser.

Unite Here Local 5, the union representing many Hawaii hotel workers, held a rally Wednesday outside the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel. Aston workers are not represented by the union, and the rally was in support of winning union representation for Aston workers. Star-Advertiser.

Decriminalizing Homelessness: Bills Take Aim at City Policies. Hawaii legislators are considering several proposals aimed at helping homeless residents affected by Mayor Kirk Caldwell's "compassionate disruption" policies. Civil Beat.

What happens when UH-Manoa faculty, staff cross the line? KHON2.

Each year, the University Laboratory School in Manoa admits less than 60 new students, earning a reputation for being one of the toughest public schools to get into. But now, the Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission says a legal opinion by the Attorney General's office has determined that the school's admissions policy is legally flawed. Hawaii News Now.

Waialua Estate Coffee Farms has been trying since December to meet quarantine requirements imposed by the state in an effort to contain the destructive coffee berry borer, the state Board of Agriculture was told on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.


Property values are averaging about 3 percent higher than last year, giving Hawaii County government enough breathing room to create a no-frills budget without having to resort to increasing property taxes. West Hawaii Today.

The land leases for Uncle Billy’s Hilo Hotel and the Country Club condominiums will expire next month unless the state Board of Land and Natural Resources approves an extension Friday. Tribune-Herald.

Residents of Puuanahulu are hoping to cut their monthly bills by installing a photovoltaic system to power their water supply. The initiative got an initial green light this week with the release of an environmental assessment that found the project would not significantly impact the landscape. West Hawaii Today.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers recently tested two drones in the waters off the Kohala Coast, hoping to someday being able to use the combined technologies to locate vessels and marine life in distress, conduct wildlife surveys and access hard-to-reach areas. West Hawaii Today.


The Haleakala National Park Visitor Center has been closed until further notice due to structural damage, according to a Feb. 25 National Park Service news release. MauiTime.

Funeral services for former state Rep. Mele Carroll will be held on Oahu and Maui. Associated Press.

A Maui mother is on a mission to raise awareness about a dangerous virus and to assure all newborns have a fighting chance at life. Krystyn Aguinaldo-Iokia helped craft “Kulia's Bill” or House Bill 782.  It's aimed to educate pregnant women about the dangers and risks of cytomegalovirus (CMV). Hawaii News Now.

Maui's increase in hotel occupancy, room revenue and room rates last year mirrored overall state increases in all categories, Hospitality Advisors reported Tuesday. Maui News.


Although the 11th annual Mayor’s Prayer Luncheon is still a month away, you might need a miracle to get a ticket. People have snapped up 1,050 tickets at $25 each, so the event at the Kilohana Luau Pavilion featuring Christian author Dr. Ravi Zacharias is technically sold out. Garden Island.

A senior engineer with the Department of Water has agreed to an age discrimination settlement with the county. Garden Island.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hawaii mourns death of Maui state representative, Honolulu council blocks bus money for rail, Aldrich named state librarian, huge Hoopili housing project advances, Maui council nixes county prosecutor reappointment, counties seek greater share of hotel tax, game commission shot down, REIT tax killed, more news from all the Hawaiian islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii Rep. Mele Carroll, file photo © 2015 All Hawaii News
Former state Rep. Diana "Mele" Carroll, who was elected to six terms in the House of Representatives and was remembered for supporting issues of the underdogs, died Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Former Hawaii state Rep. Mele Carroll died early Wednesday after battling cancer. She was 50 years old. Fighting back tears, House lawmakers took a moment of silence to acknowledge their colleague’s untimely death during their floor session in the afternoon. A black ribbon marked her empty seat. Civil Beat.

The word “mele” in Hawaiian evokes a song or dance, but at a somber floor session of the Hawaii House of Representatives, “mele” was chosen as the Hawaiian word of the day to honor a former colleague. Hawaii Rep. Mele Carroll, who represented Lanai, Molokai and parts of Maui in the Hawaii House of Representatives for nearly a decade, died Wednesday morning surrounded by family, a spokeswoman for the House majority said. She was 50 years old. Associated Press.

The Hawaii House of Representatives on Wednesday announced the passing of former state House Representative Diana "Mele" Carroll. She died at 3:50 a.m. on Wednesday, February 18, with her family at her side. Hawaii News Now.

A black ribbon marked the vacant seat where Mele Carroll used to represent her beloved Maui. KITV4.

Former Maui state House Rep. Mele Carroll was remembered Wednesday as a tireless representative for her district, a great listener and for a calm and mellow demeanor that won over constituents. Maui News.

State House Representative Diana “Mele” Carroll passed at 3:50 a.m. on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 with her family at her side. At this time services are pending and will be announced at a later date. Hawaii Independent.

Former State Representative Diana “Mele” Carroll of Maui passed away at 3:50 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, according to an announcement from the state House of Representatives. Maui Now.

The adult care home industry supported a bill Wednesday that would increase the number and types of facilities subject to having their state inspection reports posted on the Department of Health’s website. A House panel ended up scrapping the plan, but the industry’s willingness to support an expansion of the online posting of inspection reports represented a remarkable turnaround from two years ago when care home operators strongly opposed the idea. Civil Beat.

With state lawmakers in session weighing decisions on government spending, the state Department of Health sent out a message urging the protection of millions of dollars in tobacco settlement funds earmarked for smoking prevention programs. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii Senate panel is planning a confirmation hearing to take up Gov. David Ige's pick to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The Senate Committee on Water and Land will hold the hearing on Carleton Ching's nomination on March 11. Associated Press.

The Senate Committee on Water and Land announced today that the confirmation hearing for the controversial appointment of Carleton Ching as Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will be held on Wednesday March 11 at 10 a.m. in room 229. Hawaii Independent.

A bill moving through the Hawaii House would enable people to switch the gender identification on their birth certificates without getting gender-reassignment surgery. Instead, they would provide a statement from a licensed medical or mental health provider. The bill advanced out of the House Committee on Health on Wednesday. It now moves to the Judiciary Committee. Associated Press.

A bill to create a statewide game management advisory commission appears to be dead for this legislative session after missing a deadline to be heard by its second committee. The commission would advise the state Board of Land and Natural Resources on hunting matters and be responsible for developing a five-year game management plan, in addition to other duties. Tribune-Herald.

A state Senate panel has watered down a bill that sought to remove a long-standing income tax break for real estate investment trusts that own more than $13 billion worth of property in Hawaii. The Senate Ways and Means Committee voted Wednesday to amend Senate Bill 118 to ask the state to simply study the issue and report back to the Legislature in December. Civil Beat.

Hawaii ranks as one of the top states in the country when it comes to providing the most solar energy jobs per capita, yet the state lost about 400 jobs in this sector in 2014 when comparing the previous year, according to a new report. Pacific Business News.

Stacey Aldrich has been named state librarian to oversee Hawaii's system of 50 public libraries. Previously, Aldrich served as state librarian of California and as deputy secretary for the Office of Commonwealth Libraries of Pennsylvania. Star-Advertiser.

The Board of Education announced a new State Librarian on Wednesday. Stacey Aldrich will take over the position, which was held by Richard Burns prior to his retirement in December 2014. Big Island Now.


The proposed 1,554-acre Hoopili housing project cleared a hurdle Wednesday with a unanimous first-reading approval from the Hono­lulu City Council. Bill 3, D.R. Horton-Schuler Division's request for 11,750 housing units, would rezone what are now largely farm lands between Ewa and Kapolei, the largest residential project to be considered by the Council in at least two decades. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu’s lush agricultural past and increasingly urban future were juxtaposed on both sides of Punchbowl Street on Wednesday as City Council members at Honolulu Hale and legislators at the Capitol discussed the fate of farmland in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

A new Honolulu City Council resolution directs that all federal "bus funds" be removed from the financial plan guiding construction of the island's cash- strapped rail project. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council has voted to place city bus funds off limits for the rail transit project. Due to increased construction costs, delays and lower tax revenues, the price tag for the rail transit project has ballooned by $500 million to $700 million. Hawaii News Now.

The City Council voted 8-1 Wednesday to remove $210 million in federal bus funds from the rail project's official financial plan. KITV4.

The Honolulu City Council is working to ensure millions of dollars used to maintain city buses and HandiVans will not go toward rail. Concerned about the financial struggles of the rail project, council members are making a move to protect funds for other services. KHON2.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz wants Honolulu’s 20-mile commuter rail line to get built, but he says it will be up to local officials to find a way to pay for it. The $6 billion project has a projected shortfall of up to $910 million, and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has been asking state lawmakers to increase taxes to bridge the gap. There’s worry that construction could come to a stop by this summer if new money isn’t found. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson says time may be running out to save Haiku Stairs as the Board of Water Supply prepares to set aside $500,000 to study the possible removal of the once-popular Windward Oahu attraction, which gives hikers sweeping views of the Koolau mountain range. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council is considering two bills to provide funding to maintain Waikiki Beach. Hawaii Public Radio.

A city councilman is trying to clean up the parks by keeping drug dealers out. KHON2.


The Hawaii County Council continued to push Wednesday for a greater county share of the short-term lodging tax, approving two nonbinding resolutions to send to the state Legislature. West Hawaii Today.

A recycling company is suing the county for $5.4 million, alleging it breached a contract for the removal and disposal of scrap metal from the Hilo and Kona landfills. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Hilo Circuit Court by Honolulu attorneys James Bickerton and Steven Tannenbaum on behalf of Big Island Scrap Metal LLC, the parent company of Island Recycling and Atlas Recycling Centers. Tribune-Herald.

No more Hilo Hattie in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

A U.S. Forest Service plan to convert an old schoolhouse in Puuanahulu into a science and education center is off the table. Instead, the federal agency plans to pursue build-out of the facility at an old landing strip site located within the 38,800-acre experimental Puu Waawaa dryland forest. West Hawaii Today.

Homelessness on Hawaii Island is a challenging issue requiring creative solutions that combine compassion, sustained effort, collaboration of resources and knowledge, county Managing Director Wally Lau said during Wednesday’s Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise meeting. West Hawaii Today.


Five Maui County Council members changed their votes to "no" on reappointing John D. Kim as Maui County's prosecuting attorney Wednesday after receiving distressed "phone calls and face-to-face" visits from former and current employees who criticized Kim's leadership. Maui News.

We look at what state and local government is doing to alleviate their employee parking in Wailuku Town. MauiTime.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Legislative session opens, Rep. Carroll resigns, Rep. Say residency challenged, Ige withdraws labor chief nomination, Iwase to head PUC, Hawaiian Electric to cut solar rebates, police kill 36 people from 1994-2003, NASA starts Big Island plan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii Capitol © 2015 All Hawaii News
A new Legislature officially gets down to business Wednesday, working alongside Hawaii's new governor, as state lawmakers kick off their 2015 legislative session. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Legislature: A Guide to the 2015 Session. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige has withdrawn his nomination of Elizabeth Kim to serve as state labor director after learning that under the Hawaii Constitution any officer he picks must have resided in the state for the year preceding appointment, a key Ige adviser said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Hawai’i since 2000.  But many patients cannot grow or legally obtain marijuana for their own use.  This could change this legislative session. Hawaii Public Radio.

While Hawaii rents have soared, a tax credit for low-income renters has stagnated for a quarter-century at $50 annually per dependent. The legislative session that begins Wednesday will see an effort to raise the credit and extend it to renters who earn up to $60,000. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Family Advocates has appointed two-time GOP gubernatorial candidate James Duke Aiona as its interim executive director, “a change that will strengthen the organization’s ability to speak for families across the state,” according to a news release from the group. Civil Beat.

If it survives the legislative session, a new measure would change Hawaii's Promoting Prostitution law into a Sex Trafficking law that would be tougher on pimps. Advocates believe it would generate accurate sex trafficking statistics and could save those coerced or forced into Hawaii's sex trade. Hawaii News Now.

Disproportionate victims: the māhū prostitute. Discrimination forces many transgender women into prostitution to survive. But once in the sex trade, they are disproportionately affected by both violence and criminalization. Hawaii Independent.

On the eve of the 2015 legislative session, Hawaii officials were reminded at the annual Red Mass of the plight of millions of people mired in crisis around the world. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii police officers killed at least 36 people between 1994 and 2013, most of those in Honolulu, according to data from the Hawaii Department of Health’s Injury and Prevention Control Section. Cops also sent thousands more to local emergency rooms — sometimes with serious injuries — where treatment cost citizens and their insurance companies millions of dollars.Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige said Friday he has appointed Randy Iwase, a former state senator who ran for governor against then-incumbent Gov. Linda Lingle in 2006, to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission and to serve as the commission's chairman. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said Tuesday it wants to double rooftop solar capacity while lowering the rate it pays solar customers for excess power, and state lawmakers said they'd like a say in whether to approve that plan. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. is lifting constraints on its electric grids on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island that will allow a lot more rooftop solar to come online, utility officials announced at a press conference Tuesday. But the news, cheered by Hawaii’s beleaguered solar industry, was tempered by another announcement by HECO that it hopes to slash the amount that it pays rooftop solar customers for their electricity. Civil Beat.

Board of Education members took an energy consultant to task Tuesday for what they called a disappointing start to a renewable energy and efficiency program touted last spring as a cost-cutting measure to reduce electricity expenses at public schools. Star-Advertiser.

All four of Hawaii's Congressional representatives are Democrats so it's not surprising that they praised President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Members of Hawaii's congressional delegation stood behind President Barack Obama on Tuesday in his call for bolstering the middle class through tax breaks for working families, paid family leave from work and free community college. Star-Advertiser.


A group of voters has renewed its request for an investigation into state Rep. Calvin Say's qualifications to serve. Star-Advertiser.

An attorney for six residents of House District 20 has renewed a request to have the Hawaii House of Representatives rule on Rep. Calvin Say’s residency qualifications. Civil Beat.

A confusing and potentially dangerous crosswalk on a busy Oahu street prompted KHON2 to seek answers from the city, and we found the incomplete crosswalk is part of a larger issue.

The lawyer for Katherine Kealoha, wife of Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, in state court Tuesday attacked the character of her uncle, who filed a lawsuit against her. Star-Advertiser.


Marijuana dispensaries, an aquarium fishing ban, reforming the public hospital system, reapportionment, land use and hunting laws and creating pesticide buffer zones are among West Hawaii state legislators’ list of priorities. Capital improvement projects such as the Kona judiciary complex, updating Kona International Airport, the Hawaii Community College — Palamanui, North Hawaii irrigation systems and a Waikoloa library round out the wish list as lawmakers begin their regular legislative session today. West Hawaii Today.

Agriculture, elections reform and the first lava flow to threaten a town in more than two decades are among the major issues East Hawaii lawmakers will tackle during the session of the state Legislature that begins today. Tribune-Herald.

A community meeting on Puna Geothermal Venture’s plans to drill a new well ended with an arrest Monday evening. Roxanne “RJ” Hampton, 62, of Pahoa was charged with disorderly conduct after she began shouting at PGV representatives and others in the crowd at Pahoa High School cafeteria, witnesses said. Tribune-Herald.

Students from two Hawaii high schools are shooting for the moon, literally. The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems in Hilo announced Monday a partnership with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center that will give the students an opportunity to develop a space experiment and send it to the moon’s surface. Tribune-Herald.


Mele Carroll, state representative for East Maui, Molokai and Lanai, will resign from the state House on Feb. 1 due to health reasons. Maui News.

State Rep. Mele Carroll abruptly announced Tuesday, the day before the opening of the 2015 legislative session, she will resign from the House of Representatives because of health reasons. Star-Advertiser.

Representative Mele Carroll delivered today letters to Governor David Ige and House Speaker Joseph Souki announcing that, effective February 1, 2015, she is resigning from representing the 13th District in the Hawaii State House Representatives. Hawaii Independent.

Today Rep. Mele Carroll delivered letters to Gov. David Ige and House Speaker Souki announcing that on she is resigning as representative of the 13th District in the Hawai‘i State House Representatives on Feb. 1. Maui Now.

The state Department of Health began phone surveys of the public Monday for the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Maui News.


With the flu season in full swing, public health care officials are bracing for more cases over the next few months but are so far seeing normal numbers statewide. Garden Island.

ReStore celebrates 22 years. Anniversary party for Habitat locale Saturday. Garden Island.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ceded lands deal coming before Legislature, Hawaii schools get a 'D' in science, Marine hazing trial starts today, Hilo resort hotels need work, Maui plan faces redo, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Rep. Mele Carroll at 2008 Capitol rally (c) 2012 All Hawaii News   
Two Legislative committees will begin looking into a proposed $200 million real estate deal that will settle the Office of Hawaiian Affairs ceded lands claims with the state. Associated Press.

FACT CHECK False — Hirono: I'm Only Candidate Who Opposed Bush Tax Cuts. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and her political rival, former Congressman Charles Djou, are heading into the 2012 election with about the same amount of money in the bank to spend on what promises to be a spirited general election campaign. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. customers installed a record amount of solar power generating capacity on their rooftops last year, causing a reduction in utility revenue that HECO says it will have to make up with an increase in rates. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Friday signed a letter of intent with officials from South Korea to develop a smart grid demonstration project in Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Bills pending before the state Legislature could make it easier to get fresh, local produce into public school cafeterias - both from school gardens and from island farms. Maui News.

As a cost-saving move, a planned $200 million destroyer modernization program might sail away from Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, and some union officials fear that could be repeated with other cruisers and destroyers based in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

A Marine sergeant accused of hazing another Marine who later committed suicide in Af­ghani­stan will go on trial today. Associated Press.

A new report says Hawai`i’s standards for science education are too far below what students need to compete. In a national K-12 ranking, Hawai`i received a “D”. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii's science standards for public school students are inadequate, inconsistent and include errors, according to a report that rated most states' learning benchmarks for science as "mediocre to awful." Star-Advertiser.

Advocates for public access television networks – such as ‘Olelo Community Media on O‘ahu, or Akaku for Maui Nui – are calling attention to a bill which would force a major reorganization of the networks. According to an Akaku blog post, the bill would lead to a 2/3 reduction in funding for public access television broadcasting. The bill, HB 2652, is scheduled for a hearing on Monday at 2:15 pm in State Capitol room 325. Hawaii Independent.

Weather researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are here in Hawaii this winter to check out storms developing across the Pacific. KITV4.

State roundup for Feb. 6. Associated Press.


With the site of next year's Pro Bowl still up in the air, lawmakers are tackling future plans for Aloha Stadium again. Hawaii News Now.

The state spends almost $1 million annually to publish legal notices in Honolulu’s only newspaper and lawmakers are looking for ways to trim that bill. Hawaii Reporter.

A bill that would exempt residential and commercial developments along the 20-mile Honolulu rail transit corridor from state and county planning, zoning and permitting requirements is opposed by both rail supporters and rail opponents. Star-Advertiser.

Protestors were out in Waikiki Saturday night trying to stop a war on Iran. KHON2.


For years, Hawaii County government has been spending far more than it's taken in. The number of employees has increased dramatically, and payments on debt now consume the biggest chunk of operating expenses in at least a decade. West Hawaii Today.

State legislators are dissatisfied with the condition of the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort, the Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel and other properties in Hilo's resort district, and they want to do something about it. Tribune-Herald.


Planning Director Will Spence said Thursday that the changes he's proposing to the Maui Island Plan would simplify a document that's "morphed" into something complicated and unwieldy after six years of tinkering. Maui News.

Two Maui schools received awards last month for beautifying their campuses with school gardens. Maui News.

An increase in illegal dumping, brush fires and criminal activity will result in the permanent closure of a portion of Kala Road near the Kahului Airport on Maui. Maui Now.


The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement is seeking up to 30 native Hawaiian families to participate in  Homestead Self Help Projects in Kapolei and Anahola on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

With the U.S. Department of Education placing Hawai‘i’s four-year, $75 million Race to the Top grant on “high-risk status,” Kaua‘i’s public schools could miss out on much of the ambitious, four-year reform plan. Garden Island.


The Molokai Irrigation System, which serves the bulk of the island’s agricultural and homestead users, has received $1.25 million for system improvements, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced last week. Molokai Dispatch.