Showing posts with label Sen. Clayton Hee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sen. Clayton Hee. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tropical storms shouldn't disrupt Hawaii elections, support wanes for state-funded preschool, lieutenant governor candidates in dead heat, GMO motivates candidates, drone regulation sought, Maui mayor's seat safe, property taxes at issue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy NOAA National Weather Service
Hurricane Iselle, Tropical Storm Julio courtesy NOAA National Weather Service
A tropical storm expected to bring heavy rain and wind to Hawaii this week shouldn't significantly affect the state's primary election based on current weather forecasts. Associated Press.

Hurricane Iselle weakened slightly and Tropical Storm Julio maintained its intensity as both storms continued on a path toward Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Government officials kicked storm planning into a higher gear Monday as Hurricane Iselle appeared to be taking aim at the Hawaiian Islands and another powerful storm was following in its tracks. Star-Advertiser.

Nineteen Hawaii super PACs have spent more than $1 million in the current election season to sway voters and influence the state’s political atmosphere, according to the most recent campaign spending commission data. Civil Beat.

A nonpartisan candidate for the U.S. Senate is suing Hawaii television stations KHNL and KGMB for not allowing her to appear in a televised debate. Joy Allison of Waikoloa filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Friday. Associated Press.

With 5 days to go before the primary election, our Hawaii News Now/Star Advertiser Hawaii poll shows a dead heat between Shan Tsutsui and Clayton Hee in the Lieutenant Governor's race.

The race for the Democratic Party's nomination to be the state's next lieutenant governor is in a statistical dead heat, and could come down to last-minute appeals from the campaigns to swing a large number of undecided voters, according to one analyst. Star-Advertiser.

GMO Issue Spurs Candidates to Seek Election, But It’s Ugly Out There. Hawaii political observers are watching bellwether races on Kauai, Maui and the Big Island. Sentiments run high on both sides, and sometimes the campaigns get edgy. Civil Beat.

A majority of voters favors a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would allow public money to be spent on private preschool, according to a new Hawaii Poll, but the degree of support has weakened since February. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Veterans Affairs continues to whittle down the wait times for patients in the military medical system in Hawaii and other parts of the Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's tourism industry is in a good position to match or break visitor arrival and spending records this year after gains in June and an expectation that airline capacity serving the state from North America will expand over the remainder of the year. Star-Advertiser.

State officials announced the successful sale of nearly $164 million in Highway Revenue Bonds, with an estimated $120 million to fund various highway projects, and more than $65 million allocated to refinance existing bonds for interest savings. Maui Now.

Pesky Drones Snap Photos on Private Property. Should a small model airplane with a camera on it be allowed to fly into your space and take pictures of you? Civil Beat.

Hawaii's first plan to address Alzheimer's disease and dementia forecasts effective prevention of Alz­hei­mer's by 2025 while calling on volunteer caregivers, health care professionals and others in the near term to step up training in the complicated issues tied to both conditions. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for August 5. Associated Press.


A new proposal would allow residential owner-occupants on Oahu to petition the city for one-time property tax compromise bills if they got shoved into the new Residential A tax class, requiring them to pay at a much higher rate. Star-Advertiser.

A source within the State Senate has informed the Independent that State Senator Rosalyn Baker is the “chief legislative supporter of [Dr. Michele] Carbone,” the Director of the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center (UHCC) who has come under fire for his mismanagement of the center and for his unheard of amount of ethical and academic violations against his own researchers. Hawaii Independent.

The fierce elements brought on by hurricanes and tropical storms are a big threat to people who live in the elements. The efforts to warn and find homeless shelter is already underway. KITV4.

A Honolulu insurance agent has purchased nearly 30,000 square feet of vacant, foreclosed property in Kailua in Windward Oahu for about $2 million that could be redeveloped as apartments, retail, offices or assisted-living facilities. Pacific Business News.


Incumbents are flexing their financial muscles in the Big Island state House and Senate races ahead of the primary election Saturday. With a few exceptions, those running for re-election are outspending and out-fundraising their opponents by large margins. Tribune-Herald.

Farmers taking advantage of county property tax breaks could soon be required to dedicate the land to farming for at least three years to qualify. West Hawaii Today.

The Center for Food Safety and Big Island organic farmers Rachel Laderman, Nancy Redfeather and Marilyn Howe are seeking to help Hawaii County defend its law restricting the use of genetically modified crops. Tribune-Herald.

Two Hawaii Island telescopes captured images of several eruptions that are changing scientists’ understanding of volcanic activity on Io, one of Jupiter’s moons. West Hawaii Today.

Five candidates are trying to unseat Mayor Alan Arakawa, a Hail Mary proposition that even Maui's most established politicians decided to take a pass on this year. Maui News.

Maui state Senate candidates are debating how to help local public hospitals amid news the Maui Memorial Medical Center will shut down its adolescent behavioral health unit to save money. Associated Press.

Life on Maui has changed, at least when it comes to trash collection. And you can blame it on budget cuts. Money problems are squeezing everything from trash pickups to hours of operation at county landfills. Hawaii Public Radio.


Jay Furfaro has seen a number of issues come across his desk during the nearly 12 consecutive years that he has been on the Kauai County Council. Garden Island.

Hawaii’s tourism economy is on pace with last year’s record-breaking year in spending and arrivals, but Kauai saw fewer visitors and spending in June. Garden Island.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Hawaii Gov. Abercrombie lagging in poll, painkiller shortage on Hawaii Island, PAC apologizes to Honolulu mayor candidate to settle lawsuit, fishermen contemplate strike, Navy confirms Red Hill leaks, changes coming to teacher evaluations, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
David Ige, Neil Abercrombie © 2014 All Hawaii News
Less than two months before the Aug. 9 primary for Hawaii governor, state Sen. David Ige leads Gov. Neil Abercrombie by 11 percentage points among likely Democratic voters. Ige has 48 percent of the vote compared with 37 percent for Abercrombie. Civil Beat.

Shan Tsutsui has a 12 percentage point lead over Clayton Hee in the Democratic lieutenant governor primary, according to a new Civil Beat Poll.

Cashing In: Tsutsui Taps Maui, New Role as Hawaii Lt. Gov. for Big Bucks. Tsutsui leads challenger Clayton Hee in fundraising, but he has less in the bank, according to the latest campaign spending reports. Civil Beat.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz outspent other Hawaii political candidates for a second week in a row, buying 1,088 spots that began June 2 and will run until the Aug. 9 primary at a total cost of $321,370. Schatz is the only candidate besides Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui to have already bought ad space into July and  August. Civil Beat.

photo courtesy Mark Nakashima
HSAC courtesy photo
Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiative has a goal of achieving a 70 percent reduction of power generated by fossil fuel by the year 2030.  Where we are and how far we have to go was the focus today of a panel discussion at the Hawai’i State Association of Councils annual conference. Hawaii Public Radio.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz wants an investigation into allegations that staff members at the delay-plagued U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Hawaii were ordered to "cook the books" regarding patients' appointments. Star-Advertiser.

Senator Brian Schatz has asked the Department of Veterans Affairs to investigate allegations of misconduct within the Hawaii VA healthcare system, including accusations that administrators asked hospital staffers to delete computer data regarding patient wait times. Hawaii News Now.

A state agency is seeking approval for a program that proposes to make it easier for lower-income homeowners, landlords and nonprofits, among other groups, to install photovoltaic systems. West Hawaii Today.

Calling its teacher evaluation system too complicated and "too one-size-fits-all," the state Department of Education on Thursday announced more than a dozen changes to essentially cut in half the workload required to prepare for and perform the annual reviews, which teachers and principals have bemoaned since the rollout last fall. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Education is making 18 major changes to the new teacher evaluation system that officials say will significantly reduce its burden on educators and improve teaching quality by focusing on the instructors most in need of a boost. Civil Beat.

State Rep. Bob McDermott and parents of children in Hawaii’s middle schools were successful in persuading the Department of Education to revise the most contentious portions of a controversial sex-education curriculum. Hawaii Reporter.

Faced with soaring business expenses and soft wholesale fish prices, some struggling commercial fishermen are considering going on strike. About thirty captains and owners of longline fishing vessels met Wednesday to discuss a potential stoppage. Hawaii News Now.


The Pacific Resource Partnership, a consortium of union carpenters and private contractors that aimed a relentless barrage of negative advertising at former Gov. Ben Cayetano during his unsuccessful campaign for mayor in 2012, has agreed to apologize to Cayetano. The message, which will be published Sunday in a half-page ad in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, settles a defamation lawsuit Cayetano brought against PRP in the weeks before his election loss. Star-Advertiser.

The combination of an annual rate adjustment that went into effect this month and higher fuel prices incurred by Hawaiian Electric Co. will increase the bill on Oahu for a typical household using 600 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month to $216.08 from $210.28 in the previous month, Hawaiian Electric Co. said Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Workers with Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. installed the 100th column Thursday on Honolulu's $5.16 billion rail project, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation said. Pacific Business News.

The Navy has confirmed finding leaks in a storage tank in Red Hill that may have released an estimated 27,000 gallons of jet fuel in January, touching off more concern about the impact on nearby drinking-water wells. Star-Advertiser.

Iolani Palace has entered the bottled water business with its own Mauliola Hawaiian Premium Deep Ocean Water. Officials say the name comes from the Hawaiian Goddess of Health. KITV4.

After hearing emotional pleas from parents, students and staff, the Public Charter School Commission postponed a decision on whether to recommend closing Halau Lokahi until the debt-ridden charter school produces a new financial plan. Star-Advertiser.

The City and County of Honolulu is slashing a subsidy to recyclers that is funded by what’s called the advance deposit fee or ADF, and as a result of the cutback, recyclers can’t afford to do the job of taking in and shipping out the bottles and jars.Nearly 100 tons of glass a week on Oahu could be heading to the trash heap, in what could be the biggest setback since recycling programs in Hawaii began. KHON2.

The city has issued 278 violation notices and 24 fines against property owners for leaving beds, sofas and other bulky-item trash on sidewalk areas since May 2013, when enforcement of a 2010 ordinance first began. Star-Advertiser.

Star Advertiser credit card breach could impact hundreds, if not thousands, of customers. Hawaii Reporter.


Hawaii's Board of Land and Natural Resources is set to make a key decision on the future of a giant telescope. The state board is scheduled to vote on the sublease for the Thirty Meter Telescope on Friday. Associated Press.

Attempts to curb abuse of prescription pain medication appear to be hindering legitimate patients from getting the relief they need, according to Big Island health care professionals.Tribune-Herald.

There’s no question Americans are using too many prescription painkillers, according to state Sen. Josh Green, D-Kona, Ka‘u. Tribune-Herald.

The USNS Navajo, a 216-foot Powhatan-class fleet ocean tug, visited waters off the Kona Coast this week to conduct training. The Navajo was here Wednesday and Thursday in support of the Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1, said U.S. Navy spokesman Bill Doughty. West Hawaii Today.


Startup turboprop operation 'Ohana by Hawaiian is expanding to Maui. Hawaiian Airlines, which has contracted Idaho-based Empire Airlines to run 'Ohana using 48-seat ATR-42 twin-engine aircraft, will begin offering daily flights next month from Kahului to Molokai, Kona and Hilo. Star-Advertiser.

A $5.1 million classroom  expansion project at Maui Waena Intermediate School is scheduled to break ground next week after several delays, Representative Justin Woodson of Maui announced today. Maui Now.


Six potential launch dates. Six days of uncooperative wind conditions. No test flight. Despite the missed opportunity, NASA is regrouping and hopes to have LDSD — a saucer-shaped experimental flight vehicle designed to test new Mars landing technologies — off the ground by month’s end. Garden Island.

The phones are ringing off the hook and the wait lists are growing at preschools on Kauai. Garden Island.

State and federal energy officials got a clear message from Molokai residents who voiced their continued opposition to a potential undersea transmission cable in Hawaii that would transport energy interisland. Molokai Dispatch.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Hawaii Island tent city a microcosm of native governance, Ige mulling GMO, Maui GMO foes advance amendment, lieutenant governor candidates campaign, $604M budget for Maui, state pension examined, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Native Hawaiian camp at Puhi Bay © 2014 All Hawaii News
What do Native Hawaiians want? It depends whom you ask. West Hawaii Today.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
© 2014 All Hawaii News
The squeals of children just released from school and thuds of hammers tightening tent poles fill the Puhi Bay shoreline in Keaukaha. It’s summer, and Native Hawaiian families are moving to the sea. West Hawaii Today.

State Sen. David Ige said Saturday that he would reconsider his opposition to GMO labeling in Hawaii and look to a Vermont law signed in May as a possible solution. Star-Advertiser.

Clayton Hee officially opened his campaign headquarters Sunday in the race for lieutenant governor. Dozens of supporters, including former Gov. Ben Cayetano and Honolulu City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, greeted the candidate at the headquarters in Nuuanu. Hawaii News Now.

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, a Democrat, has spent nearly $40,000 to run two ads nearly 100 times in the past two weeks, according to Civil Beat research. Both ads aim to remind voters who he is. Civil Beat.

As the incumbent, Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui finds himself in the position of campaigning for a job he never sought in the first place. Star-Advertiser

Many of the top-notch Hawaii teachers who work with the state’s most struggling students will no longer get the annual bonuses they have long received as a perk for helping turn around underperforming schools. Civil Beat.

Hawaii is making its sex education classes for middle school students opt-in, responding to critics by giving parents responsibility to affirm they want their children to be taught the course. Associated Press.

Will Hawaii Ever Climb Out of Its $27 Billion Hole? Taxpayers could see important services cut or higher taxes if they have to pay even more for pensions and health care benefits for retired public workers. Civil Beat.

Hawaii pension officials aren’t the only ones promising taxpayers increased openness when it comes to the financial condition of the state’s public retirement system. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s pension and retiree health care funds are like a giant black hole in the state’s future. It’s growing bigger, getting closer and threatening to swallow important public services if we don’t figure out how to get rid of it. Civil Beat.

Drug poisonings, or overdoses, have overtaken motor vehicle accidents in recent years as the leading cause of fatal injuries in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser

Nearly one in five of Hawaii’s waitlisted patients—that is, those remaining in a hospital after the need for acute care ceases—have an infectious disease, according to discharge data analyzed by the Hawaii Health Information Corporation (HHIC), the state’s premier healthcare data collector and analyzer. Hawaii Reporter.

The so called “Stevie Wonder Blunder” case in which Marc Hubbard, 44, of Mecklenburg, N.C., and Sean Barriero, 44, of Miami were charged with conning the University of Hawaii out of $200,000 after falsely claiming to be Stevie Wonder’s agents, is taking two of Hawaii’s top law enforcement to Spain next week. Hawaii Reporter.


The Honolulu Ethics Commission is recommending a city employee be suspended up to three days for operating a side business expediting building permits. Associated Press.

City transit officials appear to finally be gaining speed in approving Honolulu's much-anticipated new Handi-Vans — months after the vehicles first started arriving on island, and as clients voice concerns about a recent fire that destroyed a van minutes after its passengers escaped. Star-Advertiser.

The median price of a single-family home on Oahu rose 8 percent in May, while the median price for a condominium increased 13 percent, according to statistics released Saturday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.


Unemployment is inching downward and construction and other markets are showing signs of life. But the number of people lining up to receive state supplements for food purchases just keeps increasing. West Hawaii Today.

A report published in this month’s issue of GSA Today notes the presence of plastiglomerate on Kamilo Beach, formed by melted plastic mingling with beach sediment, basalt fragments and other types of debris. Tribune-Herald.


Citing their willingness to compromise and save taxpayers money, Maui County Council members Friday approved a $604 million county budget for fiscal 2014-15, with it set to take effect July 1. Maui News.

A Maui group that wants to ban genetically modified crops has been given a green light by election officials to advance their proposal. Associated Press.

A petition calling for a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically engineered organisms in Maui County has received the required number of signatures to advance for potential placement on the upcoming election ballot, county officials announced today. Maui Now.

While he awaits sentencing on four felony charges, Nelson Waikiki Jr. is among candidates who have filed to run for Maui County mayor. Maui News.


As head of an agricultural group, Jerry Ornellas said he's aware of the challenges of maintaining a more than 20-mile-long ditch and tunnel water system in East Kauai — a system formerly operated by East Kauai Water, a business associated with Lihue Sugar Plantation. Star-Advertiser

Kauai County Councilman Ross Kagawa admits the past year and a half has been a tough one. Garden Island.

Turk Tetsuo Tokita, who earned two Purple Hearts fighting for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II and became a trusted political ally on Kauai to four Demo­cratic governors, died Saturday in Lihue. He was 94. Star-Advertiser.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Hawaii farmland growing, controversial Sen. Hee runs for lieutenant governor, Waikiki homeless roundup, brouhaha over OHA letter to John Kerry, sailing vessel Hokulea off to worldwide voyage, Kauai credit downgraded, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Hawaii Island dairy farm courtesy photo
The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture farm census, published every five years, showed that Hawaii farmers put 8,000 more acres into production between 2007 and 2012, increasing total land used to grow food and other products to 1,129,000 acres from about 1,121,000 acres. Star-Advertiser.

State Sen. Clayton Hee has announced he is running as a Democrat for lieutenant governor, challenging incumbent Shan Tsutsui. Hawaii News Now.

lieutenant governor candidate
By running against Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui in the Democratic primary this year, state Sen. Clayton Hee shakes up not only that race — Tsutsui is a former Senate president who took the LG job after Brian Schatz was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 2012 — but also the governor's race. Gov. Neil Abercrombie faces a spirited challenge by state Sen. David Ige, who is backed by former Govs. Ben Cayetano and George Ariyoshi. Civil Beat.

Former state Rep. Gil Riviere said Sunday that he will enter the Democratic primary for the state Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Clayton Hee, who is running for lieutenant governor. Star-Advertiser.

An increase in grassroots organizing this year around highly controversial issues related to same-sex marriage, development in Kakaako and genetically modified farming have spurred the Hawaii State Ethics Commission to take a closer look at several citizens groups to ensure that they’re complying with the state ethics law. Civil Beat.

A 33-year-old madam who said her elite escort business offered prostitution services to some of Hawaii’s most prominent judges, politicians and entertainers, has made stunning allegations in a civil lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court against a Special Agent with Homeland Security Investigations U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement division. Hawaii Reporter.

On May 5th, 2014, Office of Hawaiian Affairs CEO, Dr. Kamanaʻopono Crabbe, sent a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry asking for “advice” on OHA’s possible breaches of international law given the evidence for the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The Universe.

The Hawaiian Kingdom blog reports that Dan Ahuna, a trustee with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, has taken his name off of a recent letter addressed to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Civil Beat.

The chief executive of Hawaii’s largest health insurance company is calling on Hawaii to shut down its beleaguered health insurance exchange, which was set up as part of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. Associated Press.

State lawmakers expressed dismay Friday over Hawaii Medical Service Association chief Michael Gold's contention this week that Hawaii should seek an immediate exemption from the federal Affordable Care Act's requirement for the state to have an online health insurance exchange. Maui Now.

The Hawaii Legislature Can Stop Time. Civil Beat.

This Saturday, the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokulea and its sister vessel the Hikianalia, will leave Oahu and set sail for Hilo, where they’ll continue on to Tahiti. Over the next few days, the public will get their last chance to bid the two canoes a final farewell before they embark on a worldwide voyage called Malama Honua, caring for our Island Earth. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hokule'a is still designed to sail and perform as its ancestral wa'a (canoes) did, when centuries ago they pulled much of Polynesia out of the sea. But in many ways this is Hokule'a 2.0. Star-Advertiser.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha said they are pushing back to make the community safe and accessible for all. In doing so, they say, police have begun to round up hundreds of offenders, some of whom have violated court orders or are committing crimes while living in makeshift communities throughout Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

In May the city joined with the private vendor Service Systems Associates to open an oceanside cafe in a former Kuhio Beach public pavilion that had become a haven for homeless people. Star-Advertiser.

Ticket sales were down by 20 percent for the first quarter of this year compared with last year at the Pacific Aviation Museum, one of three paid attractions at Pearl Harbor, resulting in reduced hours for workers there. Star-Advertiser.

The fate of the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill remains uncertain 15 months after the city endeavored to reach a resolution with the community group that's fought the hardest to shutter Oahu's only municipal dump. Star-Advertiser.

On a rural expanse of Oahu’s leeward coast, a line of concrete pillars snakes through fields of corn stalks and pumpkins toward downtown Honolulu where distant high rises jut into the sky through a muggy haze. Honolulu rail — now five decades in the making — is taking shape. Civil Beat.

The Howard Hughes Corp. has reached contractual agreements for about half of the 482 units in its two ultra-luxury high-rises in Kakaako — Anaha and Waiea — part of its Ward Village master-planned community, according to its first-quarter earnings report released Thursday. Pacific Business News.

A rise in recent citations for people trespassing at Sacred Falls State Park prompted the Department of Land and Natural Resources to remind the public that the park is closed due to danger from falling rocks. Star-Advertiser.


The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is recommending approval of its first subdivision application on the Big Island since it lifted a moratorium for agriculture land last year. The ranch land, leased to Flora Solomon, the mother of state Sen. Malama Solomon, is the only subdivision application that has been submitted. Tribune-Herald.

The Puna Community Development Plan Action Committee will weigh a report recommending several dozen new emergency routes for the district’s large subdivisions at its Tuesday meeting. Tribune-Herald.

Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers have cited the owner of a 47-foot sailing vessel that caused damage to coral reef in Kailua Bay on May 2. Approximately 80 feet of chain was in the water, with about 30 to 40 feet in the coral. West Hawaii Today.

Wailuku representative and House Speaker Joe Souki has endorsed Justin Woodson for election to the Central Maui 9th House seat he was appointed to by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, according to an announcement from Woodson. Maui News.

Maui County will pay $25,000 in attorneys' fees and damages to settle a federal lawsuit brought by a part-time employee who alleged his First Amendment right to free speech was violated when county officials interfered with his work on his MAUIWatch Facebook page. Maui News.


Fitch Ratings, a global credit rating agency, has downgraded the County of Kauai’s long-term credit grade, citing consistent rises in expenses, stagnant growths in revenues and waning balances in county reserve funds. Garden Island.

The Legislature provided $5 million in planning money for a replacement jail on Oahu, and $1.5 million to Maui — but funding for Kauai and the Big Island will have to wait another session, according to the state Department of Public Safety. Garden Island.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Hawaii economy growing beyond tourism, Obama to help Hawaii's ailing Health Connector, Alaska wants humpbacks delisted, minimum wage bill closer to agreement, Lanai plane crash aftermath, Clayton Hee building war chest, nurses get raises, Mufi Hannemann disliked, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Pacific Whale Foundation
Maui whale count courtesy Pacific Whale Foundation
The state of Alaska has filed a petition to remove some North Pacific humpback whales from protections granted under the federal Endangered Species Act, saying the whales are thriving and no longer need them. The petition filed Wednesday with the National Marine Fisheries Service aims to delist humpbacks that feed in Alaska in the summer and breed in Hawaii in winter, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Associated Press.

University of Hawaii economists are predicting the state's economy will grow slightly faster as the recovery expands beyond the tourism industry. The university's Economic Research Organization said in a report Friday Hawaii's gross domestic product is likely to grow 2.9 percent this year, up from 2.6 percent last year. Hawaii News Now.

Following two years of record-breaking growth, tourism officials say Hawaii’s tourism economy is starting to plateau. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, while visitor arrivals in January are on pace with last year’s numbers which contributed to a record of 8.2 million annual visitors, expenditures were down 4.7 percent compared to the same period last year. KHON2.

States such as Hawaii that have experienced technical problems running their own health care enrollment websites are getting some help from the Obama administration. Associated Press.

In a potential framework for an agreement, the state House Finance Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour by January 2018 and expand the tip credit to $1 while shielding low-income workers. The $7.25-an-hour minimum wage would gradually rise to $10 an hour over four years, giving businesses time to absorb the increase. The 25-cent tip credit — the amount businesses can deduct from the minimum wage for workers who earn tips — would rise to $1 over three years. Star-Advertiser.

Facing a key internal deadline Friday, state senators and representatives are trying to reach agreement on a minimum wage increase and tip credit. A Senate committee on Thursday deferred decision making on its version of a wage hike until Friday morning — the second delay on a vote this week. Civil Beat.

Debate will continue today over how much Hawaii businesses should compensate their minimum-wage employees. The state’s benchmark has remained at $7.25 an hour — the same as the current federal minimum — since 2007. Tribune-Herald.

State Sen. Clayton Hee has more than $460,000 in cash on hand, meaning he has the money to help stave off challengers or run for higher office. Hee told Civil Beat the money gives him the “flexibility” to consider a run for governor or lieutenant governor, but that he hasn’t made a decision yet.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie Thursday declined to say whether he plans to reappoint Hawaii Public Utilities Chairwoman Hermina Morita when her term ends June 30. Morita's future as head of the regulatory agency was thrown into doubt recently after an Abercrombie staff member reportedly said the governor did not intend to reappoint her. Star-Advertiser.

Elwin Ahu, a former state judge who serves as senior pastor at New Hope Metro, announced Thursday that he would run in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor. Star-Advertiser.

A bill aimed at establishing a community food forest program within the state Department of Agriculture is headed to the House floor. Garden Island.

A bill currently going through the state Legislature would require mediation be sought before arbitration in determining the sale price or lease rental of state lands. Tribune-Herald.

A state program aiming to help low- and moderate-income families send their children to a licensed preschool is opening its doors to new applicants. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Government Employees Association unit representing registered professional nurses has ratified a new two-year contract with pay raises. The unit, which covers about 1,700 public-sector nurses, agreed to a 4 percent pay raise retroactive to January and a 4.3 percent raise effective in July. The government will also cover 60 percent of health insurance premiums. Star-Advertiser.

DBEDT has released two new applications showing demographic information for Hawaii's legislative districts. Hawaii Reporter.

On Tap at the Hawaii Legislature: Feb. 28. Civil Beat.


A new Civil Beat Poll shows nearly 60 percent of Oahu voters have a negative impression of former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann. Just 32 percent view him in a positive light. Asked whether they would vote for Hannemann were he to run for political office this year, 28 percent said "very unlikely" and 20 percent said "somewhat unlikely."

A Honolulu City Council committee is putting off decision-making on a request to raise the height limit for a second hotel-condominium tower on Kuhio Avenue to be operated and managed by the Ritz-Carlton chain, following objections raised by the project's neighbors. Star-Advertiser.

State senators Thursday agreed to revive a bill that could enable the state to acquire undeveloped North Shore land owned by Turtle Bay Hotel and Resort through eminent domain. Star-Advertiser.

The state Supreme Court has agreed to consider a lawsuit protesting a plan to build a 3,500 homes on farmland in Koa Ridge in central Oahu. The development by Castle and Cooke Hawaii would turn 576 acres of prime agricultural land into master-planned suburban community more than two miles away from the nearest planned rail station. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) executive director Anthony Ching said in a public meeting that there would be an announcement about a new, projected preschool-kindergarten building as part of the Kakaako redevelopment plan. Hawaii Independent.


A former Puna councilman is ready to throw his hat in the ring again — it’s just a matter of which ring. Fred Blas has filed to run for two offices, Council District 4, which covers eastern Puna and is currently represented by Greggor Ilagan, and House District 4, also in Puna, currently represented by Faye Hanohano. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Billy Kenoi provided some insight Thursday into why he signed a controversial measure banning new genetically modified organisms from growing in Hawaii County. West Hawaii Today.

The UH Board of Regents recently approved a sublease for the planned Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea on Hawai’i island. Hawaii Public Radio.

The logistics of travel and communication and how Maui County serves its four-island community will likely be on the public agenda in the wake of Wednesday night's fatal plane crash on Lanai. Star-Advertiser.

A small plane crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff from Lanai, killing three people and leaving three others injured, authorities said Thursday. Associated Press.

“This is a tragedy that has stunned our community, but we are also thankful for those whose lives were spared,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa who hosted a press conference to share information on Wednesday’s deadly plane crash on the island of Lānaʻi. Maui Now.

Grief and relief rose as the dominant emotions Thursday in the aftermath of a charter plane crash that left three people dead and three others injured in charred grassland in central Lanai. Two of the dead and three of the injured were Maui County employees on Lanai to attend a planning commission meeting Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The surviving passenger who is credited with pulling two others from the burning wreckage of Wednesday’s plane crash on Lāna‘i has released a statement to reassure family and friends of his condition. Maui Now.

After a small chartered aircraft carrying Maui County officials crashed near the Lanai Airport on Wednesday night, a deputy attorney for Maui County called 911 to alert emergency officials to the crash and then pulled two other victims from the wreckage, friends and coworkers tell Hawaii News Now.

The Maalaea small boat harbor on Maui could receive up to $4 million in improvements under legislation being considered by the Hawaii Legislature. Pacific Business News.

The Maui Planning Commission unanimously approved a new, family-focused, 200-room hotel in Wailea. Maui News.


Representatives of Hawaii Dairy Farms spent Thursday evening laying out their plans for the $17.5 million, 582-acre dairy in Mahaulepu. Garden Island.

The Honolulu firm of McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon has been selected to represent Kauai County in a lawsuit filed by seed four seed companies that want to block the implementation of a new ordinance regulating pesticide use and genetically modified crops. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu firm of McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP has been selected to represent the County of Kauai in a lawsuit filed by four biotech seed companies relating to Ordinance 960, regulating GMO and pesticides. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wide open race for Congress, back pay coming to substitute teachers, mayors fight for TAT, Caldwell's state of the city today, Deedy transcripts unsealed, new auditor for Hawaii County, Ellison plans Lanai hydroponics, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News
Matson container ship at Hilo Harbor (c) 2014 All Hawaii News
Two sticky messes cut into Matson Inc. profits by more than half in the fourth quarter, though Hawaii's largest ocean cargo transportation firm still increased full-year earnings. Star-Advertiser.

Mayors and county council members pleaded with state lawmakers Tuesday to give them millions of dollars in extra hotel tax money Hawaii collects each year. The House Finance Committee passed a bill that would lift the cap on the counties’ share of the Transient Accommodations Tax, which the Legislature imposed in 2011. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa told the state House on Tuesday that counties will be under increased pressure to raise taxes and fees unless the state lifts the cap on the counties' share of hotel room taxes. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers want the chance to research police misconduct without being told an officer’s disciplinary file has already been destroyed. On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee passed a bill that seeks to increase transparency about bad behavior inside Hawaii’s county police departments by forcing agencies to include more information in annual misconduct reports to the Legislature. Civil Beat.

State Rep. Richard Fale said Tuesday that he intends to challenge state Sen. Clayton Hee in an election that could serve as a referendum on gay marriage. Fale, a Mormon, was one of the most vocal opponents of gay marriage during the special session last fall. The Republican believes lawmakers should have let voters decide the issue through a state constitutional amendment. Hee, chairman of the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee, helped craft the gay marriage bill. Star-Advertiser.

A simple test that can save babies lives isn't mandatory in Hawaii. Last year, a measure that would have required newborns to be screened for congenital heart defects before leaving the hospital didn't make it through the House's health committee. More than 30 states have already enacted similar measures. Hoping to resuscitate the issue, a constituent approached Sen. Mike Gabbard about writing and sponsoring a bill, Senate Bill 2194, with more precise language than last year's bill, which some lawmakers believe was so broad that it resulted in its demise. Civil Beat.

More than 7-thousand children enter the state’s Juvenile Justice System each year and many require treatment and services that are currently nonexistent.  As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, lawmakers are considering funding these services before it’s too late.

Checks are on the horizon for an estimated 10,000 Hawaii substitute teachers who are owed a share of a $14 million settlement for back-pay claims from more than a decade ago. Star-Advertiser.

Howard Green thought he was helping farmers, such as himself, sell more of their products directly to customers. Instead, the bill he offered to lawmakers raised concerns the state Legislature might again be trying to undermine county regulations on genetically modified crops and pesticides for the second time this session. Tribune-Herald.

The Democratic primary races for governor and U.S. senator are closely fought contests, as Civil Beat reported this week.Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state Sen. David Ige are tied, as are U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. That's not the case in the race to replace Hanabusa in the 1st Congressional District. But two of the seven candidates — Donna Mercado Kim and Mark Takai — lead the pack with 25 percent and 20 percent of the vote, respectively. All other candidates we surveyed are in single digits, and over one-third of those polled are unsure of who'll they vote for.

A little more than two weeks after vandals broke a priceless window at Iolani Palace, an influential senator wants to change law enforcement jurisdiction there to the state Sheriff's Division. Hawaii News Now.

On Tap at the Hawaii Legislature: Jan. 26. Civil Beat.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell is expected to announce in his State of the City speech Wednesday that he plans to eliminate 618 vacant positions and cut funding for additional slots, moves intended to free up $37 million annually in the city's $2 billion operating budget. Star-Advertiser.

When Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell delivers his second State of the City address today, it won't be at Honolulu Hale, or even Kapolei Hale in the  "Second City." For the first time, it will be delivered at McCoy Pavilion at Ala Moana Park. Hawaii News Now.

A bill allowing Oahu residents to once again set off sparklers and other novelty fireworks legally to ring New Year's Day and the Fourth of July was deferred by the City Council Public Safety and Economic Development Committee Tuesday due to technical reasons. Star-Advertiser.

A key committee in the Hawaii Senate has given its stamp of approval to two bills aimed at mitigating erosion on Oahu’s North Shore. Senate Bill 3035 sets aside money to realign Kamehameha Highway that runs by Laniakea Beach. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Community College says its accrediting agency reaffirmed its accreditation this month. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges at the Western Association of Schools and Colleges also removed the school's warning status. Associated Press.

A state judge has granted a request by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser to release the transcripts of closed court proceedings before she declared a mistrial in federal agent Christopher Deedy's murder case. Star-Advertiser.

Deedy Transcripts Revealed: 'Not Something We See Every Day' Civil Beat.

More than $90,000 was spent to improve Koko Head Shooting Complex, after reports of stray bullets flying into homes and cars. But some residents say the repairs are not enough. KHON2.

Olive Garden Italian Restaurant — which is postponing the opening of its first Hawaii location, as I reported on Monday — on Tuesday launched the “most comprehensive menu evolution in its history.” Pacific Business News.

The latest installment of Jurassic Park is set to film in the islands and a local talent agency tells KHON2 that the film’s casting department is looking for local extras to be a part of the movie.


Hawaii County may soon have a new legislative auditor, more than a year after the position became vacant. Bonnie Nims, a senior performance auditor who worked for 16 years for the state of Washington and more recently, as a performance auditor supervisor at the American Samoa Government Territorial Audit Office, would be appointed in Resolution 313, scheduled to be voted on March 7 by the Hawaii County Council. If the resolution is passed, she will begin work May 1. West Hawaii Today.

Three County Council members are toting armloads of questions and ideas on their trip this weekend to the National Association of Counties conference in Washington, D.C. West Hawaii Today.

Nearly every school on the Big Island will benefit in some way from the recent release of $62.4 million in capital improvement project monies for Hawaii Department of Education facilities. Tribune-Herald.

Kamehameha Schools does not currently have a plan to open a K-12 campus in West Hawaii, a spokesman said Tuesday morning. West Hawaii Today.

Using local products to feed fish and animals could help the Big Island’s food sustainability and self-sufficiency. That was the conclusion of a draft environmental assessment prepared by the Oceanic Institute of Hawai‘i Pacific University for its long-planned Feeds Research and Pilot Production Facility, which it would build at the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Farm Laboratory at the Panaewa Agricultural Park. Big Island Now.


Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa today announced the county’s purchase of more than 148 acres of land at Launiupoko as part of the planned “Pali-to-Puamana” parkway. The parcel is one of two being acquired for a total price tag of $13 million, following an agreement reached with the seller, Makila Land Co. LLC, and approved by the Maui County Council in December. Maui Now.

While tiger sharks along Maui's coastline recently have captured the attention of marine experts statewide, research biologist Robin Baird has been focusing on other sea creatures, tracking whales and dolphins in hopes of understanding where they travel and why. Maui News.

The county Department of Housing and Human Concerns is proposing the construction of a 64-unit affordable housing project in Pukalani. The Kulamalu project is proposed for construction on more than four acres of land, bounded by ʻŌhiʻa Kū Street and ʻAʻapueo Parkway, and located west of the Kula Highway. Maui Now.

A new program that offers grants or loans to growing and stable businesses and nonprofit organizations in Maui County rolled out last week through the Mayor's Office of Economic Development. Maui News.


A federal judge on Monday granted a Kauai councilman’s request to dismiss a civil suit that claimed he was the target of illegal prosecution by the county over zoning law violations. Garden Island.

Some local residents and environmental groups are voicing concerns about Hawaii Dairy Farms, the $17.5 million dairy planned for Kauai’s South Shore. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i GMO legal bout enters round two. National non-profits the Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice enter the ring on behalf of Kaua‘i County and its under-siege law. Hawaii Independent.


Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison, the majority owner of the Hawaiian island of Lanai, plans to build a facility that would house aquaponics and hydroponics sustainable food systems to produce fresh produce and fish for Lanai residents visitors. Pacific Business News.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hawaii scientists create glow-in-the-dark pigs, Obama vacation, Hee attempted Senate coup, same-sex marriage battle continues, fishing limits set to start Thursday, Larry Ellison's Lanai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

University of Hawaii
UH engineers neon pigs courtesy photo
A technique developed by reproductive scientists from the University of Hawaii medical school helped scientists create ten piglets that glow green under black fluorescent lights. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii
Glowing green pig
Read the UH news release about transgenic pigs here.

At least 248 same-sex couples married this month under a new state law, and they should not have a legal challenge lingering over them, state attorneys argued Monday. The lawyers filed court papers asking a state judge to throw out a lawsuit challenging the Marriage Equality Act that made Hawaii the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama enjoyed a morning round of golf followed by a visit to the beach Monday afternoon, joining his family at Pyramid Rock Beach at Marine Corps Base Hawaii after finishing 18-holes at the Mid Pacific Country Club early Monday afternoon. The Obamas left the beach at about 4:30 p.m.and spent the rest of the evening at their rented Kailua vacation home. Star-Advertiser.

How President Barack Obama spent the third day of his holiday vacation in Hawaii on Monday. Associated Press.

The Presidential vacation continues in full swing. Day three of the first family's vacation and the President took on his second round of golf. Word spread fast in Lanikai and before you know it a gallery appeared. Hawaii News Now.

It's not news to anyone that when the president comes to town, he comes with a ton of security. But when the president comes to a small island in the middle of the Pacific -- a small island that is already home to the nation's second worst traffic -- his security apparatus is a bit more noticeable. Huffington Post.

The Hawaii State Teachers Assocation announced Monday it is backing Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa in her challenge against U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz while supporting state Rep. K. Mark Takai's bid to replace Hanabusa. Star-Advertiser.

Word from Hawaii state Senate circles is that Clayton Hee sought support from his colleagues in late autumn to topple Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and Vice President Ron Kouchi. But he fell well short of the 13 required votes. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Health is restricting the use of electronic smoking devices known as "e-cigarettes" on its properties. The ban will take effect Jan. 1. Star-Advertiser.

It can cost a local high school student as much as $1,032 to enroll in a single University of Hawaii course as part of a college jump-start program offered to eligible public school students across the state. Civil Beat.

The state teachers union says it will lobby legislators next year to fund pre-kindergarten classes at public schools in an effort to preserve teaching jobs and help a set of children who will be too young to enter kindergarten. The Hawaii State Teachers Association lists the initiative among its legislative priorities for the session that begins Jan. 15. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Health Connector, the online marketplace created by President Barack Obama's signature health care law, has extended through today the deadline to sign up for medical insurance to take effect Jan. 1. The Connector said it was following a decision by the Obama administration to delay Monday's deadline by one day to "accommodate the high demand in last-minute enrollments" for individuals and families seeking coverage on Jan. 1. It was the second time the deadline was pushed back. Enrollees originally had until Dec. 15 to enroll for coverage starting Jan. 1. Star-Advertiser.

State transportation officials followed through Monday on their plans to erect concrete barriers to block vehicles from parking at one of the North Shore's most popular beaches. Meanwhile, some in the community are preparing to sue to have those barriers removed. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Film Studio will be able to move forward with some much-needed repairs, thanks to the release of an additional $3.5 million in state funds announced Monday. The money is in addition to $1.7 million Gov. Neil Abercrombie released last fiscal year for improvements at the facility near Diamond Head where the TV series "Hawaii Five-0" is filmed. Star-Advertiser.

A space to make our own. A Kaka‘ako haven for creatives leads off our series on the new spirit of island industry. Hawaii Independent.

Stiff new penalties and prohibitions against scuba spearfishing and the taking of various species in West Hawaii waters are hallmarks of a package of new rules that go into effect Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Electric Light Co. announced that none of the six bids met its technical and cost-of-power requirements, and will ask each of the companies to submit additional information for a contract for another 50 megawatts of geothermal power on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

High surf Friday and Saturday caused damage at two West Hawaii boating facilities. Efforts are now underway by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to assess and rectify the situation. West Hawaii Today.

The state Public Utilities Commission has approved an agreement by Hawaii Electric Light Co. to purchase up to 10 percent of the isle’s energy needs a year from a bioenergy plant in Pepeekeo that remains under construction. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island students interested in science, technology, engineering and math will have a chance to apply for new scholarship and grant funds next year, pending the construction of what is poised to be one of the world’s largest telescopes atop Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

Socrates Buenger has done something extraordinary in the film industry — outfoxed one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. Buenger's gone from a starstruck child running errands for crew members on movie sets in Los Angeles to become chief executive officer of the largest sound stage in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Kathryn Sullivan, who was also the first American woman to walk in space, made more than a dozen site visits in Hawaii last week but said Thursday that being able to see humpback whales off Maui's shores up close was "one of the standout and fondest memories" of her trip. Maui News.

Six Maui resorts earned honors in the 2014 Gold List annual reader’s survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. Maui Now.


The Kauai County Council approved a resolution that will guide a county study of large agriculture impacts on Kauai. If the “Environmental and Public Health Impact Study” is done correctly, Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura said the county is in a position to break new ground. Garden Island.

A retired police lieutenant has refiled a civil suit against the County of Kauai, Kauai Police Department, Chief Darryl Perry and Assistant Chief Mark Begley. Retired Vice Lt. Eric Shibuya is seeking damages for an alleged punitive transfer and resulting meritless investigation. Garden Island.


Larry Ellison’s purchase of the majority of Lanai was one of the top stories for 2012, and the billionaire CEO of Oracle Corp. continued to make news in 2013 with his plans for Hawaii’s Pineapple Isle. Pacific Business News.

Friday, November 22, 2013

State may pre-empt county GMO, pesticide laws, Hanabusa lags Schatz in fund-raising, Kauai police probe Bieber security attack on cameraman, homeless up 8.6%, Hawaiian Affairs, Home Lands, under fire, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo by Georgette Deemer
Christmas tree goes up at Honolulu Hale, courtesy of Georgette Deemer
A Christmas tree need not come from the Pacific Northwest to be beautiful. Locally grown Christmas trees are plentiful on Oahu and Maui, and state officials and online searches identified additional growers on Oahu and Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers are considering legislation affecting genetically modified crops and pesticides now that several counties have taken steps to regulate them. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Sen. Clarence Nishihara said he hopes the governor will make clear the state has the authority to pre-empt the county initiatives. But Nishihara said he will likely propose a state pre-emption bill next year if Gov. Neil Abercrombie doesn’t take the lead. Associated Press.

Colleen Hanabusa, a U.S. representative, is far behind Brian Schatz, a U.S. senator, in the chase for campaign contributions. According to their most recent filings with the Federal Election Commission, Schatz has a 3-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage over his 2014 Democratic primary challenger. Civil Beat.

Clayton Hee, the chairman of the Senate committees on Judiciary and Labor revealed he was wearing a Kevlar vest during the first day of hearings on Senate Bill 1, which would eventually become the Marriage Equality Act. Civil Beat.

A national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization released a report Thursday that rates four Hawaii cities above the national average in LGBT inclusion in municipal law. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines said Thursday it will begin allowing customers to use their own personal portable electronic devices on "airplane mode" during all phases of domestic flights, from takeoff through landing, and during more phases on international flights. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines passengers will now have the opportunity to snap photographs of world-famous Waikiki Beach and other scenic aerial views of Hawaii with their smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices during takeoff and landing. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Airlines on Thursday announced it has completed the certification process with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and is now allowing customers to use their own personal Portable Electronic Devices (PED) on "airplane mode" during all phases of domestic flights, from takeoff through landing, and during more phases on international flights. Hawaii News Now.

Federal officials say the number of homeless people in Hawaii is up 8.6 percent since 2010 to more than 6,000, despite a drop in the national estimate. Star-Advertiser.

If the Office of Hawaiian Affairs doesn't get its act together and do a better job of fulfilling its mission, the Legislature will take action. That's the message from a legislative hearing on Thursday where officials from OHA sought to defend their management of the agency's land and grants in the wake of a scathing audit released in September. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has initiated a variety of measures intended to improve its lending program, including lowering interest rates for the first time in 17 years and launching a pilot program to address the most severely overdue loans on the east side of Hawaii island, an area with a particularly acute delinquency problem. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Rep. Tom Brower might have put his sledgehammer back in the tool shed, but there’s still one question we haven’t seen answered. How many laws did Brower actually break while on his wheel-bashing crusade against the homeless and their shopping carts? Civil Beat.

Assaults on workers at the Hawaii State Hospital are all too common, and taxpayers are picking up the tab for the cost of treatment and workers compensation. Hawaii Reporter.


Honolulu City Council members will have to make key decisions in the coming year about how users of TheBus, Handi-Van and, eventually, the new elevated rail system will all pay their fare under the same system. Star-Advertiser.

It's the nightmare before Christmas at Ala Moana Center, where this year's busiest shopping season is colliding head-on with the mall's largest redevelopment project. Star-Advertiser.

The former operator of the now-closed Senor Frog's restaurant and bar in Waikiki will pay $350,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit on behalf of 13 female workers, including three teenage girls. Star-Advertiser.


The Hawaii County Leeward Planning Commission on Thursday approved a special management area use permit for the Alii Kai park, allowing the long-promised project to move forward. West Hawaii Today.

An ambitious plan released late last week includes a new prison for West Hawaii and a new East Hawaii correctional complex that would combine the Hawaii Community Correctional Center, Kulani Correctional Facility, Hale Nani and associated facilities. West Hawaii Today.

A Hawaii island man who claims he was forced to get a liver transplant after taking the diet supplement OxyELITE Pro is suing the manufacturer and the retailer that sold it to him. Lawyers for Kenneth Wai­kiki, 22, of Kailua-Kona filed the lawsuit against Dallas-based USPlabs, company principals Jonathan Vincent Doyle and Jacob Geissler, and GNC Corp. in U.S. District Court in Hono­lulu on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Lawyers for the family of a New York teen killed during a kayak excursion at Kealakekua Bay last year said Tuesday that the trip’s organizers didn’t properly vet or train its leader. Associated Press.


Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa’s office has announced the signing of a “Memorandum of Understanding” agreement with the biotech giant Monsanto. HuffPost Hawaii.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa announced that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Monsanto, “obtaining assurances from the company that they will engage in safe practices involving restricted-use pesticides.” Maui Now.

Rare dolphin carcass washes up on Maui's north shore. KITV.

Maui Memorial Medical Center has been certified as a level 3 trauma center, meeting standards that should improve care and survivability of injured patients, Health Department and hospital officials said. Maui News.

An 18-year veteran police officer on Maui was arrested and released after being charged with abuse of a family or household member, for an incident involving the injury of his 13-year-old daughter, police said. Maui Now.


A pair of Kauai residents claim they watched one of Justin Bieber’s security guards assault a man trying to take pictures of the 19-year-old celebrity Wednesday at Shipwreck’s Beach in Poipu. Garden Island.

Kauai County officials say they are no longer considering an area near Isenberg Park as a potential site for an adolescent drug treatment center first envisioned nearly seven years ago by former Mayor Bryan Baptiste. Instead, now Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. said he and other county officials identified a site along Maalo Road in Kapahi and currently owned by Lihue-based Grove Farm Company as the best site for the facility. Garden Island.