Showing posts with label Stanley Chang. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stanley Chang. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hawaii state psychiatric hospital in the cross-hairs, military cuts feared, US-Japan military ties, Honolulu Handi-Vans, EMS under fire, beleaguered super PAC training Big Island candidates, dairy wants lower milk prices, Kauai resort fights dairy farm, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii State Hospital, photo courtesy
The Hawaii Senate's special investigative committee on the Hawaii State Hospital has subpoenaed adult mental health division Administrator Mark Fridovich, acting Hawaii State Hospital Administrator William Elliot, and Linda Rosen, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, to testify at a hearing in Honolulu on Friday. Pacific Business News.

Three state hospital administrators will testify before a state Senate investigative committee Wednesday in connection with allegations of workplace hazards and administrative misconduct. Star-Advertiser.

From charges of overcrowding, assaults by patients on staff, to being an outdated facility, the Hawaii State Hospital has been under the microscope lately. A legislative committee went on a tour of the hospital recently and found it lacking in several areas. KHON2.

Hawaii’s state-run psychiatric hospital has a new chief, whose job is to operate a facility that has come under intense scrutiny for mismanagement and safety concerns. Civil Beat.

Addressing staff shortages and safety are among the top priorities for the new administrator of the Hawaii State Hospital, the state's predominant mental institution. Star-Advertiser.

On Tuesday evening, Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, will face off in a live debate on KHON2. The debate will begin at 7 p.m. and live-streamed on

Former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, bidding to return to the job he held for seven months in 2010, announced Monday his GOP campaign has raised $435,000 since launching his campaign in early April. Star-Advertiser.

It's a crowded race to fill Hawaii's first congressional district seat. Stanley Chang is trying to reach every voter in the first congressional district with a personal pitch that helped him win his city council seat on back in 2010. KITV4.

U.S.-Japan naval cooperation is deepening, top U.S. and Japanese admirals said Monday as they met on the sidelines of the world’s largest maritime exercises. Associated Press.

Department of Defense spending, the 2nd largest source of revenue for the state behind tourism, is facing potential budgetary cuts which could hurt Hawai’i’s economy. Hawaii Public Radio.

State Rep. Rida Cabanilla wants Gov. Neil Abercrombie to reconsider an idea that his administration has already shot down. In a news release Monday, Cabanilla urged the governor to release $100,000 that the Legislature approved in 2013 for a three-year “Return to Home” pilot program. The initiative provides money for one-way tickets so eligible homeless individuals from the mainland can return to their families. Civil Beat.

Political candidates will be changing the way they report their expenses online to make it easier to track how they’re spending their election dollars. The state Campaign Spending Commission has instituted rules requiring candidates to file each expenditure under one of eight categories. Associated Press.


Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will lose 238 positions in a move announced Monday by the Air Force to cut costs and eliminate nearly 3,500 positions worldwide over the next five years. Star-Advertiser.

Fires that destroyed two city Handi-Vans used to transport the disabled were caused by the excessive age of the vehicles, according to the city’s top transportation official. Civil Beat.

The accident at Ala Moana Center on Saturday is prompting calls for the city to fix the chronic staffing shortages at the Emergency Medical Services department. Hawaii News Now.

A veteran registered nurse in need of back surgery said Honolulu paramedics did not follow common sense for her injuries when they allegedly sat her upright in her husband's truck and had him drive to the hospital on his own. Star-Advertiser.

The state Health Department has launched the Choose Healthy Now initiative at eight snack shops on Oahu. Food and beverages have been flagged with green, yellow and red stickers to help customers identify healthier items, while printed materials explain the system and benefits of healthful eating. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of concerned Oahu residents filled the seats of Mililani-Mauka Elementary School cafeteria Monday evening to brainstorm a plan of eradicating the little fire ant, a tiny species creating a big problem. Hawaii News Now.

State roundup for July 15. Associated Press.


A Honolulu political action committee under investigation for questionable campaign practices has spent thousands this year training six Hawaii County Council candidates how to campaign. West Hawaii Today.

The state’s largest milk producer is seeking the state’s permission to sell its milk at a price lower than the law currently allows. A public hearing on that request is scheduled for 10 a.m. today at the state Department of Agriculture’s Waimea Irrigation System Branch conference room at 66-1220B Lalamilo Farm Lots Road. Tribune-Herald.

Next month, Hawaii Island’s 1,400 restaurants and other establishments serving food will begin being issued new food safety inspection placards, making it easier for customers to decide where they want to eat. Tribune-Herald.

A public hearing to gather input on the planned merger of Time Warner Cable and Comcast Corp. yielded one comment Monday. West Hawaii Today.

Kahului state Rep. Justin Woodson is financing his campaign mostly from money donated by political action committees and labor unions while opponent and former Maui County Mayor James "Kimo" Apana and members of his family are paying for most of his campaign expenses, state Campaign Spending Commission reports show. Maui News.

Maui County has agreed to a settlement with the state Health Department totaling $140,000 for violations at the Central Maui and the Molokai landfills in 2011, the Health Department said. Maui News.


A neighboring resort filed suit to stop a proposed dairy farm. Garden Island.

Victoria “Vickie” Franks said she has wanted to be involved in government since she was a girl. Garden Island.


After years of effort, UH Maui College, Molokai (UHMCM) has completed its Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) 2013, which was approved and received in June 2014.  The purpose of the LRDP is to guide the development of the Molokai Education Center to the year 2027, beginning with the transition from the existing two-acre campus and expanding to a five-acre campus utilizing the land to the west along the main road to Duke Maliu Regional Park. Molokai Dispatch.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Dirty politics in 2012 Honolulu mayoral race, Kauai GMO pesticide law postponed, 'American Jungle' film crew cleared by DLNR, aquarium collectors targeted, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Moorish Idols © 2014 All Hawaii News
A Hawaii organization is working with a national one to provide more education about the impact of aquarium fish collection on the state’s reefs. West Hawaii Today.

By the Numbers: A Statistical Snapshot of the 2014 Elections. 303 candidates are seeking 102 seats up for grabs this fall in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Clayton Hee Buys First TV Ads This Season. His opponent in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, incumbent Shan Tsutsui, is spending a lot more, however. Civil Beat.

Democratic Honolulu City Councilmember Stanley Chang said Thursday if he's elected to represent Hawaii's First Congressional District, he would live up to his "Agenda for Change" mantra by keeping Hawaii at the forefront of a progressive movement. Hawaii News Now.

Veteran lawmaker Romy Cachola is agreeing to negotiate a settlement with the state Campaign Spending Commission involving charges that he misused political contributions for personal use. Star-Advertiser.

If congressional candidate Kathryn Xian is elected to the U.S. House, she has vowed to donate half her salary to charity. The Democrat, running in Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District, said she wants to put her money where her mouth is as a politician and as a human being who cares about her community. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission decided Thursday to give attorneys more time to reach a settlement before determining whether state Rep. Romy Cachola improperly used his campaign funds. Civil Beat.

Dozens of Hawaii Department of Education employees are on paid leave pending investigations that can drag on for several years. Associated Press.

Hawaii's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 4.4 percent in May to match the previous month's rate and remain at its lowest level in nearly six years. Star-Advertiser.


With former Gov. Ben Cayetano ahead in the polls for mayor and the rail project he vowed to block in trouble with voters, the Pacific Resource Partnership turned to high-powered political consultants in 2012 who devised a calculated strategy to portray Cayetano as corrupt. A trove of private emails, poll memos, advertising scripts and opposition research, obtained by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser from James Bickerton, an attorney for Cayetano, offers a peek inside PRP's $3.6 million campaign to prevent Cayetano from being elected mayor. Star-Advertiser.

An Inside Look at the Hawaii Super PAC That Helped Defeat Cayetano. Emails detail the political strategies employed in 2012 by the PRP, an organization determined to undermine the mayoral candidacy of the former governor. Civil Beat.

More than 200 people from firms around the world interested in developing energy storage projects on Oahu to help Hawaiian Electric Co. add more renewables to its grid showed up either in person or via teleconference to take part in the utility’s pre-bid conference on Thursday morning in Honolulu. Pacific Business News.

Acquiring properties in Honolulu to build Oahu's rail transit system could involve "judicious" use of eminent domain, officials say, as those overseeing the project scramble to secure ownership of all the properties they'll need to keep construction on schedule. Star-Advertiser.

Here in Honolulu, or anywhere for that matter, after you call 911, you expect to get help quickly. That’s dependent upon a reliable radio system for first responders. The city’s system, known as the Enhanced Digital Access Communication System, is almost 20 years old, and city officials say it is time to develop a new one. KHON2.

A group of military moms have filed a lawsuit saying their families were exposed to dangerous chemicals and they weren't properly notified of the risk. Hawaii News Now.

A man known as the Manoa Rapist is suing state Department of Public Safety Director Ted Sakai and Corrections Division head Max Otani for refusing to let the inmate enter the department's work furlough program. Star-Advertiser.

A recent NerdWallet study that found Honolulu among the nation's worst cities for drivers, taking into account the number of hours of traffic delay per commuter, the population density, gas prices, insurance prices and precipitation rates. Hawaii Reporter.


The Department of Land and Natural Resources was unable to prove filmmakers were on state land during the production of a reality television show that aired last fall, a spokeswoman said Thursday. Still, the creator of “American Jungle” said, the way the department handled its concerns has disrupted discussions about another season of the Hawaii Island program. West Hawaii Today.

Two women inmates in Hilo’s jail say the bathrooms there are inadequate, unsanitary and potentially dangerous. Tribune-Herald.

A team of consultants hired by Kona Community Hospital say the organization is making strides toward more efficient operations and money savings. Three months into a nine-month process, consultants told the West Hawaii Region Board of Directors on Wednesday that they’ve identified at least $4.5 million in savings and revenue opportunities. West Hawaii Today.

A civil lawsuit alleging a company and three individuals sold undeveloped land in Puna to Japanese nationals under fraudulent pretenses and at inflated prices will go forward, at least for now. Tribune-Herald.


The Maui Police Department confirmed Wednesday that it had concluded an investigation on the county Department of Parks and Recreation and its former director Glenn Correa. Maui News.


Implementation of Ordinance 960, a new county law regulating the use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms on Kauai, has been delayed to Oct. 1 via a court order issued last week. The ordinance (formerly Bill 2491) was passed in November and slated to take effect Aug. 16. However, a lawsuit challenging the legality of the law was filed in February by four companies — Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer, BASF and Dow AgroSciences — that would be directly impacted by the measure. Garden Island.

A recent analysis of government pesticide databases and data from the state Department of Agriculture’s Kauai Good Neighbor Program shows that the agrochemical industry is applying pesticides at higher rates on Kauai than most U.S. farms. Garden Island.

The completion of the Lydgate Beach Park refurbishment project was celebrated with a blessing on Thursday. Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hawaii Island historic sites threatened by rising seas, Disney cruise line returning, CDC threatens to close UH lab, Kauai celebrates tsunami debris, OHA squabble settled, Abercrombie signs Turtle Bay bill, Aiona runs for governor on GOP ticket, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Puuhonua o Honaunau © 2014 All Hawaii News

The grounds of Puuhonua o Honaunau, along with another important cultural site, Koloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, are endangered by a rising sea that is lapping away at the centuries-old structures and seawalls at both sites. West Hawaii Today.

A new report out Tuesday from the Union of Concerned Scientists highlights two Hawaii Island historic places and other U.S. historic places put in serious peril by rising seas, fiercer wildfire seasons and other impacts linked to man-made climate change. Star-Advertiser.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
© 2014 All Hawaii News
Two National Park Service sites on the western side of the Big Island are on a list assembled by the Union of Concerned Scientists of iconic landmarks and cultural heritage sites threatened by climate change in the United States. Big Island Now.

A new report released today by independent research and science-policy think-tank the Union of Concerned Scientists  utilizes case studies on U.S. historic sites to illustrate the dramatic and immediate threat that human-created climate change poses. Hawaii Independent.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs CEO Kamana‘opono Crabbe and the OHA trustees emerged from an all-day session of Hawaiian reconciliation and forgiveness Monday with what they called "one voice" traveling on "one path." Star-Advertiser.

The CEO of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs emerged vindicated and relieved after an all-day board meeting Monday that had him concerned for his job. Associated Press.

OHA trustees, CEO settle their differences over nation-building. Civil Beat.

Former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona has made it official that he's running for governor.Republican Aiona announced his candidacy Monday after filing papers with the state office of elections. Associated Press.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who is running for governor as an independent, almost lured an interesting recruit as his lieutenant governor: former University of Hawaii football coach Dick Tomey. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Councilman Stanley Chang uses his first congressional campaign ad on TV to promise voters that he will champion a progressive agenda if they send him to Washington, D.C. Civil Beat.

The chair of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents claimed the written nomination of a highly qualified dean from an Ivy League university who came from Hawaii to be the next UH president "fell through the cracks," prompting former Gov. Ben Cayetano, who recommended her for the UH job last July, to say the regents mishandled the situation because of "negligence." Hawaii News Now.

Governor’s Preschool Effort Struggles to Get off the Ground. Civil Beat.

Disney Cruise Line said Monday that it will return to Hawaii in September 2015 with the Disney Wonder making two 10-night cruises to the Islands. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for May 20. Associated Press.


It’s official — Hawaii is paying Turtle Bay Resort millions of dollars not to develop 665 acres of land on the North Shore of Oahu. Gov. Neil Abercrombie held a bill signing ceremony Monday at the resort to celebrate the deal, which comes after more than a decade of lawsuits contesting the hotel’s expansion plans.  Civil Beat.

courtesy Hawaii Governor's Office
courtesy Hawaii Governor's Office
Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed legislation to preserve more than 665 acres of land on Oahu’s North Shore. Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie traded his koa-paneled office for a Kawela Bay shoreline filled with ironwood trees Monday as the site to sign a "landmark" bill protecting 665 acres at Turtle Bay Resort from development. Star-Advertiser.

Turtle Bay Resorts hosted a bill-signing ceremony today at the scenic Kawela Bay on the North Shore.  The measure, which was signed into law by the Governor, sets aside undeveloped land for future generations of residents and tourists to enjoy. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Centers for Disease Control is threatening to suspend the University of Hawaii medical school's ability to conduct research on highly contagious diseases. Hawaii News Now.

A Windward Oahu facility that houses hundreds of often violent mentally ill patients has had to answer to lawmakers lately. KHON2.

A rebound in shipments of agricultural products helped cargo volumes between Oahu and six neighbor island ports maintain their upward trend in the first quarter, interisland shipper Young Brothers reported Monday. Star-Advertiser.


There are two new faces at the top of the Office of Corporation Counsel, now that Mayor Billy Kenoi has rearranged staff in the wake of the resignation of longtime Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science Governing Board frustrated some parents last week when it relocated a closed-door meeting with a teacher accused of abusing students without announcing the new location. But did it break the law? Likely not, according to the state Attorney General’s Office. Tribune-Herald.

Kai Ehitu Coach Richard Kimitete apologized Monday for rocks used during Saturday’s regatta damaging coral in Kailua Bay. Kimitete said he even contacted the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to make the same apology. West Hawaii Today.

Fire ants have made their way into Waipio Valley. About a year ago, Dr. Casper Vanderwoude with the Hawaii Ant Lab heard there were fire ants in the valley and has since been working with the community to tackle the pests. Tribune-Herald.

Something weird is happening in West Hawaii’s water, William Walsh, a biologist with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources, said Monday. Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park staff found about 15 porcupine fish with all fins removed, Walsh said. West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation officials were preparing to carry out an emergency salvage removal of a 40-foot sailboat which ran aground on the reef off the Old Kona Airport Park Sunday. West Hawaii Today.

State boating officials Tuesday hope to remove a sailboat that ran aground a coral reef off old Kona Airport on Sunday night. Star-Advertiser.

A 45 foot sailboat ran aground on the reef fronting the first pavilion at the Old Kona Airport on Sunday. Big Island Video News.


The Maui Police Commission released information today saying it is moving forward in fulfilling its responsibility to appoint the next chief of police, following Chief Gary Yabuta’s announcement on Friday that he is retiring from the post to take on federal employment with the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program. Maui Now.

Two Australians, who train dogs to detect the little fire ant as part of an effective eradication program in a northeastern Australian state, toured infested sites in Hawaii - including on Maui - last week as they developed recommendations on how to battle the tiny but potentially devastating pest. Maui News.

Cargo shipments between Kahului Harbor and Honolulu Harbor rose 4.2 percent in the first quarter, compared to 2013, though outbound agricultural shipments fell 8.1 percent, possibly due to the recent wet weather, shipper Young Brothers reported Monday. Maui News.

The Outlets of Maui announced a new West Maui shuttle service that is being offered to customers between Kāʻanapali and Lahaina. Maui Now.


Two Kauai County board proposals that would let voters decide whether the amount of petition signatures needed to place public measures on general election ballots should be changed was met with resistance on Monday. Garden Island.

Around 100 people gathered at Port Allen Monday to celebrate the unveiling of a display memorializing the 7,000-mile journey a piece of tsunami debris made from the shore of Iwaki City, Japan to its sister city of Kauai. Garden Island.

Kauai County is putting tsunami debris from its Japanese sister city on display. Hawaii News Now.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Waikiki hotels fight tax hike, Democrats shut out Ige, Micronesians seek benefits, X-Men director accused of sex abuse, H-1 construction ahead of schedule, Maui seeks water solution, vendors vie for waste contract, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki beach © 2014 All Hawaii News
Waikiki hotel and resort officials say they oppose the idea that their tax rate will rise next year when rates for most other property owners will not. Star-Advertiser.

State Sen. David Ige said Wednesday that he is disappointed he will not get a speaking role at the state Democratic convention in May while Gov. Neil Abercrombie will be able to address the delegates. Convention planners have decided that only the party's top eight elected officials — including Abercrombie — will get to speak about progress on the party's platform during the two-day event at the Sheraton Waikiki.  Star-Advertiser.

Al Gore might have brought 9,000 people to their feet Tuesday night, but it’s U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz who took center stage during this week’s sustainability conference at the University of Hawaii. Schatz is locked in a tight primary race with U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, which makes it hard to leave election politics out of any decision he makes even if it is, as he says, for the betterment of Hawaii. Civil Beat.

State Rep. Mark Takai leverages his military experience in the first TV ad to come from the crowded field of Democratic candidates vying for the open 1st Congressional District seat. Civil Beat.

Stanley Chang, running for Congressional District 1, spoke today on the need for millionaires to carry a higher tax burden. Hawaii Independent.

Micronesian community members marched from Kalihi to the federal building in Honolulu on Wednesday to rally for migrant health care and ask Hawaii's congressional delegation to redouble its efforts to reinstate Medicaid payments. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this month that the state has no obligation to offer paid health care benefits to Micronesian migrants covered under the Compact of Free Association, which allows Palau, Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia citizens to live and work in the United States. Star-Advertiser.

The State’s Affordable Care Act Insurance Portal, the Hawai’i Health Connector, needs more money to stay in business next year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Electricity rates in Hawaii remain by far the highest in the nation. And among the products used to generate electricity in the state, oil remains the undisputed leader. Civil Beat.

A former child model and aspiring actor is accusing “X-Men” franchise director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him as a teenager in a federal lawsuit filed in Hawaii. Associated Press.

A former child model and aspiring actor is accusing "X-Men" franchise director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him as a teenager in a federal lawsuit filed in Hawaii. The lawsuit filed Wednesday says the prominent director of the forthcoming "X-Men: Days of Future Past" forced Michael Egan III into sex during parties in California and Hawaii when he was 17 in the late 1990s. Star-Advertiser.

Dozens of seniors participated in Kupuna Power Day at the State Capitol Wednesday morning. KITV4.

Every few years, lawmakers and their staffers come and go -- but one smiling face at the State Capitol has been a constant for nearly two decades.  60-year old Cheryl Derby has been volunteering in State Representative Mark Takai's office since 1999. Hawaii News Now.

On Tap at the Hawaii Legislature: April 17. A selective list of bills, resolutions, hearings, briefings and events for Thursday at the state Capitol. Civil Beat.


Representatives of more than two dozen nonprofits appeared at a Honolulu City Council hearing on Wednesday to cheer on a budget proposal that would restore about $1.2 million in funding to such organizations after the money was cut during last year's budget negotiations. Civil Beat.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent to fix Oahu’s roads and sewer lines, but lawmakers are asking to spend taxpayers’ money in other ways, including studying climate change and its effects on Hawaii. For that, Honolulu City Council Chairman Ernie Martin is asking for $2 million in the budget. The request passed a second reading late Wednesday afternoon. KHON2.

The state has agreed to settle three lawsuits filed by parents who alleged "cruel and unusual punishment" and abuse of their daughters, special education students, at the hands of Kipapa Elementary School employees. Star-Advertiser.

After months of dealing with heavy construction along the H-1 between the Likelike highway and Ward Avenue, Honolulu motorists received good news Wednesday. The extensive rehabilitation project is two months ahead of schedule and on budget.  Its set to finish in July at a cost of $42 million. Hawaii News Now.

The ambitious redevelopment plans for the former Kam Drive-In site across from Pearlridge Center won final approval Wednesday from the Honolulu City Council. Star-Advertiser.

Kapio News, the newspaper run by students at Kapiolani Community College, is printing its final issue at the end of this month. The school administration made the decision to shutter the paper because it wants to “move Kapio in a new direction.” Civil Beat.

Eight companies submitted bids to build a waste reduction facility by the Tuesday deadline. The county at first refused to provide the number of bidders, but provided the information Wednesday evening after the newspaper made repeated calls to county officials and the state Office of Information Practices. West Hawaii Today.

The Big Island’s new resident physician training program run by Hilo Medical Center is expecting to hear by the end of the week whether or not the $2.8 million in state funding it needs to run the program will come through or not. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii state Judiciary says a Hilo lawyer has been appointed as a family court judge on the Big Island. Court officials said Wednesday that Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald appointed Henry Nakamoto as judge of Third Circuit Family Court. Associated Press.

Real estate sales are increasing in the Puna district and decreasing in South Hilo for the first quarter of 2014. Tribune-Herald.


At least two main ideas vied Tuesday night as ways for Maui County to raise the millions of dollars needed over the next 20 years for water system improvements, with the most costly being for waterlines, pumps and reservoirs to supply water to drought-plagued Upcountry residents, farmers and ranchers. Maui News.

Maui County Council members expressed dismay Tuesday morning when Fire Chief Jeff Murray asked for a delay until July 2015 for the long-anticipated transfer of beach lifeguards to the Maui Fire Department. Maui News.

A bill in the state Legislature that could assist with the financing of a long-awaited West Maui hospital is currently in a state House-Senate conference committee awaiting scheduling, Maui legislators said this week. Maui News.


It’s back to the drawing board, again. The state Department of Transportation will be looking at several options over the next year aimed at relieving traffic congestion on Kuhio Highway, including one to open the Pouli Road connection to the Kapaa Bypass Road — re-addressing a problem officials have been trying to solve for at least 20 years. Garden Island.

A year behind schedule, the state is set to tackle the issue of drifting beach sand at the Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor in Kekaha. The upcoming project, initially slated to begin last summer, involves relocating 80,000 cubic yards of beach sand from the east end of Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor to the west side. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Head of Hawaii historic preservation resigns, public hospital group ousts CEO, Roseanne Barr, hundreds more testify on GMO at county council meeting, Kauai ignores lobbyist law, Hanabusa-Schatz Senate race in the spotlight, four-star general takes over Pacific region, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kawa Bay ancient checkers game
Ancient Hawaiian checkers, or Konane, lies unprotected at Kawa Bay (c) 2013 All Hawaii News

The federal government did not pressure the state to replace the head of its embattled historic preservation office, but after a critical assessment of that office, management changes needed to be made, according to William Aila, director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

Pua Aiu, the head of Hawaii's State Historic Preservation Division, has resigned amid strong criticism from federal officials that she failed to address operational problems that have put the department's federal certification and funding at risk. Civil Beat.

The administrator of Hawaii's state Historic Preservation Division has resigned after a federal report criticized the way the office was responding to operational problems that threaten federal funding. Associated Press.

The Abercrombie administration says it remains optimistic about the state's economic recovery but will continue to withhold 5 percent of discretionary spending from state departments as a precaution. The 5 percent restriction will be used as a contingency reserve in case the recovery is not sustainable. A budget memo sent to state departments Friday said the state's tourism-driven economy is vulnerable to national and international factors, including a contraction in federal spending, economic volatility in Europe, slowdowns in Asia and unrest in the Middle East. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Health Systems Corp., the state public hospital system, has ousted its chief executive officer, Bruce Anderson, amid pressure to keep up with technological demands and secure new cash for the struggling facilities. Star-Advertiser.

Two former governors, a retired U.S. senator, a retired state Supreme Court chief justice and the widow of U.S. Sen. Daniel Ino­uye stood with U.S. Rep. Colleen Hana­busa on Tuesday night in a show of strength for her Demo­cratic primary campaign for U.S. Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Two former Hawaii governors, a former chief justice and a former U.S. senator heartily and publicly endorsed Colleen Hanabusa for Senate Tuesday, arguing that leadership trumps Senate seniority. Civil Beat.

The 2014 Hawaii Senate primary launched an early polling war Tuesday, as allies of both Democratic Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and Sen. Brian Schatz moved to define perceptions of who has the advantage in the race. POLITICO obtained surveys taken for both the Schatz campaign and the Hanabusa-backing group EMILY’s List, which show markedly different pictures of the race.

The Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate are hanging on very different information.  More than a year from the primary the campaigning is well underway. Hawaii News Now.

City Councilman Stanley Chang, the only declared candidate in the race for the 1st Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, raised $158,000 in the second quarter of the year, according to preliminary figures released Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law two bills intended to rein in the state's spending on school bus transportation. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Education has finalized details of its new "educator effectiveness" system — a redesigned teacher evaluation that takes into account student academic achievement — as it prepares to unveil the rating system statewide when school starts Aug. 5. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii increased its number of executive managers by 14 percent from 2006 to 2012, costing taxpayers millions more a year during the recession when many businesses experienced layoffs or job freezes and the university dealt with massive budget cuts. Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents' Presidential Committee took its first steps Tuesday toward hiring the UH system's next leader. The nine-member committee discussed presidential selection criteria, the composition of the selection committee that will be tasked with vetting and proposing candidates to the board, the use of a search firm and/or presidential search consultant, and community outreach strategies. Star-Advertiser.

By a more than 2-to-1 margin, Hawaii voters want a ban on semi-automatic military-style assault weapons in the islands, according to a Civil Beat poll.

For the first time in nearly four decades, the U.S. Army in the Pacific is again being run by a four-star general, reflecting the pendulum swing of the nation's attention back to the region after 12 years of war in the Middle East. Star-Advertiser.

A four-star general took command of the Army in Asia and the Pacific for the first time in nearly four decades on Friday as the military’s national security focus shifts to the region. Gen. Vincent Brooks succeeded Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, a three-star general who retired after leading U.S. Army Pacific for the past two years. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s ranking among best American highway systems — we’re No. 48 — was a surprise to Cliff Slater, a transportation expert who runs Hawaii Reporter.

“It is a terrible time to be a journalist,” First Amendment lawyer Jeff Portnoy told several dozen Hawaii journalists Friday, during a Society of Professional Journalists awards dinner here. Hawaii Reporter.

The union representing Allegiant Air flight attendants said Tuesday the airline is eliminating nearly half its Hawaii-based jobs. Associated Press.

State roundup for July 3. Associated Press.

State 7/3. Associated Press.


In two weeks, crews will start to remove the massive bypass pipe from the Ala Wai Canal. It’ll take them about 45 days to finish. As part of the project, some other changes are coming to Ala Wai Community Park, but some of the changes aren’t sitting well with some of the paddlers. KHON2.

Honolulu-based renewable energy firm Hoku Corp. and two of its affiliates filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Tuesday, ending a long downward spiral that began with the company's ill-fated attempt to develop a polysilicon plant in Idaho. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. State Department special agent Christopher Deedy is expected to testify during his murder trial in the 2011 shooting of a Kailua man in Waikiki, his lawyer disclosed in court Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.


Actress Roseanne Barr criticized genetic engineering before the Hawaii County Council on Tuesday. Barr, who owns a farm in Hamakua, spoke in favor of a bill to limit the use of genetically modified crops on the Big Island, saying people need to listen to independent research on the biotech industry. Tribune-Herald.

So many people signed up to testify on a GMO bill ban in Hawai'i County, it was impossible to hear from them all.  Opponents and advocates will both have to return Wednesday if they want to address the City Council. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii County Council reserved a full day Tuesday to testimony on a bill to limit the use of genetically engineered crops. But even that fell short of what they needed. Tribune-Herald.

When the state and county Civil Defense agencies conducted their monthly check of the emergency notification system on Monday, many in coastal East Hawaii heard the sounds of silence instead of the sounds of sirens. County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said that 18 sirens, primarily in Hilo and Puna, failed to activate during the test, which always occurs at 11:45 a.m. on the first government work day of the month. Tribune-Herald.

At the behest of Hawaii residents and politicians, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reopened the public comment period on a proposal to list nearly 19,000 acres between Palani Road and Waikoloa on the Big Island as critical habitat for three plant species. It is also seeking to list 15 species as endangered. West Hawaii Today.


Though Maui's tourism industry has enjoyed double-digit growth in the past three years, Maui Visitors Bureau Executive Director Terryl Vencl said businesses should expect those gains to "level off" soon. Maui News.

By December, wastewater from the county's Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility will be further treated with ultraviolet disinfection, according to the county and a federal annual water report released last week. The ultraviolet disinfection will help remove matter from the wastewater that is injected into wells that eventually make their way to the ocean through underwater seeps. Maui News.

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development announced a new grant assistance program designed to help small businesses in Hāna, Molokaʻi, and Lānaʻi, by providing 40/60 matching grants. Maui Now.

The Maui council’s Budget and Finance Committee discussed a proposed budget amendment to add a fee for advertising inside county buses. Maui Now.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill last month to dedicate $2.2 million toward forest watershed protection in Maui County during fiscal years 2014 and 2015. Maui News.


Thirty-five years ago, Hawaii voters approved an amendment to the State Constitution strengthening the regulation of ethics, and requiring state and county ethics codes to meet certain minimum standards, including the registration and regulation of lobbyists. But Kauai County apparently never got the message. Kauai still has no system for regulating lobbyists, and county officials seem blissfully unaware they have been ignoring a key constitutional provision for decades. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard greeted around 20 North Shore constituents at a “Tulsi in Your Town” outreach at the Hanalei Community Center Tuesday. Garden Island.

Nearly three months behind the original schedule, the Wailua portion of the Ke Ala Hele Makalae, or the path that goes along the coast, quietly opened Friday. Garden Island.


Hawaii State Energy Office Administrator Mark Glick said Tuesday that the 200-megawatt portion of the so-called “Big Wind” project on Lanai isn’t essential for helping the state reach its renewable energy goal. Pacific Business News.

Larry Ellison’s Lanai Resorts LLC has been renamed Pulama Lanai, which means “to cherish,” or “to treasure” Lanai, according to a source close to the company. Pacific Business News.

Lana`i Resorts on Tuesday announced that it has changed its name to Pulama Lana'i, which means "cherish" Lanai, to reflect part of the company's mission to take care of the island and its people, said Chief Operating Officer Kurt Matsumoto. Maui News.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Temporary Hawaii hotel tax becomes permanent, minimum wage coming along, prison oversight lacking, Honolulu traffic second-worst, Maui judge charged with evidence tampering, Honolulu councilman wants congressional seat, sovereignty activists challenge DLNR, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News
Royal Hawaiian hotel (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Lawmakers agreed Wednesday to make permanent a temporary increase in the hotel room tax rate that was set to expire in 2015. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers are negotiating a minimum wage increase aimed at helping residents grapple with the high cost of living in the islands. Associated Press.

State lawmakers have agreed on a bill that would enable the state to conduct historic preservation reviews of construction projects in phases, rather than all at once, but the final vote on the legislation could be difficult. Star-Advertiser.

State officials still don’t do a good job providing oversight of for-profit, mainland prisons that hold about one-third of Hawaii’s inmate population, according to a recent report from the Auditor’s Office. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s plan for state-funded preschool is still in limbo despite a rapidly approaching deadline. Associated Press.

Waikiki community leaders and activists are speaking out against a legislative effort to allow the state to make money off school lands through public-private partnerships. Star-Advertiser.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to back Hawaii U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in his bid for re-election next year amid a primary challenge from U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, a spokesman said Tuesday. Associated Press.

A Hawaii congressional seat has opened for the third time in just three years, and any ambitious politician has to be thinking about running for it. Civil Beat.

Pledging to run a campaign that will touch all corners of urban Honolulu, City Councilman Stanley Chang on Wednesday became the first to declare his candidacy for the congressional seat expected to be vacated by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Star-Advertiser.

It's not even official – but that hasn't stopped at least one candidate from announcing a bid for U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa's Congressional Seat if she decides to challenge appointed Senator Brian Schatz. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Lawmakers’ $3 Billion List of Projects Available Online. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers vote to ban the parking boot. Hawaii News Now.

Common Cause Hawaii, the League of Women Voters, Hawaii's Thousand Friends and Americans for Democratic Action have dubbed these bills "Frankenstein" constructions and scores of supporters submitted a petition to the state House and Senate demanding that the Legislature reject seven gut-and-replace bills and 11 Frankenstein bills, and to ban any future use of either legislative practice. Civil Beat.

Honolulu-based ocean shipper Matson Inc. announced Wednesday it is reducing its fuel surcharge for its Hawaii service by 3.5 percentage points because of a change in bunker fuel prices.Pacific Business News.

The good news: Honolulu no longer ranks as America's worst city for traffic congestion. The bad news: It's now the second-worst. Star-Advertiser.

The city stepped up pressure on members of (de)Occupy Honolulu on Wednesday, removing about six tents and other property from in front of the Blaisdell Center Concert Hall with just 15 minutes' warning. Star-Advertiser.

A plan to replace the city's existing fuel tax with a highway user fee got an initial approval from the City Council Budget Committee on Wednesday but could be facing a bumpy road ahead. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council’s Budget Committee advanced a bill today to establish a fee for the use of County roads and highways. Hawaii Public Radio.

Chinatown leaders say the shortage of public bathrooms is a problem, and maybe even a deterrent for visitors. KITV4.

In 2003, Campbell High School — which sits in the heart of Ewa Beach — was the state’s 11th largest public school, enrolling roughly 1,850 students. In less than 10 years, however, enrollment has skyrocketed by more than 50 percent, accounting for some of the most pronounced student population growth in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

A Dean & DeLuca luxury food market where items include $1,000 tins of caviar and $35 cuts of filet mignon is to open its first store in Hawaii as part of the planned Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach condominium-hotel where penthouses are priced at about $15 million. Star-Advertiser.

Volunteers and workers gathered in Waianae Wednesday to plant up to 20 very rare native Hawaiian nanu (Gardenia brighamii) plants that they cultivated from the last remaining nanu growing wild on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.


The state Judiciary is getting 90 percent less funding for the Kona Judiciary Complex than it asked for this Legislative session. West Hawaii Today.

One of the items that did not get funded – despite an intensive lobbying effort on its behalf – was a building for the University of Hawaii at Hilo pharmacy school, which currently operates out of temporary facilities. Big Island Now.

The presence of endangered Hawaiian stilts and coots is delaying a $12 million upgrade to the Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant. West Hawaii Today.

The Big Island received a failing grade for particulate pollution in the air, according to an American Lung Association report card released Wednesday. Associated Press.

Sovereignty activists plan to return Saturday to the site of their “Kanaka Garden” in front of the King Kamehameha the Great statue in Hilo to continue their protest of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom and what they view as an illegal occupation by the United States. Tribune-Herald.

Paauilo Elementary and Intermediate School Principal Brian Paul Simon has been placed on leave mere weeks before the end of the school year. The change in leadership at the school came six days after Simon was ordered to serve out a sentence on a DUI charge dating back to 2009. Tribune-Herald.


A Maui District Family Court judge has reportedly stepped down after being charged Tuesday with tampering with a government record. Star-Advertiser.

Second Circuit Family Court Judge Mimi DesJardins resigned Tuesday, the same day a complaint was filed in Wailuku District Court charging her with tampering with a government record, according to the state Judiciary. Maui News.

They take an oath of office, swearing to uphold the law. But one Maui judge is accused of breaking the law. KHON2.

Hawaii legislators charged with negotiating the state budget have agreed to a $23.8 billion biennium budget proposal - including $130 million for the Kihei high school. Maui News.

Full funding for a new Kīhei High School, in the amount of $130 million, is included in a draft version of the legislative budget that is now headed to the full House and Senate for final votes. Maui Now.

The Kaua‘i Humane Society is asking for nearly $1 million in its new budget proposal. Garden Island.

Green mokihana berries intertwined with maile vines are the main components of Kaua‘i’s trademark lei. While neither of these endemic plants are endangered, thoughtless harvesting at accessible locations could affect available supplies for future generations, according to cultural practitioners. Garden Island.

The bench warrant for an off-island celebrity witness who missed a court hearing last week was lifted Wednesday in 5th Circuit Court. Randolph Trey Parker, co-creator of the animated television series “South Park,” missed an April 17 appearance as a prosecution witness in a 2009 case involving the burglary of his residence along with terroristic threats using firearms and weapons. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i’s people gave 1,100 pounds of food Saturday during the Hawai‘i Foodbank, Kaua‘i Branch 24th annual food drive. Garden Island.