Showing posts with label Stevie Wonder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stevie Wonder. Show all posts

Friday, February 23, 2018

Auditor says state tourism authority wastes taxpayer money, Coco Palms occupiers ousted, rail authority may be fined $4 million for federal infractions, state budget $45M short, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii Tourism Authority PC: Tor Johnson
Diamondhead surfers courtesy Hawaii Tourism Authority PC: Tor Johnson
State lawmakers are calling for better oversight of the Hawaii Tourism Authority — maybe even budget cuts — in the wake of a scathing state audit released Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Tourism Authority audit revealed ‘environment of loose oversight’. Pacific Business News.

Audit: Tourism authority has 'lax oversight' over contracts, reimbursed lavish expenses. Hawaii News Now.

The State auditor says the Hawaii Tourism Authority has been wasteful with state funds, and in many cases disregarded its own policies and contracts. KITV.

Audit claims Hawaii Tourism Authority spends extravagantly with little accountability. KHON2.

Hawaii Tourism Authority Responds to Audit. Hawaii Public Radio.

Read the full audit report of the Hawaii Tourism Authority here.

Hawaii’s hotel industry kicked off the year with solid growth in average daily rate and revenue per available room in January, according to a hotel performance report released Thursday by Hawaii Tourism Authority. Star-Advertiser.

Neighbor Island hotels lead off 2018 with strong results. Hawaii's hotels began 2018 with strong results, reporting a 5.4 percent statewide increase in revenue per available room in January, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s monthly hotel report released Thursday. Pacific Business News.


Hawaii Lawmakers Are Scrambling To Find Another $45 Million. A rare mid-session public meeting is planned by the Senate Ways and Means chairman to assess the state’s financial picture. Civil Beat.

Hirono On Her Cancer Battle: ‘My Voice Remains Strong’. The Hawaii senator discusses her stage 4 diagnosis and decision to remain in politics at an annual cancer event. Civil Beat.

In an effort to tackle the growing opioid crisis, lawmakers are looking to crack down on so-called "pill mills" and improve how prescription drugs are tracked and disposed of. Hawaii News Now.

Admitted ‘Wonder Blunder’ con man wants to change plea. Associated Press.


The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on Thursday admitted that it may have overpaid for relocating people in the path of the Kapolei-to-Ala Moana rail line and violated a federal relocations law in the process. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Rail May Have To Give Up Nearly $4 Million to Feds. HART officials say a review of compensation payments to property owners has turned up possible violations of federal law. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation announced the official names of all nine rail stations on the Ewa side of Oahu Thursday. Hawaii News Now.


Sunday’s heavy downpours resulted in roughly 8.8 million gallons of rain-induced sewage spills in Windward Oahu, keeping city crews busy and resulting in numerous state Health Department advisories for the area. Star-Advertiser.

Last weekend's rainstorm caused nearly nine-million gallons of sewer water to spill on the Windward side of Oahu. KITV.

Kamehameha Schools assistant band director James Maeda allegedly had sex on the Kapalama campus with a 14-year-old student over an eight-month period, Deputy Prosecutor Ayla Weiss told a state judge Thursday after an Oahu grand jury returned an indictment charging Maeda with multiple counts of sexual assault. Star-Advertiser.

Police: Kamehameha Schools faculty member had sex with student on campus, at home. Hawaii News Now.

Kamehameha faculty member accused of having sex with student appears in court. KHON2.

Waianae’s Community Gym Is Finally On The Mend. Classes in the facility’s upper level have been affected ever since a leak was discovered three years ago. Civil Beat.

Lawmaker pushes to stop Olelo channel move. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

The University of Hawaii will conduct its own internal audit of its Maunakea-related activities, a response to “public concerns that have emerged … regarding the university’s operational and financial management” of the mountain. Tribune-Herald.

During a special meeting, regents were given a presentation by Mayor Harry Kim and voted on a financial management audit of Maunakea activities. Big Island Video News.

Coming off a critical audit that ended with the sudden resignation of the former Human Resources director, the county Merit Appeals Board and the newly appointed director put reestablishing trust at the top of the agenda. West Hawaii Today.

In about another month, Hawaii County’s Department of Environmental Management expects delivery of the first three trucks and trailers it will use to haul rubbish across the island following closure of the Hilo landfill. Tribune-Herald.


Upcountry residents continued to angrily question officials with the state Department of Health this week about recent studies that identified their neighborhoods as a top priority area for cesspool contamination of drinking-water wells. Maui News.

The owner of a Maui apartment complex where tenants did maintenance and landscaping work has run afoul of federal labor regulations and will pay $84,136 to 22 workers, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Continues to Lead State with Revenue Per Available Room, Daily Rates. Maui Now.

Longtime Hawaii Realtor Mary Worrall has sold her interest in Island Sotheby’s International Realty to her nephew, Ryan MacLaughlin, who is now a part owner of the Maui-based firm with his father, Paul MacLaughlin. Pacific Business News.

Maui will be getting a new bowling alley as Island Bowling is set to open at the Outlets of Maui in Lahaina next week. Maui Now.

Police have closed an arson investigation into a fire that burned Kahului Elementary School classrooms, after identifying a 17-year-old Oahu boy as a second juvenile suspect in the case. Maui News.


State sheriffs on Thursday removed protesters from the ruins of a Kauai hotel where they have been squatting since last year in an attempt to block redevelopment of land where Hawaiian chiefs once lived and where Elvis Presley’s character got married in the movie “Blue Hawaii.”  Associated Press.

Authorities Oust Protesters From Coco Palms Resort Land. A Native Hawaii group has been camping on the site where developers are planning a $135 million project. Civil Beat.

Authorities clear occupiers from historic Coco Palms property. Hawaii News Now.

Protester arrested as deputies serve eviction notice to Coco Palms’ occupiers. Star-Advertiser.

One person was arrested Thursday morning in Wailua, where the famed Coco Palms Resort once stood, as last month’s court-ordered ejectment was enforced. Garden Island.

Occupiers at the site of historic Coco Palms were ordered off the property Thursday. That comes about one month after a judge ruled they have to leave. KITV.

Security guard sent to protect Coco Palms declines to do so. Garden Island.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

State seeks tamper-proof elections, students gain slightly on standardized tests, flood damage could close Iao Valley state park for six months, beef production down, fortunes grow for Omidyar, Ellison, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Diebold technician tests ballot-counting equipment before 2016 primary election © 2016 All Hawaii News
With elections systems in more than 20 states now reported to have come under attack from hackers, Hawaii officials are working with federal authorities to make sure it doesn’t happen here. Civil Beat.

Hawaii public school students made slight gains over last year in English language arts and math on the Smarter Balanced Assessment, according to test results released tonight by the state Department of Education. Star-Advertiser.

The state is sponsoring a two-day Aerospace Summit at the Capitol this week.   As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the more than120 participants are trying to map Hawai’i’s future in a growing economic sector. Hawaii Public Radio.

High-tech entrepreneur Henk Rogers is proposing that a lunar base be built, tested and eventually developed on the moon from Hawaii, an extremely ambitious goal that Rogers said can be used to fuel development of a local aerospace industry. Star-Advertiser.

EBay founder Pierre Omidyar, Hawaii’s only full-time billionaire, saw his wealth grow over the past year, moving him up three notches on Forbes magazine’s annual list of the 400 richest Americans, while Larry Ellison, the co-founder of Oracle Corp. and the owner of the island of Lanai, dropped two places in the ranking even as his fortune grew.Pacific Business News

Hawaii resident Luka Mossman is among 12 individuals nationwide that President Obama’s administration plans to honor Friday as “White House Champions of Change for Sustainable Seafood.” Civil Beat.

Coral reefs in Hawaii’s oceanic twilight zone, where light still penetrates and photosynthesis occurs, are abundant and host a wide variety of life, a new study shows. Associated Press.


The Hawaii Fire Fighters Association endorsed Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s re-election bid Tuesday despite acknowledged disagreements with the incumbent. Star-Advertiser.

The over-budget Honolulu rail project has submitted an interim plan to the federal government for how it wants to cover a $1.8 billion shortfall or reduce the project’s scope to stay within the current budget. Civil Beat.

Four years after the debacle of the failed, University of Hawaii-sponsored Stevie Wonder concert, the man who said he could deliver the artist for the performance admitted he lied. Star-Advertiser.

A North Carolina concert promoter is pleading guilty to defrauding the University of Hawaii out of $200,000 for a Stevie Wonder fundraiser concert that never happened. KITV4.

The number of registered motor vehicles on Oahu last year dropped to its lowest level since 2011, figures reported to the state show. Hawaii News Now.

Nothing on Gov. David Ige’s wish list for the 2016 legislative session was more costly than House Bill 2388: nearly $500 million to relocate the crumbling Oahu Community Correctional Center. Civil Beat.

A blessing and groundbreaking ceremony for the tower, Ke Kilohana, a Kakaako condominium tower developed under a state affordable-housing program, was held Tuesday by project developer Howard Hughes Corp. Star-Advertiser.

A Texas contractor has paid dozens of workers more than $370,000 in back wages and damages after failing to pay them for overtime performed during the renovation of a Hawaii hotel. Associated Press.

2nd elementary school worker in less than a month accused of sexually assaulting minor. KHON2.


If Gov. David Ige wants the Office of Mauna Kea Management to give up more than 10,000 acres, he’s going to have to talk to the agency first. That was the sentiment of the office’s board of directors during its meeting Tuesday in Hilo, which showed no interest in advancing the issue without hearing from Ige or one of his representatives. Tribune-Herald.

Customers calling the county’s emergency water line Sunday after a water main break caused an interruption in service to much of upper Hilo were met with another surprise — call center operators in South Carolina who, to some, might as well have been speaking another language. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Mayor-elect Harry Kim addressed the Hawaii County Council Committee on Public Safety and Mass Transit on Tuesday, asking them to review concerns from the Puna community regarding the government response to Hurricane / Tropical Storm Iselle and the June 27 lava flow. Big Island Video News.

After more than a year of development, the upper Puna connectivity plan was presented to the Hawaii County Council’s Committee on Public Works and Parks and Recreation during its Tuesday meeting. Tribune-Herald.


Flood-ravaged Iao Valley is slowly recovering three weeks after a raging storm caused the Wailuku River to jump its banks, but the narrow canyon and its residents remain vulnerable as hundreds of tons of debris remain strewn across a newly carved and unpredictable riverbed. Star-Advertiser.

Iao Valley state park is expected to remain closed for four to six months, while Kepaniwai Park down the road is not scheduled to reopen for another six to eight months, due to damage from the raging Wailuku River on Sept. 13, state and county officials said Tuesday. Maui News.

When a slow moving thunderstorm dropped an enormous amount of rain on Maui Sept. 13-14, the Wailuku River and several of its tributaries escaped their banks and not only significantly widened the river bed, but caused hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage in ʻĪao Valley State Monument. The popular and iconic Monument, part of the DLNR Division of State Parks system, has been closed since what is considered a 100-year flood event. Maui Now.

The blades, hub and nacelle of one of eight Auwahi Wind turbines in the Kanaio area separated from the tower and fell to the ground Sunday, an official with the wind-power generation company said Monday. Maui News.


Different interpretations on the rules dictating conduct during Kauai County Council meetings has led to Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura silently standing in protest. Garden Island.

Where’s the beef — from? USDA reports Hawaii’s red meat production down slightly from last year. Garden Island.

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.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Japanese WWII sub found off Oahu, year's 2nd shark-bite death on Maui, DOT employee lives high life off contractors' dime, foster parents want more money, Omidyar group plans Kauai dairy, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory
Unidentified scuttled vessel discovered by Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory
A World War II-era Imperial Japanese Navy mega-submarine, the I-400, lost since 1946 when it was intentionally scuttled by U.S. forces after its capture, has been discovered in more than 2,300 feet of water off the southwest coast of O‘ahu. The discovery resolves a decades-old Cold War mystery of just where the lost submarine lay, and recalls a different era as one war ended and a new, undeclared conflict emerged. Hawaii Reporter.

Japanese I-400
This is a photo of the Japanese crew and its submarine, the I-400. KITV.

A class-action lawsuit is expected to be filed today against the state, alleging it has failed to pay foster parents enough to adequately care for their foster children. The suit will be filed by a sole foster parent, Raynette Nalani Ah Chong of Kaha­luu, on behalf of more than 1,000 Hawaii foster parents, who haven't had their reimbursement payments increased since 1990. The federal Child Welfare Act requires that reimbursements cover the expenses of children in foster care, but the $529 monthly payment does not come close, said Victor Gemi­ni­ani, executive director of Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice. Star-Advertiser.

A handful of companies consistently cash in on lucrative contracts in Hawaii, a Civil Beat analysis of 10 years of federal contracting data indicates. The federal government spent $159 billion in contracts in Hawaii over the past 10 years. From that pool of money, the top 10 corporate contractors secured at least $200 million apiece since 2003, with two of them crossing the $1 billion threshold. That's according to eight years of data from the Census Bureau's Consolidated Federal Funds Report and two years of data from, a government-run website that replaced the Census reporting system. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Department of Education will place its sex education program, Pono Choices, on hold after the completion of the 2013 Fall semester to conduct a review of the pilot curriculum. The DOE calls the program a “medically accurate” program that informs teens about pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases and gives students greater knowledge of the risks associated with unsafe sexual behaviors and be more likely to report safe sex practices, including abstinence. Parents were concerned their children in sixth, seventh and eighth grade, were learning to put condoms on dildos and about performing oral sex, vaginal sex, and anal sex. Hawaii Reporter.

The state has awarded a $17.4 million contract to a mainland company to undertake energy efficiency improvements and install solar panels at 33 government buildings on five islands. The project is expected to cut energy costs by more than $1 million in the first year and $28 million over two decades, according to Ameresco Inc., the Massachusetts-based company that was awarded the contract by the Department of Accounting and General Services.Star-Advertiser

The Hawaii Ethics Commission has charged a state employee for improperly accepting gifts from businesses doing business with the state and failing to report them. The Department of Transportation engineer, identified only as John Doe, has agreed to pay $7,500 to resolve the charge. He apparently accepted a number of invitations to play in charity golf tournaments and recreationally at places like Mauna Lani Resort from 2007 to 2010. His entry fees, which ranged from $150 to $800, were paid for by DOT vendors directly subject to his official action as an engineer, according to the commission’s Nov. 20 resolution of the charge. Civil Beat.

After decades of sound and fury, the first same-sex marriages early Monday morning happened in almost complete silence and intimacy. Standing in huddles on a stage in a Waikiki lounge, the couples read their vows and their officiants performed an act which had only minutes-before become legal. Hawaii Independent.

Retired professors Rod Powell and Bob Eddinger have been partners in life since they met at the University of Hawaii in 1977. On Monday, they joined in marriage on the first day their home state allowed same-sex couples to form such unions. Associated Press.

Hawaiian Airlines is launching a codeshare program with Taiwan’s China Airlines this month that will extend its network in Asia and allow members of both airlines’ frequent flyer programs to earn and redeem miles on both airlines. Pacific Business News.

Another hurricane season came and went in the Central Pacific this year without unleashing destruction on the Hawaiian Islands. The season was, however, twice as active as scientists initially predicted in May. Star-Advertiser.

The Legislature wants the public to take part in the process of creating the laws and policies that govern Hawaii. With the next session set to start in January, the House communications office has put together a public service announcement that encourages people to get informed and get involved. Civil Beat.

State roundup for December 3. Associated Press.


Trial will remain in Honolulu for a North Carolina man accused of scamming the University of Hawaii out of $200,000 in a failed concert that was supposed to feature Stevie Wonder, a federal judge ruled Monday. Associated Press.

Kakaako Rising: Is This Community Development? Civil Beat.


Is a waste-to-energy plant a done deal for Hawaii County? A resolution urging Mayor Billy Kenoi to consider other alternatives comes back before the County Council Waste Management Committee today after being panned by both the Environmental Management Commission and the director of the Department of Environmental Management. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Electric Light Co. says awarding a contract for another 50 megawatts of geothermal power will take more time. But how long remains unclear. The utility was initially expecting to make a selection among the six companies that submitted proposals by September. It later pushed that timeline to the end of November. That deadline was missed, and HELCO Administration Manager Rhea Lee said Monday that a new date is in the process of being determined. Tribune-Herald.

The Big Island is expected to have at least seven warning sirens upgraded or installed over the next few months. State Civil Defense spokeswoman Shelly Kunishige said work orders are being released for the department’s $25.6 million statewide siren upgrade project. Priority locations are being addressed first, and work should occur over the next three months, she said. Tribune-Herald.

If the old adage “Practice makes perfect” holds true, then the union of the first same-sex couple to tie the knot Monday in Hilo is likely to be perfect indeed. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii shark
A visiting kayaker from Washington state died Monday morning after part of his right leg was bitten off by a shark about a half-mile off Little Beach in Makena, state and county officials said. Maui News.

Maui police have since identified the victim who sustained fatal injuries in a shark attack offshore of Mākena, Maui on Monday as 57-year-old Patrick A. Briney. Police say Briney, who is from Stevenson, in Washington State, was kayaking with a friend when the incident occurred. Maui Now.

Maui County police identified a kayak fisherman killed in a shark attack Monday morning as Patrick A. Briney, 57, from Stevenson, Wash. This is the eighth shark attack off Maui and the second death statewide this year. Star-Advertiser.

A kayaker died on Monday morning after a shark attacked him in the waters off of Maui. Hawaii experienced strong rains over the weekend, and murky waters are known to both attract and confuse sharks who often can't tell the difference between prey and humans. HuffPost Hawaii.

Hawai’i made international news yesterday with another fatal shark attack on Maui. Makena State Recreation Area was closed after the attack that happened before 10:30 am. Hawaii Public Radio.

Typically Hawaii will see four shark attacks a year, but this year there have been 13 in the state and eight of them around Maui. The most recent killed Patrick Briney, 57, as he was kayak fishing half mile off Makena Beach on Maui. Hawaii News Now.

The phrases "now I pronounce you husband and husband" and "wife and wife" were heard at same-sex marriages around Maui on Monday, the first day that gay marriages in Hawaii were legal. Maui News.

The county's proposed integrated waste conversion project may have the potential to double the amount of trash currently diverted from the Central Maui Landfill, but a couple of longstanding local recycling companies are worried that they will be displaced. Maui News.

The US Army Corps of Engineers hosts a public meeting this Wednesday, Dec. 4, to gather public input on its proposal to perform an environmental cleanup of the former Maui Airport Landfill. Maui Now.


A socially minded investment organization is moving ahead with plans to establish a new model of dairy farming in Hawaii: a $17.5 million venture on Kauai called Hawai‘i Dairy Farms projected to start milk production in 2015. The farm would be the biggest dairy in the state and roughly double the supply of local milk, according to Ulu­pono Initiative, the local investment firm that announced the project Monday. Star-Advertiser.

EBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s Ulupono Initiative is investing $17.5 million to build a grass-fed dairy farm on Kauai on 583 acres of pasture land leased from Grove Farm. Pacific Business News.

The ballot question is crafted. But before going out to vote, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative wants to know what its members think of how to word the yes-or-no decision point. Beginning next week, the public will have two opportunities to provide input on ballot language for KIUC’s special election related to smart meters. The upcoming election — expected to cost co-op members $63,000 — will take place in January, although exact dates have not been determined. Garden Island.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Filibusters delay gay marriage vote, SHOPO chief won't enforce it, state procurement officer replaced, Historic Preservation head tapped, Honolulu mayor fights ethics, state backs Kauai GMO veto, Maui hospital earns trauma center designation, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii same-sex marriage
Gay marriage rally Yahoo News photo
Legislative progress on same-sex marriage had to wait another day. The Hawaii House Judiciary and Finance committees decided at 10:30 p.m. Monday to defer any decision-making on legislation granting same-sex couples the right to marry until Tuesday, at the earliest. The Judiciary and Finance committees are set to resume hearing testimony at 10:30 a.m. Civil Beat.

Garret Hashimoto of the Hawaii Christian Coalition dubbed it another "People's Filibuster." Thousands of religious conservatives, taking full advantage of the state House's commitment to hear from everyone on gay marriage, have deliberately sought to prolong a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee and the House Finance Committee. Star-Advertiser.

Two Hawaii House committees considering a bill to legalize gay marriage are tightening rules on testimony at a joint hearing after some people used a registration list to speak for others. Associated Press.

As the Hawaii Legislature inches closer to legalizing same-sex marriage, opponents of the bill have been voicing their concerns with increasing fervor. One persistent concern has emerged: that legalizing same-sex marriage could force public school teachers to teach kids about "the homosexual lifestyle."  Civil Beat.

Tenari Maafala, the President of Hawaii’s police union and an active police officer with the Honolulu Police Department, who testified that he would never enforce a law requiring same-sex marriage. “You would have to kill me,” he told the lawmakers. HuffPost Hawaii.

Special Session rolls into week two. What's left on the agenda? Hawaii Independent.

A new procedure is speeding up the testimony process at the Capitol, as lawmakers make their way through a fourth, and possibly final, day of a public hearing on a controversial same-sex marriage bill. Hawaii News Now.

For the masochists who have sat through more than 50 hours of mind-numbingly repetitive testimony in the House and Senate on legislation that could open up marriage to homosexual couples, some things have become abundantly clear. Civil Beat.

Rep. Clift Tsuji, who has long described himself as a supporter of “traditional marriage,” said that, based solely on the sheer amount of testimony he has received in opposition to Senate Bill 1 — which would legalize gay marriage in Hawaii — he will likely vote against the measure. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday appointed Maria Zielinski as interim State Procurement Office administrator Monday after Aaron Fujioka unexpectedly retired last week. Right before Fujioka stepped down, he suspended the procurement delegation that he’d given state department heads. He sent an order out Oct. 31 that said any subsequent authority would be issued by his successor. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers question timing of procurement office job-fill. KHON2.

A veteran archaeologist from the mainland has been chosen to take over the beleaguered State Historic Preservation Division. Big Island Now.

Small groups like exercise classes and Cub Scout troops across the state are finding themselves caught in the fallout over a lawsuit against the Department of Education. The lawsuit claims five large churches have underpaid the state more than $5 million in rent, so prices are going up for small groups as a result. Hawaii News Now.

Green, yellow, red — those are the colors that would alert restaurant patrons to whether the establishment has passed health inspections, under rules proposed by the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser.

One in five stars has an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone, according to researchers with University of Hawaii and University of California, Berkeley. West Hawaii Today.

State roundup for November 5. Associated Press.

Honolulu Ethics Commission Executive Director Chuck Totto doesn’t want to lose control of his agency, but he says that’s becoming a real possibility under the increasingly heavy thumb of the Caldwell administration. Civil Beat.

Oahu’s solar photovoltaic industry suffered its sixth straight month of decline in October for permits issued when comparing statistics from the same period last year. Pacific Business News.

A federal judge said she's inclined to deny a motion by a North Carolina man to move his trial over a failed University of Hawaii concert that was supposed to feature Stevie Wonder. Associated Press.

Harbor officials fear state could be partially to blame for molasses spill. Special legislative hearing on spill yet to be scheduled. KITV4.

The controversy over the dumping of tons of sludge in Waianae is now a criminal case. Hawaii News Now has learned that the Honolulu Police Department is working with the city Department of Planning and Permitting in its investigation into SER Trucking of Waianae.

It's been 42 years since the last whistle blew ending work at the Kahuku Plantation Co., though in some respects, life in one neighborhood has gone on as if the sugar mill never closed. Star-Advertiser.


A lawsuit alleging police used excessive force against a 25-year-old Mountain View man in the Hilo cellblock after a drunken driving arrest has been moved to federal court in Honolulu. Tribune-Herald.

Volunteers are breathing new life into a home built more than a century ago, when its closest neighbor was a large grass shack. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui Memorial Medical Center was awarded designation as a Level 3 Trauma Center following evaluation and inspection conducted over a one-year period, the hospital announced. Maui Now.

Wailuku attorney Lloyd A. Poelman became Maui County's newest District Court judge after being confirmed by the state Senate during the special legislative session Monday. Maui News.

Members of the public get a rare look inside the Maui Bird Conservation Center. Maui News.

Homelessness will be the focus of discussion for the next edition of Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa’s County on Your Corner Event. The discussion will be televised in a live broadcast, scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, on Channel 54. Maui Now.


The state Department of Agriculture issued a statement Monday endorsing Kauai County Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s assessment of a bill to regulate genetically modified crops and pesticide use on the Garden Island. Carvalho vetoed the bill last week due to legal concerns, prompting a backlash from its supporters. Associated Press.

The Kauai County Council is planning a special meeting in the next two weeks to consider candidates for a vacant council seat — a process that could begin after a final decision has been made on the veto of Bill 2491. Garden Island.

The Hawaii state Intermediate Court of Appeals has vacated a prior judgment that said the former permit-holders would not be responsible to defend claims brought against the state related to the 2006 Ka Loko dam disaster. Garden Island.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Feds' $1.6B keeps Honolulu rail on track, Senate committee outlines UH Stevie Wonder problems, Hawaii County police accredited, union contracts trump ethics code, indictment released against Kauai HR director, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation courtesy photo
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation courtesy photo
Honolulu's plans for a rail line gained new momentum Monday with an announcement by Hawaii's congressional delegation that the $5.26 billion train project has effectively secured $1.55 billion in federal funding. Star-Advertiser.

The Federal Transit Administration on Monday told leaders in Congress it will sign a $1.55 billion funding agreement for the Honolulu rail project, the third key hurdle cleared by the once-embattled system in less than three weeks. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration will sign a full-funding grant agreement that will give Honolulu $1.55 billion in federal funds for the city’s elevated-rail project, city officials said Monday. Pacific Business News.

The Federal Transit Administration will award Honolulu's rail authority a $1.5 billion Full Funding Grant Agreement for Honolulu's $5.2 billion elevated steel on steel rail project. Hawaii Reporter.

The rail crosses another big hurdle.  The Federal Transit Administration has signed off on $1.55 billion in federal funding for the rail project. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu is a step closer to receiving more than $1.55 billion in federal funding for rail, but it's not a done deal yet. KHON2.

For the first time in nearly two decades, a Republican holds a leadership position in the Hawaii Legislature. Civil Beat.

Computer problems are being blamed for causing an unexpected statewide shutdown of motor vehicle licensing offices Friday afternoon. KITV4.

The state Senate committee looking into the University of Hawaii and its athletics department spent only one hour discussing its findings at a briefing Monday at the Capitol. Civil Beat.

Five months after the University of Hawaii lost $200,000 in the failed Stevie Wonder fundraising concert and after more than 13 hours of hearings, a Senate committee investigating the debacle says there are still unanswered questions. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii state senators today issued a 32-page report that strongly criticized spendthrift and secretive practices at the University of Hawaii and called for close new monitoring of how the Board of Regents and President M.R.C. Greenwood run the institution. Hawaii Reporter.

A state Senate panel said Monday that the University of Hawaii could have avoided losing $200,000 in its failed attempt to hold an athletic department fundraiser if officials had performed due diligence on a company claiming to be Stevie Wonder's booking agent. Associated Press.

After two marathon briefings looking into the bungled Stevie Wonder concert. The Senate's special committee on accountability's chair announced its findings. Hawaii News Now.

The Senate Special Committee on Accountability released its report Monday resulting from the informational briefings that looked into the oversight, accountability, and transparency of the operational and financial management of the University of Hawaii, including but not limited to the University of Hawaii’s athletics program. KITV4.

Senate Special Committee on Accountability University of Hawaii Report can be found here.

A long-anticipated study on how to fix the state's student transportation program is done, but the Hawaii Department of Education isn't ready to release it to the public. Civil Beat.

With Oahu in the lead, Hawaii hotels held their own against other island and international destinations for the first three quarters of the year, according to a report to be released today by hotel consultancy Hospitality Advisors LLC. Star-Advertiser.

The destroyer named for a Pearl Harbor SEAL who gave his life for fellow commandos in Af­ghani­stan will pull into its new home port in Hawaii on Wednesday morning. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for November 20. Associated Press.


Electricity from the state's largest wind energy project — Kawailoa Wind — has begun flowing into the Hawaiian Electric Co. grid on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

One of the largest tracts of undeveloped land on Oahu is being sold to the state for preservation as farmland, a nationally published report said. Star-Advertiser.

Gun sales are up across the nation including here in Hawaii. And as a result, people on Oahu have been waiting hours in line to get a gun permit. KHON2.

A man who testified that he grew marijuana to use in his practice of the Rastafarian religion could go to prison for 40 years for conspiring to grow more than 100 marijuana plants. Star-Advertiser.


Union contracts trump the county ethics code, the county Board of Ethics said Monday in dismissing a complaint about United Public Workers employees attending events where union-endorsed candidates campaigned on county time and in county facilities. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Police Department has been awarded national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. Tribune-Herald.

A public official’s relationship with journalists may be prickly, but it doesn’t arise to an ethics violation if it’s not personal, the Board of Ethics decided Monday in unanimously dismissing a complaint against County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County will have to dust off an ordinance establishing a cultural advisory commission for Wednesday’s County Council meeting. Tribune-Herald.

The county Edith Kanaka‘ole Multi-Purpose Stadium is getting a $2 million facelift, but contractors are running short on time. Tribune-Herald.

After overcoming a number of obstacles last year, Hilo’s Toys for Tots Motorcade appears to be a bust. Tribune-Herald.


The Maui Mayor’s Office will soon start accepting applications to fill anticipated vacancies on County Boards and Commissions for terms that are set to expire in 2013. Maui Now.

The native apapane Hawaiian honeycreeper was recently spotted at Fleming Arboretum at Pu'u Mahoe in Ulupalakua for the first time in the arboretum's 60-plus-year history. Maui News.

The indictment against County Human Resources Manager Janine M.Z. Rapozo was released as public record Monday. Garden Island.

Ocean safety officials closed Hanalei Bay to swimming Monday afternoon due to shark sightings. Garden Island.

A new facility in the site of the former Kaua‘i Community College bookstore was unveiled Monday afternoon before an audience of KCC Chancellor Dr. Helen Cox, culinary arts department instructors, students and supporters. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hawaii County bans aerial hunting, Honolulu rail scrutinized, debated, UH officials on leave for $200k Stevie Wonder fiasco, Hurricane Emilia strengthens, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Mouflon sheep, courtesy photo
Shooting animals by helicopter on Hawaii Island, even by government agencies such as the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, is now illegal. Mayor Billy Kenoi on Wednesday signed into law a largely symbolic bill that prohibits “any person to engage in the eradication of any animal for any reason while being transported by helicopter, airplane, or any similar means.” Tribune-Herald.

Both Democrats U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case, and former Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, have received the endorsement of the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association in its respective primaries for the state's open U.S. Senate seat. Star-Advertiser.

Republican Senate candidate Linda Lingle on Wednesday released the results of an internal poll showing her ahead of Mazie Hirono and tied with Ed Case in projected November matchups. Civil Beat.

While Hawaii languishes at or near the bottom among the states in voter turnout, several other states have established enviable records of high voter participation. Civil Beat.

Hawaii consumers carried the nation's second-highest credit card debt in June despite the average balance falling 3 percent over the previous year, according to CreditKarma, a California-based credit scoring website. Star-Advertiser.

After downgrading Emilia to a Category Two hurricane, the National Hurricane Center says it has strengthened to a Category Three. Hawaii News Now.

A memo sent to Hawaii sheriffs ordering them to stand down, needs to be clarified. That's according to the interim director who didn't even see the memo before it was sent. KHON2.

State roundup for July 12. Associated Press.


Former Gov. Ben Cayetano, campaigning for mayor on a platform to halt the city's $5.26 billion rail project and use the money to improve Honolulu's crumbling infrastructure, would be unlikely to accomplish any of that if he wins the office, his campaign rivals charged. Star-Advertiser.

Peter Carlisle and Ben Cayetano focused many of their attacks on Kirk Caldwell in the KITV-Civil Beat debate Wednesday night, offering a window in the strategies the candidates are implementing a month before the Aug. 11 primary. Civil Beat.

Pacific Resource Partnership is a leading pro-rail spender in this year’s election cycle just as it was in 2008 and 2010, but where the group’s money comes from is shrouded in secrecy. Hawaii Reporter.

Resolutions requesting an audit of all rail-related public relations contracts and seeking tighter controls on rail contract change orders won easy approval from the Honolulu City Council Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii has placed two longtime officials on indefinite leave and is seeking the help of an independent investigator and the FBI to get to the bottom of its ill-fated Stevie Wonder concert venture. Star-Advertiser.

Just a day after the embarrassing announcement that a University of Hawaii athletics fundraising concert featuring Stevie Wonder was canceled, the UH placed Athletics Director Jim Donovan on paid leave and began an investigation into the botched event. Hawaii News Now.

A debate raged during a community meeting Wednesday night, over the spread of deadly infectious diseases and plans for a bio-safety laboratory at Kalaeloa. KITV4.

The Honolulu City Council voted 7-2 on Wednesday to approve a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week ban, on commercial activity at Kailua Beach Park and at nearby Kalama Beach Park. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Petroleum Ltd. and AeroVironment have installed electric vehicle fast chargers at three Aloha gas stations on Oahu. Pacific Business News.


The state Department of Health Underground Storage Tank Section has issued a Notice of Violation against Aloha Petroleum Ltd., the registered owner and operator of Island Mini Mart, a fuel service station in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

A local tour company that led youth to Kealakekua Bay’s Kaawaloa shoreline did not have a permit to be in the area where large waves a week ago swept a 15-year-old New York boy into the ocean. West Hawaii Today.

As quickly as David Choe painted an eye-catching mural below Big Island Harley-Davidson on Palani Road, it was painted over and rendered back to its original form: a gray cement retaining wall. West Hawaii Today.

Everybody knows astronauts like Tang, but what about Spam musubi? Six men and women, culled from a field of 700 applicants, will help to answer that question and many more from their perch upon a Hawaii Island lava field next year as part of HI-SEAS, or Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, a joint NASA study between the University of Hawaii and Cornell University that will simulate a mission to Mars. Tribune-Herald.

The slopes of Mauna Loa are often described as “Mars like” terrain. Soon a handful of people will spend 4 months there living as they would on Mars. It’s a collaborative effort including researchers from the University of Hawai`i and one surprisingly qualified O`ahu mom. Hawaii Public Radio.


Maui landowners in agricultural districts could be in for a shorter permitting process to offer short-term rentals under a new state law. Maui News.

The San Francisco-based investment firm co-developing a planned wind farm on Molokai says that it is interested in buying Hana Ranch in rural East Maui. Maui News.

Deer watch, wait while management plan developed. Maui News.

Judge Kelsey Kawano on Wednesday dissolved a temporary restraining order that had kept Dallas-based RadCare from taking over exclusive radiology services at Maui Memorial Medical Center. Maui News.

State crews begin emergency repair work next week to restore damaged sections of the Hana Highway. Maui Now.


The biennial exercise known as RIMPAC is hosted by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, with some ships of the 22 participating nations training with hull-mounted active sonar around Hawai‘i’s islands. Despite efforts to reduce deadly exposure of high-pressure sound waves to sea mammals, advocates say the measures fall short. Garden Island.

The memories of Kaua‘i’s Taylor Camp still ripple across the globe, even though the camp was dismantled some 35 years ago. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i Planning Commission on Tuesday granted a set of permits to McBryde Gardens in Lawa‘i, allowing the National Tropical Botanical Gardens to move along with a new philosophy of making its gardens more accessible and utilizing its vast collection as a tool to teach sustainability. Garden Island.