Showing posts with label Trans-Pacific Partnership. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trans-Pacific Partnership. Show all posts

Thursday, November 5, 2015

ACLU sues to save homeless possessions, Trans Pacific Partnership details released, Gabbard blasts Red Hill fuel tank agreement, Sunshine Law confounds Honolulu Ethics Commission, jails packed with mentally ill, Maui liquor appointee demurs, Kauai ponders barking dogs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Homeless Honolulu man with possessions ©2015 All Hawaii News
After failing in September to halt Honolulu city sweeps of homeless encampments, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii now wants a federal judge to prevent the immediate destruction of homeless individuals’ property that city workers pick up. Star-Advertiser.

Citing new evidence that the City and County of Honolulu is using ‘sweeps’ of homeless individuals to continue bypassing Hawaii laws and violate the state Constitution, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i Foundation (ACLU) and the law firm of Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, filed a new request in federal court for a preliminary injunction. Hawaii Independent.

Details of a sweeping Pacific Rim trade deal released Thursday set the stage for a raucous debate in the U.S. Congress but also may provide reassurances to those who worried the agreement could gut protections for the environment, public health and labor. Associated Press.

State health officials are preparing to impose new licensing fees on long-term care facilities. For decades, the industry has beaten back such efforts, leaving it one of few business segments that doesn’t pay for licensing in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Last year, the Legislature adopted a measure creating a two-year pilot program to divert up to 100 “nonviolent, low-risk drug offenders” from prison into treatment. It was supposed to start July 1, 2014, but, thanks to bureaucratic red tape, Hawaii’s Department of Public Safety has yet to get the program off the ground. Civil Beat.

The state Public Utilities Commission said Wednesday it will not be flexible with the 12-day timeline for the upcoming trial-like hearings in its regulatory review of NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed $4.3 billion purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries. The PUC will host 12 days of intervenor, or official participant, hearings at the Blaisdell Center Hawaii Suites starting Nov. 30. Star-Advertiser.

Alternative energy proponents can continue providing testimony in the ongoing Public Utilities Commission docket on the proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaii’s electric utilities. Tribune-Herald.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America, the top financial performer in the company’s fleet and the only home-ported ship in Hawaii, is going into dry dock as part of an aggressive schedule of upgrades planned for eight of NCL’s vessels. Star-Advertiser.

Matson Inc., the largest ocean cargo carrier serving Hawaii, said Wednesday its third-quarter profit jumped 93 percent to $41.5 million with the addition of its new Alaska service bought from Horizon Lines. Star-Advertiser.

John McNamara, the associate athletics director for external affairs at the University of Hawaii, is leaving his position to take over as president of Communications Pacific on Nov. 16. Star-Advertiser.

The Queen's Medical Center paid $1.5 million to the U.S. Justice Department to settle a case involving implanted cardiac devices that were in violation of Medicare coverage requirements. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council passed three resolutions to spend up to $220,000 to fund the city’s defense in two lawsuits relating to the Honolulu rail project and the seizure of homeless people’s property, and a criminal case involving a police officer. Civil Beat.

A scheduled closed-door meeting of the Honolulu Ethics Commission was canceled abruptly Tuesday — hours before it was to take place — after the state Office of Information Practices issued an informal opinion that called into question the validity of the meeting’s agenda. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council is considering a bill that would add another step in the approval process for O’ahu’s City’s Bike Plan. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on Wednesday lambasted the Oct. 1 agreement among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Hawaii Department of Health, the U.S. Navy and the Defense Logistics Agency that outlines a plan to upgrade underground fuel storage tanks in Red Hill over the next 20 years. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply said Tuesday it has changed its position on NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries and now supports the deal. Star-Advertiser.

A new list published by The Economist has shaken the conventional notion of college rankings and places the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the top half of more than 1,200 schools examined. Pacific Business News.

Liquor law violations on the University of Hawaii Manoa campus soared by nearly 50 percent last year. It's the most citations since at least 2007. Hawaii News Now.

A growing number of students are earning undergraduate degrees within four years from the University of Hawaii’s flagship Manoa campus, an improvement university officials attribute to better academic support. Star-Advertiser.


Inmates screaming, throwing feces, refusing to wear clothes. That’s the new reality, corrections workers say, at Hawaii Community Correctional Center, which is bursting at the seams with mentally ill inmates. West Hawaii Today.

In light of a recent Hawaii County Planning Department decision to reduce the monthly meetings of the various action committees working on the Big Island’s numerous community development plans, Kohala councilwoman Margaret Wille called for a discussion on Tuesday (Nov. 3). Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County has closed Hookena Beach Park to help contain the spread of dengue fever. Tribune-Herald.

A nonprofit organization seeking to buy and preserve the historic Kuamoo battlefield and burial ground in Keauhou has missed two deadlines to finalize the deal. But the goal is close. West Hawaii Today.

The parents of an abused 6-year-old boy whose disappearance in 1997 set off a statewide media firestorm were arrested in an investigation unrelated to the child’s disappearance. Tribune-Herald.

The Big Island man bitten by a shark Wednesday told Hawaii News Now he never got a look at the shark that attacked him and he was swimming in the nude when the attack happened.

If you’re in the market for Hilo’s hottest ticket — seats at the Merrie Monarch Festival’s hula competition — you’ll need to get your request in earlier this year, and it will cost just a bit more. Tribune-Herald.


Twice selected as director of the Department of Liquor Control director, Dana Souza has decided not to accept the job. Souza was to have succeeded Franklyn Silva, who retired as department director as of Sunday. Maui News.

A Public Works district supervisor had been caught spending tens of thousands on a commercial kitchen that rivals a restaurant, tucked away inside a Wailuku baseyard building. Sources say side-business catering was going on out of there. The suspect has since retired from the county. KHON2.

The County Committee on Public and Intergovernmental Affairs today identified 11 individuals to serve on a special committee tasked with studying and providing recommendations on a county manager form of governance. Maui Now.


The Kauai County Council heard testimony Wednesday on the latest proposed law regarding barking dogs. Garden Island.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative recently flipped the switch on its 12-megawatt Anahola solar facility, which is Hawaii's largest solar project, on the east side of the Garden Isle. Pacific Business News.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tropical Storm Guillermo stays north of Hawaii, astronomers convention faces protests, turtles close USS Arizona Memorial, Hawaii county council takes up Roundup regs today, Native Hawaiians to vote on governance, Kauai group mulls marijuana dispensary, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Central Pacific Hurricane Center
Tuesday 5 a.m. Tropical Storm Guillermo, courtesy Central Pacific Hurricane Center
Tuesday 5 a.m. update: Weakened Tropical Storm Guillermo expected to stay north of Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii and Maui counties remain under tropical storm watch. Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

An international gathering of astronomers began in Honolulu on Monday, a two-week event that University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy Director Gunther Hasinger described as “the Olympic Games of our discipline.” Star-Advertiser.

Election Details Going Out to Native Hawaiian Roll Voters. It’s in order to participate in the process of a future constitutional convention for kanaka maoli self-governance. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Health Connector insurance exchange has issued a request for proposals for an IT vendor to archive its data and dismantle its system as it winds down operations. After spending approximately $130 million on the Connector system build-out, the state has opted to move to the federal exchange, instead of the Hawaii Health Connector, which was established as a nonprofit entity in 2011. Pacific Business News.

Amid dismal voter turnout numbers, state leaders will speak in the courtyard of the state Capitol on Thursday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the federal Voting Rights Act and kick off a local effort to encourage more residents to vote. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Lawmakers Tour Marijuana Stores in Colorado. A dozen of our legislators were reported to be in Vail last week for the Council of State Governments West annual convention. Civil Beat.

Hawaii regulators are calling on a nationally known expert in "Demand Response," a program that gets consumers to shift their electricity use during peak periods, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii's average mortgage closing costs of $2,163 are the highest in the nation, according to a new comparison. Star-Advertiser.

Thirty boats left Hawaii this weekend on a unique mapping mission: To record the size and location of the plastic garbage over 1.4 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean. Associated Press.

The state Public Utilities Commission said Monday it approved four of seven utility-scale solar projects on Oahu, placing conditions to make sure residents won’t have to pay if developers miss out on a federal tax credit. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co.’s current controversial rooftop solar photovoltaic program, which has been major driver responsible for the record amounts of residential solar being integrated into the utility’s grid, has some serious issues, according to a new report from the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. Pacific Business News.

Protected sea turtles with a newfound interest in the floating dock for the USS Arizona Memorial have resulted in about 7,000 people not being able to set foot on the memorial since Wednesday, the National Park Service said. Star-Advertiser.

Homelessness was one of the issues taken up at the National Association for Rural Mental Health conference in Waikiki over the weekend. Hawaii Public Radio.

While new places to relocate homeless people were being talked about at the Capitol on Monday, more of them were displaced a few miles away — this time, from an encampment under the H-1 freeway by the Hawaii Department of Transportation. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Transportation on Monday cleaned out a small but troublesome homeless encampment across from the Market City Shopping Center — and Gov. David Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell hours later said they’re still working on a plan to clear out the expanding homeless encampment in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

City officials are ending a long-time deal that was designed to help protect an East Oahu nature preserve while also providing access to fishing clubs. Hawaii News Now.

About 40 tons of contaminated soil from Radford High School wound up in the backyard of a home in the exclusive Haiku Plantations community in Kaneohe. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu's planned rail line drew significantly fewer state tax dollars than expected this past quarter. The project received $52.3 million in rail taxes during the quarter that ended June 30. That's more than $8 million short of the amount that had been projected. Associated Press.


Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille is making good on her vow to ease the island away from Roundup and similar herbicide applications at county parks and along county-maintained thoroughfares. Wille’s Bill 71, to be heard by the council Committee on Environmental Management on Tuesday, would ban a long list of herbicides, including Monsanto Co.’s glyphosate-based Roundup. West Hawaii Today.

Six scientists will spend a year together in isolation on the Big Island as they embark on the longest Mars habitat simulation ever attempted in the United States. Starting Aug. 28, the crew of three men and three women will lock themselves in a small dome on Mauna Loa’s north flank, to venture outside only in hazmat or space suits. Tribune-Herald.

Following discussions with the Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation and other county officials earlier this month, backers of the proposed Kona Motorsport Park say they’re placing the concept of a fairgrounds and dirt bike raceway front and center and putting a controversial plan for a drag strip on the far back burner. West Hawaii Today.


Trade ministers from a dozen Pacific Rim nations meeting on Maui failed to reach a deal on a new trade agreement that would cover nearly 40 percent of the global economy, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said. Associated Press.

Unresolved legal challenges to construction of the Daniel K. Inouye Telescope atop Haleakala were cited Sunday by a protesters' group as fueling the outrage that led to 20 arrests late Thursday and early Friday at the Central Maui Baseyard. Maui News.

Maui County protests against Haleakala telescope, TPP are really heating up. MauiTime.

A proposed 60-megawatt wind farm can bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kahikinui homesteaders and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, but some residents say the windmills would desecrate the area. Maui News.

After Oahu spill, HC&S molasses now shipped from Maui to Mainland. Matson no longer ships molasses; alternative shipper found. Maui News.


The U.S. military says it has successfully tested an interceptor that can shoot down ballistic missiles as well as airplanes. The Missile Defense Agency said Monday the destroyer USS John Paul Jones tested the technology during a series of flight tests off Kauai over the past week. Star-Advertiser.

The fight over how much money to set aside for the county’s Open Spaces Fund is not over. On Wednesday, Councilman Gary Hooser will introduce a resolution that, if approved, will ask voters in the 2016 election to decide whether to amend the county charter in order to permanently increase the amount of money specifically earmarked for the fund. Garden Island.

A group of Kauai stakeholders plans to apply for a medical marijuana dispensary on the island, and hopes to make it 100 percent locally funded and operated. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hawaii crops suffer from drought, $15.4M settlement in Honolulu molasses spill, almost half state's private-sector workers lack sick days, county council to mull pCard audit, 400 protest Maui Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, Filipino vets want their due, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Produce at a Hawaii farmers market © 2015 All Hawaii News
Experts at the National Weather Service are forecasting the heat to go through summer and into fall. It’s bad news for everyone, especially for local farmers who say the sun has been burning up a lot of their crops. KITV4.

Research crews will leave Ford Island this week to explore the staggering depths of the ocean around Hawaii, which humans have never seen before. Star-Advertiser.

An estimated 42 percent of Hawaii’s private sector employees, or 184,237 workers, don’t receive any paid sick days, according to a new report released Wednesday by a national advocacy group pushing for federal and state laws requiring employers to provide minimum sick leave benefits. Star-Advertiser.

More than 260,000 Filipinos and Filipino-Americans, including 300 from Hawaii, answered President Franklin Roosevelt’s call to liberate the Philippines 74 years ago, but unlike the nisei soldiers or the African-American Tuskegee Airmen, many feel they have not received adequate recognition for their wartime efforts. Star-Advertiser.


Matson has agreed in a settlement with the state to pay $15.4 million for a massive molasses spill at Honolulu Harbor and to end its molasses operation in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

A major shipping company has agreed to pay more than $15 million to compensate for a 2013 molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor, Hawaii’s attorney general said Wednesday. Associated Press.

The state and Matson Navigation Co. have agreed on a $15.4 million settlement. The Hawai‘i-based shipping company was responsible for a leak in 2013 that released more than 230,000 gallons of molasses, devastating coral and marine life in Honolulu Harbor. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced the hiring Wednesday of a Bay Area consultant with decades of transit experience to improve oversight of the city’s $6 billion commuter rail line. Civil Beat.

Honolulu’s Department of Emergency Medical Services will continue a pilot program that has personnel working 12-hour shifts. After ongoing discussions, the United Public Workers union told KHON2 it reached an agreement with the city to continue the extended shifts.


Hawaii County residents will get their first chance to weigh in on an audit of the county’s purchasing card program next week, when the County Council Finance Committee takes up the issue. West Hawaii Today.

Mauna Kea Thirty Meter Telescope protesters file complaints against police, DLNR. Tribune-Herald.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is gearing up to enforce a new emergency rule that restricts nighttime access to the Mauna Kea summit area. Star-Advertiser.

Running an observatory can cost millions of dollars each year, and yet the astronomy business is not for-profit. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii County residents plan to celebrate the county’s first officially recognized Hawaiian Restoration Day on Friday with celebrations on both sides of the island. West Hawaii Today.

Five Big Island farmers signed up to help the U.S. Department of Agriculture better understand and manage the impacts feral swine are having on natural resources and human health and safety. Tribune-Herald.


About 400 protesters on a beach in front of a Maui resort blew conch shells on Wednesday to demonstrate against a trade agreement being negotiated by ministers from 12 Pacific Rim nations. Associated Press.

Economic ministers from 12 nations, including the United States, are holding talks on the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership on Maui. And their gathering has attracted protesters opposed to the trade treaty. Hawaii News Now.

A coalition of advocates for the environment, labor, health and native Hawaiians are gathered on Kāʻanapali Beach near the Westin today to speak out against negotiations involving the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Maui Now.

The Maui Planning Commission deferred action Tuesday on a proposed mixed-use campground facility in Lahaina for commercial and homeless campers, suggesting that the developer confer with neighbors who oppose the project. Maui News.

Christopher Benjamin will take over day-to-day management of Alexander & Baldwin Inc. as its new chief executive officer, beginning Jan. 1, succeeding Stanley Kuriyama, who will retire as CEO but continue to serve the company as A&B's executive chairman of the board. Maui News.


With two cases involving Kauai police officers being investigated, a conflict of interest in one prompted Kauai County Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar to turn it over to the state Attorney General. Garden Island.

A recipient of the Kauai Police Department’s 2010 Top Cop award has been charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant and inattention to driving, according to the state’s Department of the Attorney General. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Native Hawaiian roll published, Ellison Lanai documents to be kept secret, solar subsidies at issue, telescopes opposed on two mountaintops, Kakaako homeless roust nears, 12 nations in trade talks on Maui, Honolulu rail nears milestone, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaiian pounding taro for poi © 2015 All Hawaii News
The Native Hawaiian Roll Commission has posted online a certified list of 95,690 people of Hawaiian ancestry who could form the voting base to create a Native Hawaiian government. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiians facing critical health issues have been allotted about $13.67 million through several grants by Congress, according to the groups receiving the funds for fiscal 2016. Star-Advertiser.

A bitter clash over the future of subsidies for rooftop solar systems is pitting former political allies against each other in an emerging public battle. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige has recently been using a family anecdote to illustrate how Hawaii’s government employee pay scale makes it difficult to fill top state jobs. Star-Advertiser.

What Will It Take to Make Hawaii’s Vacant Public Housing Units Habitable? A lack of funds hampers the effort, and even after contracts are awarded, a slow permit process can delay the work. Federal regulations make shortcuts difficult, but Housing Authority officials are looking for solutions. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Has 37th-Best School System in US, Report Says. In a bright note, the report found that Hawaii has the fifth-safest school system. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s longline fishermen are on course to hit their annual bigeye tuna catch limit next week, which means they will have to stop catching bigeye in their most productive fishing grounds west of Hawaii on Aug. 5. Associated Press.


No buildings or land have been found to accommodate people who will be removed from an expanding homeless encampment in Kakaako, but the city still plans to start clearing out occupants sometime next month, Managing Director Roy Amemiya told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in an exclusive interview Tuesday.

The city will not purchase the Hilo Hattie property on Nimitz Highway that had been considered for a “one-stop homeless shelter” for up to 800 people. Civil Beat.

State Homeless Coordinator Colin Kippen is getting ready to leave his position come Friday. KITV4.

A Hawaii Circuit Court judge sided with the government Tuesday in a civil lawsuit that challenged broad interpretations of state law that effectively keep secret many of the discussions behind public policy decisions. Judge Virginia Crandall found that state and local agencies have a legitimate interest in keeping such talks out of public view so as to not interfere with the efficiency of government operations. Civil Beat.

Ansaldo Honolulu and city officials are poised to finally settle their dispute over the cost to change rail’s train configuration. If they do, it would help resolve a deeper, long-running disagreement over the type of train that Ansaldo was originally required to deliver under the largest contract awarded in state history. Star-Advertiser.

Construction on O’ahu’s 6-billion dollar rail transit project is nearing mile 4 of its projected 20-mile route.  Local businesses are being impacted and communities like Waipahu are expressing their concerns. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit (HART) is looking to fill a vacancy on its board of directors left by Robert “Bobby” Bunda, who stepped down in May. Hawaii Independent.

Crosswalks are supposed to protect pedestrians, but city officials are concerned that people may be at risk in some older crossings. They're considering whether to remove some mid-block crosswalks on busy roads with several lanes like King Street and Beretania Street. Hawaii News Now.

The State Department of Transportation is holding a public meeting tonight at Mililani Uka Elementary School from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to talk about work to be done on Roosevelt Bridge. KHON2.

The City and County of Honolulu’s change in its flood hazard ordinance is causing some headaches in the construction industry. Pacific Business News.

A federal lawsuit alleging that eight Honolulu police officers assaulted and arrested two hikers, including a Waikiki entertainer, they had mistaken for suspects in an armed robbery has been tentatively settled out of court. Star-Advertiser.

A city contractor Tuesday completed a weeklong job of removing 21.5 tons of debris from an abandoned Kaimuki house, the target of complaints from neighbors and officials about unsanitary conditions and fire and safety hazards, according to Curtis Lum, spokesman for the city Department of Planning and Permitting. Star-Advertiser.


It seemed like a good idea at the time. A plentiful workforce created by an economic downturn, coupled with the availability of federal money, inspired the state Department of Transportation to hire a design-build contractor and set aside funding in 2008 for the second phase of the Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening project. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island taxpayers might not have been reimbursed for three of the 164 purchasing card, or pCard, charges an auditor identified as not following Hawaii County’s own policies or possibly violating state law. Tribune-Herald.

Protesters opposed to building a giant telescope atop Mauna Kea have remained on the mountain around-the-clock despite an emergence rule aimed at getting them to stop camping there. Associated Press.

The conversation atop Mauna Kea appears to have shifted, at least for now, away from the stalled Thirty Meter Telescope project and toward issues of jurisdiction and Hawaiian sovereignty. Tribune-Herald.

There have been no citations or arrests for violating an emergency rule restricting access to Mauna Kea. However, protesters opposed to building a giant telescope on the mountain continue their around-the-clock presence to prevent construction from resuming. Star-Advertiser.

Ka‘u Learning Academy, the only school to receive a new charter from the state last year, welcomes its first students this morning. Tribune-Herald.


A demonstration planned for Thursday aims to again block a convoy of parts and materials headed to a large telescope under construction on the summit of Halea­kala. Star-Advertiser.

Protesters again will gather at the Central Maui Baseyard in Puunene on Thursday night as parts for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope are expected to be transported to the summit of Haleakala. Maui News.

Trade ministers from 12 nations around the Pacific Rim are meeting on the Hawaiian island on Maui to negotiate a trade pact. Associated Press.

A group of anti-corporate and pro-labor and environment organizations are planning a series of demonstrations against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks taking place this week at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa in Ka`anapali, says Sierra Club Hawaii Director Marti Townshend in a July 27 news release. MauiTime.

The Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday voted to defer action for 60 days on a conditional permit for the proposed Kauaula Transient campsite in West Maui. Maui Now.


Strong reaction to proposed Haena changes. Master plan restricts daily number of visitors, cuts parking in half. Garden Island.

Motorists and residents are advised that the Department of Water work began this week in the median of Kaumualii Highway affecting westbound lanes, east of Uahi Road. Garden Island.

The Department of Parks and Recreation reopened the Kapaa swimming pool Tuesday, two weeks ahead of schedule. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council recently passed a bill requiring negligent adventurers to pay for their rescues. But determining what costs to recover and what sorts of rescues would be included was not so easy. Hawaii Public Radio.


A state agency has rejected a request by the Friends of Lanai that would have given the community group access to confidential information on the terms and conditions of an agreement between Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison and Castle & Cooke Inc. regarding a planned wind energy farm on the Pineapple Island. Pacific Business News.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Public reacts to whale sanctuary plans, Honolulu Mayor Caldwell returns budget without signature, Ige discusses Japan trip, Big Island shuts down Section 8 waiting list, some Kauai Bed and breakfasts could close, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy NOAA
Humpback whale breaches, courtesy NOAA
Federal officials have collected more than 3,000 written testimonies about proposed changes to the humpback whale sanctuary. Anne Walton, the sanctuary’s program analyst, said staff members for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will spend the coming months sorting the testimonies and replying with general responses based on the subject matter addressed in the comments. Garden Island.

Gov. David Ige took his first international trip to Japan last week, and spent his time during the three-and-a-half day visit meeting with tour companies and airlines, as well as the prime minister of Hawaii’s largest but struggling international market for visitors. Pacific Business News.

Gov. David Ige says Japan is Hawaii's most important source of foreign tourists, and his recent trip there was intended to solidify that relationship. Associated Press.

Unlike most states, where charter schools are registered as private companies or nonprofit corporations, charters in Hawaii are state agencies. That means the state may be responsible for debts if the school closes. Civil Beat.

TPP opposition grows in Hawaii. Coalition of labor, environmental, Native Hawaiian, farmer, and social justice groups urges bold opposition to “fast tracking” the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Hawaii Independent.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell allowed the city's $2 billion operating budget and related bills to become law without his signature Monday and then criticized the Hono­lulu City Council and Chairman Ernie Martin of funding pet projects, apparent bureaucracy building, and overstepping their authority. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell refused to sign off on several budget bills Monday, saying he had too many problems with City Council meddling. Caldwell also didn’t sign the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s operating and capital budgets for similar reasons. Civil Beat.

The City and County of Honolulu’s major budget bills are being returned to the City Council without the Mayor’s signature.   The city’s chief executive has not signed previous budgets. Hawaii Public Radio.

Rail officials are calling it a milestone. They are planning to announce a new phase of construction Tuesday, which could greatly impact those who live and work in Waipahu. KHON2.

A new partnership between the University of Hawaii-West Oahu and a nonprofit that offers science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum programs will open the door for more students to gain valuable skills in fields where jobs are expected to grow over the next several years, officials say. Star-Advertiser.

A Kahaluu woman said an off-duty police officer arrested for trespassing outside her home got special treatment because he was charged with misdemeanor offenses. Hawaii News Now.

DLNR is using Facebook and Twitter as well as YouTube and to post an informational video called “Sacred Falls — Don’t Risk Your Life, A Fine, or Jail.” Civil Beat.


Struggling with a waiting list of more than 7,000 applicants, Hawaii County has given notice that, beginning July 10, it will stop taking applications for the federally subsidized rental assistance program commonly known as Section 8. West Hawaii Today.

Earlier this year, Mayor Billy Kenoi told a group of business leaders he was working on a plan to improve Hilo’s dilapidated Banyan Drive area. As for what it is, he and his staff have chosen to remain silent. Tribune-Herald.

Supporters of a West Hawaii shooting range haven’t given up on their longtime dream, even as the project seems at a standstill more than three decades after first being envisioned. West Hawaii Today.

Construction of the Pahoa roundabout will begin by the end of the year and possibly by the end of summer, according to a state Department of Transportation spokesman. Tribune-Herald.

A pernicious fungus is wiping out native ohia trees on Hawaii island, prompting scientists to work on ways to prevent its spread to other islands. Star-Advertiser.

Work on a new restroom facility at the Hawaii County-managed Mauna Kea Recreation Area has been completed. Big Island Video News.


Opinion: I love it when a news story explaining a meaningless press release that hasn’t even been sent out yet. On June 20, The Maui News reported that Maui Police officials said during the June 17 Police Commission meeting that the department’s body camera study–in which 10 volunteer officers wore cameras donated by Taser–is effectively over. In fact, it apparently ended about six weeks ago. MauiTime.


ILEAD Charter School co-organizer Deena Fontana Moraes and supporters made their case before the Hawaii State Charter School Commission on Friday. Garden Island.

Tougher regulations could force some bed and breakfasts on Kauai out of business for good. KITV4.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, formerly known as State Civil Defense, together with Kauai County Civil Defense Agency will conduct siren testing on Wednesday. Garden Island.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Waikiki beach erosion worries Hawaii tourism officials, agency head seeks Medicaid audit, Senate deadlocked on Ching confirmation, Maui dancing definition unclear, affordable housing bill advances, urine test at issue in ACLU lawsuit, lack of notice on Oahu racetrack bill irks opponents, Trans-Pacific Partnership spurs protests, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki beach © 2015 All Hawaii News
Winter waves have eroded more of Waikiki Beach this season, worsening a chronic problem that state officials say will take millions of dollars to combat over the next decade. Star-Advertiser.

They're calling it an "erosion hotspot." The Department of Land and Natural Resources say a rare weather condition is what's causing erosion at parts of Waikiki Beach. KITV4.

The 25-member state Senate appeared deadlocked Monday over the confirmation of Carleton Ching to lead the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. Some sources place the count at 12 to 12, with one senator's stance unknown and with a few senators likely to flip-flop before this week's expected vote. Star-Advertiser.

When Hawaii’s 25 state senators decide whether to confirm Gov. David Ige’s nomination of Carleton Ching as head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the vote will likely be as much about inside politics as personal convictions. Civil Beat.

The new director of the state Department of Human Services is requesting an audit of her agency's $144 million Medicaid eligibility system, known as Kolea. Star-Advertiser.

A House panel passed a bill to provide more affordable housing for working families and Hawaii’s most vulnerable, calling for general obligation bonds that would be used to develop homes including micro-housing units. Associated Press.

A state House panel passed a bill to provide more affordable housing for working families and Hawaii's most vulnerable, calling for general obligation bonds that would be used to develop homes including micro-housing units. Star-Advertiser.

A proposed law that would make it illegal for state employees to take any official action that might directly affect a business that their extended family has a financial interest in will have a tough time clearing the House. Civil Beat.

Last Thursday House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke requested—and the Speaker granted—a waiver of the 48-hour notice requirement for an agenda that included a giveaway of $100 million in bonds to unabashedly promote a motorsport center on parkland determined eligible to be declared a National American Battlefield by the National Park Service. Disappeared News.

A controversial brand of alcohol could be headed to Hawai'i this summer, if state legislators don't outlaw it. It's called Palcohol -- a powdered form of alcohol meant to be mixed into water. Hawaii News Now.


Removing asbestos and lead paint from the second-floor offices of the Honolulu City Council could cost taxpayers $50 million or more — and that's without any additional cosmetic work, the city buildings chief told the Council Budget Committee last week. Star-Advertiser.

City officials will host a transit-oriented development meeting at Aloha Stadium on Tuesday to discuss future development in Halawa along Oahu's rail line. Hawaii News Now.

Opinion: Mayor Caldwell, Save Ala Moana Park for the Regular People. It's a bit disconcerting when high-priced consultants are hired to consider ways to rejuvenate the park, even if the local residents are being told they're in charge. Civil Beat.


On Saturday, protesters lined the Queen Kaahumanu Highway outside the Waikoloa resort, where delegates were reported to be behind closed doors, negotiating the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This feature story explores what is known about the TPP – mostly gathered from document leaks – and how the proposed economic treaty has had a connection with Hawaii from the beginning. Big Island Video News.

Protesters of Trans-Pacific Partnership lined Queen Kaahumanu Highway near Waikoloa Beach Road. The Aloha Aina “Day of Action” against TPP and for home rule, sovereignty, democracy and transparency was held Saturday. West Hawaii Today.

A Kailua-Kona woman suing Hawaii County over its pre-employment medical examination policy started her job as a legal clerk Monday after a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing the county from requiring that she submit a urine sample. Tribune-Herald.

A federal judge says a woman who moved to Kailua-Kona from Oregon to accept a job with the Hawaii County prosecutor does not have to provide a sample of her urine before she can start work. Star-Advertiser.

School resource officers will be added to Waimea and Keaau middle schools by the new school year, thanks to a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. West Hawaii Today.

Thieves stole almost $10,000 worth of tents, equipment and tools late last week from the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery, leaving supporters at a loss as they plan for their traditional Memorial Day services. West Hawaii Today.

The Big Island Press Club has awarded its annual Lava Tube dishonor to Scott Nago, the state’s chief elections officer, for “lack of communication” during the 2014 primary election. Civil Beat.


The Hawaii state Legislature is considering a bill that would force all the county Liquor Control departments to define “dancing.” Known as SB 868, the bill was introduced by 14 state Senators including Maui’s own J. Kalani English, Roz Baker and Gil Keith-Agaran. MauiTime.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa took an optimistic view in his state of the county address last week. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Maui County Land Use Committee will review the proposed Downtown Kīhei Project on Wednesday, March 18, at 1:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber. Maui Now.

Merchants in Lahaina's historic district have mixed feelings about updated sign guidelines recently approved by the Cultural Resources Commission that are awaiting Mayor Alan Arakawa's signature. Maui News.

The Lahainaluna High School boarding program that began 179 years ago will continue next school year, despite declining enrollments and reductions in programs and funding in recent years, according to a state Department of Education official. Maui News.

A federal judge sentenced the owner of an Asian food market on Maui to a six-month jail term Monday for taking from her employees back-overtime money owed to them and for lying to the U.S. Department of Labor about it. Star-Advertiser.


Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. will admit that the County of Kauai was in a tough place last year. Reserve funds were low. The county’s share of the transient accommodations taxes was capped for the third consecutive year. Garden Island.

Major shifts will take place over the next month within Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s administration as some longtime county employees retire and new ones join the ranks. Garden Island.

The redevelopment of the Coco Palms Resort on Kauai is, in a way, not about architecture, but more about respecting and bringing back the culture and history of the iconic resort, the architect for the project told Pacific Business News.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Senate panel rejects Ching, state economy grows, homeless targeted at Honolulu airport, Ways and Means chair Tokuda has a side job, Kauai dairy opponents prepare lawsuit, NELHA brings in the bucks, secret Trans-Pacific Partnership meetings held, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Tourists in Waikiki © 2015 All Hawaii News
The state Council on Revenues adjusted its projection of state tax collections upward by about $55 million for the current year on Thursday, but House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke said she will still budget cautiously because the state is still spending more money than it takes in. Star-Advertiser.

Lower oil prices, a strong construction market and a thriving tourism industry prompted the Hawaii Council on Revenues to slightly upgrade its fiscal forecast for the state Thursday. Civil Beat.

Following a grueling day-and-a-half of tough questions and tense discussion, a Senate committee Thursday rejected Gov. David Ige's choice of Carleton Ching as chairman of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David  Ige couldn’t save his nominee, Carleton Ching, to head the state Department of Land and Natural Resources from rejection as Senate Water and Land Committee members voted against recommending his approval. Civil Beat.

The Senate Committee on Water and Land rejected the nomination of Carleton Ching to chair the Department of Land and Natural Resources Thursday afternoon. Hawaii News Now.

A panel of Hawaii lawmakers is recommending that the Senate should reject Gov. David Ige’s nominee to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Members of the Senate Committee on Water and Land voted 5-2 to recommend rejecting nominee Carleton Ching on Thursday. Associated Press.

Senate committee rejects Carleton Ching nomination on 5-2 vote. Members cite Ching’s lack of understanding, expertise. KITV4.

The state Senate Committee on Water and Land voted Thursday against Gov. David Ige’s controversial nomination to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources. KHON2.

The Senate unanimously confirmed two more of Gov. David Ige's Cabinet members on Thursday: Douglas Chin as state attorney general and Nolan Espinda as director of the Department of Public Safety. Star-Advertiser.

Sen. Jill Tokuda, the chairwoman of the state Senate's powerful Ways and Means Committee, which plays a key role in deciding who gets state funding, has been serving as a paid consultant for the Daniel K. Inouye Institute. Star-Advertiser.

The House Finance Committee cut about $72 million this week from the University of Hawaii's budget request for the upcoming fiscal year. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige has nominated Keith "Keone" Downing, Ulalia Woodside and Christopher Yuen to the seven-member Board of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Congressional Delegation has announced that the U.S. Department of Education will allocate more than $47 million in Title I, Part A Grants to local educational agencies in Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai and Maui counties for the 2015-2016 school year. Maui Time.

Hawaiian Telcom's earnings fell 24.8 percent in the fourth quarter as it invested in its infrastructure to add more customers for its television and high-speed Internet services. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: Adult Care Online Reports: Comforting The Afflicted. A reporter's persistence helped pressure the Department of Health to live up to its statutory obligation to post adult care home inspections. Civil Beat.


Soil tests on an empty plot of land on Sand Island where Mayor Kirk Caldwell has proposed relocating up to 100 homeless people indicate that the area is safe for human habitation, according to Fenix Grange, a supervisor in the Hawaii Department of Health’s Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response Office. Civil Beat.

A major change is coming to make Honolulu International Airport safer and more secure. It has to do with publicly accessible areas, where many people have been sleeping or camping out overnight. KHON2.


The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority’s economic impact on Hawaii increased significantly from 2010 to 2013, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization researchers found. West Hawaii Today.

A new analysis of the economic impact of NELHA’s Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park at Keahole Point on Hawaii Island finds that the total economic impact of the park has surged by 40 percent between 2010 and 2013. The Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawaii (UHERO) report says the benefit to the greater Hawaii economy was $123 millio in 2013. Civil Beat.

A company owned by garbage hauler Pacific Waste Inc. is moving forward on long-held plans to build a waste conversion system in West Hawaii. BioEnergy Hawaii LLC announced Thursday that it is negotiating for land near the West Hawaii Sanitary Landfill at Puuanahulu for a resource recovery site. West Hawaii Today.

BioEnergy Hawaii LLC, a Kailua-Kona based developer of waste treatment and alternative energy systems, plans to build a $50 million facility on the Big Island that will divert about 70 percent of the solid waste destined for the landfill and convert it to recyclable materials, the company said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

A community forum was held in Hilo Wednesday night on the subject of the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a proposed regional regulatory and investment treaty involving twelve countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region currently in negotiations. This week, those negotiations are reportedly being conducted, behind closed doors, at the posh Waikoloa resorts. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County has broken ground on a project aimed at easing traffic on Kinoole Street while providing a new route between the University of Hawaii at Hilo campus and the downtown area. Tribune-Herald.

Over 10,000 acres of native forest in South Kona are being protected from development under an agreement between landowners and the state and federal governments. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Thursday previous landowners had won county approval to build 500 residential lots and an Arnold Palmer golf course on the land. Associated Press.

Parking has never been an easy or safe thing at the head of the Kaawaloa Trail where Napoopoo Road meets Highway 11 in Captain Cook. West Hawaii Today.


A nascent Maui-based line of vegan, organic, gluten-free, soy-free and GMO-free food products has proliferated around the state and now is expanding to California. Star-Advertiser.

Civil Air Patrol pilots and former members called for the reinstatement of the now-disbanded 57th Kahului squadron during a heated town hall meeting on Monday at its former Kahului Airport headquarters. Maui News.


Oregon-based environmental attorney Charlie Tebbutt filed a notice of intent to sue those behind the proposed $17.5 million, 578-acre dairy in Mahaulepu Valley. The notice includes eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and says it is for ongoing violations of the federal Clean Water Act. Garden Island.