Showing posts with label churches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label churches. Show all posts

Thursday, August 12, 2021

State COVID case counting system fails again, churches, protests exempt from social gathering regulations, Honolulu police shoot man wielding machete, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

COVID cases spike in Hawaii

Tech Problems Lead To Undercount In Hawaii COVID Cases. Wednesday’s COVID-19 case total of 472 is a partial count. The electronic laboratory reporting system was interrupted for approximately 20 hours on Monday, Aug. 10 and Tuesday, Aug. 11. As a result of this interruption, there has been a delay in the reporting of an unknown number of cases, according to the DOH. It’s the second time the state’s coronavirus count has been interrupted in two weeks. Civil Beat. Big Island Now. Maui Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Churches are exempt from Hawaii’s new COVID restrictions. When Gov. David Ige announced on Tuesday that he was immediately imposing stiff limits on the number of people that can occupy social establishments, reimposing social distancing requirements and prohibiting mingling in an attempt to rein in soaring COVID-19 case counts, he exempted churches. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

2 mainland travelers arrested in Honolulu for alleged fake vaccine cards, AG says. Authorities from the Hawaii Attorney General’s office arrested two visitors from the mainland for allegedly attempting to skirt the state’s Safe Travels program. The AG’s office said the travelers were arrested Sunday at the Daniel K. Inouye Airport. Investigators found they were allegedly violation of the travel rules for using fake vaccination cards to come to the islands. Falsifying a vaccination statute comes with a fine of up to $5,000 and/or a year in prison. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

New website offers remote work opportunities for Hawaii residents.
A new website consolidates programs for Hawaii residents seeking remote work opportunities and employers looking to hire. KHON2. KITV4.

Election Violations Prompt New Vote For Hawaii Hotel Union Leadership. Some members say the Unite Here Local 5 election do-over is still unfair to opposition candidates and members who were out of work during the pandemic. Civil Beat.


Honolulu police officers fatally shoot machete-wielding man. Honolulu police fatally shot a 41-year-old man after he allegedly severed a man’s pinky finger with a machete and rushed toward a responding police officer with the large knife near an illegal game room in Kalihi early Wednesday,  according to bystanders and police. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press.

HPD’s body camera policy once again raising questions following latest police shooting. When police shot and killed a man wielding a machete in Kalihi Wednesday morning, one of the officers failed to activate his body camera, multiple sources said. Hawaii News Now.

Ann Botticelli Wins Seat On The Honolulu Police Commission. It was Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s third attempt to fill the seventh seat on the oversight commission. Civil Beat.

Narrow Council Vote Propels Anthony Aalto Onto The HART Board. No prior board nominee in HART’s decade-long history received the same public scrutiny over qualifications and potential conflicts as Aalto did, reflecting a growing unease with the project. Civil Beat.

Group opposes Army training and lease extension at Makua.
Some in opposition to the Army’s proposed retention of 6,300 acres of state leased land for training on Oahu are taking it to the street as 65-year leases run out in 2029 and are now up for reconsideration. Star-Advertiser.

Groundbreaking begins in Kapolei for state’s largest stand-alone battery system. Crews broke ground in west Oahu on Wednesday on what will be the state’s largest stand-alone battery system. Independent developer, Plus Power, said the Kapolei Energy Storage facility will eventually take over the power load from the AES coal plant, providing a more environmentally friendly source for electricity. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Pacific University to welcome record number of new students. Hawaii Pacific University will welcome a record number of new students in the fall despite a national trend of declining college enrollment amid the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Ex-Soldier Convicted of Teen's 1982 Murder Cannot Get DNA Test. A federal appeals court ruling Tuesday urged Congress to correct a disparity that doesn't allow members of the U.S. military convicted by a court-martial the same avenues as civilian prisoners to seek DNA testing that could exonerate them. Associated Press.

Hawaii Island

Rejected Leeward Planning Commission nominee files ethics complaint against council members. A rejected nominee to the Leeward Planning Commission has filed an ethics complaint against four of the five council members who voted not to confirm her, claiming they discriminated against her because she’s a real estate professional. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo Muni Golf Course Restaurant Concession Up For Bid. Interested vendors must submit their intent to bid by 2 p.m. on August 26, and final bids must be submitted by 2 p.m. on September 7, 2021. Big Island Video News.

More COVID cases in E. Hawaii long-term care homes. Four employees and 14 residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus at Life Care Center of Hilo amid a second outbreak in the facility, according to an update posted on the facility’s website Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

South Kohala fire’s cost still being tallied. Hawaii Fire Department Chief Kazuo Todd, however, indicated Wednesday that the bill will be significant for battling the fire that broke out July 30 and scorched 40,000-acre-plus fire, destroying two homes, before containment was reached Friday. Crews continue to douse hotspots and flareups within the burn area. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Mayor Victorino Discusses Critical Issues Facing Maui County Today. In an interview with Maui Now, Mayor Victorino identified that the new Delta variant and Delta plus of the coronavirus as the greatest challenge facing the county. Maui Now.

New state COVID rules already exist for Maui County. Maui County leaders also clarified that they don’t categorize the First Amendment right to assemble and petition as a “social gathering.” Maui News.

Credit Unions Donated $2,500 and 2,300 Pounds of Goods to Maui Food Bank. The coalition includes: Kahului Federal Credit Union, Maui Federal Credit Union, Maui Teachers Federal Credit Union, Valley Isle Community Federal Credit Union and Wailuku Federal Credit Union. Maui Now.


$370K granted to Kaua‘i nonprofits. Eleven Kaua‘i organizations have received a combined $370,000 in grants from the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. Garden Island.

KPD to enforce ‘move-over law’. The Kaua‘i Police Department is urging motorists to drive with aloha and obey all traffic laws, including the “move-over law” (Hawai‘i Revised Statutes 291C-27) that requires drivers to slow down to a reasonable speed that is safe under the circumstances and, if possible, make a lane change in order to leave one lane between the driver and an emergency vehicle or situation. Garden Island.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

$30M worth of COVID test kits go to waste, Maui church refuses to stop in-person services amid virus cluster, statewide cases continue steady increase, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash
COVID-19 test Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

Some $30 million worth of COVID-19 test kits purchased by the state have expired as they sat in storage, despite at least one county request to use them. The state Health Department said it is working to get federal approval for an extension to use the 672,000 kits, but that could be a lengthy process. Hawaii News Now.

Despite uptick in new cases, governor says he’s not considering tighter restrictions. He said while people seem to be less careful, he’s monitoring the numbers and isn’t clamping down on restrictions for now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii Supreme Court May Lift COVID-19 Order To Free Inmates Without Bail. The order was designed to reduce jail populations and limit the spread of COVID-19, but infections in jails have stabilized, the court says. Civil Beat.

New Sunshine Rules Would Require Requests For Some In-Person Meetings. Senate Bill 1034 would still allow for physical meetings, but there are worries that one provision in the bill could limit meeting access to some individuals. Civil Beat.

Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Could Bring Billions To Hawaii. The president will unveil his American Jobs Plan, which has the potential to infuse huge sums of money into the islands’ transportation and energy infrastructure. Civil Beat.

Biden Plan To Conserve More Ocean Habitat Worries Hawaii Fishing Interests. Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council wants to know exactly what defines “conservation” under the Biden 30 by 30 plan — and whether it would lead to more no-fish zones such as the one within the largest conservation area on earth: the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, which encompasses the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Civil Beat.

Local entrepreneur Cecil Morton to start ride-hailing company, Holoholo. Cecil Morton, who has been in the tourism transportation business in Hawaii for 20 years on four islands as owner of SpeediShuttle, is launching driver recruitment for holoholo today at Star-Advertiser.

Local Community Health Centers Receive $32M From Stimulus Bill
. Fourteen community health centers throughout the islands are receiving about $32 million from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, the latest federal COVID-19 stimulus bill. Hawaii Public Radio.

More cases slipping through cracks of travel program. The report, which has not been peer reviewed, said that seven out of 1,000 travelers who bypass quarantine via Hawaii’s Safe Travels program probably have COVID-19. State officials had said that fewer than one out of 1,000 travelers using the pre-testing plan would likely bring the illness. Maui News.

DOH Reports Greater Vaccine Supply. The Hawai‘i Department of Health is asking its District Health Offices on the neighbor islands to expand vaccine eligibility as needed to ensure all available vaccination slots are filled. Maui Now.

March 31, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 100 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Wednesday, including 42 on O‘ahu, 30 on Maui, 16 on Hawai‘i Island, one on Kaua‘i, one on Lāna‘i, and 10 in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


Building industry workers say drastic changes needed at city department after bribery charges. Three city workers accused of accepting bribes to speed up the permitting process made their first appearance in federal court on Wednesday, March 31. KHON2. Star-Advertiser.

Homeowner says former DPP employee arrested by FBI delayed his permits back in 2015. Ian Lind said the FBI’s investigation of the DPP has its roots in his “frustrating” experience with Inouye and the permitting process. He believes he’s one of many homeowners who was allegedly shaken down by DPP officials. Hawaii News Now.

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands gets Ewa Beach land for homesteads. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has told the federal government it will accept an 80-acre parcel in Ewa Beach that the state agency plans to eventually redevelop to provide homesteads for Native Hawaiians, many of whom have waited years for such offerings. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

More Oahu homeless residents dying from meth overdoses. On average, every three days a homeless resident dies on Oahu's streets. Many of those sudden deaths are being blamed on meth, and so are the chronic conditions killing off this vulnerable population. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Hawai´i County Official Positive For COVID-19, Contact Tracing to Begin ‘Promptly’. Contact tracing has begun among the ranks of the Hawai´i County Mayor’s Office following a county official testing positive for COVID-19.  Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Roth wants Van Pernis off Leeward Planning Commission. Mayor Mitch Roth wants to oust Mark Van Pernis from the powerful Leeward Planning Commission, in what could be an unprecedented action that is, however, within the authority of the mayor and County Council as defined by the county charter. West Hawaii Today.

‘A WALL OF WATER’: Survivors reflect on devastating tsunami that struck Hilo 75 years ago. The early morning of April 1, 1946, seemed at first to be the start of a normal Monday for residents of Hilo and surrounding villages. Tribune-Herald.

HTA’s Big Island action plan embraces ‘regenerative tourism’. A new plan for tourism on the Big Island highlights the potential for using sustainable tourism to preserve and improve management of resources on the island. Tribune-Herald.

Miloliʻi Vaccinations Push Hawaiian Fishing Village Toward Herd Immunity. The old Hawaiian fishing village of Miloliʻi on Hawaiʻi Island is on its way to achieving herd immunity against COVID-19. Hawaii Public Radio.


King’s Cathedral is rejecting health officials’ advice and planning Easter services with COVID-19 precautions. The state Department of Health on Wednesday took the unusual step of naming King’s Cathedral as the source of an “imminent health threat” posed by a large coronavirus cluster numbering more than 50 cases, with the infected ranging in age from 10 to 77. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

More than Half of New COVID-19 Cases on Maui are Variants. Health officials say more than half of the COVID-19 cases on Maui at this point, as identified through weekly reports, are represented by “variants of concern,” B.1.429 and B.1.427. Maui Now.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino proposes vaccination passport, additional coronavirus testing on arrival. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is proposing changes to Hawaii’s COVID-19 travel restrictions, including a pilot “vaccination passport” program and mandatory rapid testing at Kahului Airport for arriving passengers. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. KHON2.

Man gets 10 days in jail for violating emergency rules. A judge told a man to “start paying attention, follow the rules,” as he was sentenced to 10 days in jail for twice violating emergency rules by not wearing a face mask. Maui News.


Discount Cards for Kaua‘i Visitors Who Take 2nd COVID-19 Test After Arrival. Kauai visitors will receive a discount card for local businesses if they voluntarily take a second coronavirus test three days after arrival, in addition to the required test before travel. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai Wants To Reopen Beaches. That Could Put Homeless Back On The Streets. The county’s shelter-in-place program granted some homeless people a measure of stability. Now that it’s over, they say they have nowhere to go. Civil Beat. Garden Island.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Senate gives itself subpoena powers as Legislature, governor squabble over CARES money; Honolulu and Kauai reopen churches and restaurants; 22% unemployment is historic high, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from Facebook live
Gov. David Ige press conference via Facebook live
Citing frustration with Ige administration, state Senate forms investigative committee. State senators have formed an investigative committee, saying they’re frustrated by a lack of transparency from Gov. David Ige’s administration during the pandemic crisis. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii lawmakers try to move COVID-19 relief money out of Ige’s reach. Simmering frustration between Gov. David Ige and the state Legislature approached the boiling point Thursday as lawmakers voted to move more than $1.3 billion into the state’s “rainy day” budget reserve fund — where lawmakers would control it — and the Senate authorized a committee to issue subpoenas to pry information loose from the administration. Star-Advertiser.

Ige’s Economic Chief Accuses Senators Of Harassment. Mike McCartney, director of the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, refused to discuss the administration’s plan to revive the economy. Civil Beat.

Senate creates investigative committee with subpoena power. The Hawaii State Senate voted to give the Special Committee on COVID-19 subpoena powers today. KHON2.

Hawaii’s head of business and economic development declines to allow staff to testify before Senate committee. Mike McCartney, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, declined to have his staff testify today before a Hawaii Senate committee because of what he was said a “hostile” environment by lawmakers. Star-Advertiser.

Head of DBEDT claims Senate Ways and Means Committee meeting a 'hostile environment'. Mike McCartney, Head of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism refused to let his staff testify in front of the Senate Ways and Means Committee Thursday. KITV4.

Legislature Passes Budget Cuts But Will Be Back In June. The $1 billion spending reductions will now go to Gov. David Ige for his review. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers recess after addressing budget shortfall. Hawaii lawmakers on Thursday recessed after passing multiple funding bills designed to cope with the shock of the coronavirus pandemic that has hammered the state’s tourism-dependent economy. House and Senate leaders said they expected to reconvene around June 15 to continue their work. Hawaii News Now.

Without intervention, Hawaii government could run out of operating funds next year. Hawaii’s economic situation is so dire that state government could run out of operating funds by June 2021 if lawmakers and officials don’t find a way to slash expenses and increase tax collections. Star-Advertiser.


Ige mulls lifting quarantine for interisland travel. Gov. David Ige said Thursday he’s considering lifting the 14-day mandatory quarantine currently in place for interisland air travelers, saying measures are pointing in the right direction to make this move. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Officials Consider Lifting Inter-island Travel Quarantine. During a Thursday news conference, top state officials talked about how "health measures are pointing in the right direction to make this move" to resume inter-island travel. Big Island Video News.

Plans to Lift Interisland Travel Quarantine Underway. Interisland travel is the next monumental item on the state’s coronavirus to-do list. Big Island Now.

Lifting Interisland Travel Quarantine is “Top-Of-Mind,” No Target Date Set. Currently both quarantines for out-of-state arrivals and interisland travel are in place through June 30th; however, Gov. Ige has noted that lifting the 14-day quarantine for interisland travel is top-of-mind. Maui Now.

Ige says state is taking ‘cautious’ approach as more businesses plan to reopen. The governor on Thursday urged residents to prepare for a moderate uptick in COVID-19 cases as the state continues to reopen in a “cautious” way. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii’s unemployment rate reaches historic high. According to the State Labor Department, April’s unemployment rate went up to 22 percent. This reflected the economic impact of COVID-19 in the state. KHON2.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate jumps to 22.3% amid pandemic. Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate jumped to 22.3% in April, up from just 2.4% the previous month, as hotels, restaurants and retailers closed amid efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Desolate peak reached in Hawaii unemployment. Hawaii’s unemployment rate shot up to a really terrible level in April: a record 22.3%, or nearly 1 in 4 people in the state’s workforce. Star-Advertiser.


DOH Says Its COVID-19 Testing Capacity Has ‘Increased Dramatically’. Bruce Anderson, director of the Department of Health, said the state now has the ability to perform up to 3,600 tests daily. Civil Beat.

Current Board of Education Member May Not Be Renominated. Two new boards members were confirmed by the full Senate Thursday, but the renomination of Kili Namauu has been stalled by the Senate Education Committee. Civil Beat.

Hawaii School Superintendent Gets ‘Effective’ Rating From Board. But the Board of Education scored the school chief poorly in areas like operations, resource and personnel management. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Reopened Its Civil Rights Office. But Investigations Are Still Stalled. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, the commission faced a growing backlog of cases. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s narrow eviction moratorium means not everyone is protected.  Evictions are on hold as part of Gov’s David Ige’s supplemental emergency proclamation — but only evictions for non-payment of rent. Hawaii News Now.

Anonymous donor surprises nearly 2K kupuna with free groceries at Hawaii Foodland stores. An anonymous donor surprised hundreds of Hawaii’s kupuna at all Foodland, Sack N Save and Foodland Farms stores statewide today by covering the full costs of their groceries. Star-Advertiser.

Two women defy Hawaii traveler quarantine, including one who got a job in Laie. Authorities have arrested a visitor to Hawaii who broke the state’s 14-day travel quarantine to slow the spread of COVID-19 and are working with another to get her back home. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — MAY 21: 4 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Hawaii and Maui counties collectively reported four new coronavirus cases. Civil Beat.

Virus cases identified in Hilo, South Kona. Four new cases of COVID-19 were reported Thursday — three on the Big Island, the other on Maui. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Fish Council Urges Trump To Open Marine Monuments To Fishing. This is the second time Wespac has asked the president to make it easier to fish in and around environmental sanctuaries. Civil Beat.


Oahu restaurants and churches prepare to open their doors with social distancing rules in place. Oahu restaurants will be allowed to reopen for indoor dining on June 5 and churches will be able to resume in-person services with restrictions on Saturday under a new emergency order signed by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

City allows in-person spiritual services to resume on Oahu this weekend.  In-person spiritual services will once again be allowed starting Saturday, as long as worshippers follow social distancing guidelines and wear masks. Hawaii News Now.

In-Person Religious Services May Resume Saturday. You can pray together again, but keep a safe distance, the city says. Civil Beat.

Mayor Caldwell allows in-person spiritual services to resume this weekend. Come this weekend, churches on Oahu will be allowed to reopen. KITV4.


Authorities Struggle To Enforce Quarantine On Vacation Rental Occupants. The City and County of Honolulu is not able to effectively enforce the mandatory 14-day quarantine on visitors staying in vacation rentals, according to one senior official. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Council Gets Another Open Meetings Violation. Adding items to meeting agendas after the deadline should be done “rarely, if ever,” the state said. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Is Testing Sewage To Watch For The Spread Of COVID-19. Oahu has begun testing sewage for COVID-19, hoping to get an early warning of outbreaks and increase consumer confidence as the island reopens. Civil Beat.

NOAA reminds holiday beachgoers to stay away from monk seal pup at Kaiwi coastline. A newly weaned Hawaiian monk seal might make an appearance around the Kaiwi coastline on Oahu over the Memorial Day weekend — a worrisome thought for those looking out for her. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council finds money for golf, contingency funds in tight budget. Fees for sewers and rubbish disposal will continue to increase, taxes could rise for luxury second homes and services will be cut countywide, but County Council members still found room in the budget Thursday to add another $565,000 for their contingency accounts and golf subsidies. West Hawaii Today.

How to spend $80M: Kim outlines uses for COVID-19 response funds. Mayor Harry Kim had less than two days to submit a plan to the state Legislature, and now that SB 75 passed and is on its way to the governor, a plan is taking shape. West Hawaii Today.

San Buenaventura to seek Ruderman’s state Senate seat. State Rep. Joy San Buenaventura of Puna will seek the 2nd District Senate seat currently held by Russell Ruderman, who on Wednesday announced he would not run for re-election. Tribune-Herald.

Regents delay action on new Maunakea proposal. The University of Hawaii Board of Regents voted Thursday to postpone discussion of a new internal management structure for Maunakea governance until June. Tribune-Herald.

Public access to Waipio Valley will be closed. The Hawaii County Dept. of Public Works announced that public access to Waipio Valley will be closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting Friday, May 22 through Monday, May 25. KHON2.


County officials detail reopening considerations. Some high-risk businesses get green light ahead of medium-risk ones. Maui News.

Colorado Woman Wanted for Quarantine Violation on Maui Agrees to Return Home. A Colorado woman wanted for allegedly violating the 14-day travel quarantine on Maui has voluntarily elected to return home to the mainland, according to Maui police. Maui Now.

Maui Unemployment Rate Highest in State at 36% in April. The Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations today announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 22.3 percent. Maui Now.

Work Begins on 20 Temporary Emergency Shelters at Waiale Park in Wailuku. The County of Maui begins construction tomorrow, May 22 on an estimated 20 temporary emergency shelters at Waiale Park in Wailuku for displaced families and individuals impacted by COVID-19. Maui Now.


Green light to reopen. Churches, salons, barber shops and outdoor-based tour companies on Kaua‘i can reopen today. Garden Island.

Kauai gets governor’s approval to reopen some ‘medium-risk’ businesses by Friday. Kauai has secured the governor’s approval to reopen a number of “medium-risk” businesses and public spaces Friday, including hair and nail salons, pools and fitness training. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai businesses get ready to reopen Friday. Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami has gotten the go ahead from the governor to reopen medium risk businesses as soon as Friday. Many Kauai businesses say their phones have been ringing off the hook with customers since the announcement was made. KHON2.

Aloha overflowed out of the front entrance of the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Regency & Spa Thursday afternoon when the resort’s General Manager Dan King and a band of volunteers welcomed back colleagues for a family-style meal pickup conducted within the parameters of social distancing and health safety guidelines created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Garden Island.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Inmates to be released early from overcrowded Hawaii jails, pregnant endangered Kauai monk seal attacked on video, dengue fever ebbs, hotel tax unchanged, Honolulu councilmen scrap church funding plan, 1.2M visitors to Maui's Haleakalā National Park last year, council airs rail audit battle, Department of Education drowning in teacher applications, igloos for homeless, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii jail exterior © 2016 All Hawaii News
The state correctional system will likely be able to begin releasing misdemeanor criminal offenders in the coming months as a way to ease severe overcrowding in Hawaii jails. House Bill 2391, part of Gov. David Ige’s legislative package, unanimously passed conference committee on Wednesday, a crucial hurdle in the final days of this legislative session. Star-Advertiser.

Loyalists, Dissidents, the Fab Four and the Three Amigos. These four factions, and others within the 51-member Hawaii House of Representatives, form alliances that determine leadership structures, influence what bills become law and affect who wins elections. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Education has been inundated with thousands of applications from people all over the world after bringing attention to Hawaii’s teacher shortage, but officials say it has been frustrating to find that many applicants have little or no teaching experience. Associated Press.

House and Senate lawmakers agreed Wednesday to give the counties $103 million of state hotel tax money for fiscal 2017, which starts July 1. They left the percent each county receives unchanged. Civil Beat.

House and Senate negotiators have agreed to provide the four counties with the same amounts of money in hotel tax revenues as they are receiving this year. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers rejected a bill Tuesday that would have allowed the University of Hawaii system to hire members of the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

A bill garnering support from advocates of both business interests and social services sets a state goal of developing at least 22,500 affordable rental housing units over the next decade. Civil Beat.

Unless state lawmakers change course in the coming days, Hawaii will continue to lag behind the rest of the country when it comes to certain policies and resources provided to ensure the health and safety of residents living in long-term care facilities. Civil Beat.

House and Senate lawmakers agreed Tuesday to sign off on the payment of nearly $11 million to resolve claims against the state. In all, House Bill 2279 appropriates the funds for 23 settlements or judicial orders involving seven departments. Civil Beat.

Let Hawaii Happen, the Hawaii Visitor Convention Bureau’s marketing campaign, has reached 54 percent of frequent U.S. travelers, via paid advertising, website, social media, or direct public relations. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii will recover more than $400,000 from a pharmaceutical products distributor that underpaid Medicaid drug rebates, state Attorney General Doug Chin announced today in a news release. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu City Council Chairman Ernie Martin has deleted his budget request for $250,000 to fund the expansion of an evangelical Christian megachurch in Sand Island on Oahu’s south shore. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council Chairman Ernie Martin and Councilman Joey Manahan are backing away from New Hope Church Oahu’s request to have the city provide $250,000 in grants- in-aid for its expansion plans at Sand Island. Star-Advertiser.

Despite the political rhetoric surrounding Honolulu’s rail project, all that is certain when it comes to the final price tag: Nobody will know the ultimate cost until at least next January and it could exceed the current $6.6 billion estimate. Civil Beat.

City Auditor Edwin Young has claimed that rail officials tried to intimidate his audit team when they reviewed the rail authority's finances. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu City Council’s Budget Committee focused on the Audit of Honolulu’s Rail Transit Project today. Hawaii Public Radio.

Cooler heads prevailed at a council budget meeting. The tone appeared to be more about clearing the air, than being confrontational. KITV4.

A church in Hawaii looking to address the state's ongoing homelessness crisis has settled on a solution that on first look appears better suited for the frigid winters of Alaska than the islands' tropical climate: igloos. Associated Press.

A large solar energy farm planned for Central Oahu that was rejected by Hawaii regulators last year has been officially canceled, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

Prosecutor Files Complaint Over Police Officer Actions. Honolulu police are investigating whether an officer misrepresented himself in a high-profile manslaughter case to help a local reporter. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii says an independent investigation into what caused a laboratory explosion that seriously injured a visiting researcher has been delayed by several weeks. Associated Press.

Residents and local businesses in the Ko Olina area are being asked to conserve water as the city's Department of Environmental Services responds to a water main break at its West Beach Wastewater Pump Station. Hawaii News Now.


With more than 30 days past since the last case of dengue fever on the Big Island, state and county officials could have declared “breakbone fever” officially pau. They didn’t. West Hawaii Today.

State officials said that the dengue fever outbreak is not over during a press conference held on Oahu Wednesday, even though the Big Island reached a “significant milestone” with no reports of locally acquired dengue fever in 30 days. Big Island Video News.

With no new cases of dengue fever reported in 30 days, it appears the Hawaii island dengue fever outbreak has come to an end. Star-Advertiser.

State officials celebrated a big milestone on Wednesday in the fight against dengue fever, but said it’s too soon to declare victory in the outbreak — and warned that Hawaii’s real battle may just be beginning. Civil Beat.

The county Department of Environmental Management isn’t exactly flush with cash, thanks to hundreds of people seriously behind on their sewer bills. West Hawaii Today.


A new National Park Service report shows that 1,216,772 visitors to Haleakalā National Park in 2015 spent over $76 million in communities near the park. Maui Now.

Honopou taro farmer Lynn Scott sees more water flowing down East Maui streams since Alexander & Baldwin announced last week that it was "fully and permanently" restoring water to eight East Maui streams. Maui News.

A scheduling conflict between the first Maui County Carnival and the third annual Vietnam veterans' memorial ceremony has been resolved with carnival organizers deciding to observe "quiet time" during the veterans' ceremony in front of the War Memorial Gym on Saturday evening. Maui News.


One of Kauai’s most popular Hawaiian monk seals was attacked on Tuesday night at Salt Pond Beach Park, and a video recording of the scuffle is circulating on social media. Garden Island.

A video posted on social media that shows a man repeatedly punching a pregnant Hawaiian monk seal at a Kauai beach has touched off an investigation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Star-Advertiser.

The video of a pregnant monk seal being attacked on Kauai has left many people outraged including Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho. KHON2.

A documentary that spotlights problems tied to illegal camping on Kauai’s Na Pali Coast is slated to air on KFVE to educate the public about the need to protect natural and cultural resources, particularly at Kalalau. Star-Advertiser.

Cyndi Ayonon of the Mayor’s Office coordinated the tallying of contributions from county agencies for transport by the Kauai Independent Food Bank toward its Spring Food and Fund Drive. Garden Island.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hawaii voters could take selfies with ballots under bill passing Legislature, cool schools funding advances, dengue fever over, Maui council mulls $654.5M budget, church v. state for Honolulu council, insurance companies to be barred from transgender discrimination, hotel tax stalemate, geothermal home rule at issue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Seniors at Waikiki beach © 2016 All Hawaii News
The state has launched a campaign to inform travelers about a website that provides almost real time updates on surf, weather and safety conditions at beaches across Hawaii. Associated Press.

Editorial: Disappointed? New Warning Signs Soft-Pedal Real Danger. State and tourism officials just don’t want to say anything that could scare tourists — especially when it comes to drowning in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Hawaii House lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday explicitly supporting a voter’s right to take a selfie showing their marked ballot, even in the voting booth. The bill, which had already cleared the Senate, now heads to Gov. David Ige for his signature. Civil Beat.

House and Senate negotiators appear close to agreeing on proposed legislation to pay for Gov. David Ige’s pledge to cool 1,000 public school classrooms by the end of 2016. Star-Advertiser.

Insurance companies would not be allowed to discriminate against transgender patients under a bill passed Tuesday by the state House of Representatives. Associated Press.

House and Senate lawmakers have a lot of negotiating to do over the next two days if they want to reach an agreement on how much state hotel tax money to give the counties. The Senate version of the bill simply increases the cap to $103 million for fiscal 2017, which starts July 1, up from $93 million. And it preserves the percentage that each county has long received. The House version of the bill blanks out the overall allocation and dramatically changes the percent each county would get. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers have agreed to give long-term care facilities more money to help them afford to take care of clients on MedicaidCivil Beat.

Hawaii Medical Service Association's new pre-authorization policy has stirred opposition from many Hawaii doctors who say it is delaying critical imaging tests, resulting in harmful consequences for patients. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet commander said he plans to expand the role of the U.S. 3rd Fleet commander and her staff in the Asia-Pacific region. Associated Press.

Hawaii is the only state in which both legislative and executive branches are perceived to be very corrupt. Civil Beat.

A monument honoring Hawaii's fallen law enforcement officers is almost complete after years of delays. Once the construction work is done, Hawaii will no longer be the only state without a memorial honoring county, state, and federal officers killed in the line of duty. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Councilmen Ernie Martin and Joey Manahan contend their proposal to subsidize the expansion of a Christian evangelical megachurch in Kalihi will benefit the community, despite criticism that it’s unconstitutional. Martin and Manahan have suggested providing $250,000 of taxpayer funds to help New Hope Oahu’s $10 million capital campaign to renovate and expand its Sand Island headquarters. Civil Beat.

Using public money to pay for new church facilities. According to the latest budget amendments, two city councilmen want to blur the line between church and state. KHON2.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell tried a soft-sell approach with City Council members Tuesday in his latest attempt to gain funding for a proposed eight-person housing development division. Star-Advertiser.

An Ewa Beach campaign for State House is getting ugly. One man is accused of taking down political signs while the other is accused of violence. Now, the courts and police are involved. Hawaii News  Now.

Honolulu Harbor dredged after 17 years. KITV4.

A luxury condominium-hotel in Waikiki will be opening soon. But first, the developer must obtain approvals from the city two years after construction started. Hawaii Public Radio.

A Chinese company that plans to develop a luxury hotel and residential condominium on 23 acres of land in West Oahu is buying a planned 516-acre master-planned golf course community from James Campbell Co. that would connect the City of Kapolei with Ko Olina Resort, the seller confirmed to Pacific Business News.


State lawmakers will meet today in a conference committee to discuss the fate of a bill aimed at curbing the ability of counties to pass their own geothermal regulations. Tribune-Herald.

The nonprofit corporation that wants to build a giant telescope atop Mauna Kea is asking to participate in a hearing about the project’s construction permit. Associated Press.

After the state Department of Health posted on its website Tuesday that it would no longer be updating daily its dengue fever outbreak numbers, a spokeswoman confirmed to West Hawaii Today that Gov. David Ige would be addressing the vector-borne illness today. West Hawaii Today.

Public opposition to a proposed 306-unit condominium development in Kahaluu has led to a contested case hearing on the massive timeshare plan. West Hawaii Today.

After months of clear skies during a drier-than-usual rainy season, wet weather has pushed back the expected opening date of the Pahoa roundabout. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County Council budget Chairman Riki Hokama unveiled a $654.5 million budget for the county for the next fiscal year, a 5 percent increase over the current year's budget, but $57 million less than Mayor Alan Arakawa's proposal. Maui News.

Protesters gathered on three islands Tuesday morning to send a noisy message to Alexander & Baldwin: Give up the rights to the millions of gallons of water diverted each day from East Maui streams. Star-Advertiser.

Demonstrators on three islands led chants of “e ola i ka wai, mauka to makai” — water is life, from the mountains to the sea — in separate “Free the Streams” rallies focused on water rights and opposition to Alexander & Baldwin’s continued stream diversions. Maui Now.

Dozens protest bill allowing diversion of Maui water. Associated Press.

The photographer who caught a rainbow over cinder cones at Haleakala Crater in an image that will appear on a commemorative U.S. Postal Service Forever Stamp had one chance to be picture perfect. Maui News.

In order to give Coco Palms developers time to make sure finances are in order to start demolition on the hotel, the Kauai County Planning Commission voted Tuesday to defer the the topic until next week. Garden Island.

A Kauai man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of sexual assault and attempted sexual assault involving two young girls who belong to the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii Lihue Clubhouse, where he was a volunteer. Star-Advertiser.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Legislature advances more money for homelessness, tougher gun laws, easier voting; Kouchi says no conflict; Kahele lease questioned; Maui water rallies slated; tax money for church; Honolulu residents struggle for housing; lifeguard raises pending, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Homeless in Waikiki © 2016 All Hawaii News
Key lawmakers agreed Monday to give Gov. David Ige’s homeless team full discretion on how they want to spend $12 million to address Hawaii’s growing homeless problem. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers are allocating $12 million out of the state’s supplemental budget to address the intertwined issues of homelessness and affordable housing. It’s $3 million more than was requested by the Ige administration. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Legislature agreed on Monday to boost the state's funding to tackle the homeless crisis in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

State senators Monday unanimously approved a measure to establish “continuous background checks” that alert police when Hawaii gun owners are arrested in another county or state. Star-Advertiser.

Up for conference committee hearing Tuesday afternoon are two measures that proponents say could improve voter turnout in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Two bills aimed at making it easier to vote will head into conference committee today at the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

With less than a week to go before Hawaii is scheduled to announce the names of the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary owners, lawmakers are considering a bill to clarify gaps in the dispensary law passed last year. Associated Press.

The state and counties have kicked off a campaign to inform visitors about a website providing almost real-time information about surf, weather and safety conditions at lifeguarded beaches statewide. The website,, is sponsored by the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association. Tribune-Herald.

There has been major growth in Hawaii’s tourism industry over the years. More visitors mean more money. KHON2.

The Pipe Dream Of Teaching In Paradise Goes Global. Unemployed college graduates, Hawaii wants you! The islands need you! And they’ll pay a lot for you! Or so the viral story goes — and goes. The Department of Education is submerged with job inquiries — not just from current and aspiring teachers around the mainland, but from across the world. The problem isn’t just that many applicants don’t hold teaching qualifications; it’s that many don’t even have a work permit. Civil Beat.


Honolulu rail could soon face another court challenge, even as it grapples with financial trouble. A new group of some 20 local residents dubbed “Do Rail Right” says it’s concerned that long stretches of the multibillion-dollar transit project are being built on Oahu’s flood plain and could be vulnerable to damage from tsunamis, storm surges and sea-level rise linked to climate change. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council Chairman Ernie Martin and Councilman Joey Manahan want to spend $250,000 in taxpayer money to pay for the expansion of New Hope, an international evangelical Christian megachurch with multiple locations on Oahu. Civil Beat.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell's latest request, for $477,000, would fund eight staff positions within a new asset development and management division under the Department of Community Services. The team would acquire land, select developers and oversee project developments. Civil Beat.

A turf battle over the lucrative airport taxi business is breaking out and some claim it's not a fair fight. Taxi operators say that ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft are picking up passengers illegally at Honolulu International Airport. Hawaii News Now.

A state House resolution that would provide emergency funds for Wahiawa General Hospital — which could close within nine months without financial assistance — is still pending as separate plans transpire to move the hospital to the planned Koa Ridge development. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu City and Council officials are looking for the public’s feedback on a renovation plan to Ala Moana Beach Park. Hawaii Public Radio.

The evolving nature of the 25th Infantry Division on Oahu is being demonstrated with the arrival of 24 AH-64 Apache helicopters that are adding significant firepower in the air, while the ongoing departure of Stryker armored vehicles is removing some of it from the ground. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu consumers spent 43 percent of their incomes on housing in 2014, up from 32 percent a decade earlier, according to a new state analysis. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu residents are paying 11% more for housing than they did 11-years ago. KITV4.

The state published a report Monday shedding new light on how Oahu household spending gets distributed. The report — from the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism — produced data on local consumer spending that the federal government quit compiling about a decade ago. Star-Advertiser.


The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has not yet acted on a questionable land lease by state Sen. Kai Kahele. West Hawaii Today.

Senate President Ronald Kouchi did have an investment in a company owned by Kevin Showe, who also owns some property that the legislature is looking at in South Kona. But, he said Monday his ties to the landowner don’t create a conflict of interest. Garden Island.


A water rights rally is scheduled on two islands today (Tuesday, April 26) from 7 to 10 a.m. fronting Alexander & Baldwin’s company offices on Maui and Oʻahu. Maui Now.

Officials from the union representing hundreds of lifeguards and law enforcement officers statewide are concerned that pay raises awarded to more than 700 members may be in jeopardy. The Hawaii Government Employees Association is waiting for the Maui County Council to sign off on the deal. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawai'i Nature Center's Iao Valley facility is set to get solar panels with the capacity to meet nearly all of its demand for electricity, officials said last week. Maui News.

Beginning Monday, several thousand native seed balls will be scattered on the leeward flanks of Haleakala in hopes of helping restore the dryland forests that have suffered hundreds of years of degradation due to feral ungulates, invasive plants and diseases. Maui News.


The Charter Review Commission is one step closer in solidifying the charter Kauai residents will vote on in November. On Monday, commissioners approved findings, purposes and ballot questions for four sections of the charter. Garden Island.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Undersea cable mulled in new energy mix, OHA appeals Sunshine Law ruling, Kauai reef restoration approved, Kilauea lodge for sale, Honolulu churches appeal ethics ruling, Obama family to vacation on Oahu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii undersea cable
As the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission continues to study the feasibility of a proposed high-voltage undersea cable between Maui and Oahu, the position of two major players in that project appears to be shifting in light of the announced multibillion-dollar absorption of Hawaiian Electric Industries by Florida-based NextEra Energy. Maui News.

Opinion: Since Florida-based NextEra Energy announced it will buy Hawaiian Electric for $4.3 billion, many public officials have hoped the new owner will better HEI's dismal record on reducing fossil fuels and cutting rates. Our leaders can do more than hope. Star-Advertiser.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is fighting back in court against a ruling that found the Board of Trustees in violation of the state's open-meeting law in two instances involving a dispute over the conduct of CEO Kamana‘opono Crabbe. Star-Advertiser.

A new report released today shows the use of electronic cigarettes among teens is growing in Hawai‘i. The study, coming out of the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center, shows adolescents are smoking e-cigarettes three times the national average. Hawaii Public Radio.

Opinion: Are E-cigs Creating the Next Generation of Smokers? Civil Beat.

The U.S. Congress may soon be controlled by Republicans, but Hawaii’s Democrats in the Senate have secured important committee assignments that begin early next year. Civil Beat.

President Barack Obama and his family plan to leave Washington, D.C., on Dec. 19 for their annual Christmas vacation in Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

The governor is appointing an executive at Hawaii’s largest health care provider to be the director of the state Department of Health. Gov. David Ige on Friday announced the appointment of Dr. Virginia “Ginny” Pressler. Her appointment is subject to state Senate confirmation. Associated Press.

More than 600 public-sector employees will be attending the Hawaii Digital Government Summit. Associated Press.

Monday is the deadline for Hawaii residents to enroll with the Hawaii Health Connector for coverage taking effect on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. You can change your plan at any time during their open enrollment period that runs through Feb. 15, 2015. However, if you change your plan after Monday, Dec. 15, your new plan coverage will take effect on the first of the following month. KHON2.


Two Oahu churches being sued for allegedly underpaying the state Department of Education for using school facilities for religious services are appealing a state judge's refusal to throw out the lawsuit. Star-Advertiser.

Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, wife of the Honolulu chief of police, has fired another volley in a legal dispute involving her family. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Navy does not agree that double-lining massive tanks at the Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility is the best way to prevent groundwater contamination. Associated Press.

Gas prices dipped below $3 a gallon in some parts of Oahu for the first time in seven years. But the state still has the highest gas prices in the nation, followed by Alaska and New York. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: The Little Solution to the Big Housing Crisis. On islands where real estate is so precious, how small do we need to think to bring down the cost of living? Civil Beat.


Changes to the size limit for commercial ahi is in the works. State and federal fisheries regulators seeking comment on raising the minimum size of ahi from 3 pounds — along with other rule changes — took input from about two dozen commercial fishermen in Kailua-Kona on Saturday. West Hawaii Today.

Hawai'i County Civil Defense officials say the Puna lava flow advanced east-northeast another 300 yards since Saturday and is now 1.4 miles from the Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road intersection. Hawaii News Now.

Burglaries, car break-ins and stolen vehicles all fell in November in Hawaii island's Puna district after invading lava prompted Mayor Billy Kenoi to declare a state of emergency that includes increased penalties for some crimes committed there. Star-Advertiser.

A historic piece of Volcano Village is for sale. Kilauea Lodge, a landmark hotel and restaurant that was originally a YMCA camp, was put on the market recently with an asking price of $5.9 million. Tribune-Herald.


Former Maui County Council candidate Ka'ala Buenconsejo has been appointed as the county's new Department of Parks and Recreation director. Maui News.


Marine biologist Katherine Muzik has been given the green light for a reef restoration pilot project along a dredged area of reef in Kapaa. Garden Island.

Opinion: Four years. That’s a long time to wait for the cavalry to come to your rescue. But that’s how long it took the Hawaii Office of Information Practices to rule when I sought its help obtaining public records in 2010 after being stonewalled by government officials on Kauai. Civil Beat.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Lava buries cemetery, Ige tops in latest poll, Maui GMO a big ballot issue, constitutional amendments galore, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii County Civil Defense
Lava buries Puna cemetery courtesy Hawaii County Civil Defense
Hawaii County Civil Defense closed Pahoa Village Road as a fast-moving finger of lava moved to within 600 yards of the main street of Pahoa town. Residents in the immediate downslope path of the lava were also urged to prepare to evacuate Sunday night and the Red Cross opened an emergency shelter at the Sure Foundation Church in Keaau. Star-Advertiser.

Evacuations have not been ordered, but Red Cross Hawai'i opened an emergency shelter Sunday night at the Sure Foundation Puna in preparation for residents who may be displaced by the Puna lava flow. Hawaii News Now.

A small, primarily Buddhist cemetery in Pahoa fell victim to advancing lava on Sunday, marking yet another sobering milestone in the ongoing June 27 flow. Tribune-Herald.

Civil Beat Poll: Ige Up by 6 Over Aiona. The Democratic nominee for Hawaii governor leads Republican Duke Aiona 40 percent to 34 percent. Hawaii Independent Party candidate Mufi Hannemann is at 11 percent. Libertarian Jeff Davis is at 6 percent while 8 percent of voters are undecided.

Approval of a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would allow the state to spend public funds on private preschool programs is uncertain as support for the initiative continues to wane and opposition has mounted in recent months, according to new Hawaii Poll results. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s constitution allows for age discrimination against judges, say proponents of a constitutional amendment to raise the mandatory retirement age for judges and justices from 70 to 80. West Hawaii Today.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has brought back an attempt to allow private landowners to access special purpose revenue bonds to finance the preservation of reservoirs and dams. A similar measure failed on the 2012 ballot. West Hawaii Today.

Before stepping into the voting booth or casting a mail-in ballot, voters may want to familiarize themselves with the following five proposed statewide constitutional amendments on the ballot. Star-Advertiser.

Which Hawaii Candidate Spent the Most Money Per Vote? The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission has crunched the numbers and it's an interesting look at how the 2014 election is playing out. Civil Beat.

Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle spoke to Cornell University students and faculty on Thursday in a presentation that recounted her vision for a sustainable energy future and her role in implementing the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. Civil Beat.

A battle continues to brew between the Building Industry Association of Hawaii and historic preservation officials in the state over a law that subjects homes built more than 50 years ago to a historic preservation review whenever a homeowner applies for a building permit for a rebuild or remodel. Pacific Business News.


New Hope’s Evangelism Has a Distinctly Political Flavor. The megachurch is becoming a force to be reckoned with in Hawaii civic affairs. It recruits candidates, registers new voters and organizes political events. Civil Beat.

Lifeguard beaned by falling coconut. Haunama Bay was closed for several hours Sunday morning for emergency tree trimming. A county lifeguard claims the work should have been done weeks ago and he was injured because of the delay. KITV4.

There’s a new twist in criminal case against Matson Navigation Company for the Sept. 2013, 220,000 gallon molasses spill into Honolulu Harbor that killed 26,000 fish and caused substantial damage to the area reefs and ocean.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi did not accept all of the terms of its plea agreement Friday, saying he isn’t certain whether the donations are legal. Puglisi will look into the matter further, he said. Hawaii Reporter.

A federal judge accepted a guilty plea by Matson Inc. to criminal charges stemming from the spill last year of more than 230,000 gallons of molasses in Honolulu Harbor, but expressed concerns that the company agreed to make a $600,000 community service payment but didn't agree to any probation. Pacific Business News.


The timeframe to resume the Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening project is back in federal hands. State Department of Transportation officials confirmed this week they submitted the Section 106 memorandum of agreement to the Federal Highways Administration Sept. 22. West Hawaii Today.


There's a rising chorus of Hawaii opposition to the biotechnology seed companies that have moved into the state's former sugar cane lands and have quietly become the state's top agricultural industry. A Nov. 4 ballot measure proposes a moratorium that would make it illegal to cultivate, grow or test genetically modified crops in Maui County until environmental and public health studies show their practices are safe. Star-Advertiser.

Dozens of Maui mothers are going door-to-door to urge voters to back a ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops because they think they are unsafe. A group backed by companies growing the crops counters with ads playing heavily on the airwaves that urge rejection of what they are calling the “farming ban.” Associated Press.

It’s a controversial issue Maui County voters will see on the Nov. 4 ballot. They’re being asked whether to approve an initiative that would make it against the law to grow, reproduce, or test genetically modified crops until an environmental public health study is completed. KHON2.

In the hotly contested race for the Maui County Council's Makawao-Haiku-Paia residency seat, challenger Mike Molina is attempting to turn the tables on incumbent Mike White on the charge of being a "rubber stamp." Maui News.

The decline in fall enrollment at University of Hawaii Maui College from its Great Recession peak of 4,527 students in 2011 continued this year, with student numbers dipping below 4,000 for the first time since 2008. Maui News.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday unanimously approved Hawaii’s first community based fisheries subsistence area rule package for Haena on the island of Kauai. Associated Press.

As a longtime County of Kauai department manager and the current mayor, Bernard Carvalho Jr. said he is not afraid to make tough decisions. Garden Island.

County officials are reminding the public that the deadline to submit applications for the waiting list lottery for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is Wednesday. The waiting list will be utilized to fill vacancies in the federally funded program. Garden Island.