Showing posts with label cigarettes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cigarettes. Show all posts

Friday, February 1, 2019

Hawaii tourism nears 10M mark, Kauai dairy plan dropped, lawmaker seeks to ban cigarettes, $15 minimum wage and recreational marijuana bills advance, county mayors present wish lists, lots more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Luau in Kailua-Kona ©2019 All Hawaii News
Isle tourism hit nearly 10M arrivals in 2018. Hawaii welcomed a record 9.9 million tourists in 2018, just 45,452 visitors shy of a 10 million benchmark that had been anticipated before head winds emerged in the back half of last year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii saw nearly 10M visitors last year. That’s half a million more than in 2017. Hawaii News Now.

The total number of visitors to Hawaii increased to nearly 10 million — and the amount they spent while here increased nearly 7 percent — in 2018 compared to the previous year, Hawaii Tourism Authority found in a report released Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii visitors spend an average of $201 per day in 2018. Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent $17.82 billion in 2018, an increase of 6.8 percent compared to 2017, according to preliminary year-end statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. KHON2.

Airbnb criticizes Hawaii attempt to subpoena host records. Airbnb is pushing back against Hawaii’s attempt to find tax delinquents by subpoenaing 10 years’ worth of invoices, receipts and other records from the home-sharing platform’s island hosts, calling it an unprecedented, “massive intrusion” that violates state and federal law. Associated Press.


County Mayors Brief House/Senate Finance Committee Members. All four county mayors support the Governor’s plan to remove the Transient Accommodations Tax restriction, which is currently capped at $103-million for the counties and provide them with a 23.1% share. Hawaii Public Radio.

The county mayors told state lawmakers Thursday that emergency funding for the Kilauea eruption and the Kauai flooding are among their top priorities this legislative session. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii lawmakers advance bills to adopt $15 minimum wage. House and Senate lawmakers advanced bills Thursday that would increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour for many workers in the years ahead and also would offer a tax credit to small businesses to try to cushion the impact of the wage increases on businesses. Star-Advertiser.

The first bill to raise the minimum wage in Hawaii made it through its first hearing with lawmakers Thursday. KITV.

Almost Half The Senate Signs On To Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana. The prospects are promising for the measure in the 25-member Senate, but Gov. David Ige opposes legalization. Civil Beat.

Ban on cigarette sales proposed for Hawaii. Adults younger than age 30 could be legally prohibited from buying cigarettes in less than a year's time -- and all cigarette sales would be banned in Hawaii in five years -- under a bill by State Representative Richard Creagan. KHON2.

Lawmakers call for tougher laws in wake of Kakaako crash. State legislative leaders from the House and Senate, galvanized by the recent crash in Kakaako that killed three pedestrians, gathered Thursday morning at the state Capitol to call for tougher laws to address a growing number of drunken and impaired drivers in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

In wake of horrific crash, lawmakers look to strengthen DUI laws. Hawaii News Now.

Regents reject UH president’s plan to cut tuition. The University of Hawaii Board of Regents Thursday turned away the UH president’s proposal to reduce tuition across the statewide system. Hawaii News Now.

Correctional reform bills to be heard Friday. Two legislative measures introduced as a result of the report of the Task Force on Prison Reform will be heard on February 1 by the House Committee on Public Safety, Veterans and Military Affairs. KHON2.

High Turnover In Gabbard’s Office Preceded ‘Tulsi 2020’ Problems. The Hawaii congresswoman has had a hard time holding on to staff, so much so that her turnover rate has been among the highest in all of Congress. Civil Beat.


Developer breaks ground on first of at least 5 high-rises near Ala Moana. Construction on the first of at least five condominium towers in the Ala Moana area kicked off Thursday with rain and a blessing from Hawaiian musician and priest Aaron Mahi. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Stadium’s board seeks $30M to battle damage. With approximately 200 weathered steel components and 85 decking panels “exhibiting severe corrosion,” according to a new study, Aloha Stadium will require “at minimum” $30 million from the Legislature over the next two years to remain safe and operable, the Stadium Authority said Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Stadium needs $30 million in repairs to keep going. KHON2.

HPD misconduct report reveals multiple officers found driving under the influence of alcohol. The Honolulu Police Department has released a new report outlining misconduct within the department. KHON2.

City moving to bring feral cat population under control. The city is moving aggressively to keep in check the population of feral cats that roam alleys, empty lots and other hidden corners of Oahu. KHON2.

How Many More Cars Can We Cram On Oahu? Since 1995, the growth in registered vehicles on Oahu has far outpaced the population increase — making any attempt to keep up with new roads futile. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Kim seeks GET flexibility. Mayor Harry Kim asked state lawmakers in Honolulu on Thursday to grant more flexibility in how counties can use their general excise tax surcharge. Tribune-Herald.

VIDEO: Mayor Harry Kim At The Capitol. Big Island Video News.

County releases draft vacation rental rules. The county Planning Department wants to hear from the public about its proposed rules regulating the rentals on the island. West Hawaii Today.

The number of visitors to the Big Island in 2018 dropped from the previous year, while visitor spending remained flat in the wake of the Kilauea eruption. Tribune-Herald.

An effort to continue astronomy on the summit of Mauna Kea for the next several decades, and how that effort might affect the Thirty Meter Telescope project, was discussed at the State Legislature recently. Big Island Video News.

Residents of Kona Vistas, nearby subdivisions meet with mayor about proposed development. West Hawaii Today.


Council panel votes down mayor’s prosecutor pick. A Maui County Council committee late Wednesday night voted, 5-4, to recommend rejecting Mayor Michael Victorino’s appointment of John D. Kim as prosecuting attorney. Maui News.

Joint Training with Hawaii National Guard. The Maui Police Department, Fire Department and Emergency Management Agency joined the Hawaii National Guard and other agencies for a full-scale training exercise Thursday near the Kahului Airport. Maui Now.

Plans for Maui agricultural lands reviewed by Mayor. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino reviewed Mahi Pono’s conceptual plans Wednesday for agricultural development on 41,000 acres formerly used for sugar cane cultivation in Central Maui. KHON2.

A pre-opening of the 39-unit Hale Mahaolu Ewalu Phase I affordable senior rental housing project and groundbreaking for the 22-unit Phase II were held Wednesday morning in Pukalani. Maui News.

Black ice but no snow atop of Haleakala. Black ice shut down the summit of Haleakala for a few hours on Tuesday as chilly conditions swept across the islands, though forecasters did not expect snow at the summit anytime soon. Maui News.


Proposal For New Dairy On Kauai Dropped After 5-Year Effort. Hawaii Dairy Farms was thwarted by regulatory obstacles, lawsuits and community opposition. Civil Beat.

Ulupono Initiative scraps plan for dairy farm on Kauai. Socially minded investment firm Ulupono Initiative has abandoned an 8-year effort to establish a dairy on Kauai that aimed to be the state’s biggest local milk source. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Dairy Farms announced Thursday it was discontinuing plans for a pasture-based dairy farm on Kauai. Garden Island.

Tourism reaches new heights. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Kauai had 118,873 visitors in December, bringing the total for the year to 1.38 million, the most ever for this small island, and a 7.6 percent increase over 2017. Garden Island.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Former House Speaker Souki ousted in sexual harassment settlement, Ige's homeless budget decimated as model camp closed, big tobacco tax hikes advance, plus much more top political and government news from all the Hawaiian Islands

official portrait
Former House Speaker Joe Souki, official portrait
Former House Speaker Joseph Souki will be required by the Hawaii State Ethics Commission to resign from office next week to resolve a complaint involving accusations from multiple women who allege they were the targets of his unwanted advances that included sexual comments, touching and kissing, according to people familiar with the agreement. Star-Advertiser.

Former Hawaii House Speaker Forced Out Over Sexual Harassment. Several women had filed ethics complaints against Joe Souki, a longtime lawmaker from Maui. Civil Beat.

Veteran Maui lawmaker and former Speaker Joe Souki will resign from the state Legislature later this month, following a state Ethics Commission settlement of a sexual harassment complaint against him. Maui News.

Long-time lawmaker and former house speaker Joe Souki of Maui will resign from his legislative post amid a state Ethics Commission settlement over allegations of sexual harassment. Maui Now.

House Harassment Policy Puts Speaker In Charge Of All Complaints. The internal process for resolving sexual harassment complaints in the House doesn’t anticipate what happens if the speaker is the one being accused. Civil Beat.

Souki accuser is moved by other women’s stories of harassment at state Capitol. Star-Advertiser.

Read full text of Souki settlement here.


House members have decimated Gov. David Ige’s budget request for programs benefiting the homeless and that prioritize finding permanent housing, and instead want to spend $30 million to create an unknown number of zones sanctioned for homeless encampments across the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Bill Allows Fines For Those Who Falsely Claim To Have Service Animals. People increasingly bring untrained animals into public accommodations claiming they are service animals, say measure supporters. Civil Beat.

Teachers push to reduce standardized testing for Hawaii public schools. Rally planned today. KHON2.

Smokers may soon be paying more for cigarettes — a lot more. The House Health and Human Services Committee passed Senate Bill 2843 with amendments on Tuesday to significantly increase the state tobacco licensing fee. Hawaii News Now.

The House Health &Human Services committee on Tuesday passed Senate Bill 2843 SD1 with amendments to increase the annual license fee for tobacco wholesalers and dealers from $2.50 per year to $500 per year. The measure also raises the tax on cigarettes and little cigars from 16 cents per cigarette or little cigar to 22.5 cents each, or $3.20 per pack to $4.50 per pack. Garden Island.

Proposed Bill Would Prohibit Smoking on All UH Campuses. Maui Now.

Hawaii workers would have access to several weeks of paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child or to care for a family member under proposed legislation advancing in both the House and Senate. Star-Advertiser.

The NRA Is Giving Hawaii Schools A Lot Of Money. Most of the National Rifle Association dollars flowing to schools throughout the country pay for competitive shooting programs. Civil Beat.


The former police chief and his deputy prosecutor wife are refusing to cooperate with a lawsuit they initiated against the Honolulu Ethics Commission. Hawaii News Now.

A contentious plan for a widened Ala Moana Regional Park pedestrian promenade — which would result in the elimination of parking stalls along the makai side of Ala Moana Park Drive — may be on the way out. Star-Advertiser.

It's Your Money: City shells out tens of millions of dollars in overtime pay.  According to a new audit, the city paid $66.41 million to cover extra hours on the clock last fiscal year. KHON2.

Dole Food Co. Inc. has agreed to pay a fine for failing to close two large-capacity cesspools at a private beach park in Waialua on Oahu’s North Shore. Under the terms of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Dole will pay a $145,000 fine for violating the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday said reached a settlement with Dole Food Co. Inc. for failing to close two large-capacity cesspools at its Puuiki Beach Park property on Oahu. Pacific Business News.

Dole Foods has reached a settlement with the Environmental Protection agency after it failed to close two large cesspools at Puuiki Beach Park. Hawaii News Now.

State: Burial backlog at veterans cemetery better, but long-term fixes needed. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County on Tuesday closed Camp Kikaha in the Old Kona Industrial Area, a temporary homeless encampment located adjacent to HOPE Services Hawaii, after operating the site for more than seven months. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Closes Its ‘Safe Zone’ Homeless Experiment. For seven months Kailua-Kona’s 1-acre government sanctioned homeless encampment sheltered about 25 people. Civil Beat.

Camp Kikaha For Kona Homeless Closes Down. An emergency proclamation enabling the camp has since expired, and the County is no longer allowed to continue operations at the site. Big Island Video News.

A temporary homeless shelter on the big island is closed and the homeless have been moved out. KHON2.


The Hawaii County Prosecutor’s Office will not handle a case involving a Hawaii police officer as a person of interest in a missing drug evidence investigation within the department. West Hawaii Today.

Mac nut company to buy back shares in going private. Royal Hawaiian Orchards LP announced Monday that it will remove its partnership shares from trading on an over-the-counter stock exchange following a move to buy out many small shareholders. Star-Advertiser.

Tons of debris removed from Ka'u shores. Ten volunteers from the Hawaii Wildlife Fund gathered 11.6 tons of seaborne waste from Ka'u shores before shipping it March 4 to Oahu for recycling. Tribune-Herald.


A state panel voted Tuesday to set new flow levels for four West Maui streams — this time without the decadeslong legal battles that have characterized the fight over East Maui streams. Maui News.


Nishimura files for County Council. Leadership from the heart for Kauai residents is why Kapaa resident Wally Nishimura has filed to run for Kauai County Council. Garden Island.

The Kauai Department of Public Works, Wastewater Management Division is advising residential and commercial sewer customers located in Eleele, Hanapepe and Waimea of an incorrect address printed on the remittance envelope included in their sewer bills dated March 15, 2018. KHON2.

Kauai rally part of nationwide call for gun reform. Garden Island.


Billionaire Oracle Corp. cofounder Larry Ellison this week launched his latest startup, which will focus on automated, hydroponic indoor food production. Los Angeles-based Sensei plans to build 10 greenhouses, totaling 200,000 square feet, on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. Ellison owns 98 percent of the island. Pacific Business News.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Senate panel approves $28.4M for Hawaiian Home Lands, committee announced to select medical marijuana dispensary vendors, cigarette tax hikes mulled, Thirty Meter Telescope builders check out Canary Islands, Maui water rights at issue, zika in Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaiian Home Lands homestead © 2016 All Hawaii News
Heeding the complaints of homesteaders and a Hawaii judge, a state Senate committee on Monday agreed to fund the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands in the amount of $28.4 million for the current fiscal year. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Health on Monday released the names of a five-member panel that will help review and select those vying for the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary licenses. The committee is made up of University of Hawaii professor H. David Bess, retired Hawaii Supreme Court Justice James E. Duffy Jr., state Department of Agriculture Deputy Director Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, state Office of Health Care Assurance chief Keith R. Ridley and John Fisher III, a pharmacologist and toxicologist from Alabama. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Health has announced the five members of a committee that will review applications to grow and sell medical marijuana in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

The number of registered medical marijuana applicants has surged more than 14 percent since the Department of Health first began administrating the program in Jan. 2015. The DOH said the number could more then double after improvements made to the process last month. Pacific Business News.

A bill is circulating in state legislature that could drastically cut funding to Hawaii's 14 community health centers. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii officials are hoping a bill in the state Legislature that would raise the excise tax on cigarettes and little cigars will help the UH Cancer Center stay afloat despite recurring budget deficits. Star-Advertiser.

State officials contend that drastic changes must be made if the University of Hawaii Cancer Center is to survive, though they have yet to gain consensus on a single plan to lift the organization out of its financial hole. Star-Advertiser.

SB-2561 would create a new task force headed up by the Lieutenant Governor.  The goal:  facilitate the construction of 22,500 affordable rental units over the next 10 years. Hawaii News Now.


Waianae residents are hoping the Honolulu Police Department’s newest substation will discourage crime and bring a larger police presence to the Leeward Coast. Star-Advertiser.

The City Council has adopted a resolution that urges the administration to extend the hours lifeguards are on duty. Star-Advertiser.

The rapid development of residential high-rises in Kaka’ako has resulted in legislative solutions to long-standing issues like regulating private roads in the neighborhood. Hawaii Public Radio.

It’s been a year and a half since Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell unveiled a proposal to require every large new residential development on Oahu to include low- or moderately-priced units. Civil Beat.

Construction is slated to begin next month on the Keauhou Lane midrise apartment rental housing project in Kakaako reserved for residents with moderate incomes. Star-Advertiser.

Kamehameha Schools’ $90 million Keauhou Lane mixed-use project is scheduled to break ground next month in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako, the developer said Monday.Pacific Business News.

The Honolulu fire station in Makiki is off limits indefinitely because of what may have been lurking underneath the floor. Officials say they’re testing the building for asbestos. KHON2.


The Thirty Meter Telescope’s leaders don’t appear to be wasting much time finding an alternative site for the next-generation observatory, if a recent post on social media is any indication. On Monday, photos showing TMT’s board members and project leader visiting observatories on the Canary Islands were posted on the telescope’s Facebook page, helping stir speculation about where they might look to if they give up on building on Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County mayor is proving a popular job description, with a baker’s dozen would-be candidates pulling nomination papers for the office more than two months before the filing deadline. West Hawaii Today.


Opponents turned out in force Monday to testify against a bill that would allow Alexander & Baldwin to temporarily hold on to the rights to millions of gallons of water it diverts each day from East Maui streams. Star-Advertiser.

In a move toward using less paper, the Maui County Council will be streaming video and legislative files of Maui County Council meetings conducted in the Council Chamber. Maui Now.

Maui County Council members have authorized the acquisition of the Waiakoa Gym, better known as Kula Gym, for $1.2 million from the Maui Federal Credit Union. Maui News.


A Kauai resident who recently returned from Latin America has been infected with the Zika virus. Garden Island.

Zika Case Reported On Kauai May Still Be Infectious. Big Island Video News.

As transportation frustrations across Kauai continue to rise regarding traffic congestion and deteriorating road conditions, a growing number of state and local officials are addressing the local concerns. Garden Island.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Huge Hawaii surf competition slows Internet, interrupts workday, Big Island senator's residency questioned, rail conflict of interest lawsuit dismissed, 25% cigarette tax hike advanced, rocker Hagar helps Maui school, China to join RIMPAC, Native Hawaiian convention wraps up, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

screen grab
Screengrab World Surf League ‏@wsl  Ross Clarke-Jones on an amazing wave!
The waves at Waimea Bay rose like angry, 60-foot monsters Thursday, ripping surfboards from their leashes and sending spectators scrambling out of the wash as the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau finally went off for only the ninth time in 30 years. Star-Advertiser.

Was your Internet connection downright sluggish on Thursday? You can probably blame it on the Eddie big-wave contest. Hawaii News Now.

Thursday was an unofficial holiday for many Hawaii workers who were glued to their screens watching big-wave surfers take off on monster swells. Star-Advertiser.

A key state Senate committee advanced a bill Thursday to increase the state’s cigarette tax despite objections from smokers who say that extra tax burden will weigh most heavily on low-income residents. Star-Advertiser.

On the eve of the last day of the Native Hawaiian constitutional convention, foes held their own aha on Oahu on Thursday night to speak out against the Maunawili gathering. Star-Advertiser.

The Other Aha: Hawaiian Independence Backers Make Their Case. Aha Aloha Aina 2016 rejects the Nai Aupuni process for self-governance and insists on pushing for “real” independence. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers are pushing a bill to ban employers from accessing employees’ personal social media accounts. So far, more than 20 states have banned employers from snooping in employees’ personal accounts. About a dozen others are considering similar bills this year. Associated Press.

Two victims’ rights measures are still alive this session at the Hawaii Legislature, and one of them was passed with amendments by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means on Wednesday.Civil Beat.

China, while criticizing the U.S., says it will participate in RIMPAC. Star-Advertiser.

The legislature is advancing a bill to crack down on illegal mopeds.  Some lawmakers say this could be the year for passage of strict requirements. Hawaii Public Radio.

A Hawaii economic group says the state’s expansion remains on track thanks to a bustling construction sector, but global conditions this year could derail growth. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii residents are more likely to have a college degree than their mainland counterparts, but may not be reaping the same economic benefits of higher education, according to statistics analyzed by the Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Civil Beat.


Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Virginia Crandall tossed a lawsuit Thursday that sought to invalidate a number of Honolulu City Council votes on the municipality’s controversial $6.6 billion rail project that were made under questionable ethical circumstances. Civil Beat.

A lawsuit that sought to invalidate key Honolulu City Council votes cast for the rail project was dismissed in state Circuit Court this morning. Star-Advertiser.

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to invalidate Honolulu City Council votes on the city's $6 billion rail project over conflict of interest claims. Associated Press.

Hanauma Bay will reopen to the public on Friday now that the preserve’s bathrooms have been fixed, according to the City and County of Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

The city and HART broke ground today on the first group of rail stations for the Honolulu Rail Transit System -- the Don Quixote store, West Loch and Leeward Community College. KITV4.

The mother of a boy who disappeared from school and was found hours later in Waikiki, is suing the Department of Education. KHON2.

Hawaii Electric Co.s' top half-dozen executives all earned more than a half-million dollars in salary and other remuneration in 2015, with the head of the company taking in nearly three times that amount, according to Hawaiian Electric Industries’ recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Civil Beat.


Kai Kahele, recently appointed by Gov. David Ige to fill the Hilo state Senate seat of his late father, Sen. Gil Kahele, holds a low-cost state land lease for oceanview property in West Hawaii that is legally required to be his primary residence. But Kahele, 41, instead listed the Keneki Place, Hilo, home he now co-owns with his mother as his residence when he entered his name for consideration for the nomination to the seat vacated by his father’s passing. West Hawaii Today.

A Hilo Circuit Court judge officially remanded the Thirty Meter Telescope’s land use permit this week, setting the stage for another review by the state Land Board and a new contested case hearing for the proposed project on Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

A bill to raise the speed limit on Saddle Road cruised past the state Senate Committee on Transportation and Energy on Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources announced Thursday the selection of Lino Kamakau as Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement Hawaii Island branch chief. Tribune-Herald.


Rocker Sammy Hagar Helps Longtime Montessori School Expand. Maui Now.

Maui County has agreed to pay $7,500 to settle a lawsuit brought by a man who served more than 20 years in prison for a sexual assault conviction that was later dismissed. Associated Press.

At least for now, open agricultural burns by Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. will go on as planned after a 2nd Circuit judge granted the state Department of Health's request Wednesday to strike a motion by a Maui group and Maui residents to immediately halt cane burning while a lawsuit on the matter is pending. Maui News.

The state Land Use Commission ruled Wednesday that the proposed construction of a homeless campground near the entrance of Lahaina town would require a district boundary amendment, which would undo the project's current application for a special use and conditional permit before the Maui Planning Commission. Maui News.

Shipments between Honolulu Harbor and the three Maui County ports were down in 2015, compared to the previous year, according to intrastate shipper Young Brothers. Maui News.

Kauai police evacuated a Lihue home and neighboring properties this morning after a man found a 60 mm mortar round at his father’s home, Kauai County police said in a news release. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai Police gave the “all clear” Thursday night after a bomb scare in a Lihue neighborhood. Garden Island.

The Kauai Community Alliance outlined plans Wednesday to help about 350 homeless people on the island. Garden Island.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Hawaii to become first state in nation to raise smoking age, state Supreme Court hears Honolulu Police secrecy case, homeless increase 10%, Honolulu officials don't misuse pCards, emergency sea cucumber harvest ban enacted, public concerned about Red Hill fuel tank leaks, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Cigarette display in Hawaii © 2015 All Hawaii News
Gov. David Ige has signed a bill to make his state the first to raise the legal smoking age to 21. The measure aims to prevent adolescents from smoking, buying or possessing both traditional and electronic cigarettes. Gov. David Ige signed it Friday. Associated Press.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed a bill Friday that will make Hawaii the first state in the nation to ban smoking for anyone under the age of 21 once it goes into effect Jan. 1, 2016. Civil Beat.

The number of homeless in Hawaii increased to its highest level in five years, boosted by a dramatic jump in the number of unsheltered homeless individuals, who now outnumber the sheltered, according to data released Thursday by the state. Star-Advertiser.

The latest count of Hawaii’s homeless population shows it increased by more than 10 percent — despite the high-profile efforts of Honolulu city and state officials to combat the issue. Civil Beat.

Neighbor island data confirms houselessness on the rise The state released the neighbor island data from its 2015 Point in Time count today and, in all counties but Kauai, the number of houseless citizens has increased. Hawaii Independent.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is proposing an emergency ban on harvesting sea cucumbers in Hawaii’s nearshore waters after officials were alerted to recent incidents of over-harvesting off Oahu and Maui. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says the recent mass harvesting of sea cucumbers from near shore waters on Oʻahu and Maui has prompted them to request emergency actions to prevent the depletion of this marine resource from Hawaiʻi’s oceans. Maui Now.

Reports of mass commercial harvesting of sea cucumbers off Oahu and Maui that may be in the tons have prompted the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to seek a four-month emergency ban on the taking of the sea creatures. Maui News.

A study that could have implications for Hawaii’s timber and wind-turbine industries has found evidence of two distinct lineages of the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat, which flew 2,500 miles across open ocean in two migratory waves. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii residents have until 6 p.m. Friday to submit comments on a controversial proposal to expand areas under federal protection and strengthen rules aimed at protecting humpback whales and other marine life. Civil Beat.

Nearly halfway through their sail around the world, a group of researchers arrived in Hawaii to look at plastic pollution on our shores as part of a global study of the issue. Star-Advertiser.

Republican reps ask Souki to stand down on ethics commission complaint. State reps. Ward and McDermott say the speaker has overstepped his authority, praise commission's executive director, Les Kondo, for his firm enforcement of the state ethics code. Hawaii Independent.


The Hawaii Supreme Court on Thursday heard arguments about whether the names of Honolulu Police Department officers suspended for serious offenses should be made public — and whether the decision to release or withhold the names ultimately rests with the courts or Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday in a case that could have far-reaching implications for police accountability in the Aloha State. At issue is whether cops who are suspended for serious misconduct, such as assault, drunken driving or lying to investigators, should have their names and disciplinary records released under Hawaii’s public records law. Civil Beat.

No apparent misuse in Honolulu officials’ pCard spending. KHON2.

Hundreds of people packed the Moanalua Middle School cafeteria Thursday night to hear a draft plan to improve the Navy's fuel tank facility at Red Hill. About 27,000 gallons of jet fuel oil leaked from one of the tanks last year, prompting concerns about whether nearby drinking water supplies were affected. Hawaii News Now.

About 200 concerned citizens turned out for a public hearing held by the Environmental Protection Agency to hear public comment on a measure that is supposed to address the damage caused by a 27,000-gallon fuel spill at the Navy’s Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in 2014 and to prevent any future spills by the Navy. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council’s Zoning and Planning Committee resurrected a controversial issue in Kailua and O’ahu’s North Shore.  That of vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods. Hawaii Public Radio.

After three hours of testimony both in favor and against making more residential vacation rentals legal, the City Council Zoning and Planning Committee voted Thursday to defer the issue yet again. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii County’s homeless population has exploded in the past year, adding more new individuals than the rest of the state combined. In a count conducted statewide on Jan. 25, the state Department of Human Services logged 1,021 homeless individuals without shelter on the Big Island, and an additional 220 that were being housed either through emergency shelters or transitional housing programs. Tribune-Herald.

With protesters waving signs outside their gate, developers of the Hokulia luxury subdivision say they are committed to moving quickly to create plans for burial sites, and will sit down with area descendants to craft plans for how graves should be protected and cared for. West Hawaii Today.

For a pretty penny, you can own what is considered the largest privately owned tract of old-growth koa forest on the planet. Honolulu-based Finance Factors is selling a 13,129-acre property known as the “Hilo Koa Forest.” Tribune-Herald.


Maui County's unemployment rate edged below 4 percent in May to 3.9 percent, 0.6 percentage point lower than the same month last year, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported Thursday. Maui News.


The drought that is gripping Kauai is expected to improve in some areas — and become more severe in others. Garden Island.

“Squeezed Out: Understanding Kauai’s Housing Shortage” is the topic of the Kauai Planning and Action Alliance (KPAA) annual membership meeting Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Kauai Community College, OCET Building, Room 105. The public is welcome to attend. Garden Island.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

GMO, pesticide bill passed on Kauai, AG gives nod for state Legislature to pass gay marriage, Board of Education wants $65M more, Hawaii council to raise tobacco sale age, mystery guests on Lanai, Health Connector goes online, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

genetically modified organisms pesticides
Kauai anti-GMO rally file photo
The Kauai County Council voted 6-1 to approve an amended bill that calls for mandatory disclosure of pesticides use and genetically modified crops by large agribusinesses on the island. Shortly after 3:30 a.m. today, the council approved Bill 2491 after a 14-hour discussion. Star-Advertiser.

After a marathon hearing, the Kauai County Council passed a hotly debated bill on Wednesday that could lead to prison time or fines for employees of agricultural companies if they don’t divulge specifics about pesticide use, abide by strict setback rules for spraying chemicals or disclose when they grow genetically engineered crops. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s attorney general issued a legal opinion Tuesday saying state lawmakers can act to legalize gay marriage without amending the Hawaii Constitution. Attorney General David Louie said the Legislature “unquestionably” has the constitutional authority to consider and enact a bill during a special session later this month. Associated Press.

Several states with gay marriage laws have religious exemptions that apply to public accommodations, a step Hawaii lawmakers drafting a bill for special session are reluctant to take. Star-Advertiser.

The state's public school system wants about $40 million in additional operating funds for next year that would help boost teaching staff at most schools and another $25 million in capital funds to start cooling classrooms with air conditioning. Star-Advertiser.

The state Board of Education will seek a $100,000 increase of the salary cap lawmakers placed on the school superintendent position back in 2001. The board approved a recommendation Tuesday to draft legislation raising the cap to $250,000 from $150,000. The proposal will be made during the upcoming legislative session. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s health insurance marketplace under President Barack Obama’s federal health care overhaul began offering plans for sale on Tuesday, more than two weeks after the start of open enrollment. Hawaii Health Connector Executive Director Coral Andrews said at a news conference that consumers can now review and buy plans offered on the exchange’s website. Associated Press.

Hawaii residents were able to compare health plans and enroll in medical coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act for the first time Tuesday, two weeks after the scheduled start of open enrollment. Star-Advertiser.

A federal judge in Honolulu is expected to rule soon on whether Hawaii’s conduct of primary elections and a state constitutional provision protecting the “secrecy of voting and choice of political party affiliation or nonpartisanship” are unconstitutional. The case, filed by the Democratic Party of Hawaii in June, argues the state’s “open primary” system unconstitutionally infringes on the exclusive right of the party and its members to decide who should be eligible to nominate the county, state and federal candidates who will represent the Democrats in general elections. Civil Beat.

As Congress scrambled Tuesday for a way out of the budget conundrum, the government shutdown continued to take away millions from Hawaii's economy and negatively affect military engagement in the Asia-Pacific region. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's Public Records: Citizens Are Paying the Price for Disorganized Agencies? Civil Beat.

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui has been put in charge of Hawaii’s sports development initiative, which aims to build the state’s sports industry, Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Commercial boat operators are invited to a series of public hearings being held across the state to comment on proposed rule changes. State officials with the DLNR Boating Division say the hearings will focus on rule amendments to, “bring parity to all catamaran registration certificate holders.” Maui Now.

Starting Nov. 1, more than 700 safety check stations across the state will be required by law to conduct vehicle safety checks via a new, high-tech system that includes an iPad, wireless router, and printer. KHON2.

Hawaii epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park plans on garnering more sustainable funding for the state’s annual Stop Flu at School Program that started Tuesday. The program, which provides free flu vaccinations for 300 public, private, and charter schools statewide until Nov. 27, continues to struggle for funding, despite entering its seventh successful year. Tribune-Herald.


State and county officials will meet today to discuss possible solutions to the severe erosion that has exposed a large concrete foundation below Waikiki's Kuhio Beach. The erosion is occurring in an area that was part of the $2.4 million beach replenishment project between Kuhio Beach and the Royal Hawaiian groin in May 2012. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii senators are asking Gov. Neil Abercrombie to fill two vacancies on a board that is in the process of vetting big development projects in Kakaako. State Senate leaders sent a letter to Abercrombie on Tuesday saying that two positions in the Kakaako board of the Hawaii Community Development Authority have been vacant for several months and urging him to appoint members. Civil Beat.

Nowel Alana is a third-generation Hawaiian homesteader who says the Department of Hawaiian Home Land is icing out native Hawaiian businesses like hers. Hawaii News Now.

The Plaza Assisted Living, a senior housing community, is planning on expanding into Waikiki with the company's fourth Oahu location. Star-Advertiser.


A bill that would prohibit selling tobacco products to people 18 to 21 years old got a unanimous, positive nod from the Hawaii County Council’s Public Safety and Mass Transit Committee. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Council will return at 1 p.m. today after it heard more testimony on a bill to restrict genetically modified crops Tuesday during the first meeting since members gave it a positive recommendation while in committee. Tribune-Herald.

The National Park Service’s efforts to protect the groundwater supply in North Kona, where thousands of homes are slated for development, could effectively be sidelined for the foreseeable future because the federal government shutdown is preventing employees from addressing the issue. Civil Beat.

The University of Hawaii has requested that the Department of Land and Natural Resources cancel its existing lease for 11,288 acres on the summit of Mauna Kea, and issue new 65-year leases, according to documents acquired by The Hawaii Independent.

Students rally against censorship of Mauna Kea message. Hawaii Independent.

Soldiers from 209th Aviation Support Battalion, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, conducted a training rotation at Pohakuloa Training Area on the Island of Hawaii during September. Hawaii Reporter.


Maui generates more than 450 tons of waste per day, more than half of which is not recycled and ends up in the Central Maui Landfill, and Maui County Council members are weighing various options and proposals that may revolutionize the way waste is handled in the future. Maui News.

Mayor Alan Arakawa made it official Tuesday night: He's running for re-election next fall. Arakawa actually will be seeking his third term as mayor. Maui News.

For the 20th year in a row, Maui earned the top spot in Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s list for top islands. Maui Now.

Attempting to hit home runs on a dusty parcel in Waikapu, county and state officials gathered for a mock softball game Monday afternoon on the future site of the county's Central Maui Regional Park complex. Maui News.


Kauai Community College is holding a blessing and dedication this week for a building newly renamed after the late Sen. Daniel Inouye. Inouye's wife, Irene Hirano Inouye and his son, Ken Inouye, are both due to attend Friday's ceremony for the Daniel K. Inouye Technology Center. Garden Island.

A decision on the controversial Bill 2491 wasn’t reached by deadline Tuesday. Garden Island.

Over the last year and a half, Surfrider collected and stockpiled 17,600 pounds of nets hauled from Kauai beaches, according to Barbara Wiedner, founder and coordinator of the foundation’s Net Patrol. Garden Island.


Lanai has gained a lot of attention these days since billionaire Larry Ellison bought the island last year, and now it seems that even coqui frogs are interested in Hawaii’s Pineapple Island. Pacific Business News.

Some pretty important guests are on the island of Lanai this week, with the posh Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay fully booked for an exclusive buyout from Wednesday through Saturday. Pacific Business News.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

State works toward clean energy goals, Big Island may up tobacco sale age, Hawaiian woman's name too long for drivers license, Honolulu looks for more taxes from $1M homes, molasses spill killing fish, controversial Japanese investor sells prime Oahu real estate, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

clean energy courtesy photo
Hawaii wind farm courtesy  Green Travelers Guide
To hear Hawaii's governor tell it, the state is making tremendous progress in moving toward an energy independent future. But has the administration really made good on its promises on alternative and renewable energy, as detailed in his New Day in Hawaii Plan, his state of the state addresses and his legislative packages? Civil Beat.

You have heard these figures before: Hawai’i burns five billion dollars worth of fossil fuel each year for 85% of the state’s energy needs. But, the Blue Planet Foundation has set a goal of transitioning to 100% clean energy by 2030, more than double the state’s clean energy objective. Hawaii Public Radio.

President Barack Obama has nominated Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Deputy Director Esther Kiaaina to be assistant secretary for insular affairs at the U.S. Department of Interior. Associated Press.

Hawaiʻi state and congressional delegates today applauded the president’s announcement of his intent to nominate Esther Kia‘āina to serve as the assistant secretary for insular areas at the US Department of the Interior. Maui Now.

Kia’aina currently serves as the First Deputy Director of the Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources. Appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie to oversee the management of 1.3 million acres of public lands and near shore ocean resources in the State of Hawai’i, Kia’aina has worked on watershed management protection initiatives, threatened and endangered species protection, invasive species control, land and ocean preservation, and strengthening public-private and enforcement partnerships. Hawaii Independent.

Legislators have been slow to incorporate digital delivery into the law. Hawaii’s Sunshine Law still requires “mail” delivery. And although “mail” isn’t defined, the law was written before email existed, and this provision hasn’t been amended since. Civil Beat.

The Memorial Task Force, co-chaired by David Brostrom and Allen Hoe, the Gold Star Fathers of Army 1st Lieutenants Jonathan Brostrom and Nainoa Hoe, are seeking input from the public on the design and location of a newly planned memorial honoring Hawaii veterans. Hawaii Reporter.

As two more of the nation's wars begin to fade from the forefront of American consciousness, two fathers who lost their sons in Iraq and Af­ghani­stan hope it won't be the same for their sons' sacrifices. Star-Advertiser. is a Kickstarter for public education. Much like the giant crowdfunding site that helps people raise money for creative endeavors, on teachers across the country collect donations for classroom projects. One study suggests that U.S. public school teachers spent on average about $485 of their own money last year on school supplies and other classroom materials, a tendency that local educators have highlighted in their rallies to secure higher wages and increased investment in the state’s public schools. Civil Beat.

State roundup for September 11. Associated Press.

The Honolulu City Council will vote today on a proposal to establish a new tax classification for houses and condominiums valued at $1 million or more, allowing the city to tax them at a higher rate than other residential parcels. Bill 42, however, would shift into a new "Residential A" class only those properties that do not have home exemptions. Star-Advertiser.

A molasses spill dumped an estimated 233,000 gallons of the dark, syrupy liquid into Honolulu Harbor on Monday, killing thousands of fish so far and prompting beach closures. State officials said they are still trying to assess the scope of the “severe” environmental damage. A corroded, faulty pipe that runs under Pier 52 at Sand Island and pumps molasses exports onto Matson Inc. cargo ships likely caused the spill, company representatives and state officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

A massive molasses spill at Honolulu Harbor that Hawaii News Now first reported on Monday is killing fish and the State has no way to clean up the sticky substance.

Japanese investor and real estate tycoon Genshiro Kawamoto has sold his collection of 27 Kahala Avenue properties and four other parcels in Windward Oahu and on Maui to local real estate firm Alexander & Baldwin Inc. in a $98 million deal announced Tuesday. A&B said it plans to clean up, refurbish and resell the parcels, some of which look like ruins with little more than the foundations of former homes, untended vegetation and swimming pools piled with rubble. Star-Advertiser.

Alexander & Baldwin announced Tuesday that it has purchased 31 properties from Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto for $98 million. Civil Beat.

Alexander & Baldwin’s property arm said Tuesday that it has acquired 27 residential properties in Honolulu’s oceanfront Kahala neighborhood, along with properties in Windward Oahu and on Maui, from Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto for $98 million. Pacific Business News.

A company seeking to develop what would be Hawaii's second seawater air-conditioning project said it has received letters of intent from some of Waikiki's biggest hotels and other businesses interested in the electrical savings promised by the plan. Kaiuli Energy has received authorization from the state to issue $200 million in special-purpose revenue bonds for the project that could replace conventional air-conditioning systems in an area stretching from Kaka­ako to Waikiki by 2018. Star-Advertiser.

The notice of violation issued to a trucking company owner under fire for apparently hauling dredged material from a Hawaii Kai marina to a private Wai­anae property last week was the second citation received in recent years. Star-Advertiser.

A century-old bronze statue of President William McKinley is making waves in some circles in the native Hawaiian community. KITV.


The legal age to buy tobacco products on Hawaii Island would increase from 18 to 21 under a bill set to be discussed next month by the County Council. West Hawaii Today.

State alters woman’s name after it fails to fit on driver’s license. For the past 20 years, Janice “Lokelani” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele has had to carry two identification cards. KHON2.

The man who swam to the aid of a fellow surfer after he was repeatedly bitten last month by an estimated 10-foot tiger shark at Pohoiki will be recognized next week by the Hawaii County Council. Tribune-Herald.

A Hawaii Island school that four years ago was close to losing its charter amid financial troubles and lagging test scores was recognized Tuesday as one of the state's top-performing public schools. Na Wai Ola, formerly Waters of Life, was among 14 schools awarded more than $1 million in prizes for academic performance on a new accountability system the state Department of Education is calling Strive HI. Star-Advertiser.

The response to a special legislative session called to act on a gay marriage bill from Big Isle legislators interviewed Tuesday ranged from enthusiastic to tepid, with some not quite willing to show their cards yet. Tribune-Herald.


State crews were on site this morning, monitoring the Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Odyssey vessel that had run aground near McGregor Point in Māʻalaea on Maui. Company officials advised that the grounding is being investigated by the US Coast Guard. Maui Now.

Kahului firefighters assisted the Coast Guard with evacuation of a Pacific Whale Foundation catamaran that grounded near McGregor Point Tuesday morning, Maui County fire officials said. Star-Advertiser.


The Kauai Planning Commission unanimously approved permits Tuesday for the county Department of Water to go ahead with an $8 million project to construct a new administration building twice the size of its existing headquarters at Pua Loke Street in Lihue. Garden Island.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Honolulu Mayor Carlisle outlines state of the city, Laupahoehoe teachers sue to stop charter school, attorney general launches Main Street Maui probe, tobacco tax could rise again, 5,000 want to be Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle and Managing Director Doug Chin courtesy photo  
Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle highlighted his administration's achievements and outlined a vision for the city's future that hinges on the $5.27 billion rail project in his State of the City address Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle's second State of the City address Thursday was a tale of two cities.Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle in his State of the City Speech Thursday cast Honolulu's rail project as a choice between the future and the past. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle delivered his second State of the City of Honolulu Address today at the Mission Memorial Auditorium. The hour-long oratory covered his administration’s accomplishments and major priorities in the years ahead. Hawaii Public Radio.

After Thursday's State of the City speech the mayor defended the lifting of the city's debt limit above a 20 per cent threshold. KHON2.

Kirk Caldwell, a candidate for Honolulu mayor, released this statement today in response to Mayor Carlisle’s State of the City address. Hawaii Independent.

Some lawmakers want to increase Hawaii's tobacco tax to reduce smoking and oral tobacco use across the state. Associated Press.

Teachers who spend their own money to purchase school supplies would qualify for a tax credit to help offset such out-of-pocket expenses under a bill advanced by a Senate committee Thursday. Associated Press.

Opponents of human trafficking are pushing for passage of a Senate measure that would fine "johns" $5,000 and place the money into a special fund for victims of sex assault and domestic violence. Star-Advertiser.

Major tourism stakeholders seem to agree that the future of Hawaii’s primary economic driver will have to include plenty of growth. Pacific Business News.

The state House Judiciary Committee shelved a bill Thursday that would have allowed dogs to accompany their owners in restaurants at the discretion of restaurant owners and managers. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would give counties the power to open ag lands to be used for overnight accommodations has been deferred at the state House of Representatives. A Senate version of the bill is still alive, waiting for next hearing to be scheduled. Garden Island.

Skateboarders of all ages would be required to wear helmets whenever they ride under a bill that cleared the state House Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

The scope of a bill requiring helmets for skateboarders was broadened Thursday, requiring anyone of any age to wear head protection, as the bill passed the House Judiciary Committee. West Hawaii Today.

A bill calls for a five-year moratorium on opihi picking in certain areas, along with restrictions on harvesting times and amounts. Tribune-Herald.

Nepotism, ethics violations, conflicts of interest, abuse, waste and fraud. All are accusations that have been brought against individual charter schools in Hawaii in the last year. Civil Beat.

State roundup for Feb. 24. Associated Press.


More than 5,000 people applied for 175 flight attendant positions at Hawaiian Airlines, a record for the company. KITV4.

Closing the Sears store at Ala Moana Center next year will come at a big price -- $250 million, to be exact. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is taking a major leap forward on its road to renewable energy with the start of construction today on the state's largest wind turbine project on Oahu's North Shore. Star-Advertiser.


Teachers at Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School filed suit Thursday to halt their school's conversion to a charter school. Tribune-Herald.

All the trappings for a successful grand opening celebration were there Thursday evening when Tulsi Gabbard opened her campaign headquarters at the old Chevrolet dealership across from Hilo Shopping Center. West Hawaii Today.

The Ka'u District Gym and Shelter is on track to meet a tight deadline or risk losing state funding. West Hawaii Today.

Alapaki Nahale-a became chairman of the Hawaiian Home Lands Commission in January 2011, and says it was "kind of shocking" to learn that he was the first chairman in its 100-year history to have been born and raised on Hawaiian Home lands — in Pepeekeo, north of Hilo. Star-Advertiser.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says a 4.3 magnitude earthquake was reported in the summit region of Kilauea Volcano. Associated Press.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa delivers his State of the County Address at 10 a.m. in the Council Chambers. Maui Now.

Auwahi Wind Energy will go before the state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday to seek a conservation district use permit to realign Papaka Road on Ulupalakua Ranch land. Maui News.

The state Department of the Attorney General has opened an investigation into the Wailuku Main Street Association, following allegations that officials with the organization withheld information and records from board members. Maui News.

After a traditional Hawaiian blessing of the building and comments from guests, Senator Daniel K. Inouye and dignitaries untied the maile lei to initiate the opening of the new headquarters and visitor center at Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge on Maui. Maui Now.


The Kaua‘i Historical Society will host its first Vintage Book Offering and Wine and Cheese Tasting from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday in the lobby of the historic County Building. Garden Island.

Ten years ago, Mo`omomi was vibrant, green and healthy, with plentiful fish, according to Molokai-born Halealoha Ayau, Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) acting district supervisor for Molokai. Now, he said, the landscape is suffering, resources are being depleted, and the buildings are facing a high level of vandalism and damage. Because of this, Ayau has made a tough decision: erect a gate at Mo`omomi and initiate managed access to the area. Molokai Dispatch.