Showing posts with label congress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label congress. Show all posts

Thursday, September 21, 2023

$42M to improve Hawaii green space, state Senate committee investigating Lahaina insurance issues, HECO taps utility bankruptcy expert as CFO, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii's congressional delegation announces over $42M to improve state’s green spaces. U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $42,585,500 in grants to nine Hawaii organizations to plant and maintain existing trees, combat extreme heat and improve access to green spaces in communities throughout the state. Spectrum News.

The Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection announced that it will hold a field briefing in Lahaina to address questions and take testimony pertaining to wildfire-related insurance claims. The briefing will take place from 10:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m., Sept. 28. KITV4.

Chief Pelletier to Maui Police Commission: ‘We saved lives’. The Maui Police Department’s preliminary after-action report of its response to the deadly Aug. 8 wildfires will not be completed for a few more months, and the final report may take up to two years. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Bissen responsible for Lahaina evacuation per Hawaii Revised Statutes. The Hawaii Revised Statutes states under section 127A-13 (b)(4) that "under a local state of emergency," the Mayor has the power to "direct and control the mandatory evacuation of the civilian population." KITV4.

Hawaiian Electric Industries Hires Utility Bankruptcy Expert As CFO. Investment banker Scott DeGhetto will be paid about $1.5 million for a 15-month gig. Civil Beat.

HMSA says it resolved COVID-19 shot coverage confusion. Hawaii Medical Service Association is telling members it is covering the updated COVID-19 vaccine for the fall and winter after some people said they paid out of pocket for the shot, HMSA official said a technical issue on its end is being blamed for the confusion. KHON2.


Landlords Hosting Illegal Game Rooms Could Face Fines Of $1,000 Per Day. Draft Honolulu City Council legislation would raise the stakes for landlords who allow illegal gambling in their units. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

City in high-stakes talks with military over proposed new landfill site. Last year, the city went back to the drawing board on selecting a new site for a municipal landfill after the Board of Water of Supply said six potential locations identified to replace Waimanalo Gulch in Nanakuli were too close to Oahu’s aquifer. Hawaii News Now.

‘This has got to end’: Pipes leaking millions of gallons of water a month at Dillingham Airfield still not fixed. Leaky pipes at Dillingham Airfield on Oahu’s North Shore have been a problem for years, causing millions of gallons of water to be wasted monthly. Hawaii News Now.

City to close Moiliili Neighborhood Park for month-long maintenance and renovations. Moiliili Neighborhood Park is one of the city’s busiest. But when you look at its nearly three and a half acres, you can definitely tell its overdue for a refresh. Hawaii News Now.

2 Kailua schools earn 2023 National Blue Ribbon recognition. Ka‘elepulu and Maunawili Elementary schools in Kailua  received the National Blue Ribbon award from the U.S. Department of Education. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County Council works to identify legislative priorities for next year.
The Hawaii County Council wants the state Legislature to pursue bills to better regulate vaping and allow counties more control over dangerous roads. Tribune-Herald.

Critically Endangered, Nocturnal Seabird Found On Hawaiʻi Island. A Critically Endangered ‘akē‘akē, or band-rumped storm-petrel, was recently found nesting on Hawaiʻi island within the Mauna Loa Forest Reserve. Big Island Video News. Garden Island.


Maui County announces first residential reentry zone. Maui County late Wednesday announced reentry procedures for Lahaina residents to access properties in the restricted disaster zone that have been off-limits in the aftermath of the Aug. 8 firestorm, which killed at least 97 people and destroyed more than 2,200 properties. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

In wake of devastating wildfire, experts propose new sources of water for parched West Maui. The West Maui water shortage is part of the reason for the devastating wildfire in Lahaina — and has caused huge division in the community. Hawaii News Now.

DOE opens distance learning hub in Kahana for over 250 students. The state Department of Education opened a distance learning hub in Kahana on Tuesday that will host displaced Lahaina students while their campuses remain closed following the Aug. 8 wildfire.  Maui News.

Planned Lahaina visits divide survivors. Maui County plans to let some survivors back into the devastated historic Lahaina fire area Monday and Tuesday, but evacuees have mixed feelings about what they’ll see and how they’ll feel. Star-Advertiser.

One more victim identified by police six weeks after Lahaina wildfire. The Maui Police Department on Wednesday added Lahaina resident Kirk Carter, who died Aug. 15 at Straub Medical Center’s Burn Unit in Honolulu, to its official list of fatalities from the Aug. 8 Lahaina wildfire. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.


FFA students given scholarships to attend national convention. Four Kaua‘i High School students from the school’s Future Farmers of America will be joining a group of about 50 people from Hawai‘i at the national FFA convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, starting on Oct. 29 and wrapping up on Nov. 5. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hawaiian Kingdom restoration marked, Gabbard dubbed 'Hawaiian Heartbreaker,' UH names Lassner interim president, Kauai GMO hearing today, Hawaii County mulls incinerator, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
King Kamehameha statue (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Honolulu is celebrating the 170th anniversary of the restoration of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Wednesday's events at Thomas Square Park recognize the significance of Restoration Day in Hawaiian history. Associated Press.

Fresh data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals distinctions, breaking the state's two congressional districts down by who lives there, what jobs they hold, how much money they make, their educational attainment and what it costs to live there. Hawaii doesn't require its U.S. House representatives to reside in their respective district. Judging from the new census information, perhaps it should; when it comes to income, housing, work and health, it's a tale of two Hawaiis. Civil Beat.

Michael Golojuch Jr., chairman of the Hawaii Democratic Party's gay caucus, brazenly declared himself the "new sheriff in town" after he initiated sanctions against 11 Demo­cratic legislators who proposed a constitutional amendment on traditional marriage. Star-Advertiser.

‘Hawaiian Heartbreaker’ Tulsi Gabbard Named Sixth Most Attractive Person on the Hill. Civil Beat.

David Lassner
The University of Hawaii Board of Regents this afternoon unanimously agreed on naming UH Chief Information Officer David Lassner as interim president of the 10-campus system, effective Sept. 1. Star-Advertiser.

David Lassner says he hopes to help re-establish trust in the University of Hawaii while touting its accomplishments in his new role as interim president of the 10-campus system. Star-Advertiser.

A federal court lawsuit alleges that the state contributed to the death of a 14-year-old boy. The suit says Roosevelt High School student Charlie Lee was depressed and suicidal when the state began to reduce mental health services for the teen. Hawaii News Now.


Lately there’s been a lot of angst about Kakaako’s future, not only because Honolulu’s $5.26 billion rail line intends to slice through its midsection, but also because the latest plans call for buildings as tall as 700 feet. By comparison, the tallest building in the state is currently the 429-foot-tall First Hawaiian Center on Bishop Street. Diamond Head, one of Oahu’s most recognizable landmarks, only has an elevation of 761 feet. Civil Beat.

Developer Stanford and Kamehameha Schools on Friday formally announced plans for Keauhou Lane in Kakaako, a project that includes a 40-story tower consisting of 600 residential units as well as a low-rise mixed-use residential project with 200 workforce rental apartments. Pacific Business News.

Delays Plague Student-Funded Recreation Center at UH Manoa. Civil Beat.

A retired Honolulu police detective testified Tuesday that police didn't obtain a blood alcohol reading from State Department special agent Christopher Deedy because he refused to take a breath test. Star-Advertiser.


The Hawaii County Council wants plenty of time for its own input and approval before the county chooses a waste-to-energy contractor, despite Mayor Billy Kenoi’s vow to have a plant “on the ground” by the time he leaves office in late 2016. Stephens Media.

Construction projects planned or underway at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island are generating about 500 jobs and nearly $5 million in tax revenue during the next two years. The 12 projects are scheduled to have a total value of more than $50 million. Pacific Business News.

A Hawaii County Council committee will conclude its hearing on Bill 79, relating to genetically modified organisms, at 1:30 p.m Aug. 6 at the Council Chambers in Hilo. Council members will discuss the bill. No additional testimony will be taken. The council received more than 700 written testimonies on the bill. Stephens Media.


Maui Mayor Arakawa today signed revisions to the County Subdivision Code in an effort to streamline the approval process for both applicants and county staff, a county announcement said. Maui Now.

Mayor: Preparation pays off. Maui News.

Reports of a Haiku man who was struck by lightning Monday evening during Tropical Depression Flossie's brief but furious rampage on Maui have been all the talk on news and social media outlets, but a family member of the man said Tuesday that the incident may have been exaggerated. Maui News.


County Bill 2491, requiring commercial agricultural entities to disclose the use of pesticides and the presence of genetically modified crops to the county. It specifically targets companies that purchase or use more than five pounds (or 15 gallons) of restricted use pesticides annually goes to a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. today. Garden Island.

Out of a bag full of proposals introduced at this year’s Legislature, a House resolution — a policy with no teeth — was the only law passed, according to a search in the state Capitol’s website. Garden Island.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Gay marriage, abortion top Hawaii's 2nd Congressional debate; Honolulu requires protest permits; embattled Hawaii County Elections Office ready for the primary; geothermal, GASB bills nixed; Kauai smoking ban smolders, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

2nd Congressional debate, courtesy Hawaii News Now
Social issues like abortion and gay marriage came up early and often during the first widely televised debate in the 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary Thursday night. Civil Beat.

The four major candidates in the Democratic primary for Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District exchanged barbs during a feisty 90-minute debate Thursday night that touched on issues from their views on same-sex marriage to their ranges of political experience. Star-Advertiser.

Four of the candidates in the Democratic party primary for Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District squared off in a 90-minute debate on Hawaii News Now. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard, former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann, legislative aide Esther Kia'aina  and Big Island lawyer Bob Marx say they have what it takes to represent rural Oahu and the neighboring islands. KITV4.

Lingle Tops Hirono in Fundraising; Poll Wars; TV: Dems Debate, Republicans Left Out. Hawaii Reporter.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has instituted a new policy for his appointees this election year: they have to take vacation or unpaid leave if they're running for office. Hawaii News Now.

The reform of Hawaii's charter school system got underway Thursday as Karen Street, a human resources executive, was chosen as chairwoman of the commission that will oversee the schools, and plans were announced to hire a national organization to help implement the new law. Star-Advertiser.

Experiences on the mainland, along with evaluations of Hawaii election procedures, suggest several types of legal and procedural changes that would be likely to bolster voter registration and election turnout, although studies suggest the overall impact may be modest at best. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority will focus on building momentum in the recovery of the local tourism industry during its annual Hawaii Tourism Conference, which will be Aug. 23-24 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Pacific Business News.

Computer generated data is expected to grow by 50 times by 2020.   Storing and managing this information was covered during this year’s Asia-Pacific International Management Conference in Honolulu. Hawaii Public Radio.

State roundup for July 12. Associated Press.


Honolulu mayoral candidate Kirk Caldwell received $511,404 in campaign donations from January through June, nearly $400,000 less than fellow challenger Ben Cayetano, according to campaign figures released today. Hawaii Reporter.

As many as six more University of Hawaii officials in different departments could find their roles in the botched Stevie Wonder fundraising concert under review following the suspensions of UH's athletic director and Stan Sheriff arena manager this week. Star-Advertiser.

People holding a protest or other "expressive activity" in a city park would be required to obtain a permit, under a bill approved Wednesday by the Honolulu City Council. The bill, supported by the American Civil Liberties Union Hawaii chapter, was prompted by a court order. Star-Advertiser.

Two Honolulu City Councilmen are calling on the Mayor to make sure money is found to restore bus service after recent cutbacks. KHON2.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Mayor Peter Carlisle are working together to decide on the future of the historic Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial. KITV4.


More Hawaii County voters are expected to vote by mail this election, but early walk-in voting will be limited to three locations, and three small precincts won’t have a polling place at all, under changes instituted this year by the county Elections Office. West Hawaii Today.

The person in charge of elections on the Big Island said today that the voting process is on track. Big Island Now.

A pair of bills relating to geothermal energy have died on Mayor Billy Kenoi’s desk, unless the County Council can engineer an override of the veto. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor Billy Kenoi vetoed a bill that would have required the county to make payments into a county retiree benefits account and denounced it as being “fiscally irresponsible.” Tribune-Herald.

The three candidates for County Prosecuting Attorney faced off last night at a political forum in Hilo. KPUA.


Several hundred Maui residents have signed a petition asking the county's liquor commission to again prohibit patrons from bringing their own wine into restaurants. Maui News.

Three months after Maui's liquor commissioners tossed a plan to shut down late-night entertainment in the Kihei Kalama Village, the department says it's seeing positive changes. Maui News.

Costco Wholesale on Maui opened a gas station this morning, selling regular unleaded gas at $3.99 and premium for $4.19 for a gallon. Maui Now.


A bill that would allow outlaw tobacco products at county parks and designate the parks’ parking lots as smoking areas seemed poised to fly through second and final reading Wednesday at the Kaua‘i County Council meeting. Instead, the council decided to put more work into the bill. Garden Island.

After much controversy earlier this year, when Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. put Kaua‘i Police Department Chief Darryl Perry on leave, voters will not decide whether the mayor or the Police Commission has such powers over the police chief. Garden Island.

Lihu‘e Public Library will be closing for extensive renovation starting this fall. Garden Island.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Elections 2012 Special Report: Crowded race for Hawaii Congressional District 2

The campaign for the District 2 congressional seat, covering rural Oahu and the Neighbor Islands, is once again a wide-open race following three-term U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono's resignation to seek the U.S. Senate (more about that race here).

Oahu residents make up fewer than 40 percent of the voters in the district, but no one living on the Neighbor Islands has ever won the seat. That's because candidates from all the Hawaiian Islands tend to gravitate to state elected or appointed positions in Honolulu, the seat of power, before seeking federal office.

Both of Hawaii's 2012 House seats are considered "safe Democrat" by political prognosticator Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball. District 2 is certainly holding true to that form, with the odds-on favorites coming from the Democratic Party.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann held a substantial lead in polling in a Feb. 14 Honolulu Star-Advertiser report. The newspaper reported Hannemann had 65 percent of the vote, compared with just 20 percent for his best-known challenger, City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard. A June 18 Civil Beat poll found Gabbard overcoming that early lead to make it a neck-and-neck race.

Hannemann gave up the Honolulu mayorship in 2010 in an unsuccessful bid for governor. He lost that race to Gov. Neil Abercrombie in a rout, leaving prognosticators predicting the congressional seat will be Hannemann's consolation prize in the small, close-knit state. But with two months still to go before the Aug. 11 primary, no one's taking anything for granted.

About the candidates:

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Tulsi Gabbard (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Tulsi Gabbard
Party: Democrat
Island: Oahu
Campaign phone: 808. 861.0793
Political Experience: Honolulu City Council, 2010-2012; Legislative aide to U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, 2006; Hawaii state House, the youngest legislator elected in the history of Hawaii and the youngest woman elected in the nation 2002-2004;
Other experience: Hawaii Army National Guard, field medical unit, 2004-2006, promoted to captain, serves as company commander, 2011; co-founder of Health Hawaii Coalition, 2002
Education: Hawaii Pacific University, international business degree, 2010.
Personal: Born April 12, 1981, Leloaloa, American Samoa, moved to Hawaii in 1983. Single.

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Mufi hannemann (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Mufi Hannemann
Party: Democrat
Island: Oahu
Campaign phone: 808. 521-6834
Political Experience: Honolulu mayor, 2005-2010, Director, Hawaii Office of International Relations (Waihe‘e administration), Staff Assistant to Vice President George H.W. Bush, Special Assistant to Governor George R. Ariyoshi
Other experience:  President and CEO of the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association, Vice President for Corporate Marketing and Public Affairs and President and General Manager of Punalu‘u Sweetbread, 1984; Shop/Visitor Center and C. Brewer Hawaiian Juices for C. Brewer and Company, Special Assistant in the U.S. Department of the Interior (Carter administration), History teacher and varsity basketball coach, ‘Iolani School
Education: Harvard University, 1976;
Personal: Born July 16, 1954, Honolulu, married to Gail Mukaihata

Esther Kiaaina

Esther Kia'aina
Party: Democrat
Island: Oahu
Campaign phone: 808.591.2012
Political Experience: Chief of Staff to Hawaii Congressman Ed Case, 2003-2007, Chief of Staff/Legislative Director to Guam Congressman Robert Underwood, 1999-2003, Legislative Assistant to Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka, 1990-1999, Counselor in the U.S. Senate Placement Office, 1989-1990, Intern to Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, Spring 1986
Other experience:  Chief Advocate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, 2009-present, Land Asset Manager for the Kamehameha Schoolsʻ Land Assets Division, 2007-2009
Education: George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1998, The John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, graduate studies, 1986-1988, University of Southern California, B.A., 1985
Personal: Daughter of Lorelei Haunani Kiaaina (formerly Anahu), Molokai High School ʻ48, and the late Melvin Leialoha Kiaaina, Farrington High School ʻ48.Youngest of Seven Siblings: Keaolamauloa “Duke” Kiaaina, Michelle Mamo Kiaaina (deceased), Melvin “Kimo” Kiaaina, Jr.; Nadine Nomura; Nola Mento; and Ricky Pa.

Bob Marx

Bob Marx
Party: Democrat
Island: Hawaii Island
Campaign phone: 808. 938-2202
Political Experience: Three terms in the Oregon House of Representatives, Named "Senior Advocate of the Year" by the National Retired Teachers Association and the American Association of Retired People
Other experience: Personal injury attorney. Began practicing law in Hilo in 1980 and now has offices in Hilo and Kailua-Kona.
Education: Doctor of Jurisprudence at Lewis and Clark College 1979, Oregon State University bachelor's degree in political science, 1971.
Personal: Maternal grandparents, Basilo and Maximina Belin, immigrated from Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1921 to work on the Pu`unene Plantation in Maui. Son of a daughter of a plantation worker and U.S. Naval Aviator who met in Honolulu and subsequently moved to Oregon, where he was born.Father of four grown children, and has three young grandchildren. aised his youngest son Kai as a single parent after the death of his wife, Hiromi Tsuchida-Marx in 1998.

Other candidates

Monday, June 25, 2012

Elections 2012 Special Report: Hawaii's 1st Congressional District 'safe Democrat'

It's deja vu all over again in the race for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District, which was vacated in 2010 when 20-year Congressman Neil Abercrombie resigned in a successful run for the state governorship. Both of the major contenders for the district representing Honolulu and urban Oahu have held that office before.

Fundraising and campaigning have gotten off to a slow start in the race, as both the Democrat, current U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, and the Republican, former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, are expected to easily win their respective Aug. 11 primaries before the pair face off in the Nov. 6 general election.

Incumbent Hanabusa reported individual contributions of $500,096 in the first quarter of 2012, and another $284,561 from PACs. GOP challenger former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou reported $231,446 in individual contributions and $19,300 from PACs, according to the Federal Election Commission.

The race is expected to be a rematch of 2010, when Djou was the incumbent after winning a special election in May of that year to fill the vacancy. The Republican candidate won in a three-way winner-take-all election featuring one Republican and two Democrats.

Both of Hawaii's 2012 House seats are considered "safe Democrat" by political prognosticator Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball.

The other Democrat  from the 2010 special election, former U.S. Rep. from Hawaii's 2nd District, Ed Case, is now running for U.S. Senate. About that race.

Charles Djou
Party: Republican
Island: Oahu
Campaign phone: 808. 224.5627
Political Experience: U.S. Rep. Hawaii's 1st District, 2010-2011; Honolulu City Council, 2002-2010; state House, 2000-2002, Vice Chairman of the Hawaii Republican Party 1998-1999
Other experience: U.S. Army Reserve, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Infantry Division at Forward Operating Base Pasab in Kandahar Province
Education: University of Southern California Law School, law degree, 1996. University of Pennsylvania, B.A. in political science, B.S. in economics, magna cum laude, from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, 1992
Personal: Born Aug. 9, 1970, Married to Stacey Kawasaki, three children.

Colleen Hanabusa
Party: Democrat
Island: Oahu
Campaign phone: 808. 430.1981
Political Experience: U.S. Rep. Hawaii's 1st District, 2010-2012; state Senate, 1998-2010, Senate president 2006-2010, first woman to lead either house of the Hawaii Legislature
Other experience: Labor law attorney, 1978-2012
Education: University of Hawaii at Manoa, law degree 1977, M.A. sociology 1975, B.A. economics and sociology, 1973
Personal: Married to Honolulu businessman John Souza

Other candidates:
Charles Amsterdam, Republican, Oahu, 808. 550-4994
John "Raghu" Giuffre, Republican, Oahu,
Roy Wyttenbach II, Democrat, Oahu, https://www.fa

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hawaii beaches in top 10, Supreme Court mulls Hawaiian burials, rail, Maui ups property taxes, water rates, Kaneohe Bay Marines leave war behind, Japanese bird crowding out Mauna Kea natives, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Kahanamoku Beach Waikiki (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Three Hawaii beaches made this year's list of top 10 U.S. beaches, but the top spot went to Coronado's 1.5-mile stretch of sand and sea in San Diego. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's Democrats will be holding their state convention over the weekend. Associated Press.

No one living on a Neighbor Island has ever been elected to represent Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District — and it's a safe bet voters will keep this streak going in November. Civil Beat.

The head of Hawaii's beleaguered historic preservation division is under fire for lack of leadership for failing to resolve problems that have led to a threat by the federal government to revoke the agency's certification. Civil Beat.

Attorney General David M. Louie announced today that Wesley Choi, a former employee of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, was sentenced yesterday by Judge Richard K. Perkins in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit to two ten-year terms of imprisonment and two five-year terms of imprisonment for his involvement in a scheme to defraud the State of Hawaii. Hawaii Reporter.

The State’s Broadband Initiative has a goal of delivering ultra high-speed internet service throughout the islands to transform how families, businesses and institutions connect to one another and to the world.  Think Tech and the Hawai’I Venter Capital Association sponsored a panel discussion  today titled, “The Need for Speed.”  Hawaii Public Radio.

Six Hawaii public schools have been recognized in The Washington Post’s "2012 High School Challenge Index," which highlights the nation’s top nine percent of schools for effectively preparing students for college success. KITV4.

The State Insurance Division has approved a rate hike request from HMSA. KHON2.


A lawyer for a Native Hawaiian whose ancestors are buried in Kakaako asked the Hawaii Supreme Court on Thursday to order the city to stop work on the $5.27 billion Hono­lulu rail system until it completes an archaeological survey to determine whether the project will disturb Hawaiian remains. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Supreme Court is wrestling with the Honolulu rail system's possible track through Native Hawaiian burials after an hour-long oral argument Thursday morning. Civil Beat.

A powerful ally with more than 300,000 members nationwide and thousands of preservation partners in all 50 states has filed an amicus brief yesterday in support of a federal lawsuit challenging the validity of the city's Environmental Impact Statement for its $5.3 billion elevated steel on steel rail project. Hawaii Reporter.

Pacific Resource Partnership, the membership organization that has conducted "push polls" attacking both Honolulu City Council Member Tom Berg and former Gov. Ben Cayetano, released a poll on Wednesday that shows Cayetano losing ground in the Honolulu mayor's race, leaving him statistically tied with Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle. Hawaii Reporter.

Honolulu mayoral candidates Ben Cayetano and Kirk Caldwell bought a handful of TV commercials this week, according to Civil Beat's review of the public files. Civil Beat.

Mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano says he is consulting with attorneys on whether to sue to stop what he calls a smear campaign by a pro-rail interest group. Star-Advertiser.

Families of Waikele bunker explosion victims file lawsuits. Hawaii News Now.

Eight years of continuous war in Iraq and Afghanistan are over for the 3rd Marine Regiment's 3,000 Marines at Kaneohe Bay. Star-Advertiser.

Kaneohe Bay Marines marked the end of an era with a ceremony to commemorate their sacrifices and achievements. KHON2.

Circuit Judge Karen Ahn heard arguments on the request by city prosecutors to keep confidential the video and defense documents seeking the dismissal of a murder charge against federal special agent Christopher Deedy in the shooting. Star-Advertiser.

Amy Asselbaye, who abruptly stepped down from her prominent position as Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s chief of staff last October, is one of four partners who have opened a new coffeehouse in Hawaii Kai. Pacific Business News.


Hawaii County schools are set to get $26.2 million to modernize and repair their facilities, part of a $116 million bond issue directed to help rural schools meet federal Race to the Top standards. West Hawaii Today.

An invasive Japanese bird has wiped out tens of thousands of native birds at the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge on Hawaii island, two University of Hawaii researchers have found. Star-Advertiser.

A total of 57 electric vehicles (EVs) are on Big Island roads, according to new data provided this week by the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association.Tribune-Herald.


A resolution that would increase property taxes across the board and increase the minimum tax by $100 was approved by the Maui County Council on Wednesday morning. Maui News.

The Public Utilities Commission has approved an interim rate increase of 3.2 percent, effective June 1, for Maui Electric Co.'s customers on Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Maui News.

Mayor Alan Arakawa signed a bill Wednesday to establish new regulations for short-term rentals. Maui News.

A new master plan through 2030 will be unveiled tomorrow (Friday, May 25, 2012) for pedestrians and bicyclists in central Maui. Maui Now.


On Wednesday, the Kaua‘i County Council introduced a bill to ban smoking at county parks, including the multi-use path on Kaua‘i’s Eastside. Garden Island.

Gov. releases $26.8M for education facilities; none for Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kona lava graffiti removed, raises for Honolulu officials, council, rate hike for health insurer HMSA, Kauai in top 10 for film locations, still no GOP candidate for Congress, rail project needs more credit, waste to energy on Maui mulled, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kona lava (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Less white coral graffiti decorates the lava on the shoulders of Queen Kaahumanu Highway these days. West Hawaii Today.

Families of fallen war heroes have been invited to a special joint session of the state Legislature on Wednesday. Associated Press.

March is almost over and still no Republican candidate in the open 2nd Congressional District race. Civil Beat.

Two good government advocacy groups are taking state Sen. Rosalyn Baker to task over her conduct of a confirmation hearing Friday. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers question UH Manoa Chancellor's necessity. KHON2.

Hawaii Medical Service Association plans to raise health insurance premiums for roughly 84,000 small-business members by 3.8 percent after posting a more than eightfold profit to $43.8 million in 2011. Star-Advertiser.

The State Department of Education is being put to the test.  Federal officials are in town to decide if Hawaii should get $75 million in Race to the Top grant money. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu's job market still had not recovered fully from the 2008-2009 recession by the end of last year, although the city fared better than three-quarters of the nation's largest metropolitan areas, according to a report due out today by the Brookings Institution. Star-Advertiser.

The Salary Commission of the City and County of Honolulu voted to recommend raises of 5.5 percent for the police chief and his deputies, 4 percent for the fire chief and his deputy, and 3 percent for city council members, and most directors and department heads and their deputies. KHON2.

Rhetoric is heating up over the financial impact of the city's planned $5.27 billion rail transit project as two top contenders for the mayor's job traded accusations Tuesday of reckless spending and misinformation. Star-Advertiser.

Extending Honolulu's line of credit is the "big piece that's outstanding" before officials can formally ask for funding from the federal government to help pay for Honolulu's $5.2 billion rail project, incoming HART CEO Daniel Grabauskas told Civil Beat in an exclusive interview Tuesday. Civil Beat.

The new CEO and executive director of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation met with the head of the Federal Transit Administration and with Hawaii's congressional delegations in Washington Tuesday. KITV4.

Rail debt is going up, and spending on other capital projects is coming down. Civil Beat.

This letter was submitted March 26, 2012 to Leslie T. Rogers, the Regional Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration, Region IX with the U.S. Department of Transportation, 201 Mission Street, Suite 1650, San Francisco, CA 94105 by University of Hawaii Law Professor Randall Roth, Honolulu Transportation Expert Cliff Slater and Retired Judge Walter Heen, who are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the City & county of Honolulu and the FTA over the city's planned $5.3 billion elevated steel on steel rail project. Hawaii Reporter.

Honolulu City Council members learned yesterday that one possible step to lower obesity rates is to link health with transportation options. Hawaii Public Radio.

Community, Castle complex in high-risk redesign program. KITV4.


The county Water Board approved a budget Tuesday that’s 6 percent less than this year’s spending plan and relies on an already approved 2.2 percent increase in water rates starting July 1. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union employees improperly accessed the names, addresses and last four digits of Social Security numbers of “several hundred” Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union members, President James Takamine said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

A “fecal incident” over the weekend, and a slowed water filtration rate, closed the Kona Community Aquatic Center Sunday, Parks and Recreation Director Bob Fitzgerald said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Major changes at Old Kona Airport Park are unlikely to happen until the state transfers the 117-acre recreation and beach area to the county. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor Alan Arakawa's administration is exploring ways to turn waste into energy at the Central Maui Landfill. Maui News.

Eight years after becoming stuck on a reef off of Lahaina, Maui, the “Dolphin” vessel was finally carted away in pieces by helicopter at around 11 a.m. today, according to state officials. Maui Now.


The Kaua‘i Planning Commission on Tuesday approved a $10 million multiplex cinema project, complete with nine movie screens and 1,274 seats, to be built on the back parking lot of Kmart, at Kukui Grove Center. Garden Island.

The Hawaiian island of Kauai has made a list of the top 10 film locations around the world. Pacific Business News.

With the global box office success of the Hunger Games movie filmed in North Carolina, listed the top 10 film locations worldwide that included Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Kaua‘i will share in $600,000 in federal grants that were awarded to public housing agencies in Hawai‘i to help homeless veterans transition into permanent housing. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Poll: Hannemann hands-down favorite for Congress, new maps give Oahu state Senate seat to Big Island, sugary drink tax on the table today, military pulling cruisers from Pearl Harbor, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann (c) 2012 All Hawaii News

If the Democratic primary for the 2nd Congressional District were held today, Hannemann would walk away with 65 percent of the vote, compared with just 20 percent for his best-known challenger, City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard. Star-Advertiser.

Former Congressman Ed Case isn't raising as much money in his campaign for U.S. Senate as Democratic opponent Rep. Mazie Hirono and Republican candidate Linda Lingle. Civil Beat.

New political maps being proposed by the state Reapportionment Commission would shift an Oahu state Senate seat to Hawaii Island and put two Democrats into the same Senate district in the Makiki-Moiliili area. Associated Press.

New redistricting maps give Big island a fourth Senate seat, taking one from Oahu, likely at the exepnse of Sen. Carol Fukunaga, D-Makiki/Punchbowl, Ala Moana, McCully. Civil Beat.

The state Senate Health Committee will vote today on a bill to tax sugary beverages after a hearing on the measure earlier this week in which the committee's chairman told industry representatives he believes sodas are a public health problem. Star-Advertiser.

In recognition of the 50th State’s official marine mammal, Governor Neil Abercrombie and Lt. Governor Brian Schatz have officially proclaimed February 2012 as Humpback Whale Awareness Month in Hawai‘i. Hawaii Reporter.

A bill in the state Legislature proposing to end sales of unsterilized cats and dogs in Hawai‘i cleared two committees Tuesday and made potential headway for final approval, but not before erasing its spay and neuter section. Garden Island.

State health officials hope to build on the success of a bottle recycling program and expand it to include electronic devices. KITV4.

The president of Young Brothers is withdrawing from the state water commission a day before he was supposed to show up for his first meeting. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Department of Education has approved a handful of new amendments to the state's Race to the Top plan but cautioned it wants to see results when federal reviewers visit next month. Star-Advertiser.

Charter school employees should not be state employees, experts told Senate Education Chairwoman Jill Tokuda in a briefing about her omnibus charter bill last month. Civil Beat.

Several Molokai residents and University of Hawaii students have assembled a stone platform with a kii, or wooden statue, on the grounds of the state Capitol to bring attention to legislative bills that would require the labeling of genetically modified food in Hawaii stores. Star-Advertiser.

A bill before the Hawai‘i Legislature would make it impossible for counties to pass laws mandating new or existing one- and two-family dwellings to be equipped with fire sprinkler systems. Garden Island.

The Navy plans to retire two of three cruisers at Pearl Harbor under a leaner defense budget — a move that, along with other cutbacks, is expected to have a negative effect on Hawaii's economy. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for Feb. 15. Associated Press.


The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers union Tuesday announced its endorsement of former city Managing Director Kirk Caldwell in the race for Honolulu mayor. Star-Advertiser.

An amended city ordinance aimed to eliminate "gentleman farming" on Oahu has the equestrian community concerned it could eliminate businesses. KHON2.

Hawaii’s highly praised Drug Court program “is being used as a dumping ground” for criminal offenders who have washed out of another very successful program of the state Judiciary, HOPE probation, according to Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro and state Public Defender Jack Tonaki. Hawaii Reporter.

The Honolulu City Council is set to debate Bill 50, which approves the Waianae Sustainable Communities Plan, on Wednesday. Hawaii Independent.

Inmates at Hawai`i’s only women’s prison are cultivating Breadfruit trees around the prison grounds. The women say the trees are helping them as well. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu firefighters have put the brakes on their long-standing practice of assisting paramedics by driving ambulances during critical cases. Hawaii News Now.

Bishop Museum had to lay off 13 employees last week after losing $2.2 million in federal funding last year. Pacific Business News.


A new survey of Big Island physicians reveals that 32 percent plan to end their service here within the next five years. Tribune-Herald.

Three Hawaii County police officers dragged an apparently catatonic 68-year-old woman out of a patrol car Saturday, propped her up on a bench at the Mooheau Terminal and advised her to take a bus and go home. West Hawaii Today.

The former Kulani correctional facility has been identified as a possible site for the first culture-based wellness center for incarcerated Native Hawaiians. Associated Press.

Don't look for widening work on Queen Kaahumanu Highway beyond Kealakehe Parkway before fall. West Hawaii Today.


A proposal that would give County Council members a "maximum term, never to return," was narrowly shot down Monday by the county Charter Commission. Maui News.

The Maui County Council Planning Committee on Monday again delayed action on a bill regulating short-term rentals, with the committee chairman saying he hoped the bill could move forward at the committee's next meeting at the end of the month. Maui News.

The County Council Policy Committee will discuss nominees for county boards and commissions at a meeting starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Maui News.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation will be updating the Regional Long-Range Land Transportation Plans for the islands of Maui/Molokai/Lanai, Hawaii and Kauai and is asking the public to participate. Maui Now.


County officials will hold five public workshops during the next two weeks on the proposed Kaua‘i Multimodal Land Transportation Plan. Garden Island.


Someone is shooting horses dead on Molokai, and the owners of the ranch where it happened are mystified as to why it's happening. Hawaii News Now.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tax hikes mulled, statewide bag ban sought, Hawaii flunks Race to the Top, teacher union vote set, Lingle, Hannemann net union endorsements, yacht resumes Molokai trips, home sales mixed, $38M rail contract awarded, 75 Kauai County jobs unfilled, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Former Gov. Linda Lingle (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers on Monday endorsed former Gov. Linda Lingle for U.S. Senate, which gives the Republican a window into the blue-collar labor community that usually prefers Democrats. Star-Advertiser.

On Monday, the United Public Workers, Local 646 announced its endorsement of former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann to serve Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Hawaii News Now.

The state plans to tighten spending rather than increase taxes to cover a predicted $19.3 million state budget deficit in fiscal year 2013, Hawaii officials said Monday. Associated Press.

Tax increases and other revenue-generating measures are being considered by the Abercrombie administration to deal with budget shortfalls expected to top $164 million in fiscal year 2014 and grow in successive years. Star-Advertiser.

The state's recently downgraded revenues forecast won't scrap Gov. Neil Abercrombie's financial plan for this year or next. Civil Beat.

The effects of newly downgraded tax revenue projections will be “minimal” for the current state budget but will be “quite considerable and severe” in future years, causing Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s administration to at least consider the possibility of future tax increases, Budget Director Kalbert Young said today. Hawaii Reporter.

State Budget and Finance Director Kalbert Young told lawmakers Monday the Abercrombie administration is drawing up a revised six year financial plan in order to deal with long-term deficits that rise above $300 million within the next four fiscal years. KHON2.

Hawaii missed major milestones during its first year of implementing reforms under a $75 million "Race to the Top" education grant, the U.S. Department of Education said. Associated Press.

In its first year of a four-year, $75 million Race to the Top grant, Hawaii missed "the majority" of its education reform milestones, a new U.S. Department of Education report says. Star-Advertiser.

Several states that won a slice of the U.S. Department of Education's $4.3 billion Race to the Top competition have had to delay plans to implement ambitious reforms and two could possibly lose money if they don't get back on track. Associated Press.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association hopes to hold a ratification vote on a new six-year contract on Jan. 19. Star-Advertiser.

The tentative agreement reached by the state and the Hawaii State Teachers Association could help to save federal education funds. Hawaii News Now.

The Governor says a tentative labor deal with the teachers union should help the state secure $75 million dollars in federal "Race to the Top" money. KHON2.

With the legislative session gearing up, advocates are pushing for a statewide law to bring O`ahu into the mix and deal with some unforeseen problems the plastic bag bans created. Hawaii Public Radio.

State roundup for January 10. Associated Press.


The city has awarded a $38.8 million contract to Los Angeles-based AECOM Technical Services Inc. to design the rail transit project's airport segment. Star-Advertiser.

Judge: Civil Beat Can Blog Honolulu Rail Lawsuit. Civil Beat.

Honolulu officials have taken the first major step toward using the new belongings ban to remove homeless people from public sidewalks. Civil Beat.

Sun, surf and 24,000 cubic yards of sand; the state’s plan to replenish the shoreline along Waikiki requires large equipment to pump that sand from more than 1,500 feet offshore. KITV4.

State Sen. Donna Kim, a frequent critic of programs and activities at state airports, got an unpleasant surprise when she took the new shuttle service from Honolulu International Airport to her home in the Kalihi neighborhood of Honolulu. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii's slow and uneven economic recovery appeared to rub off on Oahu's housing market last year, as median prices dipped a little on relatively flat buyer demand. Star-Advertiser.


The Big Island saw about a 15 percent decline in single-family home sales in December, but hardly any change in condominium sales, according to Hawaii Information Service. Pacific Business News.

A Hawaii USDA office will be closed as part of an effort to cut costs. KHON2.

Reimbursement for services -- particularly from Medicare and Medicaid -- will continue to be a top issue for Kona Community Hospital and West Hawaii physicians, a Big Island senator said Monday. West Hawaii Today.

Ten Hawaii Island couples had applications for civil unions certified last week, according to the state Department of Health. Tribune-Herald.


Maui home sales were mixed in December, while prices for both single-family homes and condominiums were down by double-digit amounts, according to the Realtors Association of Maui. Pacific Business News.

Makawao Veterans Cemetery may reach capacity for burials in one and a half to two years, so plans are being laid for the purchase of a 10-acre adjoining property. Maui News.

The Wailuku copy and business center, Maui Business Etc, will be the site of a lunchtime “Coffee Talk with Mazie” on Wednesday, January 11. Maui Now.


Single-family home sales on Kauai dropped more than 50 percent in December compared to the same month in 2010, according to Hawaii Information Service. Pacific Business News.

The Kaua‘i County Council in May approved — and funded — dozens of county job positions which have yet to be filled, Council Chair Jay Furfaro said Monday. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Community College opened its classrooms Monday for the start of the spring semester. Garden Island.


American Safari Cruises (ASC) is resuming scheduled two-day stops to Molokai later this month after company officials, local protesters and state and federal authorities reached an agreement. Molokai Dispatch.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hawaii senators propose $500M stimulus plan, Native Hawaiians taking federal recogition into their own hands, teachers, governor strike deal, REAL ID coming to Hawaii, Maui seeks new buoys, Kauai mourns broadcaster Dahle, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiian protest (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Frustrated with a 10-year congressional fight to obtain federal recognition and form a nation-within-a-nation government, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has decided to follow a path that has led several American Indian tribes to success. Civil Beat.

State senators, looking to stimulate job creation and help lift the construction industry out of the doldrums, want to aggressively pursue as much as $500 million in bond-financed construction projects at public schools, hospitals and state buildings. Star-Advertiser.

Now that the Hawaii Supreme Court has sent the state Reapportionment Commission back to the drawing board, former state Sen. Lorraine Inouye is positioning herself to run for what is likely to become the island's fourth Senate seat. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii's congressional candidates want your money, but most of them won't tell you exactly when and where they're asking for it. Civil Beat.

In less than two months, all Hawaii residents who are applying for or renewing a driver's license must bring documents that establish their legal presence in the state. Tribune-Herald.

The 2010 census showed Filipinos have overtaken Japanese as the second largest ethnic group in Hawai’i, behind Caucasians. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii's tourism officials are supporting federal legislation that could increase the number of Chinese and Canadian visitors to the U.S. Hawaii News Now.

The State of Hawaii and the Hawaii State Teachers Association have reached a tentative agreement Friday, ending a dispute that threatened federal funding for Hawaii's schools and spurred legal action from the teacher's union. KITV4.

Lynn Heirakuji has stepped in as the vice-chair of the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness, filling a seat vacated on Friday by Marc Alexander the former state coordinator on the homeless. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian monk seal deaths are coming as the federal government steps up its efforts to protect the seals, leading to simmering resentment among some fishermen who fear new regulations will trample upon their right to fish. Associated Press.

Some positive economic numbers from the state's largest bank show an overall increase in business spending from last year. KITV4.

State roundup for January 9. Associated Press.


In a curious postscript to a high-profile city contracting dispute, state records show that two of the three companies vying for a contract to produce rail cars for the Honolulu rail project responded to a request for proposals before the companies were licensed as Hawaii contractors. Star-Advertiser.

A handful of teachers in Hawaii are using a new service that allows them to blast a text message to parents, who can then text back. Star-Advertiser.

Occupy Honolulu Asked Mayor for Immunity From Sidewalk Belongings Ban. Civil Beat.

A University of Hawaii research vessel that called for Coast Guard assistance when it began taking on water some 60 miles off Oahu returned safely to port Saturday. Hawaii News Now.

More than 6,000 farmers and ranchers from across the nation are in Honolulu for the annual American Farm Bureau Federation meeting at the Hawaii Convention Center. KHON2.


Some Kohala residents attempted to light a fire under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to request funding and implement an action plan that solves the silt and sedimentation problems inside Pelekane Bay. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. said Friday that it hopes to add up to 50 megawatts of geothermal energy on the Big Island. Pacific Business News.

Improper chemical storage has caused safety and health threats at Big Island schools, say local hazardous waste experts seeking to increase awareness of the dangers. Tribune-Herald.


Ocean safety advocates are renewing calls for the state to replace missing swim-zone buoys off Kaanapali, saying the recent death of a man at Canoe Beach shows the increasing danger of collisions between boats and swimmers. Maui News.

A Hana-based spiritual center could expand to receive overnight guests, under a proposal that received the support of the Maui County Council's Land Use Committee on Wednesday. Maui News.

Supporters were ecstatic last Thursday when the Maui County Council members voted unanimously to ban alcohol at Kalama Park and Cove Park in Kihei. Maui Now.


Veteran Kaua‘i broadcast journalist William Gordon “Bill” Dahle, who was called “the Walter Cronkite of radio news” on the island, died at his home in Kalaheo Saturday. Garden Island.