Showing posts with label employment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label employment. Show all posts

Monday, April 18, 2022

Prices rise, workers quit, food stamps increase in Hawaii economy, COVID-19 wastewater monitoring to start this summer, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Shoppers and strollers in Waikiki ©2022 All Hawaii News
Why Businesses Are Passing Their Rising Costs On To Consumers. The price of groceries rose almost 12% in March compared with the same month a year ago, while gasoline prices increased almost 40%. Civil Beat.

A Record Number of Hawai‘i Workers Quit Their Jobs in 2021. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest data shows that 222,000 local employees had voluntarily resigned. In September alone, about 38,000 people quit – 6.6% of the local workforce and the highest rate for that month in the nation. Hawaii Business Magazine.

Amid growing need, extra food stamp benefits extended to end of May
. According to the Department of Human Services, nearly 200,000 people in Hawaii rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. State officials say it is a 36% increase from prior to the pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Bill would expedite farmland transfers. While two state agencies continue to vie over management of about 100,000 acres of state land set aside for agriculture, lawmakers are pushing a bill to expedite the transfer of those lands to support local farming and ranching. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers still practicing gut-and-replace surgery on bills
. The Hawaii Supreme Court laid down a precedent-setting November ruling that invalidated a 2018 law stemming from a gut-and-replace maneuver, designating certain aspects of the practice as unconstitutional. Yet at least two examples of bills that could easily be considered an affront to the court’s decision popped up recently at the Legislature. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Tourism Authority is operating on an extremely tight deadline to award its largest contract to supply destination management services and promote Hawaii to the U.S. market, the state’s most important visitor source market. Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau has always had HTA’s top contract and is expected to bid for the next one. Star-Advertiser.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs might get more of what it’s owed from the state of Hawaii.
A bill that the House of Representatives approved unanimously Tuesday would raise an annual sum the state pays OHA to $21.5 million, up from $15.1 million, as another interim effort to satisfy a state obligation rooted in Hawaii’s Constitution. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii public schools could soon offer free menstrual products. State legislators are close to passing Senate Bill 2821, which would appropriate about $1 million to the Department of Education to provide menstrual pads and tampons because many students can’t afford them. Hawaii News Now.

Bills target abandoned cars: ‘Big penalty’ sought for those who leave the vehicles. House Bills 1411 through 1414 propose harsher penalties for owners of derelict vehicles that could generate millions of dollars for the state per year. Tribune-Herald.

Monitoring for COVID-19 in Hawaii wastewater expected to start this summer. A growing number of studies show the value of wastewater monitoring not only as an early detection system for trends in coronavirus cases in a community, but for the presence of variants such as BA.2. and other potential mutations on the horizon. Star-Advertiser.

COVID cases likely three times more than reported. During a livestream on Friday, infectious disease expert and Senior Fellow in the Research Program at East-West Center on Oahu Dr. Tim Brown speculated cases could be underreported “by about a factor of three.” Tribune-Herald.


Ikaika Anderson’s Honolulu City Council resignation raises questions in lieutenant governor race. Ikaika Anderson is prepared to explain to voters why he resigned his Windward City Council seat in 2020 saying he wanted to focus on caring for his Waimanalo grandparents who raised him, but ended up working for a mason’s union job that he left after nine months. Star-Advertiser.

Public weighs in on Ala Wai flood-control proposals. Under consideration is dredging the canal, adding raised walls along its banks and adding earthen/silt berms to divert floodwaters into Ala Wai Park, the golf course and neighboring school grounds, partially restoring the area’s former wetlands and kalo paddies. Star-Advertiser.

Coming back from a crime at nonprofit ʻŌlelo Community Media. Roger McKeaugue joined ʻŌlelo Community Media in April 2021 as head of the nonprofit at a delicate time. In the previous month, a former vice president had pleaded guilty to federal charges of embezzling money from the organization, including CARES Act funding. Hanalei Apioalani was sentenced to 46 months in prison. Hawaii Public Radio.

Developer of Hawaii Ocean Plaza gives update on project. The city of Honolulu has cited a development project for not taking care of its build site along Kapiolani Boulevard. The complaint involves the homeless visiting a two story building on the property, overgrown weeds and a broken fence. This comes as the developer missed key deadlines for permits. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Bugs still being worked out of EPIC: Some building permits still stuck in the system. Hawaii County continues to work the bugs out of its online building permit system, but some testifiers to the county Cost of Government Commission aren’t convinced it’s happening fast enough. West Hawaii Today.

Council to view presentation on ‘dark sky’ initiatives. Hawaii County could save money and attract tourists by reducing light pollution, according to a presentation by a Big Island activist to be heard this week by the County Council. Tribune-Herald.

Ige releases $1.5M for Puako sewer plans. A long-anticipated project to improve water quality and protect the coral reef by replacing cesspools at Puako with a sewer system is finally moving forward with the announcement Friday that Gov. David Ige has released $1.5 million to get the design work started. West Hawaii Today.

Honokaa cockfight draws hundreds: Alleged organizer arrested; 21 chickens killed. According to a Tribune-Herald search of previous stories and media releases by the Hawaii Police Department, the last time a cockfighting arrest ended up with criminal charges on the Big Island was on March 30, 2019, also in Honokaa. Tribune-Herald.


Months after social host law took effect, no citations issued. Questions surround enforcement of law, which police chief calls ‘unconstitutional’. No citations have been issued under a county law holding adult hosts accountable for underage drinking at house parties on Maui, more than six months since the measure was implemented. Maui News.

Kama plans two changes to county’s Taser rules, slated to be heard Friday. Council Member Tasha Kama in a news release said that the planned changes include consolidating the county’s administrative responsibilities for electric gun dealer licensing and clarifying the business insurance requirements for electric gun sellers. Maui Now.

Cleaning This Polluted Maui Harbor Requires Money, Land And Oysters. The County Council will vote on whether to approve $9.5 million for a state-of-the art wastewater treatment plant in Maalaea. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Maui airport sees faster processing, fewer disorderlies in wake of Safe Travels. The leader of Maui district airports said Kahului Airport processing times and disorderly traveler incidents have subsided since Hawaiʻi’s Safe Travels program was lifted three weeks ago.  Maui Now.


Kaua‘i legislators return donations tied to bribery figure
. Following a February bribery scandal, some Kaua‘i lawmakers have made moves to distance themselves from money tied to the central figure in the case. Garden Island.

Owner reunited with stolen canoe on Kauai after weeks-long search. A canoe stolen on Kauai in early April has been found and returned to its rightful owner. Hawaii News Now.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Construction boom, workforce shrinks, student scores lag, rail costs soar, Maui to ban commercial park activity on Sundays, HECO wins $638.5M Army contract, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Construction cranes dot Kakaako skyline ©2019 All Hawaii News
Construction industry spending will continue at around $9 billion until 2021, report finds. It’s a good time to be working in Hawaii’s construction industry. It’s so good that concerns are being raised about a labor shortage being on the horizon if some exceptionally big planned projects go forward. Star-Advertiser.

What’s up with Hawaii’s incredible shrinking civilian labor force? State figures for August put the civilian labor force in Hawaii at 656,800 people. That’s down by more than 20,000 from the same month in 2018. Hawaii News Now.


Test scores stall for Hawaii students. The academic performance of Hawaii public school students stagnated this year, with the proficiency rate in math staying flat and slight dips in language arts and science. Star-Advertiser.

How ‘Green Fees’ Might Offset The Hidden Costs Of Tourism In Hawaii. A growing number of tourism hot spots, ranging from Mallorca to Bhutan to New Zealand, are imposing new taxes and fees on visitors. Civil Beat.

Young Brothers faces customer, regulatory hurdles with 34% rate hike ask. Interisland cargo carrier Young Brothers says it needs an unprecedented 34 percent rate hike to survive. What could this mean for residents, businesses and the future of the more than century-old shipper? KHON2.

US Gives Limited Approval To Hawaiian-Japan Airlines Venture. Hawaiian officials expressed disappointment that the preliminary decision doesn’t give the two airlines with full antitrust immunity. Associated Press.


HECO wins $638.5M Army contract. Hawaiian Electric Co. announced Thursday it has been awarded a $638.5 million contract to own, operate and maintain the electrical distribution system for the Army’s 12 installations on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

HECO Wins $639M, 50-Year Contract As Army Privatizes Its Electric System. Hawaiian Electric Co. Inc. has been awarded a contract to own and  operate the electrical system for the U.S. Army's Oahu installations, a deal valued at $638.5 million over 50 years, the company said in a release Thursday. Hawaii Public Radio.


Honolulu Rail’s West Side Station Costs Are Soaring. The HART board is poised to approve an $18 million deal to resolve about 150 construction claims. Civil Beat.

Major rail preparation work to kick off on Dillingham Blvd. next month. Rail officials say construction on Dillingham Boulevard is about to accelerate dramatically ― with hundreds of workers on the strip up to 20 hours a day. Hawaii News Now.

People unpaid and underpaid for rail move wait for make-good; Dillingham construction starts Nov. 12. KHON2.


Acting prosecutor’s truth questioned after defending Katherine Kealoha’s actions. Did the head of the Honolulu prosecutor’s office lie to a city council committee? Hawaii News Now.

The Sun Is Setting On One Of Hawaii’s Last Legacy Estates. The Damon Trust spans much of the island’s modern history, with roots back to the Hawaiian Kingdom. Civil Beat.

Heart Disease May Be Linked To Pesticide Exposure. A new finding has emerged from historic data from the Kuakini Medical Center Honolulu Heart Program, which began to track the health of about 8,000 Japanese American men on Oahu in the mid 1960s: pesticide exposure may increase the risk for heart disease and stroke. Civil Beat.

Invasive thrifts spread on Oahu, prompting officials to call for drastic measures. Worried that an invasive insect will ravage Oahu’s native naio population as it did on Hawaii island, state officials are now urging people to remove healthy naio trees from their gardens before they become infected. Star-Advertiser.


A suspected brothel in St. Louis Heights is raided by authorities. Authorities zeroed in on a St. Louis Heights home suspected of operating as a brothel. Hawaii News Now.

Investigators carry out search warrant at St. Louis Heights residence suspected of operating as a brothel. Investigators with the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney carried out a search warrant Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at a residence on St. Louis Heights suspected of operating as a brothel. KITV.

St. Louis Heights residence investigated after prostitution complaints. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Despite delays caused by hot lava rock, Highway 132 could reopen next month. Paving on the reconstructed portion of Highway 132 has been completed, and the county Department of Public Works anticipates opening the road in November. Tribune-Herald.

HVO scientists explain how lava flows cool. The lava flows near Highway 132 could take decades to completely cool down, according to scientists. Tribune-Herald.

Hu Honua Bioenergy, the company that plans to burn trees to produce energy using the refurbished and refitted Pepeʻekeo power plant, is actively courting the community for support, as environmental activists continue to fight the project. As Hu Honua, aka Honua Ola Bioenergy, drills deeper injection wells, the company juggles DOH, PUC approvals and neighborhood improvement projects. Big Island Video News.

Stepped-up DKI Highway enforcement nets 591 citations, six arrests. Officers assigned to the Thirty Meter Telescope protester blockade and encampment on Maunakea Access Road issued 591 traffic citations and arrested six suspects for 10 offenses on Daniel K. Inouye Highway between Sept. 26-Oct. 2, police said Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

Kona Pool Scheduled to Reopen This Month. Kona Aquatics Center is set to reopen this month after it was forced to close indefinitely for repairs in March. Big Island Now.


County to halt all commercial activity at parks Sundays, holidays. New permit restrictions to take effect in about 30 days. Maui News.

State Acquires Land Under Maui’s Front Street Apartments. The move could help preserve affordable units for about 250 tenants. Civil Beat.

State Acquires Land Under Maui’s Front Street Apartments. Gov. David Ige announced Thursday that the state has completed its transaction to acquire the land under Front Street Apartments on Maui. Maui Now.

State buys land under Maui apartment complex in bid to keep it affordable. The state purchased the land for $15 million. Hawaii News Now.

New bridge over Wailuku River mulled by County Council. Council members say new crossing needed to advance housing projects. Maui News.


Historic County Building illuminated for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Historic County Building at night is lit with pink lights through October, in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Garden Island.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Experts study snorkel safety, Honolulu council strikes 'in lieu' fees for affordable housing, Fukumoto announces congressional bid, tourists average $600 nightly for luxury hotels, $100M highway money for Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii snorkel ©2018 All Hawaii News
In the last five years, 90 people have died in snorkeling related activities, according to the state Department of Health. And a rise in that number has prompted experts to try to figure out why. Hawaii News Now.

Several dozen stakeholders — including lifeguards, tour boat operators, doctors and members of the tourism industry — convened at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort on Wednesday to discuss the prevention of snorkel-related drownings among visitors in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii visitors were willing to pay, on average, nearly $600 a night to stay in a luxury property last month, which hotel executives say was one of the most remarkable months for Hawaii hotel performance in nearly three decades. Star-Advertiser.

New tax benefits likely overstated for Hawaii’s poorest. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which issued a report with the estimate March 12, now says it probably overestimated the average savings for 92,030 Hawaii taxpayers earning up to $10,000 under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Star-Advertiser.

State Rep. Beth Fukumoto, who garnered national attention for leaving the GOP, announced Thursday she’s running for Congress. Hawaii News Now.

She Was An ‘R,’ Now She’s A ‘D’ — And Running For Congress. State Rep. Beth Fukumoto hopes to ride anti-Trump sentiment to Capitol Hill. Civil Beat.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has a big idea. He wants to eliminate student debt for any one who needs a loan to attend a public college or university. Civil Beat.

Medical Aid In Dying: A Long Journey From No To Yes For These Lawmakers. More than a decade of life experiences and listening changed the minds of Hawaii legislators on an emotional issue that often divides people by faith and values. Civil Beat.

State lawmakers will hear a bill today that would cap the number of standardized tests students take at four per school year. House Bill 2117 says limiting the assessments would help “promote real-world learning experiences for Hawaii’s children.” Tribune-Herald.

A bill nearing a final vote in the state Legislature would require counties to dispose of abandoned vehicles on public roads within 10 business days of abandonment. Tribune-Herald.

The Cable Television Division of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs issued a decision and order keeping ‘Olelo’s community-access channels in their current locations until 2036, it was announced Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.


Caldwell likely to sign affordable housing bill. A new citywide affordable housing policy won final approval Wednesday from the Honolulu City Council. Star-Advertiser.

The City Council unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday that urges the mayor to address concerns about a plan to eliminate beachfront parking at Ala Moana Regional Park. Hawaii News Now.

A bill creating a monthly $5 charge for curbside trash pickup cleared its first hurdle at the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday but still has a long way to go. Star-Advertiser.

US prosecutors want one corruption trial against former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, his deputy prosecutor wife Katherine, three current officers, and one former police major. KITV.

Board of Water Supply seeks public feedback on proposed rate increases. KHON2.

The water is rising. Is Hawaii's largest public works project ready? Hawaii News Now.

Formerly homeless vets get a fresh start at West Oahu complex. Hawaii News Now.

Complete Streets community events slated for Kaneohe, Kailua, Pearl City. KHON2.

Firefighters have determined a Makiki fire in which a 49-year-old man was found dead last week was intentionally set, a Honolulu Fire Department spokesman said. Star-Advertiser.

FBI investigates Waipahu church for alleged human trafficking. Hawaii News Now.

Kapiolani Community College narrows search for chancellor to 3 finalists. Hawaii News Now.

More than 150 employers were on hand today for this year’s Star-Advertiser Career Expo. Hawaii Public Radio.

Employers search for rare ‘diamonds’ in rough job market. With the state sporting a February unemployment rate of 2.1 percent, the lowest in the country, more than 160 companies and organizations on Wednesday hoped to attract workers who are already employed to the Career Expo 2018 held at the Neal Blaisdell Center. Star-Advertiser.

Target is voluntarily recalling nearly 250 frozen food items sold at its Ala Moana location. The company says the products affected may be spoiled and can cause serious illness, if consumed. KITV.

Hawaii Island

Council eyes using portion of geothermal royalties to get internet access at Pahoa Community Center. Tribune-Herald.

Local TV Is Getting Bigger and Bolder. Na Leo TV has greatly expanded its staff, facilities and its presence on the island. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii Island doctor accused of prescription fraud changed his plea to guilty to some of the various charges he was indicted on last year. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Expected to Get $100M in Federal Highway Funds. The public is invited to learn about proposed federal transportation projects for Maui at four community workshops in April. Maui Now.

United States District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright sentenced 32-year-old Cody Joslin to 18 months in prison today, March 28, 2018, for theft of funds from the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Maui Now.


A bill proposing the $5.6 million purchase of land in Hanalei by the County of Kauai was moved forward at Wednesday’s County Council meeting. Garden Island.

People should think twice about jumping into the water at Koloa Landing right now, according to the Kauai chapter of Surfrider and the state Department of Health, as a brown plume was seen there Tuesday afternoon. Garden Island.

Anyone interested in being an extra in one of Hollywood’s upcoming action/adventure movies being filmed on Kauai can audition to be part of the cast or crew on Saturday. Garden Island.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Nurses to prescribe marijuana, Ige vetoes Maui hospital workers bill, Pacific Missile Range facility named for Inouye, drive-thru voter registration begins, electricity returned to Oahu jail, former Maui film commissioner sues over firing, PUC chairman calls for attorney general investigation, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Medical marijuana permits handmade sign © 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaii patients may have easier access to medical marijuana now that nurses can certify them for the drug. Advocates say the change was needed because there’s a shortage of doctors willing to certify patients. Associated Press.

Gov. David Ige signed House Bill 2707 into law Monday. The measure allows for greater access by allowing registered nurses to certify patients for medical marijuana use. KITV.

Proponents are giving new updates to Hawaii’s medical marijuana dispensary law an “A” grade, but plan to lobby for more changes in the future. On Monday, Gov. David Ige signed House Bill 2707, an omnibus bill that aims to tie up loose ends in current dispensary law and increase access for patients. Tribune-Herald.

Before Hawai‘i cannabis can hit the market, it will have to be tested. HPR’s Molly Solomon visited one lab that’s hoping to be the state’s first. Hawaii Public Radio.

A new study says large majorities of people surveyed online in Hawaii (76 percent) and California (72 percent) support physician-assisted death. Civil Beat.

The Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission is calling for a state Attorney General investigation into what he says is a "smear" campaign against interim PUC commissioner Tom Gorak. Hawaii News Now.

The Governor hosted an Education Summit over the weekend with more than one-thousand teachers, parents, students and policy makers in attendance. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state Office of Elections and county clerks will hold drive-thru voter registration Wednesday and Thursday, the deadline to register for the Aug. 13 primary. Star-Advertiser.

Family and general practitioners have the highest average annual salaries in Hawaii at $228,220, according to a top-100 list by Zippia, a career resource website that culled its data from the May 2015 occupational employment and wage estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Star-Advertiser.

Solar applicants on Maui are pushing the limit, while Oahu and Big Island are well past the halfway point for the capacity for residential solar systems that can export excess power to the grid and receive credit. Star-Advertiser.

Why Everyone Wanted To Work For Hawaiian Electric. With a devastating war behind it, Hawaii embraced the promise of a bright future. And it needed HECO more than ever. Civil Beat.

Two environmental groups support holding public meetings on Kauai and Oahu to discuss two proposals to put floating wind turbines in a channel that separates the two islands. Pacific Business News.


The Honolulu Charter Commission, at a busy meeting Thursday, nixed a plan to give city planners more leeway in issuing zoning variances and advanced a proposal requiring all nonprofit groups to be vetted before being allowed to get taxpayer grant money. Star-Advertiser.

Electricity was restored Monday afternoon to most areas of Oahu Community Correctional Center, the state’s largest jail, following an outage that began Friday afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

The Oahu Community Correctional Center continued to experience electrical problems Monday, three days after the issue first began. Hawaii News Now.

The director of the City and County’s Emergency Medical Services says he is looking at possibly changing the department’s 12-hour shifts or making other shift changes to alleviate the staffing shortages. KHON2.

The smell of urine emanated from the sidewalks of Iwilei on Monday as the city’s homeless enforcement team returned to once again break down makeshift shelters built out of cardboard, tarps and wooden pallets — one of hundreds of sweeps that have taken place since the cleanup crew was created more than three years ago. Star-Advertiser.

The primary race for the state House District 44 seat, which includes Maili, Waianae, Makaha and Makua, pits two familiar faces against each other on the Democratic side and two newcomers on the Republican end. Star-Advertiser.


Time is running out if you want a say in who’s going to be the next mayor, or who will fill any number of federal, state and local seats up for grabs on the primary election ballot. West Hawaii Today.

The candidates for Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney spent an hour on Saturday fielding questions from Puna’s members of the Hawaii County Democratic Party. Big Island Video News.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has announced two public meetings to discuss an application filed by Young Brothers, Ltd., an interisland shipping company, for approval of a general rate increase. West Hawaii Today.


Gov. David Ige on Monday vetoed a bill that would provide extra severance and retirement bonuses for workers affected by the privatization of Maui County hospitals. At the same time, he offered up an amended and less costly version of the measure for the Legislature’s consideration. Star-Advertiser.

The former Maui film commissioner has filed a wrongful termination suit against the island’s mayor, accusing the mayor of firing him in 2013 at the request of Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh, a longtime friend and booster of the mayor. Maui Watch.

The Maui Police Department launched a feasibility study on Friday, July 8, 2016, on the use of the VIEVU body-worn camera.  Maui Now.

The construction of two portable classrooms to ease overcrowding at Makawao Elementary School is expected to begin in October, said state Sen. J. Kalani English, who represents the district. Maui News.

State Sen. Michelle Kidani, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, has organized a town hall meeting on the new federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act, for Maui from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Baldwin High Auditorium. Maui News.


The range and range operations center at the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands will be named in honor of Daniel Inouye, the late Democratic U.S. senator from Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is in the process of renewing its Endangered Species Act Incidental Take Permit, and an upcoming meeting on the subject is designed to bring the public up to speed. Garden Island.

Councilman Ross Kagawa wants to talk dogs and trees when the Kauai County Council meets in committee Wednesday. Garden Island.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

USS Arizona Memorial to close for repairs, Department of Health delays medical marijuana dispensary licenses, Hawaii House OKs empty shell bill, East-West Center on congressional pork list, council praises Kenoi and his budget, Maui County clerks rally for raises, Kauai council postpones general excise tax hike, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy National Park Service
USS Arizona Memorial, courtesy National Park Service
Visitors will not be able to go call on one of Hawaii’s most memorable and popular attractions early this summer. The dock of the USS Arizona, across from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, will be dismantled, removed and replaced between June 13 and June 26. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Health Department confirmed Wednesday that it will miss the deadline for awarding licenses to the state’s first eight medical marijuana dispensary contractors. Star-Advertiser.

Despite a statutory deadline of April 15, the state Department of Health will wait until April 28 to announce the eight companies that will receive licenses to grow and sell medical marijuana. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Department of Health says it's going to delay announcing the names of Hawaii's first medical marijuana dispensary owners. Officials say they planned to release the names April 15, but are delaying the announcement two weeks. Associated Press.

The Hawaii state Department of Health said Wednesday it is delaying its announcement of the state's first eight medical marijuana dispensary licensees by two weeks to allow all 66 applicants to submit fingerprints for background checks. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health is reviewing the criminal history records of applicants for the Medical Marijuana Dispensary licenses after announcing last week that applicants were given notice to provide consents and submit fingerprints. Maui Now.


Resources have not kept pace with Hawaii’s rapidly aging population when it comes to ensuring the health and safety of residents living in long-term care facilities, according to health officials and state budget documents. Civil Beat.

On the House side, lawmakers took the extremely unusual step of approving on the floor a bill relating to geothermal power that does not actually have any content. That so-called “short-form” bill will now go to conference committee and can be amended there to insert language that can then become law. No public testimony is allowed in conference committee, effectively shutting out the public from providing input on a hotly contested issue. Star-Advertiser.

It’s been years since the country recovered from the Great Recession spurred by the subprime mortgage crisis, but economic conditions for Hawaii’s low-income residents haven’t fully rebounded, according to a report by the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, a nonprofit law firm that advocates on behalf of the poor. Star-Advertiser.

The state says the construction industry will again lead Hawaii’s economy with the fastest growth rate. On Wednesday, the state released its employment forecast for the short-term. Officials predict the construction industry will increase 12.1 percent, creating 3,880 jobs between the first quarters of 2015 and 2017. KHON2.


The  U.S. Department of Justice has awarded $200,000 to the Honolulu prosecutor’s office to kick-start a proposed mobile court aimed at clearing the court docket of thousands of homeless defendants who don’t show up and end up accruing bench warrants and additional penalties that keep them from getting jobs or housing. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office has received a $200,000 federal grant to implement a community court that is intended to help resolve a backlog of over 11,000 low-level, non-violent cases. Civil Beat.

The Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert law firm has sent a cease and desist letter to the Honolulu county permitting department, requesting that it cease issuing notices of violations for homeowners involved with vacation rentals in residential districts. Pacific Business News.

A Honolulu City Councilman is proposing a newly opened city homeless shelter in Sand Island be closed, and homeless living in their cars be allowed to park on the property and sleep instead. Hawaii News Now.

With news reports warning that the solar giant SunEdison could declare bankruptcy as early as this week, the fate of a trio of the company’s stalled solar projects on Oahu remains uncertain. Civil Beat.

The Catholic Church knew late Honolulu Bishop Joseph Anthony Ferrario had been accused of sexual abuse while a priest in Kailua, but appointed him to head the Honolulu diocese anyway, a Catholic priest who was in charge of managing the process in which candidates were vetted for the office of bishop alleges in a new 18-page court report. Hawaii News Now.

Three additional lawsuits were filed Wednesday accusing Catholic priests in the Diocese of Honolulu of sexual abuse. Associated Press.

Citizens Against Government Waste lists the East-West Center in Honolulu in its 2016 Congressional Pig Book, which flags congressional earmarks deemed unnecessary. Civil Beat.

Ocean Safety welcomes their first rescue boat ever. The boat will be stationed at Kewalo Basin Harbor. It will provide emergency ocean response to the Kakaako waterfront area. KITV4.


Council praises Mayor Billy Kenoi and his $462.7M spending plan. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi was critical on Wednesday of the State of Hawaii’s distribution of the Transient Accommodations Tax to the four counties, which is likely to be millions less than what Kenoi says the counties should be getting. Big Island Video News.

Two bills that would have provided funding to combat invasive pests on the Big Island are dead in the state Senate. The measures would have appropriated money to help treat infestations of little fire ants and macadamia felted coccid. Tribune-Herald.

Assuming they survive the haggling of conference committees later this month, tens of millions of dollars in funding and projects will be coming West Hawaii’s way in the months ahead. West Hawaii Today.

It’s been nearly 16 months since students and staff gathered for a formal groundbreaking of the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy’s long-awaited permanent building. But since then, little at the South Ahoku Street construction site has changed. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County clerks and supporters wave signs outside the Kalana O Maui building Tuesday morning. Their chants included, "What do we want? Equal Pay! When do we want it? Now!" Maui News.

The state Senate passed a bill Tuesday to allow holdover state water diversion permits for farmers, ranchers and utilities, but not for Alexander & Baldwin and subsidiary Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. to continue to divert East Maui stream water for irrigation. Maui News.

For the eighth year, Maui Electric Company has been named one of the nation’s top utilities for connecting the most solar watts per customer to the grid, earning ninth place in the annual Top 10 list compiled by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), formerly the Solar Electric Power Association. MauiWatch.

Maui Mall is a step closer to beginning its $10 million expansion and renovation project, which will be phased in over the next several years. Maui News.


In a 4-3 decision Wednesday, the Budget and Finance Committee voted to defer a proposed general excise tax increase to May. Garden Island.

Residents in the North Shore community of Haena will most likely be teaming up with the state to manage the new Community-Based Fisheries Subsistence Area. Garden Island.

Fern Anuenue Rosenstiel filed papers to run for state representative for Kauai District 14, east and north Kauai. Garden Island.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Board of Regents plans public meeting on Thirty Meter Telescope, Mauna Kea opposition spreads, teachers' pay hike nears, Ige's water board pick controversial, job forecast rosy, police behavior targeted, Kauai monk seal recovered, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Occupy Hawaii Media
TMT opponents build a Mauna Kea hale, courtesy Occupy Hilo Media
The University of Hawaii Board of Regents will hold a special board meeting to discuss the future of the Thirty Meter Telescope project this Thursday, April 16, at 11:30 a.m. at the University of Hawaii Hilo campus. Hawaii Independent.

Big promises from the University of Hawaii over the Thirty Meter Telescope, which started construction atop Mauna Kea then stalled amidst mounting concerns with the project. The university, which manages observatory activity on the mountain, says this will be the last project for the area. KHON2.

Hundreds of students walked out of classes at University of Hawaii campuses around the state Monday in a show of support for those protesting the Thirty Meter Telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiian advisory councils at eight of the University of Hawaii system’s 10 campuses have taken an official stance against the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea. Tribune-Herald.

While construction on the Thirty Meter Telescope remains stalled for now, protesters of the project continue to hold vigil on Mauna Kea. What happens next remains unclear. Hawaii Public Radio.

Organizers of the Thirty Meter Telescope launched a new website over the weekend as demonstrations against the $1.5 billion project atop Mauna Kea continue to grow. KITV4.

The union representing Hawaii public school teachers hopes to strike a deal with the state within the next week for additional compensation for its 13,000 members. Negotiation teams for the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the state have met three times over the past month and need to reach an agreement in the "next week or so" in order for any increases to be funded by the Legislature this session. Star-Advertiser.

Public opposition to Gov. David Ige’s nominations to the powerful board that administers the state’s water code is mounting ahead of a key legislative hearing Wednesday. An online petition against longtime sugar-plantation boss William Balfour’s appointment to another four-year term on the Commission on Water Resource Management has garnered more than 1,200 signatures since the governor quietly sent his name to the Senate for confirmation. Civil Beat.

Opinion: Bill Balfour's record during his prior term on the Water Commission shows how inappropriate a choice he is; Ige risks a second failed nomination only a month after the Ching fiasco. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige and Speaker of the House Joe Souki have reappointed familiar faces to the state Council on Revenues, which forecasts the state government’s tax revenue for each fiscal year. Pacific Business News.

A measure that could extend sick leave benefit opportunities to more service industry workers is gaining traction in the Legislature, where some lawmakers say more fine-tuning might be needed before it can become law. Garden Island.

Thousands of additional jobs are expected across Hawaii in the coming years. That's according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. The department announced Monday it is forecasting statewide employment to expand by 2.9 percent by 2016. That amounts to nearly 20,000 jobs. Associated Press.


The Navy said it spent $1.35 million to clean up munitions-related items from Ordy Pond, a 10,000-year-old limestone sinkhole on the old Barbers Point Naval Air Station that's helped point to when Polynesians first colonized Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

State Likely to Pay $30K After Student Forced to Run on Treadmill Collapses. Kailua High staff had special ed student exercise to combat "extreme" behavior, Attorney General's Office tells Legislature. Civil Beat.

All of the $487,044 in cash that former arcade owner Lo Van Ho admitted that he and his wife deposited in their bank accounts in quantities of $10,000 or less over a three-month period last year came from the Products Direct Sweepstakes machines in the arcades, lawyers for the Hos said in federal court Monday. Star-Advertiser.


The public will get its first opportunity today to weigh in on a $434.7 million spending plan Mayor Billy Kenoi has proposed for the budget year that starts July 1. West Hawaii Today.

The feasibility and cost of constructing a small commercial boat harbor and small commercial airport in Puna could be studied by the Hawaii Department of Transportation, if the State House agrees to a resolution passed through the Senate this week. Big Island Video News.

A traffic collision occurred Sunday evening at one of Hilo’s busiest intersections after an on-duty police officer ran a red light, police said Monday. Tribune-Herald.

A former Mainland police chief said he was illegally arrested by Maui Police. In a lawsuit filed in federal court today, Jason Griego, then chief of the Cuba, N.M. Police department, said he and James Sanchez, a former reserve officer with Cuba police, were held for hours in a filthy jail cell in July 2013. No charges were filed and the two men were never given an explanation for their arrest, the suit said. Hawaii News Now.

Legislation allowing Maui's state hospitals to enter into an agreement with a private entity such as Hawaii Pacific Health will go to the state Senate for a vote on Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Four public meetings have been scheduled in Maui County for residents to comment on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's proposal to expand the size and sharpen the focus of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary to include multiple marine species. Maui News.

A crowd of about 125 dignitaries, staff and community partners joined Maui Economic Opportunity in a blessing celebration for its new transportation facility in Puʻunēnē. Maui Now.

The median sales price of a single-family home in Maui County inched up 2 percent to $599,000 in the first quarter of 2015, compared with the first three months of 2014, and the median price of a condominium went up 8 percent to $440,000 in the first quarter, according to Realtors Association of Maui monthly statistics. Maui News.


DLNR Rules Linger in Governor’s Office. Hawaii Gov. David Ige has yet to sign off on aquarium fishing rules and commercial fishing restrictions off Kauai. Civil Beat.

When a large ulua hook became stuck in the left check of the Hawaiian monk seal known as RN44, it put its life in danger. The monk seal was seen later, “strong and healthy, which is good news. Officials hope RN44 stays out of further trouble. Garden Island.