Showing posts with label ferry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ferry. Show all posts

Friday, October 21, 2016

Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearing begins, state investigates anti-Caldwell ads, Molokai ferry ending this month, feds can't enforce fishing worker rules, first whale of the season, new judiciary complex for West Hawaii Island, poll shows most want more Honolulu police oversight, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Thirty Meter Telescope site © 2016 All Hawaii News
After months of preparation and pre-conference hearings, witness testimony for the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case began Thursday in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Testimony got off to a slow, bumpy start Thursday in what is expected to be a weeks-long contested case hearing in Hilo that could determine the fate of plans to build the most powerful telescope in the world at the summit of Mauna Kea. Star-Advertiser.

The first day of the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearing has concluded, and the proceeding is still on its very first witness. Big Island Video News.

A $1.4 billion project to build one of the world's largest telescopes is up against intense protests by Native Hawaiians and others who say building it on the Big Island's Mauna Kea mountain will desecrate sacred land. Associated Press.

Minutes before the start of the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearing, participants gathered outside the Crown Room of Hilo’s Grand Naniloa Hotel for a customary prayer circle. Big Island Video News.


Federal officials cannot enforce a contract being proposed by the commercial fishing industry as a solution to concerns about foreign fishing crews in Hawaii, leaving the industry responsible for enforcing its own rules. Federal and state officials met with vessel owners, captains and representatives from the fleet Thursday at a pier in Honolulu. Associated Press.

The first Hawaii Medical Marijuana Training and Certification conference was held Thursday at the Modern Honolulu hotel. Star-Advertiser.

Job seekers and business owners hoping to learn more about the budding medical marijuana industry attended a certification training conference today at the Modern Hotel in Waikiki. KITV.

Hawaii's eight medical marijuana dispensaries have yet to open because of state delays in setting up a tracking system. Hawaii News Now.


Some key state and city leaders are voicing support for another tax extension to help fix rail’s latest financial problems, even though the project’s board chairwoman said earlier this year that state lawmakers likely would reject such a move. Star-Advertiser.

Nearly three-fourths of Oahu voters surveyed for The Civil Beat Poll say the Honolulu Police Commission should be given greater authority to suspend or dismiss the chief of police and to investigate police misconduct.

The state Campaign Spending Commission is taking a close look at an anti-rail political action committee that's planning to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars criticizing Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Hawaii News Now.

Charter amendment: Honolulu voters to weigh in on term limits. KHON2.

A state judge this week dismissed drunken driving and hit-and-run charges against Honolulu police officer Brent Sylvester because the prosecutor had been unable to present certain key witnesses to testify against Sylvester in court. Star-Advertiser.

A vital piece of equipment, purchased for a growing Leeward community, isn’t being used there and firefighters want to know why. KHON2.

Twice as many electrical light poles — 13 — were vandalized to tap into the electrical system at Kakaako Waterfront Park than previously estimated, leading to the ongoing, indefinite daily closure of the park at 6 p.m., according to the Hawaii Community Development Authority. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Oahu’s Inmates Are Facing Some Seriously ‘Inhumane’ Conditions. The feds stepped in once before. Hawaii needs a mix of expanded facilities and a decrease in prisoners to avoid losing control again. Civil Beat.

Of the four primary industrial markets on Oahu, all except Windward Oahu posted a rise in vacancy rates. Pacific Business News.

A longtime Moiliili business landmark is about to meet the wrecking ball, and stores and restaurants are preparing to leave. Hawaii News Now.


For more than 20 years, residents, judges and attorneys have been calling for a new Kona courthouse. On Monday, the groundbreaking for the $90 million Kona Judiciary Complex will begin at 2:30 p.m. to celebrate seeing that wish turn into reality. West Hawaii Today.

The owner of Hawaii Nui Brewing on the Big Island is looking to sell his business, he confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Commentary: The trial of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi could be a symbol of many things. Star-Advertiser.


Maui County Council candidates were critical of Mayor Alan Arakawa’s decision to suspend the community planning process, and said there were other ways to find solutions instead of halting it altogether. Maui News.

Pacific Whale Foundation spotted their first whale of the season today, Oct. 20, 2016, off the coast of Lahaina in West Maui. Maui Now.

Vehicular access to Kanaha Beach Park will be blocked by two locked gates beginning Nov. 1 from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., but a permitting process is in the works that would allow fishermen and divers access after hours, county officials said Wednesday. Maui News.


County officials want Kauai residents to be able to go to every part of the island. Garden Island.

Sandra Combs is the Republican candidate to represent District 14, which covers Hanalei, Princeville, Kilauea, Anahola, Kapaa and Wailua Houselots. Her platform includes improving traffic congestion, fighting the drug epidemic on Kauai and improving the quality of veteran services. Garden Island.

Nadine Nakamura is the Democratic candidate to represent District 14, which covers Hanalei, Princeville, Kilauea, Anahola, Kapaa and Wailua Houselots. If elected, she hopes to find ways to alleviate traffic congestion, protect cultural and natural resources and address affordable housing. Garden Island.


The Molokai ferry will make its last Lahaina-to-Kaunakakai run on Oct. 28. Maui News.

A ferry that runs between Maui and Molokai will be decommissioned by the end of the month after reporting a nearly 50 percent drop in ridership from January to July. Associated Press.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Hawaii tourism breaks record, ferry feasibility study, yellow-faced bee added to endangered species list, bail bond companies stiffing state, DOT backs off Kauai bird protection plan, mayor's campaign aide gets city contracts, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

© 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Tourists on Hawaii beach © 2016 All Hawaii News
The number of tourists visiting Hawaii hit a record for the month of August by topping 780,000 people. The Hawaii Tourism Authority said Friday 3.1 percent more travelers came to the islands in August compared to the same month last year. It marked the 19th straight month of gains. Associated Press.

The number of visitors to Hawaii last month rose 3.1 percent from last year to the highest level ever for an August, and spending increased by 5.2 percent to more than $1.3 billion for the month, according to preliminary statistics released Friday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

August turns out to have been a third month of higher visitor arrivals despite low airline seats to Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

The U.S. Maritime Administration has agreed to help finance a feasibility study for establishing a publicly financed Hawaii ferry service, a plan that may reignite public debate over one of Hawaii’s hot-button transportation and environmental issues. Star-Advertiser.

Federal authorities on Friday added seven yellow-faced bee species, Hawaii’s only native bees, for protection under the Endangered Species Act, a first for any bees in the United States. Associated Press.

Biosecurity plan formed to protect Hawaii from invasive species. KHON2.

The official general election registration “deadline” for this year is Oct. 10, despite falling on the Columbus Day federal holiday. For people who opt to mail in their voter registration forms, the Office of Elections said forms must be postmarked no later than Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

Bail bond companies that pledged bail money as guarantees that their clients would appear for criminal court proceedings now owe the state more than $2.4 million in forfeited bail bonds after the offenders failed to show up for their court dates, according to data provided by the Hawaii State Judiciary. Star-Advertiser.

Supporters of proposed rules that would allow for groups such as nonprofits and universities to approve and oversee Hawaii’s public charter schools say the move would strengthen charters without eroding standards. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development is giving $350,000 to the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii to investigate and fight housing discrimination. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s campaign spokeswoman has been awarded tens of thousands of dollars worth of city contracts, but apparently doesn’t get paid for her campaign work. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayoral Candidates Vie For Coveted Kupuna Vote. The city’s high cost of living and public safety are on the minds of AARP Hawaii members, who shared their concerns during a “tele-town hall” Saturday morning. Civil Beat.

At the Kalaeloa Heritage Park, there is a story about almost everything. Star-Advertiser.

Two new wells are being proposed in North Kona to increase water capacity at higher elevations, with the goal of reducing the use of water sources closer to sea level. West Hawaii Today.

Opinion: Was Civil Beat Right To Publish The Billy Kenoi Party Video? Addressing some key issues raised by readers about the publication of a video showing the Big Island mayor giving a profanity-laced toast. Civil Beat.

A site visit was made to the summit of Mauna Kea on September 26, as part of the second Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearing now underway. Objections to the way the site visit was carried out have already been filed by opponents of the TMT project. Big Island Video News.

The Affordable Care Act is triggering clinics on Hawaii Island to consider expansion, a fulfillment of plans made when the federal law passed. Tribune-Herald.

Bringing farmers, tourists together: First AgriTourism Symposium slated for Oct. 15. Tribune-Herald.

The wife of a well-known marijuana activist who spent more than four years in federal prison after his Downtown Hilo marijuana ministry was raided is now making a last-ditch effort to prevent her own incarceration. Tribune-Herald.


Council member Don Couch is the target of an ethics violation complaint filed by Haiku resident Sean Lester with the Maui County Board of Ethics. In documents received on Sept. 23, 2016, Lester alleges Couch purchased a home in Waikapu and a condo in Kihei in 2007. He states that Couch did not meet the “affordable income criteria” for the condo and implies that Couch improperly received and failed to disclose rental income derived from the house. Maui Watch.

A Community Connection public forum with Governor David Ige is planned on Maui on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016 at the University of Hawai‘i, Maui College Pā‘ina Cafeteria in Kahului. Maui Now.

As sugar operations wind down this year, an elevated scale to weigh sugar and molasses will be closed, and that will prompt some Maui businesses to look elsewhere to weigh their containers before shipping them on barges. Maui News.


Hawaii Department of Transportation has taken an unexplained step back from developing a Kauai County Seabird Habitat Conservation Plan, and the gears of the entire process have slowed. Garden Island.

Road safety measures and extending the deadline to apply for building permits will be discussed Wednesday during the Kauai County Council meeting. Garden Island.

Building bridges. Division of Forestry and Wildlife plans to connect with public on Keahua Stream construction. Garden Island

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hawaii unveils online restaurant inspection tool, Honolulu rail transit head quits amid cost overruns, parents of downed Marine blame military for Honolulu helicopter crash, seed industry drops out of Kauai pesticide study, Maui mayor quizzed on land holdings, busy day today for Hawaii Legislature, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Food inspection placard in Hilo restaurant front © 2016 All Hawaii News
Online tool to access restaurant inspection data, via Hawaii Department of Health. Get link here.

Launched on Monday by the state Department of Health, a restaurant inspection website is intended to supplement the state’s color-coded restaurant inspection placard program initiated in July 2014. Reports on all of Oahu’s food establishments are now available, and the department wants to add reports for eateries on the neighbor islands by the end of the year. Star-Advertiser.

You can now look up restaurant food safety inspection results through an online tool created by the state Department of Health. Civil Beat.

A new website published by the Hawaii State Department of Health lets foodies inspect how Hawaii restaurants and other food service organizations fare in food safety inspections. The website rolled out Monday with data from 7,000 Oahu inspection reports to start, and will be expanded. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii State Department of Health has launched a new online portal that lets consumers see how Hawaii restaurants and other food service organizations fare in food safety inspections, starting first with Oahu inspection data. KHON2.


After decades of tough-on-crime policies, Hawaii is one of four states that solve their prison crowding problem by shipping inmates out of state, usually to facilities run by for-profit companies such as Corrections Corporation of America and The GEO Group.  Civil Beat.

Women would be able to obtain a year’s supply of birth control pills under a bill aimed at improving access to contraception and reducing unintended pregnancies. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers prepare for a heavy voting day Tuesday and cleanup Thursday, which is the deadline for bills to pass third reading in their non-originating chamber in order to “cross back” to the originating chamber. Civil Beat.

With less than a week to go before the state Department of Health announces the names of Hawaii's first medical marijuana dispensary owners, applicants are rushing to meet last-minute requirements for background checks. Associated Press.

Will ‘pot’ become too pricey? Some fear dispensaries will limit access and be cost-prohibitive. Tribune-Herald.

In hopes of keeping the ferry issue afloat, the state Senate passed a resolution last year asking transportation officials to study whether Washington state’s ferry system could be used as a model for Hawaii. After seeing no action, the Legislature appears to be ready to do the same again, though this time with a mandate and funding to go with it. Tribune-Herald.

State Sen. Sam Slom will undergo coronary bypass surgery this week, according to his office. Slom, the only Republican lawmaker in the 25-member Senate, was hospitalized last week. Star-Advertiser.


Don Horner, former CEO for First Hawaiian Bank, is the first political casualty in Honolulu’s struggle to rein in cost increases on its $6.6 billion commuter rail project. Civil Beat.

Don Horner, who once oversaw the state’s largest financial institution, will no longer help oversee the state’s largest public works project. Horner tendered his resignation to Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday as the rail agency’s volunteer board chairman, as the transit project faces rising costs and growing uncertainty. Star-Advertiser.

Don Horner has resigned as chairman of the board of the Honolulu Area Rapid Transit Authority.  He submitted his resignation to Mayor Kirk Caldwell today….after a meeting of about 20 minutes at Honolulu Hale. Hawaii Public Radio.

Despite the resignation of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's chairman, the rail transit system still faces significant challenges and critics said that even more changes are needed. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu’s rail budget has ballooned over the years. When the project began in 2008, it was estimated at $4 billion. In 2012, that number shot up to $5 billion, and then $5.2 billion two years later. Currently, the project is $2.5 billion over its original budget at $6.5 billion. KHON2.


The parents of a Hawaii Marine killed in the Jan. 14 crash of two helicopters off Oahu’s North Shore say the CH-53E Super Stallions shouldn’t have been flying because of safety concerns over worn-out Marine Corps choppers. But beyond that, Mike and Lisa De La Cruz say they are angry and maintain that the Marine Corps wasted lots of time in trying to make a recovery at sea that has yielded remains identifications for nine of 12 aboard — but not their son. Star-Advertiser.

Lower-income residents in Honolulu live shorter lives than people in similar circumstances elsewhere in the nation, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Pacific Business News.


State lawmakers passed a bill providing additional funds to combat rapid ohia death. But they are not ready to write the check just yet. Tribune-Herald.

Every Big Island judge has recused, or removed, themselves in the felony theft case against Mayor Billy Kenoi, which led to the assignment of Oahu Circuit Court Judge Dexter Del Rosario. That is also true in the case of where a man allegedly burned the Big Island Drug Court, which is being handled by Maui Circuit Court Judge Rhonda Loo. West Hawaii Today.


A Kihei resident is asking the Maui County Board of Ethics to seek more information from Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa on possible income from his holdings in Arakawa Farms and three Omaopio Road parcels. Maui News.

Kamalani, a new residential community in north Kīhei, will begin accepting sales applications for its first neighborhood on Sunday, April 17, 2016.  Maui Now.

A crew from Sea Engineering Inc. of Oahu takes a core sample at Maalaea Small Boat Harbor on Friday morning. The sample will help determine the size and depth of new pilings scheduled to be set at the harbor. Maui News.


Two seed industry employees have dropped out of a Joint Fact-Finding group that was charged by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and Kauai County to evaluate the environmental and health impacts of agricultural pesticide use on Kauai. Civil Beat.

The county is still replacing sand that’s eroding near Pono Kai in Kapaa, even though they just completed a $950,000 project to restore the integrity of the seawall. Garden Island.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ige job approval at 48 percent, one year into office; homelessness big issue as legislative session begins Wednesday; no indication 12 Marines used life rafts but were wearing special gear; feral parakeets damage crops; Molokai ferry suffering from cutbacks; aerial hunting begins on Maui; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Gov. David Ige © 2016 All Hawaii News
About half of Hawaii voters have a favorable impression of Democratic Gov. David Ige, but just one year into his administration, a significant chunk of people say he is not doing a good job. A statewide survey of registered Hawaii voters found that 48 percent approve of the job Ige is doing, while 41 percent disapprove. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s rampant homelessness clearly has the attention of island voters who aren’t pleased with how Gov. David Ige is handling the crisis, according to the latest Hawaii Poll. The poll found that 56 percent of registered voters statewide say Ige is not doing a good job on homelessness, while 34 percent approve of his handling of the crisis. Star-Advertiser.

Rep. Gene Ward, a Republican representing Hawaii Kai in the state House, is urging his colleagues to oppose the position of House leadership and Gov. David Ige regarding payments to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Civil Beat.

The list of entities interested in becoming charter school authorizers in Hawaii is growing, as the state Board of Education prepares to weigh in on the increasingly contentious relationship between charter schools and the commission created in 2012 to oversee them. Civil Beat.

With the GOP presidential nomination still up for grabs, some say Hawaii's Republican Party could wind up having a greater say in who gets the nod. Hawaii News Now.


Military personnel were working around the clock Monday, still on the search for the 12 missing Marines off Oahu's north shore. Recently three of four life rafts that were aboard the aircrafts were retrieved -- but the outcome is the same -- no survivors spotted. KITV4.

The 12 Marines missing after two choppers crashed off Oahu were wearing sophisticated life-saving gear that's being factored into how long officials think they can survive in the open ocean. Hawaii News Now.

All four life rafts confirmed to be aboard the two aircraft have been recovered. There is no indication from the sightings that any survivors have been aboard any of the life rafts. KHON2.


People living in Hawaii, California and New York are the most likely to live paycheck-to-paycheck, even though the states have among the highest income levels. Star-Advertiser.

No one in Hawaii seems to have calculated the combined direct and indirect costs of all energy consumption for island farmers. But Matthew Loke, a visiting researcher at UH-Manoa’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, cited data from the 2012 Agricultural Census indicating that direct energy costs made up 9.3 percent of farm production costs in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Rising parakeet population imperils farms, native plants. Associated Press.

Three Hawaii hotels on Maui and the Big Island retained their Five Diamond rating from AAA on the organization’s 2016 list of the 118 hotels that have earned the rating, including six hotels that earned the rating for the first time this year. Pacific Business News.


A new Hawaii Poll done in December and earlier this month shows Oahu voters are most concerned now with homelessness, the city’s rail project, the economy and traffic, in that order. Star-Advertiser.

Enforcement of city codes to crack down on illegal vacation rentals on Oahu will escalate with the hiring this month of five inspectors to form a unit tasked with investigating housing and zoning code violations. Star-Advertiser.

A number of Honolulu-based high-tech startup companies opened their doors last week to attendees from the 2nd annual East Meets West Conference. Hawaii Public Radio.

A local nonprofit is seeking a special liquor license for Queen’s Beach in Waikiki to speed up possible approval for a National Football League event slated for Jan. 29-30. Star-Advertiser.


As they prepare for the regular legislative session that starts Wednesday, state lawmakers representing West Hawaii are balancing their priorities between statewide and local issues. West Hawaii Today.

The 2016 legislative session doesn’t begin until Wednesday, but a couple of East Hawaii lawmakers appear to be getting a head start. Tribune-Herald.

As Hawaii Island’s dengue fever outbreak marches on, some isle residents have been critical of efforts by state and county agencies to contain the mosquito-borne virus. Tribune-Herald.


Public access to some state forest reserves and natural area reserves on Maui will be restricted while the state conducts aerial shooting to control populations of feral cattle, pigs, goats and deer. Maui News.


The final version of a plan to manage the monk seal population in the Hawaiian Islands has been released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, but officials on Kauai have been using many of the strategies outlined in the plan for years. Garden Island.

Kauai County is looking at solidifying rules as enforcement officials shut down transient vacation rentals operating illegally. Six illegally operating single-family transient vacation rentals have been closed outside the visitor destination area so far this year. In fiscal year 2015, officials shut down 71. Associated Press.


Since the Molokai ferry began cutting its routes last September, the athletes and local commuters who once rode the boat now have mostly turned to air travel. Maui News.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Biotech, GMO spotlighted at national agriculture conference in Kona, Navy trims sonar use in whale lawsuit settlement, Honolulu allows extra units in residential neighborhoods, Hawaii County settles panhandler, urinalysis lawsuits, Schatz weighs in on NextEra plan, Kaui parents protests oust principal, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
University of Hawaii GMO researcher, courtesy photo
As lawyers defending Hawaii County’s ordinance regulating genetically modified crops work toward an Oct. 1 deadline to file their final brief, a key attorney challenging the new law is scheduled to speak about the issue at a national gathering today in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Biotech companies have spent at least $160,000 to sponsor a four-day national convention of state agricultural officials hosted by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture in Kailua-Kona this week. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Navy agreed to limit its use of sonar and other training that inadvertently harms whales, dolphins and other marine mammals off Hawaii and California in a settlement with environmental groups approved Monday. Associated Press.

Whales, dolphins and other marine mammals swimming off the coasts of Hawaii and Southern California will be more protected from the Navy’s use of sonar thanks to a settlement Monday. Two cases brought by environmental groups were resolved in federal court after a years-long battle to limit the military’s sonar training and testing as well as its use of explosives. Civil Beat.

The Navy agreed to limit its use of sonar and other training that inadvertently harms whales, dolphins and other marine mammals off Hawaii and California in a settlement with environmental groups approved Monday. Garden Island.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said he wants the state Public Utilities Commission to focus on NextEra Energy Inc.’s renewable energy and cost-cutting capabilities when deciding whether the Florida-company is fit to purchase Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. Star-Advertiser.

There’s been plenty of press about Hawaii’s first-in-the-nation policy of “100 percent renewable energy by 2045″ but a lot less talk about what the law really means, especially its loopholes. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s highest earners are working in the medical field, according to a recent report by American City Business Journals, but there's a catch. When you consider the high cost of living in Hawaii, it can actually be challenging to attract professionals to work in the health care sector, experts say. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii’s insurance premiums are on the rise, and it’s due to a combination of circumstance and new federal regulations, according to a new report by the Hawaii Health Information Corp. Pacific Business News.


Under a bill signed Monday by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, homeowners with residential and agricultural lots are able to put up accessory dwelling units if they meet certain criteria. An ADU is a second smaller housing unit, either attached or detached, that can be rented out to either family members or outside parties. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers say it could be the change that opens up to 20,000 places to live on Oahu. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed what's called the "Accessory Dwelling Unit Bill" into law on Monday. Some are calling it a game changer in the battle against homelessness. KITV4.

A measure to address affordable rental housing on O’ahu was signed into law today at a bill signing ceremony. Hawaii Public Radio.

The brother of a Waipahu man fatally shot by police is suing the Honolulu officer who he says is responsible for the death, alleging that the officer didn’t follow proper procedure for handling people with mental illness. Civil Beat.

The Makapuu Lighthouse Trail and parking lot will close Tuesday through Friday and again Monday through Sept. 23 for repaving in an ongoing $2.7 million improvement project. Star-Advertiser.

State crews, including 70 inmates, began a cleanup of the homeless encampment beneath the H-1 freeway viaduct Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Officials are planning to clear a second section of the large homeless encampment in Kakaako. Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced Monday that the next phase of the camp clearing will happen Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

If you hike the popular Koko Head Crater Trail, it’s common to see a few bees, but lately hikers say there are a lot more. KHON2.

Hawaii County has agreed to pay $80,000 and rewrite its panhandling laws to settle a civil rights lawsuit filed by a Kailua-Kona man. West Hawaii Today.

Little did Justin Guy know that holding a sign that read “Homeless Please Help” on a Kailua-Kona street corner would spark a free speech case resulting in changes to the law that protects everyone’s First Amendment rights on Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

The ACLU-assisted settlement in a houseless Hawaii County man's free speech case has lead to revisions of several ordinances now found to be unconstitutional. Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii County will pay $115,000 and cease the requirement of urinalyses and other medical screenings as a condition of employment for most positions under a federal lawsuit settlement announced Monday. West Hawaii Today.

An 'ahu or altar that was built along the Mauna Kea summit road has been bulldozed by a Mauna Kea Support Services (MKSS) employee. Hawaii News Now.


A public briefing on health care initiatives by Gov. David Ige that include a waiver from the federal Affordable Care Act and improved services for behavioral health and long-term care will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Friday at the Cameron Center Auditorium in Wailuku. Maui News.

RAM Reports Good News for Real Estate Buyers. Maui Now.

Flash floods stranded 20 hikers last month on the Commando and Bamboo trails in East Maui, including one man who was caught on camera being swept 30 feet down the side of a waterfall. Maui News.


Step one, done. That’s what the Save Hanalei School group said about Superintendent Bill Arakaki’s decision to remove Hanalei Elementary principal Lisa McDonald effective Monday. Garden Island.

The U.S. Air Force said it is still working to address a lighting issue at its Kokee station that has led to more than 120 fallen endangered seabirds. Garden Island.

Kauai’s chicken die-off has scientists trying to rule out avian influenza. Necropsy to test for bird flu and botulism. KITV4.

The next phase of the Hauaala Road project in Kapaa near the Kuhio Highway intersection will begin this week. One lane of the roadway will be closed Wednesday and Thursday to allow reconstruction work to take place. Another is planned for next week. Traffic will be contra-flowed during the lane closures. Garden Island.


The Molokai Ferry has adopted a new sailing schedule. The owner says this month’s changes will help stop the financial “hemorrhaging” the ferry has seen in the last two years.  But not everyone is happy about the new plan. Hawaii Public Radio.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hawaii officials powerless against protestors who sow road with rocks, line barricade with children, block Thirty Meter Telescope construction. Also, Honolulu ethics chief muzzled, state aquatics director flies first class amid budget cutbacks, state grows younger, more diverse in census count, Kauai rethinks barking dog law, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Big Island Video News
Children block access to Thirty Meter Telescope, courtesy Big Island Video News
 The construction relaunch of the Thirty Meter Telescope got off to a rocky start Wednesday, thanks to some antics by protesters — 12 of whom got arrested — and now the $1.4 billion project is on hold again. Star-Advertiser.

Mauna Kea Access Road remained closed Wednesday evening after opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope again halted construction of the $1.4 billion observatory following a highly coordinated protest. About 300 protesters used their bodies and large rocks to prevent construction crews from traveling more than a mile past the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station, and about a dozen continued to block access above Hale Pohaku after the group claimed victory for the day. Tribune-Herald.

State law enforcement officers arrested 11 people Wednesday who were blocking a road up Mauna Kea in protest of the Thirty Meter Telescope project. Hundreds were gathered on the mountain early in the morning to stop construction crews from resuming work on the $1.4 billion project. Civil Beat.

Hundreds of protesters on a Hawaii mountain road erupted in cheers Wednesday after construction crews turned around and retreated from the site for what would be one of the world's largest telescopes. Associated Press.

On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters forced construction crews for the Thirty Meter Telescope to come to a halt, but it didn’t come without sacrifice. KITV4.

Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea is on hold once again. Hawaii News Now.

After a seven-hour demonstration, Hawaii DLNR (Department of Land and Natural Resources) agents just informed the hundreds of protesters on Mauna Kea that officers and TMT workers will turn around and no longer ask anyone to leave. No further arrests will be made today, they say. Hawaii News Now.

The road to the summit of Mauna Kea is closed and Gov. David Ige’s chief of staff says construction on the Thirty Meter Telescope is on hold until further notice. KHON2.

10 citizens of Hawaii were arrested on Mauna Kea today for physically impeding construction crews for the controversial Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) project, which has resumed with the blessing of the state. Hawaii Independent.

Scientists hoping to build a telescope that will allow them to see 13 billion light years away, offering a look into the early years of the universe, are facing opposition from Native Hawaiian groups who say the construction site is on sacred land. Associated Press.

A Kauai man was at the Big Island’s Mauna Kea when protesters stopped construction from continuing on a giant telescope. Garden Island.

At a time when the Department of Land and Natural Resources Aquatics Division was struggling for funding, its former top administrator spent more than $40,000, mostly for first-class travel. A review of former Aquatics division head Frazer McGilvray's government credit card, or pCard, expenditures shows that he took more than 30 first-class flights to the Mainland and the Neighbor Islands. Hawaii News Now.

The Department of Health has asked physicians statewide to be on alert for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome after a deadly outbreak of the infectious disease hit South Korea. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: Bridging the Space Between Islands Could Lower Costs. An interisland ferry system and kamaaina discounts on air travel could stimulate economic activity, create jobs and lower prices — especially on the neighbor islands. Civil Beat.


The Honolulu Ethics Commission voted Wednesday to adopt a media policy that severely restricts what any of its seven members, longtime Executive Director Chuck Totto and staff can tell news reporters. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Ethics Commission approved a new media policy Wednesday that effectively muzzles Executive Director Chuck Totto, who has long been an outspoken voice for good government. Civil Beat.

A group of farmers has sued the owner and developer of a controversial Kunia agriculture tract, claiming the farmers were misled into believing they were buying fee-simple land in the project instead of shares in the nonprofit organization that actually owns the property. Star-Advertiser.

The oceanfront parcel of land in Honolulu that had been reserved for the development of President Barack Obama’s presidential library has a new proposed use as a sports complex and for parking, the head of the Hawaii agency regulating development in the area confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Protesters lined Kamehameha Highway near Kualoa Regional Park several times in the past week to block sheriff’s deputies from enforcing a court-ordered eviction and removing members of an extended Hawaiian family from a disputed parcel of land on Johnson Road. Civil Beat.

The population of Kaka’ako is expected to double to about 30-thousand in the next 15 years or so.   That’s one of the reasons the state is currently looking at ways to retain park space in the area. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Howard Hughes Corp. will have to wait another month to learn whether Hawaii regulators will allow the Texas-based developer to change a previously approved Kakaako residential project from for-sale condominium units to rental apartments. Pacific Business News.

It has been almost a year since the city took action to resolve staffing issues within EMS, but now we are learning the department may go back to its old schedule. KHON2.

A landowner on a historic Punchbowl property has until mid-July to get a permit from the city to cut down about 50 trees that he’s already chopped down. Star-Advertiser.


We’re growing faster, younger and more diverse. The Big Island continues to lead Hawaii in the rate of population growth, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which late Wednesday released county-level estimates of population, sex, race and age for 2014. West Hawaii Today.

As rumors swirl about who will and won’t be on the ticket in 2016, two Big Island figures have confirmed they are considering a run for mayor. Former Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann and Puna Sen. Russell Ruderman both say it could be months before they make a final decision. Candidate filings open Feb. 1, 2016. West Hawaii Today.


While much of the attention has been on the Thirty Meter Telescope being built atop Mauna Kea on the Big Island, resistance by native Hawaiians to the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope on Haleakala continues. KITV4.

A rally and aloha ‘āina night vigil will be held at the Central Maui Baseyard tonight in support of those who are protecting Mauna Kea from construction on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, and ongoing issues surrounding development at the summit of Haleakalā on Maui. Maui Now.

County Council Member Bob Carroll has sent two bills and a resolution to the council that would encourage the creation and maintenance of affordable housing with a centerpiece of allowing ohana affordable units on properties as small as 5,000 square feet. Maui News.


The Kauai County Council is considering a proposal to repeal the barking dog ordinance. Garden Island.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Time to comment on the Superferry

The clock has started ticking on public comments about the environ-
mental impact of the Superferry. The state Department of Transportation today issued its Environmental Impact Statement, which found some negative impacts, but also suggested ways to mitigate them.

Comment period ends Feb. 23. Written comments should be snail-mailed or faxed to:

Katherine Kealoha, Director,
Office of Environmental Quality Control,
235 S. Beretania St., Suite 702,
Honolulu , HI 96813,
fax 808-586-4186;


Michael D. Formby, Deputy Director,
Department of Transportation Harbors Division,
79 S. Nimitz Highway, Honolulu, HI 96813,
fax 808-587-3652.

A Superferry spokesman said in a statement this afternoon that the company will continue to work to make its ship safe.

"The draft EIS combined with the data from over nine months of reliable service and 708 voyages provides a clear picture of our commitment to responsible operations and Environmental awareness. We remain committed to working with the state to address impacts raised by the draft EIS," the statement says.

Meanwhile the Hawaii Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on whether the EIS is enough: See a previous report.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Superferry: No Special Treatment

The Legislature didn’t craft a law specifically to bail out Hawaii Superferry after a court ruling last year temporarily grounded it, the Attorney General’s Office told a skeptical state Supreme Court today.

The five-member court took the matter under advisement, not saying when a ruling would be issued following about an hour of oral argument this morning.

At issue is Act 2, passed by the Legislature after an August 2007 Supreme Court ruling that required an environmental assessment before the Superferry could continue its interisland transport. Once the law was signed by Gov. Linda Lingle, a lower court vacated the Supreme Court’s injunction and the Superferry recommenced operations.

If the law was written strictly to benefit a “closed class,” it would be an unconstitutional abuse of legislative powers, said Isaac Hall, attorney for the Sierra Club, one of three groups filing the lawsuit. Hall contends the law was “conceived, cut and tailored” for the Superferry.

“The Superferry at that point could have appealed to the highest court … instead they appealed and we use that a little loosely, to the Legislature … They could have appealed to you; instead they appealed to the Legislature,” Hall said. “You as the highest court determined we were entitled to an (environmental assessment), and the Legislature can’t take that away from us.”

But the state maintains that Act 2 wasn’t created to benefit a closed class, because the law could apply to other businesses besides the Superferry. In theory, other high-speed ferry transports could come to Hawaii and benefit from the law, said First Deputy Attorney General Lisa Ginoza.

“The appeal is addressing the Legislature’s ability to deal with the important issues of the day,” Ginoza said. “The Legislature speaks on behalf of all of the people of the state … It’s perfectly within their authority to do so.”

But court justices seemed to be having a hard time grasping the concept that Act 2, created in a special session so soon after their ruling, could have been created to benefit any entity besides the Superferry.

“All other businesses have to comply with Act 343 (requiring an environmental assessment), correct?” asked Justice Paula A. Nakayama. “And how many business does Act 2 apply to?”

“Is there any entity that would fit that description except for Superferry?” asked Justice Simeon R. Acoba Jr.

Tough questions by the Supreme Court are just the latest the Hawaii Superferry has had to endure. A legislative auditor report issued yesterday said Act 2 undermines the state’s ability to protect the environment and could set a dangerous precedent.