Showing posts with label government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label government. Show all posts

Monday, January 1, 2024

15 years. Almost 4,000 posts. More than 3.5 million page views. A New Year's Day message from the publisher.


15 years. Almost 4,000 posts. More than 3.5 million page views.

Earnings? Well, not so much. Luckily, that's not the primary motivator for getting up at the crack of dawn to hand-curate Hawaii's top government and political news of the day.

Instead, it's an abiding hope that an informed public will make better decisions that will benefit us all. That a public that demands government transparency will keep better tabs on how their tax dollars are spent and on political actions that have lasting repercussions.

That's why we do it. As a nonprofit, however, we're gratified when someone sees the benefit of this daily news blog and clicks the button on the top right of this page to chip in.

Meanwhile, we'd love to hear from you. Comments, suggestions, news tips. We can be reached at the following addresses.

X (formerly Twitter): @allhawaiinews
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Facebook: All Hawaii News
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Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2024 to us all.


Nancy Cook Lauer, publisher

Monday, October 31, 2022

Hawaii tries to balance public access and safety, two vacancies on state Supreme Court, most elementary schools test positive for lead, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Outside looking in ©2022 All Hawaii News
Hawaii’s public offices are not so public. Visiting state government offices can be hard these days in Hawaii, where security guards, discouraging signs, locked doors and cordoned-off public parking are impeding access to services and information. Star-Advertiser.

‘We are not immune’: Pelosi attack prompts talk of political violence in Hawaii.
Hawaii political leaders and experts say we are not immune to the rhetoric that can lead to violence. Hawaii News Now.

Majority of Hawaii elementary schools test positive for lead in drinking water. Three-quarters of Hawaii’s public elementary schools have tested positive for high lead levels in at least one sink or drinking water fountain, according to extensive testing recently completed by state health officials as part of a nationwide push to reduce childhood exposure to the heavy metal that can cause permanent developmental disabilities. Star-Advertiser.

Another Vacancy Posted For Hawaii Supreme Court.
Associate Justice Paula Nakayama turns 70 next October, the age by which all Hawaii judges and justices must step down. Earlier this month the Judicial Selection Commission announced another vacancy on the high court. Associate Justice Michael Wilson turns 70 in April. Civil Beat.

Report: State law successfully limited evictions during COVID-19 pandemic. According to a report by the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, the vast majority of the mediation sessions that stemmed from the law ended with the tenants remaining in their homes. Tribune-Herald.

Public is invited to give feedback on University of Hawaii tuition hikes. University of Hawaii students, parents, faculty and staff, and the public, are invited to five public meetings to provide feedback on a proposed tuition schedule for 2023 to 2027. Star-Advertiser. Kauai Now.

University of Hawaiʻi project aims to address wage disparity in early education. Low wages are the biggest contributor to the state's early educator shortage. That shortage means fewer children can go to preschool. Hawaii Public Radio.

Respiratory viruses pose triple threat in Hawaii. Health care workers are bracing for a triple threat ahead of winter: with the beginning of flu season, rising cases of respiratory syncytial virus and continuation of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.


Report details strategies for receding beaches and the threat of sea level rise. A report released this week by a community working group lays out the growing catastrophe Oahu’s North Shore will face in the coming decades amid accelerated sea level rise, while providing a framework for policymakers to devise immediate and incremental strategies for adapting to environmental realities. Star-Advertiser.

Charter change aims to diversify Planning Commission. Oahu voters now have the chance to decide whether to amend the Honolulu City Charter to require that four of the nine members of the Planning Commission have certain expertise requirements. Star-Advertiser.

Private Security Will Handle Patrols Along Honolulu’s Future Rail Line. The model for how to handle transit security varies from place to place. Honolulu considered using HPD but went a different route. Civil Beat.

Windward community at odds over popular beach park overnight stays. Unlike many beach parks on O’ahu that have limited hours of public access, Kailua Beach Park is open 24/7, except for its parking lot that closes at 10 p.m. Hawaii News Now.

Bill to extend areas for short term rentals in Ko'olina area. Rand Eastwood, property management owner in Ko’olina said this is where the demand is in the vacation industry especially after the city removed 10,000 unpermitted vacation units. KITV4.

Here’s What Happened When Lawyers For A Condo Association Tried To Collect Their Fees. Porter McGuire Kiakona now faces $475,000 in damages for violating debt collection laws in a case that started with a $150 fine against a dog owner. Civil Beat.

Crying Fowl In Downtown Honolulu: ‘Chickens Are Wandering Around Like They Own The Place’. Crowing roosters and squawking chickens are invading urban Honolulu, leaving residents sleepless, exhausted and angry. Civil Beat.

Fishpond predators astonish University of Hawaii researchers.
UH scientists conducted a study on fish caught at Heeia Fishpond in Kaneohe. The information was published last month in the journal Aquaculture, Fish and Fisheries. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

TAT sweetens county budget. Hawaii County’s new tax on hotels and short-term rentals helped sweeten county coffers to an extent unseen in previous years. West Hawaii Today.

Council to consider exemptions for Waikoloa affordable housing project.
Developers of the proposed Hoomalu at Waikoloa affordable housing project are asking the county to exempt them from three development requirements as a way to help keep the units affordable. West Hawaii Today.

Mortar round, grenades cleared from Waimea area during ordnance search. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has found eight hand grenades and a mortar round in and near Waimea this year while clearing unexploded ordnance from the former Waikoloa Maneuver Area. Tribune-Herald.

'High tensions’ at Hilo jail because of lack of services, overcrowding. Weeks after a scathing report was released about conditions at the Hawaii County Correctional Center, some improvements have been made. Hawaii News Now.

What is the mysterious bright light off Hiloʻs east coast? The bright lights belong to the Norseman II, a former fishing boat that is now a survey vessel. It is carrying field scientists from Region 9 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency who are conducting monitoring work in a study area that includes an ocean dredged material disposal site several miles offshore of the Hilo coast, according to oceanographer Allan Ota. Kauai Now.


Hotel moratorium close to ending. Maui County Council members are one step away from ending the temporary visitor lodging moratorium, but are also seeking to keep the cap on transient vacation rentals at existing levels. Maui News.

Axis deer management is topic of Monday’s council committee meeting. The Infrastructure and Transportation Committee will meet Monday at 9 a.m. to discuss potential solutions and updates regarding axis deer management in Maui County. Maui Now.

Community budget meetings on Lānaʻi and in Lahaina. The last community budget meetings for Fiscal Year 2024, hosted by Mayor Michael Victorino and his administration, are set for Lānaʻi at the Hale Kupuna O’Lānaʻi, on Wednesday, Nov. 2, starting at 3:30 p.m., and at the Lahaina West Maui Kaunoa Senior Center on Thursday, Nov. 3, starting at 5:30 p.m.  Maui Now.

Riot, COVID prompt changes at jail facility in Wailuku. During a media tour of the jail Thursday, Major Manny Labasan and acting Warden Liane Endo discussed changes prompted by the March 11, 2019, riot as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. Maui News.

Maui labor market crisis directly tied to housing . Pamela Tumpap, president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce, said that as of 2017, Maui was 14,000 housing units behind meeting the island’s rental housing needs. Hawaii Public Radio.

1,600 people attend Maui County Senior Fair. The first in-person Maui County Senior Fair since 2019 on Saturday, Oct. 29, drew about 1,600 people to the War Memorial Gym, where they ate local food, met candidates for office, listened to George Kahumoku Jr. and got their flu and COVID-19 boosters. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first, state-sanctioned tour since the onset of the pandemic, jail representatives Friday led The Garden Island through the facility, which now features an remodeled parking lot and front office, 42 new security cameras and a new sallyport for prisoner intake. Garden Island.

DOW wins national water award. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized the county Department of Water with a 2022 WaterSense Excellence Award for their dedication to helping consumers and businesses save water through conservation awareness and educational outreach. Garden Island.

Credit union acquires Otsuka Building. A deeply rooted financial institution plans on expanding its presence on the island following the purchase of a historic building in north Kapa‘a. Garden Island.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Ten years, ten awards.

All Hawaii News' 10th SPJ award
All Hawaii News will be 10 years old this year. That's 2,517 posts featuring a digest of all the state and local government and political news from media sources all around the Hawaiian Islands.

There's no bot to do this. Every post is hand-curated in a process that takes two hours or more each day.

This is a one-woman show. I usually start before 5 a.m. so folks can read the news highlights with their morning coffee or on their smartphones during their daily commute. (Not while they're driving, of course.)

It's a labor of love, and I'm honored to be recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists for keeping the state informed about the top news of the day.

But a little monetary recognition never hurts, either.

I've moved All Hawaii News' "keep the news coming" donate button near the top right of the homepage. Just click and donate using PayPal or a major credit card. You can even click a button to send an automatic monthly payment.

How to donate:

        Click the donate button at the top right of the page.
        Donate using a major credit card or PayPal account.
        Send an email to to get your name and/or link on the sponsor list.
       (otherwise, your gift will remain anonymous)

A donation no matter how modest would be a vote of confidence in my efforts.


Nancy Cook Lauer

Monday, July 9, 2018

Hawaii revising union laws following Janus decision, ballot testing and election updates, Maui council aide gets $100k county grant, volcano still simmers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Union rally, 2009 All Hawaii News file photo
State Moves to Stop Fee Collection for Non-Union Employees. The policy, outlined in a memo from the State Comptroller, was spurred by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Janus v AFSCME. Hawaii Public Radio.

How Gov Candidates Would Grow Hawaii’s Economy. The next governor will face the challenge of not just creating new jobs, but creating high-paying jobs that allow people to afford to live in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige wins over environmentalists. It wasn’t more than two months into his term as governor when David Ige ignited the ire of environmentalists by nominating a development lobbyist for Castle & Cooke to lead the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Hawaii News Now enables Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign hypocrisy. Hawaii News Now.

Ballot machines tested ahead of primary election. KHON2.

Important dates you should know for the upcoming election. Hawaii News Now.

'Broken Promises': Documentary on Department of Hawaiian Homelands to release at Capitol. A new documentary centered around problems within the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands will be released at the State Capitol on Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Public schools could soon be open for business. SB2051 would not only help students learn about business, but allow public schools to generate their own revenue. KHON2.

Private schools across the state are raising tuition by an average of 4 percent this fall, with the bill reaching $24,780 at Punahou School, the state’s largest independent campus. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has issued the first licenses to growers under the state’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. Garden Island.

Program Fighting Childhood Obesity Secures $2 million in Funding. Maui Now.

Big Island, Kauai see higher home prices in first half of 2018. Condominium prices on the Big Island rose by double digits during the first half of this year, while Kauai saw double-digit gains in sales for both single-family homes and condominiums. Pacific Business News.


The latest vision of Laie’s future will get its first public airing at today’s City Council Planning Committee meeting, and the draft’s author expects the sparks to fly again in a dispute that’s dragged on for years. Star-Advertiser.

A proposal for more housing in Laie, BYU expansion garners mixed reaction. On Monday, city council members will hold a special meeting that is expected to draw supporters and opponents of a controversial development plan for part of Oahu's North Shore. Hawaii News Now.

What Honolulu Rail Planners Can Learn From Puerto Rico. San Juan’s Tren Urbano, an elevated, heavy rail system like that planned in Honolulu, has struggled with low ridership and cost overruns. Civil Beat.

A Navy captain on active duty at Pearl Harbor has been censured for “repeatedly and improperly” accepting gifts from a Singapore-based defense contractor. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu’s Bright Retail Outlook May Not Linger.  Retail on Oahu has been growing over the past six months, but that could change as retailers confront two unfavorable conditions. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Marco Polo high rise almost one year after the fire. The deadly Marco Polo Condominium fire is considered one of the most destructive fires in Honolulu's history. KHON2.

Mobile phone company Sprint hitches gear to city light poles. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu home prices dip but stay close to record. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Challengers in some Hawaii Island political races say the public is missing out on the back-and-forth of debates and candidate forums because the incumbents are no-shows. West Hawaii Today.

The Pahoa Community Center will open as a polling place on primary election day, Aug. 11, to allow residents hardest hit by the ongoing Kilauea eruption to register and vote on the same day. Star-Advertiser.

As a Puna geothermal plant enters its third month of a lava-triggered shutdown, its parent company affirmed its commitment to re-opening the facility and has told the 30 full-time workers they will remain on the payroll for at least a year. Star-Advertiser.

No significant change in volcanic activity. Tribune-Herald.

Community watches anxiously as lava closes in on Puna charter school. Hawaii News Now.

Several residents are determined to stay in their Leilani Estates homes. Star-Advertiser.

Kilauea eruption downsizes one of the Big Island’s largest orchid growers. Star-Advertiser.

While most of East Hawaii is seeing a wetter-than-average year so far, much of West Hawaii is parched. That’s particularly true for the Kona coffee belt — potentially bad news for this year’s coffee crop. Tribune-Herald.

Residents in the Laaloa Avenue area are one step closer to having a park of their own. A final environmental assessment with a finding of no significant impact for the long-planned project was published Sunday in the July 8 edition of the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s twice-a-month Environmental Notice. West Hawaii Today.


Atay grant for queen’s events under review. $100,000 awarded to council member’s executive assistant. Maui News.

Ige signs bill to help tenants at Lahaina complex. Law begins process to condemn land under Front Street Apartments; provides $30 million for new construction. Maui News.

Pulehunui Industrial Park, Maui’s first and only subdivision to offer M3 Industrial zoning, is now complete and available to Maui businesses. Maui Now.

Maui Leads State in Timeshare Occupancy at 96%. Maui Now.


Candidates at WKBPA meeting. The candidates for state representative for Kauai County District 16, Stephanie Iona and incumbent Dee Morikawa, will present their platforms. Garden Island.

County talks beach repair. April’s historic flooding brought in about 70,000 cubic yards of sand to Hanalei Bay, according to a study from the University of Hawaii. That damaged Weke Road, destroyed the comfort station at Black Pot Beach and left erosion up to 12 feet deep in some areas. Garden Island.

It could be months before reconstruction starts on Hanalei’s Weke Road — the sinkhole is still there and the road is still closed after April floods wiped it out. Garden Island.

Judge rules for developer in Coco Palms dispute, paves way for Kauai resort. A Hawaii developer will be able to lay groundwork for a resort in Kauai, ending court dealings in a lengthy property dispute. Associated Press.

Condominium sales jumped on Kauai last month, along with prices, while single-family homes posted a more modest price gain on flat sales, according to data from Hawaii Information Service on behalf of the Kauai Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Teachers union seeks tax hike, Kaiser Medicare premiums increased, Honolulu rail tax advances, Muslim harassed on Honolulu street, Mick Fleetwood vacation rental OKed, Maui environmental manager resigns, body cams for Kauai police, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Department of Education
Honolulu school, courtesy photo
The Hawaii State Teachers Association is proposing a 1 percent general excise tax hike, which the union estimates would generate $750 million a year for education needs. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s education system is in dire need of an overhaul, according to the Hawaii State Teacher’s Association. The union has identified 10 areas that need improvement and is including them in an omnibus bill that will be introduced during the 2016 legislative session. To fund the bill, it is proposing a 1 percent increase in the state’s General Excise Tax, with a few caveats. Garden Island.

Randy Iwase, chairman of the state Public Utilities Commission, said Wednesday some commitments offered by NextEra Energy Inc. to win support for its proposed purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries aren’t any different than what the Hawaii utility would do on its own. Star-Advertiser.

Colton Ching, vice president of energy delivery for Hawaiian Electric Co., said Wednesday during his time on the stand for the regulatory hearings on NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of the Honolulu-based utility, that there are some commitments that aren’t necessarily new, but instead a promise to continue what is currently being done. Pacific Business News.

The Ige administration is struggling to fill nearly 350 vacancies on state boards and commissions. Civil Beat.

With less than one week left before a Dec. 15 deadline, nearly 6,000 people in Hawaii had signed up for health coverage using the federal government’s website during the open enrollment period that began Nov. 1, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

House and Senate negotiators announced today that they reached agreement on bipartisan legislation to make permanent a moratorium that prevents states from taxing access to the Internet. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which opposes the measure, estimates that Hawaii’s state government would lose about $20 million in tax revenue, based on 2012 figures, when the tax is phased out. Associated Press.

According to United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings Annual Report, Hawaii is the healthiest overall when compared to all US states. Hawaii News Now

About 15,000 senior Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Medicare plan members will see an increase in their monthly out-of-pocket premiums on Jan. 1. Star-Advertiser.


The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday moved a step closer to approving a bill requiring consumers on Oahu to pay a 0.5 percent surcharge on the general excise tax for five more years to help finance the city’s $6.57 billion rail project. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council voted Wednesday to keep alive a bill to extend a 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge by five years, from 2022 to 2027, to help pay for a growing deficit in the municipality’s $6.6 billion rail project. Civil Beat.

In response to critics of rail who say shutting down the project could save taxpayers money, officials said Thursday that dismantling what's been built already and terminating contracts would have a huge price tag. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu City Council deliberated today on the bill to increase funding for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bobby Bunda held a campaign fundraiser at the Pacific Club in downtown Honolulu on Dec. 1, suggesting his desire to return to elective office. The former Hawaii Senate president asked for contributions of $500 in a bid for the District 2 seat on the Honolulu City Council. Civil Beat.

An Oahu grand jury could take up the case of a Honolulu police officer repeatedly beating a man with his baton — an act caught on video, the prosecutor’s office said. Star-Advertiser.

State officials took another step Wednesday toward clearing out homeless encampments at two Kakaako parks. At a special meeting, the Hawaii Community Development Authority board signed off on what its officials call “abandoned property protocol” — rules guiding how the agency will enforce nighttime closures at Kewalo Basin Park and Kakaako Waterfront Park. Civil Beat.

A 36-year-old marketing manager who wears a traditional hijab said she was harassed for her Muslim religion by an unidentified man who made offensive comments as he followed her from Alakea Street to Bishop Street. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council members are expected to approve a $1.2 million settlement this week for a 2008 motorcycle crash on Kaluanui Road in Hawaii Kai that left a man paralyzed. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Supreme Court will hear an oral argument Thursday from 10-11 a.m. at Waianae High School, part of an ongoing outreach program intended to educate students about the law and democracy. Civil Beat.


Exclusive interview with Gov. David Ige about Thirty Meter Telescope project. Hawaii News Now.

An eruption of multiple large fights sent Pahoa High and Intermediate School into lockdowns the past couple of days and required police response. Adults trying to intervene are being assaulted. KHON2.

As NextEra Energy Inc. continues to seek approval of its $4.3 billion acquisition of the Hawaiian Electric companies, organizers behind a movement to pursue a nonprofit utility on the Big Island say their business model could save Hawaii Electric Light Co. customers as much as $113 million on their electricity rate base in a four-year period. Tribune-Herald.

After more than a week of increased traffic congestion along one of Puna’s main arteries because of the construction of a new roundabout, local elected officials are searching for ways to improve driving conditions during the project timeline. Tribune-Herald.

A community resource center and emergency shelter is moving ahead at the Kailapa Homestead in Kawaihae. West Hawaii Today.

A brief lull in the number of reported dengue cases doesn’t mean the disease is anywhere near finished with the Big Island — a fact highlighted Wednesday when the fever resumed its steady march with six new cases. West Hawaii Today.


Kyle Ginoza has resigned as director of the county Department of Environmental Management and has taken a job as general manager for Maui operations of Hawaii Gas. Maui News.

Mick Fleetwood, drummer and co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, was approved Tuesday for a permit to use a cottage his late mother lived in as a short-term rental in Napili. Maui News.

It's official. What had been known for more than 100 years as Iao Stream is officially the Wailuku River. Maui News.

The already slow-moving proposal to build a 1,500-home town development at Olowalu has come to a full stop after the state Land Use Commission rejected the developer's draft final environmental impact statement Monday. Maui News.


Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry says he plans to launch the state’s first body camera program before the end of the year — with or without support from the state’s powerful police union. Civil Beat.

Kauai County doesn’t have a long-term financial plan, so county officials are bringing consultants on board to help form one. At the cost of $40,000, the Government Finance Officers Association will help Kauai County develop a financial vision for the future. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tulsi in the spotlight, Honolulu arrest death ruled homicide, electricity bills double, Hawaii state counties conference gets rowdy, Honolulu council sets sights on tax hikes, Maui aims to save the trees, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Democratic National convention 2012
Tulsi Gabbard at 2012 Democratic National Convention
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard will have a leading role in a bipartisan coalition to reduce government waste and inefficiency as the freshman Hawaii Democrat positions herself as a problem solver in Congress. No Labels is expected to announce a package of reform legislation this morning backed by more than 70 House and Senate Demo­crats and Republicans. Star-Advertiser.

Freshman Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Wednesday expressed deep disappointment with Congress even as she urged more women, young people and diverse candidates to run. Politico.

Electric bills have doubled over the past decade in Hawaii as state regulators search for sustainable ways to provide power to thousands of homes and businesses. Meantime, utility executives are banking millions of dollars in annual salaries and benefits while they bemoan declining sales due to more people going off the grid. Civil Beat.

Robbie Alm is leaving his post as executive vice president of Hawaiian Electric Co. as of Aug. 30 after more than a decade at Hawaii’s largest utility, HECO said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Robbie Alm, who has been the public face of Hawaiian Electric Co. for the past decade, will be leaving the company August 30, according to a company press release. Civil Beat.

More than 27,000 U.S. and Australian forces are taking part in military training exercises for the next two and a half weeks. Most of the drills are off the coast of Australia—but the Navy says some activities will take place in Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

The University of Hawaii has signed a new five-year contract with the U.S. Navy for a controversial research lab even though anticipated revenue is significantly less than expected and officials will reveal little about the lab's operations. Civil Beat.

Ever since KHON2 did a story about a state hummer, the questions keep on coming about the state using everything from fancy SUVs to brand new Harley Davidsons. People are asking KHON2 to dig deeper about what the state sheriffs are driving, and at what cost.

State roundup for July 18. Associated Press.


Nine bills designed to curb property tax exemptions and create new tax categories that would make it easier for the City Council to raise rates on some targeted groups of owners were passed by the Council Budget Committee on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office has ruled as a homicide the death in June of Stephen Dinnan, who was restrained by a police officer investigating a stolen vehicle report in Waimanalo. Star-Advertiser.

A rapidly growing network of police cameras is capturing, storing and sharing data on license plates, making possible a stitching together of people's movements whether they are stuck in a commute, making tracks to the beach or up to no good. And Honolulu police plan to get on the nationwide bandwagon. Star-Advertiser.

The head of the police officers union in Hawaii told City Council members on Wednesday that officers are given a standard of conduct differential pay allowance because officers are expected to carry their firearms and confront danger 24 hours a day, unlike other government workers. Star-Advertiser.

Kakaako is envisioned to become Oahu's "third city" as it is redeveloped with thousands of homes, more retail, parks and upgraded roads and sewers. But no one, including the state agency regulating development in the area, plans to add any schools. Star-Advertiser.

Ewa Beach homeowners sue over scrapped marina. Homeowners in Ewa Beach's Hoakalei Resort and Ocean Pointe communities say they bought their properties because developer Haseko Inc.'s government-approved master plan project included as the main physical attraction a small boat marina that connects to the ocean. Star-Advertiser.

It Wasn't Magic — a Real Estate Developer Made an Entire Marina Disappear. Civil Beat.

Some Kahala homeowners say the city hasn't done enough to enforce a new property blight law in their neighborhood, but city leaders say they've gone so far as to begin the process of putting up a lien on one particular repeat offender. Hawaii News Now.

A prosecution witness testified Wednesday that U.S. State Department special agent Christopher Deedy smelled of alcohol the morning of the 2011 fatal shooting of Kollin Elderts at a McDonald’s restaurant in Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

Day 7: Jury shown police photographs of Deedy after arrest. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Pacific University and the Oceanic Institute plans to merge in a move that would make the Waimanalo-based nonprofit research and development organization the research arm of the state’s largest private university, HPU has confirmed to PBN. Pacific Business News.

The Howard Hughes Corporation envisions a 38-story tower at the old Dixie Grill location on the corner of Ward and Halekauwila streets. KITV4.

About 300 people were seen running down Lewers Street in a panic Wednesday night. But those people were extras in the latest motion picture production of "Godzilla," which wraps up its filming early Thursday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Monster on Lewers street! Moviemakers producing “Godzilla” place film extras in Waikiki for a scene in which they flee in panic from the terrible lizard. Star-Advertiser.


Hotel security shut down a loud hospitality suite hosted by a lobbyist whose client list includes a GMO company, but most Hawaii County Council members attending the Hawaii State Association of Counties conference on Kauai last month said there was more county business than partying going on. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island public school buses will begin using high-tech routing software and global positioning system (GPS) tracking in the 2015-16 academic year, as the state Department of Education expands a plan to overhaul its transportation system. Tribune-Herald.

Speed limit signs will soon become more than an advisory in Hawaiian Paradise Park. Tribune-Herald.

Ka’u radio station closes. West Hawaii Today.


It likely will be more difficult to remove trees on public and private property under bills proposed by Maui County Council Vice Chairman Robert Carroll. Maui News.

Year after year, Maui veterans have fought to update and relocate several offices to create a one-stop medical complex in Central Maui. Over the next few years, their dream may finally come true. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs approved earlier this year a 15,000-square-foot facility with a budget of just under $10 million. Maui News.

In response to complaints about its paratransit service, Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. announced that it is hiring more qualified drivers to meet the demands of its hundreds of new disabled clients. Maui News.

Maui County will work with three Hawaii affordable housing experts to make recommendations on how to handle the more than $10 million owed to the county by the nonprofit agency that runs the low income housing project Hale Makana O Waiale in Wailuku. Maui News.

A man who was awarded a state contract to start a recycling business on Maui has been charged with forgery and theft for allegedly submitting false invoices and obtaining more than $200,000. Maui News.


Over the last two months, the Open Space Commission has held meetings around the island to gather input regarding places on Kauai that community members feel should be preserved and protected . The last in this round of meetings will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. July 24 at The Hanalei Community Center. Garden Island.

The Department of Education is continuing to investigate a complaint filed against Kapaa Middle School Principal Nathan Aiwohi. Garden Island.

Four years after the demise of the Hawaii Superferry, the ghosts of the interisland ocean route that sank millions of dollars of public money still linger. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Commentary: Proud to be Hawaii's #1 solo news blog, three years in a row!

Society of Professional Journalists SPJ

I am beaming.

The judges for the Society of Professional Journalists 2012 Excellence in Journalism awards recognized what I already know-- maintaining All Hawaii News day in and day out is a lot of work:
"This site represents an impressive amount of work for a single blogger. And it's incredibly informative. Nice job."
All Hawaii News, which will celebrate its 5th anniversary later this year, has become for me a labor of love. That's a good thing, as it certainly hasn't made me a millionaire.

This blog is how I read the day's news each morning. It's a way for me to share my passion for government and political news with the world.

All Hawaii News is a boutique blog. It appeals to a small but steadily growing group of decision-makers and media types. It attracts readers from across the state, the Mainland U.S., China, the South Pacific and Russia.

This blog will never get as many Google hits as someone's obese cat. It will never embrace the "If it bleeds, it leads" mentality.

But if one person is better informed about government and politics across our tiny island chain in the middle of the Pacific, my mission has been accomplished.

Don't let that stop you from dropping a buck or two in the collection box to the right, however.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hawaii flunks online transparency, Hawaiian art gets more attention following lawmaker's racist comments, 'Haolenesian' brand name born, Honolulu parks official got preferential treatment, no new council districts for Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

screenshot of
Hawaii government website

Hawaii was given an F in a new study on how well states stack up in providing online access to government spending data. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii received an “F” when it comes to government spending transparency, according to “Following the Money 2013: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data,” the fourth annual report of its kind by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund. Civil Beat.

If Gov. Neil Abercrombie were sitting in a classroom with the other 49 state governors, he would be among the bottom-three students regarding grades on online transparency of government spending, according to a report by U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a nonprofit organization that works to protect consumers and promote good government. Garden Island.

Should legislators be barred from holding fundraising events or soliciting money from lobbyists and interest groups while the Legislature is in session? Civil Beat.

A grudge by some legislators against the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts may still be on even after state Rep. Faye Hano­hano's apology for her racially abusive threats to SFCA staff for placing works by non-Native Hawaiian artists in her office. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers say they’re “cautiously optimistic” that the Hawaii Department of Education is moving in the right direction to rein in school bus costs and overhaul management of the branch so that it’s more efficient and accountable to the public. Civil Beat.

Three frequent visitors to Hawaii who are considering starting a business here want to trademark “Haolenesians” for the purpose of selling apparel bearing that name. Pacific Business News.

Even though State Civil Defense has not received any kind of alert about a potential threat from North Korea, Hawaii does have a plan in place. KHON2.

State roundup for March 27. Associated Press.


A Transportation Security Administration manager fired from Honolulu International Airport has been reinstated, the fourth TSA manager to win a settlement or successfully challenge his firing after a baggage-checking scandal that resulted in the termination of 36 TSA employees. Hawaii News Now.

An Ethics Commission advisory opinion said that on at least 10 occasions over a one-year period in 2011-2012,  former Deputy Parks Director Albert Tufono sent emails to Parks Department recreation directors seeking permits to reserve city gyms and ballfields for teams and leagues that he coached, teams his sons played on and a hula halau in which his daughter was a student. Star-Advertiser.

A survey done late last fall found that 72.8 percent of District 2's roads were in "fair" condition or better. That's just about on par with the 72.2 percent of city roads islandwide that were in fair shape or better.Star-Advertiser.


After West Hawaii Today questioned him about it Monday, Puna Councilman Zendo Kern said he is canceling a $500- to $1,000-per-person fundraiser planned for today in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

The kahu of a collection of North Kona churches is hoping state and county officials pay millions for what he claims is years of unauthorized use of church property. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Medical Service Association on Tuesday announced plans to build a new office building in Keaau. Tribune-Herald.

After nearly three decades of planning, lawsuits, Supreme Court action, community activism, bankruptcy, foreclosure, discussion and, finally, agreement, the development of Kohanaiki is nearing fruition. West Hawaii Today.


A few Maui teachers willing to speak on the record Monday about a tentative contract agreement with the state were positive but cautious. Maui News.

Wanting to lay a solid foundation for Maui County in years to come, Mayor Alan Arakawa unveiled his 2013-14 budget request Monday with a wish list of more than $105 million for infrastructure and facility improvement projects. Maui News.

A stakeholder meeting is scheduled for this week to discuss the proposed Central Maui Regional Park. Maui Now.


On Monday, the Kaua‘i Charter Review Commission — in a 5-1 vote — tabled a proposal to divide county council seats into different districts. Garden Island.

The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge will be closed for the third and final phase of the Kilauea Lighthouse restoration, starting Sunday and lasting a whole week, according to a press release from the Kaua‘i National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Garden Island.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Kilauea lava flows to ocean, Kulani prison moves forward, schools hire without background checks, slug-infested Christmas tree deliveries stopped, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

2011 USGS photo of Kilauea lava flow
For the first time in eleven months, lava is entering the ocean from Kilauea volcano. Hawaii News Now.

Lava from Kilauea Volcano is entering the ocean in lower Puna for the first time since New Year’s Day, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii island tour operators enjoyed their own version of Black Friday weekend when lava from Kilauea Volcano's Puu Oo vent spilled into the ocean Saturday afternoon, prompting a surge of business from locals and visitors eager to witness the spectacle. Star-Advertiser.

College students from the University of Hawaii at Hilo had a chance to see the work of Madame Pele in person this weekend, as a Volcanology class left the confines of campus and studied a lava flow at Kalapana on the Big Island. Hawaii News Now.

State Rep. Marcus Oshiro says it's not clear yet who will lead the state House despite an announcement by former speaker Rep. Joe Souki that he has the vote to reclaim the post. KITV4.

A new Department of Education audit of the casual hire system that employed some 22,000 people at schools statewide last fiscal year found poor oversight and a lack of monitoring, and concluded schools were failing to follow even basic pre-employment protocols, including ensuring that background checks were conducted before an employee began work. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Ethics Commission Sets Sights On Charter School Employee. Civil Beat.

Pierre Omidyar
Pierre and Pam Omidyar’s plan to give $50 million to the Hawaii Community Foundation is halfway through its six-year commitment to launch community initiatives, and there is already progress on those initiatives. Pacific Business News.

Shipments of Christmas trees to stores statewide have stopped. KITV4.

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council — a taxpayer-funded federal agency that works with NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service to ensure commercial fisheries stay strong in the 1.5 million square miles under its jurisdiction, forked over at least $107,500 to publish a book, little more than a summary of a series of workshops. Civil Beat.

State roundup for November 26. Associated Press.


The Honolulu City Council will welcome four new members in the next two months, three of whom were in the state Legislature only a month ago. The fourth was in the state Senate just four years ago. Star-Advertiser.

A backlog of claims at the Honolulu Veterans Benefits Administration is keeping some Hawaii veterans waiting up to 18 months for decisions on disability benefits. Civil Beat.

Photovoltaic permits overloading city of Honolulu. KHON2.

The Honolulu rail project will make about $5 million available to buy works of art to dress up the system's 21 train stations, and the city expects to invite artists from across the nation to compete for a chance to win commissions. Star-Advertiser.

Farrington High School officials dealing with aftermath of roof collapse. KITV4.


Councilman J Yoshimoto intends to run a tight ship when he takes the helm of the Hawaii County Council on Dec. 3. Tribune-Herald.

About 200 Hawaii inmates will be closer to home for the holidays as early as next year if the proposed reactivation of Kulani prison comes to fruition. West Hawaii Today.

On Dec. 3, Mitch Roth will become Hawaii County’s first new elected prosecutor in a generation, having won a general election nailbiter over county Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida. Tribune-Herald.


The Maui County Planning Department has issued a request for proposals for a new "small town planning" grant program. Maui News.

Hamoa Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world has been without a public shower for the past month and may continue to be without one for a while. Maui News.

With more than 17,500 smart meters already installed, the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative is more than halfway finished with the project to replace older mechanical meters at 33,000 homes and businesses. Garden Island.

The County of Kaua‘i signed on to take the Better Buildings Challenge, pledging to reduce energy use by 20 percent at its facilities by 2020. Garden Island.


Molokai teachers are joining public school educators around Hawaii to raise awareness for their efforts of negotiating a fair contract with the state. Molokai Dispatch.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hawaii teachers union strongest in the U.S., Poll: Hirono 22 points over Lingle, tsunami sirens malfunction, Maui County seeks to gag public comment, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii union protest (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Hawaii is No. 1 in at least one area of education: Strongest teachers union in the nation. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono has a double-digit cushion over former Gov. Linda Lingle for U.S. Senate, a gap that has remained constant since the Hawaii Poll began tracking the campaign in May 2011. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, drawing energetic support from women and union households, has the advantage over former Congressman Charles Djou in their rematch in urban Honolulu's 1st Congressional District. Star-Advertiser.

Hanabusa was correct that Djou helped form a lobbying firm the same month he left public office. Civil Beat.

The public will have the opportunity this week to speak out on a revised plan by Hawaiian Electric Co. to buy locally produced biofuel for power generation after its initial proposal was rejected as being too costly for ratepayers. Star-Advertiser.

State Civil Defense crews will be out inspecting sirens today across Oahu after some did not sound in certain areas while the tsunami warnings were going out Saturday evening. On the Big Island, crews will head out Thursday to inspect their own sirens after 7 to 10 of the roughly 70 sirens malfunctioned in areas like Puna and East Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Department of Emergency Management said only 75 percent of the sirens went off when they were initially activated. KITV4.

State and county officials haven't yet come together to discuss the details of how Saturday's tsunami warning and coastal evacuation were handled, but all agree that it went as well as it could have given the short time frame emergency responders had in which to act. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii was caught a bit by surprise Saturday night when an earthquake off the coast of British Columbia generated a tsunami that officials decided was headed straight for the islands. Civil Beat.

It's been quite an eventful weekend, as thousands evacuated their homes Saturday night when a state tsunami warning was issued at about 7:45 p.m. KHON2.

The rate at which Hawaii teens and young adults are taking their own lives has more than doubled over the past five years, spurring some mental health experts to call for it an emergency situation. Civil Beat.

State roundup for October 29. Associated Press.


If re-elected, Palolo state Rep. Calvin Say would become the longest-serving lawmaker in the 76-member state Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

“The equivalent of an academic bake sale” … that’s gone "awry.” That was the comparison that University of Hawaii Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple made earlier this week at a campus forum after a student asked him to explain how the University was defrauded out of $200,000. Hawaii Reporter.


The prospect of paying higher electricity rates next year has prompted public opposition to a pair of increase requests from Hawaii Electric Light Co. slated to go before the state Public Utilities Commission. Tribune-Herald.

Caution was replaced by calm Sunday as Big Island residents returned to much of their normal routines after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake off Canada prompted tsunami fears the night before, leading to evacuations of Hawaii County’s shores.Tribune-Herald.

Despite the short tsunami warning Saturday, effective disaster plans, well-rehearsed drills, prior responses and teamwork kept police, fire and county officials on top of the situation, said Assistant Police Chief Marshall Kanehailua. West Hawaii Today.


Attorneys for Maui County have asked the state Land Use Commission to consider excluding public testimony at next week's proceedings to determine if the landowner planning a pair of large shopping centers in Kihei has violated land-use conditions imposed on the property. Maui News.

2012 Election: Council race pits longevity against training. Maui News.

Crews on Maui worked late into the night and early morning hours to assess coastal areas around Maui and determine if any damages were sustained during a tsunami event that occurred overnight. Maui News.

An official with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said late Saturday night that there was a wave of 5 feet from peak to trough in Kahului Harbor, marking the biggest wave logged statewide from an earthquake off Canada. Maui News.


The anticipated series of up to 7-foot tsunami waves may not have materialized Saturday night, but the precautions taken by public safety officials and Kaua‘i Civil Defense Agency were not overdone, say officials. Garden Island.

Hanama‘ulu Beach Park was the main topic of the County of Kaua‘i Police Commission meeting Friday. Garden Island.

The candidates for Kaua‘i County Council on Thursday night participated in the last forum until the Nov. 6 elections. Garden Island.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hawaii: At risk for corruption? (commentary)

Earlier this year, All Hawaii News participated in a novel project -- creating a nationwide risk analysis for how susceptible state governments are to corruption. The collaborative project of the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International called upon journalists, analysts and experts in every state to rate government agencies on hundreds of benchmarks.

Hawaii didn't do too badly, based on the laws on the books for public access, transparency and ethics. An overall score of 74 percent, a C, with a ranking of 10th among the states, puts the Aloha State squarely in the status quo of government accountability.

But where Hawaii really falls short is in the implementation of those good laws that are already on the books. Lawmakers are ready, even eager, to create commissions, boards and oversight panels.

Unfortunately, the paper tigers have no teeth. There's a lot of style, but no substance.

Public records are, in theory, open to the public, yet the Office of Information Practices, charged with enforcing the provisions, can't force state agencies to provide records.

The state insurance commissioner is supposed to regulate insurance rates, yet he has to beg the Legislature to allow him to do his job.

The appearance of conflicts of interest in the Legislature is rampant, with lawmakers allowed to vote on the very projects they lobby for.

Hawaii has been slow to adopt technology to allow for public oversight of campaign financing and lobbyists' and public officials' disclosures.

Ultimately, oversight of government falls to an already overburdened court system.

Hawaii government leaders can make use of this report in one of two ways. They can look at other states and feel satisfied that at least Hawaii isn't as bad as, say Georgia, which ranked dead last with 49 percent.

Or, they can take the report as a blueprint -- a way to focus on what needs fixing first. They can pinpoint specific areas to make state government more accessible, transparent and fair for all of the state's 1.4 million people. In other words, state leadership can be leaders.

Let's hope they do the latter.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Honolulu streetwalkers not policed Saturdays, bag fee to benefit watersheds, low turnout expected in state GOP caucus, islands mark 2011 tsunami, Molokai poll shows opposition to tourist boats, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Waikiki at night (c) 2012 All Hawaii News

They're promising Hawaii voters strong leadership in Washington, but most of Hawaii's leading candidates for federal office are waiting for their opponents to make public their tax returns before they'll do so themselves. Civil Beat.

David Chang, Hawaii’s Republican Party chairman, is estimating that 5,000 to 10,000 voters will turn out for caucuses Tuesday that will determine the candidate who will get 17 of the state’s 20 delegates to the GOP National Convention in Tampa, Fla., this summer. Star-Advertiser.

The four GOP presidential candidates are campaigning in the Deep South, but some of their members are here in Hawaii hoping to win over prospective voters.KHON2.

As Hawaii experiences decreasing rainfall and increasing demand for water from urbanization, Gov. Neil Abercrombie's administration has proposed doubling protected watershed areas, including the state natural area reserve at Mount Kaala. Star-Advertiser.

Tackling Hawaii's massive unfunded liability for future public pensions is going to be painful for the state, counties — and taxpayers, pension officials say. Civil Beat.

The state Senate is looking at ways to ease traffic problems by improving highway and road designs. Associated Press.

A law enacted Friday postpones a scheduled unemployment insurance rate hike that will save business owners across the state about $107 million. Associated Press.

Republican State Sen. Sam Slom today delivered his analysis of the Legislature’s accomplishments this year, expressing doubts about the effectiveness, legality and price tags of bills backed by the Democratic majority. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii has 10 main islands — not eight — in 10 commemorative Hawaii quarters that Wai­alae Iki coin collector Joe Au-Franz has found so far. Star-Advertiser.


A Civil Beat investigation of 12 months' worth of prostitution arrests shows that there is virtually no enforcement of prostitution laws on weekends. Civil Beat.

The 2012 NFL Pro Bowl played at Aloha Stadium on Jan. 29 generated an economic impact of $25.3 million, according to an estimate released Friday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

It's been one year since the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan and even though the majority of the damage was suffered thousand of miles away, Hawaii's harbors were deeply impacted by the devastation. KITV4.


Fastest wireless speeds hard to come by on Big Isle. Tribune-Herald.

No Rush Limbaugh program advertisers were angered or inconvenienced this week when Hilo-based KPUA-AM 670 chose to drop the show after 16 years, according to the station’s owner. That’s because there weren’t any, he said. Tribune-Herald.

The first warning a tsunami was headed to Hawaii came late March 10, 2011. West Hawaii Today.

It took seven days after the March 11, 2011, tsunami for the Kona Inn Restaurant to regain power. West Hawaii Today.


Deliberations will continue this week on the inaugural Maui Island Plan. Maui Now.

Planning Director Will Spence said Friday that his efforts to simplify the Maui Island Plan have been misunderstood by critics as an attempt to gut the document. Maui News.

A year ago, Bart Chow looked at the ocean from his in-laws' Molokai beach home and saw the ocean retreat from the shoreline. Maui News.

Much has been learned from last year's tsunami and now government agencies and residents should be better equipped to cope with another tsunami strike, county and emergency officials said last week. Maui News.


Resort developer plans 400 new housing units for Princeville. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i joined Japan and locations around the world on Sunday for moments of silence, prayer and reflection about the enormous loss from the magnitude-9.0 earthquake that struck a year ago in Japan. Garden Island.


A vast majority – 85 percent – of people in a Molokai survey voted “no,” to dockings by American Safari Cruises and other tourist vessels, 11 percent voted “yes” and 4 percent voted “yes, with controls.” Molokai Dispatch.