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

Friday, July 8, 2016

Hawaii coffee production down, schools to get fresh food, new teaching methods, Ige signs industrial hemp bill into law, Honolulu council upheaval continues, Maui whistle-blower lawsuit tossed, senior living facility for Kona, big meth problem on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Coffee drying at Ka'u farm  2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaii produced an estimated 34.7 million pounds of unprocessed coffee during the 2015-16 season, a 5 percent drop from the previous season, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Pacific Business News.

Farmers and vendors have until Wednesday to tell the state what locally grown fruits and vegetables they’d like to provide to public schools. The state is making a special effort to boost supply and demand for food from the islands in its cafeterias. Star-Advertiser.

Working through a selected group of 19 voluntary advisers, the governor has called for a “blueprint” to guide a revamping of the state’s public school system to improve outcomes for students. The public will have an opportunity to add its ideas at an all-day summit the group is hosting Saturday at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Thursday signed into law a bill that establishes a pilot program through the state Department of Agriculture allowing for the cultivation of industrial hemp and distribution of hemp seed “for purposes of agricultural or academic research.” Civil Beat.

Burgeoning grass-root groups are ramping up their campaigns for and against the proposed expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument as President Obama weighs whether he should single-handedly create the world’s biggest marine reserve around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Civil Beat.

Billionaire Warren Buffett’s energy company has started doing a pilot program for a residential property manager in Hawaii, a spokeswoman for one of his companies confirmed to Pacific Business News this week.

Learning To Live In The Electric Century. Hawaiian Electric Co. saw its profits skyrocket as people began using newfangled electric appliances. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Forest Legacy Program is seeking new projects that will protect working forest lands from the threat of conversion to non-forest uses. Applications from state and county agencies, conservation nonprofit groups and private landowners are due by Aug. 10 for funding in fiscal year 2018. Garden Island.


Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson has lost his post as head of the Zoning and Planning Committee to Trevor Ozawa in a shakeup announced Thursday by Council Chair Ernie Martin. Civil Beat.

After being stripped of the chairmanship of the influential City Council Zoning and Planning Committee on Thursday, Council Vice Chairman Ikaika Anderson lashed out at the man who dumped him: Council Chairman Ernie Martin. Star-Advertiser.

Due to a scheduling conflict, Charles Djou said he is unable to attend the Hawaii Public Radio debate that was scheduled for Monday evening. That prompted Mayor Kirk Caldwell to issue a press release Thursday. Civil Beat.

Hawai’i Public Radio is cancelling its scheduled Honolulu Mayoral Candidate Forum on Monday, July 11. Hawaii Public Radio.

A popular local food item has been mentioned as a possible culprit in an outbreak of hepatitis A that has sickened 31 people on Oahu. But the state Department of Health said it isn't anywhere close to identifying a single source in what's become out of the larger food-borne disease outbreaks in recent memory. Hawaii News Now.

A campaign is raising funds for a solution to the Ala Wai’s pollution problem. Hawaii Public Radio.

Portions of Kewalo Basin remained closed Thursday after a sewage spill that went unreported for days. More warning signs went up and the state Department of Health took water samples. KHON2.

It was Christmas in July at Kakaako’s Next Step shelter, where homeless workers Thursday morning unpacked new, heavy-duty air mattresses and $30,000 worth of donated slippers and shoes. Star-Advertiser.


With a roomful of supporters at their back, former Mayor Harry Kim and former Senior Deputy Corporation Counsel Joe Kamelamela pleaded Thursday with the County Council to keep the county band in the county charter. West Hawaii Today.

A Kona senior living facility cleared a major hurdle Thursday, when the County Council unanimously granted $1.8 million in exemptions. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiian Airlines’ new nonstop service between Kona International Airport on the Big Island and Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport will start on Dec. 20, the Honolulu-based airline said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.


A Second Circuit Court Judge has dismissed a lawsuit from a former Maui County employee who alleged that he had been retaliated against by his workplace. Justin Dobbs was a former liquor control officer trainee with the Department of Liquor when he was fired in 2011. Maui Now.

Ground is finally moving on the island's much-anticipated West Maui Hospital and Medical Center, as hospital officials announced Wednesday that a groundbreaking ceremony would be held for the facility Aug. 15 in Lahaina. Maui News.

The final half-mile length of the Kahului Airport access road from its intersection with Hana Highway through to the terminal area will open to traffic on July 23, state Department of Transportation officials said Wednesday. Maui News.


In just five months, the Kauai Police Department saw a 150 percent increase of crystal methamphetamine in 2016 compared to the entire year of 2015. Garden Island.

A Kauai neighborhood association isn’t planning to do anything about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s rock wall that has some residents grumbling. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai’s Civil Defense Agency is working with the state Department of Health to develop a statewide plan to get a handle on mosquito-borne diseases, including Zika. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Russian spy ship watching RIMPAC war games, Ige signs murder, rape crime bills, Honolulu City Council reorg fails, affordable housing breaks on Honolulu and Kauai, solar industry falters, homeless turnaround plan a success, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy office of the Hawiai governor
Gov. Ige signs Joel's Law, courtesy governor's office
Gov. David Ige on Wednesday signed “Joel’s Law,” or Act 214, an amendment to the state’s narrow first-degree murder law adding anyone who knowingly causes a death while restraining or holding a person for ransom or reward, or using a person as a shield or hostage. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige signed a bill into law Wednesday that broadens the offense of first-degree murder. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige signed a bill into law that broadens the offense of first degree murder. Previously, the offense has been narrowly defined and limited to rare cases in which there are multiple victims, the victim is killed by a hired killer or the victim was under the specific protection of the courts or law enforcement system. Press release.

A parent of a child conceived through rape in Hawaii could lose parental rights if they’re accused of sexual assault. Gov. David Ige signed a bill today which aims to deprive rapists of parental rights. Associated Press.

Gov. David Ige on Tuesday signed into law a bill requiring insurers cover a year’s worth of birth control at one time. The signing of Senate Bill 2319, which the governor’s office touted as “a groundbreaking bill that will dramatically expand access to birth control in Hawaii,” makes Hawaii the first state in the nation to require all public and private insurance providers to cover 12 months of birth control at a time, meaning that women will only have to pick up their prescription once a year. West Hawaii Today.


The U.S. Navy has confirmed that a Russian spy ship has been stationed in international waters off Hawaii, but says its presence is not affecting military exercises. Associated Press.

State senators are taking their first legal steps in a fight with the governor over a Public Utilities Commission appointment. KHON2.

After unexpectedly high construction bids delayed the state’s efforts to cool 1,000 classrooms before 2017, the Hawaii Department of Education is seeking new bids for the project, according to a July newsletter. Civil Beat.

More than 1,500 scientists from around the world have signed a letter urging President Obama to use his executive authority to expand Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Civil Beat.

A large majority of Hawaii solar energy industry companies are reporting job losses. Star-Advertiser.

Islandwide Solar is in the midst of a “restructuring,” central to which is the liquidation of assets totaling more than $800,000 in wholesale value from the company’s operations on Hawaii Island, Kauai and Oahu. West Hawaii Today.

Friends In High Places Helped HECO Tighten Its Grip On Hawaii. The federal government’s takeover of Hawaii proved extremely fortuitous for Hawaiian Electric. So was the involvement of leading local. Civil Beat.


The Honolulu City Council green-lighted a bill Wednesday that waives building permit and sewer hookup fees for homeowners who want to build accessory dwelling units — secondary rental units on their property. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday confirmed John Henry Felix to a seat on the board of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. Pacific Business News.

A move to oust Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson as Council vice chairman was shelved just before a vote on the maneuver was to happen Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council shelved a resolution today to reorganize its committee leadership positions. But they did pass a few measures relating to the Rail Transit Project. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Honolulu City Council voted Wednesday to shelve a bill that would have given the position of vice chair to Joey Manahan from Kalihi instead of Ikaika Anderson from Waimanalo. Civil Beat.

Kakaako’s state-owned Mauka and Makai Gateway parks, home to a persistent group of homeless encampments, are now closed indefinitely for repairs and a cleanup. Star-Advertiser.

Housing First rental units didn’t work out for five homeless people out of 166 placed in the program on Oahu last year. Star-Advertiser.

A future wave of new homes in Kakaako could be subject to dramatically different affordable-housing rules based on a report presented Wednesday to the state agency governing development in the area. Star-Advertiser.

Sewage Spill Closes Kewalo Basin. The Hawaii Department of Health advises the public to stay clear of the area because it may have been affected by a sewage spill over the Fourth of July weekend. Civil Beat.

Two Honolulu police officers have been charged in the past week with felonies — one for allegedly assaulting a truck driver during a road rage incident and another, now retired, for allegedly shooting a bartender in a mishap. Star-Advertiser.


The envisioned Puna Makai Alternate Route, or PMAR, has become a political issue in the primary election. Big Island Video News.

Senior’s striptease a hit on TV: Hilo woman, 90, competes on ‘America’s Got Talent’ Tribune-Herald.


The Paia Courtyard, a proposed mixed-use retail, office and residential project along with senior living apartments, is now on its way to seek further county approvals. Maui News.

State Department of Land and Natural Resources officers issued 46 criminal citations and impounded 10 off-road motorcycles as evidence after observing illegal dirt biking Sunday in the Kula Forest Reserve. Maui News.

A live snake was captured by a Maui coffee farm worker on Friday afternoon, July 1, 2016. Maui Now.


The Kauai County Council unanimously voted Wednesday to give a tax break to people who rent their homes as long-term affordable housing. Garden Island.

Citing the need to get input from the administration, the Kauai County Council unanimously voted Wednesday to refer to committee a bill that would allow additional rental units in the Lihue Planning District. Garden Island.

Shuttle systems, parking reservations, and rearranging the layout of the welcome buildings are all part of the newly released comprehensive conservation plan for the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Garden Island.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pearl Harbor attack remembered, Hawaii legislators to get 25% pay hike, Japan earthquake no tsunami threat to Hawaii, active shark season, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

military historical file footage
Attack on Pearl Harbor, historical military file photo
Seventy-one years ago today, when shock and horror came to Hawaii in the form of a Japa­nese aerial attack, the Hono­lulu Star-Bulletin sent out reporter Elizabeth Peet McIntosh to cover the casualties and aftermath. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu after Pearl Harbor: A report published for the first time, 71 years later. Washington Post.

Gladys Aiona Brandt: The Unpublished Pearl Harbor Day Speech. Civil Beat.

More than 2,000 people are gathering at Pearl Harbor on Friday to mark the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack that killed thousands of people and launched the United States into World War II. Associated Press.

Friday will be a somber day at Hawaii’s biggest tourist attraction, the Arizona Memorial at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Legislator Salaries Going Up 25 Percent. Civil Beat.

Sixteen months into a rancorous labor dispute, the state and public school teachers union appear to be making progress toward a contract that would begin July 1. Star-Advertiser.

As teacher participation in "work to the rule" demonstrations has swelled in recent weeks, some educators say the state is trying to undermine their protests.Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii is tied with Vermont as the state with the eighth lowest unemployment rate in October 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Civil Beat.

A strong earthquake has shook an area off the eastern coast of Japan, but it does not appear to have been strong enough to generate a tsunami threat to Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu Mayor-elect Kirk Caldwell raised just less than $1.7 million for his mayoral campaign in which the former city managing director toppled two political heavyweights en route to the city's top office. Star-Advertiser.

Kirk Caldwell and the Super PAC that supported him spent more than $5 million to win this year’s Honolulu mayoral election – tripling the expenditures of losing candidate Ben Cayetano, according to reports filed today with the state Campaign Spending Commission. Hawaii Reporter.

Members of the Honolulu City Council have agreed to keep Chairman Ernie Martin in the top leadership position as the calendar starts on a new year of business. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on Thursday approved $25.9 million to cover additional costs to a contractor because of a delay in construction prompted by a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling. Star-Advertiser.

More than half of all visitors to Hawai’i stay in Waikiki.  That equates to nearly 3 million tourists annually that use or consume staggering amounts of electricity and water to make their visits comfortable and enjoyable. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Honolulu Police Department is upgrading its website, reconstructing it to include an area where HPD detectives can seek the public's help locating suspects by publishing photos, video or other information related to their cases. Star-Advertiser.

Twenty Native Hawaiian middle and high school students on Oahu are participating in a nine-month marine debris tracking project that includes science lessons, cultural activities and community service. Star-Advertiser.

Byron's Drive-In, established in 1965 near Honolulu Airport, will close at the end of February to make way for the landowner's redevelopment plans. Star-Advertiser.


Kealakehe High School will remain closed to students Friday, Dec. 7 after a spate of fights on the campus this week. Hawaii 24/7

The head of the Senate Education Committee believes cancelling Friday's classes at Kealakehe High School is an unpopular but wise decision. KHON2.

Kona Community Hospital is now nearly one hundred years old.  The Hospital Board is beginning to plan its replacement...with input from the community. Hawaii Public Radio.


The seven shark attacks in Maui County waters this year have many asking if there’s an increased danger of getting in the ocean right now. Maui Now.

Wailuku Main Street Association, a nonprofit organization that has been the recipient of more than $2.2 million in county funding in the last decade, and its board chairman, Thomas Cannon, have been ordered by a judge to comply with a subpoena and to hand over additional financial and organization documents to the state attorney general by Jan. 3. Maui News.

The Wahikuli-Honokowai Watershed Management Plan will be completed by the end of the month with runoff to be handled in a coral-friendly manner, said members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at a public meeting Tuesday at the Lahaina Civic Center. Maui News.

Convening on Maui for the first time since the mid-1800s, the Hawaii Supreme Court heard oral arguments this morning in a criminal case focused on a defendant's constitutional right to be represented by an attorney of his choice. Maui News.

The Government of Singapore Investment Corp. will buy the Grand Wailea on Maui and three other luxury U.S. resorts owned by a group led by New York-based Paulson & Co. for $1.5 billion after no other bidders stepped up to bid on the bankrupt resort properties. Pacific Business News.


Pakala Beach, located on the Westside, was reopened Thursday, a day after a man was bit on the foot by a shark. Garden Island.

Roberts Hawai‘i is the operator of the Sunny Po‘ipu express, a shuttle designed for visitors bound “from the airport to paradise” on Kaua‘i’s South Shore. The service was launched on Nov. 1. Garden Island.

The annual Lights on Rice Parade is scheduled to begin 6 p.m. today and portions of the parade route will be closed to traffic. Garden Island.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

U.S. Army strengthens China ties in Hawaii, state Ethics Commission fines California film company for gifts, new county councils, prosecutors for Hawaii, Kauai, Dems mull new blood, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii-China military ties
U.S. Maj. Gen. Stephen Lyons and Maj. Tang Fen of China's People's Liberation Army, courtesy photo
The leader of a U.S. Army delegation to a disaster-relief exercise in China last week said Monday the drills are a stepping stone to building relationships between the two militaries. Associated Press.

The Army said it advanced disaster management cooperation with the People's Liberation Army on a trip to China by about 20 Hawaii-based soldiers, and the hope is the annual exchanges will expand in scope and size. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines’ Taiwan flights won’t be gateway to mainland China. Pacific Business News.

Democratic Party of Hawaii insiders are quietly beginning to talk seriously about the possibility that the state's top two elected officials may not seek re-election. By most indications, Gov. Neil Abercrombie will run for re-election in 2014 and U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye will run for re-election in 2016. Civil Beat.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, who is three-fourths Native Hawaiian and one-fourth Chinese, introduced the first incarnation of his namesake legislation more than a decade ago. Unless something dramatic happens in coming weeks, he'll leave Congress without passing it — or even getting a straight up-or-down vote on it. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission closed the book Monday on violations of the state lobbyist law by Relativity Media, a California-based film company. The company got in ethical hot water in 2011 after failing to disclose gifts of movie DVDs to Hawaii lawmakers. Civil Beat.

Debris from the March 11, 2011, Japan tsunami is reaching a different stage in its drift across the Pacific, with heavier and larger objects contributing to coastal garbage patches in Hawaii, University of Hawaii researchers said. Star-Advertiser.

A recent series of field tests of the state's siren network, designed to bolster the trustworthiness of the emergency warning system, is now complete, kicking off Hawaii State Civil Defense's estimated $20 million refitting of the siren system. Star-Advertiser.

Last week, Gov. Neil Abercrombie launched the “Buy Hawai‘i, Give Aloha!” campaign urging consumers to buy locally made products during the holiday season. At the same time, shipping containers were already en route to the islands from the Pacific Northwest filled with Christmas trees. Garden Island.

Michael Gold took the helm as chief executive officer of the state's largest health insurer, Hawaii Medical Service Association, on Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for December 4. Associated Press.


The first annual audit of the books for the city of Honolulu's $5.27 billion rail project turned up some flaws in the rail project's accounting practices, and the board for the Hono­lulu Authority for Rapid Transportation wants to know more about city plans to prevent those problems in the future. Star-Advertiser.

An injunction on rail could increase the cost of the project by $149 million. KHON2.

Laid out in hundreds of pages of court documents is the case over one of the last hurdles before the rail project gets the unobstructed green light or gets bumped back to square one. KITV4.

An ongoing discrimination lawsuit against the Honolulu Police Department could cost taxpayers upwards of $300,000 for the city to contract with outside attorneys.Civil Beat.

The largest solar photovoltaic utility project on O’ahu was dedicated yesterday in Pearl City. Hawaii Public Radio.

University of Hawaii leaders and several Board of Regents members faced some tough questions at a "talk story" session in Manoa on Monday. Hawaii News Now.


Sitting at a dais draped with fragrant lei, a new Hawaii County Council took office Monday afternoon, and immediately fell into disagreement about who should be in charge. West Hawaii Today.

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Deacon Larry Ignacio blesses Hawaii County Council (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Mayor Billy Kenoi started his second term, members of the new County Council took their oaths of office, and Mitch Roth became the county prosecuting attorney Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County residents have a little more than a month before a ban on plastic bags at the store, farmers markets and restaurants begins taking effect. West Hawaii Today.

Overnight stays in a hospital are almost never a reason to celebrate, but patients say that Hilo Medical Center is succeeding in its ongoing mission to improve the experience for them. Tribune-Herald.

Kona Community Hospital is surveying community members on what they would like to see included in a new hospital. West Hawaii Today.

An unusual sight on the Big Island, Rainbow Falls, one of the most famous waterfalls in the world has dried up. Hawaii News Now.


Kahului Airport and Maui Memorial Medical Center will get the largest chunks of state money for Maui County from Gov. Neil Abercrombie's release last week of more than $44 million for various capital improvement projects state-wide, according to an announcement from the Governor's Office. Maui News.

The state is holding a public meeting to inform the community about a comprehensive watershed study being conducted for the West Maui “Ridge to Reef Initiative.” Maui Now.

Bids for the demolition of the 51-year-old former Wailuku Post Office/Federal Building across the street from the Kalana O Maui building are being accepted. Maui News.

The Coast Guard this afternoon suspended the search for a small plane, piloted by Maui pastry chef Jose Krall, that disappeared from radar on a flight from Maui to Molokai on Saturday evening. Maui News.

Officials at Haleakalā National Park are asking for the public’s help in protecting the endangered Hawaiian goose or nēnē as they prepare for the upcoming nesting season. Maui Now.


It’s official: the Kaua‘i County Council has a new formation. The seven council members for the next two years were sworn in by Judge Randal Valenciano at an inauguration ceremony at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall Monday. Garden Island.

Justin Kollar was sworn in as the County of Kaua‘i prosecuting attorney Monday afternoon at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall. Garden Island.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gov. Abercrombie picks Blake Oshiro as deputy, Oreos for APEC, 22 Hawaiian sovereignty members arrested at Iolani Palace, Kauai food bank director quits, Hawaii County targets gas allowances, Maui military cleanup begins, more Hawaii news

Gov. Abercrombie introduces Deputy Chief of Staff Blake Oshiro courtesy photo by Ricky Li
State Rep. Blake Oshiro will join the Abercrombie administration as deputy chief of staff, giving up the legislative seat he has held for 11 years. Star-Advertiser.

State Rep. Blake Oshiro, the majority leader for Democrats in the Hawaii House of Representatives, will be the new deputy chief of staff for Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday named House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro as deputy chief of staff. Pacific Business News.

Governor Neil Abercrombie has selected a young leader of the state Legislature, Rep. Blake Oshiro, to serve as his deputy chief of staff, saying Oshiro’s “legislative background and commitment to doing what’s right will help us move our agenda forward.” Hawaii Reporter.

When the new legislative session convenes in January, state lawmakers will have to weigh the importance of school lunch -- and how much it should cost Hawaii families. Tribune-Herald.

State law enforcement officers arrested 22 people Monday night after they refused to leave Iolani Palace grounds. Star-Advertiser.

Several hours after they first occupied the Iolani Palace grounds, members of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government were arrested for trespassing Monday evening. Hawaii News Now.

The day started with the news that a Native Hawaiian sovereignty group had locked the gates to Iolani Palace. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Telcom has filed a federal complaint against the union representing its employees for allegedly intimidating workers who might decide to cross the picket line in the event of a strike against the company. Star-Advertiser.


APEC attendees were trickling into Honolulu yesterday and today, with a big surge of arrivals expected over the next two days. Hawaii Public Radio.

State and city officials declared Honolulu ready for the biggest international event ever held in the islands but warned drivers that Monday's relatively light traffic might not continue for the rest of this week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.Star-Advertiser.

Because of a shipping problem, instead of Hawaiian Host chocolates, delegates arriving at the Honolulu International Airport for the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit are being offered packages of miniature Oreos. Civil Beat.

A federal agent charged with killing a man inside a McDonald's restaurant in Waikiki was in Hawaii to help with security at this week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, officials said Monday. Associated Press.

Details of the violent conflict that took Kollin Elderts' life Saturday morning remained sketchy on the eve of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, where Special Agent Christopher Deedy was to help provide security as leaders of 21 nations gather in Honolulu this week. Star-Advertiser.

The state's leading technology companies will be on display at the Hawaii Convention Center for this week's APEC summit. KHON2.

Eight members part of the Occupy Honolulu movement were arrested on the second night of demonstration at Thomas Square this weekend. Hawaii Independent.


Every month, most Hawaii County Council members receive enough gas money to send them around the circumference of the entire island more than 12 times. West Hawaii Today.

A Puna blogger who says police assaulted him last month for shooting video of officers responding to a fight outside a Pahoa nightclub will not be prosecuted. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County will have to take its case to stay arbitration proceedings to a higher court in its civil suit against Waikoloa affordable housing developer UniDev. West Hawaii Today.


Toxic and potentially carcinogenic chemicals found in a military landfill at the old Puunene airport site that is now used as a drag strip will be removed under a proposal by the Army Corps of Engineers. Maui News.


Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank’s executive director left her 16-year post Monday. Garden Island.


Legislators Tour Molokai, Talk Wind. Molokai Dispatch.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lingle to announce U.S. Senate bid, three lawmakers donate raises, new PUC commissioner, redistricting lawsuit filed, more government and political news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle
Former Gov. Linda Lingle is expected to announce as soon as today that she will run in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, sources say. Star- Advertiser.

Sources tell KHON2 that former Governor Linda Lingle will be making an announcement about her political future Tuesday. KHON2.

At least one Hawaii senator says he's been cutting a check back to the state each month, essentially negating the pay raise lawmakers received in 2009. And at least two other lawmakers say they've been donating their pay increases to nonprofits in their respective districts. Civil Beat.

Hawaii island Democratic Party groups have sued the state Reapportionment Commission, arguing that the inclusion of nonpermanent residents favors Oahu and denies the shifting of a state Senate seat to their island. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Human Services has sharply reduced the number of children taken into state custody each year since 2003 under a relatively new approach that DHS officials say is drawing national attention.Star-Advertiser.

New Commissioner Brings Deep Resume, Distinct Ideas to Energy Debate. Civil Beat.

Two new top advisers to Gov. Neil Abercrombie started work on Monday following the resignation of four aides in two days last week. Associated Press.

Governor Neil Abercrombie is in Asia right for the next two weeks. He left town right after four staffers announced their resignations. Hawaii News Now.

If somebody jumps ship, you really don't take notice. Even two people vaulting the gunwales isn't necessarily cause for alarm. But when there's a crowd jumping ship, something's amiss. West Hawaii Today.

Room rates for Hawaii hotels rose in August for the 14th consecutive month while occupancy statewide nudged upward by 1.8 percentage points, according to a monthly survey by Hospitality Advisors LLC and Smith Travel Research. Pacific Business News.


Pro rail group pays for Honolulu officials' trip to DC. KHON2.

Former state Legislator and City Council Member Rod Tam, who pled guilty to 26 counts in November 2010, will be sentenced a year later in November 2011. Hawaii Reporter.

On average, a water main breaks every day on the Island of O’ahu …causing disruptions in service … and more often than not … damage to roads. Hawaii Public Radio.

Security measures for the November economic summit could restrict access to the popular Diamond Head state park. KITV4.

The 5,000-home Koa Ridge development plan is headed back to the state Land Use Commission for the third time in a decade. Star-Advertiser.

The concept calls for converting a shipping container into an affordable home, and then putting it on agricultural land. Hawaii News Now.

This Tuesday, October 11 is National Coming Out Day, a nationally recognized civil awareness day for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) issues. Hawaii Independent.


The Water Department is seeking to replace Manager and Chief Engineer Milton Pavao, who is retiring Dec. 30 after 39 1/2 years in the department, 17 of those as manager. West Hawaii Today.

After a roughly two-year absence, the sounds of bouncing balls, referees' whistles and children's laughter are once again coming from the A.J. Watt Gymnasium in Mountain View. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian Ocean View Estates residents claim a memo from a county consultant working on the Ka'u Community Development Plan amounts to a land grab. West Hawaii Today.


Dogged effort: Group hopes to improve breed’s bad reputation. Maui News.

Hot, barren and dusty . . . that's how Maui High School faculty and alumni remember the school's Kahului campus when it first opened in 1972. Maui News.

“Howl-lelujah,” the Rev. William Miller said, welcoming people to the Blessing of the Animals on Sunday at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Lihu‘e. Garden Island.


“Howl-lelujah,” the Rev. William Miller said, welcoming people to the Blessing of the Animals on Sunday at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Lihu‘e. Garden Island.

Monday, October 10, 2011

New public face for Abercrombie Administration, public land board stumbles, more Hawaii kids hungry, and news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Pololu Valley Overlook (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
A new state agency tasked with developing public lands could be in trouble because the state may not have the authority to legally transfer the land to the Public Land Development Corporation. Civil Beat.

James Boersema, an experienced public relations strategist with ties to business and labor interests, will take over today as Gov. Neil Abercrombie's new communications director. Star-Advertiser.

Jim Boersema

Jim Boersema has accepted the offer to be the governor's new communications director. KHON2.

It was a dark week for the "New Day" administration of Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, as a fourth top level staffer submitted her walking papers Friday. Hawaii Reporter.

In politics, transformations and metamorphoses will carry you only so far. Eventually you either stand and deliver or leave. Star-Advertiser.

New staffer joins Abercrombie team as another aide resigns. Hawaii News Now.

On Friday, Communications director Josh Levinson informed his colleagues of his intent to resign .. then that night... Deputy Communications director Laurie Au did the same. KHON2.

Like GOP, Hawaii Democrats Also In Debt. Civil Beat.

Over the last five years, the ranks of Hawaii public school children eligible for free and reduced-cost lunch — a key indicator of poverty — have swelled by 35 percent to 90,660, in a trend that's causing increasing concern for advocates and school administrators. Star-Advertiser.

The 3 R's used to mean Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. But now the 3 R's have a completely new meaning at Hawaii schools. KITV4.

The Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations projects that the state will see a 3.6 percent increase in jobs over two years — from the third quarter of 2010 to the third quarter of 2012, according to its most recent employment forecast report. Pacific Business News.


In First Year, Carlisle Was Honolulu's Global Mayor. Civil Beat.

Twenty one economies touched by the Pacific Ocean will send representatives to Honolulu for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit. Hawaii Public Radio.

City officials have announced the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve will be closed for two extra days next week while workers stabilize several rock faces that pose what is termed an imminent danger. KITV4.


The Water Board has opened its search for a new head of the Department of Water Supply and is accepting applications now online. Tribune-Herald.

When the Hawaii Wildlife Center opens next month, it will be the first state-of-the-art response facility exclusively for native wildlife in the Pacific Islands. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County Council members gave initial approval Friday to an update of the Lanai Water Use and Development Plan. Maui News.

Hospice Maui plans end-of-life care facility. Maui News.


Memories of a bustling Lihue Sugar Mill filled William Farias' head during a recent blessing at the site as contractors prepared the structures for demolition. Star-Advertiser.


Reclaiming Hawaiian Lands. Molokai Dispatch.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Abercrombie honeymoon's over: Hawaii Democrats seek shakeup at the top, and more political and government news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Neil Abercrombie (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
In a major internal shakeup, Gov. Neil Abercrombie's chief of staff and his deputy chief of staff have resigned just 10 months into an administration the governor acknowledges has fallen short of expectations. Star-Advertiser.

Senior Dems Pushed Gov To Shake Up Staff: From early in his administration, longtime associates of Gov. Neil Abercrombie were alarmed at their friend's performance. Civil Beat.

Less than a year after taking office, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has lost his top two aides to resignation. Hawaii Reporter.

Two top members of the Hawaii governor's administration who played key roles in getting him elected are stepping down. Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie's office announced Thursday that his Chief of Staff Amy Asselbaye and Deputy Chief of Staff Andrew Aoki have resigned. KITV4.

Ten months after being sworn into office two key members of Gov. Neil Abercrombie's administration abruptly announced their resignations Thursday. KHON2.

New Chief of Staff an Accomplished Businessman With Strong Labor Ties. Civil Beat.

The same day Ed Teixeira stepped down from a job he held through three administrations, workers circulated a petition that he be reinstated. KITV4.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is hoping to pick a successor to longtime Administrator/Chief Executive Officer Clyde Namuo in the next three to five months, OHA Chairwoman Colette Machado said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

A state official says an agency intended to allow development of public lands won't have "land-grabbing power," opposed by environmentalists and Hawaiian rights groups. Star-Advertiser.

Patricia M. Loui won approval Thursday from the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs for her nomination to the board of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Pacific Business News.

Swimmers, surfers and boaters will be banned from some parts of the ocean during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit next month, according to preliminary security plans released Thursday by the U.S. Coast Guard. Star-Advertiser.

Unite Here Local 5, Hawaii’s largest hotel workers union with over 11,000 members, is continuing its campaign against the Hyatt Regency Waikiki for subcontracting local jobs and challenging union wages. Hawaii Independent.

The City of Honolulu celebrated the 50th anniversary of a very special sister-city relationship today. Hawaii Public Radio.


A public shooting range for West Hawaii is on target to open in a "couple of years," with state and county cooperation on the use of land near the Puuanahulu landfill. West Hawaii Today.

The County Council has given a name and face to pending legislation aimed at keeping impaired drivers off Big Island roads. Tribune-Herald.

Public funding to support North Hawaii Community Hospital, health record privacy and long-term health care were among the concerns North Hawaii residents voiced to hospital officials Thursday in Waimea. West Hawaii Today.

Ironman athletes strip down for Underpants Run, the Kona fundraiser began in 1997 to poke fun at the Speedo-clad triathletes wandering through town before the big race. Hawaii News Now.

The Maui County Council Land Use Committee voted 8-0 Wednesday to recommend approval of Maui Land & Pineapple's West Maui housing project Pulelehua. Maui News.

A March trial in 2nd Circuit Court is scheduled to determine the fate of the $70 million-plus estate of Laurence Dorcy, one of Maui's richest men, who died in June. Maui News.


Some Kauai County employees will soon be driving electric vehicles. Associated Press.

Carolyn Larson, librarian at the Lihu‘e Public Library, has the cure to the “boarded-up Borders blues” — the Lihu‘e Public Library Fall Used Book Sale. Garden Island.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kona donkeys heading to California, Waikiki topless demonstration draws police, state trust fund bleeding red ink, vacant properties draw squatters, Native Hawaiians push for rights, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kona donkeys (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Up to 120 wild donkeys rescued from taxing conditions in Waikoloa will soon have new homes in California, where they can live out the remainder of their lives protected from harm. West Hawaii Today.

New laws on the state and national levels have expanded the recognition of Native Hawaiians’ rights to self-determination. With that in mind, a sovereignty group on Kaua‘i remains concerned that local law enforcement needs more awareness to avoid interfering with individuals exercising those rights. Garden Island.

Hawaii state lawmakers are due to hold an informational briefing next week on the status of a new body created to generate revenue from public lands. Associated Press.

Faculty leaders at the University of Hawaii's College of Engineering say they have been "stonewalled" for at least six months trying to get details about how the college spends hundreds of thousands of dollars in private donations each year. Star-Advertiser.

The trust fund that pays for Hawaii state and county employees' health insurance ended the 2010 fiscal year nearly $5 million in the red, according to an audit issued late Thursday. Civil Beat.

Hawaii posted the nation’s largest month-to-month percentage increase in employment in July to end the month with a jobless rate of 6.1 percent. Pacific Business News.

Unemployment is down on five of the six major Hawaiian islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Lags Far Behind Other States. Civil Beat.

The public will get a chance to sound off on a proposed Oahu water rate hike on Monday. Hawaii News Now.

The Main Hawaiian Island bottomfish season opens Sept. 1, and the state’s Division of Aquatic Resources wants to more accurately count how many “Deep 7” and other bottomfish are being pulled from the ocean. Molokai Dispatch.

The value we put into our education system is a tricky thing to quantify. Hawaii Independent.

A topless demonstration drew some attention in Waikiki before police arrived and put an end to the bare breasted protest. KITV4.

Waikiki catamaran operators say they fear a state proposal to shift them to a commercial permit system would lead to a bidding process and ultimately put them out of business. Star-Advertiser.

Plan to replenish sand at Makaha Beach. KHON2.

Waikiki's vacant and fallow properties have proved the most vulnerable to homeless people who have been driven out of their favorite public haunts. Star-Advertiser.

The great Hawaii Island battle between man and coqui is over. The little, quarter-sized frogs have won. Tribune-Herald.

A local solar company was awarded one of the largest government contracts in the state. KHON2.

University of Hawaii Maui College will hold a "Launch Celebration" on Friday, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., on its Kahului campus with entertainment, food by the culinary arts program, information tables and college tours. Maui News.

The Philippine Consulate outreach team will be in Hilo Monday to help process Philippine passports and applications for a number of services. Associated Press.

Fighter planes filled the sky over Pearl Harbor Saturday. KITV4.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Moon rocks missing, Furlough Fridays begin, quake rumbles Big Island and other news around the state

A former NASA senior special agent says the state cannot account for five priceless moon rocks that were given as gifts to the people of Hawaii in celebration of mankind's age-old quest to travel to and safely return from the moon.

Public schools are shuttered today throughout the Islands after a federal judge yesterday refused to block the state's decision to furlough teachers for 17 Fridays through the rest of the school year

The state courts system is still deciding when its Hawaii Government Employees Association employees will be furloughed. So, while state courts will be open on the next two Fridays, the state's biggest courthouse will have no parking for the general public.

The state's reinventing-government task force, made up of Hawaii business leaders and lawmakers, met for the first time yesterday to brainstorm ways to keep the budget-strapped Hawaii government running in a sour economy.

Allen Doane is retiring as chief executive officer and chairman of Alexander & Baldwin Inc. at the end of this year amid leadership changes at the only one of Hawaii's original Big Five sugar companies that continues its dominant role.

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake hit about 60 miles offshore of Hilo at 11:13 p.m. Thursday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey website.

The biggest capital construction project in state history gains steam. The City and County of Honolulu awards the construction of the first phase of the Honolulu rail transit project. And Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann says it will shake up Hawaii's economy.

A county meeting on the voter initiative that made marijuana possession by adults for personal use the lowest law enforcement priority was marked by a series of verbal pot shots.

Sensing sure defeat, minority Hawaii County Council members on Wednesday pulled a tried-and-true parliamentary ploy to keep their transparency bill alive.

Word that West Hawaii may not see its new YMCA facility come to fruition for up to a decade may prompt a re-evaluation by a major donor.

Becoming Miss Kona Coffee is no easy feat.

Disgruntled community members are upset that public access to Larsen’s Beach in Moloa‘a may soon be obstructed by a proposed cattle ranch fenceline 110 feet from the shore.

There are six boxes or bundles of Native Hawaiian remains, iwi kupuna, at the Kaua‘i repository, and members of the Kaua‘i/Ni‘ihau Island Burial Council need to decide how to re-inter them, said a state Department of Land and Natural Resources staff member.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Putting a price tag on the Akaka Bill

Passage of the Akaka Bill could cost the state of Hawaii as much as $689.7 million annually in lost revenues, according to a study being released Thursday by the Grassroot Institute, which opposes the measure.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007 (S.310 and H.R.505) in the 110th Congress, also known as the Akaka Bill after sponsor Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, proposes to create a sovereign Native Hawaiian Governing Entity within the state of Hawaii. The bill stands its greatest chance yet of passage thanks to a Democratic majority in Congress and President-elect Barack Obama’s support.

A Grassroots Institute spokesman said this is the first study on the economic impacts of the proposed bill, which is expected to be re-introduced in the new session of Congress. It was co-authored by the Beacon Hill Institute.

"The Economic Impact of the Akaka Bill: Unintended Consequences for Hawaii is a straightforward look at how passage of the bill would hurt Hawaii business while pitting neighbor against neighbor," said Grassroot Institute President Jamie Story in a statement. "Regardless of one’s feelings about the Akaka Bill and its benefits or shortcomings, it is vital to examine the economic impact of the bill on Hawaii’s people. This study demonstrates the irreversible economic damage the Akaka Bill would do to Hawaii, and we hope Washington DC officials will take this into consideration.”

The group plans a news conference at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in front of the Queen Liliuokalani statue near the Capitol.

Lost revenues could come from the transfer of land to a Native Hawaiian governing group, taking land out of the state’s tax base, as well as the loss of excise and income taxes and land lease revenues, according to the study

Questions about the fiscal impact of the Akaka Bill surfaced Tuesday in a joint meeting of the state House Finance Committee and Senate Ways and Means Committee. The money committees were being briefed on the proposed $40 million operating budget of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs when Rep. Gene Ward, R-Hawaii Kai, asked about the fiscal impact if the bill passes.

OHA Administrator Clyde Namuo said a cost can’t be affixed to the bill, because the bill allows for many different scenarios.

The highest cost would come about if Native Hawaiians decided to set up reservations as a method of self-governance, where they would have their own government, including criminal and civil laws and the infrastructure to deal with it.

“It’s permitted in the bill, but if you ask me, do I think the Hawaiian people would want that, that is not my sense,” Namuo told the committees. “A system similar to Native Indian reservations is possible … I don’t think people would want that … but the bill allows that discussion to occur.”