Showing posts with label honu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label honu. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Tropical Storm Calvin sparks closures, fizzles as it passes south of Hawaii, feds propose massive honu green sea turtle habitat protection zones, Honolulu pushes back against governor's emergency housing proclamation, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Feds propose over 428,000 sq. mi. of honu habitat protections surrounding Hawai‘i, Florida.  In an effort to protect the endangered green sea turtle, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday a proposal to designate over 8,500 acres of beaches and nearly 428,000 square miles of coastal waters as protected critical habitat. For more information on the critical habitat proposal, visit the FWS site. Garden Island.

As nationwide school meal demands decline, Hawaiʻi sees similar trends.  The Hawaiʻi Department of Education has seen a 20% decline in kids getting school breakfast and a 17% drop in school lunch, according to the Food Research and Action Center’s June survey.  Hawai‘i is one of few states that allow students to be denied food if their parents fail to pay the lunch bills.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor’s Housing Proclamation Draws Skeptical Response From Oahu Officials. Council members and neighborhood board chairs are voicing concerns over the lack of public input in the process. Civil Beat.

Full text of governor's emergency proclamation on housing can be found here.

Calvin past Hilo, makes way south of other islands.  Tropical Storm Calvin is 179 southwest of Hilo and 250 miles south southeast of Honolulu.Wind speeds are 45 mph as it makes its way south of the rest of the islands at 20 mph. KHON2. KITV4.

 Under a new law, state’s fuel tax will be phased out.  At a Tuesday meeting of the Hawaii County Council’s Communications, Reports and Council Oversight Committee, representatives of the state Department of Transportation briefed council members about a proposed new fee that would charge drivers based on how much they use state and county roads. Tribune-Herald.

Hollywood strike rallies Hawaii talent.  About 100 members of Hawaii’s chapters of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the Writers Guild of America, rallied Tuesday afternoon at the state Capitol to vocalize their support for Hollywood’s first industrywide strike in 63 years, shutting down television and film productions around the globe. Star-Advertiser.


No Safety Check, No Problem: Honolulu Clerks Helped Car Dealers Cheat System
. Three Honolulu motor vehicle employees were caught last year fraudulently modifying safety check records – a scheme that allowed used car dealers to save money on repairs and potentially put drivers at risk.  Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council bill targets lying to get ‘monster home’ permit.  A measure meant to prohibit giving false statements to city planners as a means of cracking down on “monster homes” has drawn sharp criticism from some who say the language in the draft bill is too vague, too punitive and will lead to more waste in local government. Star-Advertiser.

Civil settlement in sex assault case against former high school football stars on hold. The Saint Louis School and players were sued for an alleged rape that happened in October 2018, in the parking garage of the campus after the Saint Louis Crusaders won the ILH championship. Hawaii News Now.

HPD investigation launched after dead newborn discovered in trash can. Honolulu police confirm a newborn baby was found dead at the Kuhio Park Terrace public housing complex on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

State investigators leading probe of OCCC killing. The state Department of the Attorney General assumed control of the homicide investigation started by Honolulu police after a 36-year-old Oahu Community Correctional Center inmate was found dead in his cell July 6. Star-Advertiser.

Nonprofits financially impacted by COVID-19 have another chance at relief.  The City and County of Honolulu has reopened its Nonprofit Relief Program application. Nonprofits that have been financially impacted by COVID-19 can apply for the $15 million available through the program. Hawaii Public Radio.

Photo Shoot At Iolani Palace Blurs Line Between Hawaiian Royalty And Real Estate. The use of Iolani Palace as a backdrop for an advertisement in Modern Luxury Hawaii magazine has exposed a loophole in the state’s film permit system for culturally sensitive locations.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Schools, government offices, parks closed Wednesday.  Hawaii County officials, meanwhile, said they have expanded emergency shelters.  Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Green issues emergency proclamation for former Uncle Billy’s hotel in Hilo.  The proclamation said the condition of the property and hotel has attracted trespassers, enabled drug use, fighting and other illegal activities, and has experienced numerous fires.  Big Island Now.


Jonathan Likeke Scheuer Is On The East Maui Water Board. The Maui County Council has confirmed Jonathan Likeke Scheuer to represent the Hawaiian Homes Commission on the board steering the new East Maui Community Water Authority, marking the council’s final action in a heated monthslong process to get it up and running. Civil Beat.

Maui ocean water quality monitoring program celebrates 100th sampling session.  Maui’s volunteer-based ocean water quality monitoring program Hui O Ka Wai Ola has been evaluating water quality in Maui since 2016. This week, the program celebrated a special milestone: its 100th sampling week in South Maui. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i County accepting proposals for grants-in-aid program.  The County of Kaua‘i Office of the Mayor is accepting proposals from nonprofit organizations for its fiscal year 2023-24 grants-in-aid program. Eligible nonprofit organizations can now apply for varying amounts up to $10,000 of funding. Kauai Now.

Shark sighted at Kekaha Beach Park. A shark sighting at Kekaha Beach Park on Monday afternoon prompted a no swimming advisory until further notice from the County of Kaua‘i Ocean Safety Bureau. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Keiki Bike Safety Day on Saturday in Lihu‘e.  Hawai‘i Pacific Health announced the annual Keiki Bike Safety Day is at Wilcox Medical Center on Saturday from 8 to 11 a.m. Garden Island.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Sea turtle nesting season, Legislature wraps up session today, young Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders have highest cancer death rate, more news fro all the Hawaiian Islands

Beachgoers asked to be mindful of sea turtles during nesting season. People should keep a respectful distance of at least 10 feet from sea turtles and their nests, during this time, and avoid shining bright lights near them after dusk. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers wrap up event-filled session today.  The 32nd Legislature comes to a close today — officially called “sine die” — after nearly five months of debate, testimony and haggling over legislation following a shaky start between then-new Gov. Josh Green and the state Senate that rejected three of his Cabinet nominees, a modern-day record. Star-Advertiser.

Last Minute Tweaks To Land Use Bill Create A Stir. Proponents argue counties need to have more power over designating land. Rep. Tory Hashimoto and Sen. Lorraine Inouye have been in damage control after pushback on a land-use bill that was drastically changed and back loaded during conference committee. Civil Beat.

New measure may prohibit large vehicles on far-left freeway lanes. State Senators and Representatives voted to pass a bill prohibiting oversized commercial vehicles from using the far-left lane if there are three or more lanes on the roadway.  KHON2.

State releases $75M in funding for preschool construction; lawmakers question. After the state released $75 million to pay for the construction of new preschool classrooms last week, the Hawaii Department of Education compiled a list showing where the money would be spent. But Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke — who is spearheading the state’s $200 million preschool expansion plan — said the list isn’t accurate. Hawaii News Now.

150 full scholarships for aspiring teachers offered in private initiative. In one of the largest private efforts in recent history to ease Hawaii’s chronic shortage of schoolteachers, full-tuition scholarships for 150 people to become teachers through an online bachelor’s degree program were announced Wednesday under a partnership between Kamehameha Schools and Chaminade University. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii food insecurity persists post COVID-19. Even as Hawaii distances itself from the harshest effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-hunger advocates say that elevated food insecurity among residents has not only persisted but is growing. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Green introduces kauhale concept to a global audience. Governor Josh Green, M.D. shared the kauhale concept with influential attendees of the 26th Annual Milken Institute Global Conference, taking place in Los Angeles, California.  Maui Now.

Efforts aimed at retaining health care providers near passage. In addition to raising Medicaid reimbursement rates, state lawmakers are trying several other approaches to retain health care providers in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Study: Young Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders Face Nation’s Highest Cancer Death Rate. The death rate from cancer in the United States is highest among young Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders compared to any other race group, according to a new study by the National Cancer Institute.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii reports 787 new COVID-19 cases, 8 more deaths.  The state’s average positivity rate was at 8.0%, about the same as 7.9% reported on April 26. Star-Advertiser.


Pandemic relief grant for Oʻahu small business owners reopens. A program that awarded grants to small businesses throughout the pandemic will reopen this month. This time around, the program is expanding its eligibility requirements to allow more small businesses to apply.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Army Corps Still Won’t Restore Forests As Part Of Ala Wai Flood Control Project. Residents want more details on why the agency keeps rejecting that approach. The public has until Monday to comment. Civil Beat.

Police Commission Postpones Decision On Legal Representation For 2 Makaha Cops. The Honolulu Police Commission postponed making a decision on whether it would provide taxpayer-funded legal representation for two police officers charged with felonies for their alleged role in a 2021 pursuit in Makaha that injured six people. Civil Beat.

Health Dept. looks to spend $100M to renovate rundown headquarters building. The state Health Department has told lawmakers it wants to spend $100 million to renovate its rundown headquarters building. Under the preliminary plan, the building would also house mental health treatment beds, but lawmakers are not sure if the project is viable. Hawaii News Now.

$2 increase to Honolulu Zoo ticket prices is proposed. The Honolulu Zoo’s admission fees for residents might rise for the first time in over a decade, the city says. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

‘It shakes our house’: Raised crosswalks surprising drivers and rattling homes in Windward Oahu. Windward residents say a raised crosswalk meant to slow traffic along Kailua Road is ineffective and a nuisance. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hydrogen measure supports an ‘alliance’ between county, two other cities. Despite serious misgivings, the Hawaii County Council on Wednesday signed onto a pledge by Mayor Mitch Roth to work with two other cities to develop hydrogen infrastructure. Tribune-Herald.

Kapapala Ranch Navigates Act 90 Land Transfer.  The Hawaiʻi DLNR Land Division gave an update on its compliance with Act 90 during an April 28th land board meeting, including the status of lands at Kapapala Ranch. Big Island Video News.


Maui Police Release Partial Bodycam Video From Fatal Molokai Shooting. The video shows three minutes of the incident up to shots being fired. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Removal of grounded boat near historic site begins. Vessel ran aground in Lahaina Harbor two months ago. Maui News.


$10.7 million verdict in Kaua‘i construction dispute.
A jury at the Fifth Circuit Court in Lihu‘e determined on April 26 that the Jared and Donna Murayama 1997 Trust committed a breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation in business dealings with Kalani Construction. Garden Island.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Offshore windmills could power Oahu, Honolulu rail may pass $10B mark, Osprey coming for RIMPAC, Maui hits solar electric buyback limit, public meets 8 of 13 Hawaii County mayoral candidates, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Offshore windmill, courtesy U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Massive windmills floating miles off the coast of Oahu may power tens of thousands of homes and businesses within the next decade if projects go forward as planned. Civil Beat.

The Obama administration took the first step Wednesday toward leasing two offshore Oahu areas to the wind industry for renewable energy projects. Star-Advertiser.

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop clean energy sources and cut carbon pollution, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced the first step to support wind energy development in federal waters offshore Hawaii, by issuing a call for information and nominations to gauge the wind industry’s interest in commercial wind leases in two areas offshore Oahu. Press release.

The first Marine Corps tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft to be based in Hawaii will be arriving by the end of the month to take part in Rim of the Pacific exercises, the Marines said. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Telcom experienced a technical issue that intermittently impacted voice calls statewide Wednesday, including calls to 911. Tribune-Herald.

As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, Hawaiian Telcom says they have resolved the issue that caused intermittent phone service issues across the state. The problem stemmed from a glitch in the call routing equipment, which allowed only some voice calls to complete. Hawaii Public Radio.

Some of the most powerful people in Hollywood are working in or have projects set in Hawaii, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s new list of the 100 most powerful people in entertainment, including the executive at the top of the list, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co. Pacific Business News.

Scientists using facial recognition technology and 360-degree underwater photos said Wednesday they have developed new software to quickly assess coral bleaching and other damage to the world’s imperiled reefs. Associated Press.

Statistical models done by the firm tasked with management oversight of Honolulu’s rail project show that a 20-mile line from East Kapolei to Ala Moana could cost as much as $10.79 billion, significantly more than the $8 billion figure that federal and city officials have been using in recent weeks. Star-Advertiser.

The FTA has asked HART to submit by Aug. 7 a recovery plan outlining how much of the 20-mile rail route HART expects it can complete with its current amount of funding. Pacific Business News.

The Waikiki War Memorial was recently designated as a national treasure even though it has been closed for almost 50 years. Its last major face-lift was 16 years ago. Next week, the natatorium becomes the focus of a week-long series of meetings in an effort to decide what to do with it. KITV4.

The Honolulu Police Department’s newest batch of police officers is much smaller than usual, in part due to a cheating scandal at the police academy. KHON2.


Eight of the thirteen candidates for Hawaii County mayor introduced themselves to Kona on Wednesday evening. Big Island Video News.

The lengthy process of revitalizing one of Hilo’s most recognizable locations took another step forward Wednesday as members of the newly formed Banyan Drive Hawaii Redevelopment Agency board met to review a draft conceptual plan for the area. Tribune-Herald.

The nonprofit group Friends of the Future is hoping to change the conversation, or at least make it more civil and productive, with a new initiative — EnVision Maunakea. Tribune-Herald.

At 85, Ed Olson says he’s ready to step down and hand the reins of the Edmund C. Olson Trust, which owns 16,500 acres of land in Hawaii, to someone else. Pacific Business News.


Maui Electric Co. said Wednesday that the county has hit the limit of rooftop solar systems that can send power to its grid. After this week, the Maui utility will not approve any new rooftop solar systems on Maui, Lanai or Molokai that send power to the grid. Star-Advertiser.

Democratic South Maui House candidate Deidre Tegarden will hold a talk-story event from 5 to 6:30 p.m. today at her campaign headquarters in the Azeka Makai shopping center, according to an announcement. Maui News.


Work has finally begun on rebuilding the storied resort where Elvis Presley's character got married in the 1961 film "Blue Hawaii," decades after a major hurricane heavily damaged its buildings and forced its closure. The company redeveloping the Coco Palms Resort began demolishing structures this week. It hopes to reopen the hotel in mid-2018. Associated Press.

Feral cats are the culprits in the deaths of a half-dozen endangered seabirds that nest on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaiian green sea turtle has been on the endangered species list since 1978, but with populations rebounding, some experts are calling for their removal from that list. Garden Island.

Avoiding beach driving for the nesting season, which runs from May through July, and the July through September hatching season, is only one of the tips for helping the honu, or green sea turtleGarden Island.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sea turtle nesting season begins, retailers urge veto of theft bill, good news for Hawaiian language immersion schools, Kenoi aides use pCards, rules unpopular in homeless shelters, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Young honu green sea turtle © 2015 All Hawaii News
Wildlife officials are asking the public to be mindful of Hawksbill and green sea turtles as they begin their 2015 nesting season along Maui beaches this month. Maui Now.

Some Hawaii retailers and industry advocacy groups are pushing back against a proposed law that nearly doubles the monetary value of goods that suspected thieves can steal before they are charged with a felony. Pacific Business News.

Yet more confirmation that housing is really, really expensive in Hawaii. The National Low Income Housing Coalition has released a report saying that folks in our state need to earn $31.61 per hour to afford a “modest” two-bedroom apartment. According to the report, that makes Hawaii more expensive than any other state, even second-place California and third-place District of Columbia. Civil Beat.

The state has agreed to fund nearly $880,000 worth of settlements on behalf of the Department of Education, including several wrongful termination cases, a lawsuit alleging mistreatment of a special education student, and compensation for 300 educational assistants stemming from a payroll dispute. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian language immersion schools received good news from lawmakers last week, as five U.S. senators introduced a measure to preserve endangered Native American languages such as olelo Hawaii. Garden Island.


Want to Fill Up Your Homeless Shelter? Ditch Some of the Rules. Next Step shelter's lenient approach leads to a higher occupancy rate than other Oahu facilities. But some question whether that's best for the long term. Civil Beat.

The revised plan by Haseko to create a recreational lagoon rather than a marina along the makai border of its Ewa Beach property won a thumbs-up from the Honolulu Planning Commission last week. Star-Advertiser.

It has been more than a decade since the city approved the building of a cemetery in Hawaii Kai. Those plans haven't gone anywhere since then, but work has begun once again, and that has some Hawaii Kai residents concerned. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Kai residents who thought there had been a halt last year to a decade of dumping of construction debris on vacant preservation land are alarmed the landowner has resumed the practice. Star-Advertiser.

The Navy command overseeing the hospital ship involved in a mishap that damaged the USS Arizona Memorial’s dock has sent investigators to Hawaii to probe what happened. Associated Press.


Mayor Billy Kenoi’s executive assistants charged nearly $143,000 on their county-issued credit cards — including airfare for a local surfer, a helicopter ride for visiting dignitaries, and wine that was gifted during a trip to the state Capitol — since the start of his administration. Tribune-Herald.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s announcement to open pre-clearance operations at Narita International Airport in Tokyo would help the tourism industry and bring relief to Honolulu International Airport, the Hawaii Tourism Authority says. Pacific Business News.

Kona International Airport could soon be receiving international arrivals under a plan to staff U.S. Customs officers at 10 foreign points of departure. West Hawaii Today.

This summer, Kona coffee farmers will have a new tool in the fight against coffee berry borer. Legislation was approved last year to give farmers $500,000 in subsidies for spray. West Hawaii Today.


Most short-term rental home applications are approved by the county Department of Planning without a hitch, but the Maui Planning Commission denied a petition last week to convert two farm dwellings in Launiupoko into vacation rental units. Maui News.

As hundreds of people paid tribute to veterans during a Memorial Day service at the Maui Veterans Cemetery, a Hawaii National Guard official said that a $6 million cemetery expansion project will honor veterans' sacrifices even more. Associated Press.


Starting Thursday, motorists using the intersection at Umi and Hardy streets will need to seek alternate routes and allow extra time to reach their destinations. Garden Island.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wind turbines planned in ocean off Oahu, Hawaii Tourism Authority wants more money, green sea turtle to remain protected, lead slows bridge repair, Kaho‘olawe records to be preserved, more grads college-bound, Honolulu racetrack bill revs up, state lags in budget transparency, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii green sea turtle, honu © 2015 All Hawaii News
The feds have denied a petition to take Hawaii green sea turtles off the list of threatened species. The honu news came Friday from the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Civil Beat.

The threatened green sea turtles around the Hawaiian Islands will be managed separately from other populations under a plan floated Friday by federal agencies. But the status of Hawaii’s turtles as threatened under the Endangered Species Act won’t change under the plan, despite a petition for delisting by an organization of Hawaii civic clubs. West Hawaii Today.

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
© 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii’s green sea turtles should continue to be classified as threatened because its population is small and nearly all of them nest at the same low-lying atoll, federal wildlife agencies said Friday. Associated Press.

Federal wildlife officials propose keeping Hawaii's green sea turtles' threatened status under the Endangered Species Act, meaning it would continue to be illegal to kill or hunt them. Maui News.

More than 300 people are expected to attend a conference featuring more than 25 sessions and professional development training courses on rising sea levels and other natural hazards. The theme is "The Rising Pacific: Currents of Change and Solutions for Resilience." Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority, the agency tasked with marketing Hawaii to the nation and the world, says it needs more money to cover its expenses. The HTA is asking state lawmakers to allow it to increase its administrative spending by as much as 30 percent a year. Star-Advertiser.

Even as legislators consider more stringent regulations, the state Department of Agriculture hasn’t complied with a law passed in 2013 that requires it to post sales records for restricted-use pesticides on its website. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers hope that a proposed bill would encourage more of Hawaii’s youth to become farmers. House Bill 853 passed through the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Education and Judiciary and Labor during a hearing Friday, and would teach students and teachers how to produce some of their own food. Civil Beat.

Hawaii state senators are taking up a proposal to develop a system of medical marijuana dispensaries, which would give patients legal access to the drug nearly 15 years after it became legal in Hawaii. Associated Press.

Hawaii's Department of Budget and Finance last year launched a new website designed to provide a one-stop source for state spending and financial information, but the state still earned only a grade of "C" on the latest "transparency scorecard." Hawaii trails 42 other states in the annual report on how well states provide spending data online, conducted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers plan to tackle the state's troubled health exchange, public-housing issues and a slew of resolutions this week at the Legislature. Most of the action will be in committee rooms as lawmakers take up bills passed by the other chamber. Associated Press.

Opinion: One of the tax increase bills that is still afloat at our Legislature concerns the environmental response, energy, and food security tax, which we refer to as the barrel tax. This tax started off as the environmental response tax, imposed at 5 cents a barrel of imported petroleum product as a way to create a fund for environmental cleanup in case of an oil spill in Hawaiian waters. It was hoisted to its present rate of $1.05 in 2009, and the difference was used not only to shore up our general fund, but also to feed various special funds that pay for environmental conservation programs, energy and food security, and related activities. Civil Beat.

If HCR 90 passes through the House Committees on Education and Finance, it would ask the governor, Board of Education, and the Hawaii State Teachers Association to establish a minimum median teacher salary that would be adjustable to Hawaii’s cost of living. Civil Beat.

The state Ethics Commission will make public the detailed financial disclosure forms of members of 15 boards and commissions in June rather than next year. The powerful entities include the Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Public Utilities Commission. A law that took effect in July makes those disclosure forms public, but the details could have remained confidential until 2016 because only short forms are required in odd-numbered years. Star-Advertiser.

After several years of stagnancy, the number of Hawaii public school graduates enrolling in college after high school has climbed amid efforts by the Department of Education to better prepare students for college and careers. Star-Advertiser.

Many Hawaii families have fallen into a cycle of debt precipitated by deceptively easy payday loans. The industry was legalized in 1999 when the Legislature passed a law exempting it from the state’s usury law, which caps the interest rate for loans at no more than 24 percent each year. Civil Beat.


A Danish developer is planning to develop a major offshore wind energy project, which would include more than 100 turbines, in federal waters in Hawaii off Oahu’s northwest and southern coasts, according to a published report. Pacific Business News.

Oahu car-racing enthusiasts have picked up some traction on a drive to finance a new motor sports raceway on the island after the demise of two track facilities in the past eight years. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Housing First initiative to provide shelter and related social services to the chronically homeless has achieved mixed results nine months after the Honolulu City Council dedicated $35 million toward the effort. Star-Advertiser.

On Friday, landowners, fed up with all the foot traffic for “Dead Man’s Catwalk,” asked various hiking websites to take down posts promoting the popular East Oahu trail and threatened further action if nothing was done. KHON2.

Martin Nesbitt, a Chicago businessman and President Barack Obama’s close friend, has been confirmed as the buyer of Hawaii beachfront estate known as the home of Tom Selleck’s 1980s television character “Magnum P.I.” Pacific Business News.


Time to fix those leaky faucets. The less water you use, the more you’ll save, under a five-year rate plan to be considered Tuesday by the Hawaii County Water Board. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce is dusting off old plans to construct a cultural and education center in downtown Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

The discovery of lead in the soil below Umauma bridge near Hakalau likely will delay completion of the span’s ongoing $30.8 million rehabilitation project, state officials say. The lead, left from paint that fell into the gulch during past maintenance work, was found where new bridge footings need to be installed. Tribune-Herald.

A new courthouse and hospital for Kona are among more than $200 million in Big Island projects in the $2.2 billion two-year capital improvement budget passed Wednesday by the state House. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Police Department Assistant Chief Henry Tavares said a spike in property crime in downtown Hilo is related to the city’s ongoing homeless problem. Tribune-Herald.


This Saturday, the 2015 Maui County Republican Party Convention will take place at Pu’u Kukui Elementary School. Registered Republican delegates are welcome to hear a featured guest speaker, conduct party business and elect new Executive Committee officers. MauiTime.

The recent agreement restoring water to four Central Maui streams has some parties in an East Maui stream restoration case optimistic that a "just ruling" will come to them as well. Maui News.

After the worst coral bleaching event ever recorded in Hawaii last fall, environmental groups are rallying to bring more community awareness to help protect the reefs. Maui News.

The 12-acre Maui Arts & Cultural Center opened its gates nearly 21 years ago. Today, it can accommodate up to 270,000 visitors a year, spans 22 acres, and generates $4.35 million annually, on average, in revenue to community businesses. Pacific Business News.


Kauai had the fewest applications for firearms of all state counties in 2014. But the number of applications on the Garden Isle increased for the fourth straight year — although county officials aren’t attributing that increase to a gun craze, but rather something that accompanies an uptick in population. Garden Island.


This year hundreds of thousands of historic documents relating to Kaho‘olawe will be published in an online database. Hawaii Public Radio.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Warm oceans threaten green sea turtles, sex trafficking bills proposed, Maui won't defend GMO law, rail pay to play, officials mull backing out of Obamacare requirements, teachers seek better contract, Section 8 vouchers to resume in lava's path, more government and political news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii visitors pose with sea turtles © 2015 All Hawaii News
Green sea turtles may stop basking on Hawaii's shores as early as 2039 if climate change continues at its current rate, a new study concludes. Star-Advertiser.

For the 2015 legislative session, Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery and IMUAlliance are drafting and sponsoring a bill to ban sex trafficking in Hawaii. Currently, Hawaii is one of only two states that fail to outlaw sex trafficking in their criminal codes. Hawaii Independent.

More than a dozen bills seeking to regulate electronic smoking in some way have been introduced at the state Legislature, and proponents of the product appear ready to fight each of them every step of the way. Four of the proposals were heard by the House Health Committee on Friday. Decision-making is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

It’s 4 ‘o clock on a Friday. Pau hana, right? Wrong. It’s time for Gov. David Ige to reveal his latest Cabinet appointment — right at that moment when no one is looking. Since he started picking people in November to serve in his new administration, 11 were named on Fridays and another seven were disclosed on New Year’s Eve. Civil Beat.

A lawmaker from the Big Island wants to hold Hawaii’s Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago accountable for voting problems that she says denied residents of her district the right to vote.Associated Press.

Members serving on the state Board of Education would have four-year terms that run concurrent with that of the governor appointing them under proposed legislation filed this week. Star-Advertiser.

The union representing Hawaii’s public school teachers will be negotiating with the state for a pay increase. The Hawaii State Teachers Association told members in an email the union will return to the bargaining table in March to discuss additional salary and compensation for the remaining two years of the contract. Associated Press.

Hawaii residents may find it more difficult to see their doctor or medical specialist over the next few years. A study released by the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii found that 300 more physicians in primary care are needed statewide. All told, the state needs 3,690 doctors but has 2,800, the study found. Garden Island.

About 7,500 Micronesians and other Pacific islanders will lose their Medicaid health coverage on Feb. 28, but they will automatically be enrolled in an Obama­care replacement plan March 1, health officials said. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers are considering whether it makes sense to get out of some requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act so that they can make substantial changes to the state’s troubled health insurance exchange. States like Hawaii that run their own exchanges can apply for a so-called innovation waiver if they meet certain criteria. Associated Press.

More Hawaii residents are opposed to Florida-based Next­Era Energy Inc. buying Hawaiian Electric Industries than favor the sale, according to the latest Hawaii Poll. Star-Advertiser.

HEH. Hawaiian Electric Holdings will become the name of the new parent company of the Hawaiian Electric Cos. following the closure of NextEra Energy's $4.3 billion acquisition of the state's largest utility, according to the two companies' acquisition 374-page application sent to Hawaii regulators. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has unveiled an online system that allows customers and developers to see the status and progress of planned renewable generation projects, including rooftop solar and other types of wind and solar projects, the Honolulu-based utility said Friday. Pacific Business News.

While a majority of respondents feel there is not an overemphasis on athletics at the University of Hawaii, they also say the financially struggling athletics department should pay its own bills, the Hawaii Poll shows. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: When it Comes to State Taxes, You’ve Got to Consider the Source. Hawaii Legislature could improve the state's revenue situation by changing how real estate investment trusts are taxed. Civil Beat.


Large Rail Contractors Dump $1.3 Million into Local Campaign Coffers. Companies making at least $1 million on the Honolulu rail project are donating heavily to local politicians. Some of the biggest beneficiaries include Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Hawaii Gov. David Ige and their predecessors. Civil Beat.

As the city struggles to pay for Honolulu's controversial rail system, the latest Hawaii Poll explores possible solutions. The controversial project topped the list (19%) as the most important issue facing Oahu this year in the survey conducted by Ward Research for Hawaii News Now and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Traffic came in a close second (17%), followed by homelessness (15%) and the economy (14%). Education/public schools came in a distant fifth place (4%).

As Aloha Stadium moves into middle age, the state should continue to renovate the facility, a plurality of respondents in the Hawaii Poll said. Forty percent of those who were asked for the “best solution for a stadium on Oahu” said renovating the 40-year-old stadium was their preferred option. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu City Council member wants to meet with federal transit officials in Washington, D.C., to discuss the ballooning cost of the city's $5.3 billion rail transit project. Associated Press.

City Councilman Ernie Martin drafted a resolution that will allow him and three other council members to travel to Washington, D.C., on a fact-finding mission. Once Resolution 15-19 is approved by the full council, Martin expects to be in our nation’s capital from Feb. 21 through the 25. KITV4.

The average price of regular gas in Honolulu hit an even $3 a gallon this week, the lowest it has been since June 2009, according to AAA Hawaii's Weekend Gas Watch. Pacific Business News.

Starting Monday, former low-income housing facility Pauahi Hale will operate as a service hub for Oahu's homeless population, as provided by a new five-year contract between the city and social service organization Mental Health Kokua. Star-Advertiser.


While NextEra Energy's $4.3 billion bid to buy Hawaiian Electric Industries dominates the local energy debate, a group of Hawaii island residents is quietly investigating another possible future for their utility. A Big Island Energy Utility Cooperative steering committee has been formed to discuss the idea further, but is keeping things low-key. Star-Advertiser.

A moratorium on the use of housing assistance vouchers in areas threatened by the June 27 lava flow will end Monday. The restriction, which prevented vouchers from being used on new leases in lower Puna, went into effect in October when it appeared that lava was going to cross Highway 130 sooner rather than later. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo Medical Center was named the third safest hospital in the state and took first place in one key quality-of-care measure in a recent Consumer Reports comparison. The public “safety net” hospital, so-called because it is the only option for many people in East Hawaii, has long wrestled with public perception over its quality of care. Tribune-Herald.

A public information meeting will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Monday on Oahu regarding the proposed master lease for Mauna Kea. Star-Advertiser.

The dispute over whether Environmental Management Director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd is qualified for her position returns to a 3rd Circuit courtroom next month. Judge Ronald Ibarra is scheduled to hear motions for summary judgment in the case at 4 p.m. Feb 23, attorneys confirmed Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

Hunters on Saturday ascended upon Puuanahulu for the fourth annual Keikis of the Aina Pig Hunting Tournament.West Hawaii Today.


Maui County isn’t defending a moratorium on genetically modified farming despite more than 23,000 voters approving the bill last fall. In a court filing Friday, the county said that it is taking “no position” on a motion for summary judgment filed by attorneys representing global seed companies Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, as well as several Maui County businesses and organizations. Civil Beat.

Democrats seeking to succeed Rep. Mele Carroll in the state House of Representatives have until 11 p.m. Friday to submit applications to the Maui County Democratic Party. Maui News.

Mayor Alan Arakawa will speak at the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce’s February Membership Dinner to outline the county’s current efforts in alleviating high housing costs affecting many Maui residents. Maui Now.

Native shrub cover increased from 3 percent to 82 percent over a 15-year period at the Auwahi dryland forest on the leeward flanks of Haleakala, thanks to the efforts of the largely volunteer-based restoration operation named for the forest. Maui News.


Kuhio Highway may see a new traffic signal in Kilauea. Or a four-way stop sign. Or even a roundabout, which would be the first such traffic calming device on a state highway. Garden Island.


Lanai retains state’s lowest percentage of unemployed. Tourism down during renovations but ‘gold mine’ awaiting island. Maui News.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Green sea turtle moves closer to dinner plate, fire sets back Oahu's First Wind, RIMPAC pau, Hawaii mayor's geothermal vetoes stand, documents outline Murdock-Ellison Lanai deal, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
Green sea turtle (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Federal officials will conduct a worldwide review to see whether Hawaii's green sea turtles should be classified as a population separate from other green sea turtles — an action that could result in removing Hawaii's turtles' protection as a "threatened species." Star-Advertiser.

A decision from researchers in Hawai`i could potentially change the protected status of green sea turtles around the world. Hawaii Public Radio.

copyright 2012 All Hawaii News
honu green sea turtle (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service announced Wednesday it will work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct a global status review of green turtles, which have been listed under the federal Endangered Species Act since 1978. KITV4.

Hawaiian sea turtles (leatherback, loggerhead and green) seem to have a target on their backs these days. Civil Beat.

On summer nights, female green sea turtles, or honu, make their way to the beach they were born on about 30 years before. Molokai Dispatch.

Mufi Hannemann, the former Honolulu mayor, may well pull off a win in the race for the Congrssional District 2 seat Civil Beat.

Tulsi Gabbard is trying to make political hay out of pay-to-play and leaving it to voters to find the connection to Mufi Hannemann, her main opponent in the 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary. Civil Beat.

Rim of the Pacific exercises went out with a bang. Ten amphibious assault vehicles launched from the USS Essex churned through the surf Wednesday and came ashore at Pyramid Rock Beach at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay. Star-Advertiser.

The Gas Co. has changed its brand to HawaiiGas to better reflect its identity in Hawaii’s energy community, the company said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for August 2. Associated Press.


Oahu's only large-scale wind farm was shut down indefinitely Wednesday after a stubborn fire destroyed the Kahuku facility's battery system that transfers power from 12 giant turbines to the electrical grid. Star-Advertiser.

The Pacific Resource Partnership, which supports the city's rail project, has spent more than $1 million since January on political advocacy with most of the money used to attempt to influence the mayoral election. Star-Advertiser.

The Pacific Resource Partnership poured nearly $900,000 into this year’s Honolulu mayoral race, much of it on negative advertising that targeted pro-rail candidate Ben Cayetano, according to spending figures disclosed today. Hawaii Reporter.

Honolulu mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano has raised $951,000 since the campaign began, compared to $875,000 for Kirk Caldwell and $662,000 for Peter Carlisle. Civil Beat.

What began as a fight over the Honolulu Rail became a raging battle over environmental regulation, which in turn became an all-out political war over land and power. Honolulu Weekly.

Two former Democratic legislators hope to fill the 19th House District seat held by longtime Republican legislator Barbara Marumoto, who is not seeking re-election. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Police Department's new mobile command vehicle is 65-feet long and costs just over $1.5 million. Hawaii News Now.

Organizers announced Wednesday the farmers market will now be held at Waimea Valley and no longer on Sundays. KHON2.

A seal that would normally live in waters around the Aleutian Islands and California has shown up thousands of miles away on an Oahu beach, officials said Wednesday. Associated Press.


The Hawaii County Council failed to override Mayor Billy Kenoi’s vetoes of bills relating to geothermal energy. Tribune-Herald.

County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi on Wednesday assured Hawaii County voters the election is under control, even as the attorney for fired Elections Administrator Pat Nakamoto said his client should be reinstated immediately to ensure voting goes off without a hitch. West Hawaii Today.

With less than two weeks until the primary election, Hawaii County Clerk’s Office is sorting through between 50 and 60 duplicate voter registrations to ensure that this time the one person, one vote rule prevails. Tribune-Herald.

County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi told reporters today that a review of the Big Island’s voter registry turned up irregularities, but nothing that should have an impact on the upcoming primary election. Big Island Now.

Hawaii’s attorney general is fighting back against a recent decision by a Big Island judge that critics say weakens the power of the state to hold developers to their promises. Civil Beat.


The developer of the master-planned Olowalu Town project in West Maui says the area is bound for development whether or not the Maui County Council places the 600-acre project within the island's urban growth boundaries. Maui News.

Tree thieves have chain sawed to stumps about 25 milo trees at Kanaha Beach Park in the past three to four months, and county officials and tree experts suspect the logs are being used for wood carvings. Maui News.


A bill proposing to ban all tobacco products in county parks almost turned into a resolution weeks ago, which would take away its enforcement component. Rather, the bill was sent back to committee and now has morphed into an anti-smoking bill. Garden Island.

As part of an ongoing community outreach effort, Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. has announced the dates for his next round of community meetings to be held in August. Garden Island.


When billionaire David Murdock sold much of the island of Lanai to fellow billionaire Larry Ellison earlier this year, public documents made it clear that Murdock retained the right to develop a controversial wind farm that has been proposed for the island. Civil Beat.

Although the sale price of Lanai, estimated at upwards of $500 million, has never been revealed, a sales agreement filed recently with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission offers new details of what former owner David Murdock is keeping in his possession. Pacific Business News.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Byzantine government regulations endanger the already endangered sea turtles -- commentary

Visitors pose with sea turtles at Punaluu Black Sand Beach (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
Sea turtles -- by land or by sea?

You would think it's a distinction without a difference. Not so in the byzantine world that is our federal government.

In fact, oversight of protection of these endangered creatures is split between two federal agencies -- the National Marine Fisheries Service when the turtles are in the water, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when they're on land.

Visitor photos honu (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
In theory, the two agencies coordinate protection of six species of sea turtles found in U.S. waters and nesting on U.S. shores -- all of which are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The species, the green, hawksbill, Kemp's ridley, leatherback, loggerhead and olive ridley, have been protected under the Endangered Species Act since the 1970s.

The agencies are charged with creating recovery plans for each species, setting goals and recovery strategies. They're also charged with enforcing laws against harassing or killing these endangered animals.

Snoozing honu (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
That coordination could be improved, according to Jan. 31 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Or, in government-speak, "To improve the effectiveness of the services’ sea turtle protection and recovery efforts, that the Secretary of Commerce should direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, and that the Secretary of the Interior should direct the Director of FWS, to revise the existing memorandum of understanding to clarify what specific steps the services will take to coordinate ..."
Hawksbill heads to sea, courtesy National Parks Service
Our precious turtles, known as "honu" in Hawaii, freely make use of both environments, of course. Swimmers and snorkelers easily spot green sea turtles in the ocean, and the curious creatures frequently will swim up to check out the people swimming nearby.

The Big Island's Punaluu Black Sand Beach is a favorite stop on the tour bus circuit, where hordes of tourists come to pose for photos with the massive honu sunning on the warm black sand. Some of the sightseers get too close, and arguments ensue, sometimes culminating in pushing and shoving matches.

We on Hawaii Island value our endangered species and aren't shy about making the scofflaws toe the line. In Hawaiian mythology, the green sea turtle, Kauila, could change herself into a girl who watched over the children playing at Punaluu Beach. Sea turtles also were thought to help guide early voyagers to Hawaii's shores and were an important food source in the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Honu grazing (c) 2012 All Hawaii News

The folks at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park also help coordinate protection efforts, especially of the hawksbill turtle that frequent their shores.

The National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should also, according to the GAO -- get this -- share their data. The very idea!

And who's in charge when that bugger is half in, half out of the water?

Perhaps, and you may call me a heretic, there is an easier solution. Why not simply pick one agency to oversee the turtles? Simple solution, cutting unnecessary duplication in government agencies and allowing one agency take full responsibility, thus creating more accountability. Too simple, perhaps?