Showing posts with label news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label news. Show all posts

Friday, March 11, 2016

We interrupt our daily aggregate news blog post to ....

Gone fishing

We interrupt your daily aggregate news blog to take a short break. I'll be back Tuesday.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

State works toward clean energy goals, Big Island may up tobacco sale age, Hawaiian woman's name too long for drivers license, Honolulu looks for more taxes from $1M homes, molasses spill killing fish, controversial Japanese investor sells prime Oahu real estate, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

clean energy courtesy photo
Hawaii wind farm courtesy  Green Travelers Guide
To hear Hawaii's governor tell it, the state is making tremendous progress in moving toward an energy independent future. But has the administration really made good on its promises on alternative and renewable energy, as detailed in his New Day in Hawaii Plan, his state of the state addresses and his legislative packages? Civil Beat.

You have heard these figures before: Hawai’i burns five billion dollars worth of fossil fuel each year for 85% of the state’s energy needs. But, the Blue Planet Foundation has set a goal of transitioning to 100% clean energy by 2030, more than double the state’s clean energy objective. Hawaii Public Radio.

President Barack Obama has nominated Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Deputy Director Esther Kiaaina to be assistant secretary for insular affairs at the U.S. Department of Interior. Associated Press.

Hawaiʻi state and congressional delegates today applauded the president’s announcement of his intent to nominate Esther Kia‘āina to serve as the assistant secretary for insular areas at the US Department of the Interior. Maui Now.

Kia’aina currently serves as the First Deputy Director of the Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources. Appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie to oversee the management of 1.3 million acres of public lands and near shore ocean resources in the State of Hawai’i, Kia’aina has worked on watershed management protection initiatives, threatened and endangered species protection, invasive species control, land and ocean preservation, and strengthening public-private and enforcement partnerships. Hawaii Independent.

Legislators have been slow to incorporate digital delivery into the law. Hawaii’s Sunshine Law still requires “mail” delivery. And although “mail” isn’t defined, the law was written before email existed, and this provision hasn’t been amended since. Civil Beat.

The Memorial Task Force, co-chaired by David Brostrom and Allen Hoe, the Gold Star Fathers of Army 1st Lieutenants Jonathan Brostrom and Nainoa Hoe, are seeking input from the public on the design and location of a newly planned memorial honoring Hawaii veterans. Hawaii Reporter.

As two more of the nation's wars begin to fade from the forefront of American consciousness, two fathers who lost their sons in Iraq and Af­ghani­stan hope it won't be the same for their sons' sacrifices. Star-Advertiser. is a Kickstarter for public education. Much like the giant crowdfunding site that helps people raise money for creative endeavors, on teachers across the country collect donations for classroom projects. One study suggests that U.S. public school teachers spent on average about $485 of their own money last year on school supplies and other classroom materials, a tendency that local educators have highlighted in their rallies to secure higher wages and increased investment in the state’s public schools. Civil Beat.

State roundup for September 11. Associated Press.

The Honolulu City Council will vote today on a proposal to establish a new tax classification for houses and condominiums valued at $1 million or more, allowing the city to tax them at a higher rate than other residential parcels. Bill 42, however, would shift into a new "Residential A" class only those properties that do not have home exemptions. Star-Advertiser.

A molasses spill dumped an estimated 233,000 gallons of the dark, syrupy liquid into Honolulu Harbor on Monday, killing thousands of fish so far and prompting beach closures. State officials said they are still trying to assess the scope of the “severe” environmental damage. A corroded, faulty pipe that runs under Pier 52 at Sand Island and pumps molasses exports onto Matson Inc. cargo ships likely caused the spill, company representatives and state officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

A massive molasses spill at Honolulu Harbor that Hawaii News Now first reported on Monday is killing fish and the State has no way to clean up the sticky substance.

Japanese investor and real estate tycoon Genshiro Kawamoto has sold his collection of 27 Kahala Avenue properties and four other parcels in Windward Oahu and on Maui to local real estate firm Alexander & Baldwin Inc. in a $98 million deal announced Tuesday. A&B said it plans to clean up, refurbish and resell the parcels, some of which look like ruins with little more than the foundations of former homes, untended vegetation and swimming pools piled with rubble. Star-Advertiser.

Alexander & Baldwin announced Tuesday that it has purchased 31 properties from Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto for $98 million. Civil Beat.

Alexander & Baldwin’s property arm said Tuesday that it has acquired 27 residential properties in Honolulu’s oceanfront Kahala neighborhood, along with properties in Windward Oahu and on Maui, from Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto for $98 million. Pacific Business News.

A company seeking to develop what would be Hawaii's second seawater air-conditioning project said it has received letters of intent from some of Waikiki's biggest hotels and other businesses interested in the electrical savings promised by the plan. Kaiuli Energy has received authorization from the state to issue $200 million in special-purpose revenue bonds for the project that could replace conventional air-conditioning systems in an area stretching from Kaka­ako to Waikiki by 2018. Star-Advertiser.

The notice of violation issued to a trucking company owner under fire for apparently hauling dredged material from a Hawaii Kai marina to a private Wai­anae property last week was the second citation received in recent years. Star-Advertiser.

A century-old bronze statue of President William McKinley is making waves in some circles in the native Hawaiian community. KITV.


The legal age to buy tobacco products on Hawaii Island would increase from 18 to 21 under a bill set to be discussed next month by the County Council. West Hawaii Today.

State alters woman’s name after it fails to fit on driver’s license. For the past 20 years, Janice “Lokelani” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele has had to carry two identification cards. KHON2.

The man who swam to the aid of a fellow surfer after he was repeatedly bitten last month by an estimated 10-foot tiger shark at Pohoiki will be recognized next week by the Hawaii County Council. Tribune-Herald.

A Hawaii Island school that four years ago was close to losing its charter amid financial troubles and lagging test scores was recognized Tuesday as one of the state's top-performing public schools. Na Wai Ola, formerly Waters of Life, was among 14 schools awarded more than $1 million in prizes for academic performance on a new accountability system the state Department of Education is calling Strive HI. Star-Advertiser.

The response to a special legislative session called to act on a gay marriage bill from Big Isle legislators interviewed Tuesday ranged from enthusiastic to tepid, with some not quite willing to show their cards yet. Tribune-Herald.


State crews were on site this morning, monitoring the Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Odyssey vessel that had run aground near McGregor Point in Māʻalaea on Maui. Company officials advised that the grounding is being investigated by the US Coast Guard. Maui Now.

Kahului firefighters assisted the Coast Guard with evacuation of a Pacific Whale Foundation catamaran that grounded near McGregor Point Tuesday morning, Maui County fire officials said. Star-Advertiser.


The Kauai Planning Commission unanimously approved permits Tuesday for the county Department of Water to go ahead with an $8 million project to construct a new administration building twice the size of its existing headquarters at Pua Loke Street in Lihue. Garden Island.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

UPW touts candidates on taxpayer dime, people voted twice in Hawaii County 2010 election, Lingle raises big bucks, Hannemann lends campaign money, House vice speaker cleared of spending charges, swine flu on Maui, Hawaiian language project ends, newspaper admits major gaffe, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

United Public Workers
UPW courtesy photo
Some 538 Hawaii County employees and their state counterparts over the past few weeks were sent to two-hour “educational and informational meetings” on the taxpayers’ dime, where a union-endorsed lineup of candidates made their case for election. West Hawaii Today.

Former Gov. Linda Lingle raised more than $171,950 during the first three weeks of July in her Republican campaign for U.S. Senate, bringing her total to $4.4 million overall. Star-Advertiser.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann has loaned himself $150,000 to help beat back Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard in their Democratic primary for Congress. Star-Advertiser.

Mufi Hannemann contributed $150,000 of his own money to make up a fundraising gap against Tulsi Gabbard with just weeks left in the Democratic primary likely to determine the newest member of Hawaii's congressional delegation. Civil Beat.

Congressional candidates Tulsi Gabbard and Esther Ki'iana, both Democrats competing for the open Congressional District 2 seat, are taking advantage of the county's early voting opportunity on Tuesday. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii residents assuming they'll be voting Aug. 11 at the same place as two years ago might think again. Star-Advertiser.

The Campaign Spending Commission has cleared House Vice Speaker Joey Manahan of wrongdoing in an inquiry about reimbursements Mana­han claimed from his campaign fund to cover the cost of food and beverage. Star-Advertiser.

A volunteer effort to type thousands of pages of Hawaiian-language newspapers has ended, but organizers hope the project can move forward in preserving the language and culture. Associated Press.

Propelled by summer gains, especially on Oahu and Maui, Hawaii's hotel industry set a record for revenue in the first six months of 2012. Star-Advertiser.

Although the seagoing part of RIMPAC gets the most attention, more than 200 aircraft are part of the airborne orchestral ensemble in the 23rd iteration of RIMPAC, and they are being used in some interesting ways. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for August 1. Associated Press.


Last month, the Honolulu City Council voted to spend $345,000 to resolve a discrimination complaint by former Honolulu police officer Jared Chong. Civil Beat.

Two senior Democratic State Senators are facing off in the Primary Election because of Reapportionment. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii Kai neighborhood board is throwing the spotlight on a plan to develop prime land acoss from Maunalua Bay with Foodland as a possible anchor tenant. KITV4.

A Honolulu businesswoman who shut down her home health care service a year ago, owing millions of dollars in federal and state taxes, has opened a new business doing beach weddings in Waimanalo. Star-Advertiser.

Las Vegas-style slot machines that gave out cash prizes have disappeared from Tilt stores on Oahu — at least temporarily. Civil Beat.

The amount of rail jobs is growing and rail contractors are looking to hire. Hawaii News Now.

Hundreds of Hawaii seniors receive shelter and outreach assistance from the state's homeless program each year. Hawaii News Now.


Several Hawaii County voters voted twice in the 2010 elections and some people were registered more than once in the county Elections Office database, Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi revealed Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

An audit of Hawaii County’s registered voter rolls found four people voted twice in 2010 elections and between 50 and 60 people were registered more than once, County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi said Tuesday. Associated Press.

Hawaii County Elections clerk Jamae Kawauchi on Tuesday dispelled rumors that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was looking into allegations of voter fraud on the Big Island. Civil Beat.

After a week of not responding to reporters' inquiries as well as calls from state elections and political campaign officials, Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi told reporters at the State Capitol Tuesday why she closed her office in Hilo for a day last week and went to the state Attorney General's office. Hawaii News Now.

Last week, in a highly unusual move, Big Island County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi shut down her the Hilo office for a day, she said, to do an audit of the county's voter registration list. KITV4.

The state Attorney General's office is reviewing allegations of duplicate voting on the Big Island. KHON2.

The County Elections Division is not re-sending 101,728 yellow cards to registered voters. Tribune-Herald staff writer Hunter Bishop erroneously reported in a front-page story in the July 26 edition that all of the yellow cards — which are labeled “Notice of Voter Registration and Address Confirmation” — would be re-sent. Tribune-Herald.

Although seven names will appear on the ballot Aug. 11, the race for Big Island mayor is expected to come down to the top three candidates with the most name recognition – incumbent Billy Kenoi, Council Chairman Dominic Yagong, and former mayor and civil defense director Harry Kim. KITV4.


An adult Maui resident who works with pigs contracted Hawaii's first confirmed case of an unusual variant flu strain that has been detected in six mainland states in the last year, the state Health Department said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

A Maui resident who works with pigs contracted a rare form of the flu. KHON2.

Local and federal officials are investigating a confirmed H3N2v flu case in an adult patient on Maui. Maui Now.

The technology that federal investigators relied on to document crime scenes like the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the 9/11 plane crash in Shanksville, Pa., and sniper attacks in Washington, D.C., is being used by Maui police officers, who mapped simulated crash and crime scenes in Kahului last week. Maui News.

Efforts to build a new Kihei high school, which has come up in the swirling debate over the planned Maui Outlets and Piilani Promenade, is moving along, with the land purchased and the state Department of Education looking at a public-private partnership to build it, said state Sen. Roz Baker last week. Maui News.


For the first time this year, and less than two weeks before the primary elections, the six Democratic candidates for Hawai‘i’s 2nd Congressional District at the U.S. House of Representatives participated in a forum on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Starting Wednesday, the four HI-5 bottle redemption centers operated by Kaua‘i Community Recycling Services (KCRS) will be closed because of fiscal issues. Garden Island.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Hawaii stamp, fewer post offices, Big Island swine flu death and other top Monday news

The U.S. Postal Service will unveil the com- mem- orative 50th anniver- sary statehood stamp next month at the Hawaii Statehood Conference.

The U.S. Postal Service in Hawai'i has undertaken a study to determine whether to close any of its 104 post offices, stations and branches as part of a national effort to stanch billion-dollar losses stemming from the rise of text messaging, e-mail and other forms of electronic communication.

Gov. Linda Lingle's list of state workers who face possible layoffs is expected to be delivered to public-sector labor unions today.

The fight over furloughs got more heated, after the Governor defended her decision to issue notices warning hundreds of state employees that they are at risk of getting laid off.

Gov. Linda Lingle and the leaders of four state employee unions are to meet on Tuesday for negotiations on new contracts.

As America marks the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing today, scientists and longtime Hawaii residents recall the important roles that the isles played in the Apollo program.

Hawaii suffers its third swine flu death, this time a mother on the Big Island.

Maui County officials flew to Molokai on Saturday to warn Kaunakakai and Kalae residents that if they don't conserve water, a shortage could become a crisis.

Hawaii County is moving forward with efforts to sell its Hamakua lands to raise an expected $8.2 million that's needed to avoid a budget shortfall.

NELHA gates to be closed on weekends

The Board of Ethics suggested that Wayne Nishiki review the Maui County ethics code, but took no further action on a complaint against the Maui County Council member in its decision last month.

“An exceptionally long total eclipse of the sun” will be partially visible from the Hawaiian Islands before sunset Tuesday, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Tuesday morning edition

During these tough times, the state is con- sidering spending $500,000 applying to become a federally licensed spaceport.

Hundreds are expected to converge on Kapi'olani Park today to catch a glimpse of Japan's Emperor Akihito in his only public appearance during his three-day Hawai'i visit.

Paniolos and a master hula teacher will be among those welcoming the Japanese emperor and empress to Hawaii this week.

Public workers appear headed for at least a 5 percent pay cut for two years, but there is no indication from Gov. Linda Lingle that the concession would be enough to make up for a $750 million budget shortfall.

In what all sides described as progress, public-sector labor unions yesterday offered to take a 5 percent pay cut to help close the state's budget deficit, far less than what Gov. Linda Lingle has wanted but a sign that state workers are willing to sacrifice.

An estimated $47.3 million and six years' construction work are needed to reduce the threat of rockfalls harming motorists driving through the Hamakua Coast's three main gulches.

Some Hawaii school principals spent this week in Las Vegas for a conference, but the Department of Education didn't foot the bill.

In the management battle brewing over a picturesque location, condo owners have drawn their weapons while Hanalei Bay Resort’s management company pulls out its shield.

After riding a wave of prosperity, Maui County residents are struggling to cope with a recession that has swept through the islands

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Wednesday morning edition

The new owners of the Ilikai Hotel in Waikiki said they plan to shut down hotel operations tomorrow, resulting in the loss of at least 65 full-time jobs.

Honolulu has moved up in a ranking of the world's costliest cities to live in, placing 41st of 143 metropolitan areas examined.

Public worker unions are willing to agree to pay cuts or a furlough as part of their next contract, KITV has learned.

The United Public Workers alleged yesterday that Gov. Linda Lingle and her chief labor negotiator are not bargaining in good faith by canceling and walking out of negotiating sessions.

The rising cost of living and the needs of Oahu's growing elderly population were two main issues addressed as 14 candidates seeking to fill the vacancy on the City Council began airing their views in various community forums.

Two cheerleading coaches on Oahu were taken into police custody Monday night, accused of showing pornography to a child.

A 23-year-old Punchbowl woman will remain in custody for five more months before being released on probation for hijacking a city ambulance while emergency medical workers were still inside tending to a patient.

The much-anticipated Kaloko Housing Program may have to be scaled back because $1.45 million in state funding lapsed when it wasn't released by the June 30 deadline.

A fire destroyed an estimated 100 acres of pasture land Tuesday in Kalaheo, officials said.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Monday morning edition

A Belgian television crew will be in Kalaupapa tomorrow filming a documentary report about Father Damien De Veuster, who is as well known in his homeland as in Hawaii.

With Father Damien's canonization just four months away and interest in his life growing around the world, congregation members are finalizing plans for a permanent Damien museum in Waikiki, which they hope to have open in about a year; working to digitize Damien photos before they are lost to age; and fielding more requests for Damien information.

The people who provide lessons and outings to tourists and residents for water sports — specifically, surfing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, scuba and snorkeling — are frightened that a proposed set of new Maui County rules will cripple or even doom their businesses.

The union for workers at the Hawai'i State Hospital is calling for state officials to address safety concerns at the Kane'ohe psychiatric facility following three serious assaults by patients on staff, including one last month in which a 62-year-old occupational therapist was struck in the head repeatedly with a large padlock.

Hawaii County is set to buy a brand-new $2 million search-and-rescue helicopter to replace its 27-year-old Chopper 1.

A bill that would outlaw driving while using a hand-held cell phone is now in Mayor Billy Kenoi's hands.

Oahu homes are becoming more affordable for more families because of the real estate market decline, low interest rates, and incentives.

A West Hawaii developer wants changes that would put off building a connector road between Mamalahoa Highway and its project just above Queen Kaahumanu Highway indefinitely.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Friday morning edition

The U.S. military is positioning more missile defenses around Hawai'i as a precaution against a possible North Korean launch across the Pacific, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday.

Hawaii's Pacific Command, closely monitoring events in North Korea, says it is "in good position" to respond if called upon by the Pentagon.

The U.S. military is tracking a ship from North Korea that could be carrying illicit weapons, the first vessel monitored under tougher new U.N. rules meant to rein in and punish the communist government following a nuclear test, officials said yesterday.

The state Board of Education last night voted 8-4 to approve controversial changes to the public school system's disciplinary rules, including allowing for suspicionless locker searches and drug-sniffing dogs.

If the courts don't stop her, Gov. Linda Lingle will set in motion two years of "furlough Fridays" for at least 15,600 state employees

Gov. Linda Lingle yesterday rolled out the details of her furlough plans for state workers, announcing that many state departments would close on three Fridays a month starting in July while others would modify or adjust operations to minimize the disruption to the public.

Many state workers are upset about the furloughs, since they amount to essentially a 14-percent pay cut, but they also worry the public will face service reductions when departments and offices are closed three days a week.

West Maui state Rep. Angus McKelvey said he wants the Legislature to go into an emergency special session to deal with the state's $2.7 billion revenue shortfall and Gov. Linda Lingle's plan to furlough state workers beginning July 1.

In a cost-savings measure, the state office of elections plans to close a little more than 60 polling places, with all of them being on Oahu.

The state Office of Elections is proposing eliminating 66 voting precincts statewide for next year's elections in an effort to cut costs

More than 150 people heard impassioned speeches Wednesday night in Hilo on a proposal to bring the Thirty Meter Telescope to the Big Island.

The Hawaii County Council's controversial reorganization has triggered an investigation and one lawmaker's allegation that the leadership change was illegally orchestrated.

For schoolchildren, the game of "telephone," is an amusing party pastime. But when county council members employ it as a pre-meeting meeting, it violates state Sunshine Laws.

The draft environmental assessment for the proposed midlevel Kona road is out, charting a route from Henry Street to Hina Lani Street, skirting a burial site and shifting makai near the northern end to avoid bisecting a dryland forest.

A family feud simmering since last year’s mayoral election boiled into a Carvalho-versus-Carvalho harassment arrest, with the father of Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. turning himself in at Kaua‘i Police Department headquarters in April.

A Kalihi man is in police custody, accused of sexually assaulting three elderly women at a senior living complex.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Tuesday morning edition

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, in his first jab at his potential rival for governor in 2010, said yesterday that Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann should put politics aside and concentrate on the city's multibillion-dollar rail project.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann formed a campaign committee to run for governor yesterday, but his potential opponent, Neil Abercrombie, says the mayor should stay put and finish work on the city's rail transit project.

Honolulu has burned up records for eight days with sizzling temperatures.

Ask anyone living on the Big Island about vog and they'll have a story to share.

Hawaii's biggest public workers union on Monday said Gov. Linda Lingle's plan to furlough state workers is illegal and it plans to block it.

When environmental activist Carroll Cox charged last week that Honolulu city crews had been illegally dumping tons of concrete rubble in Ma'ili'ili Stream and threatening the habitat of endangered wildlife, he called the unpermitted activity an outrage.

The Hawaii Public Defender's Office has tentative plans to furlough its employees three Fridays a month, meaning defense attorneys for indigent clients won't be available for criminal court hearings scheduled on those days.

Local telecommunications company Sandwich Isles Communications Inc. said it wants to purchase Hawaiian Telcom Inc. for $400 million.

John W. Goemans achieved a success few attorneys reach when the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed his stand against discrimination in the precedent-setting Rice v. Cayetano case.

A contractor doing work on Haleakala Ranch land damaged fiber-optic lines Monday morning, disrupting emergency 911 calls, phone and Internet service for Maui residents, county offices, major resort hotels and businesses.

Even when he's not here, BJ Penn's name is a big draw in Hilo.

Ever wonder what good could possibly come of plastic, or how the waste clogging Kekaha’s landfill might be put to better use?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Wednesday morning edition

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann told his Cabinet and staff yesterday afternoon that he has authorized a committee to explore a potential run for governor in 2010, setting up a possible challenge to U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie in the Democratic primary.

At an after-work meeting with Cabinet members and supporters last night, Mayor Mufi Hannemann authorized supporters to form an exploratory committee for a run for governor in 2010.

Another ominous sign for the state budget: Revenue collections are coming in even lower than the state Council on Revenues predicted.

Honolulu City Council members meet today to take up the city's operating budget along with a host of fee increases and tax hike proposals, all aimed at making up a $50 million shortfall in the coming fiscal year.

A 22-year-old woman was sentenced yesterday to a year in prison for illegally accessing another woman's medical records and posting on a MySpace page that she had HIV

Expert: Hawaii drivers will pay more for gas this summer

Gov. Linda Lingle signed a new law on Tuesday that makes it illegal to electronically harass or stalk someone using text messages or social networking Web sites.

A discovery of skeletal human remains in the proposed midlevel road corridor likely won't stop the project from proceeding, a Hawaii County official says.

One of Hawaii County Councilwoman Emily Naeole's Keaau constituents didn't like it when she called him "whacky" in a West Hawaii Today article last year and he's filed an ethics complaint.

Three Maui artists and a father-son slack key duo from Waiehu captured the coveted Na Hoku Hanohano award, Hawaii's version of the Grammy, for their recording artistry Tuesday night.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Tuesday morning edition

The USS Greeneville, the fast-attack submarine involved in a deadly collision with the fishing vessel Ehime Maru in 2001, is headed back to Pearl Harbor.

Dozens of Navy divers and SEALs hauled tires, a commercial kitchen sink and other junk out of Honolulu Harbor yesterday in celebration of World Ocean Day.

State Board of Education members appeared ready yesterday to pass a 76 percent increase in the price of public school lunches.

Public school students may have to shell out $2.20 for a hot lunch beginning in January under a proposal currently making its way through the state Board of Education.

Some Hawaii public schools are aggressively competing for students in the geographic exception program to help gain funding.

State education officials are disputing methodology used in new research that places Hawai'i's public schools in the bottom third in the country when comparing graduation rates state-by-state.

Under a federal program, 57 public schools will be offering free meals to students over the summer, the state Department of Education said.

Experts at the Lincoln presidential library confirmed yesterday that an important document tied to President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation is in the Hawai'i State Archives, but they don't know for sure how it got there.

Even during the Civil War, the greatest calamity to befall the nation, the wheels of bureaucracy ground slowly but surely. It required President Abraham Lincoln to write hundreds of letters and sign thousands of official statements.

The proposed addition of the Thirty Meter Telescope Project atop Mauna Kea is moving closer to reality.

The state of Hawai'i spent more than $112,000 to provide office space for Hawai'i companies at a Beijing technology park for nearly three years — but no businesses used the space.

Maui residential real estate sales were better in May than in April, although still not much more than half as much as in May 2008.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Monday morning edition

Madam Pele's cooking up quite a show, with a cauldron of molten lava, churning within Kilauea's summit.

President Barack Obama singled out a veteran from Hawaii for special mention in his D-Day remarks at the American cemetery at Normandy's Omaha Beach.

The Surfrider Foundation's Kauai chapter is offering a reward -- as yet unspecified -- for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting death of two Hawaiian monk seals on Kauai

Kamehameha Schools will begin experimenting this fall with a merit-based pay program with hopes of eventually phasing in the system throughout its campuses.

Calls to domestic violence help lines are increasing as financial pressures brought on by the recession take a toll on Hawai'i families.

Some of Hawaii's largest nonprofit human services organizations are cutting programs, laying off staff and taking other actions to cope with significant state funding losses, raising concerns about the impact on the needy.

The Office of the Public Defender, which includes a dozen attorneys on Maui, will be shut down three Fridays each month to comply with state worker furloughs required by Gov. Linda Lingle.

Despite calls for motorcyclists and drivers of four-wheeled vehicles to safely share the road, the number of motorcycle-related fatalities in Hawai'i continues to climb.

Many Hawaii County officials pay less than the rest of us in property taxes, but it's primarily a function of how long they've lived in one spot, not preferential treatment.

A man apparently drowned and his 13-year-old daughter was injured last night when their Zodiac capsized off Keauhou in rough seas, the Hawai'i County Fire Department said.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Friday morning edition

A bill attempting to hold goods labeled as "Made in Hawaii" more accountable was signed by Gov. Linda Lingle on Monday and goes into effect on July 1.

Hawaii had the highest-priced gasoline in the country this week, with prices on Maui already over $3 a gallon and the statewide average creeping closer to that mark.

State Rep. Joe Bertram III is resting and recovering from toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease, that he apparently caught from cleaning out his cat's litter box, a family member said.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents is likely to approve hiring of M.R.C. "Marcy" Greenwood as the first female president of the 10-campus UH system at a meeting Wednesday, board Chairman Allan Landon said yesterday.

University of Hawai'i Board of Regents Chairman Al Landon said the lone candidate for UH president has "substantial support" from regents as they prepare to vote on her candidacy on Wednesday.

Our islands could get connected by cable underwater. The high-voltage cable, 30 miles long and 9 inches in diameter would be placed on the ocean floor to link up Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Lanai's electrical systems.

Gov. Linda Lingle said the state will announce within about 10 days how state departments and agencies will be affected by state employee furloughs.

Like plastic bags before them, Hawaii's ubiquitous Styrofoam food containers are now in the sights of the Maui County Council for a potential ban.

Don't expect Honolulu to have a new police chief for another four to five months, Police Commission chairwoman Christine H.H. Camp said yesterday

Honolulu police plan to ticket drivers who disobey a new law that bans mobile electronic devices immediately after it goes into effect July 1 — a change that may take many drivers by surprise.

The Hamakua Sports Bar, part-owned by a legislative aide to Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong, is facing an uphill battle as community members challenge the opening of what would be Honokaa's only bar.

A total of 29 Big Island stores have been cited for selling tobacco to minors in a statewide sting operation that started last September.

Members of the Kaua‘i-Ni‘ihau Islands Burial Council on Thursday unanimously voted to defer action on a controversial burial treatment plan for Joseph Brescia’s Ha‘ena property.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Thursday morning edition

Tom Gill, who led the progressive wing of the Hawai'i Democratic Party at the birth of the state, contributed to the shift in Hawai'i's political landscape in the 1960s and later became a thorn in the sides of two governors from his own party, died yesterday. He was 87.

KGMB9's Political Analyst Peter Boylan talks about former Lieutenant Gov. Tom Gill, who died today.

Hawaii has one of the nation's highest rates of alcohol addiction but ranks as the state with the least drug dependence, according to a federal government survey released yesterday.

Seventy-one percent of Hawai'i residents lived in a household with Internet access in 2007, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Disputes over state worker furloughs were no closer to being resolved yesterday as the major players took public swipes at each other.

Gov. Linda Lingle's plan to furlough public workers is a good approach, former Gov. Ben Cayetano told KITV on Wednesday

The science-versus-sacrilege debate over the proposed solar telescope near Haleakala's summit received a jump-start Wednesday night back into Maui's public discourse for the first time in nearly three years.

Students at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa may have fewer courses and degree programs to choose from as campus officials anticipate some $50 million in budget cuts per year over the next two years.

The Hawaii County Council on Tuesday rebuffed a series of amendments from its Finance Committee chairman and passed a $386.9 million operating budget that funds vacant positions and overtime, suspends the land fund and relies on the sale of Hamakua property to make ends meet.

The Hawaii County Council Tuesday moved nearly $1 million of money set aside for retirement health benefits, but never used, to a fund to pay damages in a court case related to a South Kona bypass highway

Fish coughs up golden watch

Lifeguards are recognized for saving surfer with heart condition

Honolulu Police need your help looking for a man wanted for murder in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Tuesday morning edition

A long-awaited environmental report on the world's largest optical/infrared telescope, planned for the summit of Mauna Kea, says the overall public benefits of the project outweigh any "unavoidable adverse impacts."

If everyone agrees the state budget is balanced, why is there such an unending controversy about it?

Money from the federal economic stimulus package has started to flow into the islands, with the Navy putting out nearly $42 million in construction contracts and the Hawaii congressional delegation announcing about $64 million in Army projects.

More than 500 people stood and cheered L. Tammy Duckworth, a former helicopter pilot wounded in Iraq and U.S. assistant secretary of veteran affairs, who returned home to speak at a Memorial Day ceremony yesterday at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe.

A Purple Heart war veteran from West Maui has given his medal to a local businessman he believes is worthy of recognition

An increase in the number of unsheltered homeless people in the urban core has state officials rethinking their efforts for the area and trying to figure out how to deal with people who have been on the streets for months or years and have mental-health or substance-abuse problems.

Every Year something magical takes place in Hawaii on Memorial Day. As the sun sets, thousands of paper lanterns are released into the sea in memory of our lost loved ones.

Yesterday afternoon's stifling heat gave way to the slightest of breezes as the sun dipped below the horizon and some 2,200 wooden, rubber and paper floating lanterns set sail off Ala Moana Beach Park.

The Big Island may soon have the first officially designated scenic byway in the state.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Monday morning edition

Big Island losing coqui frog war. War on invasive species pau as money dries up, frog numbers explode.

The Marine Option Program and degrees and certificates in classics, music composition and dance are among 33 programs under review for possible elimination as part of a long-term strategy to streamline the budget at the University of Hawaii at Manoa

President Barack Obama will name a new judge to Hawaii's federal courts in June as U.S. District Chief Judge Helen Gillmor retires.

Despite the economic downturn, Hawai'i travel agents say sales of tours to Rome for the canonization of Father Damien in October are brisk, with hundreds of Hawai'i residents already signed up to make the 8,000-mile trip.

Despite concerns about cost and the complexity of the law, the publicly funded campaigns of Hawaii County Council candidates will go forward next year.

Like museums across the country, Bishop Museum — Hawai'i's premier historic and cultural institution — is struggling to find ways to cope with the lingering economic recession. Dwindling grants, plummeting visitor arrivals, and poor investment returns have made that process especially painful.

Crystal methamphetamine and other narcotics are showing signs of a resurgence on Maui, due to the dismal economy, according to a Maui Police Department vice officer.

April was another cruel month for real estate, but some places have weathered the storm better than others.

Roz Savage knows her biggest challenge to completing a 2,600-mile solo row from Honolulu to Tuvalu in the South Pacific will be crossing the equator.

125 fighting cocks were taken into protective custody by the Kaua‘i Humane Society after being confiscated from a cockfight in Kapa‘a by the Kaua‘i Police Department’s specialized unit. Of the total, 71 remain alive.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Tuesday morning edition

A peacock was viciously beaten to death this weekend in Makaha. The accused animal killer said the bird's constant squawking drove her to do it

The number of Japanese visitors arriving in Hawai'i plunged over the last two weeks amid swine-flu fears — even though Hawai'i cases have remained few and mild — and cancellations over the next few months are likely to cost the state millions more in lost revenue.

The Lingle administration is ordering $36.3 million in cuts that essentially requires state agencies to stop all discretionary spending.

The latest budget proposal from the Honolulu City Council's Budget Committee would give homeowners a $175 tax credit to help offset an expected increase in the property tax rate

Oahu communities that have waited years for curbside recycling might have to wait even longer now that the Honolulu City Council's Budget Committee has cut $6 million in funding for the roll-out scheduled to begin next May.

With no signs of significant rainfall coming any time soon, Maui County water officials are concerned about more dry weather and falling water levels in Upcountry reservoirs.

Community members continued to dream big Sunday as three proposed plans for Old Kona Airport Park were discussed in greater detail.

A new health clinic quietly opened its doors in Hilo and is now accepting patients.

A tripped generator caused short-term power outages at “various pockets” around Kaua‘i on Monday afternoon, according to multiple witnesses and the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Monday morning edition

In addition to marketing cam-
paigns supporting local ag-
riculture, the Depart-
ment of Agri-
culture is beginning to designate the long-awaited Important Agricultural Lands across the state.

Gov. Linda Lingle told Hawaii Republicans that it's time for younger members of the state GOP to move into leadership positions.

A 66 cent fee on local monthly cell phone bills intended to pay for 911 emergency location technology is now a windfall for the cash-strapped state.

The recession has lifted the state's bottle deposit redemption rate to an all-time high of 77 percent.

By the time the Hawaii Superferry auction was over Saturday morning, everything from the tent over the bidders' heads to benches under their bottoms was sold.

A long overdue cleanup of Honolulu Harbor is not the end of an environmental effort.

The Maui Police Commission has picked Deputy Chief Gary Yabuta to be the county's new police chief.

Driving while talking or texting on a hand-held cell phone is dangerous and should be outlawed, says the Hawaii County Council's vice chairman.

Some Makawao merchants and their customers are alarmed by changes being prepared for Baldwin Avenue by the Makawao Main Street Association.

Yesterday was a deadly day on Oahu as two men died and several others were hurt in four separate accidents.

The four senior centers on O'ahu, which provide services aimed at keeping seniors active and out of nursing homes, are cutting back programs and staff and grappling with how to keep their doors open after failing to secure rainy-day funds from legislators.

A Honolulu City Council committee has delayed action on a proposal to allow bed-and-breakfasts to operate in residential areas under certain conditions

It's the newest addition to the Hawaii Air Ambulance fleet.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Friday morning edition

The Health Department may increase the Hawaii beverage container deposit by a half cent, which could result in retailers rounding up a whole cent for consumers.

A proposed tax of $1.05 on each barrel of oil sold in Hawai‘i, which would inevitably be passed on to drivers at the pump, would go to fund energy and food self-sufficiency in the state.

Oahu's neighborhood board election is making history because it is the world's first election being conducted entirely on the Internet and by telephone.

Maui's Island Dodge on Hana Highway in Kahului is among the 789 dealerships nationwide Chrysler LLC wants to eliminate by early next month, according to a bankruptcy court filing today.

A former Kaua'i mortgage broker who admitted to defrauding more than 50 people out of $30 million drove his truck off a cliff into a ravine in Washington state, killing himself yesterday, the day he was due in federal court in Honolulu for sentencing, according to law enforcement officials

State Sen. Fred Hemmings' wife, Lydia, pleaded not guilty to felony theft charges yesterday and is free on $5,000 bail pending trial in July.

A scientific study of shark-cage dive tours in Hawai'i indicates they pose little risk to public safety, largely because they operate at least three miles offshore and are frequented by Galapagos and sandbar sharks, two species rarely involved in attacks on humans.

The Army Reserve in the Pacific will get its first female leader: Brig. Gen. Michele Gillen Compton, who has been a reservist for more than two decades.

Derelict fishing nets are turned into electricity

While local officials cast about for ways to plug a growing budget hole, at least $10 million in salaries and benefits for vacant positions sits idle in Hawaii County coffers.

Kaua‘i’s Board of Ethics took significant steps toward a more transparent government Thursday morning.

After selling one of its bulldozers as surplus for $52,083, Hawaii County will have spent $427,025 renting it back by the time its recently extended contract expires June 31.

The Maui County Council on Wednesday approved keeping property tax rates at existing levels for the next year.

School officials are investigating how a Keaau Middle student managed to pull up an Internet pornography site on a school computer.

A Keaau couple accused of commercial promotion of marijuana claims their arrest was unlawful because both are medical marijuana patients.