Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts

Friday, November 2, 2018

ACLU challenges retirement home's medically assisted death ban, design flaws may delay Honolulu rail, purring crickets on Molokai, Leilani residents just want to go home, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii sunrise ©2018 All Hawaii News
The American Civil Liberties Union is accusing a Kahala retirement community of illegal religious discrimination by warning its residents that they cannot take advantage of a new “morally repugnant” law that allows the terminally ill to obtain medication to end their life. Star-Advertiser.

ACLU Challenges Retirement Home’s Ban On Medical Aid In Dying. A state law allowing certain terminally ill people to end their lives takes effect in January, but residents at Kahala Nui were told it doesn’t apply to them. Associated Press.

Senior living community faces discrimination claims involving new ‘death with dignity’ law. ACLU Hawaii is calling out one of Oahu’s biggest senior living communities for telling its residents they won’t be able to use the state’s new law allowing medically assisted suicide. Hawaii News Now.

ACLU accusing retirement home of discrimination. The local chapter of the non-profit sent a "demand letter" to Kahala Nui to stop engaging in "illegal and discriminatory housing practices". KITV.

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Data show fewer homeless vets in isles. Hawaii outperformed most West Coast states and the nation overall — percentage-wise — in getting homeless veterans off the street this year, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Star-Advertiser.

The state Health Department wants to expand its immunization program for school-age students. Currently, the Health Department requires all schoolchildren to be immunized by six types of vaccines. Under the proposed new rules, it wants to add three more types of vaccinations. Hawaii News Now.

Health officials to conduct survey to better understand foodborne illnesses. The Hawaii Department of Health is rolling out a statewide survey to learn more about food habits of Hawaii residents and visitors, and find out if there are any behaviors associated with possible risks for foodborne illnesses, including rat lungworm disease. KHON2.

Report: DOE Has Mostly Fixed Flaws In Its Bus Transportation System. A 2012 state audit had faulted the department for allowing costs to skyrocket as competitive bidding for contracts ceased. Civil Beat.

Attorney General Russell Suzuki announced today the establishment of the Electronic Smoking Device Retailer Registration Unit within the Department of the Attorney General. Maui Now.

A Unite Here Local 5 hotel workers strike marked its 25th day Thursday, making it the union’s longest-running hotel strike in nearly three decades. Star-Advertiser.

“Extra” utility poles going away under $45M Hawaiian Telcom, HECO deal. In a move that will eliminate 14,000 unsightly poles, Hawaiian Telcom agreed to let Hawaiian Electric Cos. have sole ownership of about 120,000 utility poles on Oahu, Hawaii island, Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Star-Advertiser.

Neighbor Island Elections Remain Competitive Ahead of Election Day. Both Maui and Kauai have open races for county mayor and several contested seats on the County Council. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Design Flaws May Delay Rail’s Interim Opening Set For 2020. “Major challenges” with station canopies could stall the planned December 2020 launch of interim service for Oahu’s rail line, project leaders revealed Thursday. Civil Beat.

Caldwell signs bill allowing city funds for rail construction. Mayor Kirk Caldwell broke precedent Thursday, signing a bill that will provide $44 million in city general funds to pay a share of the $8 billion-plus, East Kapolei-to-Ala Moana rail line. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Caldwell signs 'historic' bill allowing $44M in city funds to go to rail. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed Bill 42 into law on Thursday, the legislation earmarks $44 million from the city’s general fund to be used for the construction of the 20-mile rail project. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu mayor signs bill to use city money to fund rail. For the first time, city funds will be used to help pay for the rail. KHON2.

City will be using its own general fund to help pay for rail. Mayor Kirk Caldwell made it official Thursday by signing Bill 42. KITV.

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‘Bad blood’ drives City Council rematch for east Honolulu seat. The race could shift the balance of power on the council. One of the few general election races that is too close to predict is the east Honolulu rematch between incumbent City Councilman Trevor Ozawa and challenger Tommy Waters. Hawaii News Now.

Police Commission: Why Is It So Hard To Get A Permit To Carry A Gun In This City? In the wake of a federal court decision challenging Hawaii’s restrictive gun laws, the commission wants a deeper look at HPD’s process for denying gun carry applications. Civil Beat.

Short Term Rental Restrictions Approved by Planning Commission. The Honolulu Planning Commission has unanimously approved a proposal from Mayor Kirk Caldwell to regulate short term rentals on Oahu.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Navy seeks to reassure water is safe from tanks at Red Hill. Navy officials worked to reassure members of a task force and the public Thursday that they are taking every precaution to ensure that 18 massive underground fuel tanks at Red Hill near Pearl Harbor won’t contaminate Oahu’s drinking water supply. Star-Advertiser.

Navy points finger of Red Hill fuel on human error, community uneasy over future problems. A back-and-forth discussion over the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility is approaching its 5th year. KITV.

Kaiser Permanente to develop $60 million facility in Kapolei. Kaiser Permanente is investing in expanding care options for residents of West Oahu with the development of a $60 million medical office in Kapolei. KHON2.

Kaiser to build medical office building on Kapolei land bought in 2012. Kaiser Permanente plans to build a $60 million medical office in Kapolei on a five-acre parcel the health care organization bought nearly seven years ago. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is close to finalizing a contract with the Los Angeles Rams for a preseason game to be held on Oahu next year. The game, to take place at Aloha Stadium, would be the first NFL preseason game in Hawaii in more than 40 years. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Too busy to spend money: County crises boosted budget savings. Hawaii County departments were so busy with natural disasters this year, they didn’t get a chance to spend all their budgets. West Hawaii Today.

Council advances Puna roads resolution. A room full of people displaced by the eruption in lower Puna had one request for Hawaii County on Thursday — help them get home. Tribune-Herald.

Many in Leilani Estates hope the county will keep providing 24/7 security. What do you do when your neighborhood is on the verge of becoming a tourist attraction? KITV.

Telescope Officials Maintain Alternative Site in Spain Even As Hawaii Court Gives Go-Ahead. The Thirty Meter Telescope may have been given the go-ahead by the Hawaii Supreme Court. But there’s still a lot that needs to happen before construction can take place on Mauna Kea. Hawaii Public Radio.

Curious residents gathered Thursday at Hilo International Airport to look at four Hawaii Air National Guard fighter jets conducting training exercises on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Air National Guard will be operating and repositioning four F-22 Raptors at the Hilo International Airport from Nov. 1 to Nov. 3. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Shoreline repair solutions sought. Residents oppose seawalls; other options considered for Lower Honoapiilani Road. Maui News.

Proposed Maui Solar-Plus-Storage Project Meeting. AES will host a community meeting on Thursday, Nov. 15, to share information and gather community feedback on a proposed solar-plus-storage project near Waikapu, Maui. Maui Now.

Maui Electric Company, in partnership with the County of Maui’s Department of Public Works, will begin installing approximately 4,800 new energy-saving fixtures for county-funded streetlights in November. Maui Now.

Kauai

County Council candidate: KipuKai Kualii. One thing is clear about KipuKai Kualii: He does not let disappointing defeats keep him from trying again. Garden Island.

Students take over county council. Kauai Council Chair Mel Rapozo said most of the students were unaware they could testify at the Council meetings Thursday when nearly two dozen students at the Kapaa High School American Problems class assumed various roles during the mock council meeting at the historic County Building. Garden Island.

Molokai
Scientists studying crickets on Molokai stumbled across a pretty incredible discovery recently, which they detailed in a new journal article. The upshot: Some crickets on the island are now purring. Hawaii News Now.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tulsi reveals future husband, failed preschool ballot measure resurrected as Senate bill, Kauai tour boat strikes humpback whale, Edward Snowden speech a hit, religious groups at national parks, Honolulu stables in uproar, 3 in running for Maui House seat, more government and politics news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii hotel pool party © 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii's hotel industry finished 2014 with a new total hotel revenue record of $5.4 billion. The statewide hotel industry had the nation's second-highest average daily room rate. While Hawaii's 2014 occupancy rate only grew 0.05 percent year-over-year to 77 percent, it ranked fifth best in the nation behind New York, San Francisco/ San Mateo, Los Angeles/ Long Beach and the Miami/Hia­leah markets. Star-Advertiser.

Tulsi Gabbard has broken her silence on who she will be tying the knot with. The 33-year-old congress woman will marry 26-year-old Abraham Williams. Williams is a cinematographer and has known Gabbard since before they started dating in April. Hawaii News Now.

Things to watch at state Legislature this week. Associated Press.

Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower on the run, spoke at ACLU Hawaii’s First Amendment Conference live Saturday, via a video link from Moscow, Russia. Civil Beat.

Lisa Wong was impressed Saturday by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, who appeared live in Hawaii via a video link from Moscow. Wong was among some 800 attendees at the sold-out Davis Levin First Amendment Conference at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Star-Advertiser.

A bill to establish a statewide pre-kindergarten program -- a program that failed on the ballot in 2014 -- passed through the Senate Committee on Education on Friday afternoon. Senate Bill 844 would set up a $33 million program to establish pre-K offerings at public and charter schools that would be administered by the Executive Office on Early Learning. Civil Beat.

Researchers at a biotech company co-founded by a medical student from Hawaii have taken human fetal kidneys that would have been discarded and transplanted them into rats, where they thrived. Their ultimate goal is to grow such organs in animals and make them available to children and adults who need lifesaving transplants but can't get them because of the shortage of donated organs. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would that would waive college tuition for high school students in dual credit programs was approved by the Senate Committee on Education on Friday afternoon. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Senate has hired Jill Kuramoto to be its new communications director. Kuramoto, who replaces Thelma Dreyer, starts the job Feb. 23. Civil Beat.

Is Carleton Ching the Man to Protect Hawaii’s Public Lands? Important issues are ahead for the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and some of them are likely to involve the company that currently employs the nominee to head the agency. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Medical Service Association, Blue Zones LLC, and Healthways, Inc. selected three Hawaii communities on the Big Island and Oahu as the state's first Blue Zones project demonstration communities. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The statewide board of doctors in charge of reviewing driver's license applications for disabled and elderly drivers has been unable to fill four of its five seats, preventing more than 100 would-be drivers on Oahu from getting their licenses for the last six months. Star-Advertiser.

Where does state Rep. Calvin Say actually live? It’s a question that’s been debated for years, both informally among concerned citizens and formally before judges and county boards in Honolulu. Now there’s a new effort underway — believed to be the first of its kind in Hawaii — to settle the matter. Civil Beat.

New pact will guide use of city stables. A horse enthusiast who runs a concession fears for the future of the equestrian center. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

A Jehovah’s Witness group is taking its message to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, leaving at least one regular park-goer dissatisfied with park policy. West Hawaii Today.

A number of smaller film projects continue to take advantage of Hawaii Island’s world-class vistas and renowned hospitality. A total of 68 productions received Hawaii County film permits and reported $8.7 million in expenditures here in 2014, according to Hawaii County Film Commissioner Ilihia Gionson. Tribune-Herald.

Cindy Evans, D-North Kona, Kohala, has introduced a bill that would appropriate $200,000 for lifeguarding services at the increasingly popular and often dangerous North Kona beach. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island lawmakers are hopeful a renewed push to establish medical marijuana dispensaries will clear the hurdles this time around. West Hawaii Today.

Isle coffee farmers raising tiny bugs to attack pesky coffee borer beetle. West Hawaii Today.

The state’s largest health insurer announced the start of a new effort Friday to improve the health of East and North Hawaii residents. Tribune-Herald.

Maui
The Maui County Democratic Party’s Council Nominating Committee today narrowed the list of candidates for the vacant District 13 House seat to three finalists today. The finalists include Lori Buchanan of Molokaʻi, Lynn DeCoite of Molokai, and Lucienne De Naie of Huelo on Maui. Maui Now.

Three candidates touted their experience in infrastructure, farming and community work as they were nominated Saturday to replace District 13 state Rep. Mele Carroll. Maui News.

Babes Against Biotech is urging Maui Democrats not to select a local farmer for Mele Carroll’s vacant seat in the Hawaii House of Representatives. The anti-GMO group posted on its Facebook page Friday a plea to the party’s District 13 selection committee tasked with selecting three candidates to replace Carroll, who resigned Feb. 1 for health reasons. Civil Beat.

Lack of permits and licenses could mean the end for Loiloa. Maui News.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday accepted and approved a hearing officer's report that recommended withdrawing several parcels of land from state forest reserves on Maui, including nearly 400 acres owned by Hana Ranch. Maui News.

Hui O Na Wai Eha members staged a rally Friday afternoon at the Wailuku Stream Bridge to protest what the group's vice president said has been a failure to comply with or to enforce last year's mediated settlement to return diverted water to the stream. Maui News.

The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui has completed a three-year, $70 million renovation project to create a "luxurious vacation experience for guests" of the 22-acre Wailea resort. Maui News.

Kauai

Major changes including a new visitor center could be on the horizon for the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. On Thursday, the refuge released its Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan which details its vision for the area and potential management priorities for the next 15 years. Garden Island.

A boat struck an adult humpback whale Thursday morning along Kauai’s South Shore while heading out on a snorkeling tour. Garden Island.

Five new positions in the Kauai Fire Department’s Ocean Safety Bureau allowed for several promotions within the department. Garden Island.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Lava buries cemetery, Ige tops in latest poll, Maui GMO a big ballot issue, constitutional amendments galore, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii County Civil Defense
Lava buries Puna cemetery courtesy Hawaii County Civil Defense
Hawaii County Civil Defense closed Pahoa Village Road as a fast-moving finger of lava moved to within 600 yards of the main street of Pahoa town. Residents in the immediate downslope path of the lava were also urged to prepare to evacuate Sunday night and the Red Cross opened an emergency shelter at the Sure Foundation Church in Keaau. Star-Advertiser.

Evacuations have not been ordered, but Red Cross Hawai'i opened an emergency shelter Sunday night at the Sure Foundation Puna in preparation for residents who may be displaced by the Puna lava flow. Hawaii News Now.

A small, primarily Buddhist cemetery in Pahoa fell victim to advancing lava on Sunday, marking yet another sobering milestone in the ongoing June 27 flow. Tribune-Herald.

Civil Beat Poll: Ige Up by 6 Over Aiona. The Democratic nominee for Hawaii governor leads Republican Duke Aiona 40 percent to 34 percent. Hawaii Independent Party candidate Mufi Hannemann is at 11 percent. Libertarian Jeff Davis is at 6 percent while 8 percent of voters are undecided.

Approval of a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would allow the state to spend public funds on private preschool programs is uncertain as support for the initiative continues to wane and opposition has mounted in recent months, according to new Hawaii Poll results. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s constitution allows for age discrimination against judges, say proponents of a constitutional amendment to raise the mandatory retirement age for judges and justices from 70 to 80. West Hawaii Today.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has brought back an attempt to allow private landowners to access special purpose revenue bonds to finance the preservation of reservoirs and dams. A similar measure failed on the 2012 ballot. West Hawaii Today.

Before stepping into the voting booth or casting a mail-in ballot, voters may want to familiarize themselves with the following five proposed statewide constitutional amendments on the ballot. Star-Advertiser.

Which Hawaii Candidate Spent the Most Money Per Vote? The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission has crunched the numbers and it's an interesting look at how the 2014 election is playing out. Civil Beat.

Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle spoke to Cornell University students and faculty on Thursday in a presentation that recounted her vision for a sustainable energy future and her role in implementing the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. Civil Beat.

A battle continues to brew between the Building Industry Association of Hawaii and historic preservation officials in the state over a law that subjects homes built more than 50 years ago to a historic preservation review whenever a homeowner applies for a building permit for a rebuild or remodel. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

New Hope’s Evangelism Has a Distinctly Political Flavor. The megachurch is becoming a force to be reckoned with in Hawaii civic affairs. It recruits candidates, registers new voters and organizes political events. Civil Beat.

Lifeguard beaned by falling coconut. Haunama Bay was closed for several hours Sunday morning for emergency tree trimming. A county lifeguard claims the work should have been done weeks ago and he was injured because of the delay. KITV4.

There’s a new twist in criminal case against Matson Navigation Company for the Sept. 2013, 220,000 gallon molasses spill into Honolulu Harbor that killed 26,000 fish and caused substantial damage to the area reefs and ocean.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi did not accept all of the terms of its plea agreement Friday, saying he isn’t certain whether the donations are legal. Puglisi will look into the matter further, he said. Hawaii Reporter.

A federal judge accepted a guilty plea by Matson Inc. to criminal charges stemming from the spill last year of more than 230,000 gallons of molasses in Honolulu Harbor, but expressed concerns that the company agreed to make a $600,000 community service payment but didn't agree to any probation. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

The timeframe to resume the Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening project is back in federal hands. State Department of Transportation officials confirmed this week they submitted the Section 106 memorandum of agreement to the Federal Highways Administration Sept. 22. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

There's a rising chorus of Hawaii opposition to the biotechnology seed companies that have moved into the state's former sugar cane lands and have quietly become the state's top agricultural industry. A Nov. 4 ballot measure proposes a moratorium that would make it illegal to cultivate, grow or test genetically modified crops in Maui County until environmental and public health studies show their practices are safe. Star-Advertiser.

Dozens of Maui mothers are going door-to-door to urge voters to back a ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops because they think they are unsafe. A group backed by companies growing the crops counters with ads playing heavily on the airwaves that urge rejection of what they are calling the “farming ban.” Associated Press.

It’s a controversial issue Maui County voters will see on the Nov. 4 ballot. They’re being asked whether to approve an initiative that would make it against the law to grow, reproduce, or test genetically modified crops until an environmental public health study is completed. KHON2.

In the hotly contested race for the Maui County Council's Makawao-Haiku-Paia residency seat, challenger Mike Molina is attempting to turn the tables on incumbent Mike White on the charge of being a "rubber stamp." Maui News.

The decline in fall enrollment at University of Hawaii Maui College from its Great Recession peak of 4,527 students in 2011 continued this year, with student numbers dipping below 4,000 for the first time since 2008. Maui News.

Kauai
The state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday unanimously approved Hawaii’s first community based fisheries subsistence area rule package for Haena on the island of Kauai. Associated Press.

As a longtime County of Kauai department manager and the current mayor, Bernard Carvalho Jr. said he is not afraid to make tough decisions. Garden Island.

County officials are reminding the public that the deadline to submit applications for the waiting list lottery for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is Wednesday. The waiting list will be utilized to fill vacancies in the federally funded program. Garden Island.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Feds will have no egrets, Hawaii Supreme Court reinstates Kauai trail protection, unemployment tax break for businesses, Big Island raises tobacco age, geothermal hazards at issue, firefighters get 18% pay hike, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Egrets in Hilo (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
The Federal Government may soon declare open season on birds you see just about everywhere…cattle egrets. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has published proposed rules that would allow state and federal agencies to euthanize egrets and also barn owls. Hawaii News Now.

For the first time in five years, Hawaii businesses will see their unemployment tax bill go down thanks to progress made in replenishing the trust fund used to pay jobless benefits.The average annual payment per employee will drop to an estimated $591 next year from $887 in 2013, a decline of nearly 35 percent, officials from the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

A state judge ruled Thursday that the private citizens who are suing five Oahu churches for underpaying for the use of public school facilities did not provide enough detail to support their fraud claim. Because of that, Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall ordered the dismissal of the complaint filed by Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of Church and State founder Mitch Kahle and his wife, public advocate Holly Huber. Crandall did, however, say Kahle and Huber can refile an amended lawsuit. Star-Advertiser.

President Obama and his family will be in Hawaii for their annual holiday vacation. The first family will be staying in their usual private location in Kailua away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but the buzz is already in the air. KITV4.

Obama's Hawaii Vacation Home And The Luxury Rentals Of Kailua. Huffington Post.

A University of Hawaii press release is describing Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s most recent budget proposal as “an early Christmas gift” for students who are in the thick of end-of-semester exams. The $24 billion supplemental executive spending plan, unveiled earlier this week, “gives them hope for their future and the future of their university,” the press release says.  The plan honors the $14 million university regents requested in their own proposal to restore UH faculty salaries to pre-recession levels and another $19.5 million for the 3 percent faculty raises that were negotiated for the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years. Civil Beat.

David Lassner has spent much of his University of Hawaii career in the virtual world: Information technology, his specialty, is like that. He believes IT can continue to expand the reach of the state's largest educational institution and wants to go back to it, once his temporary position in the top UH office comes to a close. Star-Advertiser.

A state lawmaker suing the state for legalizing same-sex marriages says a controversial sex education program being taught in some public schools is inappropriate because it promotes a "homosexual lifestyle as a positive or 'pono' choice." Huffington Post.

Hawaii entered 2013 as a changed state — a state in mourning — and now we leave it, still changing — but with celebration in the air. The state has just completed its first year in a half-century without the leadership of the late-Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. And, after more than two decades of debate, gay marriage finally became legal in early December. A look back over the last year makes clear that there were plenty of other important issues in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Oahu

City firefighters will see their base pay rise by about 18 percent through the next three years under a wage package that will cost taxpayers an estimated $88 million more under a binding award issued by a state arbitrator last month. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu transit officials on Thursday touted their plan to debut the island's elevated rail system with four-car trains instead of two-car models, telling the board overseeing the project that the change would save millions of dollars and provide better customer service. Star-Advertiser.

Today is the last day to buy permits to set off firecrackers on Oahu on New Year's Eve. The permits, which will be available until 4:30 p.m. at satellite city halls around the island, are required to buy firecrackers from licensed retailers. Star-Advertiser.

Scientists have found evidence that strong earthquakes in the Aleutian Islands could send an extreme tsunami that could bring huge waves through Waikiki and cripple Oahu's main electrical power plant. The study from the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology at the University of Hawaii and the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai stemmed from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan and caused damage in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Two laws banning smoking at city parks and bus stops take effect Jan. 1, and city officials began installing signs on Wednesday as a heads up. Mayor Kirk Caldwell, flanked by several City Council members and community groups supporting the new laws, climbed a ladder to post the first no-smoking sign at Thomas Square. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Mayor Billy Kenoi on Thursday signed a bill raising the tobacco sale age to 21, effective July 1. West Hawaii Today.

A game of bureaucratic pingpong has Mayor Billy Kenoi taking matters into his own hands and asking for an environmental assessment of an old Puna geothermal energy site leased by the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority. West Hawaii Today.

The same day the CEO of the Hu Honua Bioenergy plant in Pepeekeo said developers were forced to “hit the pause button” on construction because of the slow pace of regulatory permit approvals, a subcontractor said it’s owed more than $215,000 for bills allegedly unpaid between January and October. Honolulu attorney Patricia Kehau Wall filed Wednesday in Hilo Circuit Court for a mechanic’s and materialman’s lien on behalf of Wesco Distribution Inc. Tribune-Herald.

The Big Island’s unemployment rate inched down in November while the state’s rate held steady, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial relations. West Hawaii Today.

Maui
Council Member Mike White wants Mayor Alan Arakawa's administration to negotiate a deal to only buy a portion of the 186 acres in Launiupoko that landowners are offering for $13 million. Maui News.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed an age discrimination lawsuit Wednesday against Maui County, claiming a 45-year-old Hawaii resident was denied employment as a police officer because of his age. Maui News.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against the County of Maui, alleging that a qualified candidate was not hired by the Maui Police Department due to his age. County Corporation Counsel Pat Wong issued a comment in response, saying the allegations are “false” and “without merit.” Maui Now.

The unemployment rate for Maui for November was 4.9 percent, which was 0.6 percentage points lower than the same month last year, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Wednesday. Maui News.

Kauai

The Hawaii Supreme Court reinstated a circuit court lawsuit Thursday seeking to protect a historic trail from a development on Kauai's south shore. Star-Advertiser.

Isolation, limited fleets, taxes and high demand make car rentals a rare commodity during the holidays on Kauai, and it is reflected in the prices and availability. Garden Island.

Molokai

The remains of St. Marianne Cope, who cared for thousands of Hansen's disease patients on Molokai, will return to Hawaii, her religious order announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Same-sex marriage advances in Hawaii, police boss under fire for anti-gay marriage remarks, audit again slams recycling program, Hawaii tax program millions in overruns, more GMO, $10 milk on Maui, Big Island council balks at diluting Sunshine Law, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News
Honolulu gay rights rally file photo (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Two state House committees sent a bill that would legalize gay marriage to the full chamber Tuesday night, ending a five-day public hearing that exposed deep divisions in Hawaii on an issue being considered across the United States. Members of the House Judiciary and Finance committees voted for the bill after hearing more than 55 hours of public testimony, leading to alterations in the measure. Associated Press.

The state House is preparing to take a critical procedural vote today on a bill that would allow same-sex couples to marry but would expand a religious exemption. Several lawmakers are expected to push for amendments that would broaden the religious exemption even further, which, if successful, could put the House version of the bill in sharp conflict with the Senate's and possibly prolong the legislative special session. Star-Advertiser.

Same-sex marriage legislation finally cleared another major hurdle. Despite 55-plus hours of oral testimony, most of it weighted heavily in opposition, two Hawaii House committees passed Senate Bill 1 Tuesday by a comfortable margin. The Judiciary Committee passed the bill 8-5. The Finance Committee passed it 10-7. Civil Beat.

Today the joint House committees recommended to pass SB1 out of committee with amendments. The joint House committee hearing on SB1 (between the Judiciary and Finance committees) recommended to pass SB1 back to the full house today but with three amendments. Hawaii Independent.

A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaii has passed through a House joint committee. Senate Bill 1 passed through with three amendments: Adopts law consistent with Connecticut law. Remove sections on parental rights (§572-C) Effective date moved to Dec. 2, 2013. KHON2.

A Joint House Committee ended public testimony this afternoon on the marriage equality bill. Hawaii Public Radio.

A controversial same-sex marriage bill has passed a joint House committee and will advance to the House floor for a second reading and vote Wednesday morning. SB 1, the "Hawai'i Marriage Equality Act of 2013" passed 18 - 12 Tuesday afternoon. The biggest change in this amended version is the expanded exemption that will apply to both non-profit and for-profit religious organizations -- protecting them from fine or penalty if they refuse to perform a wedding ceremony for same-sex couples. Hawaii News Now.
SHOPO President Tenari Ma'afala
The head of Hawaii's police officers union said he is standing by his opposition to the same-sex marriage bill and other comments he made before a legislative committee Monday despite the charge by a gay Honolulu police officer who said the actions cast a shadow over the Police Department's integrity when dealing with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Star-Advertiser.

A gay Honolulu police officer is asking Chief Louis Kealoha to distance the department from comments made by police union president Tenari Maafala. On Monday, Maafala, an HPD officer and president of the State of Hawaii Police Officers Union, told Hawaii legislators he would never enforce such same-sex marriage legislation should it become law. Civil Beat.

"You would have to kill me." Any way you slice it, it's a dramatic, provocative statement. So it's easy to see why those six words — spoken by police union President Tenari Maafala during marathon hearings on same-sex marriage — resonated with Civil Beat.

Holding his bible, SHOPO President Tenari Ma'afala testifies against SB1, the same-sex marriage bill.  He told lawmakers this bill will turn him, a law abiding citizen, into a law breaker. While many in the crowd threw up shakas in support, members of the gay community listened in shock.   Including another Honolulu Police Officer, Corporal John Zeuzheim.  Hawaii News Now.

The contractor responsible for the troubled Hawaii Health Connector website is the same company the state hired 14 years ago to build a tax collection system that state officials say has never worked properly. Canadian-based CGI Group Inc. was paid $87.5 million between 1999 and 2011 to modernize the Hawaii Department of Taxation's collection system. Because of flaws in the system CGI built, the state is preparing to spend at least another $32 million to redo the project, Tax Department officials said. Star-Advertiser.

The state's Deposit Beverage Container Program has been around for a decade, but a new report claims the program is broken. KHON2.

Long-standing problems with the state's beverage container recycling program continue to result in overpayments of millions of taxpayer dollars, exposing the operation to abuse and possible fraud and undermining its financial viability, according to a new state audit. Star-Advertiser.

A new administrator is poised to take over the embattled State Historic Preservation Division. The news comes four months after the division's previous head stepped down, following repeated criticisms by federal officials of how the division was run. Alan Downer will join the agency Dec. 2. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has released a request for qualifications for a contractor to represent Hawaii in the Latin America market in an effort to boost tourism from the area to Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for November 6. Associated Press.

Oahu

HECO warns solar companies about unapproved PV systems. KITV.

An attorney representing many Kahuku Village V residents has launched a new salvo in a fight to keep his clients from being evicted from their rental homes -- a 233-page lawsuit filed in state court Monday. Star-Advertiser.

A pedestrian spotted a live 2 1/2-foot-long boa constrictor on a Nuuanu Avenue sidewalk Tuesday morning. The nonvenomous rainbow boa constrictor was seen on the sidewalk in front of the Kukui Plaza condominium at about 7 a.m., captured and turned over to police, the state Agriculture Department said. Star-Advertiser.

Sometime before the end of 2013, Bank of Hawaii will distribute the last $5.6 million in assets of the George Galbraith Trust to more than 1,300 current heirs. That final distribution will terminate both the trust and the bank’s own role as trustee, just over 109 years after Mr. Galbraith’s death. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

The Hawaii County Council will not support attempts by other counties to weaken the state Sunshine Law. The council Committee on Governmental Relations and Economic Development voted 8-0 Tuesday to reject a proposal from Maui County, a move that removes it from a package of initiatives the Hawaii State Association of Counties will present to the Legislature for the regular 2014 session that starts in January. West Hawaii Today.

University of Hawaii officials want to extend the leases that authorize telescope usage on Mauna Kea by another half century. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Council recessed its meeting on Bill 113, limiting GMO, on Tuesday evening after receiving over four hours of public testimony. Supporters of the bill exceeded opponents by more than 4-1. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Buying locally produced milk in upcountry Maui is likely going to cost a bit more than buyers may be used to. Photos courtesy of MAUIWatch show a gallon of Haleakala Dairy milk at the Safeway store in Wailuku costing $10.19. Hawaii News Now.

While the presence of sharks is seldom enough to deter Maui's most avid watermen and -women, some say they are taking more precautions before entering the water in light of recent attacks. Maui News.

A waterline break reported at around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5, will result in a water outage along a portion of Baldwin Avenue in Pāʻia until around 9 p.m., water officials announced. Maui Now.

Kauai

The state Senate approved $7.3 million in emergency funding Tuesday to sustain two rural Kauai hospitals through spring. The Senate passed House Bill 3, unamended, to help keep the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. Kauai regional health care system afloat. Sen. Sam Slom (R, Diamond Head-Kahala-Hawaii Kai) was the lone opponent of the bill. Star-Advertiser.

Emergency funding for Kauai’s public hospitals appears to be on its way. The Hawaii State Senate Tuesday passed House Bill 3 that will provide $7.3 million in emergency funds to the Kauai Regional Health Care System of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. Garden Island.

Proponents of Bill 2491, restricting GMO and pesticides, are saying Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. added insult to injury last week by vetoing the bill and releasing the County Attorney Office’s legal opinion on the matter. Garden Island.

The stage is almost set for deciding the future of Bill 2491, restricting pesticides and GMOs on the island. Four of the council members, including Jay Furfaro, Tim Bynum, JoAnn Yukimura and Gary Hooser, said their initial vote to approve the measure is not likely to change.Garden Island.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Flu shots launched, parents fight furloughs, chill at the beach, environmentally friendly takeout


When the weekend comes around, island families choose a variety of activities to reconnect with each other and recharge their batteries. But most seem to head for the outdoors, taking advantage of the island's natural beauty.

Residents and visitors alike said they are troubled Tuesday by the news that several hotel employees did nothing to help when they saw a couple struggling near the area where a woman's body was later discovered.

The number of interisland airlines is shrinking again, with an agreement announced yesterday between the parent companies of go! and Mokulele Airlines to consolidate the two carriers.

It won't be a long move in terms of distance — a journey of just about two miles — but the USS Missouri's trip this morning from historic Battleship Row to Pearl Harbor's Naval Shipyard for drydock repairs has been more than two years in the planning.

The state's decision to save money by shutting down Hawaii's public schools for 17 Fridays this year has angered parents so much that they are planning to march on the Capitol next week, and some are considering lawsuits.

State health and education officials on Tuesday launched the annual flu vaccination program at local schools.

The Big Island's largest tax delinquents won't risk losing their lands Thursday when Hawaii County attempts to sell dozens of properties to collect much smaller debts.

This weekend, Hawaii Island residents will have a chance to venerate a relic at several West Hawaii Catholic churches.

After eight years of violating safe drinking water standards, the Pahala water system is now up to par.

Would customers pay an extra 15 or 25 cents to eat plate lunch out of an environmentally friendly plastic clamshell?

Almost two years after originally granting approval for Joseph Brescia to construct a controversial single-family home at Naue, the Kaua‘i Planning Commission on Tuesday set a January hearing date to determine if the terms of that permit have been followed.