Showing posts with label shield law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shield law. Show all posts

Monday, June 26, 2023

Green signs 18 government anti-corruption bills, journalist shield law, announces potential veto list; Honolulu Mayor Blangiardi signs $3.4B budget and $350 property tax rebate, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Josh Green signs batch of government reform bills. These bills, passed by the Legislature earlier this year, include one requiring Hawaii legislators to disclose relationships with lobbyists, one prohibiting campaign donations by lobbyists to elected officials during or close to legislative sessions and one enhancing criminal penalties for public corruption offenses. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Green signs bill protecting the work of journalists. Gov. Josh Green on Friday signed into law a measure that brings back and makes permanent protections to prevent reporters from being forced by state courts to disclose confidential  information or sources. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Announces Intent To Veto 11 Bills. Certain bills related to water code penalties, ocean recreation commercial permits, and education are all under threat of veto. Gov. Josh Green plans to veto 11 bills passed by lawmakers this year, including one related to the controversial Hawaii Technology Development Corp. and another that he says could discourage the building of new housing.  Civil Beat. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  Maui News.

Tourism plans extend beyond stewardship contract, CNHA says. The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement got a seat at the tourism table when it secured a multiyear, $27 million contract for stewardship services from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Star-Advertiser.

Hussey leaving post as CEO of Office of Hawaiian Affairs.  Office of Hawaiian Affairs Ka Pouhana/CEO Sylvia Hussey announced she will be leaving the organization June 30, at the end of the fiscal year, “to focus on her personal and ‘ohana health.” Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Maui News.


Mayor Rick Blangiardi approves Honolulu’s $3.41B budget. The mayor also formally adopted the city’s one-time $350 tax rebate that will be granted to nearly 152,000 qualifying homeowners with an active home exemption on their 2023 assessment, regardless of property value. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Inside Honolulu’s Six-Decade Fight Over Rail: It’s Always Been ‘Boondoggle Or Boon’. Proposals for an elevated rail system on Oahu date back to the 1960s. Now, at least part of a modern-day rail line is finally about to open to the public. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Judge nixes bid to depose Pacific Fleet chief in Red Hill lawsuit. A federal judge decided Friday to quash an attempt to make the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet sit for a deposition in a civil lawsuit brought by military and civilian families whose drinking water was contaminated with jet fuel from the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility in November 2021. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Board OK’s removal of Doris Duke breakwater.  The state Board of Land and Natural Resources has given the green light to demolish the Diamond Head Breakwater, a wall of large boulders that juts out into the ocean, creating a protected cove fronting Doris Duke’s Shangri La estate. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Kaimuki residents protest ‘monster home’ construction.  An appeal by a builder of so-called monster homes in Kaimuki drew the anger of about 15 Kaimuki residents outside the city’s Mission Memorial Auditorium who beat on a drum and waved signs that read, “Kaimuki against monster homes” and “Be a good neighbor” at a hearing of the city’s Building Board of Appeals on Friday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Popular Koko Crater hike to close temporarily.  The city plans to close the Koko Crater stairs for four days this month to replace the viewing platform at the top. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Waste proposal draws doubts: Board presented with information on trash conversion technology. A company’s proposal to convert Big Island waste into energy, concrete and more raised eyebrows Friday at a Hawaii County Environmental Management Commission meeting. Tribune-Herald.

Green, BISAC tout medical kauhale for Hilo.  The concept for a medical kauhale for homeless people in Hilo originally came from the Big Island Substance Abuse Council, or BISAC. Tribune-Herald.

State gun permits drop: Hawaii County sees registration decrease of 7.9% in 2022. In Hawaii County, there were 4,510 applications processed last year, a decrease of 7.9% from the 4,899 applications processed in 2021. Tribune-Herald.

Budget cuts leave boat ramp in limbo.  The state project to reopen the Pohoiki Boat Ramp regained, then promptly lost, $35 million in funding this month after gubernatorial budget cuts. Tribune-Herald.

Land Acquisition To Expand Hilo Harbor Open For Comment.  The draft environmental assessment for the Hilo Harbor Private Lands Acquisition and Development has been published for public review. Big Island Video News.


Former Mayor Arakawa, Kalo Farmers Among 6 Chosen For New East Maui Water Board. The County Council's selections marked the culmination of a weekslong power struggle over control of the board that will help shape the region's future. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Phase II response work begins at fuel spill site atop Haleakalā. Phase two of the spill response efforts at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex began on June 20, 2023. This comes after 700 gallons of diesel fuel spilled at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex Jan. 29 into Jan. 30, 2023.  Maui Now.

Environmental groups raise alarms as illegal dumping in West Maui continues to grow.  Despite recent crackdowns by the county, they said that illegal junkyards at Ukumehame and Cut Mountain have gotten larger in recent months. Hawaii News Now.


Plan To Save Kauai Forest Birds With ‘Mosquito Birth Control’ Published. State officials are seeking public comment on a plan to bring the world's first attempt at landscape-scale mosquito control to Kauai. Civil Beat. Garden Island.  Kauai Now.

Jobless rate falls to 2.5 percent on Kaua‘i.  The unemployment rate in the County of Kaua‘i moved within spitting distance of pre-pandemic lows last month, largely because of robust hiring in the accommodation sector ahead of the summer tourism season. Garden Island.

Residents in Kauai pushing for the state to lower their rent as they can no longer afford the price increase.  Since 2019, residents have been working to convince the state to lower their rent so it can be affordable again. This came after rent increased after the 10-year affordable housing plan ended.  KITV4.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Hawaii economy avoids recession, state marks end of COVID-19 emergency, state sued over Maui mosquito release plan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii economy still OK despite weaknesses. Positive expectations outweigh negative ones in a new Hawaii economic forecast where rising personal income and construction offset a small decline in visitor spending and higher unemployment to help the state avoid a recession in 2024. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii leaders mark end to COVID-19 emergency. State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble spoke Thursday about the ending of the COVID-19 federal public health emergency at the Department of Health.  Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Board Of Education To Consider Computer Science As A Graduation Requirement. Legislators say the move would help students get lucrative jobs in STEM fields. Computer science is on the way to becoming a new graduation requirement in Hawaii by the end of this decade as state legislators seek new ways to encourage homegrown technical skills. Civil Beat.

As fentanyl-tainted drugs proliferate, Hawaii sees record number of overdose deaths
and a disturbing trend. Narcotics claimed 320 lives last year in Hawaii, making 2022 the most deadly year on record, according to newly-released figures from the Medical Examiner’s Office. Hawaii News Now.

Governor considering permanent protections for journalists. Gov. Josh Green is considering whether to sign a bill that would bring back and make permanent protections that would keep reporters from being forced to disclose confidential information or sources in state court. Star-Advertiser.

Capitol reflecting pools receive $33.5M for ongoing repairs. The Legislature approved funding for planning, design and construction for rehabilitation of the reflecting pools around the Capitol. Critics said the project doesn’t reflect the community’s needs. KHON2.

Circulating survey that seeks input on imaginary Gabbard-Hirono contest raises eyebrows. Both Hirono and Gabbard dismissed the survey. Hawaii News Now.


Annual count of homeless records slight rise on Oahu.
The results of the Oahu Point in Time count, taken in January, tallied 4,028 homeless people, of whom 59% were unsheltered and 41% were sheltered. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii keiki summer programs scrambling to fill job openings. Officials for the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation’s Summer Fun program and the YMCA of Honolulu say the staffing situation isn’t nearly as dire as a year ago, when they were ramping up after the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still plenty of openings. Star-Advertiser.

Study: Nearly 90% Of Hanauma Bay Could Be Underwater By 2030.
Researchers say the nature preserve is facing significant threats from climate change. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Red Light Safety cameras see huge reduction in red light runners.
  The Red Light Safety Cameras are working. That’s according to Department of Transportation Director Ed Sniffen. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

HVO reports summit inflation, elevated earthquake activity at Kilauea. Restlessness at the summit of Kilauea volcano does not necessarily indicate an imminent eruption, according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Hawaiʻi Island police officers authorized to use pickup trucks while on duty. Effective immediately, Hawaiʻi Island police officers are authorized to use pickup trucks with an open bed as subsidized police vehicles.  Big Island Now.

Puna reacts to cash shortage for full Pohiki Ramp dredge. Puna residents were ambivalent Wednesday about news the state will not dredge the entire beach blocking the Pohoiki Boat Ramp. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.


Hawaiʻi Unites sues DLNR over mosquito suppression plan to save native birds. A local environmental nonprofit has sued the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and Board of Land and Natural Resources over its mosquito suppression plan to reduce avian malaria at Haleakalā National Park. Hawaii Public Radio.

80-unit housing project seeks funds to stay afloat. A housing developer is seeking a $10.6 million subsidy from the county to keep an already-approved 100 percent affordable workforce project in Waikapu afloat. Maui News.

Gate To Kawakui Beach On Molokai Is Open Again — For Now.
Access was restricted by Kaluakoi Outfitters for months on the Molokai Ranch property. Civil Beat.

98th Maui Fair postponed again, community must wait another year
. While the tradition of a Maui Fair is timeless, holding the 98th Maui Fair must wait for another year, organizers announced today.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.


Kaua‘i County Council supports mosquito biocontrol to protect honeycreepers. The Kaua‘i County Council approved a resolution supporting biological control efforts to protect endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers from mosquito-borne disease. Garden Island.

Feds: Kaua‘i company owes workers $97K for overtime and travel. A Kaua‘i cleaning service has been hit with its second labor violation in less than a decade after federal investigators determined they failed to pay nearly $50,000 in workers’ overtime wages and travel expenses over a three-year period. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Department of Water’s quality reports now available. The Department of Water’s 2023 Water Quality Reports, covering the period of Jan. 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2022, are now available on the Department’s website at Kauai Now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Navy dolphins to train off Hawaii, Tulsi's pick a head-scratcher, state tops in nursing homes, Ormat wins geothermal bid, rail company sells to Hitachi, Wailuku Stream diversion altered, Coco Palm decision deferred, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

bottlenose dolphin courtesy U.S. Navy
Bottlenose dolphin with tag, courtesy U.S. Navy
A Navy plan to fly four bottlenose dolphins to Hawaii from San Diego in March for sea mine training and research drew some criticism but was approved by the state Board of Agriculture on Tuesday by a 5-2 vote. The dolphins will be used March 10-31 out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on a training "mobility evolution" measuring the animals' response and medical condition during the transit and use, the Navy said. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is turning to a political neophyte to lead her operations in Washington, D.C. On Tuesday, the Hawaii Democrat announced that she has picked Kainoa Ramananda Penaroza to serve as her chief of staff, making him the third person to hold the top position in the two years she has represented Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District. Civil Beat.

Members of the Hawaii Senate and House of Representatives have filed concurrent resolutions seeking an exemption for Hawaii from a provision in the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (the Jones Act) requiring that all vessels be built in the United States. The resolutions also ask that Alaska, Guam and Puerto Rico be exempt.Hawaii Independent.

Hawaii lawmakers are working through requests to dole out $30 million to five state agencies that are running out of money to meet immediate needs. The Attorney General’s Office, Department of Human Services, Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, the Governor’s Office and the State Public Charter School Commission have asked the Legislature for emergency appropriations to see them through the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. Civil Beat.

Hawaii has a higher percentage of top-rated nursing homes than any other state in the country, according to a newly revised rating system by the federal government that includes tougher standards for evaluating long-term care facilities. Eighteen of Hawaii's 46 nursing homes, or 39 percent, received five stars, the highest score under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services system. Star-Advertiser.

The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Karl Rhoads, unanimously passed a measure Tuesday that would protect journalists from having to disclose their confidential sources under certain circumstances. Civil Beat.

Opinion: Forty years after passage of the state’s first law regulating lobbyists, requiring them to publicly register, identify their clients, and disclose what they spend to influence the legislative process, the agency charged with administering and enforcing the law is suffering a major crisis of confidence. Civil Beat.

It could get a lot harder to smoke traditional and electronic cigarettes in Hawaii, especially for young people. State lawmakers are considering raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21 for traditional and electronic cigarettes. They're also considering banning both forms of smoking in the state's parks and public hospital system. Associated Press.

The group challenging Hawaii Rep. Calvin Say's qualifications is asking why the chairman of the special House committee investigating the matter shared evidence with Say's attorneys. Associated Press.

State Rep. Bob McDermott is suing the University of Hawaii over access to a survey being given to public school students participating in the controversial Pono Choices sexual education program. Star-Advertiser.

The state Senate has confirmed Randall Iwase's appointment to lead the Public Utilities Commission. Iwase has been the commission's acting chairman since his nomination in January. Associated Press.

Hawaiian Electric Co. is sending out letters to potential solar customers saying their rooftop systems won't be approved until the state Public Utilities Commission rules on HECO's request to decrease the rate it pays for energy from home solar systems. HECO sent the letters last week to Hawaii island customers in neighborhoods with high solar penetration and will follow soon with similar letters to applicants on Oahu and in Maui County. Star-Advertiser.

An estimated 18,000 current and former members of the Hawaii Medical Service Association had their personal information stolen during a cyberattack on Anthem Inc., a Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan that serves residents in 14 states. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs encourages the 18,000 HMSA members who may have sought treatment in one of the 14 mainland states where Anthem Inc. operates, and Anthem members who have moved to Hawaii, to visit following the company’s security breach. Associated Press.


In a State of the City address that contained no surprises and just a smattering of new initiatives, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell reaffirmed his position on three contentious issues: rail, homelessness and the bicycle track along South King Street. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell stressed the need to move forward on the Honolulu rail project with an extension of the General Excise Tax during his 2015 State of the City address Tuesday while emphasizing the progress he has made since taking office two years ago on road repaving, park rejuvenation, bike lanes and the homelessness problem. Civil Beat.

After nearly four years of trying to land a buyer for its rail assets, the Italian defense firm Finmeccanica has announced that it will sell the company that's creating the trains and operating system for Honolulu's future rail transit system to Hitachi Ltd. Star-Advertiser.

Some longtime critics of the city’s rail project have stated repeatedly that Honolulu can make major changes to how the elevated line is built without facing penalties from the federal government. But after a Tuesday meeting in Washington, D.C., with top officials from the Federal Transit Administration, City Council members Joey Manahan and Ernie Martin came away with a much different understanding of what can actually be done under a full funding grant agreement signed in December 2012. KITV4.

The administration of former Gov. Neil Abercrombie, which unveiled an H1 Freeway re paving and improvement project just days before the primary election last year, decided against including key safety upgrades that would have taken months longer to complete, Hawaii News Now has learned.

The state Ethics Commission is looking into potential conflicts of interest at the Department of Land and Natural Resources' enforcement division. A complaint filed by environmental activist Carroll Cox alleges potential misconduct by staffers with the DLNR's Conservation and Resource Enforcement Division, who do part-time security work for Sodexo, the concessionaire for the Blaisdell Center and the Waikiki Shell. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii boy Barack Obama made it official Tuesday, signing a presidential proclamation designating the Honouliuli Internment Camp on Oahu as a national monument. On hand to witness the historic event were Hawaii Gov. David Ige, Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, Rep. Mark Takai and Interior Secretary Sally Jewel. Civil Beat.

A $25 million penthouse is still available in the east tower of the Ritz-Carlton Residences Wai­kiki Beach tower, which broke ground Tuesday and is projected to open in 2017. Star-Advertiser.

Starting Wednesday, Feb. 25, coffee grown in all areas of Oahu will be placed under the same quarantine restrictions as coffee grown in Waialua on Oahu and Hawaii Island. KHON2.

Quarantine restrictions on Oahu-grown coffee have been expanded islandwide, limiting transport and shipping in an effort to prevent the spread of a coffee berry borer infestation. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii Electric Light Co. announced Tuesday that Ormat Technologies was selected to provide an additional 25 megawatts of geothermal power to the utility. But where that power will be produced remained a secret. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. has selected Nevada-based Ormat Technologies Inc., which operates the 38-megawatt Puna Geothermal Venture plant on the Big Island, to develop an additional 25-megawatts of geothermal energy on the island, the Hawaiian Electric Co. subsidiary said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Hopes for an international arrivals terminal at Kona International Airport, future bus service to Palamanui and plans for new Department of Motor Vehicles service in Waimea were highlights of a Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Tuesday with Mayor Billy Kenoi. West Hawaii Today.

Many months of paperwork and a lot of fundraising are culminating in the planned July opening of a new charter school in Naalehu. Ka‘u Learning Academy faces one of its final hurdles next week, when it seeks Windward Planning Commission approval of the Discovery Harbour golf course clubhouse as a temporary facility. West Hawaii Today.


Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. began work Tuesday to alter its Spreckels Ditch diversion of Wailuku Stream near Happy Valley in Wailuku. Maui News.

Recognizing the need for more affordable rental housing, the Maui Planning Commission agreed Tuesday to send a letter to the Maui County Council calling for a moratorium on all new short-term vacation rental permits until more housing is available. Maui News.

There’s a big meeting about little fire ants Wednesday night at the Haiku Community Center. MauiTime.


The seven-member Kauai Planning Commission deferred any decisions on current Coco Palms Hui, LLC plans to reconstruct and restore the Coco Palms Resort in Wailua until their March 10 meeting so they can receive more information on options to mitigate traffic impacts. Garden Island.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Lawmakers push gas tax hike, Hawaii's union power, state land chairman nominee in cross hairs, Honolulu rail needs more money, shield law mulled again, digital election a success, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii gas prices © 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii lawmakers are pushing a plan that could increase the fuel taxes that drivers pay at the pump. The proposal comes as states throughout the nation are dealing with crumbling roads and infrastructure at the same time that federal funds for highways are declining. Associated Press.

The mountain of bills that Hawaii lawmakers are tackling now looks more like a hill. More than half of the bills introduced just a month ago in the Hawaii House of Representatives have died, and lawmakers are left with 737 of the original 1,515 bills that were on the list in that chamber after pushing key proposals through legislative deadlines. Associated Press.

Pension Promises Are Getting Harder for Hawaii Lawmakers To Keep. Billions of dollars in the hole, Hawaii lawmakers are searching for ways to afford the health and retirement benefits promised to thousands of public employees. Legislative efforts to make public workers pay more or sacrifice benefits face strong union opposition. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i remains a relative stronghold for unions. In fact, according to recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is one of the most unionized states in America. Hawaii Public Radio.

The impetus for a package of bills introduced by the joint Senate and House task force on housing and homelessness is the fact that in the Aloha State, the difference between being homeless and having a home can be a razor-thin line. Hawai‘i has a chronic housing shortage and a high cost of housing. Maui Now.

Voters would get to decide whether the University of Hawaii should keep its current level of autonomy under a proposed constitutional amendment moving through the state Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers being asked to help close the digital divide. DOE asks for $30 million to expand computer pilot project. KITV4.

The Hawaii Attorney General’s Office is again opposing a bill that would that would put in place a shield law to protect members of the news media from having to disclose their sources or unpublished information in most cases. Civil Beat.

A state House committee on agriculture rejected a bill Thursday that sought to impose buffer zones for large agricultural companies that spray restricted-use pesticides near schools and other sensitive areas. Civil Beat.

State Sen. Josh Green has asked Gov. David Ige to withdraw his nomination of Castle & Cooke lobbyist Carleton Ching to lead the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Civil Beat.

Opinion: The ill will Gov. David Ige generated by naming Castle and Cooke lobbyist Carleton Ching to head the Department of Land and Natural Resources is compounded by his adamant refusal to explain his rationale for turning over state lands — our precious jewels — to a guy known for making bling. Star-Advertiser.

She covered the Legislature as a reporter, but now former TV news reporter and anchor Jill Kura­moto will be on the other side of the phone calls, cameras and microphones in her new role as Senate communications director. Star-Advertiser.


Ultimate price tag for rail likely to remain a mystery. City officials refuse to share their projections with state lawmakers, saying it would tarnish the bid process. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and other supporters of the city rail project are lobbying state lawmakers to extend a tax to pay for the project, but they say they can't reveal a projected final price to build it. Associated Press.

Harvard University is recognizing Honolulu's all-digital neighborhood board elections for their innovative use of technology. Associated Press.

Kamehameha Schools on Friday filed a lawsuit in District Court in Honolulu seeking to evict office supply company Fisher Hawaii from its Kakaako location on Cooke Street. Pacific Business News.


Is an English degree or a law degree “related” to an engineering degree? That’s the crux of the dispute that will play out in a Kona courtroom Monday over whether Environmental Management Director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd is qualified for her position. Third Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra is scheduled to hear motions for summary judgment in the case at 4 p.m. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County officials say they continue to take steps to acquire the Papaikou Mill Beach trail more than two years after the County Council passed a resolution authorizing the purchase. But when an eminent domain action will be filed in court remains to be seen. Tribune-Herald.

Two Big Island lawmakers are leading the charge to expand video testimony for people unable to get to Honolulu for legislative committee hearings. But a video testimony pilot program, while welcomed by neighbor islanders, has had its share of problems. West Hawaii Today.

New bills in the Legislature that would alter and reduce police commission powers aren’t sitting well with the body that oversees the Big Island’s men and women in blue. West Hawaii Today.

As state officials announce success in eliminating little fire ants in an Oahu neighborhood, the battle against the tiny pest on the Big Island, where it all started, continues to look bleak. Tribune-Herald.

Mystery of ohia deaths solved? Tribune-Herald.

A fungal pathogen may be responsible for recent die-offs of beloved Hawaii trees, according to state scientists and tree experts. Associated Press.


The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, expected to rank as the world's largest solar telescope when it is unveiled in 2019, will include never-before-seen camera technology developed by a technology company based in Ireland and a consortium of eight leading universities in the United Kingdom. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is appointing a Molokai farmer to fill the vacant seat in the Hawaii House of Representatives. Lynn DeCoite would succeed Rep. Mele Carroll, who resigned last month for health reasons. Carroll died Wednesday. Associated Press.

Pro-GMO farmer to lead anti-GMO district. Lynn DeCroite, a Molokai farmer with ties to Monsanto, was sworn-in today to the state House to represent District 13, which voted in favor of the Maui GMO moratorium. Hawaii Independent.


Longstanding tensions surrounding a proposal to construct a grass-fed dairy in Mahaulepu resurfaced on Thursday, when nearly 150 people packed into the Koloa Elementary School cafeteria. Garden Island.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hawaii unemployment rate drops to 4 percent, Shield Law back before Legislature, Ige DLNR developer nominee unpopular, Kaiser health workers plan strike, no preservation plan in Kunia development, Big Island incinerator plan snuffed, lawmaker seeks slot machines in airports, Maui telescopes not an economic engine, more news from all the Hawaiian islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii bartender © 2015 All Hawaii News
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Hawaii last month dropped to 4 percent, from 4.7 percent in December 2013, the state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations said Friday. Pacific Business News.

Efforts to re-institute a law that once shielded news reporters and other journalists from revealing their anonymous sources and unpublished notes have been restarted in both the state House and Senate. Star-Advertiser.

House Majority Leader Scott Saiki has introduced a measure to bring back Shield Law protections for journalists in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Friday nominated Carleton Ching, an executive with developer Castle & Cooke, to be the chairman of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Friday announced the nominations of Carleton Ching to serve as chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources and Kekoa Kaluhiwa to the position of First Deputy. West Hawaii Today.

Only a few hours after Gov. David Ige had announced his nomination of Castle & Cooke lobbyist Carleton Ching to chair the Department of Land and Natural Resources, environmentalists were harshly criticizing the selection. Civil Beat.

Opinion: David Ige, one-term wonder? The new governor's selection of a development lobbyist to head the land-resource management branch of the state government is alienating many of his supporters. Hawaii Independent.

A group is pushing Hawaii to change a law that requires people to have gender reassignment surgery before they’re able to have their gender switched on a birth certificate. Associated Press.

Money to help doctors and health care workers repay their student loans is being proposed in a bill to lure physicians into working in areas with doctor shortages in Hawaii. Maui News.

Workers at Kaiser Permanente’s hospital and clinics in Hawaii plan to strike for six days beginning Feb. 2, the union representing them said Friday. United Here Local 5 said it’s been negotiating a contract for 2 ½ years. Associated Press.

Amid a worsening affordable housing crisis, the islands have thoroughly rejected one of the free market’s most effective solutions for creating affordable housing for middle-class and lower-middle class residents -- mobile homes. Civil Beat.

A Big Island lawmaker has introduced a bill to the state Legislature that would authorize slot machines at state airports for departing international passengers. West Hawaii Today.

Voters waiting in line and casting ballots on Election Day may become a thing of the past if bills introduced this week by Central Maui Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran and other senators become law. Maui News.

The University of Hawaii has hired Risa Dickson, the former associate provost at California State University-San Bernardino, as its vice president for academic affairs. Star-Advertiser.

New fees and permit requirements are now in effect for commercial recreational operations in state small boat harbors, facilities and near shore waters in the state of Hawaii. Any company or individual conducting commercial activity is required to contact the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation for a permit. Garden Island.

Opinion: How Progressive Is Hawaii’s Tax System? New report gives Hawaii poor marks for its tax system. The GET is bringing us down. Civil Beat.


Kunia land developed without aid of historic safeguards. Agricultural acreage that contains many archaeological sites has buildings but no preservation plans. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands stand to lose their jobs at Hawai‘i’s military bases, if the Pentagon’s proposed cuts move forward. Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter are among 30 military installations across the country where similar scenarios are playing out. Army officials are gathering public input at a series of listening sessions, including one tomorrow night in Honolulu. Hawaii Public Radio.

Last month state officials started a gated permit system that requires visitors to register their vehicles before gaining access to the 853-acre Ka‘ena Point State Park Reserve. Visitors entering on foot or by bicycle do not require a permit. Star-Advertiser.


Citing uncertainty about oil prices and instability in the ownership of the state’s electric utility, Mayor Billy Kenoi on Friday yanked the plug on a proposed waste-to-energy incinerator. West Hawaii Today.

A program that allows neighbors of Puna Geothermal Venture to sell their homes to Hawaii County is on hold, a move that leaves 30 applications in limbo. The Planning Department, which administers the geothermal relocation program, placed a moratorium on new purchases and auctions of purchased properties in response to uncertainties surrounding the June 27 lava flow, said Joaquin Gamiao, planning administrative officer. Tribune-Herald.


A recent University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization study found that Maui County telescopes, research and astronomy programs accounted for only 3 percent of the total economic impact of astronomy in the state in 2012. Maui News.

An asteroid warning system - which includes a telescope atop Haleakala - aimed at preventing devastating destruction and loss of life around the world is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Maui News.


County of Kauai officials said they have to tighten their belts if they want to find the money to pay for increased costs in the upcoming budget. Department heads are being tasked with finding a collective $8.2 million in cuts or reductions as they prepare for the fiscal year 2016 financial plan. Garden Island.

The county isn’t expecting an increase in revenue from the state in transient accommodations taxes that each county receives. So one proposal Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and three other county mayors are pitching to help balance their budgets is to temporarily enact an up to 1 percent surcharge on top of the state’s 4 percent general excise tax for counties to use. Garden Island.

Humans colonizing the Hawaiian Islands destroyed bird habitats and introduced many alien species resulting in several native forest bird species going extinct, and those which remain live only in the most pristine mountain areas. Garden Island.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Attacks on the Sunshine Law, marijuana legalization dies, hospital privatization nears, homeless bill of rights, rail car mockup unveiled, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii black sand beach (c) 2014 All Hawaii News
Hawaii Senate panels were of two minds on Thursday, killing a bill to legalize marijuana — "We felt Hawaii was not ready for legalization at this time," said Sen. Will Espero — pushing forward legislation that calls for a fine of just $100 for possession of an ounce of pakalolo. Arguments for and against decriminalization and legalization were on display Thursday, as supporters and opponents of reforming Hawaii's marijuana laws filled Conference Room 224 at the Capitol. Civil Beat.

A bill to legalize recreational marijuana in Hawaii died in committee Thursday. But state lawmakers advanced a measure that could decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of the drug. Associated Press.

A proposal rejected by the Hawaii County Council as unnecessarily weakening the Sunshine Law has made its way to the state Legislature, where it’s getting serious consideration. The bills, HB 2139 and SB 2962, were sponsored by state lawmakers from Maui after the Hawaii County Council struck the measure from a package the counties were sending jointly to the state Legislature under the Hawaii State Association of Counties umbrella. West Hawaii Today.

While opposed by open-government advocates, a Senate bill advanced in the state Legislature this week - with amendments - to allow county council members to jointly attend any meetings or presentations without violating the state's Sunshine Law, as long as the gathering is open to the public. Maui News.

Hawaii Health Systems Corp. is hoping this will be the year for legislation paving the way for privatization. The Senate Health Committee this week passed Senate Bill 3064, which allows for the HHSC facilities to partner with or be purchased by a local nonprofit provider such as Hawaii Pacific Health, The Queen's Health Systems or Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers are considering creating a homeless bill of rights that supporters say would guard against laws that allow authorities to roust or intimidate people forced to live on the streets. Associated Press.

Under Senate Proposal, Parents Could be Prosecuted for Unreported Missing Children. Hawaii Reporter.

Journalists Need Protection, from Hawaii to DC. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's insurance commissioner says small businesses and individuals have the "best of both worlds" this year when it comes to health insurance. Maui News.

A public advisory was issued today, reminding ocean and beach goers to keep the recommended distance of 150-feet when observing dolphins in the wild. Maui Now.

State roundup for February 14. Associated Press.


The Oahu rail transit system's maintenance-storage facility will undergo a redesign to upgrade the track operations there -- a $4.25 million decision by project officials that scraps many of the original blueprints for how that facility was to work. Board members overseeing the rail project approved the change order Thursday to the 43-acre facility, which is in the early stages of being built near Leeward Community College. Star-Advertiser.

The city of Honolulu unveiled a life-like model Thursday of what a rail transit car will look like, sort of. The mock up, on display through the end of April at Kapolei Hale, is 14 feet high and 10 feet wide. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu residents can now see in person a life-size mock-up of the 80 rail cars being designed for the island's planned transit system. Rail officials joined Honolulu City Council members to unveil the model Thursday at Kapolei Hale, where it will remain on display during regular business hours through April. Star-Advertiser.

The Navy may soon have to install a sophisticated leak detection system at its massive Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility where thousands of gallons of fuel leaked last month. The state Department of Health urged the Navy to put in a better leak detection system as far back as 2008, but the Navy has resisted despite evidence that fuel has been contaminating the groundwater and the pollution may be moving toward a nearby Navy well that supplies drinking water to about 65,000 people at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Civil Beat.

State May Step Up Funding for Ag Inspections at Oahu Farms after Pesticide Abuses Reported. Hawaii Reporter.

The international megachurch that oversees New Hope has agreed to fork over $775,000 to settle a lawsuit claiming it shortchanged the state when it rented public school facilities on Oahu. But as of now it’s unclear exactly where the money will go. Civil Beat.

A project that could save Oahu millions of dollars in energy costs faces criticism from a North Shore community. KITV4.

The state is concerned about the spread of measles after an Oahu infant contracted the highly contagious disease in the Philippines and was infectious while traveling back to Honolulu and during visits to receive medical treatment. Star-Advertiser.


The state Senate’s Ways and Means Committee approved a measure Thursday to fund two new ambulances on the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.

The U.S. Marine Corps wants to construct and operate an urban close air support range and an aviation bull’s-eye range at Pohakuloa Training Area. West Hawaii Today.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy now stands at the edge of a cliff, according to Dean John Pezzuto. And this session, the state Legislature has the power to either push the program into the chasm below, or pull it back from the precipice, he added. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. is teaming up with county and state agencies to create a facility to test energy storage technologies at the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park in Kailua-Kona. Star-Advertiser.

The Maui Planning Commission deferred action Tuesday on an anticipated final decision to reject appeals challenging permits for the Rock & Brews restaurant in Paia. Maui News.


TSA looking into harassment allegations. Garden Island.


Tickets for Hawaii’s newest interisland operation, ‘Ohana by Hawaiian,  are now available for its long-awaited turboprop service from Honolulu International Airport to Molokai Airport and Lanai Airport by booking online at Molokai Dispatch.


Larry Ellison, who bought 98 percent of the Pineapple Isle from fellow billionaire David Murdock in 2012, has apparently yet to initiate any major philanthropic efforts for Lanai since Pacific Business News first explored this question in 2012.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Media blames senator for killing shield law, union bosses make big bucks, medical marijuana bill limits doctors, bill of rights passed for domestic workers, HMSA rate hike trimmed, safe place bill dies, tsunami debris removal grants announced, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News
Hawaii state Capitol (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
The Legislature is holding its last session of 2013. Both the House and the Senate plan to meet this morning. They plan to vote on just a handful of bills, including proposals addressing the state's settlements with unions and unfunded liabilities for employee benefits. Associated Press.

Hawaii lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a historic shift in how the state manages its medical marijuana program after years of failed efforts to reform it. House Bill 668 authorizes the transfer of the program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health. Civil Beat.

A coalition of Hawaii news media is blaming the state Senate for failing to extend a journalism shield law past its expiration on June 30. Associated Press.
shield law
Sen. Clayton Hee

Free-press advocates lamented the impending expiration of the state's news media "shield law," hailed nationally as a model for protection of news sources, and laid the blame squarely on Sen. Clayton Hee, the Senate's judiciary and labor chairman. Star-Advertiser.

Senate Judiciary and Labor Chair Clayton Hee is not known for his compassion, consistency or tolerance for mainland folk. This year, it was the media – not a particular person or judicial candidate – who was the focus of his ire. This followed an unflattering and brief but trashy story in a Republican blog during the 2012 election that used no sources when accusing Hee of misdeeds clearly in an attempt to influence voters in the November election. Hawaii Reporter.

A national organization representing local groups of nannies, housekeepers and other domestic workers is praising Hawaii’s Legislature for passing a bill to create a domestic workers bill of rights. Associated Press.

Senate Bill 391 would have established a network of "safe places" for youth. The two-year pilot program would've made use of existing organizations such as the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club. But the measure, which was the state Keiki Caucus's top priority this year, died in conference committee Friday. Civil Beat.

There's a bill headed to Gov. Neil Abercrombie's desk that could help law enforcement keep tabs on gun registration and this is a proposal some Hawaii gun rights advocates are getting behind. KITV4.

The state Insurance Division has reduced Hawaii Medical Service Association’s proposed 8.6 percent premium rate increase to 6.8 perecent for small businesses renewing health policies in July, for an estimated 118,000 Hawaii consumers, a move it said would save businesses about $10 million. Star-Advertiser.

A national organization that has been ranking states’ educational policies and outcomes for nearly two decades dropped Hawaii’s grade this year in some areas, but noted significant improvements in others. West Hawaii Today.

At a time when many of their members are still struggling to find work, the heads of Hawaii's construction unions are taking home fat pay checks. Hawaii News Now.

Med School Puts Best Face Forward with in-depth report To Lawmakers. Civil Beat.

Former state Rep. Gil Riviere, who represented the North Shore in the House for one term before losing in the Republican primary last year, said he will switch political parties and become a Democrat as he tries to reclaim the seat next year. Currently, there are 44 Democrats and 7 Republicans is in the Hawaii House. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Neil Abercrombie, US Senator Brian Schatz, and State Senator Gil Keith-Agaran will be the featured speakers at the upcoming annual Convention for the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi on Maui. Maui Now.

State roundup for May 1. Associated Press.


The ground breaks today on a sweeping four-year $739 million modernization of Honolulu Airport, starting with a new maintenance building for Aloha Air Cargo. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu prosecutor's office says that in the six-month period from October through March, there were 31 trials and 243 dismissals due to speedy trial requirements. That's one trial per eight dismissals. Victims advocates say those statistics are poor incentive for domestic violence victims to stick with their cases. Civil Beat.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Wednesday he will use the newly enacted sidewalk nuisance law to keep members of (de)Occupy Honolulu from camping on sidewalks around Thomas Square. Star-Advertiser.

The city is cracking down on illegal dumping in Oahu neighborhoods. Inspectors can now issue hefty fines for bulky items dumped curbside days or weeks before collection, but some people are concerned about fair enforcement. Hawaii News Now.

A planned Kakaako condominium tower dubbed 803 Waimanu reserved for middle-income buyers will be a relatively tight fit for its location — too tight for residents in an adjacent high-rise who objected to the project at a public hearing Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

A local project is taking steps to ensure that excess produce gets to the people who need it the most. Hawaii Public Radio.


The Hawaii County Council is asking the mayor to find $500,000 to bolster the Fire Department’s budget before summer begins. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii is fighting back against the coffee berry borer beetle. The pernicious pest has frustrated farmers in the Kona and Ka‘u coffee belts since its discovery in 2010, leading to decreased quality of West Hawaii’s famous black gold and many pounds of beans unharvestable. Tribune-Herald.


At least two Maui County Council members said Tuesday that they intend to seek small increases in the county's current property tax rates to provide more funds for nonprofit organizations and to upgrade needed county services and programs. Maui News.

The Hawaii Wildlife Fund has received a $20,000 grant from the state to help mitigate the possible environmental impacts of Japan tsunami marine debris in Maui County. Maui News.

A rally will be held on Thursday, May 2, to protest the planned lottery for placement in the Hawaiian language immersion kindergarten at Pāʻia Elementary School on Maui. Maui Now.

Maui Land & Pineapple Co. Inc. reported a net loss of $1.8 million, or 10 cents per share, for the first quarter, compared to a loss of $200,000, or 1 cent per share, for the same quarter in 2012. Pacific Business News.

A Lahaina boat captain was ordered to pay $4,000 in fines after pleading guilty Tuesday to negligent homicide and other charges in the death of a diver who was struck by an inflatable boat in waters off Lanai two years ago. Maui News.


Fifty residents representing a handful of organizations showed up at the Kaua‘i County Council meeting Wednesday morning, asking for support on a bill against biotech companies that grow genetically modified organisms. Garden Island.

The Surfrider Foundation of Kaua‘i landed a $25,000 grant to help clean up Japanese tsunami debris washing up on Kaua‘i’s shorelines. Garden Island.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Honolulu to tear down Natatorium, Hawaii Legislature passes $23.8B biennium budget, preschool vouchers moves to ballot, shield law dies, newspaper readers go digital, WWII bomb found in Maui field, Gabbard tours schools, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News
Waikiki Natatorium (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Mayor Kirk Caldwell today announced a partnership to develop a public memorial beach at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. Star-Advertiser.

Is a 45-year fight finally over? Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell say the walls of the Waikiki Natatorium will be torn down. Civil Beat.

The Natatorium in Waikiki was built in 1927 as a tribute to those who served in World War I. Hawaii News Now.

Both chambers of the Hawaii Legislature unanimously passed a $23.8 billion biennium budget Tuesday, sending the bill to fund state operations to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for final approval. Associated Press.

The Hawaii State Legislature today voted unanimously in both the House and Senate to approve the state budget for the upcoming FY2013-2015 biennium. Hawaii Reporter.

The State Legislature unanimously approved the Executive Operating and Construction Budgets today. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii House and Senate separately passed dozens of bills Tuesday touching on issues ranging from energy to education, starting a marathon session by passing a $23.8 billion budget and largely putting off the toughest decisions to the end of the day. Associated Press.

Voters will decide in November 2014 whether public money should be used for private preschool, the linchpin of Gov. Neil Abercrombie's early education initiative. Star-Advertiser.

Voters will decide next year whether Hawaii’s constitution should be amended to let the state use public money for private preschool. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's news media "shield law," a measure that has been praised nationally for including emerging forms of digital and online media in affording journalists a measure of protection from having to reveal confidential sources in court, is due to expire in two months after lawmakers failed Tuesday to approve an extension. Star-Advertiser.

Barring some last-minute legislative maneuver, Hawaii’s shield law protecting journalists from disclosing confidential sources and turning over their notes will expire June 30 since lawmakers failed to agree on a bill to renew it Tuesday. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii House has amended a bill to extend the state shield law for the next two years to keep existing source protections for journalists, including those who work for digital newspapers and free publications. Associated Press.

A bill designed to streamline the process under which severely mentally ill people can be ordered to get outpatient psychiatric help got final approval from lawmakers Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

People who bring guns from out of state may need to undergo a background check. It’s one of many bills passed out of the legislature Tuesday. KHON2.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is visiting low-income, low-performing Hawaii schools targeted for education reforms under a $75 million federal grant. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Government Employees Association’s Unit 13, which represents some 8,100 professional and scientific employees, has rejected the state’s two-year contract offer. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii Government Employees Association unit that represents professional and scientific employees has rejected a two-year contract offer from the state. The union announced this evening that 55 percent of the 8,100 worker unit voted against the offer. Star-Advertiser.

Whenever the state and counties reach a new contract agreement with one of the public employee unions, it is news, and lots of people are interested. Civil Beat.

Young candidates hope to start a generational change in Hawaii politics in next year's election, but it could as likely turn into a last stand by old-guard Democrats that cements our political status quo for another decade. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for May 1. Associated Press.


Circulation for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s print edition declined in the past year, while the newspaper’s paid online subscriptions and branded editions pushed average total circulation up by 28 percent, according to figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Pacific Business News.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser's total average weekday circulation jumped nearly 28 percent in the past year, lifting it to 21st place among the nation's top 25 daily newspapers. Star-Advertiser.

Doctors trump CEOs for highest pay in Honolulu, according to a new analysis in which the top six highest-paying jobs in Hawaii’s largest city were from the medical profession. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu International Airport badly needs more plant quarantine inspectors' positions reinstated to deal with the nearly four million boxes of produce, seafood, flowers and plants that are inspected there every year, officials from the state Department of Agriculture said. Hawaii News Now.

Federal labor authorities are proposing $49,000 in fines against the owner of the five-star Halekulani hotel in Waikiki for 14 "serious" safety violations discovered during a routine inspection. Star-Advertiser.

The Aloha Stadium is looking for people who can fill 150 part-time jobs that need to be passionate about the games and showcase excellent customer service. KITV4.

Detectives have determined that the female who reported finding a baby at Sandy Beach on Sunday night is the baby's mother, a Honolulu Police Spokesperson tells Hawaii News Now.


U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, will serve as the keynote speaker on Saturday, May 11, for the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s commencement ceremony. Tribune-Herald.

The county’s planning director and Board of Appeals acted in violation of the Kona Community Development Plan and failed to uphold the county’s duty to protect natural resources in awarding a planned unit development permit to a South Kona developer, a 3rd Circuit Court judge ruled last week. West Hawaii Today.

Council members gave a preliminary nod to code changes that would allow the county to cut down trees on occupied property if the trees pose a danger to public safety or a neighbor’s property and the lot owner refuses to mitigate the dangers. West Hawaii Today.

County Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter served on a council subcommittee that steered $40,000 to a nonprofit where she is a board member and her child receives services. West Hawaii Today.

Recent thefts of unattended equipment have impacted scientists’ ability to monitor and predict volcanic activity in Puna. Tribune-Herald.

A $5 million class-action federal lawsuit accusing national supermarket chain Safeway of profiting off the reputation of Kona coffee while selling a product containing little Hawaii-grown coffee has been settled after nearly two years of litigation. West Hawaii Today.

Two Big Island resorts have been chosen by the venerable travel destination company Frommer’s as among the top 10 honeymoon destinations in Hawaii. Big Island Now.

More money will be needed to complete the makeover of Lanakila Housing units. Tribune-Herald.


An unexploded ordnance believed to be a World War II aerial bomb was discovered Monday morning in a Puunene cane field, police said. Maui News.

Authorities called in an emergency disposal unit to Maui after reports that a 2-foot unexploded piece of ordnance was found Monday morning in a Puʻunene cane field. Maui Now.

In the fall of 2015, Maui Waena Intermediate School hopes to add a new eight-classroom building to its campus, which will relieve overcrowded classrooms and boost the curriculum. Maui News.

The Lahaina Division of Motor Vehicle and Licensing satellite office will be closed from Monday to May 15 as it relocates to its new space at the Lahaina Gateway Center. Maui News.


At 6:15 p.m. on Saturday — 100 years and four days after its first gleam at passing ships — the Kilauea Point Lighthouse will briefly cast its protective beacon across the waters of the Pacific once more. Garden Island.

The plans to bring back to life the iconic Coco Palms Resort in Wailua received a fatal blow Tuesday, when the Kaua‘i Planning Commission affirmed an order to revoke permits to rebuild the hotel that has been shut down for more than 20 years. Garden Island.