Showing posts with label spy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spy. Show all posts

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Legislature opens with optimism, Russian spy ship spotted off Hawaii coast, parents sue Boy Scouts over child's shooting death at camp, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Legislature Opens With Show Of Goodwill By Green, Lawmakers. Tax relief, mental health woes and an affordable housing crisis top the agenda for the 2023 session. House and Senate leaders used their opening day speeches to float proposals to enhance a state tax break for working families known as the earned income tax credit. House members also pledged to do more to help persons suffering from mental illness. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now. Garden Island.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Hawaii Gov Signals He'll Sign Ethics Reform Bills That Land On His Desk.
Putting pressure on lawmakers, Gov. Josh Green said Wednesday that he is strongly inclined to approve major parts of a package of government reform legislation if they are approved by the Hawaii Legislature. Civil Beat. KITV4.

House Speaker Saiki's opening remarks for the 2023 legislative session. House Speaker Scott Saiki stood before both newly-elected and long-time legislators on Wednesday to outline the issues he would like representatives to work on over the next four months. Hawaii Public Radio.

Advocates press Hawaii lawmakers for change.
  Hundreds of people descended upon the grounds of the state Capitol for opening day at the Legislature Wednesday, many of them pushing for the change they want to see in the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Teachers seek opportunity to sit on the Hawaiʻi Board of Education again.
The Hawaiʻi Board of Education consists of 11 members — including lawyers, former education administrators, and even a former U.S. diplomat. However, the board doesn't actually have any teachers on it.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Fentanyl Test Strips Save Lives.
Why Are They Illegal In Hawaii? State Sen. Joy San Buenaventura plans to introduce a bill this session to decriminalize the test strips as Hawaii confronts more overdoses. Civil Beat.

Feeding feral chickens could bring $500 fine. A bill that would fine anyone $500 for feeding feral chickens is the latest attempt to lower the count of chicken complaints across the state. Star-Advertiser.

Coast Guard releases video of Russian ships in Hawaii waters. The Coast Guard announced Wednesday that it has been tracking what it believes is a Russian intelligence-gathering ship over “recent weeks” off the coast of the Hawaiian Islands and released video of the ship refueling at sea with another Russian vessel. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now. Maui Now. Kauai Now.  KHON2.

Matson’s earnings plunge as shipping demand wanes. The state’s largest ocean freight transportation company said after the market closed Wednesday that volume from Hawaii, China, Alaska and Guam all declined from the year-earlier period. Star-Advertiser.

Former Chief Investigator Sues Hawaii Attorney General’s Office. Daniel Hanagami took on some of the state's high profile white collar and public corruption cases in the early 2000s. The state’s former chief investigator is suing the state Department of the Attorney General over allegations that the department discriminated against him because of his age when it fired him last year. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s COVID variant report detects ‘Kraken’ in 3 counties.  Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients are ticking up following the holidays, with an average of 94 per day over the past week, according to data from the Healthcare Association of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i Covid-19 positivity rate at 6.8%; 5 more deaths recorded. The state Department of Health today reported 1,068 new Covid-19 infections over the past week, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 375,925. DOH also reported five more deaths, bringing the state’s Covid death toll to 1,775. The state’s average positivity rate declined to 6.8% compared with 7.5% the previous week. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.


Residents critical of Red Hill agreement. Top officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Navy weathered a barrage of criticism from residents who crowded a town hall meeting Wednesday evening to discuss a proposed regulatory agreement relating to the defueling of the military’s Red Hill fuel facility. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Ex-Defense Contractor Pleads Not Guilty To Mortgage Fraud In Hawaii. Former defense contractor Martin Kao indicated on Wednesday he plans to fight a new federal charge accusing him of lying on the mortgage application for his Kahala home. Civil Beat.

Hawaii woman gets 2 years for illegal lobbying of Trump. In addition to 24 months in prison followed by three years on federal probation, U.S. District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi fined Lum Davis $250,000 and levied a $100 special assessment. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

UH gets big grant aimed at bolstering diversity SPED teacher ranks. A $1.6 million grant was awarded to the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Education’s Department of Special Education to increase and retain more well-prepared bilingual/multilingual teachers of color. Hawaii News Now.

Over 400 citations issued from Oahu red light cameras. The Department of Transportation said 416 vehicles were photographed since the State started using cameras to catch red-light runners in November 2022. KHON2.

Paramedics have a warning for Hawaii drivers: Tailing ambulances isn’t just inconsiderate, it’s dangerous. Emergency medical crews say drivers trying to get ahead in traffic are using ambulances to clear the way. That’s a crime. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

4 former HCCC correctional officers sentenced in beating of inmate. Four former correctional officers with the Hawaii Community Correctional Center have been sentenced for assaulting an inmate and conspiring to cover up the abuse for years. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.  Kauai Now.  KHON2.

Parents of Hilo boy killed by assault rifle sue Boy Scouts of America. The lawsuit names as defendants: the Boy Scouts of America and the Boy Scouts of America Aloha Council, and a Honolulu-based group that oversees Scouting in the State of Hawai‘i, the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Big Island Now. Hawaii News NowKITV4.

State eyes purchase in North Kohala for PONC preservation. Residents can nominate sites around the Big Island to be acquired and preserved through Hawaii County’s Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Commission. Tribune-Herald.


Solar project proposed for Piiholo. A solar panel energy project that could service more than 500 homes in the Piiholo area and lower electric cost for customers is being proposed off of Makawao Avenue just north of Piiholo Road.  Maui News.

Five tons of marine debris removed from Kahoʻolawe. An estimated five tons of marine debris was airlifted this morning from Kaho‘olawe to Maui, with most of it destined for recycling as “new life” products, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.


Former Waimea instructor Victor Aguilar sentenced for sexual assault.  Former Waimea High School JROTC instructor Victor Aguilar pleaded no contest to one charge of sexual assault in the second degree on Wednesday for taking advantage of his underage student. Garden Island.

Conservation-based summer program accepting applicants on Kaua‘i. Kupu, a leading conservation and youth education nonprofit in the State of Hawai‘i, is preparing to host its 2023 Hawai‘i Youth Conservation Corps Summer Program. Kauai Now.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Missile test postponed as Russian spy ship lingers off Hawaii coast, Maui council panel advances hotel construction moratorium, variants account for 90% of new coronavirus cases, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

U.S. Navy
Russian ship Kareliya PC: U.S. Navy

Russian spy ship off Kauai results in postponed missile test. A Russian spy ship loitering in international waters off Kauai for several days has delayed a Missile Defense Agency missile test, officials said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KITV4.

Pride of America to resume isle cruises in November. Norwegian Cruise Line announced Wednesday that it plans to relaunch its seven­-day Hawaii cruises aboard the Honolulu-based Pride of America starting Nov. 6. Star-Advertiser.
Hawaii economic recovery seen picking up speed. Hawaii’s economy is improving at an accelerated pace and the state is now forecast to grow 3.5% this year as domestic visitor arrivals reach full recovery by the end of 2021. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

Vacation rental occupancy exceeding stays in hotels. Vacation rental occupancy statewide topped Hawaii hotels again in April, continuing a seven-month trend that emerged in October after Safe Travels Hawaii allowed some visitors to bypass the state’s COVID-­19-related travel quarantine. Star-Advertiser.

Some Hawaii Farms Want To Keep Feeding Locals — Even As Tourism Returns. As the threat of COVID-19 subsides, some local food growers say they will continue to prioritize local families that kept them afloat during the pandemic over the tourism industry. Civil Beat.

Ige issues proclamation on period poverty as women, girls lack resources to sanitary products.
Gov. David Ige issued a proclamation Wednesday to bring awareness to period poverty in Hawaii. The proclamation was made as women and girls face difficulty in acquiring access to sanitary products due to the financial constraints of the pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

While officials say the ‘end of the pandemic’ is near, health experts say it’s difficult to predict. Officials are beginning to say it out loud: the pandemic in Hawaii may soon be over. But, epidemiologists are keeping a close eye on variants and outbreaks in other countries. Hawaii News Now.

Most Of Hawaii’s Recent COVID-19 Cases Are From ‘Variants Of Concern’. The vaccines currently on the market are still effective in protecting against more contagious variants, officials say. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. KHON2.

Hawaii sees 50 new coronavirus cases as the statewide tally climbs to 35,974. The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll includes 384 fatalities on Oahu, 54 on Maui, 53 on Hawaii Island, two on Kauai, and three Hawaii residents who died outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Mayor Rick Blangiardi working on modifications to Tier 4. Oahu could be moving to Tier 4 of its reopening plan in a few days, pending Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s submission of a proposal for Gov. David Ige’s approval. Star-Advertiser.

'It's Disappointing.' Honolulu Mayor Blangiardi Wants Answers from HPD. Mayor Rick Blangiardi addressed the rift between him and Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard Wednesday. KITV4.

Judge orders release of full body camera footage for Nuuanu shooting. A judge is ordering HPD to turn over unedited police body cam footage in connection with the shooting that left 29-year-old Lindani Myeni dead in Nuuanu in April. KITV4.

Honolulu police shoot felon wanted on warrants. Honolulu police shot and critically wounded on Tuesday a 27-year-old felon who pulled out a handgun and pointed it at officers who were trying to arrest him in connection with two outstanding warrants, police said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Effort to protect key Oahu farmland paused for legal review. The state Land Use Commission has paused a highly contentious effort to potentially preserve 41,407 acres of privately owned farmland on Oahu as important agricultural land. Star-Advertiser.

New $160 million state hospital facility set to accept patients in August. A long-awaited 144-bed psychiatric facility at the Hawaii State Hospital, which for decades has been plagued by overcrowding and assaults on staff by patients, is set to begin housing its first patients in August. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Kilauea Volcano Stops Erupting After Months of Lava. Kilauea, which had been erupting at its summit crater since December, has “paused” producing new lava, the USGS said. The latest eruption had produced a new lava lake at the summit. Associated Press. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Perreira appeals fire chief selection, says process wasn’t ‘fair and transparent’. The acting fire chief who was passed over for the permanent position is appealing the Fire Commission’s selection process. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island Paddlesports Association, Kona Sailing Club leases in question
. On the agenda for Friday’s Board of Land and Natural Resources meeting includes a request to authorize the sale of the leases held by each organization at public auction. West Hawaii Today.


Bill to pause hotel permits advances. A Maui County Council committee on Tuesday voted to recommend approval for a bill that would place a moratorium on building permits for visitor accommodations. Passed out of the Climate Action, Resilience and Environment Committee with a 4-2 vote, the measure would pause visitor accommodation development in West and in South Maui until community plans are updated or in two years, whichever is sooner. The proposal now heads to full council. Maui News.

Country Market at Waikapū to Open at Former Maui Tropical Plantation Store. The business, located at the former Maui Tropical Plantation Store, is made possible through a collaboration between Kumu Farms and Maui ʻOma Coffee Roasting Co. Maui Now.

Officials investigate suspicious death of 2 monk seals on Molokai
. Both of the seals — a 4-year-old male, RJ08, and 3-year-old female, RK92 — were found dead on April 27 on the west side of Molokai, according to officials. Star-Advertiser.


Council hears FY22 budget concerns.
Residents, Wednesday, again expressed concerns for the county’s upcoming fiscal year 2022 Capital Improvement Projects budget lacking more avenues for waste diversion. Garden Island.

COVID-19 restrictions remain in parks. Polihale State Park remains open for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, but the state Department of Land and Natural Resources reminds locals and visitors to follow the rules in state parks over the weekend. Garden Island.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Hawaii soldier sentenced for planning ISIS mass shooting in Waikiki, counties join education tax lawsuit, Kauai man dies trying to save dog, Maui fire victims say county failed them, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

In this July 8, 2017 file image taken from FBI video and provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Hawaii on July 13, 2017, Army Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang holds an Islamic State group flag after allegedly pledging allegiance to the terror group at a house in Honolulu. (FBI/U.S Attorney's Office, District of Hawaii via AP, File)
Army Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Erik Kang, who faces 25 years in prison for attempting to aid the Islamic State group and its campaign of terror, had planned a mass shooting in downtown Honolulu and in Waikiki just after last year’s Fourth of July, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii said Wednesday following Kang’s guilty plea in federal court. Star-Advertiser.

A soldier based in Hawaii pleaded guilty Wednesday to trying to help the Islamic State group, telling a judge he provided secret military information, a drone meant to track U.S. troops and other support to undercover agents he believed were members of the terrorist organization. Associated Press.

35-year-old Hawaii-based soldier, Sergeant 1st Class Ikaika Kang pleaded guilty in Federal court Wednesday of trying to help ISIS. KITV.

A Hawaii-based solider pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of attempting to support ISIS. KHON2.


Hawaii, Kauai and Maui counties have joined the City and County of Honolulu in a lawsuit that seeks to strike from the November ballot a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would allow the Legislature to create a “surcharge” on investment properties. Pacific Business News.

Counties sue state to block property tax ballot question. All four counties are suing the state to block a ballot question that would allow a property tax surcharge for schools. KHON2.

The City of Honolulu is seeking to have a question stricken from ballots in the November general election that would give voters the power to amend the Hawaii Constitution to allow the Legislature to tax investment real estate to support public education. Star-Advertiser.

The city wants to strike down a constitutional amendment proposal that would raise taxes on investment properties to help pay for Hawaii's under-funded schools. Hawaii News Now.

Full text of ballot question complaint can be found here.


Hawaii Supreme Court To Fine-Tune Open Meetings Law. A court opinion in the Honolulu Police Commission’s Kealoha case would also affect the way public boards handle other high-profile staff departures. Civil Beat.

Restocking continues after storm port-closure delays.  Stores across Hawaii are catching up on restocking shelves, following cargo delays from port closures during the storm. KHON2.


Prosecutor Appeals Ruling That Barred A Third Trial For Deedy. After two hung juries in earlier trials, a third trial is sought against the federal agent who shot a local man. Associated Press.

Caldwell’s Push To Clear Sidewalks Runs Into Opposition. Honolulu’s mayor wants to ban camping on sidewalks islandwide, but critics insist more housing and services for the homeless are needed first. Civil Beat.

City outlines plans for more bike lanes in downtown Honolulu. The city held a public meeting Wednesday night. KHON2.

The Department of Health is alerting the public of elevated bacteria levels at two Oahu shorelines. The first alert is for those heading to Pokai Bay. The second alert came a day earlier for beachgoers in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii at Manoa proposes higher parking fees. The University of Hawaii at Manoa is proposing to raise parking fees for the first time in eight years and use the money to repair its aging parking facilities. Star-Advertiser.

For years, the trail accessible at Koko Head Regional Park has been deteriorating, according to the group, with many of the cross-ties of the former tramway missing or in disrepair due to wood rot and erosion. At the same time, the trail’s popularity has only grown, spurred by social media posts of the grueling climb and views from the top, at an elevation of 1,200 feet, with panoramic vistas. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Keaau could see its population more than double under a master plan W.H. Shipman released for public comment. The EA describes the project as a “walkable, transit-friendly regional town center concept.” Tribune-Herald.

A bill zeroing out property taxes for totally disabled veterans appeared to be cruising toward easy passage until it got stopped in its tracks last week, leading to likely changes when it comes back before the County Council on Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Councilwoman Ruggles Unassured By County Regarding War Crimes. Big Island Video News.

Am I A Criminal? Puna Councilwoman Questions Her Legitimacy. Pointing to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Jen Ruggles says functioning as a County Council member may violate U.S. and international laws. Civil Beat.

Federal Emergency Management Director Brock Long is on the Big Island in the wake of Hurricane Lane. Meanwhile, Hawaii Emergency Management Director Tom Travis said he hopes preliminary figures from the ongoing damage assessment statewide can be tabulated by Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Hurricane Lane Cleanup, Damage Assessment Continues. Big Island Video News.

On the heels of the apparent halt of Kilauea’s eruption earlier this month comes more good news for the Big Island: Its emergency shelter population has dwindled. Star-Advertiser.

The emergency evacuation shelter in Pahoa, which opened May 3 as eruption activity started in lower Puna, will close next month. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island hotel performance continues to suffer from Kilauea volcano. Big Island properties reported a 6 percent drop in RevPAR to $183 last month, while ADR remained flat at $247, and occupancy decreased 4.7 percentage points to 74.2 percent. Pacific Business News.

Four deep wells remain offline in North Kona, but repairs are likely to commence on at least one of them in the next two months. West Hawaii Today.

Two rescued Hawaiian monk seal pups weathered Tropical Storm Lane on the Big Island together and are now like siblings, marine experts said. Star-Advertiser.


'You failed us': West Maui residents feel abandoned by county during fires. Complaints turned into cursing at a community meeting in Lahaina on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Residents pack public meeting on Maui: 'Everyone who lost a house, stand up'. On Maui, firefighters say strong winds from Lane fueled two massive brush fires: one in Lahaina and another in Kaanapali. KHON2.

Planning panel gives blessing to Waikapu Country Town project. Atherton’s 500-acre development calls for 1,500 housing units. Maui News.

County mulls challenge to replace road, culvert. Rain from Lane washes out access to Haiku cul-de-sac. Maui News.

The Maui County Council passed a bill Tuesday that extended a moratorium on sand mining in Central Maui, allowing the county time to complete a study on sand availability and to possibly pass new laws. Maui News.

Hawaii Wing Civil Air Patrol cadets formed the bulk of a Ground Photography Team working on Maui on Tuesday to gather photographic evidence of the flash-flood impact resulting from Hurricane Lane. Maui Now.

The state will close the Kula Forest Reserve, Waipoli Access Road, Kahikinui Forest Reserve–Papaanui Tract, and Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area for two months beginning on Sept. 4, 2018.  The areas will remain closed through Nov. 2. Maui Now.


Kauai Stream Restoration Complicated by Diversion Dependent End Users. For nearly 150 years, fresh water on Kauai has been diverted from streams—first to cultivate sugar cane---and more recently to power hydroelectric plants. Now the state Water Commission is considering reducing the amount of water diverted from two streams flowing from Waialeale. Hawaii Public Radio.

Residents on Kauai's north shore assess damage from Lane's heavy rains. KHON2.

Floodwaters wash away foundations in Hanalei again. Garden Island.

A 30-year-old Koloa man died after he jumped into a stream to save a dog during a storm Tuesday, Kauai police said today. Star-Advertiser.

Firefighters recovered the body of a 30-year-old Koloa man from Waikomo Stream in Koloa Tuesday afternoon. Police have identified him as Joshua Bradbury. Garden Island.

Friday, July 13, 2018

China spy ship watching RIMPAC, Hanabusa gaining on Ige in money race, fraudulent service pets could be fined, firefighter boyfriend pleads guilty in Kealoha case, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

RIMPAC exercise PC:Ordinary Seaman Justin Spinello/Canadian Armed Forces
China sends spy ship to RIMPAC. China was disinvited from the prestigious Rim of the Pacific exercise, but it has made an appearance anyway — dispatching a spy ship to international waters off Hawaii, the Navy said today. Star-Advertiser.

In her bid to unseat Gov. David Ige, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa out-raised and out-spent him during the first six months of 2018. Star-Advertiser.

Ige, Hanabusa Power Up Their Fundraising. In the lieutenant governor’s race, state Sen. Josh Green has raised and spent the most cash. Civil Beat.

A bill that would fine people fraudulently representing their pets as service dogs has become law without Gov. David Ige’s signature. Star-Advertiser.

A new law in Hawaii now gives survivors of child sexual abuse more time to file claims against their abuser. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Federal Communications Commission announced new regulations to prevent false alerts from going out like the one that happened here in January. KHON2.


Hawaii County Fire Department Battalion Chief Jesse Michael Ebersole pleaded guilty in federal court this afternoon to conspiring with deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha to lie about their affair to a federal grand jury and has agreed to cooperate in the prosecution of Kealoha and her husband, retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha. Star-Advertiser.

Katherine Kealoha’s Boyfriend Pleads Guilty To Federal Conspiracy. “I lied to the grand jury,” Jesse Ebersole says regarding his relationship with the city prosecutor. Civil Beat.

Firefighter: 'I lied' to grand jury about affair with ex-HPD chief's wife. Hawaii News Now.

Big Island firefighter pleads guilty to conspiracy charges. KITV.


The families of the four victims that died in the high-rise Marco Polo fire filed a lawsuit today alleging that the deaths could have been prevented if the defendants had followed basic safety measures. Star-Advertiser.

Lawsuit filed over fatal Marco Polo fire. KITV.

Council OKs Property Tax Break For Active-Duty Military Personnel. If signed by the mayor, the exemption would cost Honolulu an estimated $1 million a year. Civil Beat.

City officials relocate 23 homeless people ahead of park maintenance project. Hawaii News Now.

City officials say they got 23 people off the streets of Oahu Wednesday night. KHON2.

Office tower to become affordable housing. An abandoned office tower eyesore in downtown Honolulu is slated for a face-lift, but its “pimples” will remain under a plan to convert the building into affordable housing. Star-Advertiser.

Search For Other Beneficiaries to Hawaiian Heiress’ Trust Will Continue. A judge delayed deciding whether to include a new board of directors for Abigail Kawananakoa’s charity in the battle for control of her $215 million trust. Civil Beat.

Arch enemies': Princess Kawananakoa's attorneys denounce foundation's board. Hawaii News Now.

Biki expansion plans run into possible roadblock in Waikiki. Some residents near Kapiolani Park and Diamond Head want Biki to backpedal on its expansion plans for the area. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Lava has consumed Kua O Ka La charter school and Ahalanui County Beach Park. KHON2.

Lava consumed Ahalanui Beach Park on Wednesday evening, destroying yet another beloved Puna destination. Tribune-Herald.

Loss of school stings: Destruction of Kua O Ka La ‘utterly devastating’. Tribune-Herald.

The county’s purchase of a $2.7 million Vacationland parcel from a politically connected family is ongoing, even after the land was made worthless by lava inundation. West Hawaii Today.

Businesses and residents affected by lava on the Big Island have received over $10 million in disaster assistance loans from the Small Business Association, officials announced on Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Council Proposal Urges State To Name Fissure 8. Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy has introduced a resolution asking the State Board on Geographic Names to begin the consultation process. Big Island Video News.

Does Anyone Really Miss The Puna Geothermal Plant? Hawaii Electric Light Co. has plenty of power despite the shutdown of the plant which was damaged by lava. Civil Beat.

USGS employs high-tech laser mapping at Kilauea’s summit. Tribune-Herald.

Changes are planned at Pohakuloa Training Area as the U.S. Army moves forward with a $210 million overhaul. West Hawaii Today.


Kihei developers seek to go back to the future. Latest proposal for Piilani Promenade project area more in line with 1995 plans. Maui News.

Representative Justin H. Woodson of Maui says the recent approval of the Kahului Civic Center Mixed-Use Project and multi-family rental housing units by the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation Board of Directors is a positive move toward providing more affordable housing. Maui Now.

All Maui County DMV's will be closed Friday due to staff training. KHON2.


America, Japan forces work together in historic missile operation. The Japanese Type 12 surface-to-ship missile, SSM12, didn’t launch when it was supposed to on Thursday during a historic multi-domain exercise at Pacific Missile Range Facility. Garden Island.

A vision for Kauai’s children to accomplish their dreams on Kauai is why Billy De Costa is running for the Kauai County Council. Garden Island.

By a unanimous vote at the Kauai County Farm Bureau annual meeting, Johnny Gordines repeats as the Kauai County Farm Bureau president. Garden Island.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hawaii Senate downgrades gay marriage bills, teachers union to vote on new contract, state asks federal judge to overturn Hawaii County aerial hunting ban, Maui mayor pitches $573.6M budget, no bail in Chinese spy case, North Korea targets Hawaii, hikers want Oahu trail opened, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu gay rights rally
A state Senate committee Monday approved resolutions requesting a task force study the social, economic and religious consequences of enacting marriage equality legislation in Hawaii as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear two landmark same-sex marriage cases. Star-Advertiser.

Two Senate resolutions call for a task force to study the social, economic and religious impacts that enacting "marriage equality" would have in Hawaii. The resolutions — Senate Resolution 123 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 166 — passed Senate Judiciary and Labor and now await a hearing in Ways and Means. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Senate Ways and Means Committee is mulling whether to fund Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s proposed innovation initiative. Associated Press.

Hawaii lawmakers pounding out the state’s $12 billion biennium operating budget can only estimate how much money a dozen new union contract agreements will cost taxpayers over the next few years. Civil Beat.

If public school teachers ratify a proposed labor deal reached over the weekend, the teachers union has pledged to withdraw its complaint against the state over the "last, best and final offer" imposed on teachers in 2011. Star-Advertiser.

A 100-page document lays out the nuts and bolts of the tentative contract between the state and the Hawaii State Teachers Association. If it is ratified, the four-year deal goes into effect July 1. Hawaii News Now.

It’s a battle that dragged on for nearly two years. Now, a proposed new contract goes to public school teachers for approval. The deal gives them better pay and a better deal on health benefits. KHON2.

A Senate Concurrent Resolution introduced March 13 is requesting the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority work with airline companies to show ocean-safety videos on all Hawai‘i-bound flights. Garden Island.

As Congress appears close to taking up immigration reform in a couple of weeks, some activists and lawmakers including Sen. Mazie Hirono are growing concerned the latest proposal will only exacerbate the problems that kept families like Emilio Arbues' apart for 20 years. Civil Beat.

Strategic rocket and select artillery units in North Korea have been ordered by Pyongyang to be combat ready, with targets including bases in Hawaii and the Mainland United States. Pacific Business News.

North Korea's military warned today that its artillery and rocket forces are at their highest-level combat posture in the latest in a string of bellicose threats aimed at South Korea and the United States. Associated Press.

The Price of Food in Hawai'i. Hawaii Public Radio.

State roundup for March 26. Associated Press.


Former city Deputy Parks Director Albert Tufono was slapped with a $2,000 fine by the Honolulu Ethics Commission for using his position to obtain preferential treatment from other parks employees, even after he was warned to stop doing so. Star-Advertiser.

Key members of Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Cabinet say they intend to provide by May 1 a rough draft of an action plan to deal with homelessness on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Members of the City Council and Mayor Kirk Caldwell's administration promised to try again to come up with a plan for the Haiku Stairs that would appease both hikers and Kaneohe residents who say they're tired of unruly visitors and other trespassers. Star-Advertiser.

It's one of the most popular yet forbidden trails on Oahu. Today, there's a new push to open Kaneohe's Stairway to Heaven to the public. Hawaii News Now.

A city survey done last fall found that Council District 1 had the third-highest percentage of roads that were "fair" or better, at 77.2 percent. That compares with 72.2 percent of city roads in fair shape or better islandwide. Star-Advertiser.

The City of Honolulu has been criticized for its failing road conditions. Some accuse the city of cutting corners on materials and cost. City administrators say that's not the case. Hawaii News Now.

Last weekend, local bus riders saw the first of several city-approved reversals to service cuts go into effect. Star-Advertiser.

A federal judge denied bail Monday to a civilian defense contractor accused of giving military secrets to a Chinese girlfriend half his age, saying he poses a danger to national security. Associated Press.

The 921-foot cruise ship Pride of America is in the Pearl Harbor shipyard for two weeks for more than $30 million in renovation work, officials said. Star-Advertiser.


The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is asking a federal judge to overturn a Hawaii County ordinance banning aerial hunting, at least when it’s conducted by the state or its contractors. West Hawaii Today.

The University of Hawaii has issued a notice of award to F&H Construction for the Palamanui campus construction project. West Hawaii Today.

According to a recent report by the state, the number of cattle raised in Hawaii decreased steadily for about thirty years, starting in 1970. There’s been a bit of an increase since about 2002, and today cattle are raised on each of the major islands. But on Hawaii Island, the industry is facing some challenges to its growth. Hawaii Public Radio.


Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa unveiled a $573.6 million proposed fiscal 2014 budget to the Maui County Council Monday morning, which included a large amount of funding for infrastructure improvements and upgrades to county roads, water systems and wastewater systems. Maui News.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa today confirmed his plans to trim the recycling budget for the fiscal year of 2014, and close county-run recycling facilities. Maui Now.

The Maui County Council's Budget and Finance Committee has scheduled community meetings for public comments on Mayor Alan Arakawa's proposed fiscal 2013-14 budget. Maui News.

Twenty-one women from Maui and Molokai involved in technology have been nominated for awards by the Maui County Committee on the Status of Women as part of Women's History Month. Maui News.


Skyline Eco-Adventures plans to open its first zip line on Kauai this May. Pacific Business News.

A wall of “Dreams” discussed by Kaua‘i High School Principal Debbie Lindsey and senior Trysen Kaneshige could not be dampened by the showers which accompanied the passing of a weather front Thursday and Friday. Garden Island.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Schatz bill would expand national parks, priest admits molesting boys, Steven Tyler bill stalls in House, Hanabusa mulls governership, Senate, Honolulu council kills mayor's gas tax hike, Pro Bowl returns, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ka'u coastline (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
The Ka‘u coast and areas on other Hawaii islands would be candidates for an expanded National Park System under a bill announced Wednesday by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz introduced a bill Wednesday that seeks to expand Hawaii's national parks while preserving the state's special places and bringing in more tourism dollars. Associated Press.

In the scheme of things, a bill proposing to direct a study of creating more national parks in Hawaii, may not seem like the most monumental of issues. But in addition to it being an “exciting moment” for Hawaii’s economy and environment, as Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz described the measure on Tuesday, it was the latest sign that Schatz, a mere year and a half from a special election to keep his seat, is placing an emphasis on environmental issues. Civil Beat.

Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Brian Schatz on Wednesday could lead to the creation of new national parks on three islands in Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Passed over in December for an appointment to the state’s vacant Senate seat by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in favor of now-Sen. Brian Schatz, Democratic Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is deciding whether to challenge one of them in a primary next year. Civil Beat.

The future is looking bleak for a celebrity privacy bill in Hawaii known as the Steven Tyler Act. Associated Press.

Hawaii senators took action this week to advance bills that boost campaign spending transparency and improve voter turnout. But the biggest surprise came when they cut themselves out of plan to create a public funding program for legislative candidates starting in 2016. Civil Beat.

Proponents of solar energy rallied at the state Capitol Wednesday to show their support for a renewable energy tax credit program that lawmakers are proposing to scale back. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii Senate bill to establish a Private-Public Partnership Authority is making leaps through the state House. Associated Press.

Two Senate committees have approved a bill to prohibit employers from requiring employees or job applicants to provide access to personal social media accounts. Associated Press.

Hawaii is the only state without a single entity to oversee police officer training and performance standards, raising questions about the qualifications of Hawaii’s law enforcement officers. Civil Beat.

Cash-based businesses could be facing more pressure from Hawaii tax collectors. Tribune-Herald.

Popular travel sites are appealing a Hawaii court decision to fine them $70 million for unpaid taxes. Associated Press.

An Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee has filed a formal ethics complaint against a fellow trustee over what she says are shady dealings in a $21 million property purchase. Civil Beat.

The National Weather Service says a storm in the North Pacific has generated a large west-northwest swell that is on Thursday afternoon and will continue to through the evening. Hawaii News Now.


A priest who taught at Damien Memorial School in the early 1980s admitted in a sworn statement last year that he engaged in sexual conduct with teenagers and adolescents in Hawaii and other U.S. locations where he worked, but that he didn't consider his attraction to youth perverted or abnormal, according to portions of his videotaped deposition played Wednesday at a news conference here. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell's plan to increase the city's share of the per-gallon fuel tax by a nickel was shot down by a 6-3 vote by the Ho­no­lulu City Council on Wednesday despite a direct, last-minute plea by the mayor to keep the measure alive. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council today voted down a proposal by the Mayor to fund road repairs and public transportation by increasing the tax on gasoline. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell's ambitious road repaving plan hit a big bump today.  The plan that would've increased the gas tax by five cents a gallon failed to even make it past the first vote in the City Council. Hawaii News Now.

Smoking at Kapiolani Park, Kuhio Beach Park, Duke Kahanamoku Beach Park, Sandy Beach Park and the beach side of Ala Moana Regional Park will likely soon be a thing of the past, under a bill approved 8-1 by the City Council on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council voted Wednesday to ban smoking at some beaches on Oahu, including Waikiki and Sandy Beach in Hawaii Kai. Pacific Business News.

An overnight camp-out on the Honolulu Hale lawn by (de)Occupy Honolulu supporters failed to dissuade the Honolulu City Council from advancing a bill on Wednesday making it tougher for people to stay on city sidewalks for long periods of time. Star-Advertiser.

A civilian defense contractor accused of giving his Chinese girlfriend military secrets worked on developing military plans to deter potential U.S. enemies when the two began their romance, according to his online professional profile and court documents. Associated Press.

Our aging Honolulu airport is set to get a major multi-million dollar makeover. KHON2.

Federal employees rallied in downtown Honolulu Wednesday to protest across-the-board budget cuts, known as sequestration. KITV4.

The National Football League said Wednesday the Pro Bowl will returning to Hawaii in 2014. Pacific Business News.

A gas spill brought hazardous material crews to Kewalo Basin, and a billionaire has to foot the bill for the cleanup. It is not often a pair of yachts belonging to billionaires are docked in the islands, but at Kewalo Basin, Larry Ellison's Rising Sun is just across the water from Google co-founder Larry Page's mega-ship Senses. KITV4.


The Department of Environmental Management’s wastewater division is facing more than $11 million in repairs to its aging infrastructure and may need to consider a rate hike, Acting Director Dora Beck told Environmental Management Commission members Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

The Public Utilities Commission has accepted a settlement between Hawaiian Electric Company and the State Division of Consumer Advocacy, resulting in HELCO canceling its request for a rate increase on the Big Island. Big Island Now.

A large fish kill reported Tuesday at the Waiopae tide pools in Kapoho may have had a human cause, according to senior health officials. Tribune-Herald.


Gov. Neil Abercrombie has nominated Eugene Bal III, the executive director of the Maui High Performance Computing Center, to serve in one of two Maui County seats on the University of Hawaii Board of Regents. Maui News.

A self-described "turtle team" captured a turtle at sea - with the guidance of state officials - and removed a large fishing hook from the animal's fin off Poolenalena Beach in Makena on Thursday. Maui News.


The State Supreme Court of Hawai‘i will hear arguments today on a two-year-old case involving the destruction of historic sites along the Hapa Trail access in Koloa. Garden Island.

The County of Kaua‘i and the state Department of Agriculture released a report Wednesday on environmental health issues in Waimea. Garden Island.

A federal judge acquitted retired car dealer James Pflueger Wednesday of tax fraud and related conspiracy charges related to a failure to report certain income on his tax returns. Star-Advertiser.

“Happiness.” That is what retired auto dealer Jimmy Pflueger told reporters he felt as he left the U.S.District Court House today, just after U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi found him “not guilty” on four federal tax fraud charges. Hawaii Reporter.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hawaii Senate to hear GMO bill, agencies decry personnel cuts, judge rules online travel sites owe state $70M, Honolulu mayor to tackle ethics, Volcano House opens, editor named to Kaui newspaper, alleged spy caught in honeytrap, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy GMO Justice Coalition
GMO protestors, courtesy GMO Justice Coalition
State senators, buckling to public pressure, agreed Tuesday to hold a hearing on a bill that would require the labeling of genetically modified produce imported to Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Heads of Hawaii state departments urged senators to reverse the state House’s decision to cut more than 900 vacant positions from department budgets. Associated Press.

Hawaii Board of Education members at a budget hearing Tuesday urged officials to get a better handle on the millions of dollars that could be chopped from the state’s education budget in July should predicted sequestration cutbacks and preliminary state funding proposals take effect. Civil Beat.

The Department of Education says it has serious concerns over its ability to meet student achievement goals and special-education needs under the reduced state budget moving through the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

State librarian Richard Burns says the house draft would cut $2 million from his budget and eliminate 47 positions. KITV4.

The Hawaii State Board of Education and state Department of Education are launching a new initiative to focus on developing effective school leadership in the nation’s only statewide school system. Pacific Business News.

Thousands of kids are arrested each year in Hawaii for cutting class, only to be thrown through the revolving doors of the juvenile justice system, officials say. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii judge has ruled that online travel companies such as Expedia,, Hotwire, Orbitz, Travelocity and Priceline owe the state of Hawaii $70 million in penalties and interest for failing to file Hawaii general excise tax returns or paying the taxes over a 10-year period. Pacific Business News.

The University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine has been addressing the state’s doctor shortage and need for primary care physicians, and efforts seem to be paying off. Pacific Business News.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has nominated the former head of Kaneohe Ranch, a retired Hawaii Island businessman and the executive director of the Maui High Performance Computing Center to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents has a proposal for helping retire the athletic department's $11.3 million deficit. Hawaii News Now.

State briefs 3/20. Associated Press.


The deep spending cuts coming out of Washington, D.C., known as sequestration could mean a reduction in federal dollars spent this year on Hono­lulu's elevated rail project, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

A spike in ethics complaints spurred an ambitious funding request to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, and it appears he might deliver. Civil Beat.

The city Department of Planning and Permitting on Tuesday gave conditional approval to a controversial condominium-hotel project in Waikiki, ordering its developers to make significant design changes to "soften the appearance of the tower and reduce its apparent mass" before they can proceed. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council is expected to make a historic decision tomorrow … by confirming the appointment of a person who is considered the 4th most powerful government official in the state … behind the governor, lieutenant governor and the Mayor of Honolulu. Hawaii Public Radio.

Members of (de)Occupy Honolulu are holding a 24-hour slumber party protest at City Hall. They've set up tents on the front lawn to protest new sidewalk bills they call unconstitutional. Hawaii News Now.

Benjamin Pierce Bishop's arrest for allegedly passing classified information has left neighbors stunned at the accusations leveled at the "nice guy" they knew, and wondering about a possible other side of Bishop that they never saw. Star-Advertiser.

What happened to turn Benjamin Pierce Bishop -- an Army Reserves lieutenant colonel and defense contractor -- into an alleged conduit of secret information for China? KHON2.

University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple is defending the decision to set the proposed salary for Manoa's incoming head librarian at $195,000, saying the candidate was being pursued by other institutions and the salary is commensurate with peer universities. Star-Advertiser.


Almost 10 years after it was constructed, a $1.9 million water tank still sits unused at the corner of Komohana and Kawailani streets in Hilo, as contractors try to repair yet another problem with the ill-fated project. West Hawaii Today.

Legislation seeking to change regulations regarding geothermal development remains alive though it’s not quite the same bill with which lawmakers started. Tribune-Herald.

Federal officials say a DNA-based water quality test, recently approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, could save health departments and other governmental agencies time, allowing government officials to close beaches more quickly in the event of a bacterial outbreak. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island residents and visitors will once again have the opportunity to test their mettle, when Volcano House opens its guest rooms this month to the public as it completes renovations that began last year after a near three-year search for a concessioner that left the historic facility closed since Jan. 1, 2010. Tribune-Herald.


A draft environmental assessment has been filed for the planned Consolidated Rental Car Facility proposed by the state Department of Transportation for the Kahului Airport. Maui Now.

The descendants of a family with ties to the gunner for King Kamehameha I at the battle of Kepaniwai and Kihapi'ilani, one-time king of Maui, will be caring for a family grave site March 30 in West Maui as part of the 21st annual Celebration of the Arts cultural festival at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Maui News.


The Garden Island has hired Bill Buley as its editor-in-chief. He will assume the new post April 15. Garden Island.

A new view for Wailua Beach is under way, and should be ready sometime in April. Much of the view of the beach from the highway will be obstructed by a three-foot, six-inch-tall cement wall extending almost the entire length of the beach. Garden Island.

County Department of Water officials announced Monday the completion of a large scale capital replacement project for the Lihu‘e water system. Garden Island.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pay raises for government officials, more racism in the Hawaii capital, Lt. Gov. Tsutsui seeks $200k Maui office, defense contractor charged with spying, tourist tax deferred, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kilauea lava flow, USGS courtesy photo
South winds permitted clear views into one of Hawaii's natural beauties recently: the lava lake from Kilauea Volcano's active flow on the Big Island. Hawaii News Now.

The state salary commission voted Monday to recommend pay raises for the governor, judges and legislators, concluding that higher salaries are justified to attract the "best and brightest" to public service. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers could soon get a huge pay increase. The state salary commission recommended legislators get a 21 percent raise this summer. KITV4.

Hawaii Fight Over GMO Labeling Turns Ugly. Environmental activist tells committee chair, "Go back to Japan." Civil Beat.

The attorney general is cautioning state senators that a House bill requiring genetically modified imported produce to carry labels would likely be struck down by the federal government if it becomes law. Star-Advertiser.

House Tourism Committee Defers Hotel Room Tax Hike. Hawaii Public Radio.

The record-breaking tourism industry has the Honolulu Mayor and the governor asking for a bigger piece of the pie. On Monday, they asked the state legislature to raise the hotel room tax. KHON2.

The Senate Education Committee voted Monday to move forward a bill that would allow the state to develop public school lands through private-public partnerships. Associated Press.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s three early education proposals are sailing through the Legislature, but the money he originally proposed to pay for the initiative’s first phase — the School Readiness program — got scrapped by the state House last week. Civil Beat.

Opponents of decriminalizing marijuana has a new partner -- a powerful national figure who has made it a point to fight legislation through education. KITV4.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is seeking to shore up its rules regarding coral damage in order to help protect the marine invertebrates. Tribune-Herald.

Push to create a statewide cell phone ban. KHON2.

State roundup for March 19. Associated Press.


A defense contractor who works in intelligence at the U.S. Pacific Command has been charged with giving national security secrets to a 27-year-old Chinese woman with whom he was romantically involved, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Monday. Associated Press.

A civilian defense employee in Hawaii charged with leaking classified information about nuclear weapons, early-warning radar systems and other secrets to a Chinese national who was his girlfriend may have been targeted because he had access to such information, the FBI says. Star-Advertiser.

Benjamin Pierce Bishop, 59, a former U.S. Army officer who works as a civilian employee of a defense contractor at U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) in Hawaii, has been arrested on charges of communicating classified national defense information to a person not entitled to receive such information. Hawaii Reporter.

Oahu's residential electricity rates were higher in February and March largely because a coal-fired plant that provides the island's cheapest source of power was down for maintenance, Hawaiian Electric Co. officials said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The city Board of Water Supply is offering up its sprawling main base of operations in Honolulu for lease and redevelopment in a move to earn income that helps pay for agency expenses and possibly reduces customer costs. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii County is poised to issue a 10-year contract to divert most of its waste from the county’s two landfills, a contract that would all but close the door on the prospects for a waste-to-energy facility that has been endorsed by Mayor Billy Kenoi. West Hawaii Today.

Campus administrators are keeping their fingers crossed after the Legislature dropped from a working version of the state budget a request for $38 million to fund a new pharmacy school building at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

There are conflicting reports over whether the Kohala Watershed Partnership is using aerial hunting during its current feral goat eradication efforts. However, the partnership, which is helping to restore native forests in the watershed above Pelekane Bay, denies using such a method. West Hawaii Today.


Plans to open a Maui office for the state of Hawaii's no. 2 executive will cost nearly $200,000. Hawaii News Now.

The Pan-STARRS space program, which operates the powerful PS1 telescope atop the summit of Haleakala on Maui is the recipient of an anonymous $3 million gift. Maui Now.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii plans to open a 9,300-square-foot rehabilitation center in Central Maui this fall. Pacific Business News.

The drought watch for Upcountry Maui was officially lifted on Friday, March 15, after nearly four years of voluntary restrictions, said County Water Department officials. Maui Now.


Approximately 150 people, mostly county officials and staff, gathered at the Mo‘ikeha building’s rotunda Monday morning for Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s fifth State of the County address. Garden Island.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s State of the County Address was presented Monday, March 18, 2013 in Moikeha Courtyard. Hawaii Reporter.

Recent samples taken from the inner wall of a Princeville water tank — part of a private water system — have been confirmed to contain the organic chemical polychlorinated biphenyls, according to state officials. While they say the water remains safe to drink, the source of contamination has yet to be determined. Garden Island.