Showing posts with label traffic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label traffic. Show all posts

Friday, July 7, 2023

New state laws address highway safety, driver's licenses, shoreline protection; Honolulu rail CEO wants tax extended, Kauai managing director moves to Schatz' office, beers created from rice, ti root, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiʻi Roadway Safety Bills Signed Into Law. Seven bills relating to roadway safety in Hawaiʻi were signed into law by Governor Josh Green on Thursday, during a ceremony on Oʻahu. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

A new law makes driver license renewal easier.
You will eventually be able to renew your driver’s license online or by mail. It was a bill that Governor Josh Green, M.D. signed into law on Thursday, July 6. KHON2.

Increased fines, drones to protect Hawaii shorelines . Governor signs measures to boost coastal management, enforcement.  Gov. Josh Green signed a handful of bills Thursday related to coastal protection. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

In fight against erosion, new legal weapon targets homeowners who go rogue. As ocean levels rise, new rules give the state more power to keep people from breaking the law to protect their properties from erosion. Hawaii News Now.

Preschool educators stipend program finally launches.  Despite a two-year wait to fully launch Hawaii’s first public stipend program for early-childhood educators, state officials are hopeful that it will make big strides toward solving a chronic and severe shortage of teachers and caregivers for keiki ages 0 to 5. Star-Advertiser.

DOE spent $168M on bell and alarm system, but more than half of schools still don’t have it. More than half of Hawaii’s 255 public schools rely on aging bell, alarm and P.A. systems due to delays in installing promised high-tech upgrades. Hawaii News Now.

Civil rights attorney to file class action against Hawaii education, health departments. A Honolulu attorney says he's a few weeks away from filing a class action lawsuit against the state over special education services. KITV4.

President’s commission meeting in Hawaii OKs broad set of recommendations. For the first time, the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders convened for its quarterly meeting outside of Washington, D.C. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiians discuss housing challenges with U.S. HUD Secretary.  The visit served as an opportunity for HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda and HUD Regional Administrator Jason Pu to listen to the struggles, successes and valuable feedback shared by the community.  Big Island Now.

Hawaii, Honolulu score $4M for climate action plans. The funding — $1 million to Honolulu and $3 million to the state — was announced Thursday in Honolulu by Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. Star-Advertiser.

83,000 Hawaii homes dispose of sewage in cesspools. Hawaii has 83,000 cesspools — more than any other state — and about 20% are less than 0.6 mile from shore. Six years ago, Hawaii mandated the removal of all cesspools by 2050. Associated Press.


Honolulu City Council trio needed to reject 64% pay raises in writing. In the days leading up to the controversial start of the salary increases for Hono­lulu’s top elected and appointed officials, Council members Augie Tulba, Andria Tupola and Radiant Cordero were each required to submit a memorandum to the city stating their rejection to the expected $44,400 pay bump — to $113,304 from $68,904. Star-Advertiser.

Businessman Accused Of Bribing Honolulu Prosecutor Points Finger At Feds. 
If convicted of bribing former prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, the 79-year-old Dennis Mitsunaga could go to prison for the rest of his life.  Civil Beat.

Rail CEO looks to extend the system — by extending rail surcharge.
Mostly with money from the half percent general excise tax, HART has spent about $5 billion so far to get the first 11 miles up and running, construct most of the way from Pearl Harbor to Middle Street and begin utility work on the final segment to Kakaako. Hawaii News Now.

Rail Contractor Sues HART Over Construction Delays.
Contractor STG is seeking more than $99 million in damages, and says HART "has only itself to blame." The contractor hired to build the 5-mile airport segment of the Honolulu rail line is suing the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, alleging HART’s failure to address problems with the relocation of utilities along the line has caused expensive construction delays. Civil Beat.

Rail ridership falls as paid service begins.  The first day of paid rail ridership saw a drop in interest, as expected, with only 1,245 passengers boarding Skyline trains. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

State agrees to purchase and maintain Wahiawā Irrigation System, Lake Wilson.  Gov. Josh Green signed a bill Wednesday that requires his office to negotiate the purchase of Wahiawā Dam, Lake Wilson, and its associated spillways and irrigation ditches.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Kaiwi coast scenic area on Oahu could become state park.  Hawaii might have a new state park by this time in 2024 covering about 340 acres of mostly natural coastal land in East Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu housing market cooled off in June.  The median price for single-family home resales stabilized in June but remained above seven figures at $1,050,000. That was down 4.5% from $1.1 million a year ago and off 5.3% from $1,109,000 in May, according to data released Thursday from the Honolulu Board of Realtors.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

County Council approves creation of Office of Sustainability, Climate, Equity and Resilience. The Hawai‘i County Council on Wednesday approved the creation of a cabinet-level Office of Sustainability, Climate, Equity and Resilience — and a new section of county code to govern it — that will lead the County’s efforts to ensure the island can withstand the effects of climate change. Big Island Now.

Council rejects plan for downtown Hilo. A proposal to create a Business Improvement District to revitalize downtown Hilo has been decisively killed after pushback from area business owners. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island Wants To Use Opioid Settlement Money To Open Its First Detox Facility. Hawaii County will receive $489,000 in opioid settlement funds this year and just over $100,000 annually thereafter through 2038, Mayor Mitch Roth announced Thursday.  Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.

How ‘ōkolehao, an alcoholic spirit made of tī root, could change the liquor industry. Hawaiʻi's first-ever alcoholic spirit made from the root of the tī plant may soon get a boost in popularity from a Big Island brewery.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Keaukaha speed limit change advances. A proposal to reduce the speed limit on Kalanianaole Street is closer to reality after passing a Hawaii County Council committee Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.


For the second month in a row, visitor arrivals slowed. In May, there were 240,407 visitors to Maui, down 2.8 percent compared to May 2022 when there were 247,280 visitors, and down 4.5 percent versus May 2019 when there were 251,665 visitors, according to the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. Maui News.

Can’t Afford To Junk Your Car? Maui Will Tow And Recycle It For Free. Officials estimate 2,500 vehicles are abandoned each year in the county. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Kamehameha Schools acquires thousands of acres at Kaupō Ranch and Hāmākualoa, Maui. Kamehameha Schools announced today its acquisition of more than 4,500 acres of land from Kaupō Ranch Ltd. on southeastern Maui for approximately $21 million.  Maui Now.


Matsuyama named Kauaʻi County’s managing director, replacing Dahilig who joins U.S. Sen. Schatz’ office.  Kauaʻi native Reiko Matsuyama has been appointed as the new managing director of the County of Kaua‘i by Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami. Kauai Now.

And so we wait': Kauaʻi doctor underscores dialysis needs on island.  The capacity of dialysis treatment on Kauaʻi is critical, according to a local doctor. Dr. Raymond Petrillo, Kauaʻi’s sole kidney doctor, operates his private practice, Island Kidney Care, in Lihuʻe and Waimea.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Rice beer on tap on Rice Street. Rice grower Jerry Ornellas said when the first batch of Jerry’s Rice Beer — the name assigned to the rice-based beer by the Kaua‘i Beer Company — went online on Monday, it was the first time in more than 60 years that Kaua‘i-grown rice was used commercially. Garden Island.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Honolulu braces for student surge, Veterans Affairs official visits Tripler, Japanese tourists drawn to Big Island, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Joy Roldan
Honolulu traffic PC:Joy Roldan via Facebook
Here are some tips on how to prepare for back-to-school Oʻahu traffic. Prepare yourself. If you are on the road on Oʻahu next week, expect delays as 50,000 more motorists hit the road. The University of Hawaiʻi faculty and students return fully in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic.  Hawaii Public Radio.

When to expect your $300 Hawaii tax rebate? The State of Hawaii Department of Taxation created an Act 115 Refund page on its website for residents and said those that filed their tax returns can expect to see their $300 refund by September or October and it all depends on when they filed their tax return. KHON2.

Large number of voters leave Office of Hawaiian Affairs races blank. From Mauna Kea, to the decades long waiting list for Hawaiian Homestead land, it's a pivotal time in the Native Hawaiian community. KITV4

Hawaiʻi Schools Issue Updated COVID-19 Guidance.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Education on Monday released an updated COVID-19 guidance, incorporating the latest recommendations from the Hawaiʻi Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for K-12 schools. Big Island Video News.

Ige: Changes coming as COVID funding ends. Due to changes in federal funding, the state of Hawaii will alter its approach to testing, treatment and other COVID-19 mitigation strategies. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Department of Health reports 2,696 new infections, 13 coronavirus-related deaths. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, continued its downward trend to 10.7%, compared to 12.4% reported the previous week, representing tests performed between Aug. 9 to 15. It represents a decline for the third week in a row since July 27. Star-Advertiser.


The Public May Never Know Who Did The Bribing In The Honolulu Permitting Scandal. In a bribery scandal that nabbed government workers, federal prosecutors have obscured the identities of those on the other end of the transaction. Civil Beat.

Airport theft probe exposes possible wider public corruption scheme. A state investigation into alleged thefts at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport baseyard has lead to suspicions of insider contracting. Hawaii News Now.

Tripler VA center gets visit from Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Donald Remy. Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Donald Remy visited the Spark M. Matsunaga Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Wednesday as part of a tour of VA facilities across the Pacific. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Mixed-use towers proposed for Keeaumoku. A new affordable housing development could be coming to the heart of Honolulu at the old Meadow Gold facility, but questions remain about how long it will stay affordable. KHON2.

Honolulu Community College’s aviation maintenance program receives a historic boost from Hawaiian Airlines. For the first time in the roughly 80-year history of the Pacific Basin’s only aviation maintenance training program, an airline company is investing in it directly by diverting some of its paid employees to serve as instructors. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi Island records more than its usual share of Japanese visitors. Ross Birch, head of the bureau, says the Big Island is currently receiving about 1,000 Japanese visitors a day. That equates to 20% of Japanese visitors arriving in Hawaiʻi. The island usually sees 10% of total statewide arrivals. Hawaii Public Radio.

County to Temporarily Pause Rental, Utility Assistance Program. The county’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program, ERAP, will temporarily pause to new applications starting Thursday in an effort to process existing applications. Big Island Now. KHON2.

New program makes county buses ‘safe places’. Mass Transit Administrator John Andoh announced that Mass Transit is partnering with the National Safe Place Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing shelter and resources to children and teens in crisis. Tribune-Herald.

Public Can Give Feedback On Waikōloa Intersection Plan. The Hawaiʻi County Department of Public Works Engineering Division says it will be implementing safety improvements on the Waikōloa Intersection, where Waikoloa Road meets Paniolo Avenue. Big Island Video News.

Hilo Judge Extends TRO Against Deputy Prosecutor. A district court judge in Hilo on Wednesday extended a temporary restraining order against a deputy prosecutor and his wife who are accused of harassing their next-door neighbors. She also ordered mediation. Civil Beat.


Maui Police Commission reviews complaints against chief and executive staff. The Maui Police Commission met on Wednesday to review complaints against Maui Police Chief John Pelletier and several members of his executive staff, alleging violations of policy and procedure. Maui Now.

Despite long lines to vote on Maui, election officials say no major changes planned for November. Officials say primary election day in Hawaii had a few hiccups, but otherwise went smoothly and they’re not planning to change too many procedures for the general election in November. Hawaii News Now.

Public invited to comment on Maui Climate Mitigation Action Survey. Mayor Michael Victorino is seeking public input for a Maui County Climate Mitigation Action Survey to help develop a Climate Action and Resiliency Plan. Maui Now.


Kauaʻi residents respond favorably to concept of regenerative travel. Give more and take less could soon become a traveler’s creed. A University of Hawaiʻi paper asked more than 460 Kauaʻi residents about their attitudes on regenerative tourism. Hawaii Public Radio.

Surveyed Kauaʻi residents continue to feel concerned about COVID-19. A majority of surveyed Kauaʻi residents continue to feel concerned about COVID-19 and the pandemic, according to a new report from the state Department of Health and Kauaʻi District Health Office. Hawaii Public Radio.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Hawaii second-worst for driving, sprinklers for Honolulu high-rises, University of Hawaii faculty holds anti-Thirty Meter Telescope press conference, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

file photo
Honolulu traffic file photo
No surprises here: In a new study, Hawaii is ranked the second-worst state for drivers. The study, conducted by Bankrate, gave Hawaii some of the worst numbers in several areas related to safety, cost and driving quality. It analyzed commute time information, traffic fatality data, road condition reports and gas prices — all of which Hawaii drivers deal with on a daily basis. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii placed 2nd for worst drivers across the nation, according to study. Personal finance site has ranked the best and worst states for drivers related to cost, safety, and driving quality. KITV.

Commuting Oahu: ‘It Takes Your Time And It Gives You Back Stress’ Some of us live closer to our jobs than ever. But it’s taking longer to get there. And the cost in lost time, dollars and home life is heavy. Civil Beat.


 Former carpenters’ union official is Green’s chief of staff. Lt. Gov. Josh Green appointed a former carpenters’ union official to be his chief of staff months after a super PAC funded by the union spent more than $1 million supporting his candidacy in the Democratic Party primary. Associated Press.

Bravery of USS Vestal crew saved many lives. History focuses most on the cataclysmic explosion on the USS Arizona and sunken battleship memorial — still a tomb for over 900 crew — in remembering the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian monk seal has eel removed from its nose. On Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program posted to its Facebook page a photo of a juvenile monk seal with what appears to be a spotted eel in its nose. Star-Advertiser.

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross reputed to be the world’s oldest known bird in the wild, has returned to Midway Atoll and laid another egg, federal wildlife officials confirmed earlier this week. Star-Advertiser.


Sprinkler extension denied. At its last meeting of 2018, the Honolulu City Council failed to override Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s veto of a bill easing condo fire safety rules, but gave the final green light for Waikiki’s first, large-scale rental complex in decades and moved forward with proposals regulating vacation rentals and “monster” houses. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council failed to override the Mayor’s Veto of an important fire sprinkler bill. Bill 72, allows high-rise condominiums without fire sprinkler systems an additional 2 years to complete a life system evaluation and retrofit. Hawaii Public Radio.

High rise fire inspections to remain at three years vs. five, post-Marco Polo fire. The Honolulu City Council voted five-to-three on Bill 72. This keeps high rise building fire inspections to three years instead of five. KITV.

City Ethics Commission Is Investigating Far Fewer Cases Than 2 Years Ago. Director Jan Yamane, who took over from Chuck Totto, is emphasizing training over investigation in an effort to change the culture. Civil Beat.

Legal community urges action against Honolulu prosecutors mixed up in federal criminal probe. There is growing pressure on the city Prosecutor’s Office after a Hawaii News Now investigation revealed First Deputy Chasid Sapolu was sent a subject letter from the Department of Justice. Hawaii News Now.

Islandwide Homeless Restrictions Approved — But Are They Legal? A recent federal court ruling has some cities pulling back their bans on homeless people camping in public places. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

With the legal fight against the Thirty Meter Telescope appeared to be over, University of Hawaii faculty, staff and students took their case to the public Wednesday in a press conference on the UH Manoa campus. Star-Advertiser.

Energy experts discuss grid resiliency, redesign against external threats. The components of the concept were part of a panel discussion Wednesday at a conference on energy storage trends and opportunities convened by the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority and held at the Sheraton Kona at Keauhou Bay. West Hawaii Today.

As checkpoints come down inside Leilani Estates, Hawaii Island residents face uncertainty for future. KHON2.

Puna’s New Councilmember Ashley Kierkiewicz Looks Ahead. Big Island Video News.

Paradise Helicopters expands Big Island service. Kona-based Paradise Helicopters is expanding its service to the Waimea-Kohala Airport on the Big Island with the launch of a new tour. Pacific Business News.

Home sales drop on Hawaii's Big Island, prices flat. The median price of a single-family home on the Big Island in November was $358,000, which was a decline of 3.57 percent from $371,250 during the same month last year. Pacific Business News.


Upcountry skate park just needs a fence. While not popular, county says it’s needed for safety. The Pukalani community will get its gift of a skate park probably early next year, and it will come with what some may call extra wrapping — a fence. Maui News.

Tourism on Maui appears to have weathered storms. October visitor arrivals, spending up, HTA data show. Tourism officials appeared to downplay the impacts of storms Lane and Olivia that arrived weeks apart in August and September following the release of October tourism data last week. Maui News.


A bill that proposed to reform the county’s affordable housing policy did not pass a second hearing at the Kauai County Council meeting last week, losing in a 6-1 vote. Garden Island.

Former PMRF worker accused of wire fraud. The U.S. Pacific Fleet on Oahu is still putting together the pieces of how a woman allegedly stole nearly $356,000 from the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility. Garden Island.

Kauai condo prices jump 35% in November. The median price of a condo on Kauai last month was $550,000, an increase of 35.47 percent from $406,000 in November 2017. Pacific Business News.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Federal grants threatened as state road projects lag, Ige to list possible vetoes today, charter school sued over prayers, Hannemann returns as tourism chief, sea cucumbers protected, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii Island traffic copyright 2015 All Hawaii News
After years of delays on major Hawaii transportation projects, Federal Highway Administration officials are warning the state they may yank funding for new highway projects unless the state streamlines its plodding, bureaucratic system and moves roadwork into construction more quickly. Star-Advertiser.

Fallout from the state's backlog of federally funded highway projects will affect Hawaii motorists for years as the state Department of Transportation halts work on some complex, large-scale projects that would increase road capacity and ease traffic flow. Star-Advertiser.

As Gov. David Ige continues working on which bills he will approve or veto from the 2015 session, a key lawmaker says the Legislature is unlikely to override any vetoes once the list is published. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers sent more than 200 bills to Gov. David Ige last spring but he still has to decide what he’s going to do with nearly half of them. Legislation to establish medical marijuana dispensaries, authorize the counties to levy a surcharge on the General Excise Tax and make it easier for someone to change their birth certificate so it aligns with their gender identity are among the 114 bills pending action by the governor. Civil Beat.

Land board members heard from Native Hawaiians who say even though they worry about how their cultural gathering rights will be affected, they support this temporary ban on the taking of sea cucumbers. KITV4.

Mufi Hannemann has been appointed president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, a position he previously held after serving as Honolulu's mayor. Star-Advertiser.


On an island that many people think of as paradise, the struggle for residents to get to school or to work in crushing traffic gridlock is a daily part of life. Associated Press.

Honolulu rail transit officials are reminding drivers about overnight road closures this week on Fort Weaver Road for rail guideway construction along Farrington Highway. Hawaii News Now.

What will Chinatown look like in the next few years? That was the question posed at Saturday’s Chinatown Action Summit. KHON2.


While the 1-year-old June 27 lava flow hasn’t threatened populated areas since March, geologists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continue to study samples that might help fine-tune projections if it sends another 2,000-degree river of molten rock toward homes in lower Puna. Tribune-Herald.

Motorists driving the Queen Kaahumanu Highway near Waikoloa on Sunday morning saw hundred of runners streaming along the makai shoulder of the roadway and along Waikoloa Beach Drive. But for the first time in years, West Hawaii drivers weren’t having to adjust their course and travel times for the Kona Marathon. West Hawaii Today.


Repeated floods have eroded Iao Stream's channel bed and levees over the past three decades to the point where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing new structures and stream diversions to protect surrounding homes and businesses. Maui News.


A charter school employee in Kauai files a civil rights complaint over what he says is the practice of forced prayer on campus, illustrating the complex relationship between culture and spirituality at many of the state’s Hawaiian-focused schools. Civil Beat.

The Kauai County Council unanimously approved a Kauai Police Department request to purchase a package deal that includes more than 100 body cameras and 100 Tasers worth just under $180,000, using money from the KPD asset forfeiture fund. Garden Island.

When the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands begins consolidating its electric grid with $30 million in federal funding earmarked for the project, it’s Capt. Bruce Hay’s hope that alternative energy will be part of the solution. Garden Island.

Hawaii’s governor never planned to get involved in politics. In 1985, David Ige was 28 and working as an electrical engineer in the private sector, with no thought of ever running for elected office. Garden Island.


A proposed 6-mile fencing and management project in the Waikolu Valley and Pu'u Ali'i Natural Area Reserve will be discussed at an informational meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at Kalanianaole Hall on Molokai. Maui News.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Senate trims Ige budget, police ticket cellphone users in traffic jam, clean energy initiative ends, teachers allowed to campaign at school, Mauna Kea telescope protests continue, Kenoi releases credit card records, Maui council to cut budget, treasures return to Kauai museum, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii state Capitol © 2015 All Hawaii News
A Hawaii Senate panel has passed a version of the state budget that restored some funding that the House had stripped out, but the panel left several departments wanting more money. Associated Press.

The state Senate unveiled a new two-year budget Wednesday that would slightly cut back on Gov. David Ige's proposals, but would still increase state spending to record levels next year. The Senate budget draft would shave about half of 1 percent from the $13 billion budget proposed by Ige for the year that begins July 1, and would trim a bit more than half of 1 percent from Ige's proposal for the following year. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Senate Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday restored $212 million in general funds that the House had cut last month from Gov. David Ige’s proposed $13.28 billion state spending plan for the next two years. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige has made six appointments to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, including a former community college provost, accountant and attorney, and hospital executive. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Senate to Post Résumés of Nominees on Website. President Kim decides it's important to provide "important information to the public" about gubernatorial appointments to boards and commissions. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii state Senate has formed a special committee after questions were raised about whether Sen. Brickwood Galuteria lives in his district. Hawaii News Now.

Teachers running for union offices in an internal election now underway will be allowed to distribute their campaign materials in school mailboxes, according to the terms of a temporary restraining order issued last week by the Hawaii Labor Relations Board. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture said Wednesday that it has posted on its website some data showing what restricted-use pesticides were sold in the state last year. The data only specifies what kinds of pesticides were purchased and in what amounts, and doesn’t state who bought them. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative — a series of agreements created in 2008 under the leadership of then-Gov. Linda Lingle that are critical to shaping the state’s energy future, including achieving 70 percent renewable energy by 2030 — has officially ended, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

One of the top clean-energy nonprofits in Hawaii sharply criticized the state Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday over its much anticipated order on decoupling, which separates Hawaiian Electric’s revenues from its sales. Blue Planet Foundation, headed by Jeff Mikulina, said the commission failed to adopt proposals to tie the utility’s revenues to clean energy performance. Civil Beat.

A federal judge ruled on March 31 that the National Marine Fisheries Service acted illegally in approving testing and training activities by the US Navy in the Pacific Ocean that threatens widespread harm to whales, dolphins, sea turtles and other marine mammals. Maui Now.


Members of the Honolulu City Council had more harsh words Wednesday about the direction of the island's rail project — but then the group signaled its support of a rail tax extension with key votes. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council members voted yes on two rail-related measures during a special meeting Wednesday, indicating their support for extending an island-wide tax hike to pay for estimated cost overruns on the $6 billion project. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers on both sides of Punchbowl Street are weighing a handful of nonbinding resolutions that would call for piecemeal reforms to the Honolulu rail project. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu police issued 65 tickets to motorists for illegally using cellphones and other electronic devices Tuesday during the height of the traffic standstill touched off by ZipMobile troubles. Star-Advertiser.

Officials from the Honolulu Police Department explained in a press conference on Wednesday that there was a preplanned electronic device enforcement event in Pearl City on Waimano Home Road on the same day that a broken ZipMobile caused traffic gridlock on the H-1 Freeway. KITV4.

At least one state lawmaker has written a letter to Honolulu City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, asking him to dismiss any traffic citations that were issued for cell phone or shoulder lane use during Tuesday's traffic nightmare. Hawaii News Now.

Tuesday's carmageddon cost residents an estimated $1 million in lost time and gas, rendered cabdrivers and delivery trucks motionless, caused travelers to miss flights, and had caregivers working overtime when family members couldn't arrive to take their keiki or kupuna home. Star-Advertiser.


A $1,219.69 surfboard at a Honolulu store, $1,909.47 worth of equipment at a Kailua-Kona bike shop and $78.27 in sportswear from a Honolulu Quiksilver shop were among personal purchases Mayor Billy Kenoi made on his county charge card since being elected in 2008. Kenoi also paid a $700 tab at a karaoke bar across the street from his Hilo office, and his $566 state bar association dues, and he bought an $89.86 garment bag at a Kailua-Kona big box store, among many other personal purchases. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi revealed Wednesday he has reimbursed the county for a total of $26,000 in charges and interest on a county credit card — roughly half of which went for personal purchases. Star-Advertiser.

What was supposed to be a night out with friends at a local hostess bar has turned into a political crisis for one of the Democratic Party's rising stars. Hawaii News Now.

Big Island Mayor, Billy Kenoi spent nearly 900 dollars at Club Evergreen, a hostess bar in Honolulu. Kenoi says he paid the money back,but those weren’t the only unauthorized purchases on what is called his county pCard. KHON2.

With the exception of two members, the Hawaii County Council is choosing to remain tight-lipped concerning Mayor Billy Kenoi’s personal use of a county-issued credit card. Tribune-Herald.

Protesters of the Thirty Meter Telescope, who call themselves protectors of Mauna Kea, say they will continue to take a stand against the $1.4 billion project even if it means facing arrest. Tribune-Herald.

Protesters continued their vigil against the planned $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope without incident Wednesday as no work crews attempted to travel up to the construction site at the summit of Mauna Kea for the second day in a row. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: The long-standing overtly contentious face off between Native Hawaiians and the University of Hawaii’s aggressive advocacy of maximizing Mauna Kea as a premier site for astronomical observatories is heading into its most serious period of conflict. Civil Beat.

Funding for the Kona Judiciary Complex passed intact through key Senate committees on Wednesday. The $55 million needed to round out the $90 million price tag for the complex was approved by the Ways and Means and Judiciary committees. West Hawaii Today.

Two critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals were recently returned to Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument after being rehabilitated at The Marine Mammal Center’s Ke Kai Ola Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital in Kailua-Kona.West Hawaii Today.


"We are in cutting mode," said Maui County Council Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Riki Hokama on Tuesday as council members began their review of Mayor Alan Arakawa's proposed nearly $700 million budget for fiscal 2016. Maui News.

More than 100 supporters of the Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for the Keiki and the Aina Movement or SHAKA join hands in front of the Kalana O Maui Building on Tuesday morning at the close of a rally demanding implementation of last year's voter-approved moratorium on genetically modified organisms. Maui News.

The Maui Police Department will soon equip at least some of its officers with body cameras, the department announced on Mar. 20. MauiTime.

With former mayoral candidate Nelson Waikiki Jr. saying Wednesday that he wants to represent himself in his criminal case, his sentencing was delayed until May 1 on securities fraud charges. Maui News.

The Kauai Museum on Wednesday opened two of four large crates of artifacts received from the Smithsonian Institution of National Museum of American History.  The antiquities, which went down with a ship almost 190 years ago, have a storied history. Garden Island.

The public is invited to attend a meeting on the role that electric vehicles play in Kauai’s clean energy future. Among the topics that will be covered are the benefits of EV usage; access to charging stations; and EV trends in Hawaii and beyond. Garden Island.


A resolution urging the mayor to seek a half-million-dollar appropriation for the Molokaʻi Ferry is scheduled to surface on the council agenda next Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Maui Now.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Navy war games violated federal law, flood insurance rates rising, Honolulu traffic jam underscores poor road planning, fired judge fires back, telescope protests continue, psychologists want to prescribe drugs, Kauai library celebrates 60th, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy U.S. navy
RIMPAC 2014 in Hawaii file photo, courtesy U.S. Navy
A federal judge in Honolulu says the National Marine Fisheries Service violated federal law in issuing a permit to the U.S. Navy to conduct sonar testing, underwater detonations and other activities over millions of square miles of ocean between Hawaii and the West Coast. U.S. District Court Judge Susan Oki Mollway sided with the Conservation Council for Hawaii, the Natural Resources Defense Council and a number of other environmental organizations in issuing her ruling Tuesday afternoon. Civil Beat.

A federal judge on Tuesday said the National Marine Fisheries Service violated environmental laws when it approved the Navy’s plans for training in waters off Hawaii and Southern California. The agency failed to support its finding that the training would have a “negligible impact” on marine life, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Oki Mollway wrote in her ruling. Associated Press.

Thousands of Hawaii property owners are about to be hit with a flood of higher premiums. About 20,000 people who carry flood insurance will see their annual policies increase an average 19.8 percent beginning today under changes to the National Flood Insurance Program. Star-Advertiser.

Civil Beat Database: Checking Up on Top State Officials Just Got a Lot Easier. Financial disclosures for top Hawaii officials are now available on a new searchable site to help the public identify potential conflicts of interest. Civil Beat.

About a dozen mental health advocates gathered Tuesday outside the fourth-floor office of Senate Health Chairman Josh Green at the state Capitol to demand that Green hold a hearing on a measure they believe would significantly improve mental health treatment in Hawaii, particularly in rural communities. Star-Advertiser.

Supporters of a bill to allow psychologists to prescribe medications in Hawaii gathered Tuesday at the state Capitol to plead with lawmakers to hear the measure. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian Electric Co. and Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc., which is buying the Honolulu-based utility for $4.3 billion, are urging the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to not extend the deadline for the acquisition case, according to public documents. Pacific Business News.

A total of 420,409 firearms were registered in Hawaii from 2000 to 2014. And that’s on top of the 1 million firearms that were already in the state, according to an estimate by the Hawaii Attorney General’s office and the Honolulu Police Department in the late 1990s. That means there could be more guns in Hawaii than residents, according to data from the Attorney General’s office. Civil Beat.

From plastic bottles on the beach to trash along trailsides, illegal dumping can be seen around Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

When plastic is washed or dumped into the ocean, it doesn’t completely break down…instead it adds to a dangerous plastic soup. Hawaii Public Radio.

Opinion: When it finally came down to it, the Chess Club, a faction of senators loyal to Gov. David Ige, decided not to support Carleton Ching, the governor’s choice to head the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Those senators don’t deserve sympathy for having to make an agonizing choice. That’s their job. What they deserve is criticism for doing that job so badly. Civil Beat.

State Department of Transportation officials hope that Wednesday morning's commute will go smoothly — with the H-1 ZipperLane still open for town-bound traffic — but there's no guarantee that pau hana drivers won't see a repeat of Tuesday's carmageddon that caused widespread gridlock. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu ranks No. 3 in the country when it comes to traffic congestion. That’s according to the annual TomTom Traffic Index, which was released Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Honolulu was recently ranked the third worst city for traffic congestion in the nation but Tuesday evening’s traffic jam brought frustrations to new heights. As drivers heading westbound remained stuck for hours due to a broken ZipMobile, some took to Twitter to vent about #Zipnado aka #Carmageddon. Civil Beat.

Officials say both of the state's ZipMobiles are likely to remain broken until at least Wednesday afternoon as the transportation department await the arrival of replacement parts and a repair technician from the U.S. mainland. Hawaii News Now.

A state judge who was rejected by the Judicial Selection Commission has fired back, saying the commission's proceedings were unfair. In a March 21 letter obtained by Hawaii News Now, Circuit Judge Randal Lee alleged that commission members did not review his full record but relied heavily on a last-minute complaint by a city deputy prosecutor, whom he had removed from a case for misconduct.

Honouliuli Internment Camp closed 69 years ago, but shame, sorrow and regret still haunt the gulch called Jigoku-Dani, or Hell Valley, by the Japa­nese-Americans who were held there during World War II. The Kunia site, kept out of sight during the war and out of the American consciousness for decades after that, was dedicated in an emotional ceremony Tuesday as Hono­uli­uli National Monument. Star-Advertiser.

Two Honolulu City Council members want D.R. Horton to include cheaper housing in its planned 11,750-home development between Ewa and Kapolei. The Council’s Zoning and Planning Committee is planning to take up two amendments on Thursday when it considers Bill 3, a measure to rezone nearly 1,300 acres of prime farmland to make way for a new mixed-use community. Civil Beat.

A state judge has refused to order the forfeiture of 77 arcade sweepstakes machines Hono­lulu police seized in 2012 because the city prosecutor took too long to file the request. Star-Advertiser.


Implementing a “pay as you throw” garbage plan, allowing more East Hawaii garbage to be sent to the West Hawaii landfill and banning recyclables and compostables from both landfills are among Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille’s plans to bring the county closer to the goal of zero waste. West Hawaii Today.

Preventing the spread of little fire ants and other invasive species could add as much as $600,000 a year to county mulching operations. The council Finance Committee on Tuesday unanimously advanced county administration’s request to solicit contracts for up to $2.4 million annually for operations turning green waste into mulch at the county landfills in East and West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

Construction crews made no attempt Tuesday to reach the Thirty Meter Telescope site on Mauna Kea following a human blockade the day before as officials try to find a resolution to the standoff. Tribune-Herald.

Protesters who this week interrupted work on what's expected to be the world's largest telescope were put on notice Tuesday that they face arrest if they continue to block crews from reaching the Mauna Kea summit construction site. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii County fire battalion chief and captain are under investigation for criticizing the leadership of Fire Chief Darren Rosario in a story on Hawaii News Now earlier this month.


The cabins at Waiʻānapanapa State Park will close for approximately a year beginning today as a $2.3 million cabin renovation and wastewater treatment project gets underway. Maui Now.

A project to double the size of the Department of Motor Vehicle and Licensing satellite office in Kihei - the county's fastest-growing satellite office - has gone out to bid. Maui News.


The Kapaa Public Library is celebrating its 60th anniversary on Tuesday starting at 1 p.m. with cake, refreshments and entertainment by the Kapaa Senior Center Ukulele Band. Garden Island.

Friday, March 27, 2015

$11M preparing for tech bids lost, state seeks broadband help, construction to grow 9.4%, Hawaiian Electric catching up on PV applications, Kauai space launch delayed, Chinese tourists drive visitor stats, more government and politics news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Damon Tucker
Computer e-waste recycling, courtesy Damon Tucker
After the state spent more than $11 million developing a request for proposals for new computer technology to make government more efficient, the Ige administration is now scrapping the solicitation but promises the money has not been wasted. Star-Advertiser.

A panel of experts at the Hawaii Venture Capital Association luncheon on Thursday discussed the state’s need for broadband, which actions are needed to make it a reality and ways that higher bandwidth can be used. Pacific Business News.

Construction spending is forecast to rise 9.4 percent this year to $7.6 billion, the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization said. Star-Advertiser.

The construction industry isn’t growing as quickly as economists had expected. That’s according to a new report by the University of Hawai‘i Economic Research Organization. Despite a surge of activity on Oahu, the annual forecast says residential building permits actually fell last year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Visitor arrivals to Hawai‘i rose slightly last month, up a little more than 2% compared to a year earlier. Visitor spending fell by a little more than 4%. One group with higher numbers: the Chinese. Hawaii Public Radio.

A plan to allow tourists who are ripped off during their Hawaii vacations to testify against the suspects by way of videoconferencing was rejected by state lawmakers this week, and it appears the idea is dead for the year. Star-Advertiser.

The push to allow for medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii — some 15 years after state leaders permitted medical use of the drug — continues to advance through the Legislature, with key lawmakers in support saying they hope to give the state's nearly 13,000 medical pot patients access to such outlets by early 2016. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Industries CEO Connie Lau made it clear during her closing speech Thursday at the Maui Energy Conference that the company will continue to pursue liquefied natural gas as a “bridge fuel.” Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said Thursday it has approved all rooftop solar applications on Maui and Hawaii island waiting since at least October for the go-ahead. Star-Advertiser.

The Nominating Committee to the State Commission on Water Resource Management will meet Tuesday to review personnel applications and select nominees to fill one position on the State Commission on Water Resource Management. Hawaii Independent.

State taxpayers will pay $418,500 to settle three cases of wrongful terminations of public school employees. Hawaii News Now.


Seeking public input, city aims to lock away prime Oahu farmland. More than 56,000 acres is eyed for inclusion on a map that puts limits on urban development. Star-Advertiser.

The state fears the little fire ant infestation in Waimanalo could get worse. That’s because a group of people have been going in and out of the area that’s infested with the ants. On Friday, the state attorney general’s office will file a temporary restraining order against the group, hoping a judge orders them off the property. KHON2.

City considers fencing Kapalama Canal to move out homeless. Hawaii News Now.


While the June 27 lava flow is not dead, the downgrading of the threat from Kilauea volcano Wednesday could provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency with a closing date for the disaster. If that occurs, FEMA spokeswoman Kelly Hudson said the agency would continue to process requests for disaster relief funds but could limit reimbursement to expenses that occurred before March 25. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Fire Department operations in West Hawaii are not being jeopardized by recent turmoil in the office that resulted in two battalion chiefs being put on paid leave, a top-ranking Fire Department official said this week. West Hawaii Today.

As the site preparation for the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope gets underway, the opposition to the $1.3 billion observatory has taken to Mauna Kea. Big Island Video News.

Several dozen demonstrators assembled Thursday along Mauna Kea Access Road, where organizers say protesters plan to camp out indefinitely in hopes of halting work atop Mauna Kea on what is expected to be the world's largest telescope. Star-Advertiser.

As cars tear up and down residential streets and along roadways in Kona, those who live closest to the lead-footed driving are increasingly calling on the county to erect speed humps to rein drivers in. West Hawaii Today.


The state is threatening to seize several private boats in Lahaina over a lease dispute. Hawaii News Now.

Having Maui County glean 100 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy sources has long been a vision for Mayor Alan Arakawa, but achieving that goal will take time and technological advances, utility officials said Wednesday. Maui News.

Maui County plans to replace its streetlights with more efficient LED lighting, following other counties in Hawaii, including Honolulu and Kauai. Pacific Business News.

Maui County is Hawaii's healthiest county with its active residents and many opportunities for exercise, according to a study released Wednesday by a national health foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Maui News.


The University of Hawaii's first space launch has been delayed three times since 2013, with liftoff of the low-cost, small-satellite delivery system pushed back from January to the fall due to technology and timing issues, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

Traffic congestion. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz wants to hit it head on, not only for Hawaii’s sake, but all other states that are faced with similar challenges. Garden Island.

Kauai District Engineer Ray McCormick of the Hawaii Department of Transportation will be the featured speaker at the Wailua-Kapaa Neighborhood Association’s meeting at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kapaa Library. The talk is free and open to the public. Garden Island.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hawaii researchers probe mercury in fish, Deedy jury was leaning to acquittal, health costs climb, special session for gay marriage would cost $25,800, solar may get more pricey, Honolulu has bad drivers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2013 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii fishermen (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
Hawaii and Michigan researchers say they've discovered how large quantities of toxic mercury end up in the fish we eat — and their work suggests that levels will rise in the coming decades. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai'i took an especially hard hit during the recession, and families with children are among those who suffered the most, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A new report using data from the American Community Survey and Current Population Survey released Tuesday indicates the number of unemployed parents trying to raise a family in Hawai'i skyrocketed by 95% from 2005 to 2011. Hawaii News Now.

Malama Solomon and other members of Hawaii's Senate Water and Land Committee say the state should sue the U.S. Navy for roughly $100 million because it didn’t clean up all the ordnance that it dropped on the small island of Kahoolawe. Civil Beat.

A State Senate Committee conducted a hearing today on the impact of federal cuts on departmental operations and state jurisdiction over Hawaiian waters. Hawaii Public Radio.

Health care costs in Hawaii have grown 6.2 percent annually for nearly the past two decades but are still rising at a slower rate than the national average. Statewide costs rose to an average of $6,856 per person from 1991 to 2009, according to a study due out today by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. That compares to the national average of 6.5 percent and health spending per person of $6,815. Star-Advertiser.

A special session to consider same-sex marriage legislation would cost Hawaii taxpayers about $25,800 — or about 1.9 cents for each of the 1.39 million men, women and children in the state. That cost estimate, provided to Civil Beat from state House Chief Clerk Brian Takeshita, assumes that a session would last just five days. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii Democratic Party and numerous special interest groups are pushing lawmakers to hold a special session to legalize gay marriage. The governor, a long time proponent of gay marriage, can call lawmakers into session, but first wants to ensure he has the votes. Hawaii Reporter.

A proposed rule change that would allow only licensed electricians to install solar photovoltaic panels may increase the cost of installations in Hawaii and limit the number of companies that install projects, according to several sources within the solar PV industry. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for August 28. Associated Press.

Honolulu is among the worst when it comes to safe driving, ranked at 128 of 200 cities in Allstate America's Best Drivers Report. Island drivers aren't as bad as those in New York; Oakland, Calif.; New Orleans; Buffalo, N.Y.; Pittsburgh; San Jose, Calif.; Los Angeles; Miami; Dallas; San Francisco; and last-place Washington, D.C., the report shows. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu ranks among the worst cities for road conditions and traffic congestion, but a new study by Allstate Insurance gives Oahu drivers a bad rating as well. Honolulu comes in a No. 128 of 200 U.S. cities in the newly released 2013 “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report” and is considered one of the least safe cities for drivers. Hawaii Reporter.

People who work in town and drive through Central Oahu to get home can easily easily spend an hour in pau hana traffic. But the State Department of Transportation is working to ease afternoon commute times by creating a PM zipperlane, and the project is about to ramp up. KHON2

About 40 workers within the Athletics Department at the University of Hawaii Manoa campus have been forced to forgo overtime compensation after a memorandum of agreement with the state’s largest public worker union expired June 30. KITV.

A Circuit Court jury reached an impasse at 8-4 in favor of acquitting State Department special agent Christopher Deedy of murdering Kollin Elderts in the 2011 shooting at a Waikiki McDonald’s restaurant, the foreman of the jury said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro was unapologetic Tuesday for how his office handled the Christopher Deedy murder trial that ended Monday in a hung jury. Civil Beat.

Next summer Christopher Deedy will be retried on second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Kollin Elderts. Hawaii News Now.

A protest on behalf of shooting victim Kollin Elderts was held in Waikiki Tuesday. Protesters are angry about the mistrial and believe Christopher Deedy is guilty of murder. KHON2.

Oahu fishermen will get an opportunity to air their concerns before the chairman of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. DLNR Chairman William Aila Jr. will listen to fishermen and answer questions at an informal "talk story" session on Sept. 4. Associated Press.


Hawaii County will pay another $400,000 for a water tank completed in 2004 that hasn’t yet been put into use. West Hawaii Today.

Jessica R. Walsh and Victoria C. Fiore testified in U.S. District Court on Tuesday in a hearing to determine whether the court will allow marijuana advocate Roger Christie and his wife, Sherry­anne, to use the religious defense in their upcoming trial for marijuana possession, distribution, manufacture and conspiracy charges. The trial is scheduled for early October. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island led the way in the state during the first half of 2013 in new car sales, according to the latest Auto Outlook scorecard from the Hawaii Auto Dealers Association. Big Isle new retail light vehicle registrations increased by 16 percent through the end of June this year, compared to the same period last year, when a total of 2,517 new registrations were filed. Tribune-Herald.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources has approved a plan to construct 22 miles of fencing to protect a key watershed in Ka`u from the negative impact of pigs and other ungulates. Big Island Now.


Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said he believes most shark bites are accidental in nature, and does not personally like the idea of hunting sharks or setting up barrier fences off shore. Maui Now.

Jeff Bagshaw's first visit to Haleakala National Park was a "light bulb experience." On that 1988 hiking and camping trip with his college group from Washington state, he saw more endangered wildlife in three days than he had in months on the mainland. Star-Advertiser.


After months of searching, Kauai County officials are still looking for a vendor to set up shop in a vacant Wailua Golf Course clubhouse concession area. “The county has not received any bids on the operation of the Wailua Golf Course restaurant to date,” County of Kauai spokeswoman Mary Daubert said in an e-mail. “Our hope is to find an operator and get the concession running as soon as possible.” Garden Island.

For the second time in a week, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard returned to the Garden Isle Tuesday, with a jam-packed schedule. Garden Island.

A juvenile Hawaiian green sea turtle found entangled in a fishing line or netting off Kauai's north shore was euthanized Monday after it suffered irreparable damage to its flippers. Star-Advertiser.

A coalition of 35 volunteers removed more than 1,500 pounds of marine debris from Hanamaulu Beach on Saturday. Garden Island.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hawaii tourism up, solar credits dim, shield law perforated, Maui seeks auditor, HGEA contract votes, no credit for teacher supplies, Hawaii Island smoking ban working after 5 years, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kona attractions copyright 2013 All Hawaii News
Hawaii luau (c) 2013 All Hawaii News
The number of visitors coming to Hawaii in the first three months of the year surged 7.1 percent to 2.1 million, but tourism officials said Thursday the industry’s growth will likely slow later in 2013. Associated Press.

A 7.6 percent increase in visitor arrivals and a 7.8 percent rise in visitor spending in March kept Hawaii's tourism industry ahead of last year's record numbers, but travel experts warned the growth rate could slow later this year. Star-Advertiser.

March turned out to be another month of growth for tourism in the state. The Hawaii Tourism Authority says overall visitor arrivals were up 7.6% compared to a year earlier, while visitor spending was up 7.8%. The number of tourists coming from Japan was also up—by a little more than four percent. And a growing trend for those Japanese visitors is a movement beyond Waikiki---searching for a more local experience. Hawaii Public Radio.

Key Hawaii lawmakers are deciding how to divvy up $30 million among several competing initiatives, including collective bargaining agreements and Gov. Neil Abercrombie's early childhood education initiative. KITV4.

Hawaii lawmakers are negotiating the details of proposals to allow the state to partner with private companies to develop some public land. Associated Press.

Consumers may soon be able to obtain low-cost loans to install solar and other alternative energy systems and then repay the loans through the savings on their electrical bills. Star-Advertiser.

A generous state tax credit that helped fuel the growth of solar but led to accusations of abuse would be reconfigured under a compromise pending before state lawmakers today. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Government Employees Association announced late Thursday that it would allow its unit of state professional and scientific workers to vote on a state contract offer even though it has not been endorsed by the union's negotiating team. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Growth Initiative, which would encourage entrepreneurs who might help diversify the state's economy, received a $6 million vote of confidence Thursday. State House and Senate negotiators agreed to provide financing next fiscal year for the Hawaii Strategic Development Corp. to start the initiative. Star-Advertiser.

Citing a lack of funds, lawmakers Thursday killed a proposed tax credit that would have helped teachers offset their out-of-pocket classroom expenses. Star-Advertiser.

Some Good Government Bills Still Alive. Civil Beat.

A panel of Hawaii lawmakers on Thursday approved a new draft of the state shield law that removes protections for free newspapers and magazines and requires that newspapers must be printed in order to be covered. West Hawaii Today.

State lawmakers Thursday agreed to make permanent a law that offers journalists limited protection from having to disclose confidential sources in court, but bloggers and other nontraditional journalists would be excluded. The bill would also expand the exceptions to the law beyond felony cases and civil lawsuits that involve defamation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii journalists are decidedly unhappy with the latest version of the state shield law that protects reporters from having to reveal sources and turn over unpublished material. Now, they just want it to die. Civil Beat.

A Honolulu resident and law firm have filed a federal lawsuit accusing the Hawaii Medical Service Association of using anti-competitive practices to maintain a monopoly that has led to skyrocketing health insurance premiums for more than a decade. Star-Advertiser.

Colleen Hanabusa taking on Brian Schatz for U.S. Senate seems to have a lot of people excited. Civil Beat.


A bomb scare halted operations at state Circuit Court, closed roads and shuttered area businesses for nearly five hours Thursday as police investigated a suspicious package that turned out to be harmless. Star-Advertiser.

It was business as usual at the Circuit Court and neighboring buildings by 1 p.m. Thursday, after a bomb scare caused evacuations and shut down Halekauwila between South and Punchbowl for hours during early morning rush hour. Hawaii News Now.

James Campbell High School wasn't built to hold thousands of students. Civil Beat.

More than 144,000 cars a day travel the H1 freeway between Middle Street and Ward Avenue so there really isn't a good time to close it but the state may not have any other choice. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu ranks #6 among American cities for its number of high-rises–472 buildings at least 12 stories tall–ahead of Philadelphia, Boston and Dallas. The thicket is about to get a lot thicker. Honolulu Weekly.

The impacts of sequestration on Hawaii’s most popular visitor attraction are actually benefiting some of its neighboring sites, including the Battleship Missouri Memorial. Pacific Business News.

The state is converting its antiquated departure lobbies at Honolulu International Airport into more modern facilities. Hawaii News Now.

A heavy downpour left Windward Oahu residents stranded Wednesday night. The Waikane Valley Stream spilled over into the road, shutting down Kamehameha Highway. KHON2.


It’s back to the drawing board for the county Salary Commission. After hearing from members of the public Thursday who were mostly opposed to proposed raises, the commission decided to do more work on the plan rather than implementing it in time for the new fiscal year that starts July 1. West Hawaii Today.

A 5-year-old tobacco use ban at Hawaii Island beaches and parks has made a noticeable impact on the quality of the environment at isle recreation areas, according to county officials. Tribune-Herald.

A $50,000 grant is headed to the nonprofit West Hawaii Community Health Center. The grant is aimed at supporting programs that focus on the treatment and management of chronic diseases in our community. West Hawaii Today.


Gabbard Brings Cultural and Community Values to Congress. Maui Weekly.

New Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui plays an important role in Hawai‘i’s post-Inouye political landscape. Maui Weekly.

A Maui Family Court judge who was charged Tuesday with tampering with government records had submitted a letter that day saying she was retiring immediately, State Judiciary spokes­woman Marsha Kita­gawa said. Star-Advertiser.

Mimi DesJardins resigned as a 2nd Circuit Family Court judge Tuesday, the same day a complaint was filed in Wailuku District Court charging her with tampering with a government record, according to the state Judiciary. Maui News.

The application deadline for the newly created county auditor position has been extended to Tuesday, according to an announcement from Maui County Council Member Riki Hokama, chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee's Temporary Investigative Group. Maui News.

State lawmakers are reportedly considering a $20 million appropriation for efforts to acquire Lipoa Point at Honolua on Maui, supporters said. Maui Now.

After years of lobbying from both community residents and lawmakers, it looks like Kihei will finally have a high school complex to call its own. Maui News.


If you missed the deadline to apply for a homeowners exemption based on low income, relax. The Kaua‘i County Council unanimously approved a bill Wednesday that extends the deadline. Garden Island.

A small but vocal group, donning umbrellas, rain jackets and signs, rallied Sunday against AT&T’s proposed 80-foot cell phone tower in Kilauea. Garden Island.


One of Molokai’s primary air carriers, Island Air, has made changes to their flight schedule that have raised concerns among local customers. The airline has cancelled all flights between Molokai and Maui, and as of May, will decrease flights between Molokai and Honolulu from five to three per day. Molokai Dispatch.