Friday, October 10, 2014

Hawaii's 'Stairway to Heaven' could reopen, DLNR blasts Hawaiian Electric plan, gubernatorial and congressional candidates debate, Schatz, Gabbard mull lava escape plan, Honolulu rail transit plan advances, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

wikipedia public domain photo
Haiku Stairs, photo by Kirinwizard
An ad hoc community group formed to decide the future of Haiku Stairs released a report Thursday recommending that the popular attraction be reopened with access through Windward Community College's campus. Star-Advertiser.

A working group tasked with determining the best course of action for the Ha’iku Stairs said the status quo is not acceptable. The popular stairway in Kaneohe, also known as the Stairway to Heaven, has been closed for more than a decade. However, trespassers continue to climb the 3,922 steps. The 13-member working group recommended the city either tear down the stairs at a cost of between $3 million and $5 million, or “develop a managed access use plan.” KITV4.

For nearly 30 years, hikers have been denied legal access to Haiku Stairs, also known as “the Stairway to Heaven.” Now, there is a call to reopen the hiking trail, but only if all interested parties agree to a so-called “managed access plan.” KHON2.

The state blasted Hawaiian Electric Industries' new energy transition plan for being stuck in the past and doing more to benefit the utility than the public. The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, in an 86-page filing with the state Public Utilities Commission, registered its frustration with the utility, saying HEI is clinging to an old business model that is incapable of meeting the goal of moving Hawaii off fossil fuels and onto renewable energy.  Star-Advertiser.

Some solar customers who have been on the waiting list are finally getting hooked up and approved by Hawaiian Electric Co. But critics say the solar boom won’t last. HECO set up new regulations on solar last year that left a backlog of customers wanting to get on the grid and slowed the growth of the solar industry. KHON2.

National groups independent from the candidates are stepping up their attacks, especially in the close race for Hawaii governor. It’s the RGA versus the DGA — the Republican Governors Association versus the Democratic Governors Association. Civil Beat.

While repeating their stances on issues facing the next Congress, the candidates for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District also stuck to key campaign themes in a roundtable discussion aired statewide Thursday night on PBS Hawaii's "Insights." Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii would be able to expedite tuition decreases under a proposal the Board of Regents budget committee advanced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and a grassroots organization are using an online game to help get more Native Hawaiians interested in statewide elections. OHA and Kanu Hawaii created a game that allows voters to take an online quiz to see which candidates in the Nov. 4 general election best matches their own political opinions. Associated Press.


City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro defended his decision to let a grand jury decide whether a misdemeanor abuse charge should be made against a police officer in a highly publicized case. Star-Advertiser.

The firm creating Oahu's driverless train system might finally have landed a buyer, and that has rail board members seeking assurances that any upcoming sale won't disrupt or delay the $5.26 billion project -- which already faces other challenges to finish on time. Star-Advertiser.

The board overseeing Oahu's rail project voted unanimously Thursday to give Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Executive Director Dan Grabauskas a new three-year contract, which, if signed, would take effect this spring with a 5 percent raise. Grabauskas' current three-year deal, which pays an annual base salary of $245,000, ends in April. The new contract would pay Grabauskas a base of $257,000 and make him eligible for a 3.5 percent raise in the subsequent two years. Star-Advertiser.

A company under state investigation for allegedly dumping thousands of gallons of oil products near Kawainui Marsh is now in the cross hairs of city inspectors. That's after a former employee came forward with new allegations that the company poured thousand of gallons of petroleum sludge into the city's sewers. Hawaii News Now.

A Hawaii technology startup company wants to let bus riders be better informed when their bus will arrive with real-time display signs at bus stops. Star-Advertiser.

Kamehameha Schools’ plan to redevelop nearly 300,000 square feet of its commercial properties surrounding Kahala Mall in East Oahu into primarily retail space is gaining some traction, with leases on five commercial parcels mauka of the mall expiring during the next five years, a spokesman for the trust recently told Pacific Business News.


Hawaii’s three major gubernatorial candidates each pledged to do more to empower educators at the local level during their first debate on the Big Island on Thursday evening. Tribune-Herald.

Governor Candidates Assure Hilo Voters on Disaster Preps, Recovery. After Tropical Storm Iselle, and with lava poised to cut off a key highway, Hawaii County residents want a governor who will help. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz told a large crowd in Pahoa on Thursday night that they're doing all they can to press the federal government to pay attention to the small town on Hawaii island being threatened by lava. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard and U.S. Senator Brian Schatz addressed a packed crowd of more 500 anxious and concerned residents. They say their top priorities are ensuring uninterrupted postal service and the critical infrastructure needs of clearing Chain of Craters road -- which by all accounts will eventually become the only way in and out of the lower Puna district. Hawaii News Now.

The advancement of the June 27 lava flow appears to be slowing down yet again, potentially lengthening the time it could take to encroach upon Pahoa. Tribune-Herald.

West Hawaii residents tore into a proposed state water quality plan in Kailua-Kona Thursday night. Frustrations boiled to the surface, with people firing questions and not being satisfied with the answers they received from a state Department of Health official leading an informational meeting at the West Hawaii Civic Center. West Hawaii Today.

Members of the state Commission on Water Resource Management continued their investigation into a petition to designate the Keauhou aquifer as a water management area Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has appointed Margaret Masunaga as judge of the District Court of the 3rd Circuit. West Hawaii Today.


Acting Governor Shan Tsutsui signed a proclamation today declaring Oct. 9, 2014, as Līpoa Point Day in the State of Hawaiʻi. The Līpoa Point acquisition by the state effectively removes the threat of development, preserving the land in perpetuity for generations to come, and makes the way for the creation of a management plan. Maui Now.

Maui Land & Pineapple Co. retirees were able to breathe a sigh of relief Thursday after the state solidified its purchase of Lipoa Point for $19.5 million, which the company must use to fund pension plans for its former workers. Maui News.

The Maui County Council's Planning Committee advanced a bill last week that would regulate home businesses. Maui News.


Debra Lee-Jackson, a taro farmer from Kauai’s Puna District, said her nonprofit Hui Ho‘opulapula Na Wai o Puna has spent the last year working to understand water conditions and uses in the area. The Hui, made up of a group of landowners, lessees, taro farmers, fishermen and native Hawaiians seeking to restore and preserve Puna’s watersheds, is asking the council to support, via a resolution, its petition aimed at having South Puna — known as the Hanamaulu sub-aquifer — designated as a Ground-Surface Water Management Area. Garden Island.

Subsistence fishers, lineal descendants of Hāʻena and community members from across Kaua‘i and the rest of the state testified in support of the Hāʻena Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area rules. Hawaii Independent.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tulsi Gabbard named 2nd hottest in Congress, jobs focus of Djou, Takai, gubernatorial candidates debate education, Honolulu super PAC spending probed, Kauai approves pay as you throw garbage plan, Hawaii prison gangs exposed, at-risk advised to evacuate in advance of lava flow, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Capitol File magazine
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard surfing, Capitol File magazine
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has been named the second “hottest” female in the U.S. Congress, according to Washingtonian magazine. First-place honors went to Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) Besides Gabbard, no other Hawaii congressional delegate makes “The Best & Worst of Congress.” Civil Beat.

Opinion: The point of our recent Tulsi Gabbard piece on surfing with Yahoo News instead of attending a U.S. Senate hearing on problems at the VA is one that Gabbard’s supporters are conveniently sidestepping: She was scheduled to go to the hearing. She didn’t show up. Sen. Mazie Hirono’s staff told reporters they had expected her, wanted her to be there, and had no idea where she was. Civil Beat.

While both candidates for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District agreed on the need to lower the cost of living for local residents, they differed on the approaches to take. The differences were highlighted in a candidate forum Wednesday night before several dozen people at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu. Star-Advertiser.

Charles Djou is so close to possibly winning a seat in Congress that he can almost smell the cherry blossoms that will be blooming next spring in Washington, D.C. With less than a month until Election Day, he and his supporters have the campaign running at full tilt — from candidate forums and coffee hours to phone banking and sign waving. Civil Beat.

Education is a key campaign plank for Hawai'i's gubernatorial candidates. After four years of disappointment, teachers, parents and local communities rejected Gov. Neil Abercrombie, once the great hope of the state's education system. It is now the hope of the state's voters that a judge and educator, such as James "Duke" Aiona; an engineer and legislator, such as David Ige; or a businessman and former mayor, such as Mufi Hannemann, can improve the state's schools and increase student achievement. Maui Weekly.

In a potential partnership with local developers, former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona said Wednesday that he supports a new initiative that would enable renters to build equity toward down payments on home purchases. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu political action committee that ran negative ads slamming incumbent Kohala County Councilwoman Margaret Wille is being looked into by the state Campaign Spending Commission, following complaints from a political activist. West Hawaii Today.

Closing statements are expected in a federal trial that has provided an inside look at the operations of a Hawaii prison gang. Former Halawa Correctional Facility guard Feso Malufau is accused of taking bribes from the “USO Family” gang to smuggle drugs to prisoners. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s troubled Obamacare exchange has a new executive director, and he’ll have a mess to sort out to earn his $150,000 annual salary. Jeffrey Kissel, president and chief executive officer of HawaiiGAS, replaces Hawaii Health Connector Interim Executive Director Tom Matsuda. He will be the third leader of the state insurance exchange in less than a year. Hawaii Reporter.

Opinion: The Nov. 4 election will answer two questions. One is obvious: Which candidates won? The other question has become just as obvious: How did Hawaii’s State Office of Elections screw up this time? Civil Beat.

State roundup for Oct. 9. Associated Press.


Three bills designed to combat illegal dumping, grading and related issues on Oahu's agricultural lands won final approval from the Honolulu City Council Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

In response to people and businesses that illegally dump trash, sludge, construction waste and old vehicles in rural land around Waianae, the Honolulu City Council voted on Wednesday to increase fines for illegal dumping island-wide. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Area Rapid Transportation officials showed off new renderings for the final four stations at the Honolulu end of the city's rail line. Hawaii News Now.

In an unprecedented move, the City Council voted 8-1 Wednesday to make public two confidential opinions from city attorneys. The opinions relate to plans to ban or make it more difficult for property owners and developers to convert hotel rooms into condominium units. Star-Advertiser.

Two lawsuits could have the city dishing out more money to pay for a law firm representing them. The City Council approved two resolutions on Wednesday. Each a request to continue services with the law firm representing them. Those services could cost the city up to $150,000 in additional funds. KHON2.

A grand jury declined to indict a Honolulu Police Sergeant caught on surveillance video punching his girlfriend. The video, taken on September 8 at a Waipahu Restaurant, shows Sgt. Darren Cachola hitting the woman. She testified on his behalf Wednesday morning saying they were just playing around. Hawaii News Now.

A grand jury has declined to indict a Honolulu police sergeant who was captured on video apparently punching his girlfriend. Star-Advertiser.

A decorated police officer caught on video taking a swipe at a bystander who was recording an arrest on his iPhone will cost Honolulu taxpayers $37,500. On Wednesday, the Honolulu City Council approved the payout to Randy Salazar Jr., who in a federal lawsuit alleges Officer Robert Steiner broke a bone in his hand after hitting him with a Taser on New Year’s Day 2013. Civil Beat.

There's a heated battle brewing in Hawaii's state senate. District 12 incumbent Brickwood Galuteria is facing a challenge from newcomer Chris Lethem. KITV4.

A state judge expressed concern Wednesday about the handling of a large gambling case by the prosecutor's office that resulted in charges against nine people in connection with sweepstakes gaming machines. Star-Advertiser.

Wahiawa General Hospital, which last week was accused of owing University of Hawaii-affiliated doctors $800,000 in back pay, said this week it withheld the payments because UH owes the hospital more than $1 million from an insurance fraud settlement. Star-Advertiser.

The number of palm-damaging coconut rhinoceros beetles discovered on Oahu continues to rise, with the count close to 2,000 for adults and immature insects uncovered along the isle's south coast, a state official said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Outrigger Enterprises Group has submitted a notice of preparation for a supplemental environmental impact statement for its $100 million redevelopment of the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort as part of its Waikiki Beach Walk project. Pacific Business News.


As the June 27 lava flow continues on its trajectory for Pahoa, state health officials are asking lower Puna residents who depend on regular medical treatment to consider evacuating. Patients who receive oxygen, dialysis and other regular care that may require travel to or from Puna via Highway 130 will likely be impacted by lava crossing Highway 130, Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

Opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope say they will continue to pursue court actions to stop the $1.4 billion project and protest its construction following the disruption of its groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday on Mauna Kea. The protest appeared to be the first of its kind on the mountain. Tribune-Herald.

Special video presentation detailing the long road to the TMT groundbreaking using file footage gathered by Big Island Video News from 2008 to today.

A Google-sponsored startup hopes to be testing a new way to generate electricity with wind on the Big Island by this time next year. Makani, formerly Makani Wind, joined with the tech giant last year, the first of what has become the Google X division projects, said Alden Woodrow, business team lead. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Economic Opportunity Transportation will begin moving to its new Puunene facility near the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum on Monday, but the public will not notice any changes in service, the nonprofit agency said. Maui News.

With the planned historic release of mauka to makai stream flow at ʻĪao planned on Monday, the state Commission on Water Resource Management is seeking assurances that compliance is clear and that the agreement is carried out by parties involved in the contested case. Maui News.


The Kauai County Council approved on Wednesday the state’s first variable rate structure aimed at encouraging waste diversion by charging property owners waste collection fees based on how much they throw away. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council, by a 4-2 vote Wednesday, opted to revisit in two weeks a request for an investigation into what one council member says are numerous violations of county law by the island’s agrochemical industry and large landowners. Garden Island.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has started testing energy-efficient LED street lights at four locations as part of its plan to retrofit 3,500 fixtures owned by the County of Kauai and the state of Hawaii. Garden Island.


State Department of Health Director Dr. Linda Rosen has a soft spot for Kaluapapa, but her term is nearing its end, and she visited the settlement last week to speak with residents there personally. Molokai Dispatch.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Native Hawaiians, other protesters, block Thirty Meter Telescope ceremonies, heat is on Ige in gubernatorial battle, voter registration up, plans to name beach for Obama dropped, Hawaii could net $13M from marijuana sales, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo Occupy Hilo
Protesters block Mauna Kea telescope access, courtesy Occupy Hilo
A groundbreaking and Hawaiian blessing ceremony came to an abrupt end before it could really get underway Tuesday because of protesters who oppose plans to build one of the world's largest telescopes near the summit of a mountain held sacred by Native Hawaiians. Associated Press.

Protesters who say the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope doesn't belong on Mauna Kea blocked access to the summit for more than an hour Tuesday, disrupting groundbreaking for one of the world's largest optical observatories. Star-Advertiser.

courtesy Occupy Hilo
TMT protesters courtesy Occupy Hilo
A groundbreaking ceremony for what will be one of the world’s most advanced observatories was disrupted Tuesday by Native Hawaiian protesters and others opposed to the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. More than 50 protesters blocked access near the mountain’s summit and greeted vans carrying dozens of attendees from five countries with chants and hula. Tribune-Herald.

What was meant to be a moment of pride for the University of Hawaii and Hawaii astronomy, turned into a spectacle revealing the deep animosity among those who consider Mauna Kea a sacred mountain. Hawaii News Now.

Protesters disrupted a groundbreaking and Hawaiian blessing ceremony for the construction of one of the world's largest telescopes at the summit of Mauna Kea Tuesday. KITV4.
courtesy Occupy Hilo
Protester with telescopes courtesy Occupy Hilo

The price tag for the building of a 30-meter telescope on Mauna Kea is $1.4 billion, and it has been seven years in the making, but it literally ran into a roadblock Tuesday on Hawaii Island. KHON2.

TMT groundbreaking ceremony blocked. Demonstrators have blockaded the Mauna Kea access road to protest the Thirty Meter Telescope project, which was set to break ground today. Hawaii Independent.

State Sen. David Ige on Tuesday night took a more piercing tone against his rivals for governor, chiding former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona for improperly filming a campaign advertisement in a state courtroom and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann for his administration's blacklisting of two stagehands after a dispute over a benefit concert. Star-Advertiser.

On Tuesday night, the three leading candidates for governor squared off in a debate sponsored by AARP and held in the KHON2 News studio. Afterward, KHON2 asked political analyst and HPU Communication Department Chair John Hart: “Who do you think won the debate?”

National and local Republicans are scolding the Democratic nominee for Hawaii governor, accusing him of raising taxes and fees. Perhaps the strongest attack concerns a proposal for increasing the state’s general excise tax by 25 percent three years ago. The GOP claims that, as chairman of the state Senate Ways and Means Committee, David Ige was the architect of a draft of a bill that called for the GET hike in 2011. Civil Beat.

The state of Hawaii's web portal is the best in the U.S., according to the e.Republic's Center for Digital Government's 2014 Best of the Web and Digital Government Achievement Awards. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii stands to make more than $13 million each year in tax revenue if it were to fully legalize marijuana. That’s the results of a new study from NerdWallet, which determined this number by analyzing the population of pot smokers in Hawaii - those who acknowledge smoking marijuana - and the marijuana market size here. Hawaii Reporter.


Two Honolulu city councilmen have dropped plans to rename a popular beach for President Barack Obama. Associated Press.

The University of Hawaii's flagship Manoa campus is facing a multimillion-dollar tuition shortfall for a fourth straight year as state support continues to decline while energy and personnel costs escalate. Manoa officials are projecting a $31 million deficit for the fiscal year that ends June 30, despite efforts to curb spending. Star-Advertiser.

The city of Honolulu is seeking to pay a California law firm experienced in fighting environmental regulations $900,000 in an effort to avoid having to comply with stricter environmental controls at three sewage treatment plants on Oahu that discharge waste into the ocean. Civil Beat.

The author of a bill that would ban sitting and lying on sidewalks in Oahu business districts outside Wai­kiki — scheduled for a final vote Wednesday — says he wants to pull the measure back for further work. Star-Advertiser.

The price tag for refurbishing City Council chambers at Hono­lulu Hale is $428,000, more than three times the $141,000 figure that officials initially said it would cost. Star-Advertiser.

The Makaha Hotel and Resort in West Oahu, which has been closed for about three years, will be demolished as soon as possible to make way for future redevelopment of the property that may include the rebuilding of a new hotel, the owner of the 40-year-old resort told Pacific Business News on Tuesday.

An endangered tree snail atop Oahu's highest point is holding up repairs that would allow Hawaii Public Radio to transmit to listeners on Kauai and Oahu's North Shore during HPR's million-dollar pledge drive. Star-Advertiser.

As Hawai‘i Public Radio’s fall fund drive Celebration 2014 proceeds at its breakneck pace toward its $1.03 million goal, an O‘ahu tree snail colony asserts its own timeline. Hawaii Public Radio.


The Big Island Press Club will present a luncheon panel “Revisiting Hawaii’s Primary Election” at noon Friday at Restaurant Kenichi. Discussion will consider “Could Puna voters have changed the outcome and should media have called victory in the U.S. Senate Democratic contest for Brian Schatz on Aug. 9?” Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County voters are adding to their numbers at a faster rate than the state as a whole. Some 856 Hawaii County residents have been added to the voter rolls since the Aug. 9 primary election, a statistic that is expected to grow as registrations continue trickling in following Monday’s voter registration deadline. West Hawaii Today.

The front of a lava flow spewing out of Kilauea Volcano advanced 120 to 150 yards and was within one mile of Apaa Street in Pahoa on Tuesday. The flow remained "fairly narrow" and was 0.95 mile from reaching Apaa Street near the waste transfer station, said Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira. Star-Advertiser.

As lava from the Kilauea Volcano continues its approach toward Pahoa, schools in the rural community are preparing for the worst. For two public Department of Education and charter schools, that could mean total devastation. Civil Beat.

It is a sight frustrated coffee farmers might line up to see — a hungry predator beetle devouring the larvae of the pestilential coffee berry borer. Researchers at the U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center took that video inside a coffee bean just a few days ago using a microscope, part of a research project that could eventually lead to the square-necked grain beetle being used as biocontrol. West Hawaii Today.


The food fight over GMO's in Maui County will be put to an historic vote in one month. Ashley Lukens, Hawaii Center for Food Safety Director, explained the significance, saying "Never in Maui's history have citizens been able to collect enough signatures to get an initiative on the ballot." 9,000 people signed a petition calling for a halt to seed production, while chemical companies conduct a health and environmental impact study. Hawaii News Now.

The Shaka Movement, the group that filed the petition in support of a moratorium on genetically engineered organisms in Maui County, hosts a public meeting today to discuss Monsanto’s operations in Kīhei. Maui Now.

Wailuku Water Co. will begin releasing 10 million gallons of water per day into Iao Stream on Monday morning, per a settlement agreement in the Na Wai Eha Contested Case, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said. Maui News.

Oral and written comments on proposed changes to cesspool rules - which include conversion of cesspools to septic tanks when a property is sold - will be accepted at meetings on Molokai on Friday and in Wailuku on Oct. 15, the state Department of Health announced Monday. Maui News.

The Kauai County Council will make final decisions on three of eight measures that seek relief for county taxpayers who saw noticeable increases on their real property tax bills this year. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council is urging the state Department of Education to take a hard look at a policy through which students with negative account balances can be denied meals at their schools. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai District Health Officer Dr. Dileep Bal has been nominated to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents. Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced four nominations — Bal, Simeon Acoba, Peter Hoffmann and Helen Nielsen — on Monday. All are interim appointments that take effect immediately and are subject to state Senate approval. Garden Island.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hot weather harming coral reefs, unions tighten grip on Hawaii, groundbreaking today for one of world's largest telescopes, teachers union creates new PAC to fight ballot initiative, lava viewing curtailed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Teardrop butterflyfish amid damaged coral © 2014 All Hawaii News
The hot, muggy weather that's stifled Hawaii in recent weeks appears to have spurred widespread coral bleaching across the state, and researchers say it's the most severe degradation of coral that they've ever observed in Hawaii waters. Star-Advertiser.

While people in Hawaii have been sweating out a lack of trade winds, corals underwater also are suffering. Scientists standing in the muggy heat at Heeia Small Boat Harbor in Kaneohe said Monday they’re seeing more evidence higher-than-normal ocean temperatures are causing near-shore bleaching across the islands. Associated Press.

A new law championed by Hawaii’s most powerful unions has tilted the balance in favor of organized labor in a critical arena, although the effects on employers — and possibly taxpayers — won’t be fully realized for a few years. With little public fanfare, the Legislature last session passed a bill that changes how the governor appoints people to the Hawaii Labor Relations Board, a quasi-judicial agency that resolves labor disputes involving private and public sector employees and the organizations that represent them. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association terminated its campaign to discourage voters from approving a constitutional amendment dealing with preschools last week after realizing it risked breaking the law by spending money on a ballot measure through its political action committee. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has named four nominees to serve on the University of Hawaii Board of Regents and fill vacancies triggered by the state's new financial disclosure law. Star-Advertiser.

Mufi Hannemann, the Hawaii Independent Party candidate for governor, has said if he wins election in November one of his top priorities will be to bring back an inter-island ferry system. He made a similar pledge during his failed bid for governor in 2010. Hannemann’s most recent financial disclosure report shows he owns stock in two companies that are working on the design and development of advanced ship hull forms and researching lifting hull technologies. Civil Beat.

VoteVets Action Fund, a national veterans advocacy group, will spend $800,000 on an advertising campaign to boost candidates in three races across the country, including that of Hawaii state Rep. Mark Takai. Takai, a progressive Democrat running for the District 1 Congressional seat, will take on former Congressman Charles Djou, a Republican who served in 2010, in the November general election. Hawaii Reporter.

Rebuffed by the courts, six Palolo voters asked the state House on Monday to determine whether state Rep. and former House Speaker Calvin Say lives in the Palolo House district he has represented since 1976. Star-Advertiser.

The six Palolo voters challenging Calvin Say’s qualifications to hold office are not giving up, despite a court’s rejection of their lawsuit last week. Civil Beat.

Inmates who say they’re being denied their right to practice their Native Hawaiian religion at a private prison in Arizona have won class-action status for a lawsuit. U.S. District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi granted class-action certification to inmates suing the state of Hawaii and the Corrections Corporation of America. Associated Press.

The new head of the Hawaii Health Connector, Jeffrey Kissel, said Monday that his first priority will be helping consumers smoothly get through the enrollment period starting Nov. 15. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: It is not always huge campaign donations that buy political candidates media exposure. Take the Hawaii governor’s race. Hawaii Independent Party candidate Mufi Hannemann and Libertarian Party contender Jeff Davis have found a way to get additional exposure on Hawaii media outlets at the same time they are running for office. Civil Beat.


A University of Hawaii at Manoa student organization has passed resolutions voting no confidence in UH President David Lassner and the Board of Regents. Star-Advertiser.

The Navy plans a fourth controlled detonation at Kalaeloa this week to destroy various munitions and ordnances that have been found. Star-Advertiser.

Median home prices on Oahu remained flat in September, while the number of sales of single-family homes rose 5 percent, according to data released Tuesday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Sales statistics set for release Tuesday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors show that the median sale price for previously owned single-family houses on the island edged up by 0.5 percent to $678,500 in September from $675,000 in the same month a year earlier. Star-Advertiser.


A groundbreaking and Hawaiian blessing ceremony launches construction on the summit of Mauna Kea to build one of the world's largest telescopes. The events for the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project Tuesday will be shown via a live-stream webcast because of limited access to the construction site, which is in an area with harsh physical conditions. Associated Press.

After years of challenges, groundbreaking begins Tuesday on one of the world's largest optical telescopes, which will rise out of sacred Hawaiian ground at an elevation of 13,150 feet near the summit of Mauna Kea. Star-Advertiser.

USGS geologists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory estimate the Puna lava flow could reach Apa'a Street in Pahoa in about 16 days, if it continues moving at its current rate of 390 ft/day. Hawaii News Now.

The June 27 lava flow sparked a brush fire as it continued its progress toward Pahoa on Monday. Meanwhile, Civil Defense officials, in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration, have restricted the airspace above the leading edge of the flow in response to increased traffic of sightseers and media personnel. Tribune-Herald.

The Puna lava flow is becoming big business for Big Island tour companies, but Hawaii County Civil Defense officials say tour groups were getting too close to the flow and to each other. Working with the FAA, civil defense has implemented new air space restrictions above the flow. Hawaii News Now.

An aerial survey Monday morning showed the June 27 flow front continues to be active and has advanced approximately 150 yards since Sunday, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense. West Hawaii Today.

A former Hawaii County Council member will complete a vacated term on the University of Hawaii Board of Regents. West Hawaii Today.


More than a month after the launch of an expensive TV campaign to persuade voters to reject a Maui County ballot initiative to temporarily ban genetically engineered crops, the Hawaii Center for Food Safety has formed a new group called the Coalition for Safer, Healthier Maui to campaign in favor of the measure. Civil Beat.

For the first time in more than a century, there will be a continuous flow of water from mauka to makai into the Wailuku (ʻĪao) Stream on Maui. Maui Now.

The Maui Tropical Plantation has embodied Hawaii's past and present for the past three decades as an agricultural and tourism destination. Maui News.


Two Kauai County Council members will introduce a resolution Wednesday that would establish a committee to investigate the implementation of county laws dealing with the dedication of land for agricultural use. Maui News.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Kilauea lava creeps onward, Maui United Way battles anti-GMO group over name, Gabbard slammed for surf shoot, Ige blamed for hospital mess, bill seeks to name Oahu beach for Obama, would Warren Buffett want HECO, candidate residency cleared, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

pahoehoe lava
Pahoehoe lava from Kilauea courtesy USGS Oct. 3, 2014
The resurgent June 27 Kilauea lava flow has advanced another 100 yards since Saturday, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense. The flow has moved downhill approximately 440 yards since it resumed its advance Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Democratic state Sen. David Ige is defending his record as Senate Ways and Means chairman from his gubernatorial opponents' charges that he deserves blame for the state's failure to fully fund public hospitals that face a $30 million deficit in 2015, even after layoffs. Maui News.

The politics of the governor's race could be an unexpected catalyst for policy changes at the state's troubled public hospital system. State Sen. David Ige, the Demo­cratic candidate, former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the Republican, and former Hono­lulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, the Hawaii Independent Party candidate, all maintain that the next governor should drive the discussion on stabilizing the Hawaii Health Systems Corp., the $650 million network of 12 public hospitals that functions as the health care safety net for many neighbor island and elderly patients. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard skipped an August hearing on veterans care in Hawaii so she could go surfing for a Yahoo News profile. Despite telling Civil Beat at the time she missed the hearing because she was delayed in another meeting, Gabbard’s staff acknowledged last week that she was instead tied up with a Yahoo News reporter in Waikiki where she was surfing for a video the news outlet was shooting. Civil Beat.

Hawaii needs to step up if it wants to keep thousands of soldiers and their families and $1.3 billion in annual soldier-related sales, the former head of U.S. Army Pacific said. Star-Advertiser.

The former CEO of Hawaii Gas was selected to take over as the new director of Hawaii’s federally mandated insurance marketplace. The Hawaii Health Connector board voted Friday to hire Jeffrey Kissel. Associated Press.

Jeffrey Kissell will take over as head of the state’s beleaguered health insurance marketplace, known as the Hawaii Health Connector, according to an announcement from the board Friday. Kissell, who spent his career working for energy companies, most recently as CEO of Hawaii GAS, replaces interim Executive Director Tom Matsuda. Civil Beat.

Could Warren Buffett, the third richest man on the planet, be interested in buying Hawaiian Electric Co., the state’s largest utility? There are signs that show certain connections to the Islands by the billionaire businessman. Pacific Business News.


Resolution to rename Sandy Beach after Obama, reaction mixed. Chang and fellow council member Ernie Martin are hoping to change that by renaming Sandy Beach Park to President Barack Obama Sandy Beach Park. It comes after a video was taken of the President bodysurfing back in August 2008. KHON2.

While state laws and the Honolulu Police Department's policies regarding domestic violence cases need some improvement, experts say it is HPD's poor enforcement of these laws and policies that is the real factor in continuing cycles of domestic violence in Hawaiʻi. Hawaii Independent.

Honolulu City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine and leaders in the Makaha community don't want to just expand the city's traditional Adopt-a-Park program; they want to turn the concept on its head. Star-Advertiser.

Efforts are underway to restore the remnants of a Hawaiian community that dates to around the year 1450. The Hawaii Community Development Authority is working with the Kalaeloa Heritage and Legacy Foundation on the proposed 77-acre Kalaeloa Heritage Park on the plains of Ewa. Associated Press.


The Hawaii County clerk has cleared District 9 County Council candidate Ron Gonzales to continue his challenge against incumbent Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille. Clerk Stewart Maeda, in a four-page decision letter dated Wednesday, said he is satisfied that Gonzales’ legal residence is in Waikoloa, and therefore he is properly registered to vote in District 9. West Hawaii Today.

Candidates for state House and Senate seats discussed cesspools, high taxes, broken hospitals, flowing lava and other pressing issues at a forum Thursday in Kailua-Kona. Hopefuls in three races floated the concept of using state lands to relocate businesses and homes affected by the current lava flow in Puna. West Hawaii Today.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz plans to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Friday to discuss the creation of a two-lane alternate route into the park for lower Puna residents impacted by the June 27 lava flow. So far, the park has authorized only a one-lane, gravel emergency evacuation route along a portion of Chain of Craters Road buried by recent lava flows. Tribune-Herald.

The state Department of Agriculture will scale back its plan to pipe a portion of the Lower Hamakua Ditch after several landowners offered to help maintain the open irrigation system through their properties. Tribune-Herald.

Home sales in Puna plummeted nearly 23 percent in September after Tropical Storm Iselle blew through Hawaii island — and they continue to remain sluggish as a river of 2,100-degree lava cuts its way toward Pahoa. Star-Advertiser.


Maui United Way has written a "cease and desist" alleging trademark infringement to "Maui United," an anti-GMO group that has launched an advertising campaign in favor of the Nov. 4 initiative for a moratorium on genetically modified organisms in Maui County. Maui News.

A moratorium on genetically modified crops is impractical, incumbent Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa said. A proposed moratorium would make it illegal to cultivate, grow or test genetically modified crops in the county until companies complete environmental and public health studies to show their practices are safe. Associated Press.

The Maui County Council unanimously approved at its Friday meeting a proposal to build a 61-unit affordable senior housing project in Pukalani. Maui News.


In February, the state Supreme Court — in what has been called a landmark decision for Hawaii’s Public Trust Doctrine — sided with the County of Kauai by striking down a 2008 circuit court ruling that the Kauai Planning Commission “exceeded its jurisdiction” in denying Kauai Springs, Inc. permits for its operation. Seven months later, and contrary to that ruling, the Koloa-based water bottling and distribution company’s doors remain open. Garden Island.

A divided Kauai County Council committee on Wednesday approved a scaled down version of a proposal that would charge county residents variable trash collection rates based on how much they throw away. By a 4-1 vote, the seven-member board’s Environmental Services Committee approved an amendment to Bill 2551 that would charge residential customers a monthly, flat $6 fee for access to the county’s five refuse transfer stations and an additional $4 fee, if residents opt to have a 64-gallon trash cart, or two 32-gallon carts, for weekly pick up. Garden Island.

Tense moments, punctuated by sometimes combative exchanges, stood out in the debate between current mayoral incumbent Bernard Carvalho, Jr. and his challenger, Dustin Barca, during Thursday night’s political forum at the Kauai Memorial Convention Hall. Garden Island.

The two Democratic and Republican candidates vying for a single state House District 15 seat agreed that the state’s current tax structure should be revamped but were divided on other issues, including marijuana legislation during a political forum Thursday night in Lihue. Garden Island.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Honolulu City Council members clueless about ethics code, 46,000 seniors to lose Medicare Advantage coverage, Royal Hawaiian wins award, micro-apartments for Kakaako, Ebola scare a wake-up call, Ellison may close both Lanai Four Seasons for renovations, Native Hawaiian government to be postponed again, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Royal Hawaiian Resort courtesy photo
The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort in Waikiki, was named Best Historic Resort at the annual Historic Hotels of America 2014 Awards of Excellence gala Thursday in Washington, D.C.  Star-Advertiser.

Pollution in Hawaii is giving turtles deadly tumors, a new study found. Researchers at Duke University, the University of Hawaii and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have determined that nitrogen runoff is polluting the algae that turtles eat, causing them to develop tumors in their eyes, flippers and internal organs. Civil Beat.

A group of organizations leading the process of building a Native Hawaiian government is considering postponing the election of officers until June. The board of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs heard the news at a meeting Thursday. Associated Press.

With the voter registration deadline approaching, the number of registered voters has ticked upward on neighbor islands and dipped on Oahu compared with figures tallied two years ago. The deadline to register to vote in the general election is Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Medical Service Association plans to discontinue its five Medicare Advantage plans for 46,000 seniors on Dec. 31. The state's largest health insurer, which covers the bulk of Hawaii's Medicare population, estimates it lost about $64.1 million last year on its plans -- called Akamai Advantage -- due to higher-than-expected medical claims as well as lower federal Medicare reimbursements. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands of HMSA members may be in for a surprise. HMSA is ending its Medicare plan for thousands of residents next year. Coverage through HMSA’s Akamai Advantage is ending December 31, 2014 and if customers don’t choose a new plan before then, they could lose their prescription drug coverage and more. KHON2.

Though the state has ruled out what was feared to be Hawaii's first Ebola case, health officials are on high alert for possible new cases reaching the islands. Star-Advertiser.

How Did We Handle Hawaii’s Ebola Scare? What can we learn from a week when the deadly virus from Africa was discovered in the U.S. and inspired fears it had reached Oahu? Civil Beat.

The State of Hawai‘i has approximately 90,000 cesspools, the majority of which pose potential health risks to residents via water contamination. The Department of Health is proposing changes to its administrative rules that would begin to reduce the number of cesspools in the state through infrastructure upgrades. Hawaii Independent.

A state plan for homeowners to get rid of their cesspools the next time a property sells is receiving pushback. KITV4.


The two longest-serving members of the Honolulu City Council, who are now caught up in an ethics investigation, claim they had no idea they were not allowed to accept free meals from lobbyists and they're asking for clarification of the rules. The city Ethics Commission is investigating if it was illegal for four former council members as well as current members Ann Kobayashi and Ikaika Anderson to accept pricey meals from lobbyists with business before the council. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell and state officials are working on a plan to allow the city to take over the law enforcement role at Waikiki's Fort DeRussy Beach, where homeless campers are taking advantage of a jurisdictional loophole to avoid being cited for violating city regulations. Star-Advertiser.

As the City and County of Honolulu has begun enforcing a new law banning homeless from sitting or lying on sidewalks in Waikiki, more homeless are spending their nights at the Honolulu International Airport. State transportation officials say there's nothing they can do about it because there are no law against sleeping at the airport. Hawaii News Now.

While Kakaako is better known for luxury condos than affordable housing, the growing urban district in Honolulu could soon see a new kind of residence: tiny studio apartments no bigger than 300 square feet, or about 15 by 20 feet. Civil Beat.

A credit-rating agency has added a negative tinge to its outlook on bonds sold by Hawaii Pacific University last year to finance the redevelopment of parts of the Aloha Tower Marketplace retail complex in downtown Honolulu for university use. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu police will not release the full surveillance video showing an off-duty sergeant assaulting his ex-girlfriend as initially planned. The full video was supposed to be shown to everyone at a briefing on Tuesday, but some lawmakers did not like that idea and decided to watch it at a later time in private. Now, they won’t get that chance. KHON2.

When it comes to key policy issues facing the city of Honolulu, not a lot separates the two attorneys running for the District 4 Honolulu City Council race. Civil Beat.

How Safe Has the Honolulu Rail Project Been? Worker injury rates have been well below state and national average. But concerns remain over excavation procedures. Civil Beat.


Hawai'i County Civil Defense officials say a breakout upslope of the Puna lava flow has advanced another 100 yards since overtaking the stalled leading edge on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

A breakout on the lava flow encroaching on Pahoa advanced ahead of the former flow front Thursday, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense. The breakout advanced about 100 yards between daily overflights, according to Civil Defense. Tribune-Herald.

One of the concerns of Hawaii County officials and residents is how the recent and current disasters —Tropical Storm Iselle and the lava flow —will affect Hawaii Island's economy. Hawaii Public Radio.

Big Island health care facilities remain on the lookout for Ebola symptoms following the announcement Thursday that state health officials determined a patient in isolation on Oahu was not carrying the deadly virus. Tribune-Herald.


A gubernatorial debate hosted by the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce is slated for this morning. Associated Press.

Though Maui County is not currently in a state of drought, Upcountry reservoir levels dipped low last month, prompting water department officials to call for a 10 percent voluntary cutback on Upcountry water usage for the next two to three months. Maui News.


A former member of the Kauai Police Commission is being sentenced for running a sports gambling business. Bradley Chiba is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in federal court in Honolulu. Associated Press.

Some Kauai residents are at odds over proposed changes to state Department of Health regulations that would prohibit new cesspools from being built and require existing ones to be upgraded when properties are sold. Garden Island.

An anticipated revival in construction could boost Kauai’s economy and compensate for a projected decline in tourism. That was the message from economist Dr. Jack Suyderhoud, who spoke at First Hawaiian Bank’s 40th Economic Outlook Forum Thursday at Kauai Beach Resort. Garden Island.


Larry Ellison’s Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay and The Lodge at Koele, the two major resorts on the island, may be closed at the same time next year as renovations take place at one of the properties. Pacific Business News.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ebola unlikely for Honolulu patient, Star-Advertiser parent buys Big Isle newspapers, Abercrombie supporter Caldwell switches allegiance to Ige, state road turned over to county as lava advances, Hawaii coffee labeling at issue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Red coffee cherry © 2014 All Hawaii News
A Hawaii County Council committee reached an agreement on a proposed resolution that’s being touted as a way to encourage truth in labeling on coffee packages here. West Hawaii Today.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has been lending his support to fellow Democrats he’d like to see win this November, namely state Sen. David Ige in his bid for governor and state Rep. Mark Takai in his run for Congress. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association has spent at least $142,290 on its campaign to discourage Hawaii voters from approving a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the state to spend public money on private preschool programs, according to publicly available documents. Civil Beat.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday a patient isolated in a Honolulu hospital does not appear to have symptoms consistent with the Ebola virus, Hawaii News Now has learned.

A person admitted to a Honolulu hospital was isolated because of the possibility that the patient contracted the Ebola virus, state Department of Health officials confirmed Wednesday afternoon. Health officials declined to provide details about the identity of the person, the symptoms or the hospital, citing federal privacy laws, but the Honolulu Star-Advertiser has learned that the patient is male and is at the Queen's Medical Center. Star-Advertiser.

While the chances of someone spreading the Ebola virus while on a plane are low,airport officials tell us they still have procedures in place for Ebola as well as other infectious diseases. KHON2.

Wahiawa General Hospital is cutting the equivalent of 100 full-time positions amid claims that it owes University of Hawaii medical school physicians $800,000 in back pay. Star-Advertiser.

An Ewa developer being sued by home buyers unhappy that the company never built a promised marina is now asking the court to prohibit the plaintiffs from releasing additional information to the press about the project. Civil Beat.

A plan to redevelop most of the Ward Warehouse retail center in Kakaako with two high-rise condominiums received mostly positive public testimony at a state hearing Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.


Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed an executive order Wednesday granting Hawaii County its portion of Chain of Craters Road. Tribune-Herald.

The owner of Hawaii's largest newspaper bought two daily publications on Hawaii's Big Island and several newspapers in Washington state. Oahu Publications, which owns the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, said Wednesday it is buying West Hawaii Today and the Hawaii Tribune-Herald from Las Vegas-based Stephens Media. Associated Press.

The owner of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser is expanding by purchasing the two Hawaii island newspapers. Oahu Publications Inc. announced Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire the Hawaii Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today from Las Vegas-based Stephens Media LLC. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s parent company, Oahu Publications Inc., is expanding its reach over Hawaii media. OPI President Dennis Francis announced Wednesday that the company is buying both Big Island daily newspapers, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today, for an undisclosed amount from Stephens Media, based in Las Vegas. Civil Beat.

Oahu Publications Inc. announced today that it has agreed to acquire the Hawaii Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today on Hawaii Island from Las Vegas-based Stephens Media LLC. Tribune-Herald.


A controversial change in Hawaii Administrative Rules that would require the replacement of cesspools with septic systems upon the sale of properties will receive a hearing this month on Maui and Molokai. Maui News

A unique experience in Hawaiian culture is nestled in the deep reaches of Waiheʻe Valley where the Maui Hawaiian Village hosts tours and demonstrations in authentic food preparation, clothing design and shelter construction. Maui Now.


Hearing Friday on proposed fishing rules for Haena. Garden Island.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Circuit Court tosses former Speaker Calvin Say's residency challenge, gubernatorial candidates differ on budget, new boss for Kamehameha Schools, Hawaii County builds roads to dodge lava flow, Maui to talk GMO, coral bleaching worsens, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Former House Speaker Calvin Say © 2014 All Hawaii News
A Circuit Court judge Tuesday dismissed a legal challenge to state Rep. and former House Speaker Calvin Say's residency, ruling that the state House has the exclusive power to determine the qualifications of its members. Star-Advertiser.

Calvin Say has survived another challenge to his legal residency. In a ruling released Tuesday, Circuit Judge Karen Nakasone said Hawaii courts do not have authority to “judge” the qualifications of House members. That authority resides with the House, which intervened in a lawsuit challenging Say’s residency. Civil Beat.

A Circuit Court judge has dismissed a petition that asks the court to verify the residence of state Rep. Calvin Say. KHON2.

Hawaii gubernatorial candidates had tough questions for their opponents as they debated starting new public-private partnerships to address recurring problems and sparred over who would inflict less pain while balancing the budget. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s top three candidates for governor took on many issues — from the expected to the improbable — during Tuesday evening’s debate. But it remains unclear whether specific policy stances will drive voters on Nov. 4 when they choose between Democrat David Ige, Republican Duke Aiona, Hawaii Independent Party candidate Mufi Hannemann and Libertarian Jeff Davis. Civil Beat.

Former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann on Tuesday night tried to pin state Sen. David Ige with responsibility for the state's troubled public hospitals, but Ige countered that he has done more than the other two gubernatorial candidates to improve the system. Star-Advertiser.

KITV4 hosted three candidates gunning for the governorship in the station's first televised debate among the final gubernatorial candidates.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said he has far more executive experience than the other two leading candidates for governor, but they said they have backgrounds that prepare them to lead state government. Hawaii News Now.

State Public Safety Director Ted Sakai,
named the nation's Outstanding Director of Corrections on Tuesday, said his department is unveiling a pilot program on wellness this month that aims to reduce prison guard sick calls, starting at Oahu Community Correctional Center. Star-Advertiser.

Republican Charles Djou and Democrat Mark Takai are making last-minute pitches for more money as their tight congressional race enters its final 35 days. Civil Beat.

Livingston "Jack" Wong, who has been the interim CEO of Kamehameha Schools since April when CEO Dee Jay Mailer retired, has been named the third CEO of the $10.1 billion trust, Hawaii's largest private landowner. Pacific Business News.

Warm ocean temperatures have caused large expanses of coral to bleach in the pristine reefs northwest of Hawaii's main islands, scientists said Tuesday. Mass bleaching has occurred at Lisianski atoll, about 1,000 miles northwest of Honolulu, said Courtney Couch, a researcher at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. Coral also bleached at Midway, Pearl and Hermes atolls, but not as severely. Associated Press.

A federal research ship returned to Honolulu from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands on Tuesday with evidence of aquatic species never seen before and having made discoveries of fishes never before recorded in those waters. But scientists also documented some distressing news: a major episode of coral bleaching at remote Lisianski Island, plus moderate bleaching at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Pearl and Hermes Atoll. Star-Advertiser.


State lawmakers Tuesday grilled Honolulu's police chief and two of his deputies on policies regarding domestic violence investigations — seeking answers about how officers respond to calls and about what's being done in response to video showing an officer in an apparent assault on his girlfriend. Star-Advertiser.

A Joint Legislative Committee on Public Safety convened an informational briefing today on the Honolulu Police Department’s response to domestic violence cases. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell plans to create a temporary office to manage city properties, acquire housing for the homeless and advance his affordable housing strategy at a cost of about $500,000 a year, the city’s managing director says. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers and Hawaiian Electric Co. want to give utility customers who don't own rooftop space the opportunity to take advantage of certain benefits of renewable energy. The plan is to create community solar farms or "solar gardens" that give people the option to invest in large-scale solar systems and lower their electrical bills. Star-Advertiser.

Duo bucks eviction from DHHL parcel hosting small farm. A petting zoo on land in Waimanalo has local support as it fights to remain. Star-Advertiser.


The state Office of Elections was “absurdly out of touch” with the situation in Puna after Tropical Storm Iselle, state Sen. Russell Ruderman said Tuesday afternoon. West Hawaii Today.

The June 27 lava flow remains weak while inflation, a sign of intruding magma, gradually builds at Kilauea. Tribune-Herald.

VIDEO: Lava Anxiety Triggers Nanawale Exodus. Big Island Video News.

In less than three weeks, Hawai'i County crews completed two emergency bypass roads in the lower Puna area in preparation for the very real possibility that the June 27th lava flow will cut across Highway 130 -- but work is a little slower to begin on a third, and likely the most critical route: Chain of Craters Road, which passes through Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii County plans to reinforce its restrictions on accessing Kaohe Homesteads after a tour company was found to be using the neighborhood to reach the June 27 lava flow. County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said a supplemental emergency proclamation will be issued shortly specifically prohibiting tour groups. Tribune-Herald.

Fall enrollment at University of Hawaii at Hilo declined for the second year in a row, despite hopes by administrators the university could maintain last year’s student levels. Tribune-Herald.


"Living Downwind from Monsanto's GMO Fields, are We Risking Our Health?" is the title of a panel discussion to be held on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the Kihei Community Center. Maui Weekly.

Maui Electric Co. proposes to reduce customer bills by, among other things, switching from costly diesel fuel to lower-cost liquefied natural gas for its electric generation plants, but Maui County Energy Commissioner Doug McLeod is challenging other parts of the utility's power supply improvement plans and questioning the long-term viability of natural gas. Maui News.


The Kauai County Council will consider today a set of seven measures that aim to reform current real property tax laws and assist some property owners who received noticeable increases on their tax bills over the past two months. Garden Island.

Craig DeCosta, Daniel Hempey, and Greg Meyers will each be known as Judge, effective Oct. 1. Garden Island.