Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hawaii to send minimal voter list to Trump commission, rat lungworm hits Oahu, Kaui rodenticide drop to go forward, experts downplay North Korea threat, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Ala Wai boat harbor © 2017 All Hawaii News
The memory of the state’s failed public-private partnership at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor was still fresh enough to elicit strong opposition Tuesday in Waikiki to any attempt at a new partnership. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s county election officials will send President Donald Trump’s election advisory commission their public voting lists by the end of this week. West Hawaii Today.

Isle expert dismisses ‘barking’ by N. Korea, U.S. The ongoing frenzy spread fears in Guam and rekindled an ongoing discussion over whether Hawaii needs missile interceptors in the state to better protect against a growing North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile threat. Star-Advertiser.

Hot Talk Between Trump, North Korea Could Put Hawaii On The Front Line. How might growing tensions affect Hawaii? In addition to risks of missile attacks, local military bases would likely serve as staging areas in a conflict. Civil Beat.

Why Hawaii Won’t Join Battle Against Trump’s ‘Sanctuary City’ Crackdown. While Hawaii has led the legal charge against the administration’s travel ban, Gov. David Ige is not supporting the sanctuary movement. Civil Beat.

Hanabusa Rethinking Pro-Israel Bill After Taking Heat At Town Halls. Vocal opponents of the Israel Anti-Boycott Bill say it threatens free speech and is being pushed by an influential pro-Israel lobbying group. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian royalty descendant and Campbell Estate heiress Abigail Kawananakoa’s recent medical problems are triggering a legal battle over her $200 million trust, and some say that's placing her charitable and social causes for Native Hawaiians in jeopardy. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii is getting $90,000 in federal funding to help bring back the Native Hawaiian language. KITV.


Medicinal marijuana users thrill to ‘historic day’ on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

A medical cannabis dispensary is now open on Oahu. KHON2.

A bill that would require older residential high-rise towers to be retrofitted with sprinkler systems received the first of three necessary approvals Wednesday from the Honolulu City Council. Star-Advertiser.

City lawmakers are taking action to update Honolulu's fire code in light of a devastating and deadly high-rise fire last month. Hawaii News Now.

An adult is hospitalized with rat lungworm disease on Oahu, the first case of the disease reported on the island since 2010, the Health Department announced today. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Health announced Wednesday that a case of rat lungworm disease was confirmed on Oahu for the first time since 2010, bringing the year-to-date total of the parasitic infection statewide to 16. Civil Beat.

Rat lungworm disease may affect Hawaii farmers following Oahu confirmed case. Pacific Business News.

The state Department of Health has confirmed its first rat lungworm disease case on Oahu in 2017. KITV.

Resolution to remove controversial sidewalk extensions passes city council. The Honolulu City Council unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday that would remove eight of the bulbouts on Pauahi Street, between Mauna Kea and Smith Street. Hawaii News Now.

Some cemeteries on Oahu are running out of space, but the Honolulu City Council took action Wednesday that may provide some relief. Civil Beat.

The Hale Mahana Collegiate Apartments, the first new-construction student housing project in Honolulu, is rising from a site at the corner of South King Street and University Avenue, just down the street from the University of Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Cardax Inc. is going national with its new anti-inflammatory dietary supplement ZanthoSyn. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Higher fuel taxes that began this month are expected to generate an additional $4.6 million for the rest of the fiscal year, according to a report from the Hawaii County Department of Public Works. Tribune-Herald.

The beloved blond zebra at Kailua-Kona’s Three Ring Ranch Animal Sanctuary died peacefully at the age of 19 early Sunday morning from old age, officials confirmed Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.


Ground Transport Inc., the state’s new school bus contractor on Maui, says it’s slowly making progress in hiring bus drivers on the island, but hundreds of Maui students still will need to find alternative rides to school for at least a few more weeks. Star-Advertiser.

Facing a shortage of school bus drivers on Maui, state education officials say the company that operates many of the island’s routes is working on a fix: bringing drivers in from Oahu. Civil Beat.

A Maui lawmaker is weighing in and asking the governor to step in and solve a school bus service shortage on neighbor islands. KHON2.

Pointing out that the disputed liquor rules had already been reversed, a judge ruled in favor of the county Liquor Control Department and Liquor Control Commission on Tuesday in a lawsuit that challenged the transparency of the rule changes. Maui News.

Hawaii’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened for business on Maui yesterday. The dispensary is one of two licensed to serve patients in Maui County. But what about patients living on Molokai and Lanai? Hawaii Public Radio.

Seventeen years from law to dispensaries. Maui News.

Patients rejoiced with smiles and shouts Tuesday after making the first legal purchases of medical cannabis at a licensed dispensary in the state at Maui Grown Therapies in Kahului. Maui News.

Maui Land & Pineapple Co. earned a $6.5 million profit in the second quarter on the value of land improvements tied to some real estate the company sold to a developer nearly a decade ago. Star-Advertiser.


The Department of Land and Natural Resources says it’s moving forward with the plan to drop more than 10 tons of rodenticide on Lehua Island, as soon as permits are approved. Garden Island.

County Council approves tax break for long-term affordable housing. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council and administration plan to be in sync the next time money to fund the Climate Action Plan is made available. Garden Island.

To help maintain its idyllic setting, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources plans to renew its request for permanent on-site staff at Kalalau Valley within the 6,175-acre Napali Coast park to help deter illegal camping and reduce heaps of rubbish left behind. Star-Advertiser.

Work on a $1.1 million repair project to the Kapaia Tunnel will start in September, said David Hinazumi, vice president of the Grove Farm Company. Garden Island.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Officials, residents worry over North Korea threat, first marijuana dispensary opens, gag order rescinded in foster care death, endangered monk seal pup to be moved, Honolulu homeless sweeps continue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

released by North Korea government
North Korea missile test, photo released by government
As the heated rhetoric between President Donald Trump and North Korea reaches a boiling point, the chances of Hawaii, with its large military bases, being pulled into the conflict are increasing as well. Civil Beat.

Two members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation expressed faith in the head of U.S. Pacific Command and the U.S. military Tuesday and called for diplomacy as North Korea threatened a missile strike on Guam. Star-Advertiser.

In a live interview with Hawaii News Now Tuesday, U.S. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa said she believes the threat from North Korea to Hawaii is minimal. Hawaii News Now.

Concern from former residents of Guam about what the threat from North Korea could mean for their family still living there. KITV.

Hawaii bankruptcy filings remained at historically low levels last month as they fell 8.3 percent to the smallest July total in 10 years. Star-Advertiser.

Matson Inc. said Monday that it will introduce service to Tahiti, providing twice a month arrivals from the U.S. Mainland and Honolulu to French Polynesia. Pacific Business News.


The City Council is expected to vote Wednesday on making it easier for the Honolulu Board of Water Supply to transfer the Haiku Stairs to another government agency — a key step if the popular but legally off-limits trail atop the Koolaus is to be saved. Civil Beat.

A bill that would create a new, low-cost spaying and neutering option for feral or community cats is scheduled for a final vote by the Honolulu City Council today. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s Neuter Now program helps pet owners sterilize their cats and dogs at reduced rates and costs taxpayers $500,000 annually. Now some members of the Honolulu City Council want a portion of that money to fund the effort to sterilize Oahu’s feral cat population. Civil Beat.

Government officials have decided to relocate an endangered Hawaiian monk seal pup from a popular beach in Waikiki to a remote, undisclosed shoreline on Oahu amid safety concerns for the animal and the public. Civil Beat.

Kaimana, the Hawaiian monk seal pup officially known as PO3, will be moved to a “remote, undisclosed shoreline area” so she can grow up wild and with less human interaction than she’s having in Waikiki, state officials announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Kaimana, the monk seal to be relocated to remote Oahu beach. KITV.

A Hawaii marine park's purchase of Kina, a 40-year-old false killer whale long used in echolocation research, has reignited a debate about captive marine mammals and the places that care for them. Associated Press.

At the Waikiki Neighborhood Board Meeting Tuesday night, community members voiced concerns over the future of the state's largest boat harbor. Hawaii's Land and Natural Resource's Division of Boating and Ocean Resources is looking at ways to redevelop the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor and generate additional revenue. Hawaii News Now.

A North Shore preservation group initiated state hearings this week to force the developer of a 25-megawatt wind facility to improve its habitat conservation plan for the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat. Star-Advertiser.

A special city clean-up crew Tuesday began dismantling dozens of homeless encampments on Navy land fronting Blaisdell Park from Hawaiian Electric Co.’s Waiau power plant to Waimalu Stream. Star-Advertiser.

The City began clearing homeless encampments along the Pearl Harbor Bike Trail today fronting Neal Blaisdell Park. Hawaii Public Radio.

City says Topgolf interested in possible partnership at Ala Wai Golf Course. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

A family court judge has rescinded a gag order in the case involving 3-year-old Fabian Garett-Garcia, who died while in foster care last month. West Hawaii Today.

Several Hawaii Island lawmakers are opposed to having neighbor island taxpayers shoulder some of the burden for Honolulu’s cash-strapped rail system. Others are taking a wait-and-see approach. West Hawaii Today.

A Hu Honua Bioenergy official says construction of its biomass power plant near Pepeekeo is moving “full speed ahead” and is on track to be complete in December 2018. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo is on pace to have one of its drier years on record, and July’s rainfall totals brought little if any relief to drought-affected areas of the Big Island, according to the National Weather Service in Honolulu. Tribune-Herald.

Efforts to maintain and restore the Kawaihae watershed will get a funding boost from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Big Island Video News.

Hilo Hattie is returning to the Big Island of Hawaii next month with a new store in Kailua-Kona. Pacific Business News.


Hawaii history was made today with the first legal sale of marijuana, nearly two decades after the state approved the use of pot for medical purposes. Star-Advertiser.

First Hawaii Dispensary Approved For Medical Marijuana Sales. Maui Grown Therapies gets the green light from the state Department of Health. Civil Beat.

Dispensary sales of medical marijuana in Hawaii are beginning after patients waited 17 years for a legal way to purchase the drug. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s first medical cannabis dispensary has received the green light from the state Department of Health to begin selling products to registered patients, 17 years after its legalization. Pacific Business News.

Maui Wellness Group, LLC dba Maui Grown Therapies is the first licensed medical cannabis dispensary in the state to receive the green light from the Hawai‘i Department of Health to begin selling medical cannabis to registered patients and their caregivers. Maui Now.


Maui Judge Rhonda Loo today ruled against plaintiffs in a lawsuit that challenged the handling of rule changes made by the Liquor Control Commission. Maui Now.

Parents with children attending Lahainaluna High School on Monday called the suspended school bus service “messed up” and wondered how long it would last. Maui News.

Maui police responded to 77 burglaries, 87 vehicle thefts and 140 vehicle break-ins in Maui County for the month of July. Two of the burglaries happened on Lānaʻi and one of the vehicle thefts and break-ins occurred on Molokaʻi. Maui Now.


Shorelines change on Kauai throughout the year as currents and other factors move the sand around, raise tides and cause occasional flooding. But these routine changes in the environment are getting turbocharged, according to scientists. Garden Island.

Governor Ige attends NTBG fundraiser. Gov. Ige attends Moonlight & Music at McBryde Garden. Garden Island.

The Kapaa Public Library is temporarily closed until further notice, due to the unexpected death of one of its staff members. Garden Island.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Neighbor Islands could help pay for Honolulu rail, new undersea cable connects Hawaii to Asia, U.S. mainland, endangered bat at center of Oahu windfarm fight, Trump administration says Pacific bluefin tuna not endangered, more news from all the Hawaii Islands

Undersea cable installation
This month web, data and voice traffic will begin flowing through a new $250 million undersea fiber cable connecting Hawaii, the U.S. mainland and Asia. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers Consider Having Neighbor Islands Help Pay For Oahu’s Troubled Rail Project. Hawaii lawmakers are weighing five options to provide funding to complete Honolulu’s over-budget rail line from Kapolei to Ala Moana, including a statewide increase in the general excise and hotel taxes, according to a state Senate presentation. Civil Beat.

The state Legislature is hosting a public informational briefing on state funding for the City & County of Honolulu’s rail project at 10 a.m. Aug. 14 in the State Capitol auditorium. Garden Island.

The Trump administration on Monday announced that a sushi restaurant staple — Pacific bluefin tuna — is not in danger of becoming extinct, despite historically low numbers. Star-Advertiser.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries branch has determined that Pacific bluefin tuna are not endangered and do not need protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. Garden Island.

Hawaii will receive around $477,000 as part of a multi-state settlement with pharmaceutical manufacturer Celgene Corp. over its alleged illegal marketing activities. Pacific Business News.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he supports the idea of barring adults from smoking in vehicles when children are present, and would likely sign such a measure should it make it to his desk. Star-Advertiser.

An endangered native bat is at the center of a fight over a controversial wind farm proposal on Oahu's North Shore. Concerned residents showed up for Monday's contested case hearing for the Na Pua Makani project in Kahuku. Hawaii News Now.

Crews begin work on clearing homeless at Pearl Harbor bike path, Neal Blaisdell Park. Hawaii News Now.

Safety check system goes down, bringing inspections to a halt. KHON2.

State leaders are highlighting their latest efforts to help ease the island’s back-to-school traffic, which this year is expected to bring an estimated 53,000 students onto the roadways. Star-Advertiser.

A delegation from Honolulu -- made up of representatives from the city, tourism industry, and business owners -- recently traveled to Nagaoka, Japan to discuss possible partnerships between the two cities.  Hawaii News Now.

The Waianae Neighborhood Board isn’t buying into the idea of a proposed subdivision near Pokai Bay. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Company is proposing updates to Oahu's power grid that could cost about $205 Million. KITV.

Close to $150 million in condominium sales revenue from four towers in Kakaako helped the developer of Ward Village turn a profit in the second quarter. Star-Advertiser.

Howard Hughes Corporation Shifts to Build for Families in Kakaako. Hawaii Public Radio.

Valley of the Temples Memorial Park held a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday for a new mortuary and chapel to be created by expanding a historic main building at the Kaneohe cemetery. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Harry Kim has renewed his transit consultant’s $9,584-a-month contract after the county Human Resources Department deemed Kim’s pick ineligible for the permanent civil service position of transit administrator. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Harry Kim is nearly ready to bring his plan to attack the problem of homelessness to the Hawaii County Council. Tribune-Herald.

Life At Camp Kikaha. Big Island Video News.

The lawyer for a Kona coffee farmer who was deported back to Mexico despite being called a “pillar of his community” by a U.S. judge plans to file an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals on the grounds that he was legitimately married to a U.S. citizen and should not have been deported. Star-Advertiser.

Hilo Hattie’s is returning the Big Island with the soft opening of a scaled-back storefront tentatively planned for some time around Labor Day. West Hawaii Today.

The Big Island’s eucalyptus trees have been a financial albatross for two decades. Now there may finally be a use for the trees: burn them for electricity. Civil Beat.

The state is seeking an operator for its planned initiative selling carbon offset credits for reforestation and recovery of 4,700 acres of Hawaii island pasture land. Star-Advertiser.


The Department of Education continues to modify Maui school bus routes as its new bus vendor works to recruit more drivers during what the DOE is calling a critical shortage. Star-Advertiser.


Fishermen and conservationists on Kauai are leading a rally against the proposed aerial drop of rodenticides on Lehua Island. Garden Island.

The Democratic Party of Kauai is looking for people to take the helm. Garden Island.

The number of single-family homes sold on Kauai jumped last month, but the median price dropped 25 percent, according to statistics from the Kauai Board of Realtors provided by Hawaii Information Service. Pacific Business News.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Parole administrator reassigned pending investigation, Kauai study shows glyphosate in honey, Maui school bus shortage reaches crisis, Big Island council members fly high on pCards, Ellison describes Lanai ag plans, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz
Wiki bikestand in Waikiki, courtesy U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz

You’ve seen the new Biki bikeshare stations around town but who are the people pedaling them? Hawaii Public Radio.

The state Department of Public Safety has temporarily reassigned longtime Paroles and Pardons Administrator Tommy Johnson pending the outcome of an internal investigation, according to Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Public Safety has temporarily reassigned longtime Paroles and Pardons Administrator Tommy Johnson pending the outcome of an internal investigation. Associated Press.

Robert K. Masuda has been appointed as First Deputy Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources by Gov. David Y. Ige on Friday. Pacific Business News.

Gov. David Ige has joined 38 other governors in signing a cybersecurity compact in an effort to enhance state cybersecurity and develop the cyber workforce. Star-Advertiser.

As summer winds down, thousands of Hawaii students return to school. Hawaii News Now.

Nearly 40 Hawaii public school graduates have received the state’s first round of awards signifying they have mastered two languages. Star-Advertiser.

John H. Radcliffe, a retired Hawaii lobbyist who became, as he puts it, the “poster child” for legalizing medical aid in dying in Hawaii, got some astounding news last month. His inoperable cancer was deemed operable. Star-Advertiser.


Former city Community Services Director Pam Witty-Oakland returns to the post effective Oct. 1, Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s office announced Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Junk Cars Are Piling Up On Oahu. As scrap yards close or start charging to take derelict vehicles, it’s often cheaper to ditch a worn-out car than legally dispose of it. Civil Beat.

Couple OK’d as foster parents despite marred past. Star-Advertiser.

A judge ruled Friday that statements an Army medic made to an investigator after his wife was found dead were coerced. Star-Advertiser.

Cleanup of Ala Wai has start in Manoa. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu condo prices climb: Previously owned Oahu condos sold for a median $425,000, increasing 6.3 percent from $400,000 in July 2016, according to resale figures released Sunday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Some County Council members are flying high on the taxpayers’ dime. The council spent $58,453 on travel during the first seven months of the two-year term, almost twice the monthly average of prior years, according to a West Hawaii Today analysis of purchasing card and travel records. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Harry Kim claims to be a “pretty dull guy,” and his purchasing card and travel expenses seem to reflect he’s no social butterfly. West Hawaii Today.

The Big Island Invasive Species Committee has declared victory in its effort to remove axis deer from Ka‘u, nearly eight years since they were introduced. Tribune-Herald.

It's official. Axis Deer are no more on Hawaii Island. Big Island Video News.

Lance Niimi, the Hawaii County's assistant housing administrator, has been sleeping among the homeless at the Hale Kikaha tent-city. Big Island Video News.

The Hilo Drag Strip is set to reopen by the end of 2017 after being closed nearly two years for renovations. Tribune-Herald.

It didn’t take long for a mishap to befall the beleaguered Mass Transit department’s new buses, which were just donated to the Big Island from the City and County of Honolulu. Big Island Video News.

A Hawaiian Paradise Park woman and her two young children were uninjured after being involved in a minor collision with a reportedly stolen Hele-On bus in Hilo Saturday afternoon. West Hawaii Today.

State emergency officials want public schools to be prepared for a possible North Korea missile attack, though Hawaii’s education leaders aren’t planning any drills specific to nuclear detonations just yet. Tribune-Herald.

The state land department is accepting proposals to move forward with a carbon credit system that will fund forest restoration on the Big Island. Hawaii News Now.


Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, the Department of Education, and one of Hawaii’s largest school bus providers met Friday to try to fix the Valley Isle school bus crisis, but to no avail. KHON2.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said the county's bus service can't accommodate the 250 students whose school bus service has been cut because of a driver shortage. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii State Department of Education advises parents and guardians of students at Lahainaluna High and Baldwin High who depend on school bus routes exclusively serving grades 9 to 12 to find alternate rides. Maui Now.

Power grid showing its age as more renewable energy produced. Maui News.

Community input is being sought on a proposed light industrial and commercial business park at Pulehunui in Central Maui, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources announced. Maui News.

The Iao Valley State Monument has reopened, at least temporarily, after sustaining severe damage from a massive flood in September. Associated Press.


Another study looking at pesticides in beehives is underway in Hawaii. And results are showing a connection between agriculture-dense areas and an increase in the chemical glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup — in honey. Garden Island.

Taxes and establishing bus stops will be discussed at the Kauai County Council meeting Wednesday. Councilmembers are expected to approve two bills relating to taxes. Garden Island.

The project to eradicate the rats on Lehua Island won’t be starting on Tuesday, according to Scott Enright, director of the state’s Department of Agriculture. Garden Island.

Forum ends with consensus: Seek ways to preserve marine species. Garden Island.


Tech billionaire Larry Ellison sees potential for agriculture on Lanai. Star-Advertiser.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Polystyrene foam ban resurfaces in Honolulu, Maui police deny excessive force in telescope protester arrests, Big Island mayor cancels geothermal health studies, Kona homeless get new tent city, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Polystyrene lunch plate © 2017 All Hawaii News
An effort to bar Oahu businesses from using foam takeout containers has been renewed, this time by a Honolulu City Council member who said she opposed a similar proposal in 2004. Star-Advertiser.

‘Biocontrol Agents’ Could Be Used To Kill Albizia In Hawaii. Moths, mites, weevils, beetles, even a fungus, are under consideration as a way to stop the spread of the invasive tree in the islands. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s college graduates are managing student debt better than their peers anywhere else in the country, according to a new WalletHub report released this week. Tribune-Herald.

More than eight months after issuing a request for landowners in Hawaii willing to host renewable energy projects, Hawaiian Electric Co. said this week that it has compiled a list of potential sites, but it’s not saying where they are. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.’s earnings fell 12 percent in the second quarter, as its utilities saw a decrease in profits. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. reported second-quarter net income of $38.7 million, or 36 cents per diluted share, compared to net income of $44.1 million, or 41 cents per diluted share, for the same quarter a year ago. Pacific Business News.


The number of mumps cases at Oahu Community Correctional Center has more than doubled in less than a month, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the state’s outbreak, which now tops 200 cases. Star-Advertiser.

Fast-acting work crews prevented a mainland bat from escaping a container ship docked at Honolulu Harbor on Monday, according to state officials. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council has sided with an advisory board and an overwhelming community view to reject a developer’s proposal to rezone farmland on the fringe of Haleiwa town for residential use. Star-Advertiser.

A midrise rental apartment building reserved for residents with incomes up to the median in Honolulu will begin accepting tenant applications Aug. 18 in preparation for an opening by the end of this month. Star-Advertiser.

Howard Hughes Corporation Kakaako Development Update. Ward Warehouse in Kakaako closed earlier this week and is scheduled to be torn down by the end of the year. Hawaii Public Radio.

City transportation officials told a Honolulu City Council committee Thursday they are looking at redesigning and reducing the size of 11 traffic bulb-outs in Chinatown that merchants, customers and residents have complained about. Star-Advertiser.

A pedestrian safety measure in Chinatown is irking area businesses, who say it's hurting their bottom line. Hawaii News Now.

A nonprofit wants turn a former fishing shed at Kewalo Basin into a cultural and educational center. Hawaii News Now.

The median price for condominiums on Oahu hit an all-time high of $425,000 in July, rising 6 percent from the same month a year ago, according to a report by Honolulu-based real estate firm Locations. Pacific Business News.

Dozens of community members gathered Thursday inside Kapolei High School's cafeteria to have their questions and concerns heard, as Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa discussed the latest news out of the nation's capital. KITV.

The University of Hawaii Manoa student newspaper is hoping for a student fee increase to help it survive in the digital age. Civil Beat.

Former Honolulu police officer Jessie Laconsay,  who is already serving a 10 year sentence for sexually assaulting a teen, faces even more punishment. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

A bill that would allow Hawaii County to spend its geothermal royalties on “community health and safety projects” will be sent to the Planning Commission for review. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor Harry Kim has canceled two geothermal studies previously approved by the Windward Planning Commission. The studies would have looked at health impacts of geothermal development in Puna and dispersion of hydrogen sulfide during steam releases. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation maintenance crews had their hands — and their trucks — full Wednesday, as they cleared out rubbish from the Old Airport Park in preparation for a cleanup effort set for Aug. 9-10. West Hawaii Today.

Some of those who were previously camping at Old Kona Airport have been relocated under tents next to Hale Kikaha. Big Island Video News.

There's nothing fancy about the Big Island's new homeless safe zone. It's just a row of pop-up tents, a few portable toilets and some showers. Hawaii News Now.


Roads leading to the summit of Haleakala are once again open to the public today. Park officials say the construction convoy delivering equipment for the new Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope was successful. This follows the latest round of protests against the solar telescope under construction. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui police said a preliminary review of reports and video from the arrest of a protester on Haleakala Wednesday shows that officers acted within department policy in forcibly restraining him before he fell unconscious in handcuffs. Star-Advertiser.

Police force on Maui has been questioned following an injury reported during an arrest of one of the demonstrators during the Kāko’o Haleakala protest early Wednesday morning. Maui Now.

Some are claiming that Maui officers used excessive force during a protest of the controversial Haleakala telescope project, and are pointing to cell phone video circulating online as evidence of their charges. Hawaii News Now.

The Maui County Council’s Land Use Committee unanimously voted against approval for a conditional permit to allow special events at the “Lona Ridge” property in Wailuku. Maui Now.

A shortage of bus drivers on Maui has forced state officials to suspend bus rides for students at three schools and limit rides for students at one school. Associated Press.

Frustration is mounting on Maui as parents learn new bus pickup times for their kids still aren’t set or are set too late. KHON2.


Days from the first potential drop of 10 tons of rodenticide on Lehua Island, some are still demanding the state respond to unanswered questions. Garden Island.

The Navy announced today that it successfully tracked a medium-range ballistic missile target in flight off Kauai with the new AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar on July 27. Star-Advertiser.

When some Kauai County Councilmembers voted against funding to develop a Climate Action Plan, it was because they did not know what it hoped to accomplish. Garden Island.

Group sinks teeth into General Plan Update. Garden Island.

A Lihue man awaiting trial on charges of producing child pornography told Kauai police that he had sexually assaulted seven boys and girls over a span of eight or nine years, according to a recently unsealed U.S. District Court document. Star-Advertiser.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

State finds $1M to battle rat lungworm, 6 arrested, one sent to ER in Maui telescope protest, Kauai rejects climate change money, Tokuda running for Lt. Gov., Hokulea plans 40-stop state tour, Honolulu gets state's first public hydrogen fueling station, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The Mystery of Rat Lungworm Disease is an activity book designed by UH Hilo researchers to help local elementary-age children learn what to look for in their gardens and vegetables.
State officials are making a new push to combat rat lungworm disease, promising more public awareness efforts that urge vigilance in the cleaning of produce and planning to hire two workers dedicated to prevention. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday that his administration is embarking on a two-year campaign aimed at curbing the spread of rat lungworm disease and soothing the public’s jitters over eating local produce. Civil Beat.

Hawaii health officials will use $1 million from the state Legislature to study rat lungworm prevalence in rats and fund a public information campaign targeting residents and tourists. Tribune-Herald.

The state has revealed its new strategy to battle a brain-infecting parasite. The Hawaii Department of Health didn't ask for funding to deal with rat lungworm disease during the last legislative session, but ended up receiving a total of $1 million for the next two years. Hawaii News Now.

The state is stepping up efforts to combat rat lungworm disease in Hawaii. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige, with the Hawai‘i Department of Health and the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture announced today the state’s plans to place a stronger emphasis on the prevention of rat lungworm disease. Maui Now.


State Sen. Jill Tokuda announced Wednesday she is running in what will likely be a crowded field of contenders next year seeking to be Hawaii’s next lieutenant governor. Star-Advertiser.

A state senator is making a move for the lieutenant governor seat. KHON2.

Sen. Jill Tokuda (D- Kaneohe) entered the race for Lieutenant Governor. She made the announcement at a campaign event at Honolulu YWCA Wednesday evening. KITV.

Sen. Jill Tokuda announce her candidacy for lieutenant governor during a campaign kickoff Wednesday at the Honolulu YWCA. Garden Island.


Hawaii Gas requested rate adjustments Tuesday from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Any changes are not expected to go into effect until mid-2018. Garden Island.

Hokulea, Hikianalia begin 40-stop cruise through the state. Maui News.


The Honolulu City Council zoning committee deferred two bills Tuesday night that would have rezoned seven acres of agricultural land in Haleiwa to either residential or urban. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Police Commission’s search for a new chief is expected to last through at least October, three months behind schedule. Star-Advertiser.

Servco Pacific Inc. officials and Gov. David Ige broke ground Wednesday for the first publicly accessible hydrogen fueling station on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is building its first public fueling station for hydrogen vehicles, which will enable the state to begin selling cars that only emit water vapor. Associated Press.

Hawaii Gas is seeking to increase a typical Oahu customer’s bills by nearly 20 percent. Star-Advertiser.

Holu Energy LLC, the Hawaii subsidiary of EnSync Energy Inc., has inked a 20-year power purchase agreement with Hawaii Pacific University to build a 310-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on the roof of the Aloha Tower Marketplace in Downtown Honolulu. Pacific Business News.

Oregon-based energy storage company Powin Energy Corp. will install software and infrastructure to seven Hawaii sites, including the Boy Scouts of America's Honolulu headquarters and the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort, to maximize their bottom lines through storing solar energy not used during daylight hours. Pacific Business News.

More than a hundred people have signed a petition against a Biki Bike station planned for Kolowalu Park. KITV.

Special-duty officers look to thwart potential trespassers on Haiku Stairs. KHON2.

A mid-rise hotel slated to open on the outskirts of downtown Kapolei in late October can expect some close competition in a couple of years. Star-Advertiser.

Prior crew found plane unsafe before it crashed. Star-Advertiser.

HART to pay for repaving of OCCC's parking lot, raising questions from critics. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Harry Kim declared a state of emergency Tuesday to pave the way for the relocation of several homeless individuals residing at the Old Airport Park who had been told they must vacate the premises by that date. West Hawaii Today.

The day before the county will enforce a no-camping policy at the Old Airport Park in Kona, Mayor Kim issues an Emergency Proclamation regarding the Hale Kikaha Project. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County Council members thought something just didn’t smell right when reviewing the latest list of change orders for county projects. Tribune-Herald.


After a handful of activists were arrested Tuesday in protests against a controversial telescope planned for Haleakala, some are claiming Maui police officers used excessive force despite a peaceful demonstration. Hawaii News Now.

Showdown in Pukalani. Protesters attempt to stop telescope convoy; 6 people arrested. Maui News.

Law enforcement officers arrested a total of six individuals early this morning at the site of a demonstration held to protest ongoing construction of a telescope atop Haleakalā. One individual was also injured and was taken off site by paramedics during the incident for treatment at the hospital emergency room. Maui Now.

Maui police arrested six people Wednesday after they allegedly tried to block trucks hauling equipment for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope project at Haleakala. Star-Advertiser.

Six arrests were made when protesters tried to block an equipment convoy for a solar telescope being built on a Hawaii mountain held sacred by some Native Hawaiians. Associated Press.

Maui Police arrested six protestors involved in demonstrations against a contested solar telescope project on Haleakala summit. KITV.

Police arrested two women and four men early Wednesday morning as they tried to block the passage of a large vehicle convoy carrying equipment to the summit of Haleakala for construction of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, according to an announcement from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Maui Now.


Plans for further development on South Maui have been rejected at least for the moment. The latest proposal would have included housing, office and retail space on 75 acres in North Kīhei. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Department of Education is facing criticism for its handling of a bus driver shortage that will affect students on Maui. KHON2.


Kauai County Council members have rejected $100,000 in private donations to fund a climate action plan for their rural island, which is particularly susceptible to rising sea levels, stronger storms and other effects of climate change. Civil Beat.

After reflecting on a decision to freeze vacant county positions for six months, Ken Shimonishi, director of finance, said it was not practical. Garden Island.


A meeting is being held today on Molokai to discuss plans for a former bombing range. Hawaii Public Radio.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Telescope battles on two islands, school bus driver shortage forces route cancellations, former Honolulu reporter snarled in Fox News Trump allies lawsuit, 'Fat Leonard' bribery case involves Hawaii's Seventh Fleet, gun range plan advances, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Haleakala protest screenshot from FB live, Barbara Heil Barry
How the world’s largest solar telescope rose on Maui while nearby protests derailed a larger scope. Science.

Several arrests were made early this morning as members of the group Kāko’o Haleakalā demonstrated overnight, attempting to block a convoy transporting large loads to the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope atop Haleakalā on Maui. Maui Now.

Several arrests were made early Wednesday as police cracked down on dozens of activists blocking the road leading to the summit of Haleakala in protest of construction of a four meter telescope. Hawaii News Now.

Dozens of protesters of all ages waved signs along Kula Highway Tuesday evening to voice their opposition toward building the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope. KITV.

The narrow winding road leading up to Haleakala National Park was scheduled to be closed to traffic for several hours late Tuesday during a planned delivery of materials to the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope site — where protesters opposed to the project were expected. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair today announced that it will implement a temporary closure of unencumbered lands on Haleakalā to protect public safety during the equipment convoy that starts today. Maui Now.

With materials for the controversial solar telescope on Haleakala still hours away, more than 80 protesters prepared to confront the delivery trucks on a grassy triangle outside King Kekaulike High School on Tuesday evening. Maui News.


Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees say they will sue the University of Hawaii and the state for alleged mismanagement at Mauna Kea. Hawaii News Now.

A Native Hawaiian fisherman is asking an environmental court to stop Hawaii officials from issuing commercial fishing licenses to those who aren’t legally admitted into the United States. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Medical Service Association is seeking to boost health insurance rates next year by an average 27.1 percent, while Kaiser Permanente is proposing a 19.9 percent rate hike, together affecting nearly 33,000 residents covered by the federal Affordable Care Act. Star-Advertiser.

Former Hawaii journalist Malia Zimmerman is at the center of a growing firestorm over a Fox News story about Democratic leaks and an unsolved killing. Hawaii News Now.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday lays out an explosive tale of Trump allies, the White House, Fox News and a former Hawaii journalist conspiring to push a false story about Democratic leaks and an unsolved killing to distract attention from the Russia investigation that has been swirling around the president. Associated Press.

New Hawaii Schools Chief’s First Priority: Listening. Christina Kishimoto plans on visiting all the islands in her first six months to talk with educators and students. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Department of Education welcomed its new leader Tuesday, less than one week before the start of the new school year on Aug. 7. KHON2.

Christina Kishimoto began her new job Tuesday as superintendent of Hawaii public schools, promising state education leaders she will visit schools throughout the state in the coming months and work to fill vacant positions in her executive staff. Tribune-Herald.

The state said Tuesday it has installed air conditioning units in 796 classrooms in the islands, and hopes to reach 1,000 by the end of the month. Hawaii News Now.

Former Navy Officer Isn’t Rolling Over In The Fat Leonard Bribery Case. The widening criminal investigation into Malaysian defense contractor Leonard “Fat Leonard” Francis has already ensnared dozens of top naval officers, many from the Hawaii-based Seventh Fleet. Civil Beat.

Members of the United Public Workers union are voting this week on a tentative agreement for a new four-year contract that includes raises and bonuses for union members. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii personnel assisting in search for missing sailor in South China Sea. Star-Advertiser.


Plans for an expansion of Hawaiian Memorial Park Cemetery won a key approval from a Honolulu City Council committee Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Kicked out of parks and off sidewalks, some 'innovative' homeless take to the water. Hawaii News Now.

The state Department of Public Safety has announced that eight inmates at a Hawaii correctional center have mumps. Associated Press.

Next spring, students at the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law will have a state-of-the-art building to advise their own clients. Civil Beat.

On Wednesday, Servco Pacific Inc. Chairman and CEO Mark Fukunaga and Hawaii Gov. David Ige will be among the officials scheduled to break ground on the company's hydrogen station, the first such station to be built on Oahu. Pacific Business News.

Damage from the July 14 high-rise fire at the Marco Polo condominium project has been estimated to exceed $100 million in one of the most destructive fires in Honolulu’s recent history, a Honolulu Fire Department spokesman said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Damage from the seven-alarm fire that killed three people and injured five at the Marco Polo Apartments high-rise in Honolulu last month exceeded an estimated $100 million, one of the most destructive fires in modern history in Hawaii, officials said. Pacific Business News.

The Marco Polo high-rise fire that killed three people July 14 and caused at least $100 million in damage was not intentionally set, but investigators continue to search for the cause, the Honolulu Fire Department said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Fire Department has released new details as it continues to investigate a 7-alarm fire that killed three people in the Marco Polo high-rise on July 14. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

A study of locations for one or more shooting ranges was advanced Tuesday by a County Council panel that voted unanimously to endorse the concept and support a working group to create a report. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Electric Light Company held a public meetings Monday night on its plans to upgrade the Big Island power grid. Big Island Video News.

First homeless sweep of Old Airport Park cleanup begins. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Harry Kim has made it a priority to clean up a West Hawaii Park where many homeless have been living illegally. Hawaii Public Radio.

The state has issued a gag order in a case involving the death of a 3-year-old Hawaii island boy in foster care. KHON2.

The sale of Mauna Lani Bay Hotel &Bungalows and other assets closed Tuesday, with DiamondHead Land officially taking ownership of the properties. West Hawaii Today.

The new owners of the Mauna Lani hotel and golf courses on Hawaii island rehired all employees when the deal closed Tuesday and said they plan to invest between $70 million and $90 million upgrading the resort. Star-Advertiser.

A joint venture between an affiliate of California-based real estate company ProspectHill Group and longtime Hawaii hotel executive Pat Fitzgerald has closed on its acquisition of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows on Hawaii’s Big Island from a subsidiary of Japan-based Tokyu Corp. Pacific Business News.

Brightly colored and uniquely designed license plates featuring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Haleakala National Park hit the Big Island on Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.


School bus riders at Lahainaluna High, Baldwin High and Iao Intermediate schools will be riding the Maui Bus instead of their regular yellow buses when school starts next week due to a “crisis” shortage of bus drivers for a new transportation provider, the state Department of Education said. Maui News.

As a new school bus vendor on Maui struggles to find credentialed drivers before the school year begins Monday, the Department of Education says it will halt bus routes for nearly 400 students and issue bus passes for use on the island’s public transportation. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Department of Education today announced route modifications to school bus service for students at Maui High, Lahainaluna High, Baldwin High and ʻĪao Intermediate. Maui Now.

The Hawaii Department of Education is taking drastic action due to a shortage of school bus drivers on Maui. KHON2.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources opened up the gates across Iao Valley Road to allow participants in the Iao Valley 10K to run to the Iao Valley State Monument, which has been closed since massive floods in September. Maui News.

The Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety welcomed New Deputy Fire Chief, Lionel Montalvo to the post during a swearing-in and badge pinning ceremony on Friday. Maui Now.


While it’s certain that the upcoming school year for public schools on Kauai begins next week, what’s still up in the air is how each student who rides a school bus will get to class on time. Garden Island.

Work on restoration of the Ae Kamali‘i Preschool started as the mercury teased the 90-degree mark Monday at the facility on Kress Street adjacent to Lihue Christian Church. Garden Island.

Two meetings are slated next week on a project designed for safe access to the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge. Garden Island.

Wailua condo association wants to clean heiau. Condo association looks to clean up heiau blanketed by weeds, grass, trees. Garden Island.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Hawaii certifies first medical marijuana lab, old hand picked as new Honolulu transit chief, telescope protest planned for Maui, Kauai police chief wins attorney fees, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Pixabay
Marijuana plant, courtesy Pixabay Commons
The state Department of Health today certified Hawaii’s first marijuana testing laboratory. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii approved its first laboratory to begin testing samples of medical marijuana 17 years after use of the drug was legalized in the state. Associated Press.

Dispensaries Closer To Opening As State Certifies First Cannabis-Testing Lab. A Honolulu laboratory can begin testing the products that will be sold to medical marijuana patients. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Department of Health on Monday granted Steep Hill Hawaii a provisional certification to begin testing medical cannabis from the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries and registered patients and caregivers. Pacific Business News.

The state Department of Health on Monday approved its first laboratory to begin testing medical marijuana, putting Hawaii’s dispensaries one step closer to being able to open. Tribune-Herald.

A private laboratory on Oahu has been certified by the state Department of Health to begin testing medical cannabis products, a long-awaited next step that brings Hawaii's eight dispensaries closer to completing their first sales, which could be as early as mid-August. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu lab first to conduct medical cannabis testing for Hawaii dispensaries. KITV.

The Hawaii Department of Health granted Steep Hill Hawaii, a private independent laboratory on Oahu, a provisional certification Monday after the laboratory passed and met requirements that demonstrate it has the capacity and proficiency to test cannabis and manufactured cannabis in compliance with state law. Maui Now.

Political candidates contemplating running for elected office in 2018 will be allowed to file nomination papers in 6 months. The Republican Party of Hawaii hopes to is resolve ongoing internal issues by then. Hawaii Public Radio.

Christina Kishimoto begins her new job leading Hawaii public schools today, ahead of Monday’s start of the 2017-18 school year. Star-Advertiser.

Public school students head back to class in a week, but the Department of Education says if it doesn’t find more bus drivers before then, there could be issues. KHON2.

Black people have a long history in Hawaii dating back to the 19th century. The state’s more than 21,000 blacks make up a little over 3 percent of the population. That compares to a national average of 13 percent and ranks Hawaii 39th among all state in the percentage of its population that is black. Hawaii Public Radio.

Matson Inc. sailed over a shallow trough of lower Hawaii cargo shipments to produce a 33 percent profit gain in the second quarter largely driven by enhanced business in China and Alaska. Star-Advertiser.

Mary Ann Barnes, who started as an intensive care unit nurse on the night shift with Kaiser Permanente in San Diego and rose through the ranks in a 43-year career to become president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals Hawaii Region, will retire in September. Pacific Business News.


The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has selected Andrew Robbins as the next, permanent executive director to lead the island’s financially challenged rail transit project. Star-Advertiser.

HART Board Chooses A New Executive Director. Andrew Robbins will take over as the city and state struggle to fully fund the 20-mile project, which has an estimated $3 billion shortfall. Civil Beat.

Oahu's beleaguered rail project has a new head. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) has named Andrew “Andy” Robbins as its new executive director Monday morning. KHON2.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board on Monday voted to hire Andrew Robbins, an executive with Bombardier Transportation, to oversee the construction of Honolulu’s $10 billion rail transit project. Pacific Business News.

Andrew Robbins was a key member of the Oahu Transit Group that was working on the city’s rail project in the 1990s when it was killed by a Honolulu City Council vote, an outcome he called “a huge disappointment.” Star-Advertiser.

Scrutiny of Oahu company grows after it's tied to 2 recent plane crashes. Hawaii News Now.

How A Diamond Head Pitchman Eludes A Crackdown. The state says to compete with illegal sales of “I Climbed Diamond Head” certificates, it will sell its own souvenirs at the summit. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi says she’s been receiving complaints about homeless setting up camp along streams in her district. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

A switch to cost-saving LED streetlights has saved Hawaii County enough money to pay for upgrades to traffic signals islandwide. Tribune-Herald.

Waiaha Deepwell’s return to service derailed by malfunction, cable break. West Hawaii Today.

Auto thefts have long been a concern on the Big Island. As of late, however, court documents describing some of these crimes have narratives that seem to be lifted from the script of a made-for-TV movie. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. David Ige has received a list of nominees from the Judicial Selection Commission for the vacancies created by the retirement of former Big Island circuitjudges Glenn S. Hara and Ronald Ibarra. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Health System, the Kaiser Permanente Hawaii entity that took over operation of three state-owned hospitals in Maui County earlier this month, has named Michael Rembis CEO and hospital administrator. Pacific Business News.

Just a month after Maui Health System assumed operations at Maui County hospitals, the Kaiser affiliate and its parent company have announced changes in top leadership. Maui News.

A peaceful protest of a slow-moving wide load of telescope parts for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope atop Haleakala is planned at King Kekaulike High School in Pukalani tonight and into Wednesday. Maui News.

Sovereignty Restoration Day marked with kalo-pounding event. Maui News.

After more than a century, taro is now once again growing in Kahoma Valley on Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Hokulea Coming to Honolua, Aug. 19. Maui Now.


Darryl Perry, chief of the Kauai Police Department, was recently reimbursed over $12,000 for attorney fees after he filed a complaint against the county. Garden Island.

A survey for the Kauai Bus Short-Range Transit Plan will be open until Sept. 4. Garden Island.

Local divers are hosting a public meeting to discuss the preservation of Kauai’s popular dive sites at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Lihue Public Library. Garden Island.