May 2017

May 26, 2017

11 Arrested In State Effort To Control Access To Napali Coast Wilderness Courtesy of DLNR

11 Arrested In State Effort To Control Access To Napali Coast Wilderness

More than 200 people have been taken into custody since 2015 in a state wilderness park on Kauai.

Hundreds Of Low-Income Maui Residents May Face Eviction Ratna Heilscher

Hundreds Of Low-Income Maui Residents May Face Eviction

Their taxpayer-subsidized apartment building was supposed to be affordable for 50 years. But a loophole could end that arrangement far sooner.

May 25, 2017

Waikiki Could Get Highest Tides In More Than 100 Years This Weekend Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Waikiki Could Get Highest Tides In More Than 100 Years This Weekend

The combination of high lunar tides, a south swell and ongoing sea level rise is giving Hawaii a preview of what’s to come with climate change.

Waikiki Beaches Contract While Ala Wai Canal Rises Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Waikiki Beaches Contract While Ala Wai Canal Rises

This week’s king tides have beachgoers dodging waves while the canal nears the top of its retaining walls.

Oahu Mumps Outbreak Continues With 3 New Cases Confirmed Ale Proimos/Flickr.com

Oahu Mumps Outbreak Continues With 3 New Cases Confirmed

The Department of Health announced that 57 cases have been confirmed on the island this year, with one case on Kauai

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Block On Trump Travel Ban Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Block On Trump Travel Ban

The Virginia-based appeals court says even the Trump’s administration’s revised effort targeting Muslim-majority countries is illegal.

A Medical Marijuana Dispensary Will Open Soon — Without THC Products Anita Hofschneider/Civil Beat

A Medical Marijuana Dispensary Will Open Soon — Without THC Products

While it waits for the state to establish a product-testing system, Aloha Green will start selling cannabis products that don’t contain THC.

Hawaii Taxpayers Are On The Hook For $18 Million To Settle Claims Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Taxpayers Are On The Hook For $18 Million To Settle Claims

Lawsuits filed by airport subcontractors for nonpayment represent $10 million of the total. Gov. David Ige approved the payouts last week.

A Banner Year For Secrecy, Behind-The-Scenes Maneuvering At The Legislature Cory Lum/Civil Beat

A Banner Year For Secrecy, Behind-The-Scenes Maneuvering At The Legislature

From reducing poverty to increasing affordable housing, lawmakers could have done much better for the people of Hawaii.

Don’t Believe The Skeptics — Millennials Really Are Different Jean Twenge

Don’t Believe The Skeptics — Millennials Really Are Different

Young adults are different than they were a few decades ago — you just have to look at the best data to see how.

Wild Chickens Are Flocking To Whole Foods In Kailua Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Wild Chickens Are Flocking To Whole Foods In Kailua

The Kailua Neighborhood Board passed a motion recently asking the city to revise its feral chicken removal program to focus on trapping roosters.

May 24, 2017

Hawaii Sues Ford, Nissan, Toyota Over Exploding Air Bags AP

Hawaii Sues Ford, Nissan, Toyota Over Exploding Air Bags

Island residents are particularly vulnerable to defective air bags because of the humid climate, a consumer protection official says.

Investigators: USS Arizona Memorial Employee Took Improper Gifts Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Investigators: USS Arizona Memorial Employee Took Improper Gifts

Tour operators gave the worker a jacket and golf course green fees, the U.S. Department of Interior found.

Neal Milner: The Presidential Election Was More Normal Than You Think YouTube

Neal Milner: The Presidential Election Was More Normal Than You Think

Despite Trump’s unorthodox campaign, most people stuck with their party affiliation. Clinton just didn’t apperal to those in the middle.

Kauai Councilman Fails To Disclose His Medical Marijuana Venture Flickr.com: Sharon Har

Kauai Councilman Fails To Disclose His Medical Marijuana Venture

In county documents, former legislator Derek Kawakami didn’t mention his involvement in a company challenging the dispensary license awards.

How UH Hopes To Turn Research Into Business Startups Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How UH Hopes To Turn Research Into Business Startups

A new innovation program approved by the Legislature is aimed at encouraging faculty and staff to act as entrepreneurs.

Bob McDermott: Pass The GET Surcharge And Finish Rail Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Bob McDermott: Pass The GET Surcharge And Finish Rail

We can’t afford to be distracted by raising the hotel tax or by giving up and stopping the line at Middle Street.

May 23, 2017

New School Fees Approved Along Final Stretch Of Rail Line Department of Education

New School Fees Approved Along Final Stretch Of Rail Line

Developers or residents in the 4-mile section from Kalihi to Ala Moana would eventually be forced to pay fees or donate land.

Experts: LA Passenger ‘Had Trouble Written All Over Him’ Before Boarding Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Experts: LA Passenger ‘Had Trouble Written All Over Him’ Before Boarding

Airport personnel may have been reluctant to stop a Honolulu-bound passenger because of recent publicity about airline incidents.

Schatz: Trump’s ‘Cruel’ Budget Is ‘Dead On Arrival’ Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Schatz: Trump’s ‘Cruel’ Budget Is ‘Dead On Arrival’

Hirono, Gabbard and Hanabusa are also trashing the president’s proposals that they say favor the rich over the most vulnerable.

Counties: ‘We Got Screwed’ By The Legislature On Lifeguard Protection Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Counties: ‘We Got Screwed’ By The Legislature On Lifeguard Protection

Council members, mayors and others remain frustrated by the influence a group of personal injury lawyers had on the decision.

Napali Coast State Wilderness Park Deserves Support Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

Napali Coast State Wilderness Park Deserves Support

Hawaii’s largest and most remote state park needs more enforcement staff to protect it from overuse and unethical campers.

Board Takes Next Step In Deciding Fate of Haiku Stairs Nick Grube/Civil Beat

Board Takes Next Step In Deciding Fate of Haiku Stairs

The Board of Water Supply wants to tear down the “Stairway to Heaven,” which has been officially closed to the public since 1987.

Run, Tulsi, Run? Gabbard’s Name Pops Up As Presidential Contender Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Run, Tulsi, Run? Gabbard’s Name Pops Up As Presidential Contender

The Hawaii congresswoman is rejecting PAC money as interest in a possible national campaign picks up.

Denby Fawcett: Pushing For Tough Penalty In Albatross Killings Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Denby Fawcett: Pushing For Tough Penalty In Albatross Killings

The prosecutor wants the judge to visit Kaena Point where protected Laysan albatrosses were killed before sentencing the defendant.

May 22, 2017

Flight Took Off With Disruptive Passenger Despite Red Flags AP

Flight Took Off With Disruptive Passenger Despite Red Flags

UPDATED: A judge orders a mental competency hearing for the 25-year-old Turkish man who disrupted a flight to Honolulu.

5 Percent Pay Raises Recommended For Mayor And Top Officials Cory Lum/Civil Beat

5 Percent Pay Raises Recommended For Mayor And Top Officials

That would put Mayor Kirk Caldwell at $173,000 and the new police chief would receive $191,000.

Pod Squad: Rising Up Against Islamophobia Honolulu Museum of Art

Pod Squad: Rising Up Against Islamophobia

A film and arts festival that begins later this week at the Honolulu Museum of Art seeks to teach people about Islam.

Resort Fees: A Hidden Pain For Tourists, A Windfall For Hotels Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Resort Fees: A Hidden Pain For Tourists, A Windfall For Hotels

While consumer advocates decry costs for amenities like swimming pool access and in-room safes, the fees bring in an estimated $2.6 billion annually for hotels.

The FBI: With Great Power Comes Great Scandal Flickr.com

The FBI: With Great Power Comes Great Scandal

The fire of James Comey is only the latest drama involving the directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Former DuPont Worker Claims Retaliation For Pesticide Complaints Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Former DuPont Worker Claims Retaliation For Pesticide Complaints

A woman files suit saying she lost her job after repeatedly reporting misuse of pesticides on the company’s North Shore farm.

Reader Rep: Podcasters Helping Put Spark Back In Journalism Patrick Breitenbach/Flickr

Reader Rep: Podcasters Helping Put Spark Back In Journalism

Podcasts are becoming increasingly sophisticated and reaching a growing audience, estimated at 57 million listeners monthly.

Lawmakers Must Make Good On Deal To Raise Foster Parent Fees Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Lawmakers Must Make Good On Deal To Raise Foster Parent Fees

It’s not too late. The issue could be part of a special session on rail funding that could happen later this summer.

The Beauty Of Education Is In The Stories We Tell Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The Beauty Of Education Is In The Stories We Tell

Don’t let the positive narrative about public education get hijacked by stories about teacher burnout and low test scores.

May 20, 2017

Investigators Try To Figure Out Why Man Tried To Disrupt Flight Flickr.com

Investigators Try To Figure Out Why Man Tried To Disrupt Flight

The man who created a disturbance on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu faces possible federal charges of interfering with a flight crew.

May 19, 2017

Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Gets A New Member — For Now Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Gets A New Member — For Now

The governor has found a new member to serve after the Senate rejected his last choice.

Disturbance On LA-To-Hawaii Flight Brings FBI, Fighter Jets Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Disturbance On LA-To-Hawaii Flight Brings FBI, Fighter Jets

An American Airlines flight to Honolulu landed safely after an unruly man was subdued by passengers and flight attendants.

Hawaii Prof To White Guys: ‘Get Out Of The Way’ UH Manoa

Hawaii Prof To White Guys: ‘Get Out Of The Way’

UPDATED: An African-American female math professor makes a provocative point about the over-representation of white males in academia. UH president defends freedom of expression.

New Hawaii Schools Chief Selected Courtney Teague/Civil Beat

New Hawaii Schools Chief Selected

Christina Kishimoto will take over as superintendent on August 1 after leaving her current  job as superintendent of an Arizona school district.

Health Beat: These Canadians Like Their Single-Payer Health System Kristin Rollins/Flickr.com

Health Beat: These Canadians Like Their Single-Payer Health System

The waiting time for appointments may be longer, but the government-run system comes through in emergencies.

Should Taxpayers Have Paid The Legal Tab For This Honolulu Cop? Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Should Taxpayers Have Paid The Legal Tab For This Honolulu Cop?

Two former officers charged with similar crimes and sued for identical reasons got very different treatment from the Honolulu Police Commission.

What Goes On Inside A Craft Brewery Cory Lum/Civil Beat

What Goes On Inside A Craft Brewery

From bags of grain to kegs of the finished product, a look at the process that makes 1,500 barrels of beer a year in Kakaako.

How About A Raise For Hawaii Workers? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How About A Raise For Hawaii Workers?

Hawaii state government has adopted a legalistic strategy whose main aim is to minimize public employee wages.

Schools Poised To Receive Millions In ‘Green Energy’ Loans istock.com

Schools Poised To Receive Millions In ‘Green Energy’ Loans

The “cool schools” initiative made it through the Legislature and is awaiting action by Gov. David Ige.

Parents Camp Overnight To Get Their Kids In Summer Fun Program Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Parents Camp Overnight To Get Their Kids In Summer Fun Program

For struggling families, the city’s popular recreation program offers a bargain compared to other summer options on Oahu.

May 18, 2017

Saiki: New House Leadership Is ‘The Face Of Hawaii’ Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Saiki: New House Leadership Is ‘The Face Of Hawaii’

After end-of-session shakeup, Hawaii’s new House speaker brings in millennials, women and neighbor islanders to help lead the chamber.

Feds Anxious To Know How Honolulu Will Pay For Rail Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Feds Anxious To Know How Honolulu Will Pay For Rail

With no agreement on new tax increases for rail, the city still can’t tell federal officials how they’ll cover the price tag for completing the 20-mile long project.

Waikiki Hotel, State Sued Over Native Hawaiian Burial Site Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Waikiki Hotel, State Sued Over Native Hawaiian Burial Site

A lawsuit claims Pacific Beach Hotel and public agencies violated state law by not properly surveying and monitoring a construction site where bones were discovered.

Calling For A Constitutional Convention Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Calling For A Constitutional Convention

Our current constitution is nearly 40 years old. It could not have predicted the issues our state faces today, and it restricts our ability to respond.

Neal Milner: The Honolulu Rail Project Is On A Roll — In Virtual Reality Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Neal Milner: The Honolulu Rail Project Is On A Roll — In Virtual Reality

Put on your simulation goggles and imagine the bright and happy vision of the train heading east out of Kapolei.

The Will Of The People Was Thwarted When Assisted Dying Bill Failed Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The Will Of The People Was Thwarted When Assisted Dying Bill Failed

The populace supports it. Most legislators support it. But somehow, special interests prevailed again in the Hawaii Legislature.

May 17, 2017

Hubbub Over Reality TV Star Sinks HPD Chief Selection Panel Chad Blair/Civil Beat

Hubbub Over Reality TV Star Sinks HPD Chief Selection Panel

The news comes the same day it was announced Marc Tilker has resigned from the Honolulu Police Commission.

Budget Committee Scraps Property Tax Hike For Hotels PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Budget Committee Scraps Property Tax Hike For Hotels

UPDATED: The panel also eliminated a proposed increase in fares for TheHandi-Van, but preserved a bus fare boost.

Mueller As Special Counsel Pleases Hawaii Delegation Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Mueller As Special Counsel Pleases Hawaii Delegation

Hirono says it’s “a victory for the American people who have demanded the truth about Russia’s goal to undermine our democracy.”

US Navy Admiral Sentenced To 18 months In Bribery Scandal AP

US Navy Admiral Sentenced To 18 months In Bribery Scandal

He is the highest-ranking military member sentenced in one of the Navy’s worst corruption cases.

How House Leaders Scuttled Better Pay For Foster Parents Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How House Leaders Scuttled Better Pay For Foster Parents

House Speaker Scott Saiki said attorney fees were too high in a multi-million-dollar settlement of a lawsuit challenging foster care payment rates.

Saying ‘That’s Just Hawaii’ Doesn’t Cut It Anymore PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Saying ‘That’s Just Hawaii’ Doesn’t Cut It Anymore

From bad roads to an out-of-control rail project, we’ve got issues. Who will step up and demand accountability?

Tad Bartimus: Maui Grads Bring Passion To Problem Solving Courtesy of Dwight Baldwin

Tad Bartimus: Maui Grads Bring Passion To Problem Solving

Four UH Maui College graduates hope to find sustainable solutions for preserving Maui’s environment and culture.

City Leaders Must Face The Realities Of Rail  Cory Lum/Civil Beat

City Leaders Must Face The Realities Of Rail 

It is time for the Mayor to consider greater cost-saving measures and to make some tough choices to complete this project.

May 16, 2017

HART Sues State Blood Bank To Take Land For Rail Cory Lum/Civil Beat

HART Sues State Blood Bank To Take Land For Rail

The rail agency and Blood Bank of Hawaii can’t agree on compensation for the portion of the site needed for the project.

Fee Increases For Parking Meters, Bus Fares Clear Another Hurdle Natanya Freidheim/Civil Beat

Fee Increases For Parking Meters, Bus Fares Clear Another Hurdle

The City Council Budget Committee approves most of the money-raising measures proposed by Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

ACLU: 10 Questions For The Next Honolulu Police Chief Cory Lum/Civil Beat

ACLU: 10 Questions For The Next Honolulu Police Chief

The ACLU of Hawaii is urging the Honolulu Police Department to consider issues such as free speech, Native Hawaiian incarceration and Donald Trump.

Mazie Hirono Diagnosed With Kidney Cancer Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Mazie Hirono Diagnosed With Kidney Cancer

UPDATED: The U.S. senator from Hawaii says her illness will not deter her from seeking a second term next year.

Did Hawaii Lawmakers Just Give Public Worker Unions Too Much Power? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Did Hawaii Lawmakers Just Give Public Worker Unions Too Much Power?

Government officials fear a bill sitting on Gov. Ige’s desk will strip them of their ability to tell their employees what to do without union interference.

Why The Demise Of Political Parties In Hawaii Costs The Public Its Voice Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Why The Demise Of Political Parties In Hawaii Costs The Public Its Voice

The exercise of political will has become so meaningless that those in control accept nothing less than utter obedience to orthodoxy.

Denby Fawcett: ‘The Reports Of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated’ Courtesy of Denby Fawcett

Denby Fawcett: ‘The Reports Of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated’

It’s hard not to think of Mark Twain’s famous quote after my photo ends up on my friend’s obituary on several news sites.

Trump’s Review Of National Monuments Panned In Public Comments James Watt

Trump’s Review Of National Monuments Panned In Public Comments

The government is accepting input on the reconsideration of protections at 29 monuments, including Papahanaumokuakea.

Social Media Helps Spot Public Health Threats — But Only For The Rich? astarot/shutterstock.com

Social Media Helps Spot Public Health Threats — But Only For The Rich?

People with access to the latest technology are more likely to spread the word about health problems at food establishments.

May 15, 2017

Federal Judges Question Whether Trump’s Travel Ban Is A ‘Muslim Ban’ C-SPAN

Federal Judges Question Whether Trump’s Travel Ban Is A ‘Muslim Ban’

A 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel Monday heard arguments in Hawaii’s lawsuit to block key parts of the executive order restricting travel and immigration from countries.

If Property Taxes Are Raised For Rail, A Real Rebellion May Result Cory Lum/Civil Beat

If Property Taxes Are Raised For Rail, A Real Rebellion May Result

Project numbers are still incomplete and in some cases nonpublic. It’s time for rail backers to level with taxpayers.