Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve attracts nearly 1 million visitors a year from around the world, and supporters of a bill making its way through the state Legislature say the preserve’s coral reefs need protection from harmful chemicals found in popular sunscreens.
- Honolulu Star Advertiser - April 19, 2018
- Honolulu Civil Beat - April 18, 2018
Environmental groups and lawmakers gathered Wednesday at the Capitol in support of a bill to ban coral-damaging sunscreens.
Senate Bill 2571 would prohibit the sale of sunscreen with oxybenzone and octinoxate without a prescription. Although coral bleaching is mainly caused by the warming of ocean temperatures and increased ocean acidification, research shows the chemicals can also bleach corals and inhibit the growth of sea life.
- Big Island Now - April 18, 2018
The State of Hawai‘i’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program will begin accepting applications for licenses to grow the crop beginning Wednesday, April 18, 2018. The objective of the pilot program is to allow the cultivation of industrial hemp in Hawai‘i for the purposes of agricultural and academic research. The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) will open the program incrementally beginning with the June 2018 licensing period and will issue licenses on a quarterly basis. There is an application fee of $500 and it is non-refundable.
- The Kind Life - March 19, 2018
New York, Hawaii, and California are already arguably three of the most popular states in the nation and now there may be even more reason to love them as each have proposed legislation that would end the sale of animal tested cosmetics within their boundaries.
- West Hawaii Today -March 12, 2018
KAILUA-KONA — A smile stretched across Edward “Eki” Robert Yandall’s face as friends and family stood and clapped for him while he descended steps into the pavilion at Kona Vista Recreation Center Sunday afternoon.
Yandall, dressed in his army uniform, thought he was there to speak to a community group for veterans about his 20 years in the military service. He soon learned the gathering was a ceremony to award him the Purple Heart, 50 years after an injury he suffered while serving in Vietnam.
- West Hawaii Today - March 8, 2018
KAILUA-KONA — A bill that would protect sharks and expand protections to all rays within state waters is cruising through the state Legislature.
Senate Bill 2079, co-introduced by Sens. Mike Gabbard, D-Oahu, and Russell Ruderman, D-Puna, and four co-sponsors, seeks to protect all sharks and rays for ecological purposes and their value to Native Hawaiian cultural practices and the ocean recreation industry.
- West Hawaii Today - February 26, 2018
KAILUA-KONA — Agricultural thieves and vandals created enough disruption on Hawaii Island last year to grab the county’s attention. Now, they’ve caught the eye of the state Legislature.
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture in 2017 entered into a contract with the Hawaii County Prosecutor’s Office developing a pilot program to target agricultural theft and vandalism across the island. Two bills moving through the state Legislature this session would expand and extend that program for two more years.
- Hawaii Tribune-Herald - February 8, 2018
Lawmakers are considering a bill that would appropriate $750,000 in fiscal year 2018-19 to help combat little fire ants.
Senate Bill 2124 seeks $650,000 for six full-time positions at the Hilo-based Hawaii Ant Lab to maintain ongoing statewide mitigation activities.
The funds also would be used for vehicle and operating costs for public outreach and treatment, ant baits, field equipment, computers and printers, according to the bill. It seeks an additional $100,000 for one Hawaii Ant Lab position focused on West Hawaii-based mitigation efforts.
- After another gun-related massacre on an American campus, lawmakers consider requiring interior door locks and intercom systems.Honolulu Civil Beat - February 22, 2018
In the wake of another mass shooting at an American school, Hawaii educators are re-examining their safety procedures
“When you go and research what other states have done, we are so far behind, just as far as having a comprehensive safety plan that addresses many different issues,” said Christina Russo, a science teacher at Campbell High School.
- As the 50th anniversary of the historic building nears, it’s high time to fix the murky reflecting pools.Honolulu Civil Beat - February 15, 2018
The phrase “drain the swamp” is usually applied to Washington, D.C.
But Hawaii has its own little swamp at the state Capitol in the form of the two reflecting pools that nearly surround the building.
The murky accumulation of algae, scum and slime has been a problem for decades. Legislators have been frustrated by the state’s seeming inability to resolve the mess.
To that end, a bill to spend $100,000 to study how to rehabilitate and renovate the pool was heard in a Senate committee Tuesday.
- Honolulu Star Advertiser - February 14, 2018
A bill to ban the sale of sunscreens that contain oxybenzone or octinoxate received overwhelming support and won approval Feb. 7 in its first joint public hearing at the state Legislature.
Those chemicals increase coral bleaching and reproductive diseases and cause deformities in some marine life, according to the bill.
Both chemicals have been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration, but Senate Bill 2571 would prohibit the sale of sunscreen in any form that contains oxybenzone or octinoxate without a medical prescription.
- West Hawaii Today - February 11, 2018
AILUA-KONA — Picking fruit on some West Hawaii farms is more than just precarious.
As soon as the trees start shaking, farmers and field workers are as likely to get an armful of little fire ants as a handful of coffee berries.
Maki Morinoue, a fourth-generation coffee farmer who works her family acreage in Holualoa, became wise to that reality the hard way when she encountered LFA for the first time two harvest seasons past.
- American Bar Association Journal - February 9, 2018
The American Bar Association's House of Delegates approved a draft uniform law regarding virtual currency businesses for states to adopt.
Drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, the Uniform Regulation of Virtual-Currency Business Act is draft legislation intended to create a statutory structure for regulating “virtual currency business activity,” according to the act’s prefatory note.
The vote took place during the ABA Midyear Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia.
- Big Island Now - January 30, 2018
The State of Hawai‘i reports that in the first year of its 10-year plan to strengthen biosecurity, it took dozens of steps to better present, detect and control invasive species in Hawai‘i.
- CoffeeBUZZ - January 18, 2018
Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism issued the following news release:
The AGathon, Hawaii’s first agriculture-tech hackathon, wrapped up over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend with 10 teams participating. Four teams were recognized for outstanding solutions to problems currently facing Hawaii agriculture.
- A new Community-Based Renewable Energy program is designed to open the door for people previously shut out of the solar marketHonolulu Civil Beat - December 28, 2017
Hawaii residents who live in condos and apartments without access to rooftop solar soon may be able to join the state’s renewable energy push, thanks to a new program approved last week by state energy regulators.
Hawaii’s long-awaited Community-Based Renewable Energy Program is designed to let residents, including renters, buy their electricity from off-site producers of renewable power.
- Maui Now - December 26, 2017
Solar power will soon be an option for many Hawaiʻi residents and businesses—regardless if they rent, live in a condo, or lack a rooftop to install their own solar panels.
On Friday, Dec. 22, the Public Utilities Commission issued a decision directing Hawaiʻi’s electric utilities to implement a community-based renewable energy program. Customers should be able to participate starting in 2018.
- Honolulu Star Advertiser - November 11, 2017
Two state senators plan a town hall meeting in Kapolei on Monday to discuss the North Korean nuclear missile threat.
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency officials will discuss what they are doing to prepare the state for the threat and to educate the community.
State Sens. Will Espero (D, Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point) and Mike Gabbard (D, Kapolei-Makakilo) are hosting the meeting at Kapolei High School cafeteria, 91-5007 Kapolei Parkway, at 6:30 p.m.
- The Garden Island - October 29, 2017
WAIMEA — “We’re going trick-or-treating as the Garden of Eden,” said Dana Hazelton of Kauai Community College, displaying the healthy heads of bok choy with Steph Moir of the Hawaii Public Health Institute during the Perspectives on Community Health field trip to the Waimea High School farm.
On a more serious note, Hazelton said she was planning on making mac nut pesto with the bag of basil she helped harvest with Bev Brody of Get Fit Kauai.
- Big Island Now - October 24, 2017
A community meeting will be held on Friday, Oct. 27, to address the increasing agricultural theft issues on Hawaiʻi Island.
Guests at the meeting will include Sen. Mike Gabbard, Rep. Richard Creagan, Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture Chairperson Scott Enright, Shane Muramaru from the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney and police, county and grower representatives.
Organizers of the meeting say growers statewide have been plagued with continuous theft of orchard crops, making it extremely difficult for small farmers to achieve sustainability.