In Print

  • Bill: Don’t Mess With Sharks And Rays

    Honolulu Civil Beat - February 4, 2016

    The Hawaii Legislature finds that sharks and rays “are extremely important to ocean ecosystems,” and so it wants to protect them.

    Senate Bill 2642 would create a misdemeanor penalty and fine for anyone “who knowingly captures, kills, or takes any shark or ray within state marine waters and makes it a misdemeanor.”

    Exemptions would be provided for Native Hawaiian gathering rights and cultural practices, special activity permits, research and public safety.

  • State Gov’t To Nix Bottled Water?

    A bill at the Hawaii Legislature proposes prohibiting use of funds to purchase single-serving bottles, with some exceptions.
    Honolulu Civil Beat - January 31, 2016

    A measure that has a hearing Tuesday would forbid the spending of state funds by state agencies for the purchase of single-serving bottled water, except under certain circumstances.
    The exceptions:

  • Ankle Bracelets Could Help Cut Hawaii Prison Costs And Overcrowding

    The high costs of prisons may finally lead legislators to look seriously at an alternative to incarceration that’s widely used elsewhere.
    Honolulu Civil Beat - January 28, 2016

    Outside of Hawaii, the use of electronic monitoring devices is all but commonplace.

    With the high cost of incarceration, many states are increasingly turning to ankle bracelets as a more cost-effective way to supervise offenders — while freeing up space in prisons and jails.
    Some 300,000 people are under electronic supervision each year across the country, and the number is steadily growing. Cook County in Illinois, for instance, had nearly 15,000 people on electronic tethers in 2014 — a 70 percent increase from the previous year.

  • Fresh push to ban ivory expected

    Honolulu Star Advertiser - December 15, 2015

    Hawaii lawmakers are expected to push for a statewide ban on the sale of ivory when the legislative session begins in January, in an effort to help curb the illegal slaughter of elephants in Africa.
    Bills proposing a ban on the sale of ivory in Hawaii have died in the Legislature for the past two years, as other states — including California, New York, New Jersey and Washington — have passed prohibitions.

  • Tea of the United States

    At the TOTUS Awards in Hawaii last month, American tea had its first taste of appraisal.
    Fresh Cup News - November 30, 2015

    In recent years we have seen a few international tea competitions held in the United States—that is competitions for teas from all over the world—but nothing specific to the teas grown by this burgeoning industry of its own soils. As part of an effort to encourage and recognize US tea, tea farmer Eva Lee, who lives on Hawaii’s Big Island, spent the last two years putting together the very first TOTUS Awards (Tea of the United States). The event was held in Volcano Village, Hawaii, at the beginning of November.

  • It’s Time To Fix The Hawaii State Capitol Reflecting Pools

    Honolulu Civil Beat - November 30, 2015

    Have you ever visited our State Capitol and noticed a funky, bad smell coming from the murky, algae-filled unsightly water in the Reflecting Pools surrounding the building?

    Well, that’s just part of the problem. Over the years the pool has leaked many times, causing damage to the electrical system and air conditioning in the building.

    Furthermore, it costs $100,000 annually for state workers to continually clean the pool waters, which are fed by brackish water from wells. The latest estimate is that it would take approximately $15.2 million to fix the Reflecting Pools.

  • Farmers union convention set

    Maui News - November 3, 2015

    The Hawaii Farmers Union United will host its annual convention from Nov. 13 to 15 at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu.

    The event will open Friday with a "locavore" dinner and a keynote address by Hawaii State Sen. Mike Gabbard and his daughter, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Mike Gabbard will speak about regional food security for Hawaii, while Tulsi Gabbard will speak to soil health as it relates to national security, event organizers said.

  • Wanted: Cheaper flights

    Kauai County Council asks state lawmakers to explore incentivizing interisland airline competition
    Garden Island News - November 1, 2015

    LIHUE — The Kauai County Council wants the state to take up what it feels is a serious, islandwide issue: expensive costs for residents to fly from one island to another.
    “I think it’s an important issue,” said Councilman Ross Kagawa, who introduced a resolution calling on the state Legislature to spur cheaper tickets for interisland travel by incentivizing airline competition for Hawaiian Airlines. “We need to speak up already. Right now this is a serious problem.”

  • The Massive Oil Plume Beneath Pearl Harbor Isn't New, But It Is Shocking

    The Navy says the plume is stable, but it is nearly half the volume of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.
    HuffPost Hawaii - September 29, 2015

    Pearl Harbor was once known as Oahu's "bread basket" because it was such an important fishing area, teeming with ocean life. But since the construction of the iconic U.S. military base, the pristine harbor has been marred by environmental disaster.

  • Proposed fixes could facilitate smoother rides

    Honolulu Star Advertiser - September 22, 2015

    Better customer service, competition for the airport contract and tighter safety regulations are some of the ways Honolulu’s taxi system could be improved, critics say.
    But city officials have yet to take action on recommendations made by their own task force, which was created a year ago after cabdriver Enio Tablas was charged in the sexual assault of two female passengers.

  • NAME IN THE NEWS: Michael D. Wilson

    The Hawaii Supreme Court associate justice has taken a leading role in establishing a court that specializes in Hawaii’s environmental laws
    Honolulu Star Advertiser - August 14, 2015

    Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Michael D. Wilson considers himself lucky to have grown up on the edge of what was known then as “Kawainui Swamp.”

    When he was about 18, Wilson joined a group to protect Kawainui Marsh from being drained and developed. He learned from the organization’s leaders how the marsh held religious, cultural and agricultural significance. Today, the marsh is being restored as a recreational area.

  • Regal Cinemas to open at Kapolei Commons in West Oahu in 2016

    Pacific Business News - July 14, 2015

    Regal Entertainment Group will open its 10th movie theater complex in Hawaii next year at the Target-anchored Kapolei Commons in West Oahu, the state lawmaker representing the area says.

    The 52,000-square-foot Regal Cinemas Kapolei Commons Stadium 12 was slated to open this fall, joining anchors Target, Sports Authority, Office Max and Petco at the retail center, which first opened in 2009.

  • It's finally here

    Solar Impulse 2 gets a big Hawaii welcome as it touches down after a historic five-day flight from Japan, powered only by the sun
    Honolulu Star Advertiser - July 4, 2015

    Hawaii warmly welcomed the record-breaking plane — attempting to fly around the world powered only by the sun — after it successfully landed in Hono¬lulu early Friday morning.

    "It's great to be in Hawaii," said Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg after he guided the Solar Impulse 2 to a stop at Kalaeloa Airport in West Oahu at approximately 5:54 a.m.

  • Environmental Court: Hopes for Stricter Law Enforcement, Fears of Improper Influence

    Twenty-two Hawaii judges will devote time each month to hearing environmental cases, which may make rulings more predictable for all sides.
    Honolulu Civil Beat - July 2, 2015

    If there are new challenges to the construction of telescopes on Mauna Kea, the expansion of Turtle Bay Resort or the Honolulu rail system’s impact on historic sites, they could be heard in Hawaii’s Environmental Court, which debuted Wednesday.

    Maui’s longstanding debate over sugar cane burning is already headed that direction.

  • Swiss ocean-trash researchers arrive in isles

    Honolulu Star Advertiser - June 19, 2015

    Nearly halfway through their sail around the world, a group of researchers arrived in Hawaii to look at plastic pollution on our shores as part of a global study of the issue.

    The Race for Water Odyssey expedition, sponsored by the Swiss-based Race for Water Foundation, hopes to raise awareness about the problem of plastic pollution and inspire action to fight back.

    The nonprofit’s blue-and-white, triple-hulled former racing sailboat was welcomed Thursday by Hawaii officials in a ceremony at Kewalo Basin.

  • Hawaii First in the Nation to Set 100% Renewable Energy Goal

    Hawaii Public Radio - June 8, 2015

    Hawai’i is now the first state in the nation to adopt a 100 percent renewable energy requirement for electricity generation by 2045. Governor David Ige signed the measure into law and said it raises the renewable percentage levels for all utilities going forward.

    House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee Chair Chris Lee introduced the measure. Lee said setting a 100% renewable goal was a necessary step to reduce electricity costs for consumers.

  • Hawaii Bill Mandates 100% Renewable Energy by 2045, but Obstacles Remain

    The National Law Review - June 1, 2015

    n an ambitious and unprecedented move, Hawaii is aiming to increase its current renewable energy output of 21% to a 100% quota by 2045. The state, which carries some of the U.S.’s highest electricity costs, is riding the momentum of decreasing renewable energy prices. Legislators believe Hawaii’s abundant sunshine, wind, ocean and tidal waves, and geothermal activity make it an ideal candidate for quitting fossil fuels.

  • The chamber, under new leadership, has identified which senators sit on which committees.

    Honolulu Civil Beat - June 4, 2015

    All that infighting between the Chess Club, the Opihis, the Tokuda Four and the few nonaligned Hawaii state senators has finally concluded.
    For now, anyway.

    On Thursday the Senate released its list of committee assignments following the palace coup of Oahu’s Donna Mercado Kim last month by Ron Kouchi of Kauai.
    As our Nathan Eagle, who broke the story, soon reported in a follow up piece, backers of Kim lost out in the awarding of leadership posts and committee chairs, while backers of Kouchi are now sitting high and mighty.

  • Final Pieces Fall Into Place for State Senate Reorganization

    Hawaii Sens. Laura Thielen, Russell Ruderman, Les Ihara and Gil Riviere are left out of power positions after in-session coup.
    Honolulu Civil Beat - May 22, 2015

    New Hawaii state Senate President Ron Kouchi announced the final lineup of committee chairmanships and leadership positions Friday morning, mostly settling unresolved posts from the rocky transition to power.

    He found a home for all but a few members of the Chess Club faction of the Senate who lost out when Donna Mercado Kim was deposed two days before the legislative session ended May 7.

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