Wednesday, October 22, 2014         

Hawaii News

Researchers are concerned about the number of cats near a Maui wildlife sanctuary that's home to endangered birds.

The dangerous winds of Hurricane Ana missed Kauai and Oahu by just over 50 miles Sunday, but the outer edge of the storm soaked Oahu with more than 24 hours of continuous rain, caused a wastewater spill off Sand Island and left some streets underwater.

Tracy Anderson carefully reaches into a box with small holes cut into the sides. Using a towel, she gently picks up an endangered fledgling Newell's shearwater and walks over to a group of students from Ele­ele Elementary School.

Hurricane Ana blustered by the Hawaiian Islands, delivering strong winds and high surf on Saturday — and it's poised to dump more rain on Kauai before heading out of town Monday.

Ana is expected to maintain its hurricane strength even as it churns in the ocean southeast of Oahu on Saturday, forecasters said. While the state will likely see plenty of wind, heavy rain and big waves this weekend, the islands could escape the worst ofit.

A crowd of Hawaii island surfers and beachgoers gathered along the southeastern shoreline Friday to marvel at the high surf brought by Hurricane Ana. "Whoa, look at those waves," said Pahoa resident Donna Olson.

Island Air remained the only airline Friday to cancel flights for storm-related reasons as Hurricane Ana bore down on the Hawaiian Islands. The local commuter said it was canceling 50 flights this weekend and Monday between Hono­lulu and Maui, Lanai and Kauai.

Even though Ana is expected to weaken as it passes the islands, public officials are still warning about the potential impacts of a powerful tropical storm.

After waiting nearly a week for the right weather to sail, crews aboard the Hokule'a and Hikianalia left the Samoan Islands on Thursday and launched the fourth leg of the Hawaii-based canoes' around-the-world journey.

Despite forecasts that show Tropical Storm Ana bypassing Hawaii island, shelters will open starting at noon Friday. The National Weather Service said Thursday that Ana might pass about 80 miles southwest of Hawaii island Friday night and Saturday.

A Japan Airlines flight had to return to Hono­lulu after a male passenger sexually assaulted a female passenger in the airplane's bathroom, the FBI said.

Activists on both sides of the genetically modified foods debate squabbled and taunted one another during last weekend's Maui Fair, organizers said. Fair banners and signs were tagged with bumper stickers, Maui Fair Alliance President Avery Chumbley told The Maui News.

A pilot fired from Cathay Pacific Airlines said he wore his former employer's uniform and badge to bypass security at Honolulu Airport. Joshu Osmanski, 39, a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to unlawfully entering the secure area of an airport.

A former Hawaii prison guard traded his integrity for cash by taking bribes to smuggle drugs and cigarettes to inmates, a federal prosecutor said Thursday. Former Halawa Correctional Facility guard Feso Malufau's financial problems made it easy for the "USO Family" gang to corrupt him, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Brady said

Inmates who say they're being denied their right to practice their Native Hawaiian religion at a private prison in Arizona have won class-action status for a lawsuit.

A proposed moratorium would make it illegal to cultivate, grow or test genetically modified crops in the county until companies complete environmental and public health studies to show their practices are safe.

One night several weeks ago, while on watch aboard the double-hulled voyaging canoe Hokule'a, navigator Kalepa Baybayan caught me not paying attention to the deck. Instead my eyes were glued to the sky.

The former soldier suing Burger King because he swallowed needles in a sandwich said he didn't return to Hawaii for a settlement conference because he had to work, and his lawyers say the corporation hasn't taken negotiations seriously.

Filmmakers and artists at Kauai Community College are getting a boost from new equipment that they can use to make documentaries about life on the island.

It's a challenge for Big Island ranchers to keep their cattle in the islands while beef prices climb to all-time highs on the mainland, a University of Hawaii livestock expert said.

Scientists plan to break ground on the summit of Mauna Kea next month to build one of the world's largest telescopes.

It is what the coves of Oahu must have resembled a century ago: a place teeming with rich, healthy, diverse marine life, where the sea floor remains visible 60 feet down.

It's eerily quiet on this tiny, uninhabited South Pacific atoll — almost no noise except for the aki­aki birds squawking in the trees and the wind rustling through the palms.

Seabird fledging season is beginning on Kauai, which means the island will host its last night football game of the season this weekend.

A new study says Hawaii has the worst-performing highways in the nation. The report by the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank in Los Angeles, said Wednesday that Hawaii also has the least cost-effective highway system.

Calling 18 pounds of crystal meth­am­pheta­mine a huge amount of drugs, but taking into consideration the youth of the Los Angeles man who carried it in a backpack, a federal judge in Hono­lulu sentenced him to about four years in prison for his role in a Hawaii drug ring.

A man with a broken leg, a 10-year-old boy and a boat owner were able to swim to safety after a wave capsized their 19-foot vessel off the west coast of Kauai.

A judge’s ruling allows Maui County to print ballots that ask voters about a proposed moratorium on genetically engineered crops.

Burger King wants to dismiss a federal lawsuit alleging there were needles in a sandwich after the former soldier who made the claim didn't attend a settlement conference.

A new report on the nation's growing income gap finds that stagnant wages for most Americans have dampened consumer spending, and that's bad for states like Hawaii that depend heavily on sales taxes to keep their governments running.

The federal government has lost confidence that the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation will finish construction of its commuter rail on time. A new government report says there's a 50 percent chance that the project will be done by the end of 2019.

The voyaging canoes Hokule‘a and Hikianalia are on Swains Island this weekend after strong winds led navigators to detour from the original plan of journeying to Fakaofo, Tokelau.

During a picturesque drive along Upolu's northeastern coast last week, Hokule‘a and Hikianalia crews were hard at work cracking up one another — mostly with bad impressions of crew members — as their caravan neared the village of Faleapuna.

Tens of thousands of Army National Guard members from Hawaii to New Hampshire have been idled because of a $101 million gap that has led to drills being postponed and travel being suspended.

A judge is releasing a man acquitted of charges in a Kailua-Kona shooting, but on the condition he receives psychiatric care and treatment. Raymond Lee Robinson was acquitted earlier this week of 10 charges in the April 5 rampage in the parking lot of King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel.

The federal judge in Hawaii who threatened to deny $2.4 million in settlements for Thai farm workers has signed the agreements.

A California man pleaded guilty Thursday to participating in a drug ring, admitting that he hid methamphetamine in a vehicle he shipped to Hawaii.

Crew members from the Hokule‘a and the Hikianalia were treated to a homecoming — Samoan-style — when they were invited by the paramount chief of the nearby village of Matautu on Monday to join in a traditional ava, or kava, ceremony.

Strong, relentless winds have tossed the crew members for Hokule‘a and Hikianalia into a race against time to meet the head of the United Nations in Samoa and receive a commitment toward protecting more ocean area.

A federal judge in Hawaii says she won't consider approving $2.4 million in settlements for hundreds of Thai farm workers until the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission holds a news conference clarifying that the agreements are still subject to court approval.

The federal government is protecting 20 types of colorful coral by putting them on the list of threatened species, partly because of climate change.

Since leaving Hilo in late May, crews aboard two canoes shaped with ancient wisdom have covered more than 4,000 miles of Pacific blue.

The Maui Police Commission has received nearly 20 applications from those seeking to become the county's next police chief.

A transgender man in Arizona who gave birth to three children after beginning to change from female to male can continue to pursue a divorce, a state appeals court said last week in reversing a judge who refused to end the marriage.

A former bellman at a Maui resort has been sentenced to 1 1⁄2 years in jail for stealing from guests' luggage and rooms. John Bueno pleaded no contest to charges of stealing jewelry, electronics and other valuables from March 2012 to February 2013 while working at the Grand Wailea.

Since becoming secretary of state in February 2013, John Kerry has carved out a deserved reputation as the ultimate road warrior. Before his current diplomatic trip, Kerry had traveled 519,136 miles to 51 countries, logging 230 travel days.

Hurricane Julio may be fast departing the Hawaiian Islands, but it posed an extreme hazard Sunday for a drifting sailboat with three people aboard some 400 miles northeast of Oahu.

Voters ousted two veteran legislators in the Democratic primary, House Majority Floor Leader Rida Cabanilla and Sen. Malama Solomon. Cabanilla took a drubbing at the hands of philosophy professor Matt LoPresti.

With storms threatening to disrupt Hawaii's primary election voting on Saturday, more people cast early ballots than voted on Election Day. It was a first for Hawaii, officials said, as more than 160,000 people voted ahead of time.

Incumbent Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. garnered the majority of the votes against three other candidates Saturday in the race for his seat.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa had a strong lead in the crowded race for Maui County mayor in early results Saturday night.

Voters Saturday narrowed the candidate choices for five seats on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs board of trustees -- an election that comes at a critical juncture as Native Hawaiians step up their pursuit of political self-determination.

Incumbent Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui won a chance to retain his job in the general election, in a convincing win over Democratic opponent state Sen. Clayton Hee in Saturday's primary elections.

All six of Hawaii island's Council members seeking re-election were cruising to easy victory Saturday night, including first-term Councilwoman Margaret Wille, who had pushed to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and wanted to ban genetically modified crops.

Two Honolulu City Council candidates -- an incumbent and a political newcomer -- won their seats outright Saturday, while other candidates will march on to runoff elections in November.

Veteran state Rep. Mark Takai coasted to an easier-than-expected win over state Senate President Donna Mercado Kim in the Democratic primary for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District seat.

Hurricane Julio, which had been in hot pursuit of destructive Iselle, will likely bid adios to Hawaii over the next few days, leaving little behind but high surf on east shores.

In the coming months, Obama will decide whether to build the library in one of the cities he once called home or, perhaps, the place he's considering calling home after he leaves 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.: Hono­lulu, Chicago or New York.

After the storms, retailers are bracing for a rush of another kind: returns. News that Tropical Storm Iselle and Hurricane Julio were taking aim at the Hawaiian Islands triggered a shopping frenzy this week as residents stocked up on essentials such as bottled water, Spam and toilet paper.

Two Hawaii island polling sites will be closed Saturday and voting postponed for affected voters while election officials try to determine how to distribute and collect absentee ballots from the areas hemmed in by damaged roads stemming from Tropical Storm Iselle.

Tropical Storm Iselle threw trees into Hawaii island homes and left thousands of people without power Friday but also gave county officials the hope that they had been spared the worst of Iselles powerful punch.

Julio was downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane Friday and was expected to show further weakening as it follows a northerly path that could leave Hawaii free of its potentially destructive impacts.

After delivering a nasty blow to Hawaii island, the first tropical cyclone to hit the state in 22 years limped off to the west Friday evening, but not before taking a few shots at the rest of the island chain.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley filed a lawsuit against former Westfield State University President Evan S. Dobelle on Thursday

The Blood Bank of Hawaii urgently needs blood donors due to a lower-than-normal supply. The blood bank reported a low turnout at donor centers this week as residents prepared for Tropical Storm Iselle and Hurricane Julio.

Air Force hurricane hunters have been flying WC-130J aircraft through Tropcal Storm Iselle every six hours since Tuesday providing location, wind conditions and other meteoro­logical information to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

A weakening Iselle lost its hurricane status late Thursday as it began to arrive at Hawaii island on a predicted path that would take it south of the other islands.

The power supply and the geothermal plant in Puna proved to be among the first casualties of Iselle as it bore down on the Big Island Thursday night.

At the same time Iselle is wreaking havoc on the Hawaiian Islands, Hurricane Julio continues to churn in its wake, offering a real threat to deliver a rare double whammy of destruction on the state.

A Hawaii County Council candidate has been accused of voter fraud and tax irregularities. Eight people gathered at the state building in Hilo on Wednesday to announce they want the state attorney general's office to investigate alleged tax and voting irregularities by Tiffany Edwards Hunt.

Most of Hawaii's state and county offices, except those providing essential services, were closed Friday as Hurricane Iselle moves through the isles and Hurricane Julio approaches. Scores of schools and some federal offices also were closed.

After Hurricane Iselle surprised forecasters Wednesday by gaining strength, it may now become the first hurricane to make landfall in Hawaii since Iniki 22 years ago.

Honolulu officials are collaborating with emergency service providers and others to ensure Oahu's homeless population is well-informed about hurricane shelters and shuttle service as back-to-back storms approach.

Democrats, concerned about the approaching storms, have called off their traditional election eve rally on Friday in Hilo.

These closures and cancellations have been announced because of approaching Hurricanes Iselle and Julio.

Hurricane Iselle continues to churn menacingly from the east, weakening as it encounters Central Pacific wind shear and cooler waters but still is expected to be capable of unleashing flash flooding, tropical storm-force winds and ocean surge starting Thursday afternoon in Hawaii.

Jeanie Cline loaded 15 cases of Costco bottled water, toilet paper and canned goods into a van Tuesday.

All public schools on Hawaii island and in Maui County will be closed Thursday as Hurricanes Iselle and Julio approach the islands.

Government officials kicked storm planning into a higher gear Monday as Hurricane Iselle appeared to be taking aim at the Hawaiian Islands and another powerful storm was following in its tracks.

The Hawaii County clerk won't evaluate a complaint that a County Council candidate isn't qualified to represent the Puna district because she claimed a homeowner's property tax exemption on a Hilo home.

A Hawaii fish collector has been charged with terroristic threatening for allegedly pulling the air-supply regulator out of the mouth of an anti-aquarium-industry activist while they were both underwater.

The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources has denied requests to contest the approval of a sublease for the Thirty Meter Telescope, allowing construction to move forward for what will be one of the largest telescopes in the world.

When Hokule‘a embarked on its global voyage in late May, crew members took with them a pledge signed by some 21 environmental groups and public agencies to advance the goals of the canoe’s latest, most ambitious journey while back at home.

The ex-boyfriend of a Maui woman who was five months pregnant when she disappeared pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a murder charge in her death.

U.S.-Japanese naval cooperation is deepening, top U.S. and Japa­nese admirals said Monday as they met on the sidelines of the world's largest maritime exercises.

After spending more than two weeks reconnecting with extended ohana on Tahiti, crews of Hokule‘a and Hikianalia have resumed their ambitious voyage to spread aloha across the globe via canoe.

Four malnourished Hawaiian monk seals from remote atolls northwest of Hawaii's main islands arrived Wednesday for emergency care at a new seal hospital in Kailua-Kona.

Delilah Williams testified at her husband's murder trial that she had stomped on her 5-year-old stepdaughter so hard that she heard bone crack. She said she and her former soldier husband abused the girl regularly.

The National Marine Fisheries Service on Thursday classified as endangered and threatened four distinct populations of a shark species whose fins are favored as an ingredient in shark fin soup.

A California chicken producer has issued its first recall since being linked to an outbreak of an antibiotic-resistant strain of salmonella that has been making people sick for more than a year, company and federal food officials said.

A Honolulu homeless shelter is legally allowed to require a resident to nurse while covered or in a private room, according to a national breast-feeding advocacy group that has researched the issue.

The first product recall has been issued for a California chicken producer since it was linked to an outbreak of an antibiotic-resistant strain of salmonella that has been making people sick for more than a year.

A Honolulu homeless shelter won't take action against a mother who is refusing to cover up while breast-feeding or use a private room, its executive director said Tuesday.

More than 600 jobs and millions of tax dollars could be lost if a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically engineered organisms passes, two Maui County seed companies say.

Two members of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents have resigned after state lawmakers unanimously passed a bill requiring public financial disclosures from people serving on more than a dozen state boards and commissions.

Hawaii's Board of Land and Natural Resources has approved a sublease for a $1.3 billion telescope that would be one of the world's largest, but the approval is on hold until the board hears objections in a separate review process.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Ed Lynch, managing editor/news, at 529-4758.

A Coast Guard helicopter Sunday plucked from the Pacific Ocean a rower who was participating in a race from Cali­for­nia to Hawaii, the second time in a 24-hour period that authorities were called to help during the inaugural 2,400-mile competition.

The Polynesian voyaging canoes Hokule‘a and Hikianalia arrived in Papeete, the Tahitian capital, Sunday afternoon, returning to the welcoming landfall of Hokule‘a's history-making maiden voyage some 38 years past.

A Coast Guard helicopter rescued four people attempting to row from California to Hawaii. The Coast Guard said Saturday that the rowers were participating in the Great Pacific Race when they reported taking water on board their 24-foot boat

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