Saturday, August 29, 2015         

Hawaii News

Long before dozens of people were arrested while protesting against building a giant telescope atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, there were environmental studies, public hearings and court proceedings.

New Defense Department guidelines allow commanders to punish journalists and treat them as “unprivileged belligerents” if they believe journalists are sympathizing or cooperating with the enemy.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser was unable to print most complete copies of the Sunday edition because of problems with the computers that operate the printing press.

Alongside the lush and steep windward coast of Oahu, researchers are creating images of coral reefs that are in danger of dying because of warm ocean waters.

A package mailed from Las Vegas containing a Golden Nugget casino sweater, a pillowcase and 6 pounds of methamphetamine led authorities to a man’s Aiea apartment, where he allegedly kept another 14 pounds of crystal meth, a large amount of cash and a revolver, according to court documents.

Thousands of demonstrators, many carrying Hawaiian flags, marched through Waikiki on Sunday in an appeal to government to protect Hawaii’s natural resources for future generations.

Attorneys representing a Virginia family in a lawsuit over a Hawaii military hospital birth that left the child with cerebral palsy continue to prepare for trial, even though a federal judge Monday approved a $9 million settlement.

Atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, where some Native Hawaiians have been peacefully protesting the construction of what would be one of the world’s largest telescopes, astronomers have spent the past 40 years observing our universe and helping make some of the most significant discoveries in their field.

The National Park Service said Friday it was naming the superintendent of national parks in the Seattle area to oversee the USS Arizona Memorial, which has been rocked by allegations that tickets to the memorial were sold even though people aren’t supposed to pay to visit the solemn site honoring World War II dead.

A college student traveling to Maui for a vacation instead has spent his time in jail after the FBI accused him of drunkenly threatening to kill passengers, shoving a flight attendant and busting out of plastic handcuffs on a flight from Seattle.

Guillermo was downgraded to a tropical depression Thursday afternoon but remained on a path bringing it close to the North Shore of Oahu and possibly over Kauai in the next two days.

Wind shear worked to tear apart Tropical Storm Guillermo on its track north of the islands Wednesday, but potentially dangerous surf from the storm remains a concern.

Hawaii is in for a bit of a blow. But just how strong the wind from Tropical Storm Guillermo will be depends on the path it takes. If it keeps to its track Wednesday, the isles will escape the worst of the weather, forecasters say.

The military’s “Hurricane Hunters” spent Monday night and Tuesday morning doing what most people back on the ground would care to avoid: flinging themselves through the eye of a tropical cyclone.

The U.S. military says it has successfully tested an interceptor that can shoot down ballistic missiles as well as airplanes.

A tropical storm watch will likely be posted Monday for the Hawaiian Islands after Hurricane Guillermo weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds and began a turn to the northwest Sunday on a track to pass near or over Hawaii on Wednesday.

Trade negotiators from the United States and 11 other Pacific nations were headed toward failure Friday, with difficult talks on the largest regional trade agreement ever breaking down over protections for pharmaceutical companies and access to agriculture markets on both sides of the Pacific.

The federal government is awarding $14 million in grants to address homelessness and to support housing for low- and moderate-income people in Hawaii.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service announced in April that Hawaii and the U.S. territory of Guam would join Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi in the pilot program.

U.S. health officials have updated their strategic plan for fighting AIDS, setting new goals for reducing infections and deaths. The new document “seizes on the rapid shifts in science as we’ve learned more about this disease,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.

Hawaii’s longline fishermen are on course to hit their annual bigeye tuna catch limit next week, which means they will have to stop catching bigeye in their most productive fishing grounds west of Hawaii on Aug. 5.

WAILUKU >> Scientists hope the pygmy sperm whale that washed up dead on a Maui beach can help them learn more about the elusive creatures.

A recent case involving a man accused of shooting a woman and a police officer on Hawaii island highlights a growing challenge in Hawaii: finding people who can translate court hearings in other languages.

ANNAPOLIS, MD. >> The main contractor in Maryland’s initially flawed health care exchange website has agreed to repay $45 million to avoid legal action over its performance, officials announced Tuesday.

In a move likely to irk China, the new U.S. commander of the Pacific Fleet joined a seven-hour surveillance flight over the disputed South China Sea aboard one of America’s newest spy planes.

HILO » A record-breaking heat wave that began in late June is keeping things sweltering in East Hawaii. The National Weather Service says rainfall could briefly cool down the region this weekend, but temperatures are still above what is typical for Hilo, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

WAILUKU » A group of international environmental scientists is asking the federal government to provide funding for the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission restoration project.

A Honolulu woman representing herself against allegations she defrauded new homeowners, title companies and banks must prepare for her upcoming trial behind bars.

Gov. David Ige signed a bill Monday that will allow transgender men and women in Hawaii to more easily change the gender on their birth certificate.

Abnormally warm ocean temperatures are creating conditions that threaten to kill coral across the equatorial Pacific, north Pacific and western Atlantic oceans, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last week.

Remnants of former Tropical Storm Ela are expected to drift over the islands this weekend, touching off heavy humidity and spotty rainfall.

A state lawmaker from south Maui plans to draft a bill for the next legislative session to appease both residents who oppose the burning of cane fields and the company that burns them.

The head of the Pentagon’s new agency in charge of recovering and identifying remains of U.S. war dead said he will push for more cooperation with private groups that have resources and interest to help reinvigorate a troubled POW-MIA accounting mission.

Instead of a trial, most of the people arrested in April for blocking construction of a giant mountaintop telescope will likely participate in a Hawaiian culture-based form of mediation.

The U.S. government will pay $1.3 million to the family of a baby who died at Trip­ler Army Medical Center, according to a settlement announced Monday in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Federal agents last month intercepted a package mailed to Hawaii from Southern California containing a toaster oven. Hidden inside the four-slice toaster appeared to be 6 pounds of crystal meth.

State Rep. Matt LoPresti knew he had a problem when his preschool-age daughter, Nina, started drawing pictures of herself sitting in traffic.

A solar-powered plane attempting to circumnavigate the globe without fuel took off from Japan for Hawaii early Monday after an unscheduled, monthlong stop.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige says Japan is Hawaii’s most important source of foreign tourists, and his recent trip there was intended to solidify that relationship.

With Hokule‘a's recent arrival in Australia, the canoe's crew members are once again taking their round-the-world voyage underwater.

As the sun rises over Honolulu, commercial fishermen have already unloaded their catches and docked their boats for the day. The fish are lined up on pallets, packed in ice and displayed for buyers to inspect.

After logging some 14,000 miles across the Pacific during the first year of the Malama Honua ("Care for the Earth") worldwide sail, modern voyaging canoe Hikianalia arrived home safely on Oahu on Tuesday.

Many small-town residents would get a kick out of their communities being recognized, as Waimanalo recently was when one of its beaches was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. But here, pride was mixed with apprehension about visitors.

Hours after a Honolulu city crew cleared a homeless encampment from the banks of Kapalama Canal, the people who had been living there in tents and other makeshift structures streamed right back in.

Homeless families in Hono­­lulu are figuring out where to go after the city swept the banks of a canal where they were living in tents.

A parachute inflated during a test of new technology for landing larger spacecraft on Mars, but it disintegrated immediately afterward, NASA officials said Tuesday.

Attorneys who sued on behalf of a former aspiring actor, claiming he was abused by two Hollywood executives, have apologized for the lawsuits and say they believe the allegations were untrue.

LAS VEGAS >> Authorities identified a swimmer whose body was recovered from a Colo­rado River reservoir as an 18-year-old who grew up in Hawaii and played football for Radford High School before moving to Las Vegas.

The Navy command overseeing the hospital ship involved in a mishap that damaged the USS Arizona Memorial’s dock has sent investigators to Hawaii to probe what happened.

Hawaii County’s top prosecutor said Friday he will dismiss charges against about 10 of the 31 protesters who were arrested while blocking construction of a giant telescope on a mountain held sacred by Native Hawaiians.

A settlement has been reached in a mother's lawsuit against the federal government over the death of her 5-year-old daughter at the hands of a former Hawaii-based soldier.

Hawaii lawmakers had hopes for rebuilding public trust in the state's police departments, but a number of bills that aimed to initiate reforms died during the 2015 session.

As the sun rises over the Pacific Ocean, Waimanalo Bay's powdery white coral sand glows in the morning light. A few people lounge in the sand as a fisherman casts his line into the turquoise water.

A second Marine died of injuries he suffered when a hybrid military aircraft crashed last weekend during a training exercise at Bellows, the Marine Corps said Wednesday.

Nainoa Thompson, the first Hawaiian in modern times to successfully navigate a voyaging canoe over vast ocean distances using ancient Polynesian techniques, was honored in Washington, D.C., last week for his work in marine conservation and exploration.

A series of earthquakes and shifting ground on the slopes of Kilauea has scientists wondering what will happen next at one of the world's most active volcanoes.

The Hokule‘a's latest crews battled high seas, strong winds and canvas-ripping waves to arrive safely in Australia for the first time in the Hawaiian voyaging canoe's 40-year history.

Like a jock beefing up for a big game, some corals could do far better at withstanding the heavy blows of climate change when pumped with supplements, according to a new University of Miami study.

Before going up to Mauna Kea's summit on Hawaii island, Heather Kaluna makes an offering to Poli­ahu, the snow goddess of the mountain. She holds it sacred, as do other Native Hawaiians.

While federal agents with a warrant were knocking on a door to a luxury Honolulu apartment on a December morning in 2012, agents watching from the ground saw men tossing bags of crystal meth over the 15th-floor balcony.

The Legislature passed a bill that could make it a lot easier for transgender people to change their gender on their birth certificates, joining a growing number of states to make the change.

SAN FRANCISCO >> A Cali­for­nia museum has acquired an art collection created by Japa­nese-Americans held in internment camps after an East Coast auction house canceled the sale of photographs and other artifacts amid protests.

A federal review found it takes three to four times as long for the average federal highway project to get started in Hawaii as compared with other states.

President Barack Obama has chosen Chicago to host his future presidential library, two individuals with knowledge of the decision said Thursday, placing the permanent monument to his legacy in the city that launched his improbable ascent to the White House.

Evan Dobelle, the former president of the University of Hawaii and Westfield State University, has agreed to pay $185,000 to settle a state investigation into his spending of the Massachusetts school's funds.

The Hawaii Innocence Project is calling for a review of a man convicted in a notorious 1991 rape, kidnapping and murder case. Attorneys with the project want prosecutors to review the case of Albert "Ian" Schweitzer, one of three men convicted in the death of Dana Ireland, 23, on Hawaii island, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

KATHMANDU, Nepal » Planeloads of supplies, doctors and relief workers from neighboring countries began arriving Sunday in Nepal, a poor Himalayan nation reeling from a powerful earthquake that killed more than 1,900 people and destroyed infrastructure, homes and historical buildings.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. » The Illinois Legislature quickly approved a bill Thursday to ensure that Chicago has legal authority to use public parkland as potential sites for Barack Obama's presidential library and film producer George Lucas' proposed museum.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week released proposed plans for clearing munitions and explosives from a Maui area that was used for bombing practice during World War II.

A group of East Maui taro farmers, fishermen and gatherers recently filed suit against the state, Alexander & Baldwin and others after learning the state granted revocable permits to allow the company to continue to lease land in East Maui for its stream diversions.

A group of Native Hawaiians wants to bring back a centuries-old island burial practice that it says is more environmentally friendly than some modern interment methods.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has proposed establishing new rules to address user conflicts at Kahaluu Bay in Kailua-Kona.

A retired New Mexico police chief and a reserve officer have filed a lawsuit in federal court saying they were arrested without explanation while vacationing in Hawaii.

A mother and daughter who had recently moved to Las Vegas from Hawaii were among four people killed after a speeding car veered into oncoming lanes and crashed head-on into another vehicle on a shortcut between two Las Vegas-area freeways.

A man charged with murder in the disappearance of a pregnant Maui woman has asked the court to suppress evidence in his case.

Nearly two dozen Kauai residents operating bed-and-breakfasts and other visitor accommodations are asking county planning commissioners to come up with clear permit rules and procedures for their businesses.

The Maui Humane Society is embarking on a massive cat sterilization effort to stem the island's overpopulation of feral cats.

Hikianalia, the support canoe that accompanied Hoku­le‘a during its first 11 months of the Malama Honua ("Care for the Earth") voyage, is on its way home to Hawaii, where voyage leaders hope to involve more of the community in the worldwide sail.

Hawaii County is being sued by 14 current and former battalion chiefs who argue their pay and benefits packages are not keeping pace with counterparts and subordinates covered by a collective-bargain­ing agreement.

Hawaii lawmakers are facing down a legislative deadline this week to pass all bills out of the second chamber. Those that don't pass will die, at least for this legislative session.

The Maui County Fire Department says a 50-foot fishing vessel ran aground off Hana. The department says the two men on board were not injured.

Hawaii senators are asking the state to explore whether it's time to take another swing at creating a statewide interisland ferry system.

Jasmine Kaleihiwa Dunlap was on fire the second she stepped on stage Thursday night to deliver a chant of praise for Hi‘i­aka, the youngest sister of Pele. Her voice was a force to be reckoned with.

Offering a lei of gratitude and aloha, kumu Mapu­ana de Silva and Halau Mohala ‘Ilima paid a visit to Mauna Kea early Thursday afternoon. The halau offered a chant and placed a gift of a lei on a stone altar along Daniel K. Ino­uye Highway, just across from Mauna Kea Access Road.

The steep cost of caring for the elderly continues to climb. The median bill for a private room in a nursing home is now $91,250 a year, according to an industry survey out Thursday. In Hawaii it is $135,050.

After flying in to Hilo Airport on Wednesday morning, kumu hula Keola Dalire took her halau straight to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Her older sister, Kapua Dalire-Moe, also planned the same journey Thursday morning.

Delays for medical appointments at Veterans Affairs facilities are shorter than the national average across much of Hawaii, but that's not true of the neighbor islands.

Anticipation is palpable inside Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium and on the streets of Hilo as the Merrie Monarch Festival reaches full momentum.

A retired soldier's lawsuit over swallowing needles in a fast-food burger is being settled for $50,000.

Forty years ago, before Hoku­le‘a sparked a voyaging renaissance around the Pacific, it was simply a daring idea that many in Hawaii doubted would succeed.

Stacey Moniz already picked her bed out Tuesday evening at Women Helping Women Maui's newly renovated women's shelter. "The room with the nice windows is mine," joked the organization's executive director.

Fourteen attorneys general asked Congress to launch an investigation of the herbal supplement industry and to consider giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stronger oversight of the industry, New York Attorney General Eric Schnei­der­man announced.

Joshu Osmanski was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Hono­lulu to three years' probation. He pleaded guilty last year to unlawfully entering the secure area of an airport.

A new government study finds about 3 out of 4 older teens are driving, but rates vary widely by state and city. Hawaii had the lowest percentage of teen drivers, at 53 percent. North Dakota and South Dakota had the largest proportions, at about 90 percent.

A new policy authorizing the nighttime closure of areas at Hono­lulu Airport has drastically reduced the number of homeless people sleeping there, Hawaii transportation officials said.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi charged $892 on his county credit card at a Hono­lulu hostess bar in December 2013, he acknowledged last week, violating county policy that prohibits using county cards for personal expenses or for alcohol.

Hawaii legislators are considering a bill that would ban sex trafficking and treat people who are forced into prostitution as victims instead of criminals.

The two people killed after a hang glider crashed to the ground near Las Vegas have been identified. The Clark County coroner's office said 11-year-old Arys Moorhead of Farmington, N.M., and 55-year-old John Harrison of Waimea, Hawaii, died in the Friday crash.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists on Wednesday downgraded the alert level for Kilauea volcano from warning to watch for the first time since warning levels were reached in September.

When a Vietnam veteran briefly stopped in Hawaii on his way home from war, he vowed to return one day to honor the people who perished during the attack on Pearl Harbor. With just less than two months to live, Joseph Hooker realized his longtime dream on Wednesday.

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