NPR: DHHL to Buy $8M Mōʻiliʻili Property for Housing

Ku`uwehi Hiraishi, “DHHL to Buy $8M Property in Mōʻiliʻili from Kamehameha Schools for Housing” (HPR, 1/28/20).

UPDATED: 1/28/20, 5:33 p.m.

A new land deal in Mōʻiliʻili struck by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands could take potentially hundreds of Native Hawaiians off the homestead wait list in urban Honolulu.

The Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC) voted yesterday to buy almost $8 million in Mōʻiliʻili property from Kamehameha Schools for future housing development. The purchase could help address the growing waitlist for Hawaiian homestead lots on Oʻahu, where more than 10,000 applicants are still waiting.  Continue reading

Sen. Shimabukuro: City Should Reduce Its Reliance on Landfills 1/7/20

Ashley Mizuo, “Oahu Grapples With Where To Place Its Next Landfill As It Confronts Its Waste Dilemma” (HPR, 7 Jan. 2020).

About 30 trucks roll down Farrington Highway on the west side of Oahu every day to dump waste at the City and County of Honolulu’s only municipal landfill, Waimanalo Gulch. Now after 30 years, the State Land Use Commission has ordered the landfill to close its doors for good by 2028.

The landfill symbolizes Oahu’s continuing struggle to reduce the waste generated by about 1 million residents and visitors on any given day. On one hand, H-Power — the waste-to-energy incinerator in Kapolei — has allowed the city to divert a significant portion of its trash. Yet the island still needs a location to dump ash from H-Power and the remaining mountain of waste that the plant canʻt process.

Now, the city must decide how it will deal with the island’s burgeoning waste in the future. This reckoning is not solely due to the approaching land use deadline and environmental pressures surrounding Waimanalo Gulch, but mounting opposition to the location of waste facilities in Leeward Oahu, where many residents say they have had enough.

Waianae Sen. Maile Shimabukuro said the land use commissonʻs order to close Waimanalo Gulch is long overdue.

“The community’s been told time and time again the landfill would in fact close. But each time the closure date comes around, the city seeks an extension,” she said. “There’s definitely a feeling of — just in general — environmental injustice for our whole coastline.”   Continue reading

Mauna Lahilahi Botanical Garden Saved by Community 1/28/20

Brittany Lyte, “How These Makaha Neighbors Saved a County Park from Crime and Weeds” (Honolulu Civil Beat, 1/28/20).

When police and social services agencies couldn’t help, this small band of neighbors took matters into their own hands. And it worked.

What happens when a treasured public gathering place becomes a hotbed of crime and vagrancy?

When it happened to Mauna Lahilahi Botanical Garden on Oahu’s Waianae Coast, a gutsy, bootstrap community group moved in, instituted a zero tolerance policy for criminal and unhealthy activity and reclaimed the county park from the brink of delinquency.

Of course, it wasn’t so easy. But when complaints to police and politicians did little to solve the problem, the park’s neighbors decided to shift their perspective.

Instead of begging for better law enforcement, they invested hundreds of hours to establish a neighborhood watch group and a monthly cleanup event series. They forged partnerships with the cops and county government, which facilitated green waste pickup and a homeless sweep.

Slowly, they squeezed out illicit activity and replaced it with wholesome recreation — fishing, hiking, swimming and picnicking.

There’s much work to be done to fully restore the park’s beauty. But a year after the neighbors took on responsibility for the park’s condition, families that had given up on the place are returning.  Continue reading

KITV4: DOT to Close One Lane on Farrington Hwy After Fatal Collision

“DOT to close one lane near Maipalaoa Bridge on Farrington Highway after fatal car collision”
By Annalisa Burgos, Monday, 27 Jan. 2020, 6:39 PM HST

Ma’ipalaoa Bridge on Farrington Highway is one of the major lifelines for Waianae Coast residents. Considered old and dilapidated, it’s being replaced.

But the lane changes made to accommodate construction workers are being partially blamed in a fatal car collision this weekend.

Two Waianae residents — 61-year-old Richard Takayama Jr., and 40-year-old Brandie Navarro — died after a pickup truck hit a concrete barrier, veered into their lane and crashed into them head on. The driver of the truck was hospitalized in critical condition.  Continue reading

Fatal Crash in Maili Prompts Highway Changes

State plans highway changes in Maili following double-fatal crash
By HNN Staff, January 26, 2020 at 11:07 AM HST – Updated January 27 at 5:57 PM

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) – After a deadly collision near a Maili bridge replacement construction site, the state plans to make changes to improve the safety of drivers along Farrington Highway.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation intends to contraflow traffic in the area to eliminate a lane shift that is causing confusion for some motorists.

“We’ll always have two lanes in the peak direction, but we may only have one lane going in the opposite direction,” said Ed Sniffen, the Highways Division deputy director for the Hawaii Department of Transportation.

Continue reading

CDC & Hawaii DOH Recommendations re Novel Coronavirus

The University of Hawaii is advising everyone to monitor the outbreak
of the novel coronavirus, a respiratory illness first reported in
Wuhan, China in December 2019. There are now more than 2,700 cases
and 82 deaths reported in China. There have been five cases reported
in the continental United States with no deaths. There are no
reported cases in Hawaii and no direct flights from Wuhan, China to
our state.

Multiple federal and state agencies are closely monitoring the
situation. Everyone is urged to follow Center for Disease Control
(CDC) guidelines and Hawaii Department of Health (DOH)
recommendations, which are related to travel to and from China:

CDC recommendations : http://go.hawaii.edu/API

DOH guidance: http://go.hawaii.edu/AP7

DOH advises everyone to get vaccinated for influenza because there
are similar symptoms between the coronavirus and the flu. Everyone is
asked to follow standard procedures if experiencing flu like
symptoms:

  • Avoid contact with others
  • Do not travel while sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your
    hands) when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

The university will continue to provide updates, when necessary.

This message was sent on behalf of University of Hawaii.

Senator Shimabukuro: Resolution for ‘No-Notoriety’ in Media Coverage

Hawaii lawmakers urge news outlets to use ‘no-notoriety’ approach
By John Burnett, Hawaii Tribune-Herald, 23 Jan. 2020

HILO — State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro of Oahu has introduced a pair of resolutions “encouraging the media, law enforcement, and information officers to adopt a no-notoriety approach to reporting on mass shooters and the perpetrators of other mass crimes.”

The nonbinding resolutions, Senate Resolution 5 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 19, both introduced Tuesday, are identical, except the concurrent resolution contains the phrase “the House of Representatives concurring.”

Co-sponsors of SCR 19 include Big Island Sens. Lorraine Inouye and Russell Ruderman, Oahu Sens. Stanley Chang, Karl Rhoads, Michelle Kidani, Sharon Moriwaki, Gil Riviere and Laura Thielen, and Maui Sen. Rosalyn Baker. All also are co-sponsors of SR 5, as are Oahu Sens. Donovan Dela Cruz, Mike Gabbard, Donna Mercado Kim and Clarence Nishihara.

The timing of the resolutions’ introduction follows Sunday’s rampage by a mentally ill man, Jerry “Jarda” Hanel, who fatally shot Honolulu police officers Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama, then set a fire that burned several homes and likely killed Hanel and his landlady, Lois Cain.

Shimabukuro said, however, she drafted the measures prior to the Diamond Head tragedy at the request of a constituent who was upset at seeing the photo and name of a mass shooting suspect repeatedly aired in news coverage.

“He said, ‘Let’s do something to stop this.’ And I thought it was a great idea,” Shimabukuro said. “So I did a quick internet search and saw there are national movements to do a no-notoriety approach. And I think it makes a lot of sense.”

“I want to see where the conversation goes,” she added.

The resolution requests that media and law enforcement “recognize that notoriety serves as a motivating factor for suspects of mass crimes and inspires copycat crimes” and “limit the name of a suspect to once per piece as a reference point, avoid using the suspect’s name in headlines, and limit the use of the suspect’s likeness” unless necessary to apprehend the suspect.

It also urges media to “refuse to broadcast or publish self-serving statements, photos, videos, manifestos (or) social media posts” by suspects and “focus on and elevate the names and likenesses of the victims and frame messaging that shows the victims’ lives are more than the suspect’s actions.”

“I want to see the focus on the victims, and I don’t want to see any kind of glorification given to (suspects), even if it’s infamous glorification,” Shimabukuro said. “They should just say ‘the suspect,’ and don’t put his picture, don’t put his name. Don’t give him any kind of recognition — which is often what these guys are looking for.”

Ruderman said he signed on as a co-sponsor because he thinks “it’s worthy of discussion and consideration in that we don’t want to encourage copycat crimes.”

“It seems like when someone gets famous for something heinous, there’s someone else out there who wants to do the same or do it better,” Ruderman said.

Nancy Cook Lauer, a West Hawaii Today reporter and president of the Big Island Press Club, a community organization dedicated to freedom of information and the public’s right to know, called the resolutions’ motivation “understandable, even admirable,” but pointed to “news value in publishing a suspect’s name and photo.”

“Most importantly, it gives notice to the public, especially those who may have been victimized by the suspect in the past,” Cook Lauer said. “This enables them to seek redress if appropriate, or (serves) as a reminder to all society if prior acts of violence were discounted or overlooked. It helps societies identify gaps or failures in systems that could help prevent future tragedies.”

She described the resolutions’ suggested limitations on use of suspects’ names and likenesses as “alarming, in that it opens the door for government to dictate specific content of a news article.”

Jeff Portnoy, a Honolulu attorney who represents the Tribune-Herald and other media outlets, called the resolutions “just bad policy and suggests a total lack of knowledge of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

“Whether the intent is laudable, the suggestion that the government is going to recommend how the media covers an event or what it publishes is very scary in a democracy. And even a suggestion, by way of a resolution, is very troubling,” Portnoy said. “It’s attempting to dissuade the media from its responsibilities. It’s also attempting to instruct the media what it should or should not publish. And for a governmental entity to enter into these waters is very disturbing.”

Portnoy described the resolutions as “a slippery slope.”

“Are they going to now recommend that you don’t print negative information about a legislator because it may cause the legislator distress?” he said. “… I don’t think you should have the Legislature recommending what you print in your newspaper.”

Ruderman and Shimabukuro both expressed respect for the First Amendment.

“I think that here, we’re asking for a discussion of can we as a society say that we don’t want to promote this kind of thing,” Ruderman said. “I don’t think we can forbid anybody from publicizing it, but we can appeal to a news agency to get everything that’s important across without making that individual famous.”

“It’s a resolution. It’s not a law. If my measure passes, it’s just urging,” Shimabukuro added. “We’re not mandating anything.”

Inouye didn’t return a call by press time.