Hawaii Independent Staff

Day 1 of the marriage equality bill hearings

Yes, the Senate committee passed SB1. Read More »

Marriage equality hearing: mid-day report

We're two and a half hours into the Senate committee hearing on SB1. Here's what's being said (and tweeted). Read More »

Gallery: Hallowbaloo

Instagram photos from #hallowbaloo! Read More »

Paying it forward in the drive-thru →

Something to think about when the vitriol starts flying next week: according to this post via kottke.org, 228 consecutive cars 'paid it forward' last December in Winnipeg. More at Kottke.org »

Tuesday’s Top Stories Monday’s Top Stories

Hawaii's ocean: Officials tackle coral health, beach erosion, mooring and paddling rules. Plus poll shows split on gay marriage, University of Hawaii president search and more news from all the Hawaiian Islands Read More »

Wolverine fired from the X-Men  →

From kottke.org: "Reason for dismissal: 'Made of metal, the substance the guy we fight the most can manipulate with his mind.'" More at Pete Holmes »

Hawaii Island GMO bill advances →

Kauai passed landmark GMO legislation this week. Now, a Hawaii Island bill restricting the use of genetically modified crops is moving forward. More at Big Island Now »

$1.56 billion rail budget approved →

Board members overseeing the city’s rail project Thursday approved its largest capital budget yet, clearing rail officials to sign $1.56 billion in contracts in the coming fiscal year to build the project. More at Star-Advertiser »

UH scales back construction, repairs →

The University of Hawaii is considering halting new construction projects across the university system until it can rein in a repair and maintenance backlog that has ballooned to nearly a half-billion dollars. More at Star-Advertiser » Read More »

Friday’s Top Stories

Hawaii restaurant inspections changing, race rises as campaign issue in Schatz-Hanabusa campaign, UH mulls building slowdown, Honolulu rail budget approved, Waikiki sand replaced, sharks' value touted, fishing rules protested, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands Read More »

Thursday’s Top Stories

Hawaii national parks reopen, congressional delegation points fingers; Hawaii, Kauai counties pass anti-GMO bills; fracking ban passes Hawaii County; kids to start kindergarten later; Abercrombie aide resigns. Read More »

Wednesday’s Top Stories

GMO, pesticide bill passed on Kauai, AG gives nod for state Legislature to pass gay marriage, Board of Education wants $65M more, Hawaii council to raise tobacco sale age, mystery guests on Lanai, Health Connector goes online, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands Read More »

Students rally against censorship of Mauna Kea message UH seeking new general lease for Mauna Kea

Will the University collect sublease rent? Read More »

Traditional marriage supporters have planned rallies this month →

Several events supporting traditional marriage are scheduled on Kauai. More at Garden Island »

Nakamura replaces Heu for Kauai County Managing Director →

Kauai County Council Vice Chair Nadine Nakamura, who topped the council elections last year, announced Friday she is leaving her position to replace county Managing Director Gary Heu. More at Garden Island »

Maui considers wind turbines →

Maui County is planning to build three wind turbines at the Central Maui Landfill to offset thousands of dollars in energy bills at the site and is looking for prospective bidders. More at Maui News »

People question how GMO law will be enforced →

With a bill to restrict genetically modified crops passed out of committee, the Hawaii County Council will have only a few more chances to decide whether it wants to adopt the legislation, and, perhaps just as important, how it would be implemented. More at West Hawaii Today »

The Great Hawaii Shakeout: practice what do in the event of an earthquake →

This month, for the first time, Hawaii will join an international effort to prepare citizens for the impact of a large earthquake. More at Tribune-Herald »

UH West looks for other solutions to pay for operations →

With a multimillion-dollar land sale to the Roman Catholic Church gone sour, the University of Hawaii-West Oahu says it's moving away from the school's original concept of selling or leasing lands surrounding its Kapolei campus to pay for operations. It instead will seek more public funds from the state Legislature next year. More at Star-Advertiser »

Haiku stairs causes conflict between hikers and residents →

Bureaucratic snags continue to stall attempts to reach a long-term solution to the city's Haiku Stairs disagreement. More at Star-Advertiser »

Matson molasses mistake taken to grand jury →

The transportation company responsible for a molasses spill that killed more than 26,000 fish and other marine life in Hawaii said Friday that it had been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury for documents relating to the spill. More at The Associated Press »

Why do we eat popcorn at the movies? →

In case you were wondering. More at Smithsonian Magazine »

Federal agencies say stop using OxyELITE Pro →

The Hawaii Department of Health and federal agencies are warning the public to stop using a diet supplement and have asked retailers to take the product off the shelves after reports of hepatitis and liver failure around the state. More at The Associated Press »

Beware of scams online →

The Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is warning the public about unauthorized websites that appear to be trying to get personal information from those seeking unemployment benefits. More at The Associated Press »

To prevent overfishing, ahi will raise in price →

Ahi lovers could face a price hike for fresh sashimi and poke next year because of a proposal that would slice the bigeye tuna limit for Hawaii's longline fleet. More at Hawaii News Now »

Confusion causes symposium to be cancelled →

A symposium on the religious exemption in a gay marriage bill that was scheduled for Wednesday evening at the state Capitol has been cancelled. Organizers from the University of Hawaii law school said there was a misunderstanding about whether the symposium would only focus on the religious exemption or whether other issues related to the bill would be discussed. More at Star-Advertiser »

Rail moving forward →

Honolulu transit officials filed court documents Tuesday asserting that they've complied with a federal judge's instructions to study the alternative routes and impacts of the city's rail project. More at Star-Advertiser »

City beach cleanups were promised but never happened →

Oahu's beaches are considered among the best in the world. But, what many do not know is they haven't been cleaned in several months after a dispute between the city and company contracted to clean the beaches began in July. More at KHON »

Helmet law for kids will be introduced →

People under 16 years old would need to wear helmets if they want to ride skateboards, roller skates, in-line skates or similar devices on Oahu under a bill introduced at the City Council. Bill 62 will get its first airing before the Council at its monthly meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday. More at Star-Advertiser »

Cabanilla takes Awana’s spot after stepping down →

Hawaii state Rep. Rida Cabanilla is replacing Rep. Karen Awana as Majority Floor Leader in the House. More at Star-Advertiser »

Are you making a median salary? →

The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization on Monday released the Hawaii Jobs Explorer, an interactive snapshot of occupations and salaries in the state that shows the 588,210 jobs in the state have a median salary of $36,350. More at Pacific Business News »

Hawaii Aerospace Summit pitches a fantasy idea →

Representatives from NASA, the defense and technology industries, and state government are gathering in Honolulu today in hopes of lighting a booster rocket under Hawaii’s small but growing aerospace industry. More at Star-Advertiser »

Budget cuts left Kauai with one pesticide inspector →

The state Department of Agriculture has only one employee assigned to review pesticide inspection reports and follow up on possible violations. More at Civil Beat »

Technicians are back to work →

Nearly 1,000 federal technicians around Hawaii have been recalled after being furloughed due to the government shutdown. More at KHON »

UH official still in job after investigation Awana steps down →

Facing thousands of dollars in additional penalties for breaking state campaign finance laws, Hawaii Rep. Karen Awana stepped down from her House leadership position Friday. More at Civil Beat »

Should same-sex marriage be on the ballot? →

The special session on same-sex marriages is a little more than three week away but the lobbying efforts are already in high gear. More than 500 people attended a rally the state Capitol today to oppose the legalization of same sex marriages. More at Hawaii News Now »

A party for the ages →

Stephen Hawking concocted an experiment to see if time travel would exist in the future: he threw a party. More at Kottke.org »

Awana in trouble again →

State Rep. Karen Awana is in hot water with the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission again. The Nanakuli Democrat faces an $8,500 fine for failing to account for 50 expenditures made by her campaign since 2011. Update: Awana has resigned from her leadership position. More at Hawaii News Now »

Religious leaders stay true to their beliefs Despite concerns, sidewalk bill is approved →

A bill making lying down on city sidewalks illegal was given initial approval by the Honolulu City Council Public Safety and Economic Development Committee on Thursday despite concerns by members of the public and a city official. More at Star-Advertiser »

Gabbard keeps offices open during shut down →

While Sen. Hirono shut down her offices completely, Rep. Gabbard has kept her Hawaii and DC offices open More at Hawaii Reporter »

Shutdown hurting Hawaii’s economy →

Concerns are mounting that Hawaii’s economy — so dependent of tourism and the military — could suffer setbacks if the standoff between President Barack Obama and House Republican leaders is not resolved promptly so that federal employees can get back to work, attractions can reopen and services return to the status quo. More at Star-Advertiser »

Tobacco free UH Manoa →

The University of Hawaii's Manoa campus plans to toughen its anti-smoking policy starting Jan. 1 with a total ban on tobacco products and electronic cigarettes— a move that would make it the first tobacco-free college campus in the state. More at Star Advertiser »

HCDA releases 20-page PDF responding to questions from July →

The full document is available here. More at HI Spy » Read More »

Koa thefts in Kokee, Kauai →

Theft of koa is a problem that continues to persist in Kokee State Park and finding a solution has not been easy. More at Garden Island »

2100: Waikiki underwater →

Rising sea levels mostly caused by man-made climate change will likely leave the edges of Waikiki. More at Star-Advertiser »

What the government shutdown means for Hawaii How to Breaking Bad-ize any webpage

For the many who are obsessed with Breaking Bad, a program that highlights elements on a webpage.

Hawaii SAT scores are below average →

Students in Hawaii continue to underperform on the SAT compared to the national average, according to scores released Thursday by the College Board. More at Tribune-Herald »

Capitol gets an upgrade →

The state is spending $450,000 in federal grant funds upgrading security systems at the State Capitol in what officials call a "modest upgrade." More at Hawaii News Now »

Tsutsui to fill in during Abercrombie’s absence →

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui will be acting governor for the next few weeks as Gov. Neil Abercrombie travels out of state for meetings and vacation. More at The Associated Press »

DOH to test streams for pesticides →

The Hawaii Department of Health has received $75,000 to begin testing for pesticides in streams and waterways throughout the state. More at Garden Island »

Developer picked for Coco Palms Resort Houseless cleared from Pawa‘a park →

Houseless leave Pawaa as city closes down park. Officials say the area needs cleaning for visits by South Korean groups. More at Star-Advertiser »

Kaiser principal on paid leave →

Kaiser High School Principal John Sosa has been placed on paid leave as the Department of Education conducts an investigation. It's unclear what the investigation entails. More at Star-Advertiser »

DOT’s Laniakea plan isn’t the solution, residents say →

North Shore residents told state transportation officials that barricading the parking lot at Laniakea Beach is not the solution for traffic problems in the area. More at Hawaii News Now »

Smith looking to develop in Kahuku →

It is no surprise that Lex Smith, a well-connected attorney, has been a key player in the contentious efforts to develop the rustic Kahuku Village on the North Shore into a multi-million dollar real estate development. More at Civil Beat »

Is the ‘sidewalk nuisance’ bill a nuisance? →

Houseless advocates have filed the first legal challenge to the city's sidewalk nuisance law which went into effect in July. More at Hawaii News Now »

Kauai residents say “no thanks” to Abercrombie pesticide initiative → Pesticides: What about the Big Island? →

Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s announcement Monday that he and the Kauai legislative delegation had negotiated some temporary, volunteer rules regarding pesticide use on that island has some Hawaii Island legislators wondering if similar moves are coming for the county’s genetically modified organism debate. More at West Hawaii Today » Read More »

Hawaii’s education officials brace for federal budget cuts →

Amid congressional bickering in the 11th hour of fraught federal budget deliberations, officials at all levels of education in Hawaii say they’re bracing for painful funding cutbacks and delays to crucial grants that support the neediest students. More at Civil Beat »

For Native Hawaiians: lucky you live Hawaii, minus six years HCC placed on warning accreditation →

Honolulu Community College has been placed on warning accreditation status by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, the only of the University of Hawaii's ten campuses to get such a warning. More at Hawaii News Now » Read More »

DOE checking on absenteeism →

For the first time, the Hawaii Department of Education is looking into the numbers of chronically absent students. More at KITV » Read More »

Xian will run for congress →

Kathryn Xian, an activist who has pushed the state to address human trafficking and has sought to empower women through Girl Fest, said Monday that she will run for Congress. More at Star-Advertiser »

Abercrombie enters GMO, pesticides debate H-1 rehabilitation project finally begins Molasses spill update Can smaller health insurers be competitive under Obamacare? →

The state's smaller health insurers are countering the aggressive marketing campaign of the Hawaii Health Connector, the state's insurance exchange established as part of the federal law known as Obamacare. More at Star-Advertiser »

Quotes II: A Short Gallery

Quotes II, held Wednesday at The Boxjelly, featured a fascinating discussion on the Makers movement and a forthcoming serialization of Polyfantastica, an oceanic science fiction series. Refreshments were sponsored by Whole Foods.

Year-old garage will be put to use →

A lot more vehicles will soon fill up spaces at the mostly vacant, 410-stall parking garage on South Street that some have criticized as a symbol of government waste and inefficiency. About 400 city employees will be able to park there under an agreement reached this month between the Federal Transit Administration and the city. More at Star-Advertiser »

State reveals rates for health insurance plans under connector

The state on Friday revealed rates for the 95 health-insurance plans that will be offered for individuals and small businesses on the Hawaii Health Connector starting Oct. 1 that start at an average of $120 for a 21-year-old nonsmoker choosing the most basic plan. Read More »

Gabbard’s threatener will face federal court →

The man accused of threatening to cut off Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s head will be sent to Washington, D.C. where he'll face charges in federal court there. More at Civil Beat »

Kamehameha schools sells Kakaako Office Max and Jaguar →

Kamehameha Schools said Wednesday it is selling two Kakaako blocks fronting Ala Moana Boulevard to MK Development, a joint venture of Koba­ya­shi Group and The MacNaughton Group, to develop two luxury condominium towers with a combined 500 units. More at Star-Advertiser »

Hawaii’s is the longest-running Occupy encampment →

On the second anniversary of the original Occupy protests in New York City’s Zucotti Park Sept. 17, Honolulu protesters marked their 682nd continuous day of 24-hour vigil at the corner of Ward and Beretania avenues, making it the longest-running Occupy encampment in the U.S. More at Civil Beat »

UH official under investigation

One of the highest-paid administrators at the University of Hawaii is being investigated for lying on her resume, UH officials confirmed Wednesday.

Gabbard working her way up →

Does U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard represent the future? That remains to be seen, but there are signs that the fast-rising attention-grabbing young congresswoman is positioning herself to do so. More at Civil Beat »

‘Iolani Palace funded for more exhibits →

‘Iolani Palace will be the recipient of a $65,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to plan new exhibits for its basement galleries. More at Hawaii Reporter »

Six assistant superintendents with six figure salaries →

The Department of Education's six assistant superintendents will see their six-figure salaries go up an average 3.6 percent while the deputy superintendent will see a 16.6 percent boost under raises approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday. More at Star-Advertiser »

Young representative ideas →

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, two of the youngest members of Congress, are forming a new bipartisan Future Caucus. More at Star-Advertiser »

Maui development project gets environmental green light →

A Final Environmental Assessment was filed with a finding of no significant impact for the proposed Kahoma Village Project in West Maui. More at Maui Now »

Matson to pay for cleanup →

Matson Inc. will pay for the cleanup of a 1,400-ton spill of molasses into Honolulu Harbor that killed thousands of fish and other marine life, CEO Matt Cox said Monday. More at Pacific Business News »

Rail is back →

After a nearly 13-month delay caused by a lawsuit, construction restarted on the state's largest public works project More at Star-Advertiser »

FBI files on Inouye now online

The files reveal many threats and allegations against the late senator. Read More »

Undersea power cable feasible? →

A Public Utilities Commission investigative proceeding on the feasibility of an undersea power cable between Maui and Oahu has drawn comments and interventions from Maui County, environmental groups and developers seeking the job of laying a high-voltage cable 112 miles long and as deep as 2,100 feet. More at Maui News »

Dangerous air →

A Kilauea resident says he was exposed to pesticides while driving with his windows down as he passed a DuPont Pioneer agricultural field in Lihue Wednesday morning. More at Garden Island »

Meet the pro-GMO farmers →

Civil Beat recently visited pro-GMO and pro-pesticide farmers. They argued that pesticides and GMOs are tools that farmers in Hawaii need to be competitive. More at Civil Beat »

Friday 13th travellers take chance on flight 666 to HEL →

Just for fun – Happy Friday the 13th More at The Guardian (UK) »

Matson’s apology and promise →

Matson apologized Thursday for Monday's molasses spill disaster and said the company will not "run from responsibility." More at Hawaii News Now »

False alarm everyone →

Hawaii State Civil Defense officials have confirmed that the emergency warning sirens that sounded overnight on Oahu, Maui and Molokai were accidental and that there is no alert at this time. More at Hawaii News Now »

Nonstop stopped →

Hawaiian Airlines won't be the only carrier flying nonstop between Honolulu and Beijing next year. More at Star-Advertiser »

Never say never →

Sweeping education reforms that Hawaii and other states promised in return for millions in federal Race to the Top dollars are "unrealistic and impossible" to achieve, a new report issued Thursday argues. More at Star-Advertiser »

Governors don’t want to meet here →

Gov. Neil Abercrombie had wanted to host the nation’s governors for their annual summer meeting in two years. He found out Wednesday the governors will be going to West Virginia instead. More at Stateline »

Kailua Neighborhood Board protests about being tourist destination →

The Kailua Neighborhood Board is protesting the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s decision to advertise the small town community as a tourist destination. More at Hawaii Reporter »

Chang out to get homeless? →

No surprises here. Honolulu City Councilman Stanley Chang’s bill that makes lying on the sidewalks illegal is being criticized for targeting the homeless. More at Civil Beat »

Fines look imminent for Matson’s spill → Fruit sharing out of the islands →

Hawaii will again be sharing locally grown avocados with mainland consumers, after an overhaul of federal rules that had restricted the fruits from export to other states for more than two decades. More at Star-Advertiser »