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Hawaiian Airlines Remains Top Carrier for Punctuality – 13th Consecutive Year Holding Title

Hawaiian Airlines remained the nation’s top carrier for punctuality in 2016, as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), marking the airline’s 13th consecutive year holding the title.

Click to view Air Travel Consumer Report for February 2017

Hawai’i’s largest and longest-serving airline averaged a 91.1 percent on-time performance rating in 2016, earning the top ranking in all but one month and exceeding the industry average for the year by 9.7 percentage points. For December, Hawaiian Airlines posted a leading 85.1 percent on-time performance rating. The carrier also ranked first in fewest flight cancellations with 0.1 percent, or nine cancellations out of 6,347 flights.

“It’s no secret that our more than 6,000 employees work passionately every day to ensure our guests arrive at their destination on-time,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines. “Our success the past 13 years is a direct result of their hard work, and I continue to be inspired by their dedication to our guests.”

Last month, Hawaiian was also named the world’s most punctual airline in 2016 by air travel intelligence company OAG in its annual ranking of on-time performance for all global airlines and airports.

Hawai’i’s largest and longest-serving airline provides daily non-stop service to Hawai’i from 11 gateway cities in North America – more cities than any other carrier – using Airbus A330-200 and Boeing 767-300 aircraft. Hawaiian Airlines also operates approximately 160 daily flights between the Hawaiian Islands using Boeing 717-200 aircraft.

The DOT’s monthly Air Travel Consumer Report ranking the nation’s 16 largest air carriers is available online at www.dot.gov/individuals/air-consumer/air-travel-consumer-reports.

Hawaii Department of Health Approves Pono Life Sciences Maui LLC to Acquire and Cultivate Medical Marijuana

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) today issued a Notice to Proceed to Acquire and Cultivate Marijuana to Pono Life Sciences Maui LLC for their production center on Maui. Pono Life Sciences Maui is the fourth licensee to receive notice from the state and the second Maui licensee to meet all requirements to begin growing marijuana.

Pono Life Sciences Maui is now authorized to acquire and grow marijuana seeds, clones and plants, for the purpose of providing marijuana and marijuana products to qualified patients registered with the department’s Medical Marijuana Patient Registry Program. This month, in addition to Pono Life Sciences Maui, DOH issued Notices to Proceed to Maui Grown Therapies, Aloha Green Holdings, and Manoa Botanicals for production centers on Maui and Oahu.

To receive a Notice to Proceed from DOH, dispensary production centers must comply with statutory and regulatory requirements that include building a secure, enclosed indoor facility; operating a computer software tracking system that interfaces with the state’s system and submits current inventory data of all marijuana seeds, plants and manufactured products in the production center; and authorization from the Narcotics Enforcement Division of the Hawaii State Department of Public Safety.

More information on the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program is available at http://health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuanadispensary/

A total of eight medical marijuana dispensary licenses were issued in April 2016. Three dispensary licenses for the City and County of Honolulu were issued to Aloha Green Holdings, Inc.; Manoa Botanicals, LLC; and TCG Retro Market 1, LLC dba Cure Oahu. Two licenses for the County of Hawaii were issued to Hawaiian Ethos, LLC and Lau Ola, LLC. Two licenses for the County of Maui were issued to Maui Wellness Group, LLC and Pono Life Sciences Maui, LLC. One license for the County of Kauai was issued to Green Aloha, Ltd.

Each dispensary licensee is allowed to operate two production centers and two retail sites for a total of 16 production centers and 16 retail dispensary locations statewide. Each production center may grow up to 3,000 marijuana plants.

Hawaii Travel Ban Lawsuit Adds Religious Freedom Claim

Attorney General Doug Chin announced today that Hawaii federal judge Derrick K. Watson has partially lifted the stay he placed last week on Hawaii’s travel ban lawsuit. This action by Judge Watson allows Dr. Ismail Elshikh, a U.S. citizen and Hawaii resident, to join Hawaii’s case against the President’s Executive Order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations and suspending the nation’s refugee program.

Click to read lawsuit

Judge Watson also allowed Hawaii to add a new count, alleging violations of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The Act prohibits the federal government from substantially burdening the exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.

The stay Judge Watson issued last week remains in place for all other purposes, so long as the nationwide injunction against implementation of the President’s Executive Order, signed on January 27, 2017, remains in place. On Friday, February 10th, a 3-0 decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the nationwide injunction to remain in place.

Attorney General Chin added, “President Trump’s executive order imposes a substantial burden on the exercise of religion. Freedom of religion is one of the most important rights and values for citizens in this country, no matter what religion that is. The additional claim in our complaint protects that right.”

A copy of the first amended complaint in Hawaii v. Trump is attached.

Chief Justice Seeks Public Comment on Judicial Nominees

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald announced today that he is seeking public comment on judicial nominees for three vacancies in the District Court of the First Circuit (Island of Oahu) as a result of the retirement of Judges Gerald H. Kibe, David W. Lo, and Barbara P. Richardson.

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald

The names submitted for these vacancies by the Judicial Selection Commission, in alphabetical order, are:

Thomas J. Brady
Mr. Brady is currently employed as Assistant U.S. Attorney with the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaiʻi.  Brady is a graduate of George Washington University National Law Center and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 1987.

Brian A. Costa
Mr. Costa is currently employed at Costa & DeLacy, LLLC, and serves as a Per Diem Judge of the District Family Court of the First Circuit.  Costa is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 2001.

Jessi L.K. Hall
Ms. Hall is currently employed at Kleintop & Luria, LLP.  Hall is a graduate of Oklahoma City University School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 1999.

Jeffrey A. Hawk
Mr. Hawk is currently employed at the Law Office of Jeffrey A. Hawk, and serves as a Per Diem Judge of the District Family Court of the First Circuit.  Hawk is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 1997.

Darolyn H. Lendio Heim
Ms. Lendio Heim is currently employed at McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon, LLP.  Lendio Heim is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 1984.

Timothy E. Ho
Mr. Ho is currently employed as Chief Deputy Public Defender with the State of Hawaiʻi Office of the Public Defender.  Ho is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 1987.

Chastity T. Imamura
Ms. Imamura is currently employed as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney with the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney in Honolulu.  Imamura is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 2002.

Craig W. Jerome
Mr. Jerome is currently employed as Assistant Federal Public Defender with the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Hawaiʻi.  Jerome is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 2007.

Tana K. Kekina-Cabaniero
Ms. Kekina-Cabaniero is currently employed as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney with the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney in Honolulu.  Kekina-Cabaniero is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 1995.

Trish K. Morikawa
Ms. Morikawa is currently employed at Gallagher Kane Amai and serves as a Per Diem Judge of the District Family Court of the First Circuit.  Morikawa is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 1995.

Kevin T. Morikone
Mr. Morikone is currently employed with Hosoda & Morikone, LLC, and serves as Per Diem Judge of the District Family Court of the First Circuit.  Morikone is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 2007.

Alvin K. Nishimura
Mr. Nishimura is currently employed at Alvin Nishimura, Attorney at Law, and serves as a Per Diem Judge of the District Court of the First Circuit.  Nishimura is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 1985.

Jonathan L. Ortiz
Mr. Ortiz is currently employed at Ortiz & Katano.  Ortiz is a graduate of George Washington University Law School and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 1978.

Rowena A. Somerville
Ms. Somerville is currently employed as a Hearings Officer with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.  Somerville is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 1996.

Because the Chief Justice has the discretion to assign judges to the district or district family court calendar, comments about the qualifications and character of any of the nominees with regard to either calendar assignment may be sent, in writing, to:

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald
Supreme Court of Hawaiʻi
417 S. King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Fax: 808-539-4703
Email: chiefjustice@courts.hawaii.gov

Comments must be post-marked, emailed, faxed, or hand delivered no later than Friday, February 24, 2017.  All comments will be kept confidential.

The individuals selected by the Chief Justice are subject to Senate confirmation.

Hawaii Tax Reform Bill Passes Committee

House Bill 1586, which attempts to change the basic structure of taxes in Hawaii, was passed by the House Tourism Committee Tuesday.

The bill not only addresses Hawaii’s high cost of living by reducing personal income tax brackets for low and middle income earners and seniors, but also looks at how the counties’ property tax rates are one of the primary reasons for the State’s high housing costs.

“Our residents, especially low and middle income taxpayers, are paying too much income tax,” said Rep. Kyle T. Yamashita, “At the same time, non-residents can buy homes in Hawaii, with the nation’s lowest property tax rates, and yet in most cases, they pay no income tax to the State. This has the effect of keeping the cost of buying a home out of the reach of many of Hawaii’s people and causing property valuation to continuously rise.”

The bill would also end the $103 million subsidy the state provides to the counties from a portion of the Transit Accommodations Tax. Removing this subsidy would make up for part of the reductions in personal income tax collections and encourage the counties to raise property taxes for non-residents and other categories that affect the rising housing costs, Yamashita said.

“We need to restructure how we tax to fuel positive economic outcomes. We cannot continue to make band-aid changes to our tax structure and think anything will really change,” said Yamashita. “This bill is the first step in making taxes more equitable for residents and, if the counties follow suit, will make investors buying homes in Hawaii pay their fair share.”

Kona Historical Society Offers A Tasty Tradition

Kona Historical Society will make its famous Portuguese cinnamon bread to celebrate Shrove Tuesday. This special bake will happen on February 28 at Kona Historical Society’s stone oven, or forno, located in the pasture below its main office and its historic general store museum in Kealakekua.

From 10 a.m. to noon, the public is invited to watch Kona Historical Society staff and volunteers create these sticky, sweet loaves of cinnamon bread. Attendees will also learn about the traditional art of Portuguese bread making and the contributions of the Portuguese, who arrived in Hawaii in the 1880s. While many of these immigrants worked in the sugar plantations, a fair number did find their way to Kona dairies and are credited for helping develop this industry.

Kona Historical Society makes cinnamon bread on Shrove Tuesday to pay homage to the days of the sugar plantations of the 1800s, when resident Catholic Portuguese would mark the day by eating richer, fatty foods and desserts before the ritual fasting of the Lent season, which lasts 40 days. They would often use up butter and sugar prior to Lent by making large batches of malasadas, the well-known and beloved Portuguese doughnut without a hole. Shrove Tuesday is also known as Fat Tuesday.

Cinnamon bread loaves, each costing $8, can be purchased starting at 12:30 p.m. Bread sales are on a first come, first served basis and go until 4 p.m. or everything is sold out. Proceeds go toward supporting the Kona Historical Society, a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawaii.

For those who can’t make it to this special bake, consider joining Kona Historical Society staff and volunteers every Thursday at the forno for its weekly Portuguese bread baking program. During this free program, the crew bakes close to 100 loaves of white, wheat and sweet bread and the public is invited to lend a hand by helping roll the dough.

For more information, call Kona Historical Society at 808-323-3222 or visit www.konahistorical.org. To get the latest updates regarding Kona Historical Society programs, historic sites and special events, “LIKE” Kona Historical Society on Facebook.