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January 6, 2017 - State Representative Gene Ward's decision to publish a map of homeless in Hawaii Kai has unleashed a storm of commentary and prompted him to seek guidance from the State Attorney General. [Star-Advertiser]  On January 4, Civil Beat published an op-ed article entitled "Publicizing Locations, Traits Of Homeless People Is Unwise" [Civil Beat], followed on January 5, with an op-ed article entitled, "Nothing Wrong With Map Depicting Events Involving Homeless." [Civil Beat]

January 5, 2017 -  Hawaii’s Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts Inc., known for its popular mochi ice cream, has been sold to Kenex Holdings, a Chicago investment company, the two companies said this week. Under the terms of the deal, founder Keith Robbins will remain a significant investor in Bubbies and will retail his official title as “Mr. Bubbie” at industry trade shows moving forward. Rick Schaffer, former vice president of retail sales at Grecian Delight, a manufacturer of Greek and Mediterranean food products in the U.S., will join Bubbies as CEO. Bubbies has a franchised location at Koko Marina Center in East Oahu and a production facility in Aiea in Central Oahu. [Chicago Business Journal]

January 5, 2017 - A 35-year-old Honolulu moped rider was taken to a hospital after he slammed into a utility pole in Kaimuki. At approximately 2:30 a.m., police said the man was traveling eastbound on Maunaloa Avenue in proximity to 8th Avenue when he lost control of his moped and veered into the westbound lane. [Star-Advertiser]

Dec. 31, 2016 - A water main break in Hawaii Kai has forced the closure two lanes of Keahole Street.
The break occurred shortly before 7:30 a.m. near Hawaii Kai Drive. All lanes of Keahole Street near the break were originally closed off, but police reopened one lane in each direction shorlty before 11:30 a.m. [Star-Advertiser]

December 30, 2016 - The Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association that owns the private marina in Hawaii Kai, wants to more permanently inhibit sand from migrating off Portlock Beach into the boat entry channel by constructing a $2 million rock groin. It asserts that the groin which would replace a row of giant sandbags first installed in 2004 on the east side of the entryway, will keep the channel clear for longer and be less costly in the long term compared with maintaining the sandbags.

To build the groin, the association needs several government approvals including a Department of the Army permit, a state conservation district use permit and a city special management area permit. State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) public comments on the plan are being accepted through Jan. 23. Comments can be sent to DLNR's Natalie Farinholt. The report detailing the groin plan is available at health.hawaii.gov/oeqc.

According to the environmental impact report produced by Waimanalo-based Sea Engineering, Developer Henry Kaiser created the marina channel in 1959 as part of building the Hawaii Kai community around what was once a fishpond. To keep the channel deep enough for boats, more dredging was done in 1981, 1985, 1988, 2004 and 2013. In 2004 as part of dredging work, an experimental sandbag groin was installed to reduce sand moving from Portlock Beach into the channel. The row of sandbags was rebuilt in 2013 after significant deterioration. In written comments, one beachfront owner wrote: "The last two dredging projects, when the sandbag groins were placed and the third bridge bay was dredged, caused Portlock Beach and the beach park to erode."

If approvals are obtained without unexpected delay, the association anticipates being able to build the groin in 60 to 90 days starting in the fall of 2018. For more information, access the full Star-Bulletin article. [Star-Advertiser - library card required]