Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hawaii to consider statewide beach smoking ban, Tusli's re-election video, Hilo judge sides with DLNR in fencing lawsuit, homeless bill of rights, Herding cats: Kauai's licensing bill, public-private hospital bill aims to heal ailing centers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Waikiki (c) 2014 All Hawaii News
House lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban smoking at all of the state's public beaches. Laws banning smoking at nearly 300 parks and roughly 4,000 bus stops around Oahu took effect on Jan. 1. Hawaii County parks, beaches and recreational facilities have been smoke-free since 2008, supporters of a ban said at a hearing Wednesday at the state Capitol. Star-Advertiser.

A ban on smoking on all public beaches in Hawaiʻi will be considered at a joint hearing before two House committees today. Maui Now.

More than 40 percent of workers compensation claims filed by employees at the state mental health hospital in Kaneohe in recent years involved assaults on staff members, a top state official told a legislative committee on Wednesday. Yet hospital administrators did little, if anything, to stop the attacks on state employees, staff members say. Civil Beat.

State Rep. John Mizuno has introduced a bill to create a "Homeless Person's Bill of Rights." Star-Advertiser.

Republican leaders in the Hawaii House say they’re hopeful their package of bills proposing everything from voter referendums to limits on fee increases will be heard in a chamber dominated by Democrats. Associated Press.

The leadership battles among Hawaii House Democrats have been well-publicized, culminating in Joe Souki taking back his speakership from Calvin Say a year ago. Much less has been said about power struggles among the seven Republican representatives. And yet, right smack in the middle of the fall special session on same-sex marriage legislation, broadcast live for all the state to see, Bob McDermott attempted a coup. Civil Beat.

Discussion of private nonprofit organizations partnering with the state public hospital system is likely to take center stage among health care concerns this Legislative session, according to state Sen. Josh Green, chairman of the Senate Health Committee. Tribune-Herald.

While the governor's call to bring home more Hawaii convicts from the mainland is a positive step, it does little to fix the root problems with Hawaii's prison system. Hawaii Independent.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
(c) 2014 All Hawaii News
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's campaign distributed a new re-election video on Wednesday. The spot clocks in at just under three minutes, and it's exactly the kind of message we've come to expect from Gabbard: Poised, ambitious, and savvy. Civil Beat.

The installation of solar photovoltaic panels across areas served by the Hawaiian Electric Companies rose last year at the slowest rate since 2010, the utility reported Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Two Honolulu City Council members seeking to add sparklers and fountains to the list of permitted fireworks on special holidays say they are hoping a new law can be in place by Dec. 31, if not by Independence Day. Star-Advertiser.

Former state Rep. Marilyn Lee will take out nomination papers on Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, for the seat she previously held. Lee had served as a representative for Mililani Town, Mililani Mauka and Waipio Acres for 16 years. Hawaii Reporter.

San Francisco-based Coastwood Capital Group LLC, a partner in the International Market Place redevelopment, confirmed Wednesday that it has bought the leasehold interest in the adjacent Waikiki Trade Center for an undisclosed sum. Star-Advertiser.

An affordable rental housing nonprofit organization is honoring the late union and social activist Ah Quon McElrath with a plaque. Associated Press.

The 36th annual Pacific Telecommunications Council’s conference wrapped up on Wednesday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, and the conference’s 1,734 registered attendees are expected to make an $8.75 million economic impact in Hawaii, according to an estimate from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

Giant waves with 40 to 50 foot faces pounded north shore beaches on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

A shroud of secrecy continues to surround the selection of a new legislative auditor, 13 months after the previous auditor resigned to take a job with the United Nations. The County Council ended an hourlong executive session Wednesday with no decision, following months of such sessions and a closed meeting Jan. 7 where it interviewed two applicants. West Hawaii Today.

A Hilo Circuit Court judge granted a summary judgment in favor of the state Wednesday in a legal challenge of the Ka‘u Forest Reserve Management Plan. The order effectively dismisses the lawsuit the Pele Defense Fund and four other plaintiffs filed in November 2012. The plan includes fencing 12,000 acres, about 20 percent of the reserve, for conservation. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Maui County Council's Budget and Finance Committee gave its approval Tuesday to various funding requests, including those to support raises for firefighters and other county employees, along with more funding for trash collection and landfill operations. Maui News.

Hawaii chefs and restaurant owners will help to decide the winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef” as guest judges on the two-episode season 11 finale, which was filmed on Maui in October. Pacific Business News.

An Oahu lawmaker is proposing to name the new Kihei high school in honor of the late Democratic Congresswoman Patsy Mink. Maui News.

A Brown Water advisory has been issued for Honokahua Bay on Maui. The Clean Water Branch is investigating the cause of the brown water. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Purring along: Cat licensing law heads to council on Wednesday. Garden Island.

There was a lot more than cocktails and pupus on the minds of Kauai’s Chamber of Commerce Wednesday night as they mingled with visiting University of Hawaii Interim President Dr. David Lassner. Many of them were parents of children they want to attend college or adult children who weren’t able to complete their education. Garden Island.