Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Legislature honors fallen warriers, cops agree to stop having sex with prostitutes, Schatz and Hanabusa don't like each other, West Hawaii water wars, Maui mayor proposes $687M budget, Kauai GMO protesters to pay county for march, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy J. Kalani English
Hawaii color guard, courtesy Sen. J. Kalani English
Four service members who made the ultimate sacrifice were honored today during a joint session of the state Legislature. This is the 10th year lawmakers have honored the fallen with the Hawaii Medal of Honor. KITV4.

Honolulu police told a key Hawaii lawmaker Tuesday that they’re OK with making it expressly illegal for officers to have sex with prostitutes, as long as undercover officers can still say they’ll have sex so they can make arrests. Associated Press.

Following a closed-door meeting Tuesday with a key Hawaii lawmaker, Hono­lulu police reversed their objection to a potential change in state law that would make it illegal for officers to have sex with prostitutes. Star-Advertiser.

A group protesting the possibility of legal marijuana in Hawaii told lawmakers Tuesday pharmaceutical companies would try to hook people on the drug. Associated Press.

National marijuana policy advocates returned to the isles for a second year to urge state lawmakers to take a common-sense approach on marijuana policy that focuses on science, public health and safety rather than legalizing or demonizing the drug. Star-Advertiser.

It's called Hula, a new app designed to provide your date with proof you're free of sexually transmitted diseases and thus help you "get lei'd." But while the app has earned some nationwide buzz for promoting STD testing and awareness, it is drawing fire from Native Hawaiians who describe it as disrespectful and insulting to their culture. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii U.S. Senate race
Schatz, Hanabusa

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz says Rep. Colleen Hanabusa can be funny sometimes, but then struggles to find something else positive to say about the woman who is trying to take his Senate seat away. Hanabusa, for her part, doesn’t really have anything nice to say about Schatz except that he chaired Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in Hawaii in 2008. Civil Beat.

Incomes of Hawaii residents increased at the slowest pace in three years in 2013, although the pace of growth was faster than the nation as a whole, according to a report released Tuesday. Personal income in Hawaii rose 2.8 percent in 2013 from 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported. That was down from annual growth rates of 3.7 percent in 2012 and 5.6 percent in 2011. Star-Advertiser.

Senate Bill 2682 would require 16 of the most powerful boards and commissions in Hawaii to make their financial disclosure forms public for the first time. Civil Beat.

Oahu

According to the U-S Census Bureau, nearly 40 percent of all single family homes on O’ahu were built in 1969 or earlier, and could experience delays when remodeled or demolished in the near future.   But, there’s a bill making its way through the legislature that could change all that. Hawaii Public Radio.

The great flood of 2008 dumped more than 12 inches of rain in a single day into Makaha Valley, forcing mud, water and debris through nearby homes and roads. Six years later, the state is unveiling a new study which concluded that found that there are no easy and inexpensive solutions. Hawaii News Now.

The entire board of CommonWealth REIT, the majority shareholder of Hawaii’s largest industrial landowner, has been removed and now the search begins for a new board, the Massachusetts-based real estate investment trust said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Brandon Cayetano, son of former Gov. Ben Cayetano and owner and operator of Hawaii All-Star Paintball and Airsoft Games, died early Tuesday at Straub Clinic & Hospital. The former governor confirmed the death. The cause of death has not been released. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Hawaii Island’s water supply is their baby, and they don’t want the federal or state government taking over its care, members of the county Water Board said Tuesday. In a unanimous vote, the Water Board agreed to draft a letter opposing a move by the National Park Service asking the state Commission on Water Resource Management to give the area served by the Keauhou Aquifer a state water management area designation. West Hawaii Today.

Students at 19 Big Island public schools began participating this week in the field test of a new English language and math assessment test. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii's largest ranch plans to talk to its neighbors about developing renewable energy and a small electrical grid for their area. Parker Ranch will present the preliminary findings of a study on the issue to the Waimea Community Association town meeting next week Thursday. Associated Press.

A dedication ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday for phase one of the Mohouli Heights Senior Neighborhood project. Big Island Now.

Maui

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa unveiled his proposed budget for the 2015 fiscal year before the Maui County Council today. The mayor said the $687 million budget “hinges on whether or not the state is going to remove the Transient Accommodations Tax cap” that was imposed by the state a few years back to assist with a deficit. Maui Now.

Kauai

Organizers of the Mana March say they will cut a check to the County of Kauai — $5,627 to be exact — to offset costs incurred during the anti-GMO, pro-Bill 2491 event in September. Fern Rosenstiel, director of Ohana O Kauai, one of the organizations behind the protest and rally, said the money was raised through donations and that she will deliver a check in the next few days. Garden Island.

When the Kilauea Sugar Plantation was shuttered in 1971 after nearly 91 years in business, Malama Kauai co-founder Keone Kealoha said it didn’t take long for developers to eye the company’s former land for homes. Garden Island.