Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Nine media takes on Ige's State of the State address, environmentalists slam DLNR pick, Honolulu mayor grilled over rail tax, Hawaii mayor seeks insurance reform for lava threat, a train for Maui, Hawaii 10th in Chinese investors, more news from all the Hawaiian islands

26 January 2015 courtesy governor's office
Ige delivers State of the State address, governor's courtesy photo
Gov. David Ige's first State of the State address to the Legislature on Monday painted broad strokes and offered only a smattering of details, but that was OK with many of the folks who took in the 30-minute address. Star-Advertiser.

Fiscal responsibility took center stage in Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s first State of the State address Monday, a natural emphasis for the recently elected engineer and former leader of the Senate money committee. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige wants to build a better home for the state’s young and elderly. But to do that, the state needs more money. The state’s tight financial situation and the need for money to make Hawaii a better place to live were themes of Ige’s State of the State address on Monday. Associated Press.

Less than sixty days into his first term as governor, David Ige spoke openly about the challenges facing Hawaii's future, particularly those involving the state's economy, in his first ‘State of the State' address Monday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige says he plans to be more aggressive about bringing federal money to Hawaii. Ige says federal officials told him about $940 million is available to the state for projects. Associated Press.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige delivered his first State of the State address, raising issues that ranged from government spending, education, economic growth and energy. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. David Ige gave his first State of the State Address on Monday morning. His focus is on building affordable housing, balancing the budget and jobs. KITV4.

In his first State of the State address to a joint session of the State Legislature Monday morning, Gov. David Ige spoke of various issues that he sees challenging Hawaii in the months ahead. KHON2.

Nearly two dozen environmental groups on Monday called on Gov. David Ige to withdraw his nomination of development executive Carleton Ching to lead the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Ching lacks expertise and experience in areas the department oversees including forests, coral reefs, fishing and hunting, the groups said in a statement. Associated Press.

Part of the environmental community is in an uproar over Gov. David Ige's choice for the Department of Land and Natural Resources director. They say they were blindsided about the decision to appoint Carleton Ching. KITV4.

About 20 environmental groups are calling for Gov. David Ige to withdraw his nomination of a land development company executive to lead the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, but Ige said Monday that the confirmation process should determine whether his pick is acceptable. Star-Advertiser.

Only a few hours after Gov. David Ige had announced his nomination of Castle & Cooke lobbyist Carleton Ching to chair the Department of Land and Natural Resources, environmentalists were harshly criticizing the selection. Civil Beat.

Conservationists mobilize against Ige’s DLNR nomination. More than twenty groups oppose Carleton Ching as new chair of the land and resource-management arm of the executive branch of the state government. Hawaii Independent.

Ten years ago, Ching called for LUC to be dismantled. Hawaii Independent.

It is time for Hawaii’s police departments to move into the 21st Century with less secrecy as well as clearer policies and more accountability to the public. That’s what key lawmakers say they will be urging this session as they introduce a record number of bills to modernize island police departments, which some critics say have become self-regulating fiefdoms. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's energy sector will get a lot of attention during this year's legislative session. Pacific Business News.

There’s a lot on the agenda for the first full week of Hawaii’s 2015 legislative session. Lawmakers introduced more than 650 bills in the span of two days. The proposals range from allowing dogs in restaurants to encouraging public participation in government. Associated Press.

Life of the Land, a Hawaii-focused environmental and community action group, asked the public Monday to get involved with the potential sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries to NextEra Energy Inc. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is the 10th most popular state in the U.S. with Chinese investors, who rank Honolulu, Kailua, Kapolei, Lahaina and Kapalua as their top five destinations to buy real estate, according to a new report by Juwai.com, an international real estate website for Chinese buyers. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii will receive $11.6 million of Continuum Care awards to help combat homelessness, it was announced Monday. Civil Beat.

Continuums of Care set out Monday all over the state to count the number of homeless Hawaii residents living in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs or unsheltered on the streets. Their point-in-time counts, which ask the question, "Where did you sleep on Jan. 25?" will be conducted through Friday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Health Connector and Hawaii Department of Human Services are working together to ensure migrants from Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands have health insurance before their Medicaid benefits dissolve. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Extending the rail tax is needed right now to keep Oahu's cash-strapped rail project out of serious jeopardy, Hono­lulu's mayor told a panel of state lawmakers Monday — part of his pitch to persuade them to lift the tax's sunset during this legislative session. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers took turns hammering Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday over his request to let the county continue charging a half-percent surcharge on the General Excise Tax to fund the city’s rail project. Civil Beat.

The city's rail project faces a shortfall of anywhere from $500 to $900 million and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell got some serious pushback from state legislators Monday about extending the tax to pay for rail. Hawaii News Now.

If Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has it his way, Oahu residents will keep paying the added rail tax for a long time to come. It's not something the mayor wants to do, but it's something the city says has to happen to keep the project going. KITV4.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa Athletics Department is “a significant part” of Hawaii’s economy. That’s according to a report produced by the Shidler College of Business, which says that in fiscal year 2013-14, the department generated $66 million in local spending on labor, goods and services. Civil Beat.

Three types of Air Force fighter aircraft — F-22s, F-15s and camouflage-painted F-16s — dramatically roared off Hono­lulu Airport's Reef Runway on Monday as part of the Hawaii Air National Guard's ongoing Sentry Aloha air combat exercise. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Insurance reform and roads for Puna, and an international airport for Kona top Mayor Billy Kenoi’s wish list to the state Legislature. In his annual presentation to a joint meeting Monday of the House Finance and Senate Ways and Means committees in Honolulu, Kenoi stressed the threat a looming lava flow holds over lower Puna, and said insurance reform is needed so residents don’t lose their homeowner policies. West Hawaii Today.

The June 27 lava flow was 0.36 miles from Highway 130 on Monday morning after advancing 50 yards in the past day. The advance along a northern breakout was the first forward progress seen in about five days, said Darryl Oliveira, Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo will host the Big Island’s lone public hearing on new rules for the medical use of marijuana. A total of four hearings are planned statewide by the Hawaii Department of Health. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The debate about rail transit on Oahu has been ongoing for the past 10 years, but there is a project being quietly considered for the island of Maui. Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa says if such a project is built, it will not be anything like Oahu’s rail system. KHON2.

Kauai

The rules have been adopted. A request for a contested case hearing has been thrown out. Only one thing is stopping the Haena Community Based Subsistence Fishery Area from becoming a reality: Gov. David Ige’s signature. Garden Island.

Gov. David Ige’s first State of the State address on Monday struck a chord with some county officials and state lawmakers from Kauai. Garden Island.

Local environmental groups are shaking their heads at newly elected Gov. David Ige’s nomination of Honolulu-based developer and lobbyist Carleton Ching to chair the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Garden Island.