Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Ige gets more time to fill Cabinet, Senate minority budget trims $1.6B, Sen. Schatz father dies, Maui council says there's waste in waste program, ethics complaint targets Mayor Kenoi, Finance Department, Japanese cultural program brings cheap labor to Waikiki, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


 
courtesy Hawaii Senate majority
Hokulea voyage honored in Hawaii Legislature, courtesy Hawaii Senate Majority
The Hawai'i Senate honored the 40th anniversary of legendary voyaging canoe Hōkūle'a and the members of the first crews who sailed her between Hawaii and Tahiti in 1976.

 The Hawaii Senate has voted to give Gov. David Ige more time to fill important positions in his cabinet. The move comes after Ige faced a public backlash for nominating developer Carleton Ching to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Associated Press.

The Hawaii Senate Minority budget proposal, released Monday, calls for $1.59 billion in cuts to Gov. David Ige’s initial submittal. Civil Beat.

A legislative deadline is looming and supporters of a number of bills are rallying at the Capitol to let lawmakers know they want their measures heard and passed. Hawaii Public Radio.

When the Hawaii State Teachers Association withheld support from two resolutions that asked the state to increase teachers’ salaries and pay them overtime, some teachers were surprised and disappointed. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers want cap on interest rate for payday loans. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige, the four county mayors, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, University of Hawaii and Hawaii Green Growth launched the Aloha+ Challenge dashboard last week. It features indicators for two of six targets — clean energy and solid waste reduction — that were set, according to a release from the governor’s office Monday. Civil Beat.

A major report that aims to tackle Hawaii’s transportation energy issues with more than 50 different strategies, including an effort to significantly reduce gas and diesel usage in the state, is expected to be unveiled in June, the head of the state’s energy office told Pacific Business News.

Hawaii needs up to 66,000 homes if it expects to satisfy demand for housing over the next decade. That's the conclusion of a new report, "Measuring Housing Demand in Hawaii, 2015-2025," by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Dr. Irwin Schatz, father of U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, has died. The cardiologist was a former chair of the University of Hawaii Department of Medicine and led the medical school’s residency program for over 20 years. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Plans to purchase the ritzy 25-story Alii Place office building to provide office space for state workers won support from a key state Senate committee Monday, with lawmakers suggesting the purchase will save the state tens of millions of dollars in the years ahead. Star-Advertiser.

A Cultural Exchange Program or a Ticket to Sweatshop Labor? A Japanese woman's poor working conditions as a Waikiki pastry chef illustrate the dark side of a visa program that brings thousands of temporary foreign workers to Hawaii each year. Civil Beat.

Despite the negative impact that seawalls have on surrounding coastlines, a South Korean billionaire has been allowed to build a new one in Kahala after his application for a shoreline setback variance was approved unanimously last month by the City Council. KITV4.

A Los Angeles Times investigation found that the huge golf-ball-like radar craft that spends a lot of time at Pearl Harbor has failed to perform its important mission: detecting missiles in a sneak attack against the United States. Hawaii News Now.

Should a city deputy prosecutor keep his job after second DUI arrest? Hawaii News Now.

Makiki residents say they’re getting more frustrated over a city construction project that continues to face delays. It’s been nearly a year since the city started the Prospect street rock fall mitigation project. KHON2.

University of Hawaii law school students will get to watch the state Supreme Court hear oral arguments in a criminal case. The state Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case Thursday at the William S. Richardson School of Law. Associated Press.

Hawaii

A West Hawaii man filed an ethics complaint Monday against Mayor Billy Kenoi and Finance Director Deanna Sako, saying both should be removed from office for his misuse of a county credit card and her complicity in it. West Hawaii Today.

A Hawaii County audit of government-issued purchasing cards wasn't launched for nearly a year after Mayor Billy Kenoi used his in December 2013 to pay for an $892 tab at a hostess bar, and despite the fact that he had been warned repeatedly about using it for personal items. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Education announced Monday it plans to reopen Keonepoko Elementary School, a Hawaiian Beaches school closed because it was int he path of a lava flow, next school year. West Hawaii Today.

Monday came and went without construction crews attempting to reach the Thirty Meter Telescope site on Mauna Kea, according to opponents who have continued to maintain a constant presence on the mountain they consider sacred. When TMT plans to resume work on the $1.4 billion project remains unclear. Tribune-Herald.

As protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope continue on Mauna Kea, it remains unclear when the $1.4 billion project’s most recent legal challenge will be resolved. Six plaintiffs who challenged the project’s conservation district use permit in 3rd Circuit Court filed an appeal to the state Intermediate Court of Appeals on June 3 after Judge Greg Nakamura ruled in favor of the project. Tribune-Herald.

The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems, known commonly as PISCES, is one of several partners that will execute a four-year, $4.2 million Mars research project to help prepare for future human and robotic missions to the Red Planet. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County Council members said Monday that money is available for landfill operations and trash pickup services without interruption through June 30 but that mismanagement by the Department of Environmental Management's Solid Waste Division is putting employees, as well as services, "at risk." Maui News.

Opinion: First auditor report criticizes County of Maui investment policies. MauiTime.

Kauai

Erosion has taken a toll on a portion of the walking trail between the visitor center and Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, but relief should be coming. Garden Island.