Friday, May 8, 2015

Sine die for Hawaii Legislature, medical marijuana dispensaries bill passed, Honolulu police chief investigated on ethics, Thirty Meter Telescope protestors in court, feds to create first-ever Native Hawaiian land trust rules, hospitals court Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Wayne Yoshioka, Hawaii Public Radio
Hawaii House sine die 2015, courtesy Wayne Yoshioka, Hawaii Public Radio
The State Legislature adjourned today, the last day of the 2015 session. But first, both chambers voted on the medical marijuana dispensary bill. Hawaii Public Radio.

In its last major act of this year's session, the Legislature has sent Gov. David Ige a bill that would give thousands of medical marijuana patients access to dispensaries in Hawaii. The Senate voted unanimously and the House voted 36-13 to pass House Bill 321, which allows for 16 medical pot dispensaries across the state. Star-Advertiser.

Members of the Hawaii Legislature approved a bill Thursday that would establish a system of medical marijuana dispensaries statewide by next summer. Hawaii legalized medical marijuana 15 years ago, but has never provided a way to buy it legally. Patients must grow their own or have a caretaker grow it for them. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Legislature has approved a plan to create a system of medical marijuana dispensaries 15 years after the drug was legalized in the state. The House and Senate passed the bill Thursday sending it to Gov. David Ige. Associated Press.

With the long-awaited approval of medical marijuana dispensaries, the 2015 Hawaii Legislature wrapped up its work Thursday. Here's a visual recap of a session that supplied plenty of drama. Civil Beat.

On the last day of the 2015 regular session, the House passed on final reading HB321 CD1, which creates a statewide distribution system for medical marijuana and establishes the parameters for individuals and entities to apply to set up the dispensaries. KITV4.

Hawaii is on the verge of allowing medical marijuana to be bought and sold legally. It’s been 15 years since the state legalized marijuana for medical use, but patients were only allowed to grow it. KHON2.

A seed crop industry that uses an inordinate amount of pesticides on its genetically engineered field test sites is putting Hawaii's environment and people at risk, concludes a new report that drew swift rebuke. Star-Advertiser.

After nearly a century, the U.S. government for the first time is proposing administrative rules to clarify its oversight of the federally created land trust designed to benefit thousands of Native Hawaiians. Star-Advertiser.

The state auditor had found years ago that there was too much of a hands-off approach to pCards and the system has not changed since. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige has agreed to stop the practice of bringing wild animals for circus acts or other purely entertainment reasons. Whether such a ban would also include creatures that are imported and perform at Sea Life Park, the Hono­lulu Aquarium or other venues remains to be seen. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

The Honolulu Ethics Commission is investigating Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha to determine if he abused his power in a police investigation of his wife's uncle who was later charged with stealing a mailbox from the Kealoha home, sources told Hawaii News Now.

In their quest to revitalize Haleiwa town's retail area, Kamehameha School officials say they worked to ensure that the North Shore town on the island of Oahu doesn't lose its rural, country character. Pacific Business News.

A Honolulu police officer faces federal charges after he was caught on surveillance video assaulting two people in a Chinatown game room last September. Civil Beat.

Hawaii
It was round two in court Thursday for Thirty Meter Telescope protesters arrested April 2 on Mauna Kea. But unlike the earlier court proceedings last month in Hilo, numerous defendants came out swinging. Tribune-Herald.

Some opponents describe fighting the telescope as an "awakening," an issue Native Hawaiians can band together against. But their reasons vary, from preventing Mauna Kea's desecration to preserving culture to curbing development. For some, however, the telescope represents an opportunity to get Native Hawaiian children interested in science, technology, engineering and math — areas in which they have lagged behind. Associated Press.

A new cooperative venture, Hawaii Island Meat, or HIM, soon will be bringing the slaughter to the livestock, and not the other way around. A mobile unit capable of processing pigs, sheep, goats and cattle will begin operations servicing small livestock businesses in early 2016. Tribune-Herald.

A potentially strong El Nino developing in the Pacific didn’t keep portions of South Kona from having the wettest April in a decade. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Even before Gov. David Ige takes action on enabling legislation to privatize public hospitals in the Maui Region, Maui Memorial Medical Center is beginning to look like the popular kid at the prom, with suitors eagerly lining up to dance. Maui News.

While a bill to allow a public-private partnership at Maui Memorial Medical Center may have been the highlight for Maui County this legislative session, Maui lawmakers said the Legislature also passed laws dealing with practical and long-standing issues, such as assisting homeowners of old properties with cesspool conversion to more environmentally friendly septic systems, protecting consumers and aiding victims of domestic abuse. Maui News.

Two Maui state senators say that the ousting of Senate President Donna Mercado Kim of Oahu in favor of Ronald Kouchi of Kauai actually will be an asset for Maui County. Maui News.

The state Department of Education said Thursday it plans to begin site improvements for the long-awaited Kihei high school in September, but residents who have waited more than a decade for the school are "cautiously optimistic." Maui News.

Kauai

A heated exchange between an opponent of the humpback whale sanctuary expansion plan and a federal regulator who’s championing it illustrates just how raucous the public hearings on Kauai were this week. Garden Island.

Molokai

Nearly 150 years after the first of 8,000 Hansen's Disease patients were exiled to Kalaupapa, only 16 are left. Hawaii News Now.