Monday, June 15, 2015

Gov. Ige heads to Japan, Honolulu homeless measures don't work -- bills to be heard today, Hawaii Island mulls electricity options, Kauai wants disobedient hikers to pay for own rescue, Maui plans land purchase, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy of the Hawaii Governor's Office
Jibanyan, official Kids Spokesperson of Hawaiʻi Tourism Japan, visits Gov. Ige in March, courtesy Governor's Office
Gov. David Ige will travel to Japan this week to promote Hawaii tourism. He will meet with Japa­nese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Cabinet ministers to discuss the possible pre-clearance of flights from Japan to Hawaii, according to a release issued Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is scheduled to travel to Japan this month to meet with government officials and members of the travel industry. The goal, says his office, is “to promote and expand travel from Japan to the Hawaiian Islands.” Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige is spending the next week in Japan discussing Hawaii as a tourism destination with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other government officials and members of the travel industry, the governor’s office said Saturday. Pacific Business News.

Medical marijuana promoters say dispensaries in Hawaii could create a lucrative new market with up to 800 jobs and $65 million a year in sales. House Bill 321 — which allows for 16 dispensaries to open in Hawaii on July 15, 2016, and potentially many more the following year — is now in Gov. David Ige's hands. Star-Advertiser.

A measure that will provide a temporary state income tax credit for the cost of upgrading or converting a cesspool to a septic or aerobic treatment system or of connecting to a sewer system was signed into law by Gov. David Ige on Friday. Maui News.

Oahu

A new wave of sit-lie bills and other homeless-related measures will get their first airing before the City Council's Zoning and Planning Committee at a special meeting at 9 a.m. Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s “sit-lie” ban and other ordinances underpinning Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s “compassionate disruption” program are doing little to curb homelessness in the city, according to a University of Hawaii study being released Monday. Civil Beat.

Earlier this month, when Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell unveiled his long-anticipated plan to use a plot of vacant land on Sand Island to house the homeless, he did it with a little twist. Instead of opening a tent-based homeless encampment, as he originally envisioned, Caldwell announced that the city would build a “modular” facility using up to 25 “modified shipping containers” to temporarily house 75 to 100 people. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu City Council Zoning and Planning Committee has scheduled a special meeting today at 9 a.m. at Honolulu Hale to hear public testimony on five proposed bills that seek to expand or amend the language of the City's sit-lie law that impacts Oahu's homeless populations on public sidewalks. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the Honolulu City Council should consider providing "shallow subsidies" to homeless families and individuals who simply need a few hundred dollars more a month to be able to put a roof over their heads, the leaders of two advocacy groups say. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The pending $4.3 billion sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries to Florida-based NextEra Energy has put Hawaii Island’s energy future at a crossroads. The two paths being discussed: Takeover by a mainland-based, investor-owned corporation, or public, local ownership in the form of a cooperative. Tribune-Herald.

Following a four-month reprieve, Hawaii County has set July 1 as the date commercial haulers must register and pay tipping fees to dump green waste at the Puuanahulu and Hilo landfills rather than dumping it for free at transfer stations. West Hawaii Today.

In anticipation of future growth in Keaau, Hawaii County planners are proposing to change land use designations for much of the town. The amendment would apply to 587 acres makai of Highway 11 and designate most of Keaau as medium density urban, a classification currently limited to 52 acres of land in the commercial area. Tribune-Herald.

Veteran Dale Medcalf said he was amazed recently when he found himself being evicted from Reed’s Bay hotel because of his service dog, 3-year-old Milan. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County Council Vice Chairman Don Guzman is urging Mayor Alan Arakawa to quickly consider the council's $3 million appropriation to purchase 267 acres near the "Jaws" surf spot on Maui's north shore. Maui News.

Judge’s decision favors Honua Kai developers. No fraud, unfair and deceptive practices, yet both sides seek changes to judge’s ruling. Maui News.

Governor David Ige was on Maui last week to sign a historic bill about local health care. The measure will allow Maui's three public hospitals to partner with a private healthcare provider. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai

A Kauai County councilmember is proposing a measure that would require hikers in need of rescue — who disregard warnings — to pay the county for recovery missions. Garden Island.

A proposed measure in Kauai County would require rescued hikers who disregarded warning signs to repay the government for recovery missions. Associated Press.

The Kauai County Council has voted to narrow the definition of a bed-and-breakfast operation to require that the owner live in the same dwelling. Otherwise it's a transient vacation rental, subject to a different set of rules, permits and fees. Star-Advertiser.

Molokai

Molokai’s future is being weighed as a local committee reviews the island’s Community Plan update, a blueprint for the next 20 years. Molokai Dispatch.