Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sex education to be required in Hawaii public schools, DOE administrators get 4% raise, House speaker Souki files erroneous disclosure, three recommended for federal judge, Big Island council passes $99M bond issue, Honolulu rail station bids lower than expected, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Courtesy National Park Service
Honouliuli Internment Camp, courtesy National Park Service
Two Hawaii organizations are receiving National Park Service grants to help them share the history of sites where the federal government confined Japanese-Americans during World War II. Star-Advertiser.

Starting next year, public schools in Hawaii will be required to offer sex education to students — a big shift from the current policy that allows individual schools to decide whether to teach the subject. Civil Beat.

Sexual health education will now be mandatory for Hawaii public school students, under a revised sex education policy approved Tuesday by the Board of Education that expands a long-standing abstinence-based policy to include lessons on contraception, disease prevention and skills to help students make "healthy decisions" about sexuality and relationships. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Education's senior management team will receive 4 percent raises at the start of next month under a request approved Tuesday by the Board of Education. Star-Advertiser.

House Speaker Joe Souki this week denied reports that he more than doubled his investment in Hawaiian Electric Industries in late 2013, as top NextEra executives were readying their preliminary bid for the island utility. Civil Beat.

A former state attorney general, a federal prosecutor and a private attorney are being recommended for a federal judgeship in Hawaii. U.S. Sens. Mazie K. Hirono and Brian Schatz recommended Tuesday that President Barack Obama consider former Attorney General David Louie, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Otake and private attorney Clare Connors to replace Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway when she becomes a senior judge Nov. 6.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz have submitted to the White House the names of three nominees, including a former state attorney general, for the position of U.S. District Court judge for the District of Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

State lawmakers spent most of last session crafting rules for a medical marijuana dispensary system in Hawai‘i. And as Hawaii Public Radio's Molly Solomon reports, it has the potential to provide a growing market for entrepreneurs eager to set up shop.

Oahu

Honolulu's rail project officials saw lower-than-expected prices for the latest batch of stations to go out to bid, indicating that transit officials' attempts to curb at least some of the painful cost increases are paying off. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s $6 billion rail project received a slight dose of positive news Tuesday when officials opened bids for construction of three stations on the west side of Oahu. Civil Beat.

A measure allowing sparklers and fireworks fountains to become legal on New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July secured a vote of support from a key City Council committee Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu's fireworks ban sparked a heap of heated debate. Tuesday afternoon, the Honolulu City Council may have reignited the discussion by hearing a bill that would add more sparkle to celebrations. KITV4.

How Military Policies Drive Up Rents on Oahu. Service members who live off the base enjoy housing allowances that surpass fair market rental prices. That, real estate analysts say, helps push up rents. Civil Beat.

Hawaii News Now has uncovered troubling allegations that there's a cover-up underway by supervisors and managers at the Women's Community Correctional Center of an alleged assault by a guard on a woman prison inmate.

Hawaii

The Hawaii County Council, with very little comment, made quick work Tuesday unanimously passing a $99.75 million bond issue requested by Mayor Billy Kenoi. West Hawaii Today.

A nonbinding resolution in English and Hawaiian will soon be on its way to the Hawaii Legislature, asking the state to declare July 31 “La Hoihoi Ea,” or Restoration Day, in recognition of the day in 1843 that independence was restored to the Kingdom of Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

Peter Boylan, the high-profile spokesman of embattled Mayor Billy Kenoi, resigned after nine months on the job. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Objecting to a restriction that would limit spending in county departments to specific accounts, Mayor Alan Arakawa has issued a line-item veto of the measure in the Maui County Council's fiscal 2016 budget. Maui News.

Residents on Maui say they’re being overwhelmed by mosquitoes. KHON2.

Kauai

A University of Hawaii research organization is forecasting a slight decrease in visitor stay times and an increase in visitor arrivals for Kauai through 2017. Garden Island.

Friday is the deadline to submit a completed bed-and-breakfast (homestay) permit application if it includes a guesthouse. The Kauai County Council recently approved changes to the rules governing the B&B permit process; among the changes, permits will no longer be granted to B&B operators who use a separate guesthouse to provide accommodations. Mayor Bernhard Carvalho, Jr. has said he intends to sign the bill. Garden Island.