Friday, December 11, 2015

Obama to vacation in Hawaii, Ige clamps down on IT contracts, hospitals fined for infections, Kenoi defends effectiveness, medical marijuana use questioned for police, firefighters, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

White House file photo
President Obama speaks to Hawaii troops, White House file photo
President Barack Obama and his family are scheduled to fly to Hawaii late next week for their annual Christmas vacation in the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige’s administration announced Thursday that it’s working to tighten up control of its information-technology contracts. Civil Beat.

On Thursday, the governor admitted the state's done a lousy job of managing its IT contracts at the expense of Hawaii taxpayers. KITV4.

December marks the end of Gov. David Ige’s first year on the job. It was a year of accomplishments and tough criticisms, but Ige gives himself a B. KHON2.

After a state audit, the Hawaii State Judiciary is moving to close five trust funds that do not meet required criteria. Pacific Business News.

The federal government is punishing three Hawaii hospitals for having high rates of avoidable infections. Maui Memorial Medical Center, Pali Momi Medical Center and Wahiawa General Hospital were among 758 hospital nationwide that will be docked 1 percent of Medicare payments in 2016. Civil Beat.

Starting soon restaurants that handle raw meat will be inspected three times a year instead of just once. Fast food restaurants will be inspected twice a year, and places like bakeries or places that don’t handle raw food will continue to be inspected once a year. KHON2.

Randy Iwase, chairman of the state Public Utilities Commission, questioned why NextEra Energy Inc. has not made a written commitment to maintain benefits for Hawaiian Electric Industries retirees. Star-Advertiser.

Column: The Hawaii Republican Assembly argues that the Hawaii Republican Party is simply not conservative enough, especially regarding fiscal issues. But many establishment leaders say the way HIRA, as it’s more commonly known, is going about demanding change is seriously backfiring. Civil Beat.

The Hawai‘i State Teachers Association says higher taxes are needed to improve education in the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Amid heightened concerns tied to mass shootings in recent years, the Honolulu Police Department is continuing to provide its patrol officers with the latest specialized training on responding to active shooter incidents. Star-Advertiser.

One Honolulu police officer and one Honolulu firefighter have tested positive for marijuana in recent years and they presented their medical marijuana permits as the reason, sources told Hawaii News Now Friday. But police departments across the state and the Honolulu Fire Department are not allowing employees to use medical marijuana.

The six luxury oceanfront homes being planned by Alexander & Baldwin Inc.’s real estate subsidiary has disclosed to PBN a price range for the six luxury apartment homes it developing on the Kahala property formerly owned by Japanese businessman Genshiro Kawamoto. Each is being priced between $6 million and $12 million. Pacific Business News.

It has been two years since Alexander & Baldwin purchased 30 Kahala properties from eccentric Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto. Now, it's A&B's plans for one of those properties that is raising issues with some residents. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

One day after Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi said the state investigation into his use of a county-issued credit card has not impacted his effectiveness, others are saying that's not the case. Hawaii News Now.

Police arrested five juveniles following a series of campus fights at Pahoa High and Intermediate School. Tribune-Herald.

The makeover of the Old Kona Airport Park has been delayed and scaled back because of delays in getting state sign-offs on the project. West Hawaii Today.

A team of federal and state entomologists are on the prowl this week in South Kona, setting traps for dengue-carrying mosquitoes. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County residents are toying with an idea that no other county in Hawaii has tried before - a council-manager form of government, which could replace the current mayor-council system that has been in place since 1969. Maui News.

Developers broke ground this week for a 70-unit luxury condominium complex that they say will create hundreds of jobs, generate property tax revenue and lead to affordable housing in South Maui. Maui News.

The groundbreaking and blessing ceremony for the 64-unit Kulamalu affordable-rental project in Pukalani was held on Thursday. Maui Now.

Kauai

The Department of Water will hold a public information meeting to discuss a new water main replacement project along Halewili Road and Kaumualii Highway in Kalaheo. Garden Island.

The public is advised that a portion of Kainahola Road in Kapahi will remain closed until the end of February. Due to delays caused by the weather, the contractor was unable to complete the work on 0.7 miles of the roadway this week as originally planned. Garden Island.