Friday, January 22, 2016

Obama vacation costs Honolulu Police Department $341,000 in overtime, state senator seeks tax hike to pay for universal long-term care, downed Marines to be honored today, council mulls $650k for Big Island homeless, experts recommend UH Cancer center go private, Kauai police bodycam laws, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Associated Press photo
Obama swimming during one of his Hawaii vacations (Associated Press)
The Honolulu Police Department says it spent about $341,000 in overtime costs to help protect President Barack Obama and his family during their annual winter vacation. The department said Thursday it's the highest amount during an Obama Hawaii vacation since he was elected president in 2008. Associated Press.

State Sen. Rosalyn Baker hopes to push through a bill this year that would add a 0.5 percent surcharge to the statewide general excise tax to help cover the cost of in-home health care services for seniors and the disabled. Star-Advertiser.

Citing a “public health crisis,” a state senator wants a half-percent surcharge on the general excise tax to fund elder caregiving. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii state senator plans to reintroduce a bill that would make the Aloha State the first in the nation to offer universal long-term care to elders. Pacific Business News.

The cost of long term care in Hawai’i averages more than 10-thousand dollars a month, according to AARP.   And some lawmakers want to help. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii’s economy is on a normal growth path with a slowing tourism industry, but buoyed in part by improving labor and construction markets, economists told Hawaii lawmakers Thursday. Civil Beat.

Work-related deaths in Hawaii spiked in 2014, reaching the highest level since the federal government began tracking the number in 1992. Star-Advertiser.

At least 31 people died on the job in Hawaii during 2014, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Civil Beat.

The 12 Marines killed last week when two cargo helicopters collided and crashed on the North Shore will be remembered at a memorial service today. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

External consultants are recommending the University of Hawaii strongly consider changing the struggling UH Cancer Center to a semiautonomous business entity, co-owned and run with community hospital partners, to keep the research facility viable. Star-Advertiser.

A $5 million cash infusion plan for the University of Hawaii Cancer Center is already facing opposition from some lawmakers. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige is about to tackle an issue that’s been 100 years in the making. In his State of the State address slated for Monday, the governor is expected to unveil his plans for what to do with the Oahu Community Correctional Center, the largest jail facility in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

The state’s HI-5 recycling program was meant to be an incentive to recycle. But that’s getting a lot harder to do. KHON2.

The number of Oahu neighborhoods with a median single-family home price of $1 million or higher doubled in 2015 from the year before, with year-over-year price increases that ranged from 3 percent to 37 percent, according to local market report by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

A new monthly event organized by Common Cause Hawaii is set to debut Monday evening at Manifest with a look at why the Legislature is important and the work that state lawmakers plan to focus on this session, which opened Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Broken glass, food containers and spray paint cans are among the leavings on the excrement-smeared floor of a little building that once represented big plans to combat homelessness in Puna. West Hawaii Today.

Attorneys for the parent company of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald are seeking to overturn a judge’s decision to seal a crucial court document in the case of a state law enforcement officer accused of raping a minor girl on a Hilo beach. Tribune-Herald.

After months of inaction because it couldn’t seat enough people to vote, the county Board of Ethics is getting reinforcements. West Hawaii Today.

State health officials identified six new cases of dengue fever Thursday, bringing the total number on Hawaii island to 230. Meanwhile, an entomology team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is returning to Hawaii this week to continue working with the state Department of Health on mosquito surveillance in the Kona area. Star-Advertiser.

A consultant hired by the state has finished a draft of alternatives for improving and managing the Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park. Those plans will be up for public scrutiny and comment later this month. West Hawaii Today.

Leaders of the Thirty Meter Telescope haven't said much since construction atop Mauna Kea was halted last April. But for the first time, we now know how much the company had already spent before protests blocked construction. Hawaii News Now.

The first Kama’aina Observatory Experience tour was held this Saturday, giving Hawaii Island residents a chance to visit the summit of Mauna Kea and see the world-class telescopes operating above the clouds. Big Island Video News.

George Yokoyama says he first got the idea of a botanical garden at Rainbow Falls 20 years ago while observing the arrival of visitors from his office at the Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council across the street. Tribune-Herald.

A pack of mutt-loving locals is mulling ways to install more public off-leash dog parks throughout the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui Republicans will hold their presidential caucus from 6 to 8 p.m. March 8 at five Maui locations and at sites on Molokai and Lanai. Maui News.

County Department of Liquor Control Deputy Director Traci Fujita Villarosa is seeking to become the next Liquor Control director, she confirmed Wednesday. Maui News.

For those of you who look over Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar’s 36,000 or so acres of Central Maui that won’t be growing sugar anymore this time next year and think that maybe we might start growing hemp on at least a portion of that land, there’s good reason to be optimistic. Really optimistic, if state Rep. Kaniela Ing, D–South Maui, gets his way. MauiTime.

Leila Hayashida, a former principal at Waihee Elementary School, has been named Central Maui complex area superintendent, the state Department of Education announced Wednesday. Maui News.

A multimillion-dollar social hall and office building project for the Portuguese Association of Maui and Maui Puerto Rican Association is expected to be completed by the end of March after a donation from a local business owner on Monday. Maui News.

Kauai

It’s been nearly one month since the Kauai Police Department became the first in the state to implement body-worn cameras and legislators have taken notice. Garden Island.

Island Air is heading back to Kauai after less than a year’s absence. The state’s second-largest airline, which ceased flights to the Garden Isle in June amid a company restructuring, will restore service with six daily round-trip flights between Honolulu and Lihue on March 15. Star-Advertiser.

If you were wondering just how busy the Kauai Lifeguard Association was last year, these numbers tell a pretty good story: Garden Island.

A new law on Kauai allows enforcement officers to fine dog owners who don't control their dogs from incessant barking. KITV4.