Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Legislature wants wider airline seats, homeless measures advance, ivory sale ban clears hurdle, missile range fior Kauai, cleanup for Kahoolawe, Kenoi faces arraignment today, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Airline seats © 2016 All Hawaii News
A group of Hawaii lawmakers says the growing size of Americans and obesity issues should be taken into account when airlines determine the size of their seats. Many travelers are getting fed up with the tight spaces they're allowed on airplanes, so a group of state senators introduced a resolution urging the federal Secretary of Transportation to set minimum sizes for airplane seats. Associated Press.

Legislation backed by groups who want to reduce homelessness and create more affordable housing cleared the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday.The four bills — plus a fifth that was absorbed into one of the other measures — now head to the Senate floor for a full vote. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives want to study whether it would be feasible or wise to decriminalize possession of small quantities of illicit drugs for personal use in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is another step closer to banning ivory sales after Senate Bill 2647 cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday in a 10-0 vote. Civil Beat.

AARP ‘Airs’ Caregiver Bills At Capitol. The kupuna advocacy group held live radio interviews with legislators in the Rotunda to raise support for care legislation. Civil Beat.

Hawaii ranks 37th among the states in terms of dependency on the federal government — if military spending isn't included, according to a report by WalletHub released Tuesday. Pacific Business News.


The starting salary for educational assistants is less than that of cafeteria helpers or low-level school custodians. Depending on how they are hired, EAs may not always qualify for union representation, and they have limited professional development opportunities. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The Right To Take Pics In Public. ACLU Hawaii and the state settle a First Amendment dispute over snapping photos of airplanes near Honolulu International. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii Community Development Authority board member wants to temporarily shut down Kakaako Makai Gateway Park to “break the cycle” of constant sweeps to clear out the homeless only to see the camps return the next day. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Mayor Billy Kenoi turned himself in to police for booking on theft charges late this morning. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi is expected to make his first appearance in Circuit Court in Hilo today to answer to criminal theft charges over misuse of his county purchasing card. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii County police arrested a 30-year-old Kailua-Kona man on suspicion of criminal property damage at one of the telescope facilities on Mauna Kea. Star-Advertiser.

Kailua-Kona man allegedly breaks into telescope after ramming truck into building. Tribune-Herald.

The public on Tuesday got its first look at four newly selected hopefuls vying to be Hawaii Community College’s next chancellor. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Owners of Makena Beach and Golf Resort, formerly known as Maui Prince Hotel, announced the property is shutting down, effective July 1. The hotel will be converted into privately owned units, meaning about 350 workers will lose their jobs. KHON2.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued its final rule Tuesday designating critical habitat for 125 federally protected species found in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Authorities have opened a criminal property damage investigation after a statue of Father William Chaminade outside a Maui school was found beheaded after Easter. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

In the face of increasing North Korean ballistic missile threats, the Pentagon is studying beefing up Hawaii’s defenses by switching an “Aegis Ashore” missile system and launcher on Kauai from testing to operational mode and adding radars to track incoming missiles, a missile defense expert said. Star-Advertiser.

Downtown Lihue businesses and associations on Tuesday urged Kauai County’s Budget and Finance Committee to move forward with plans to use $2 million in local matching funds to support $13 million in federal transportation grants to revitalize the city’s core. Garden Island.

The Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park are coordinating a major beach cleanup starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Garden Island.

Kahoolawe

A key public decision-making hearing by the Hawaii State Senate concerning funding for the restoration of Kahoolawe is scheduled for Wednesday. Pacific Business News.