Thursday, March 31, 2016

Reprieve for ride-sharing companies, Kauai's Ka Loko Dam to be rebuilt 10 years after fatal collapse, Mayor Kenoi pleads not guilty, Hawaii County Civil Defense chief retiring, Maui's Makena Beach & Golf Resort to idle 385 workers in closure, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Campaign signs, public domain photo
Do Election Signs Generate Votes? A new study suggests that they may not make much of a difference in voter preference. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Wahiawa General Hospital is in deep financial trouble and is requesting help from state lawmakers. Hawaii Public Radio.

The next four weeks are shaping up to be critical for ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft as state and city lawmakers grapple with how to regulate the growing industry in which customers order up rides with a smart phone app. Civil Beat.

The City Council Budget Committee voted Wednesday to defer a bill that would require Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing drivers to abide by the same rules as taxicab drivers. Star-Advertiser.

Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft got a major victory at the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

A bill that targets illegal dumping of bulky items has secured preliminary approval from the City Council’s Public Health, Safety and Welfare Committee. Star-Advertiser.

A woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday for stealing nearly $150,000 while working at Sea Life Park. KHON2.

They aren’t cheap, but moderately priced condominiums in Kakaako coming up for sale in three weeks are expected to be in high demand — so much so that sales will be by lottery. Prices for Ke Kilohana units that range from 461 to 988 square feet of living space run from $323,475 to $442,246 for one-bedroom units, from $473,789 to $538,612 for two-bedroom units and from $521,774 to $560,774 for three-bedroom units. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Kenoi ‘will go to trial’; Hawaii County mayor pleads not guilty to charges in pCard probe. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor Billy Kenoi faces eight charges — including several counts of theft — for his use of a Hawaii County credit card. But for some charges, it’s not yet clear what expenses are tied to the alleged crimes. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi pleaded not guilty to theft charges in connection with misuse of his Hawaii County-issued purchasing card and is scheduled to go on trial in July. Star-Advertiser.

The soothing voice of Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira is leaving the airwaves. Oliveira, 54, announced his retirement effective May 1. West Hawaii Today.

Thousands of motorists on Queen Kaahumanu Highway who watched rapid progression of the highway’s widening project are likely wondering why they’ve seen lines of earthmovers parked over the past couple of weeks. West Hawaii Today.

A dispute over views of the Pacific Ocean in the Alii Heights subdivision has reached an end, after a judge ruled Wednesday in favor of the neighbors who grew tall greenery in their yard. West Hawaii Today.

Hamakua Springs Country Farms on the Big Island of Hawaii is shutting down on Thursday after being in business for more than three decades. Pacific Business News.

A Hawaii Island man serving a 20-year sentence will have his prison time cut in half, thanks to President Obama. KHON2.

Maui

The 310-room Makena Beach & Golf Resort will close July 1, leaving 385 employees jobless, the resort owner, ATC Makena Holdings LLC, announced early Tuesday evening. Maui News.

State Sens. Roz Baker and Gil Keith-Agaran, Democrats from Maui, held campaign fundraisers Tuesday night at Ruth’s Chris Steak House at Ala Moana Center. The suggested donation was $200. Civil Beat.

Visitor arrivals by air were up 4.1 percent to 205,055 for Maui island in February while they were down 28.8 percent to 5,056 on Molokai and 32.1 percent to 4,225 on Lanai, according to statistics released Tuesday by the Hawai'i Tourism Authority. Maui News.

Kauai

Ten years after the deadly collapse of the Ka Loko Dam, Hawaii News Now has learned that efforts are underway to rebuild the dam.

There are high levels of a bacteria in the Mahaulepu Valley’s Waiopili Stream, but there’s no proof it’s coming from human sources. That’s according to findings released Wednesday from part one of the Hawaii Department of Health’s sanitary survey of Waiopili Ditch, commonly known as Waiopili Stream, at Mahaulepu. Garden Island.

The release of the long-awaited state survey of Kauai's south shore points to animal waste and the decay of naturally occurring vegetation as the main source of pollution. KITV4.

Coral spawning is close at hand, but reef experts are anticipating a slow season for the little critters. Garden Island.

Kauai’s population is growing an average three people every day. Between 2014 and 2015, Kauai County saw an average increase in population, which rose from 70,672 residents to 71,735 residents, and added 1,063 more people — a 1.5 percent increase, according to recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. Garden Island.