Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hawaii officials explain homeless plan, bill clarifies public's right to film police, Uber driver accused of raping 16-year-old rider, HPD officer charged with bribery, Maui water plan lauded, Honolulu council tears into Caldwell budget, solar plane ready for takeoff, raises for Kauai employees, Big Island council passes vague $10M budget amendment, Honolulu has clean air, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Homeless tent in Waikiki © 2016 All Hawaii News
State Homeless Coordinator Scott Morishige, state Attorney General Doug Chin and Rachael Wong, director of the state Department of Human Services, spoke to the Star-Advertiser about the state’s wide-ranging approach to reduce the largest per capita homeless rate in the country through a mix of consistent social service outreach, systemic changes and ongoing sweeps by law enforcement officers.

State lawmakers are considering a bill to clarify the public’s right to photograph or film police officers. The bill would make it clear that filming or photographing police in a public space isn’t against the law as long as it doesn’t prevent police from doing their jobs. Associated Press.

Approximately 100 people gathered around Hangar 111 at Kalaeloa Airport and waved “goodbye” to Solar Impulse 2, the plane attempting to travel around the world powered only by the sun. Star-Advertiser.

Solar Impulse 2, the solar-powered plane that has been grounded in Hawaii since last summer awaiting repairs to its batteries is scheduled to take off from Hawaii on Thursday morning to complete the first-ever-round-the-world solar-powered flight, the aircraft’s officials said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

A preliminary hearing will be held in Honolulu District Court today for Luke Wadahara, who was arrested Sunday and later charged with three counts of first-degree sexual assault for allegedly attacking a 16-year-old girl whom he picked up Sunday while working as an Uber driver. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Councilman Brandon Elefante has introduced a bill that proposes a new regulatory framework for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies that rely on smartphone applications to connect passengers with drivers. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council members approved a draft of the city budget Wednesday that would deny Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s request to fund eight staff positions in a new housing division and cut $125 million of the $490.7 million that he is seeking for sewer improvements. Civil Beat.

An eight-year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department and a former University of Hawaii volleyball player, Maulia LaBarre, was arrested Tuesday in Waikiki by the state Attorney General’s Office for investigation of attempted bribery, prostitution and illegal use of a computer. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu police officer was arrested Tuesday night in Waikiki on suspicion of attempted bribery, prostitution and the unauthorized use of a computer, according to statements from Hawaii law enforcement agencies. Civil Beat.

Go ahead, take a deep breath. A new report from the American Lung Association says Honolulu has some of the cleanest air in the nation. Hawaii News Now.

A 32-story condominium-hotel that would replace the King’s Village shopping complex in Waikiki won approval from the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has chosen insurance company executive Colbert Matsumoto to replace Don Horner on the board that oversees the island’s rail transit project, according to a city news release. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell has picked Colbert Matsumoto to serve on the board of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit. Hawaii Public Radio.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell has appointed Colbert Matsumoto to the board of directors for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. Matsumoto will fill the position left vacant by former Chairman Don Horner. Pacific Business News.

The Blood Bank of Hawaii, the islands’ sole source of blood, warned that continued efforts by the rail project to use eminent domain to seize a portion of its property could lead to a reduction in the state’s blood supply. Star-Advertiser.

Historical structures that date back to before World War II have become so dangerous that the state had to take action. KHON2.

Saks Fifth Avenue is looking to fill 130 full- and part-time positions for its new store in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

With scant information to go on, the County Council on Wednesday voted to add $10 million to the county Parks and Recreation budget, doubling the repairs and improvements line item for the department. West Hawaii Today.

The Honolulu attorney for a group that sued to stop construction of the $1.4 billion observatory near the summit of Mauna Kea claims his clients’ rights to due process were again violated when the state selected retired Hilo Circuit Judge Riki May Amano to hear the next contested case hearing. Tribune-Herald.

The battle over the authenticity of emails that form part of a lawsuit against the Hawaii Island Humane Society will likely be resolved only by a forensic examination of the society’s servers. West Hawaii Today.

Legislators in the state House are advancing a bill that could boost the Big Island’s aerospace capabilities. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island-based Mokulele Airlines is spreading its wings to service a new market — on the mainland. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Alexander & Baldwin has pledged to fully and permanently restore water to seven streams in East Maui that it’s been diverting to irrigate its sugar cane fields, the company’s CEO, Chris Benjamin, announced Wednesday while flanked by powerful members of the state House and Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Wednesday’s announcement by Alexander & Baldwin that it will permanently restore some streams for taro farms in East Maui was hailed by some legislative leaders — in particular, ones from Maui — as a critical first step in healing a wound inflicted over a century ago. But environmental groups and Native Hawaiian interests say A&B and the Hawaii Legislature are merely “throwing the farmers a bone” by making a “piecemeal return” of waters that does not fundamentally resolve A&B’s continued illegal diversion of waters for its agricultural needs. Civil Beat.

In a landmark announcement today, Alexander & Baldwin announced the release of water to several East Maui streams. Maui Now.

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. announced today that it is "fully and permanently" restoring water to priority taro streams in East Maui. Maui News.

Alexander & Baldwin announced today that it will stop diverting water from priority streams in East Maui as soon as possible.  The company announced its plans at a news conference with key state lawmakers. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai

A proposed bill aimed to get tighter control over homestay operations was referred to committee Wednesday. Garden Island.

Some county employees will be receiving salary increases in July. Garden Island.

Karen Baldwin has resigned this week from her position on the board of directors at the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, the Lihue-based utility cooperative said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

About 30 people joined the Community Advisory Committee’s meeting on agriculture Tuesday afternoon. Garden Island.