Wednesday, June 29, 2016

One inmate costs more than $50k annually, Tulsi Gabbard won't debate, Ige may veto bill protecting employees on social media, feds may grant Honolulu rail plan extension, more on Zuckerberg's wall, lava rises on Big Island, late Maui mayor remembered, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Corrections officer oversees inmates © 2016 All Hawaii News
The amount it takes to house one prison inmate for a year is more than many Hawaii residents make in a year. According to the Hawaii Department of Public Safety, the state spends about $140 per inmate per day, which includes program services, food, health care, and administrative costs. When you add it up, that amounts to $51,100 per year per prisoner locked up in Hawaii. KHON2.

Nearly half of the states in the U.S. have adopted laws to prevent employers from accessing their employees’ private social-media accounts. But Gov. David Ige this week announced his intent to veto such a bill for Hawaii. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is seeking public input on sea level rise adaptation in Hawaii. The DLNR will hold its first public informational meeting on this topic on Wednesday night. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is being taken to task by her opponent in the Democratic primary for refusing to debate her after the congresswoman blasted the leadership of the Democratic National Committee last year for limiting the number of debates in the presidential primary. Star-Advertiser.

One day after 170 Democrats ended their sit-in on the House floor over a lack of movement on gun control, a bipartisan group of representatives that included Tulsi Gabbard sprang into legislative action. Gabbard (D-Hawaii) joined eight other House members Friday, including four Republicans, in the introduction of legislation aimed at restricting the sale of firearms to individuals placed on the No-Fly list and Selectee list, subsets of the broader Terrorism Screening Database. West Hawaii Today.

A typical household in the County of Kauai spends more than an average household on the Big Island and Oahu, according to a new study by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. The County of Kauai results include survey data from the islands of Kauai and Lanai. Pacific Business News.

A favorable settlement has been reached for Volkswagen owners in 43 states including Hawai’i. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Federal officials said Tuesday they’re weighing whether to give the city an additional 10 months to deliver its rail recovery plan, an extension that would buy Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and rail leaders more time to pursue the dollars they hope will be enough to finish the full 20-mile line. Star-Advertiser.

Less than two weeks after Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell backed a focus on getting rail to Middle Street, he’s telling the feds he still wants to get it all the way to Ala Moana and asking for more time to find the funds to get there. KHON2.

City contractors have successfully bored a 3-mile tunnel beneath Oneawa Hills, a critical component of the $371 million Kaneohe-Kailua Waste Water Conveyance and Treatment Facilities Project, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The tunnel boring machine called "Pohakulani" is expected to complete its 3-mile journey from Kailua to Kaneohe on Tuesday in an underground sewer tunnel. KITV4.

Nearing its one-year anniversary, a program in Kalihi that helps Micronesians connect to health, social, education and employment services has now served more than 2,000 people. But it has also come in for some criticism lately. Civil Beat.

As many as 100 working-yet-homeless families across the islands will each be eligible for up to $9,000 over the next year, beginning July 15, with the funds aiming to get them off the street and into rental housing as fast as possible. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Charter Commission is holding a series of community meetings this week to accept testimony on proposed city charter amendments. Civil Beat.

Hawaii officials are asking websites and blogs to stop pointing people to the off-limits crumbling remains of a Hawaiian monarchy palace. Officials said last week vandals etched crosses on 180-year-old walls of King Kamehameha III's former summer palace in Honolulu. Associated Press.

Castle Medical Center plans to buy Hawaii Pacific University’s sprawling Windward Oahu campus to expand its health-care offerings. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Smoke from burning trees and open channels of lava could easily be seen Tuesday from Kalapana as the lava flow from Kilauea’s Pu‘u ‘O‘o vent traveled down Pulama pali. Tribune-Herald.

The nonprofit company trying to build the Thirty Meter Telescope is continuing with its pledge to donate $1 million annually for educating students on Hawaii Island, where the project is planned, even though its future in the state is in limbo. Associated Press.

Eight candidates for Hawaii County Mayor – Eric Drake Weinert Jr., Timothy Waugh, Shannon McCandless, Wally Lau, Harry Kim, Pete Hoffmann, Marlene Hapai, and Paul Bryant – are asked about how they would handle the Big Island’s budget, including personnel and capital improvement projects. Big Island Video News.

If poverty is an island, Hawaii Community College Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas said she wants to be captain of the boat sailing over to help. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Local politicians and others remembered former Maui Mayor and House Speaker Elmer Cravalho as a strong negotiator and great businessman who will be dearly missed. He died Monday at age 90. Civil Beat.

Maui’s first mayor, Elmer Cravalho, who moved the Valley Isle from plantations to a top visitor destination and served as speaker of the Territorial House of Representatives during the fight for statehood, died Monday afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

Elmer F. Cravalho, who served as Maui County chairman and mayor for 12 years, died Monday afternoon under hospice care after a long illness. He was 90 years old. Maui News.

Food Network’s popular "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" will premiere its "Soakin’ Up Maui" episode on July 1 featuring Da Kitchen in Kahului, Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse in Kihei and the Like Poke? food truck, the owner of Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse told Pacific Business News.

The installation of the 24 streetlight fixtures on Maui Lani Parkway is part of a three-month pilot project by the utility. Maui News.

Kauai

An assistant chief of police with more than 20 years with the Kauai Police Department filed a civil lawsuit Monday against the police chief, the department and the county of Kauai. Garden Island.

Some of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s neighbors are grumbling about a rock wall he’s having built on his property on the north shore of Kauai. Associated Press.

Facebook’s billionaire founder Mark Zuckerberg made a big splash on Kauai two years ago when he bought about 700 verdant acres for more than $100 million, but now he’s begun to change the landscape on his property and some neighbors don’t like it. Star-Advertiser.

With demolition of Coco Palms underway, officials turned their attention to permitting for the $175 million hotel. Garden Island.