Thursday, October 20, 2016

Lawmakers mull fishermen work conditions, county employees take witness stand in Kenoi trial, poll finds support for rail, Kauai beefs up security at county events, Honolulu homeless threaten children's center, Maui ethics board dismisses councilman's case, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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The state Board of Agriculture on Tuesday approved a permanent quarantine for transport of ohia plant parts from Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii lawmakers held a meeting to discuss conditions in the Hawaii longline fishing fleet and heard from an observer who described what it's like to live on the boats. Associated Press.

Lawmakers, officials from the fishing industry, advocacy groups and state officials convened at the Hawaii state Capitol on Wednesday for more than three hours to come up with solutions to address allegations of poor working conditions aboard Hawaii longline fishing vessels. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers endeavored Wednesday to find ways to improve the working conditions of foreign crew members on U.S. commercial fishing boats and address allegations of human trafficking. Civil Beat.

State lawmakers delved into ways to improve work and pay conditions for the mostly foreign workers on longline fishing boats. KHON2.
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Hawaiian Electric Co. is now offering customers the option of enrolling in a program that will charge residential customers less for power used during the day — when solar energy production is highest — and more at night. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation says its Highways Maintenance staff removed more than 200 signs from DOT jurisdiction in the last month alone. KITV.

So many political campaign signs have been cropping up along state right of ways that the Hawaii Department of Transportation has issued a reminder that it’s a no-no. Civil Beat.

Hawaii International Film Festival executive director Robert Lambeth confirmed Wednesday that he will leave his post in 2017 to move to California and care for his ailing mother. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu Voters Don’t Love Rail, But They Still Want The Job Done. Supporters of building the train’s route all the way to Ala Moana Center far outnumber people who want to cut the rail line short. Civil Beat.

A Honolulu charter amendment on the Nov. 8 ballot aims to give the Honolulu Police Commission more authority to rein in problem officers, providing it with subpoena power to compel witnesses to testify and force the disclosure of sensitive information. Civil Beat.

The chairwoman of the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center, located in the heart of the enduring Kakaako homeless encampment, suggested in January that the center close in the face of a 30 percent drop in revenue over the past two years, according to an email that Loretta Yajima sent to her state landlord and some lawmakers last month. Star-Advertiser.

Diamond Head Road is one of the most scenic drives on Oahu. But if you look away from the ocean, you can spot tents or hanging clothing deep in the brush. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Wright Reconstruction Will Displace 1,500 Anxious Tenants. Plans call for the public housing project to be rebuilt. Current residents have been promised interim housing and a chance to return. Civil Beat.

A judge has ruled in favor of a group of Honolulu property owners who challenged the city's residential tax on homes valued at $1 million or more. Hawaii News Now.

The state Department of Health has confirmed hepatitis A has sickened another food service worker on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Former Honolulu police Sgt. Anson Kimura is going to jail for two months for accidentally shooting a woman in a bar while off duty. Star-Advertiser.

A firearm missing from the Oahu Community Correctional Center has been recovered and a person of interest in the incident has been arrested. KITV.

A Marine Corps helicopter struck a power line and made an emergency landing on the North Shore on Tuesday night. There were no injuries to the flight crew or civilians. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Current and former aides to Mayor Billy Kenoi testified at his criminal trial Wednesday as the state sought to build a theft case against the mayor. Star-Advertiser.

All county purchasing cards are supposed to have codes preventing the user from buying alcohol, Hawaii County Finance Director Deanna Sako said Wednesday during Mayor Billy Kenoi’s theft trial. Tribune-Herald.

Day two of the felony theft trial against Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi consisted of four witnesses, mainly Hawaii County employees, testifying against their boss. Hawaii News Now.

More county workers took the stand on day two of the criminal trial for Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi in Hilo. KHON2.
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Trial has been set for early 2017 for a former Hawaii Police Department officer alleged to have fatally struck a cyclist in March 2015. West Hawaii Today.

A $1.4 billion project to build one of the world's largest telescopes is up against intense protests by Native Hawaiians and others who say building it on the Big Island's Mauna Kea mountain will desecrate sacred land. Associated Press.

Maui

The county Ethics Board has declined to investigate a complaint against Council Member Don Couch over his purchase of an affordable-priced home because the allegations were “vague,” exceeded the statute of limitations and did not cite a specific Code of Ethics violation that the board could act on. Maui News.

The County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation will be implementing its plan to restrict overnight vehicle access to Kanahā Park starting Nov. 1, 2016. Maui Now.

Maui County will be holding a free, drive-thru hard drive and backup tape destruction and disposal service from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the county building. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kauai County Council voted 5-to-1 to pass a bill that sought to appropriate funds from the general fund to pay for extra security at county-hosted events. Garden Island.

On Wednesday, the Kauai County Council voted 6 to 1 to pass Resolution No. 2016-57, which proposed making changes to projects funded by a $13.8 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER Grant. Garden Island.

The Garden Island is asking the same five questions of all 13 Kauai County Council candidates, to help residents decide who to vote for on Nov. 8.