Friday, December 23, 2016

University of Hawaii to gain in Ige budget, Republicans dwindle in state Legislature, low pay, high credit card debt for residents, Honolulu Ethics Commission mulls PAC laws, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy National Geographic
Obama's fish, courtesy National Geographic
Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have named a fish after President Obama. Hawaii Public Radio.

President Barack Obama, his family and some friends are spending the afternoon at a beach at a marine corps base near his Hawaii vacation rental. Associated Press.

Gov. David Ige’s call for increased education dollars in his proposed state budget extends to higher education as well with a $44 million boost for operations at the University of Hawaii over the next two years. Star-Advertiser.

There are no more Republicans in the Hawaii state Senate, while the number of members in the House has dwindled to six. Civil Beat.

A Big Day For US-Japan Relations Tuesday At Pearl Harbor. Prime Minister Abe will join President Obama to honor Americans killed in Japan’s surprise attack on Oahu in 1941. Civil Beat.

Despite threats of an Obamacare repeal, 11,750 Hawaii residents signed up this year to renew or buy for the first time health insurance through the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov, for coverage starting on New Year’s Day. Star-Advertiser.

By some measures, employment is booming in Hawaii and the rest of the country. But the shortage of good-paying jobs — the kind where wages are high enough to afford a decent standard of living — is attracting top-level political attention in both Honolulu and the nation’s capital. Civil Beat.

Hawaii has the eighth-highest credit card debt in the nation, with customers owing an average $5,966, according to a new report by CreditCards.com. Star-Advertiser.

A former state representative has died. Mark Moses represented the Makakilo and Kapolei communities from 1996-2006. KHON2.

Oahu

Opening day for the state Legislature is still weeks away, but there's already a proposal to extend the .5 percent rail tax surcharge. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Ethics Commission considered a request today to curb the unfair influence of Super PACs. Hawaii Public Radio.

Acting Honolulu Police Chief Cary Okimoto may face uncomfortable questions come January as he attempts to explain to police commissioners his proximity to a growing scandal involving a missing mailbox. Civil Beat.

City prosecutor explains why he wants chief’s wife to stay on the job. KHON2.

Honolulu police are reporting a big drop in speeding tickets so far this year. Hawaii News Now.

A medical marijuana dispensary with ties to Hawaii businessman Colbert Matsumoto is opening in the former Bank of Hawaii branch on Kapahulu Avenue in Honolulu, Pacific Business News has learned.

For years, families have been laying small plaques in the rocks at Pokai Bay to remember loved ones who've passed on. But state law says it's illegal to install these on any heiau without written permission. KITV.

Hawaii

More than three weeks after the first bout of winter weather hit Hawaii Island, the Mauna Kea Summit Access Road is still closed to the public. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The developer of the Pulelehua working-class community in West Maui and owner of the Maalaea Harbor Shops & Restaurants says he was exonerated in fraud case. Maui News.

The Maui Ocean Center is hosting a contest to seek help from the public in naming six baby sea turtles. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Department of Parks and Recreation officials are reminding the public that the deadline to provide input on the draft preferred master plan for Black Pot Beach Park is Saturday, Dec. 31. Garden Island.