Friday, January 27, 2017

Gov. Ige seeks to double food production by 2020, homelessness as medical condition, Honolulu bill would strengthen plastic bag ban, state could tighten drunk driving laws, activists plan march on Zuckerberg property, Kim injury keeps him from important hearing, Rep. Ing pleads no contest to citation, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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BREAKING: Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan: 'We are dropping our quiet title actions' Garden Island.

Money Sought To Protect Watersheds And Grow More Food. Hawaii Gov. David Ige joins department heads asking legislators to approve funds for his Sustainable Hawaii Initiative. Civil Beat.

Doubling Hawaii's local food production by 2020 is one of Governor Ige's marquee promises, and the state's Department of Agriculture is tasked with making it become a reality. But with the deadline just three years away, many are asking whether that number is still realistic. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is considering measures to increase public transparency in the wake of criticism from the visitor industry and state lawmakers that it isn’t forthcoming about how it spends tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to market the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii bill would classify homelessness as medical condition. Associated Press.

Measures Aim To Help Domestic Violence Victims Get Help. The Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus is also backing bills to ensure access to health care and to keep kids safe. Civil Beat.

The chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Energy said Thursday she would not consider bills about Hawaiian Electric Co. if the utility was not included in the process. Star-Advertiser.

The state is looking into tightening drunk driving laws. Right now, the legal limit is 0.08, but an effort is underway to lower that threshold to 0.05. KHON2.

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald says lawmakers have advanced some troubling bills in recent years to make dramatic changes in the selection, retention and pensions of state judges but that he doesn’t know if the measures were designed to convey some message of disapproval to the state Judiciary. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii public schools look to lessen food waste. Hawaii News Now.

A proposal to put Office of Hawaiian Affairs CEO Kamana‘opono Crabbe on paid leave while the Board of Trustees works on a deal to buy out his employment contract failed Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

In a dramatic moment Thursday, Native Hawaiian activist Bumpy Kanahele called for an investigation into OHA's finances, throwing a handful of salt onto the group's meeting table and suggesting the board invite federal authorities to examine its business its dealings. Hawaii News Now.

Stephen Schatz, deputy superintendent for the state Department of Education, is leaving his post for a job at the University of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

A bill to make Honolulu’s plastic bag ban more stringent has been languishing at the City Council despite concerns that the existing law isn’t doing enough to protect Oahu’s environment. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City council member Brandon Elefante has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to use your cell phone while crossing the street, or highway. KITV.

State Health Department officials have issued a public advisory for one of the lagoons at Ko Olina, saying there are high levels of a dangerous bacteria in the water. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Police Commission violated state law when it met behind closed doors to discuss Chief Louis Kealoha’s employment, including agreeing to allow him to retire with an added payment of $250,000, a lawsuit filed Thursday alleges. Civil Beat.

City regulators in Honolulu on Thursday ordered the owners of the shuttered Polynesian Plaza hotel in Waikiki to immediately stop construction work on the property until a new general contractor and plumber are found, Pacific Business News has learned.

Advanced Fresh Concepts Franchise Corp., doing business as AFC Sushi at Safeway Kapahulu, was fined $6,000 Thursday by the state Department of Health for food-safety violations and removing a health inspection placard from public view. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu, where the median price of a single-family home rose 5 percent last year, was one of the coolest spots in the U.S. for house flipping in 2016, when compared with other metropolitan areas. Pacific Business News.

Three utility-scale solar farms that Hawaiian Electric Co. terminated last year are going to be revived. Star-Advertiser.

The architects who favor street-level rail from Middle Street to Ala Moana Center have launched a website. KITV.

Ledcor Construction Hawaii LLC is suing the owners of the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, claiming the contractor wasn't paid for doing nearly $1 million of work on the hotel’s redevelopment project, Pacific Business News has learned.

Hawaii

Mayor Harry Kim injured his arm and missed an important hearing in Honolulu on Monday, sparking renewed concerns about his health. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island state lawmakers introduced an ambitious long-term plan to revitalize Hilo’s urban core during the ongoing legislative session. Tribune-Herald.

The county Planning Department wants input on a draft version of its Downtown Hilo improvement plan, which recommends converting multiple roads from one-way to two-way and more than doubling off-street public parking spaces. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo’s state senator has introduced a bill to unlock the economic potential of his district’s urban core. Big Island Video News.

Two years ago, the State Legislature appropriated $90 million dollars to build a new judiciary building in Kona.  Now, Hawai‘i State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald is asking for more funding. Hawaii Public Radio.

After threats to historic trails halted construction on Queen Kaahumanu Highway late last year, the Hawaii Department of Transportation announced Thursday plans to resume the second phase of the highway widening project beginning next week. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Saying “I was mistaken” when he made earlier statements about his citation for not having vehicle insurance, state Rep. Kaniela Ing pleaded no contest Wednesday to the traffic crime. Maui News.

Maui Criminal Case Filings Increase 50% in Five Years. Maui Now.

Maui’s two licensed medical marijuana dispensaries are weeks away from beginning to grow their first crop, but it may take another four to five months before residents can get their hands on products. Maui News.

Kauai

More than 200 people on Kauai are planning a protest on Saturday near Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s 700-acre property in Kilauea. Hawaii News Now.

A California couple is asking $7.5 million for a 552-square-foot, one-bedroom home set on three-quarters of an acre within Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s 700 acres of oceanfront property on the island of Kauai’s North Shore, Pacific Business News has learned.

A store providing free school supplies for teachers on Kaua‘i will open its doors this weekend.  An organization called Kumu’s Cupboard in the Kukui Grove Center will provide resources for local teachers who would otherwise be using their own money to buy basic school supplies. Hawaii Public Radio.

Settlement in polygraph suit may cost state $400K. Star-Advertiser.

Alakai O Kauai Public Charter School is enrolling students. The school unanimously approved by the Hawaii State Charter School Commission is on track to open in August with 165 students. Garden Island.