Monday, January 30, 2017

Hawaii governor, attorney general, public protests denounce Trump immigration policies; lawmakers mull sunscreen ingredient ban, internet tax, drones, death with dignity, marijuana decriminalization, housing shortages, free tuition, homeless medical vans, more top government and political news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii Sen. Karl Rhoads
Immigration rally Honolulu International Airport Jan. 29, 2017, courtesy Sen. Karl Rhoads
Hawaii State Attorney General Doug Chin has joined 16 other state attorneys general in condemning President Donald Trump’s executive order banning citizens from seven Muslim countries from entering the U.S. and suspending the admission of all refugees. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s AG Joins Others Opposing Immigration Ban. Doug Chin is among 17 attorneys general condemning Trump’s order blocking entry to the U.S. for citizens of seven countries. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Attorney General and Governor issue statements on Trump's Immigration policies. KITV.

Hawaii State Attorney General Doug Chin and 16 other state attorneys general released a joint statement Sunday condemning President Trump’s executive order that placed a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. KHON2.

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Hawaii lawmakers are tackling drones, presidential tax returns and housing shortages as they head into their second full week of the Legislative session. They’re filling the calendar with legislative hearings after introducing more than 2,900 bills in the past week. Associated Press.

With tax collections apparently leveling off this year, lawmakers are now pressing state tax officials to explain what they plan to do to capture millions of dollars in uncollected taxes owed for internet sales in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

This could be the year Hawaii legislators pass a “death with dignity” bill, several told the Tribune-Herald.

Advocates for decriminalizing marijuana and drug paraphernalia think this may be the year the Hawaii Legislature takes action. But Gov. David Ige doesn’t want to pass new laws regarding marijuana until the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries get up and running. Civil Beat.

The state would spend $1.4 million every year to operate two mobile medical clinics aimed at helping sick or injured homeless people under a Senate bill aimed at cutting emergency room costs to treat homeless people for non-life-threatening issues. Star-Advertiser.

In an effort to protect our reefs, some lawmakers want to ban the sale of sunscreens that contain the chemical oxybenzone. Studies show it increases the rate of coral bleaching. KHON2.

Legislation related to paid leave, equal pay and family tax credits are included in the Hawaii women's legislative caucus package this year. Pacific Business News.

A new payment model the Hawaii Medical Service Association began rolling out with its primary care physicians in April has been expanded to include paying a fixed monthly rate to specialists such as cardiologists, oncologists and orthopedists. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii wants to provide a free education to community college students in financial need. Garden Island.

The Hawaii Employers Council Board of Governors has named KTA Super Stores President and Chief Operating Officer Toby Taniguchi its chairman for 2017. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Oahu vehicle owners could see their motor vehicle weight and fuel taxes, as well as their registration fees, rise significantly if both the Ige and Caldwell administrations get their way in the coming months. Star-Advertiser.

The city will continue to pay lawyers thousands of dollars to defend itself in lawsuits by outgoing Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha because his retirement agreement does not include his legal claims against the city, said the city’s Ethics Commission and the commission’s former executive director and investigator. Star-Advertiser.

Scores of protesters gathered Sunday at Honolulu International Airport, chanting and unfurling banners to denounce President Donald Trump’s sweeping executive order that has sparked spontaneous demonstrations across the country. Civil Beat.

Travelers walking out of the international arrivals gate at Honolulu Airport on Sunday were greeted by a welcoming party of more than 100 demonstrators chanting, “No hate, no fear. Refugees are welcome here.” Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii has selected a master developer to begin negotiating the planned build-out of more than 180 acres of vacant land next to the UH-West Oahu campus in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii would be fine with a new, slightly smaller Aloha Stadium but is more concerned about an opportunity to generate revenue there, President David Lassner said. Star-Advertiser.

After more than a decade the Pupukea Play Courts was blessed and reopened to the North Shore community Saturday. Hawaii News Now.

New affordable housing for local artists coming soon to Kaka'ako. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Sunday for Ola Ka 'Ilima Artspace Lofts. KITV.

Commentary: Consider this time-honored Hawaii option for rail problem: Just ignore it and let it linger. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Legislation introduced this session by Rep. Cindy Evans (D- North Kohala, South Kohala, Kona) would allow for so-called “tiny homes” — houses that are less than 500 square feet — to be built on agricultural-zoned land for farm workers. House Bill 2 is specific to Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.

Kona’s state representative Dr. Richard Creagan chaired his first House Committee on Agriculture hearing last Friday, and with the bang of a gavel helped advance a bill to combat the threat of rat lungworm disease in Hawaii. Big Island Video News.

The cost of Hawaii County’s organic waste diversion program doubled last year with the signing of a new contract that includes construction of a composting facility next to the Hilo landfill. Tribune-Herald.

For one week every January, a handful of volunteers roam over the hills and into the bush, through the lava tubes and onto the beaches, scouring every secluded corner of Kona on the hunt for Hawaii Island’s most elusive, and often most desperate, population — its homeless. West Hawaii Today.

Each year, volunteers with HOPE Services — the isle’s largest provider of homeless services — hit the streets to conduct the Homeless Point in Time Count, a yearly national effort that aims to gauge the current number of sheltered and unsheltered people by asking participants where they slept on a single night in January. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Maui County Board of Ethics has whittled down a complaint against council Chairman Mike White over his organization of the Maui County Council and will hear the remaining allegations at its Feb. 8 meeting. Maui News.

No one really knows when Maui Waena Intermediate School’s new science building will open, aside from a final inspection of the elevators Feb. 9, the acting principal said Friday. Maui News.

Kauai
Instead of the hundreds of protesters that were expected to march along Mark Zuckerberg’s wall Saturday, only about 10 gathered in solidarity. Garden Island.

A meeting regarding the potential closure of the Rice Street post office will be held Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall. Garden Island.

Projects proposed to improve Kapaa vehicle flow detailed at meeting. Garden Island.