Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Ige's political future uncertain, minimum wage rises, new moped laws, changing leadership on Honolulu council, complaint filed in Maui council reorganization, Tulsi again named 'rising star,' more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Ige addresses 2016 Hawaii Democratic Party rally © 2017 All Hawaii News
When Democratic Gov. David Ige runs for re-election in 2018, his political fate may depend on how successful he is at appeasing some key interest groups over the next two years, and how much progress he can make in addressing issues such as homelessness that have emerged as top-tier voter concerns. Star-Advertiser.

David Ige won his upset victory in 2014 to become governor largely because he was not Neil Abercrombie, the incumbent governor who had enraged much of the Hawaii Democratic Party. Star-Advertiser.

More ‘Star’ Chatter On Tulsi Gabbard. The Hawaii congresswoman is one of seven “rising Democratic stars” in the U.S. House of Representatives. Civil Beat.

Press Release: The Hawaii State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced that per Act 82, Session Laws of Hawaii (2014), the minimum wage for most employers will increase to $9.25 per hour beginning on Jan. 1, 2017.

The new year brings new rules for moped owners in Hawaii. Starting Jan. 1, owners will have to pay for annual vehicle registration and safety inspections, as well as for license plates. Hawaii News Now.

The 116-year-old Estate of James Campbell, once among Hawaii’s largest and most influential land companies, has quietly and officially dissolved — leaving behind a legacy of development that includes the city of Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii has received a waiver from the federal government allowing it to stop offering Affordable Care Act health insurance policies for small businesses. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu
Honolulu City Councilman Ron Menor is expected to take the helm of the Council today, pushing colleague Ernie Martin out of a post he’s held since June 2011. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council will undergo new organizational changes this week. Councilman Ron Menor will replace Ernie Martin, who served as chair for more than five years. Councilmember Joey Manahan is expected take over the powerful budget committee, replacing Ann Kobayashi. Hawaii News Now.

Keith Kaneshiro was sworn in Monday for his fifth term as city prosecutor, vowing to make his office more accessible to the media and to crack down on crimes against tourists. Hawaii News Now.

City Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro was sworn in for his second term Monday, giving him four more years in office with new plans to tackle crime in Hawaii. KHON2.

The Plot Thickens In The Honolulu Police Chief Conspiracy Case. An investigation into a broken taillight at Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha’s house raises more questions about alleged corruption. Civil Beat.

Honolulu rent prices increased this month for both one- and two-bedroom units compared to the year ago month, and was deemed the No. 11 most expensive city in America according to a new report by Zumper. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Mayor Harry Kim says he will hold a community meeting with Panaewa residents before moving forward with a planned composting facility. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island will start 2017 with two state-level leadership positions still waiting to be filled. West Hawaii Today.

After adopting revisions in mid-December, the Hamakua Community Development Plan’s steering committee sent the document to Hawaii County for review. Tribune-Herald.

It was a banner year for home sales on Hawaii Island in 2016, with growth projected to carry over into 2017. Tribune-Herald.

Kim administration seeks Honomu residents’ input on fate of banyan trees. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action filed a complaint last week with the Office of Information Practices, requesting an investigation and ruling on “egregious violations” of state “Sunshine Laws” by Maui Council Chair Mike White. Garden Island.

Opinion: I gotta hand it to Maui County Councilmember Mike White: he’ll do what he needs to do to maintain power. MauiTime.

The Maui Academy of Performing Arts has purchased a 35,622-square-foot office building on Main Street in Wailuku on Maui for about $5.6 million, the broker that was part of the deal confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Kansas visitors Mike Hutchison and his wife spent New Year’s Eve in an unexpected setting — stuck between two landslides on Hana Highway with about 75 other people. Maui News.

Kauai

General Plan addresses a growing island community. Natural growth key factor as General Plan attempts to address needs of expanding community. Garden Island.

Kauai sees rise in visitors. Garden Island.

A solar farm that is slated to generate about 5 percent of the island’s energy is set to power up early this year, according to representatives from the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. Garden Island.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has awarded a grant to support a series of farmer workshops later this month for Hawaiians interested in starting or expanding farming operations. Garden Island.