Thursday, January 12, 2017

Money sought for roads, mileage tax mulled, state computers probed 45M times a day, death with dignity legislation, Green mulls gubernatorial run, Attorney General clears homeless map, Hawaii park downsized, Maui workers charged with vacation theft, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Department of Transportation officials told state lawmakers Wednesday that they need dozens of new positions and millions of additional dollars to continue with plans to modernize airports, repair harbors and maintain roads. Civil Beat.

As laws mandate more fuel efficient cars and trucks, state transportation officials said they have to either double the gas tax, or find some a more fair way to charge users. KITV.

The top manager of state government computer systems in Hawaii says would-be hackers are probing the defenses of state networks up to 45 million times a day in an effort to find vulnerabilities in the system. Star-Advertiser.

With two years left in his Senate term, Josh Green is considering running for governor or lieutenant governor in 2018. West Hawaii Today.

Pierre Omidyar, LinkedIn co-founder ​Reid Hoffman put $10M each into new fund for ethical artificial intelligence. Pacific Business News.

Longtime state political lobbyist John Radcliffe has stage four liver and colon cancer and wants to choose when he dies. Radcliffe, 74, is asking the court to declare that Hawaii’s murder and manslaughter laws do not apply when a physician helps a mentally-competent, terminally-ill adult patient who chooses to die. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers in Hawaii and several other states want to prevent presidential candidates from appearing on their states’ ballots unless the candidates release their tax returns. Associated Press.

Incensed that President-elect Donald Trump still won’t make public his tax returns, state Rep. Chris Lee is trying to do something about it. Civil Beat.

As the state Department of Education continues to reduce its backlog of employee misconduct cases, some Board of Education members are questioning whether the department is doing enough to prevent cases in the first place. Star-Advertiser.

The Governor’s top budget priority for this upcoming legislative session is Public Education. But will his increased spending really make a difference? Hawaii Public Radio.

Seniors in Hawaii face a greater risk of being struck and killed by a car than in any other state in the nation — a nagging fact that hasn’t changed much in the last decade, according to a report released this week by the National Complete Streets Coalition. Star-Advertiser.

How Hawaii’s Inmates Are Ending Up In Prisons All Over The Country. But, citing privacy and security reasons, state prison officials won’t say why ‌imates are being transferred or where they have gone. Civil Beat.

Oahu
The state Attorney General’s office told state Rep. Gene Ward that a map he published in November of suspected homeless encampments and homeless activity in his East Honolulu district passes legal muster and is constitutional. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Wednesday said he doubts a final agreement has been reached yet between the Police Commission and Police Chief Louis Kealoha over a possible payout to the chief in exchange for his retirement. Civil Beat.

As out of state law enforcement agencies prepare to make the trip to Hawaii and begin their recruiting trip, the Honolulu Police Department is searching for applicants of its own. KHON2.

A traffic pattern change due to the city's rail project in Pearl City is not sitting well with a longtime business there. Hawaii News Now.

The city wants to sell a portion of a popular park in Windward Oahu. However, the proposal is facing backlash from some community members in Kahaluu. Hawaii News Now.

Sewage spills are likely to continue in West Kapolei near Ko Olina until corroded pipes are replaced at an estimated cost of $20 million, a Honolulu City Council committee was told Wednesday. Civil Beat.

A third finalist for the University of Hawaii at Manoa chancellor position will be participating in a final round of interviews this month, UH officials announced Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: STEM Jobs? Not In Honolulu. Nationally, we rank close to the bottom when it comes to professions involving science, technology, engineering and math. Civil Beat.

Ho‘ola Na Pua event provides insight into human trafficking. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

After more than a year of neighborhood contention regarding construction of a park in Kukuihaele, county planners presented a new and largely well-received proposal for the 4-acre space Tuesday night. Tribune-Herald.

The number of solar electric permits issued on the Big Island dropped 56 percent compared with the year earlier. Star-Advertiser.

A long-awaited four-year aviation program could take off this year at University of Hawaii at Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Legacy nursing home in Hilo hired a former state Department of Health nursing home compliance director to get Legacy back in line with federal regulations. Tribune-Herald.

As big of a challenge combating human trafficking is in Hawaii, convincing people it even happens here in the first place is a whole other one. West Hawaii Today.

West Hawaii joins the previous selections of East Hawaii and North Hawaii as Blue Zones, making Hawaii County the first entire county in the nation to join the movement. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Two former Maui County Public Works employees pleaded not guilty Wednesday to second-degree theft charges involving unrecorded vacation time, according to sources familiar with the case. Maui News.

The Maui County Council will hold a special meeting on Monday to handle matters left over from its Jan. 2 meeting, including establishing the body’s standing committees and referring various matters to appropriate committees. Maui News.

Kauai

Getting a fair share of the transient accommodations tax, making sure lifeguards are insured and purchasing an additional ambulance are some of the goals for Kauai County this legislative session. Garden Island.