Thursday, January 5, 2017

State expects $155M less in revenues, OHA to oust CEO Crabbe, tax refund delay, Lingle celebrates Trump win, is returning to Hawaii, Honolulu Police Commission mulls chief's fate, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Dolphin encounter at Waikoloa resort © 2017 All Hawaii News
Animal rights activists are celebrating the news that the first U.S. resort developed by Atlantis Resorts — at Ko Olina — won’t include captive dolphins. Star-Advertiser.

The state expects to collect about $155 million less in tax revenues than a panel of economists, accountants and others had previously projected for fiscal year 2017, which ends June 30. Civil Beat.

A panel of experts that estimates how much the state will collect in taxes each year revised its projection significantly downward Wednesday, which means state government will have about $155 million less to spend this year than Gov. David Ige’s administration had expected. Star-Advertiser.

We’re just days into the new year and the outlook is not looking too good for our economy. Predictions are showing less money coming into the state and it’s no small chunk of change. KHON2.

The state is again warning taxpayers that they may need to wait as many as 16 weeks for a refund check after filing a Hawaii state tax return. The delays are part of an increased effort to prevent fraud that was launched in 2015. Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii is asking the state Legislature for additional appropriations of about $29 million for each of the next two fiscal years to add to its annual operating budget of about $1.1 billion. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers crafting the state budget are questioning why the University of Hawaii hasn’t tapped into more than $6 million sitting in a special fund earmarked for repair and maintenance at the UH Cancer Center, which has been plagued with money troubles. Star-Advertiser.

A big change could be coming to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs -- and it won't be cheap. The OHA Board of Trustees have offered to buy CEO Kamana'opono Crabbe out of his contract. KITV.

Under new leadership, trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have voted to buy out the contract of CEO Kamana’opono Crabbe. Civil Beat.

Former Gov. Linda Lingle offered her own analysis of Donald Trump’s surprise victory to a crowd of about 400 Republicans who gathered at the Koolau Ballrooms at Koolau Golf Course in Kaneohe on Wednesday for a pre-inaugural gala in celebration of the president-elect. Star-Advertiser.

Some 300 people gathered in Kaneohe to celebrate the upcoming presidency of Donald J. Trump. The Hawaii Republican Party's Pre-Inauguration Gala also drew former Gov. Linda Lingle, who was the featured speaker at the event. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Police Chief Louis Kealoha’s job status in the wake of being named the target of an FBI criminal investigation remains up in the air after the Honolulu Police Commission met behind closed doors for two hours Wednesday, then recessed until Friday without making a decision on his fate. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Police Commission emerged from a two-hour closed-door session Wednesday without making a decision on the status of Police Chief Louis Kealoha who is embroiled in a federal corruption investigation. Civil Beat.

The Honolulu Police Commission met behind closed doors Wednesday to discuss the status of Chief Louis Kealoha, who surrendered his gun and badge and went on paid leave after being notified he’s the target of a federal investigation. Associated Press.

The future of Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha could be determined this Friday. That’s when the Honolulu Police Commission will reconvene to make a decision on the Chief’s employment status. Hawaii Pubic Radio.

Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha is on paid leave while federal officials carry out a corruption investigation.  The Honolulu Police Commission decided Wednesday afternoon to extend Chief Kealoha's leave of absence indefinitely. KITV.

Honolulu’s chief of police is on leave indefinitely. Max Sword, chair of the Honolulu Police Commission, also said he expects a decision Friday on Louis Kealoha’s future with the Honolulu Police Department. KHON2.

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The Honolulu Planning Commission has approved an amendment to the city’s land-use law that spells out how much affordable housing developers must provide if they want to be eligible for a special temporary permit that provides height and density advantages for building near planned rail stations. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council members are asking the state to allow the tax for Oahu's multibillion-dollar rail project to cover operating costs as well as affordable housing efforts. Associated Press.

Honolulu’s departments of Design and Construction and of Facility Maintenance are credited for surpassing the repaving goal for 2016 by completing 332 lane miles on Oahu. Civil Beat.

The 1st Circuit Court of Hawaii has approved the final closure of the Estate of James Campbell, once one of Hawaii’s largest private landowners and the initial developer of the City of Kapolei in West Oahu. Pacific Business News.

Homeless Count Volunteers Sought. Organizers are gearing up for the annual count of homeless people, but they are facing a serious shortage of volunteers. Civil Beat.

Honolulu is one of the least affordable counties to rent a home, according to a new report by Attom Data Solutions that found renters need to spend nearly three quarters of their monthly income on rent. Pacific Business News.

The state board overseeing development in Kakaako approved a permit to build a seventh condominium tower at Ward Village in a 5-4 vote Wednesday that includes a deadline to complete construction of a public plaza. Star-Advertiser.

The red garbage collection trucks of Rolloffs Hawaii will keep rolling for its roughly 2,000 Oahu customers, but under new ownership after a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved a sale of the struggling company Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii


Hawaii County Council members postponed a bill Wednesday that would strengthen restrictions on the purchase of alcohol after discussing whether certain ceremonial activities should be exempt. Tribune-Herald.

With Mayor Harry Kim shouldering all the blame for a perceived misstep, and dozens of people supporting his nomination, Corporation Counsel nominee Joe Kamelamela on Wednesday survived his first step toward confirmation. West Hawaii Today.

An uneasy discussion concerning the next Corporation Counsel for the County of Hawaii was held in Hilo on Wednesday morning. Big Island Video News.

Last year was a deadly one on Big Island roads, with more official traffic fatalities than 2014 and 2015 combined. Tribune-Herald.

After years of delays, the mauka boat ramp at the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor will finally receive a much-needed upgrade. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Sales have begun for an 86-acre, 28-lot industrial park in Central Maui, ranging in price from $16 to $24 per square foot, the broker handling the sales of the lots told Pacific Business News.

Sales began today at the Pulehunui Industrial Park, located midway between Kahului and Kīhei near Hawaiian Cement and the National Guard Armory in Puʻunēnē. Maui Now.

A national leader of health savings accounts and health policy will discuss better options for the state health care system and the public-private partnership involving the county’s three public hospitals at a lecture Jan. 11 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Maui News.

Last Denny’s restaurant in Maui County closes. Maui Watch.

Kauai

As the newly elected chair of the Hawaii Prosecuting Attorney’s Association, Justin Kollar hopes to continue working for productive relationships among key players in law enforcement. Garden Island.

The State Commission on Water Resource Management will hold a public hearing on proposed updates to the State Water Projects Plan at the Lihue Civic Center, Meeting Rooms 2A and 2B, at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Garden Island.

Almost month after volunteer cleanup, portion of trash heap to be cleared. Garden Island.