Friday, February 17, 2017

Caldwell stresses affordable housing in State of the City speech, minimum wage hike advances in Legislature, state attorney general persists in travel ban opposition, foam food container ban back on table, Kauai seeks control of historic trail, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Honolulu mayor's office
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell State of the City address, courtesy photo
Mayor Kirk Caldwell made his pitch for more affordable housing and finishing the city’s troubled rail project at his fifth State of the City address Thursday evening. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell called Thursday for cooperation from other governments, the private sector, unions and nonprofits to help the city “turn the corner” on its affordable housing shortage. Civil Beat.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell unveiled a his plan to re-invigorate affordable housing construction on Oahu in his fifth State of the City address Thursday evening. Hawaii News Now.

Emphasizing the need for more affordable housing, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell delivered his fifth State of the City Address. KITV.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell delivered his fifth State of the City address Thursday evening. KHON2.

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A state Senate committee has passed a bill to increase the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019, but three other bills to incrementally raise the state minimum wage have been deferred in the House. Star-Advertiser.

Town Square: Sit-Down With Governor David Ige. Hawaii Public Radio.

State department delays mail-out of tax booklets. The state advised Hawaii businesses seeking to fill out their general excise tax returns to head online or to district offices before Monday’s deadline. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Stands Ready To Challenge Trump’s Promised New Order. The president said he would rescind his earlier travel ban — now stalled in court — and instead issue another one. Civil Beat.

The world's oldest known seabird has a new chick. Associated Press.

Oahu

Local rail officials and Hawaiian Electric Co. say they’ve agreed to a cheaper fix for many of the utility-line clearance problems that have plagued Oahu’s elevated transit project, saving about $140 million. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell has allowed a bill limiting the operation of tour buses, limousines and related commercial vehicles in most Waimanalo beach parks to become law without his signature. Star-Advertiser.

A local lawmaker is calling for the consolidation of administrative positions at the University of Hawaii at Manoa after a nationwide search for a new Chancellor came up empty. Hawaii News Now.

Investigation launched after Waikiki hotel diverts storm water into ocean. KHON2.

The Hawaii Convention Center today is unveiling $1.1 million in new flooring that can convert its 204,000-square-foot exhibition hall into courts for amateur and professional sporting events in an effort to diversify group business. Star-Advertiser.

A stingray smuggling bust turned into a new display at the Waikiki aquarium. KITV.

Kmart continues to pay American Assets Trust Inc. yearly base rents of $4.5 million for one of its shuttered Hawaii locations, the highest amount of any lease in its retail portfolio, according to public documents filed Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

A ban on polystyrene foam food containers is back before a County Council committee, following its close loss last year on a deadlocked vote. West Hawaii Today.

A bill that would have given control of Hawaii Health Systems Corp.’s East Hawaii medical facilities to Hawaii County appears to have died. Tribune-Herald.

The completion date for the long-delayed Komohana Street reconstruction project has again been pushed back. Initially estimated to be finished by February 2016, the work is now set for a mid-April timeline, according to the county Department of Public Works. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island’s efforts toward renewable energy and off-grid living took a giant leap with the inception of Ainamalu, a new Waikoloa community that began construction this week. West Hawaii Today.

Salvador Luquin, who owned a popular Mexican restaurant destroyed by last month’s fire, said he has purchased a lunch wagon and hopes to be cooking again in the next few weeks. Tribune-Herald.

A magnitude-4.5 earthquake struck off the coast of the Big Island on Friday morning, but it was not strong enough to generate a tsunami threat. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

A bill for about a $900,000 appropriation to offset costs for emergency repairs related to the September flooding in Iao Valley failed to garner enough votes Wednesday from a Maui County Council committee. Maui News.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved dredging of the Lahaina Harbor channel to clear a buildup of material that poses a danger to harbor traffic, West Maui state Rep. Angus McKelvey announced last week. Maui News.

Kauai

State lawmakers are weighing a bill that requires the state to identify the path of the ancient Ala Loa trail on Kauai and recognize it as a public trail. The trail, which generally follows the coast around the island, apparently includes a section that crosses the property of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as well as other oceanfront property owners reluctant to open their land. Star-Advertiser.

For the people of Kauai, the Lihue post office is more than just a swinging door for mail. Garden Island.

It’s going to take days and a crew of more than three people to dig out a net that’s implanted in the sand by the river mouth at South ‘Aliomanu Beach. Garden Island.