Monday, February 6, 2017

Hawaii Legislature mulls decriminalizing prostitution, lawmaker seeks 'urine-free' zones, Air Force wants Kauai missile testing to resume, Honolulu train woes intensify, Kim may scrap compost plan, Maui airport expansion plan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Capitol © 2017 All Hawaii News
Hawaii lawmakers plan to tackle bills on for-profit universities, bathroom vandals and renewable energy in the upcoming week at the Legislature. Associated Press.

Complaints from residents and visitors about urine and feces left in public places have prompted state Rep. Gene Ward to introduce a measure to impose fines of up to $2,000 for repeat offenders who relieve themselves in certain spots. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers are considering decriminalizing prostitution in the state after the speaker of the House introduced a bill that would also legalize buying sex and acting as a pimp. Associated Press.

A proposed law to require candidates for U.S. president and vice president to make their tax returns public before they can qualify for the ballot in Hawaii might turn out to be unconstitutional, and lawmakers are putting the issue on hold for the moment. Star-Advertiser.

Rep. Nicole Lowen of Kona’s 6th District has introduced a bill this session that would cap initial prescriptions for highly addictive opioids and benzodiazepines at seven consecutive days. West Hawaii Today.

Should Hawaii Become A Sanctuary State? Some elected officials and community activists are working to position Hawaii to better help people affected by Trump’s immigration policies. Civil Beat.

UH scientists ready to blaze a trail in microbiome quest. Star-Advertiser.

The state Public Charter School Commission is not fully meeting its statutory duties, in part because it lacks a strategic vision, a recently completed investigation by the Board of Education has found. Star-Advertiser.

A recent report reveals more Native Hawaiians die from cancer each year than any other ethnic group in Hawaii. KITV.

Nearly six years after the earthquake and tsunami event that devastated Fukushima, Japan, debris continues to wash up on Hawaiian beaches. Tribune-Herald.

Commentary: In Hawaii, it has become established practice that the Republicans murder their young attractive candidates. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

With rail facing its gravest fiscal crisis yet, a local cadre that once advocated bringing the elevated transit system down to street level in town is reviving that idea — and it’s taking its pitch directly to state lawmakers. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Rapid Transit---Maybe a Bus? Hawaii Public Radio.

Years after high-profile school shakeup at Kaiser High, details finally come to light. KHON2.

Oahu's construction market is operating at a blistering pace. That has some contractors cutting corners — and the fines are piling up. Hawaii Public Radio.

Construction of the long-awaited Nanakuli Public Library is expected to be finished by the end of summer, state officials say. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Pacific University is moving forward with plans to add more dorms and a student dining facility in downtown Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

The PBS television home improvement show "Ask This Old House" will film in Hawaii for the first time for an episode that includes segments with a local woodworker and Oahu’s Mao Organic Farms. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

Mayor Harry Kim says he is looking to scrap plans for a $10.3 million composting facility, citing concerns about its cost. Tribune-Herald.

Hopes are high in the Hawaiian homestead community of Pana’ewa that the county will cancel the contract for the planned East Hawaii Organics Facility. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County police misconduct continues to remain relatively low, with two officers fired and eight others suspended without pay last year, according to an annual report released Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

The Counsel and Advocate representing the Hawaiian Kingdom in a recently initiated international fact finding proceeding spoke to a small audience at a Puna home on Friday evening. Big Island Video News.

Researchers say they need additional funding to learn more about a rapidly spreading fungus that has been killing native ohia trees on Hawaii’s Big Island. Associated Press.

Maui
The main runway at Kahului Airport would be extended by about 1,500 feet to 8,530 feet to accommodate fully loaded aircraft with direct reach to the Midwest, according to a recently completed update of the Kahului Airport Master Plan. Maui News.

New management is taking over the state-owned, dryland boat and trailer storage at Mala Wharf where a Lahaina man paid the state a fraction of its generated revenue and operated it for 35 years, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Maui News.

Well before dawn each morning, throngs of tourists from around the world make their way to Maui’s tallest peak, a dormant volcano, to see what Mark Twain called the “sublimest spectacle” he ever witnessed. Associated Press.

Kauai

The Air Force wants to bring its weapons testing program back to the Pacific Missile Range Facility and a public comment period on the program closes Monday. Garden Island.

The fate of a bill that will give the county ownership over units in an affordable housing development will be decided Wednesday. Garden Island.

Forcing kamaaina families to sell their ancestral lands has been a provocative issue in Hawaii for more than a century, and that’s not changing just because the billionaire leader of Facebook has quit his litigation to acquire such land on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

A property at the Kukuiula Development on Kauai’s South Shore recently sold for nearly $5 million to a descendant of a Cincinnati bank president, while another property in the master-planned luxury golf community was sold to a former Montana state senator, Pacific Business News has learned.

The Garden Isle has a new district court judge. Michael Soong was sworn into office on Jan. 3.  Garden Island.

Coco Palms to be restored by 2018. Garden Island.

Invasive parakeets are ruining crops and eliciting complaints from people on Kauai. Invasive species experts estimate the population has grown to more than 5,000 rose-ringed parakeets on the island. Associated Press.