Thursday, February 2, 2017

One of only six GOP legislators ousted as House minority leader after criticizing Trump, may switch parties; first two marijuana dispensaries get OK to grow; Legislature mulls police cameras, gun silencers; Maui man charged with threats to mayor; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Facebook photo
Opening day Olelo interview of Rep. Beth Fukumoto, Facebook photo
The six lone Republicans in the state Legislature ousted their leader today in a House Resolution vote. Hawaii Public Radio.

Republicans in the Hawaii House of Representatives on Wednesday ousted minority leader Rep. Beth Fukumoto over her criticism of President Donald Trump, including calling him a bully at last month’s Women’s March in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

State Rep. Beth Fukumoto, the top Republican officeholder in Hawaii, may jump parties. Civil Beat.

A Republican State Representative in Hawaii is considering leaving the GOP and joining the Democrats due her party’s staunch support of President Donald Trump. Big Island Video News.

A Republican lawmaker in deep-blue Hawaii is considering switching parties to become a Democrat after she was pressured to give up her leadership role for criticizing President Donald Trump. Associated Press.

Hawaii's Republican Party on Wednesday elected State Rep. Andria Tupola as House Minority Leader, hours after passing a resolution that ousted Rep. Beth Fukumoto from the leadership role. Hawaii News Now.

Rep Beth Fukumoto: Beat up by her party, may defect. KITV.

A Hawaii lawmaker says she’s been bullied and attacked by her own party. Now Rep. Beth Fukumoto says she’s thinking of leaving the Republicans and joining the Democratic Party. KHON2.

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While the state Legislature focuses on an estimated $650 million jail for Oahu, community correctional facilities on the Neighbor Islands are far more crowded. West Hawaii Today.

Aloha Green Holdings Inc. on Oahu and Maui Grown Therapies, led by former Maui Land & Pineapple Co. Inc. CEO David Cole, received approval Wednesday from the state Health Department to start growing medical marijuana. Star-Advertiser.

Two medical marijuana dispensaries are the first to receive approvals to acquire and grow marijuana for medical products in Hawaiʻi. Maui Now.

A number of measures have been introduced in both houses of the state Legislature that would dictate the purchase and use of dashboard and body-worn cameras for police officers in departments statewide. Tribune-Herald.

A bill aiming to legalize the use of silencers on firearms is gaining support from local hunters. Garden Island.

Mental health patient’s family hopes bill will prevent tragedy. Star-Advertiser.

Environmental Council Wants Hawaii To Redefine Success. The council is proposing the use of a “genuine progress indicator” to evaluate the state in a way that goes beyond dollars and cents. Civil Beat.

Petition Calls for Tulsi Gabbard’s Removal From Key US House Posts. Organizers and signers are “infuriated and deeply troubled” by the Hawaii congresswoman’s recent trip to Syria, where she met with Bashar Assad. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Public Interest Measures Surface At Legislature. On balance and when push comes to shove, money talks, and ethics walks. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The Honolulu Police Department will ask the City Council to approve a $250,000 payment to outgoing Police Chief Louis Kealoha as well as reimbursement of those funds, HPD brass told the Police Commission on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Police Department doesn’t have enough money to pay outgoing Chief Louis Kealoha the $250,000 he and his attorney negotiated as part of a lucrative severance package that has raised eyebrows throughout the city. Civil Beat.

They’re supposed to uphold the law, but a new report is outlining some of the illegal activity Honolulu police officers have been caught doing. KHON2.

The Hawaii Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on whether a federal agent should face a third trial for fatally shooting a man in a Waikiki fast-food restaurant. State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy's attorney is expected to argue Thursday that another trial would be double jeopardy. Associated Press.

Something's broken at Honolulu Hale: Councilman Trevor Ozawa has been dealing with a shattered window after recent high winds but that's just the beginning of costly repairs for asbestos and water damage. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii regulators have rejected a request by The Howard Hughes Corp. to do away with conditions set for the approval of the newest mixed-use high-rise residential project within the developer's 60-acre Ward Village master-planned community in Honolulu, a spokesman for the state agency confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

A state House budget bill includes $8.9 million for Hilo Medical Center capital improvement projects. Tribune-Herald.

East Hawaii legislators are encouraging residents to stay active in efforts to pass a series of bills aimed at the long-term economic revitalization of Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Pablo M. Rivera, chief financial officer of the University of Nations/Youth with a Mission, has been charged with wire fraud for allegedly embezzling at least $1.5 million from the organization over a period of more than two years. West Hawaii Today.

One of the two people charged with intentionally setting fire to a Kona courthouse last year was recently sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A Wailuku man is again facing a charge alleging he threatened Mayor Alan Arakawa five years ago. Maui News.

Haleakala National Park officials reported roughly a third of normal crowds gathered to watch sunrise at the dormant volcano’s summit on Wednesday, the first day of the park’s new reservation system for early-morning visitors. Maui News.

The trend to buy locally grown Maui produce is strong and will last into the future, but a Maui purchaser said the government should step in to help, especially the small, local producers who have to deal with new regulations and Hawaii’s high costs. Maui News.

Medical marijuana sales could begin this summer on Maui after one of the island’s two licensed dispensaries received approval Wednesday to begin cultivation. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has upped its renewable energy goal to achieving 70 percent renewable energy by 2030, the Lihue-based utility said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Asbestos has been found in the tile flooring of the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall entrance. Garden Island.

Joseph Kamai has been fighting for public access to an ancient Hawaiian footpath that encircles Kauai for more than two decades. Garden Island.