Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Sunscreen oxybenzone ban advanced to protect coral, 100 attend assisted suicide forum, Hawaii's county workers highest paid, Legislature mulls Affordable Care Act, Honolulu mayor pushes for general excise tax surcharge, spectacular lava poses danger to onlookers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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A proposed ban on sunscreen products containing oxybenzone, which includes most of the sun protection items currently on store shelves, was approved by the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee on Tuesday. Civil Beat.

The House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection on Tuesday advanced a bill that would prohibit the sale of sunscreens containing the chemical oxybenzone. Garden Island.

The House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection today advanced House Bill 600, introduced by Representative Nicole Lowen (District 6, Kailua-Kona, Holualoa), which would prohibit the sale of sunscreens containing the chemical oxybenzone. Maui Now.

About 100 people attended a forum on physician-assisted suicide Tuesday in the state Capitol auditorium. Attendees heard details of House Bill 201 (Relating to Aid in Dying), listened to experiences from patients and doctors, and had some of their questions answered about the matter. Star-Advertiser.

Congress is taking steps to repeal part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act commonly referred to as Obamacare.   Hawai’i lawmakers are also advancing legislation to protect residents who might lose their medical coverage. Hawaii Public Radio.

Concerned about the dissolution of the Affordable Care Act, state lawmakers are introducing bills to merge into Hawaii law the consumer protections they consider the best parts of the federal program. Associated Press.

Lawmakers Debate Bills To Make It Easier To Evict People. Housing Committee Chairman Tom Brower says he hasn’t decided about measures to amend the landlord-tenant code. Civil Beat.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has decided to personally pay for her trip to Syria, following new stories about her trip sponsor being a backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard says she will “personally reimburse” all the costs of her recent week-long trip to Syria. Civil Beat.

New data released on Tuesday reveals county workers in Hawaii make the highest average wages in the nation, compared to employees from counties in other states. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Democratic Party is pulling its business from First Hawaiian Bank in support of Dakota pipeline protests. Hawaii Public Radio.

A former Hawaii State Supreme Court associate justice has died. Justice Mario Ramil was sworn in in 1993, and served for nearly a decade. KHON2.

Oahu

If state lawmakers will agree to extend the half-percent excise tax surcharge on Oahu to provide desperately needed funding for the city’s rail project, the city would be willing to share the tax revenues from that surcharge with the state, according to a pitch made Tuesday by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and City Council Chairman Ron Menor. Star-Advertiser.

Funding of police chief’s severance raises dispute: Does the Police Commission have the authority to spend HPD money? Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric announced Tuesday it has revived three major solar projects on Oahu that it terminated last year not long before the company that was supposed to build them filed for bankruptcy. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a $9.8 million military contract to a joint venture between Hawaii contractors Aulii Construction and Nan Inc., for work at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

The developer of a long-planned condominium project at the southern slopes of Punchbowl Crater in Honolulu is moving ahead with its development after filing building permits totaling $22 million. Pacific Business News.

A recent approval to build a seventh condominium tower at Ward Village is now on hold after the project’s developer filed objections to a few conditions imposed by a state agency regulating development in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

A man who got sick with Hepatitis A during last year's outbreak is demanding money from Genki Sushi and the chain's food suppliers, and he isn't alone. Lawyers are embroiled in dozens of cases related to the outbreak, including 3 class-action lawsuits. Hawaii News Now.

Maintenance issues persist in aging dorms at University of Hawaii at Manoa. KHON2.

New details about the investigation into the slaughter of 15 protected Laysan albatrosses at Kaena Point are contained in court documents filed by an attorney for one of the defendants. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

The chief of the Hawaii Fire Department and at least two department staff flew to the state Capitol this week to testify in favor of a bill that would add an extra ambulance in Puna. Tribune-Herald.

Just months after Hawaii County celebrated an $11.6 million upgrade to Mauna Kea Recreation Area, the county announced Tuesday the park has been closed until further notice. West Hawaii Today.

Scientists discovered they're dealing with not one but two strains of deadly fungus obliterating Ohi'a Lehua trees on the Big Island. KITV.

VIDEO: Spectacular “Lava Hose” Continues Plunge Into Sea. Big Island Video News.

A long, lateral crack in sea cliffs built by Kilauea Volcano has scientists worried about a second collapse into the ocean. Star-Advertiser.

Authorities are cracking down on visitors entering an off-limits area inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to get a closer look at the lava spewing into the ocean. National Park Service law enforcement officers have cited 28 people since a large delta collapsed a month ago, forming a fire hose of lava. Hawaii News Now.

Donation brings companion to Kona’s most famous, loneliest donkey. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

An empty bunk bed and two mattresses lying side by side on the floor — only steps away from the toilet — is a common sight in Maui Community Correctional Center cells originally designed for two inmates. Maui News.

Chancellor urges Legislature to establish $2.5M financial aid fund. Maui News.

The County of Maui Department of Environmental Management announced it is soliciting grant applications/proposals from the public for the use of available funds from the DEM Recycling Grant, Fiscal Year 2018. MauiWatch.

Kauai

Three free workshops on food safety and spoilage are being offered around the island as a part of a statewide effort to promote safe and healthy local food in schools. Garden Island.

Anthony Morita is new community relations sergeant. Garden Island.