Friday, February 24, 2017

Task force urges delay of new jail, Maui wind farm seeks to kill more endangered bats, most want recreational marijuana, homelessness as a medical condition, Ellison's Lanai water at issue, rat lungworm debated, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Jail guard in Hilo © 2017 All Hawaii News
A 13-member task force led by Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Michael Wilson is recommending that the state hold off on its plans for building a new jail on Oahu until the group can issue a final report at the end of the year that provides a road map for reforming the state’s correctional system. Star-Advertiser.

The State Legislature created a task force last session to provide recommendations to improve Hawai’i’s Correctional System.  They briefed lawmakers on an interim report today. Hawaii Public Radio.

Legislation that would classify chronic homelessness as a medical condition and allow the state to pull from its $2 billion annual Medicaid fund to house those who qualify is on its way to a vote on the floor of the Hawaii State Senate. West Hawaii Today.

A growing number of Hawaii residents want marijuana to be legalized for recreational use, a poll released Thursday by the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii shows. Star-Advertiser.

A bill in the Hawaii Legislature could limit some people's rights to file public records requests with public agencies, raising concerns that it could reduce journalists' and community members' access to information. The proposal would allow a state office to declare a person a "vexatious records requester."  Associated Press.

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands didn’t produce any new housing units for Native Hawaiians last fiscal year, even though it has $38 million in unspent federal funds. Civil Beat.

Flaws in protective order system leave abuse victims vulnerable. KHON2.

Hawaii lawmakers are considering putting up hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight rat lungworm disease, a condition in which parasitic worm larvae infect people's brains. Associated Press.

State lawmakers were briefed on the current status of rat lungworm disease that is worrying East Hawai’i Island residents. Hawaii Public Radio.

An informational briefing was held at the State Capitol on Wednesday, providing state legislators with an update on Rat Lungworm Disease from the Department of Health and a state-wide RLD Joint Task Force. Big Island Video News.

Based on the state's latest data, Hawaii has about 450,000 homes. A little more than 194,000 of those are rentals. Real estate analyst Rick Cassiday estimates the military occupies between 10,000-to-20,000 of those units. KITV.

Anti-Trump Movement Urges Hawaii Politicians To Take A Stand. Members of a new hui called Indivisible Hawaii are letting the state’s congressional delegation know they are worried about the country. Civil Beat.

Oahu

State lawmakers have advanced a bill aimed at providing some relief to Waianae Coast residents who endure hours of daily traffic congestion. Star-Advertiser.

Condominium sales in Kakaako helped the owner of Ward Village earn a $202 million profit last year that was up about 60 percent from $127 million the year before. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Mayoral Luncheon will be held at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay from 11:30 a.m - 1:30 p.m. Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

East Hawaii lawmakers want to beef up Hawaii Community College’s agriculture program. Tribune-Herald.

A Hilo nursing home facing loss of Medicare certification instead achieved a flawless inspection. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A Maui wind farm wants the government to increase the number of endangered Hawaiian hoary bats it is allowed to kill, after passing the limit 15 years ahead of schedule. Star-Advertiser.

Maui coffee farmers worry that state Department of Agriculture standards are tainting the image of an industry that’s already losing good beans to the coffee berry borer. Maui News.

Maui Land &Pineapple Co. kept liquidating assets during the final three months of last year in a continuing strategy that enabled the company to produce a $7.4 million profit in the fourth quarter that compared with a $900,000 loss in the same period the year before. Star-Advertiser.

Pacific Biodiesel Technologies plans to begin farming Hawaii’s largest biofuel crop project with a ground blessing scheduled for Friday on the Valley Isle, the Maui company said this week. Pacific Business News.

Safeway will anchor the new Ho Ľokele Shopping Center, a 94,000-square-foot center located at the gateway to Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.’s Maui Business Park in Central Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

The US Postal Service plan to close the Rice Street post office throws a wrench into the revitalization plan for downtown Lihue, but it could also help with safety concerns for pedestrians. Garden Island.

The state has said its plan to harvest non-native trees in the Lihue-Koloa Forest Reserve and the ongoing construction of the bridge over the Keahua Stream at the entrance to the reserve are not connected. Garden Island.

County administration has made it clear it doesn’t support establishing a pedestrian easement to get to a Koloa beach, and that’s what concerns Councilman Mel Rapozo. Garden Island.

Lanai

When the billionaire co-founder of Oracle Corp., Larry Ellison, purchased the majority of the Hawaiian island of Lanai for $300 million in 2012, there was at least one major unresolved issue on the Pineapple Island — the water used at the Manele Golf Course near the Four Seasons Resort Lanai. Pacific Business News.