Friday, March 24, 2017

Assisted suicide bill dies in Legislature, Trump judge threatened, 24/7 alcohol purchases now allowed on Maui, bacteria at Waikiki beach, fuel tax bill killed, hope for coral reefs, utilities model mulled by potential buyers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Ornate butterflyfish with damaged coral © 2017 All Hawaii News
New information could be on the horizon for the world’s declining coral reefs, as well as a more complete picture of their health. Garden Island.

The FBI says authorities are aware that the federal judge in Hawaii who ruled against President Donald Trump’s travel ban has received threatening messages. Associated Press.

Hawaii lawmakers defeat a bill allowing terminally ill patients to end their own lives.The action comes after decades of debate, which culminated in hours of testimony Thursday morning.  Associated Press.

A bill that would allow terminally ill patients to obtain prescriptions for lethal doses of medication is dead for the year after the House Health Committee deferred the measure, saying, in part, that there were too many kinks to be worked out before the legislative session ends in May. Star-Advertiser.

A lack of specifics in the current draft of the controversial 'Death with Dignity' bill is partially the reason some lawmakers decided to table the issue. Hawaii News Now.

The House Health Committee killed a bill Thursday that would have made it legal for Hawaii adults diagnosed with a terminal illness to take medication that would end their lives. Garden Island.

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The state House and Senate separately — and unanimously — passed bills earlier this month to extend and expand tax credits for low-income people while raising taxes on the wealthy. Civil Beat.

A bill that would have increased Hawaii’s fuel tax to fund state highway improvement projects is dead. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii legislative committees have passed new versions of bills addressing vacation rentals. Lawmakers have been keen to devise ways to make sure vacation rental operators are paying transient accommodation taxes just like hotels. Associated Press.

Another attempt to consolidate management and planning for Hawaii’s airports is making its way through the state House of Representatives. Tribune-Herald.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees on Thursday approved a proposal to hire an independent certified public accounting firm to conduct a wide-ranging financial audit and management review of the agency and its subsidiaries. Star-Advertiser.

Firefighters’ meal allowance among points of discussion as contract negotiations continue. KHON2.

Companies are lining up to possibly buy Hawaiian Electric Co. subsidiary Maui Electric Co., the mayor of Maui County confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Washington D.C.-based Twenty First Century Utilities, a company looking to own and operate regulated utilities, proposed a business model that could be used in Hawaii at the Maui Energy Conference. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Energy Conference: ‘What Type Of Place Are We Trying To Create?’ Experts discussed Hawaii’s move away from fossil fuels amid buzz about another potential buyer for Hawaiian Electric. Civil Beat.

The Maui Energy Conference, which is currently underway in its fourth year, reports the highest amount of attendees in its short history, a conference organizer confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The state Health Department is warning the public about elevated bacteria levels at popular Kaimana Beach in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

State health officials are warning beach lovers in Waikiki about a spike in an “indicator bacteria” in the waters off Sans Souci Beach that could lead to diarrhea and vomiting. Star-Advertiser.

Sick beachgoers say 'cesspool' at Pokai Bay is source of infections. Hawaii News Now.

Some City Council members are trying to block transferring oversight of Thomas Square to the Department of Enterprise Services from the Department of Parks and Recreation amid concerns the move could commercialize the historic site. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers discuss homeless concerns as retailers prepare to open in Iwilei. KHON2.

If you park in front of your own driveway, you could get a ticket.  But, a proposal from Honolulu Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi could change that. KITV.

A scary encounter involving two female city workers and a homeless man is highlighting the need for increased security at Honolulu Hale. Hawaii News Now.

It might only be a temporary grass lawn, but construction of a “central plaza” at Ward Village in Kakaako is slated to move forward by the end of this year with the demolition of several warehouse buildings. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

Planned upgrades at the Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant won’t only offer recycled water to irrigate growing Kona developments, they can also drastically reduce the discharge of nitrogen and phosphorus — two nutrients that can be harmful if they get into groundwater. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Residents on Maui can now purchase alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Maui is the first county in the state to relax existing liquor laws that restrict the sale of alcohol between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Hawaii News Now.

Maui County is the first in the state to allow stores to sell alcohol any time of the day. KHON2.

The Department of Liquor Control on Maui has lifted the time restriction on the sale of alcohol at retail locations and hotels in Maui County. Maui Now.

In addition to eliminating dry hours for alcohol sales at retail stores and hotels, the Maui County Liquor Commission approved rule changes allowing home delivery of alcoholic beverages and removing the more than three-decade-old cap on the number of hostess bars in the county. Maui News.

Work has begun on buildings in the first phase of Alexander & Baldwin’s Kamalani project in Kihei with the first affordable units expected to be completed in the summer, an A&B official said Wednesday. Maui News.

Kauai

The blessing of Koloa Landing, Phase III marked the completion of the $100 million expansion project on 25 acres leading to the rocky coastline adjacent to the Koloa Landing small boat launch site. Garden Island.

A claim filed by Kauai Police Department Chief Darryl Perry was discussed in executive session during the Kauai County Council meeting Wednesday. Garden Island.