Thursday, March 9, 2017

Hawaii sues Trump over travel ban, House panel trims Ige's budget, foam food container ban bill paused, 10-cent checkout bags for Honolulu, renewable energy ahead of schedule, Arakawa cancels controversial lease, Kona makeover, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii attorney general
Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin, with members of the Muslim Association of Hawaii, at March 7, 2017, news conference. Credit: James Walther
A federal judge in Honolulu said Wednesday that Hawaii can move forward with filing what would be the first lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban. Associated Press.

Hawaii has filed for an immediate injunction against President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, becoming the first state in the country to wage a legal fight over the newly revised travel ban. Civil Beat.

Hawaii is boldly challenging President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban to “protect its residents, its employers, its educational institutions, and its sovereignty against illegal actions,” according to the state’s lawsuit filed Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i has become the first state to sue President Trump over his revised temporary travel ban. Hawaii Public Radio.

In anticipation of a lowered economic forecast coming out next week, the House Finance Committee called for shaving $500 million from the governor’s $14 billion budget proposal Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Economists say a shortage of housing is driving up housing costs, contributing to Hawaii’s high cost of living. Hawaii has the second-highest consumer debt in the nation and 77 percent of the debt is from mortgages. Associated Press.

Economists say Hawaii’s high cost of living tied to housing. West Hawaii Today.

A House bill backed by Airbnb that would enable the online vacation rental platform to act as a tax broker and collect and remit taxes on behalf of its hosts in Hawaii has crossed over to the Senate. Pacific Business News.

A bill seeking harsher punishments for people found guilty of child abuse has passed the House and will continue to the Senate. Garden Island.

Hawaiian Electric Co. says it’s ahead of schedule in reaching the state’s renewable energy goal, largely due to the popularity of rooftop solar systems. The state’s dominant electric utility said Wednesday that 25.8 percent of its electricity came from renewable energy resources last year, up from 23.2 percent in 2015. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. received nearly 26 percent of its energy from renewable resources in 2016, up from 23 percent in 2015, the company said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Ethics, insider edge, and governor’s role questioned in top school job switch. KHON2.

A complaint over the cost of a $10 blanket aboard a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Honolulu — and a comment about taking someone “to the woodshed over this” — led the pilot to dump the plane’s fuel and make an unscheduled landing in Los Angeles on Wednesday morning that likely cost the airline “tens of thousands of dollars.” Star-Advertiser.

Oahu


An effort to stiffen Oahu’s contentious checkout bag ban came down to agreement on a single issue before City Council members Wednesday — charging shoppers a minimum 10-cent fee for each bag. Star-Advertiser.

Residents would be able to pay for a permit to park directly in front of their driveways under a bill advanced by a City Council committee Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The city's proposal to double the cost of metered parking has residents up in arms, while others say it will increase the availability of those valuable stalls. Hawaii News Now.

A Campbell High School teacher has been disciplined after claiming in a staff-wide email Wednesday that he would not teach immigrant students who are in the country illegally. Star-Advertiser.

An educator at Campbell High School is in hot water for stoking the flames of how President Donald Trump's travel ban could impact his students. KITV.

Honolulu residents have the second highest credit score in the United States among large cities with a population of more than 300,000, according to a new report by WalletHub. Pacific Business News.

A proposal to allow a Waikiki nonprofit group to set parking fees, oversee freight and passenger deliveries, and make other transportation rules in the state’s No. 1 tourist destination garnered a mixed response from the public during a meeting Wednesday night. Star-Advertiser.

The attorney for a man suing former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, claims lawyers for the two are avoiding being served papers on the complaint, and wants to be able to serve them through a general publication instead. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

It’s back to the drawing board for a proposed ban on foam food containers. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Harry Kim defended his decision to cancel a 10-year compost agreement before the Hawaii County Council on Tuesday evening. Tribune-Herald.

A $65 million proposal to construct hundreds of residential units and hotel rooms, as well as commercial and community space, in Kailua-Kona is making headway. West Hawaii Today.

The Queen Liliuokalani Trust plans to develop a nearly 70-acre mixed-use project in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island that would include 300 residential units, 220 rooms in two hotels, a 50,000-square-foot community performance facility and 470,000 square feet of commercial space, according to public documents filed Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii County Council Public Works and Parks and Recreation Committee on Tuesday discussed plans for upgrading several of downtown Hilo’s aging streets, particularly Waianuenue Avenue. Tribune-Herald.

A tour group was caught in closed area near Hawaii’s active Kilauea volcano, and now the tour guide in charge of the visit faces a possible penalty. Big Island Video News.

Maui

A lease between Mayor Alan Arakawa’s family and a Hong Kong-based company seeking to build a photovoltaic farm on his family’s land in Kula that came under fire last year has been canceled, county and state records show. Maui News.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources plans to develop a 285-acre business park on former Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Co. lands on Maui that would include light industrial and other commercial businesses, according to public documents filed Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

A development group has scrapped plans to develop a long-planned mixed-use Puunani Subdivision project in Wailuku on Maui that would’ve included a total of nearly 600 homes, according to public documents filed Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

A former Maui Police Department officer was ordered to pay $1,500 in fines and was placed on one year’s probation Wednesday for issuing false parking and speeding tickets, in what the prosecution called “a breach of the public trust.” Maui News.

Kauai

Education, affordable housing, infrastructure and sustainability were among the topics Gov. David Ige told The Garden Island are top priorities for Kauai.

Post office resolution divides council. Proposal calling for Postal Service to leave Rice Street site open is deferred. Garden Island.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, whose grid has maxed out on the amount of solar it can take, has connected Tesla Powerpacks to get the island’s largest solar system online. Star-Advertiser.

Tesla Energy, a division of entrepreneur Elon Musk’s Tesla, and SolarCity, which recently was acquired by Tesla, unveiled its major solar farm and energy storage project on the Hawaiian island of Kauai Wednesday. Pacific Business News.