Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Legislature ponders road taxes, pesticides, kupuna care; Honolulu airport cargo facility mired in litigation; Thirty Meter Telescope hearing officer's contract renewed; Zuckerberg moves to No. 5 on billionaire list, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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The city of Honolulu is adding more than a dozen full time positions to its Ala Moana park staff. This is just part of the mayor’s plan to improve the park with many projects already underway. KHON2.

Lawmakers are trying to decide which of your taxes to raise to help operate and maintain Hawaii's highway system, including one proposal that would have changed the vehicle tax system entirely. Hawaii News Now.

Rep. Richard Creagan wants to take another shot at passing a bill that would require agribusinesses that use large amounts of pesticides to disclose what pesticides they apply, where and in what amounts. Civil Beat.

A bill that brings relief to kupuna caregivers is gaining momentum at the capitol. Under this legislation, a caregiver can get up to $70 a day to help care for their loved ones. KITV.

Those Tourists Are Actually Good For Hawaii. Hawaiian Airlines’ top executive Mark Dunkerley believes visitor spending is what’s going to make up for federal budget cuts. Civil Beat.

A bill that would’ve provided a tax credit for energy storage projects has been shelved. Pacific Business News.

Emergency planners and government officials from across the Pacific are attending a conference on natural disaster and climate adaptation planning this week at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Star-Advertiser.

Bank of Hawaii Chairman, President and CEO Peter Ho earned $167,564 less in total compensation in 2016 than he did the previous year, according to a proxy statement the company filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

More than six years after the state awarded a contract to build a $73 million maintenance and cargo facility at Honolulu Airport, the partially finished project stands vacant and stuck in a legal tangle of disputes among a general contractor, subcontractors and the state Department of Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

While private money will never pay for a significant part of Honolulu’s stalled rail project, having the private sector shoulder more of the risk might result in a quicker, less costly finish, according to a new report. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s troubled rail project could save as much as $570 million by getting a private sector contractor to finance the final push for the 21-station, 20-mile line, according to a report released Monday. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council Considers Bill to Prohibit Use of Cell Phones in Crosswalks. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. David Ige will soon have an opportunity to tweak the makeup of a state board regulating development in Kakaako, and some community members fear that two board incumbents could be replaced by pro-development representatives. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Convention Center predicts it'll lose $1.5 million this year. KITV.

As many as 300 people had to be evacuated from a Kalihi apartment building on Sunday after nearly 40 pipe bombs were discovered inside one of the building's units, according to a Honolulu Police Department spokesperson. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources extended its contract with hearing officer Riki May Amano to complete the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case. Tribune-Herald.

A group of veterans’ organizations left a videoconference meeting with Mayor Harry Kim on Monday optimistic that a laundry list of problems at West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery will be addressed. West Hawaii Today.

A lawsuit over whether a state Department of Health official can substitute other physicians for a psychiatrist contracted with Kona Community Hospital will play out in a Kona courtroom starting next week. West Hawaii Today.

John McDermott said if neighbor islands want the best care for their most vulnerable seniors then citizens must do for those people what he’s made a career of doing for the elderly — advocate. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui police were seeking the public’s help in identifying two suspects in a robbery and kidnapping at gunpoint of two tourists last week. Star-Advertiser.

Questions surrounding the death of a Maui resident at a prison in Arizona in 2015 are being brought to light in an investigative article, “Prisoners in Hawaiʻi Are Being Sent to Die in Private Prisons in Arizona” that appears in the March issue of VICE magazine. Maui Now.

Camp offers reprieve, hope for children of isle inmates. Maui News.

Kauai

Mark Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook and owns property on Hawaii's island of Kauai, moved up to No. 5 in the annual ranking of the world’s richest billionaires by Forbes magazine, which was released on Monday. Pacific Business News.

80-unit luxury hotel planned; boating limits may be lifted. Garden Island.

There’s a web of secret passageways used by pollutants to reach the reefs that fringe Kauai’s beaches. Garden Island.