Monday, March 13, 2017

Pesticides play politics in state House, advocates want Hawaii to be sanctuary state, DLNR seeks criminal probe at Kona boat harbors, bill could require Honolulu building inspections, Maui mayor's plan to sell golf course irks golfers, Kauai monk seal killing reward upped to $50k, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

special to All Hawaii News
Pesticide spray in Hilo, special to All Hawaii News
Lawmaker May Lose Committee Chair Over Pesticide Bill. Hawaii Rep. Angus McKelvey’s effort to push through a contentious pesticide disclosure bill could lead to his ouster as head of Consumer Protection and Commerce. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has started posting data on what kinds of restricted-use pesticides large agricultural companies apply each month and in what amounts. Civil Beat.

A proposed bill to increase the counties’ allocation of money generated from the transient accommodations tax passed in the Hawaii Senate. Garden Island.

A bill to replace the term “medical marijuana” with “medical cannabis” in state law is moving through the Legislature, though most other marijuana-related measures have died. Tribune-Herald.

Senate Bill 518 and companion House Bill 680 would mandate all those with barber, beauty operator and instructor licenses under the state Board of Barbering and Cosmetology complete a one-time, three-hour training program on domestic violence awareness and education. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Board of Education has suspended its search for the next state schools superintendent after a foundation pulled back from a large donation to support the effort. Civil Beat.

The search for the next schools superintendent is delayed over concerns about fairness. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in nearly 10 years. Star-Advertiser.

While hotel occupancy rose only slightly in January, the industry saw record revenue of $561 million. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii tourism had another record year of arrivals in 2016, but statewide sales of homes typically bought by visitors barely budged, a new report shows. Star-Advertiser.

Advocates for immigrants are ramping up efforts to make Hawaii a sanctuary state. Hawaii News Now.

State Attorney General Doug Chin, who filed the nation’s first state lawsuit Wednesday to block President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, said the executive order still discriminates against residents of Muslim-majority countries in spite of the watered-down language. Star-Advertiser.

A new technical report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggests that climate change-induced sea level rise over the course of this century, especially in Hawaii, may be far worse than predicted in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenario that has been serving as a guide for a number of local efforts to address climate change impacts. Civil Beat.

Growth in out-of-state investment in Hawaii real estate is prompting the state to take a closer look at property tax rates. Tribune-Herald.

A bill seeking to ban foam containers was shelved this session, despite sizable public support. Star-Advertiser.

Catherine Ngo, president and chief executive officer of Central Pacific Bank, earned $1,051,039 last year, $45,071 less than she did in 2015, despite an increase in salary, according to the bank’s annual proxy statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Airlines unveiled an Airbus A321neo full-flight simulator to train pilots ahead of the airline’s full incorporation of the fleet starting next year. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Two bills that would require most Oahu commercial buildings, condominiums and apartments to be inspected every five years moved out of a City Council committee Thursday, despite concerns raised by both a condo association group and the Department of Planning and Permitting. Star-Advertiser.

Building 800 affordable homes annually on Oahu is a goal Mayor Kirk Caldwell laid down last month. It is ambitious. And he said he has an aggressive strategy to get it done. But a close look at his plan suggests it will be tough to realize. Star-Advertiser.

The first phase of a 320-unit affordable rental apartment complex in east Kapolei could break ground at the end of this year or early next year, Michaels Development Co. officials say. Star-Advertiser.

As the University of Hawaii works to modernize buildings on the aging Manoa campus, officials want to move away from static learning and research spaces toward facilities that foster collaboration across fields. Star-Advertiser.

When Salem Partners first inquired about building a condominium-hotel tower across from the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, little did the Los Angeles-based investment bank and wealth management firm know that several other towers would be joining its project along Kapiolani Boulevard. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaiian Humane Society this spring plans to start building Hawaii’s first high-volume spay-and-neuter clinic focused on “free-roaming” cats to reduce their numbers on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has joined Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth in asking the state attorney general to investigate the ethics issues and allegations that continue to roil the waters at West Hawaii small boat harbors. West Hawaii Today.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has taken the first step toward starting a contested case hearing for the Thirty Meter Telescope’s sublease on Mauna Kea by seeking applicants for a hearing officer. But it remains unclear when or if the quasi-judicial hearing — the third so far — will be held. Tribune-Herald.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will soon begin work to determine the extent of munitions and explosives of concern remaining from military training and on more than 1,900 acres on Kohala Mountain’s flanks. West Hawaii Today.

Council Chairwoman Valerie Poindexter has called a meeting over runoff dispute between dairy, neighbors. West Hawaii Today.

Demolition by neglect: Fate of Naalehu Theater remains in limbo, even as it deteriorates. Tribune-Herald.

Work on the Hilo Bayfront Trails continues despite an unexpected setback in the grant cycle that caused organizers to shift priorities. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Mayor Alan Arakawa’s proposed shutdown of the 87-year-old Waiehu Municipal Golf Course drew the ire of Maui golfers, who praised the course for its beauty and affordability. Maui News.

Golfers are criticizing a plan by Maui County’s mayor to shut down an 87-year-old municipal golf course. Associated Press.

A 285-acre business park is being proposed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources on former sugar lands in Pulehunui. Maui News.

Maui County could see a small increase in its share of the hotel room tax and money for an agricultural park in South Maui, and there may be hope for 250 low-income residents who are looking at being priced out of their Lahaina apartments as the Legislature cleared a key deadline Thursday. Maui News.

Maui hotel room rates jumped 10 percent last week with other Islands experiencing similar gains compared to last year, according to the Hospitality Advisors LLC and STR weekly hotel report. Pacific Business News.

Undocumented immigrants on Maui are unsure of future. Given the changing policies, some worry they’ll get caught up in deportation fervor. Maui News.

Hawaii Gas is planning to build a new storage facility for propane tanks near Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary in Kahului, company officials said Tuesday. Maui News.

Kauai

Planning Commission to discuss General Plan Update. General Plan Update goes to Planning Commission Tuesday. Garden Island.

The state plans to once again take on the rats that have colonized Lehua Island. Details will be presented Tuesday at the Waimea Neighborhood Center. Garden Island.

The state wants to eradicate rats on a small island off Niihau to create a refuge for threatened and endangered seabirds as rising sea levels threaten low-lying atolls. Star-Advertiser.

A total of $50,000 is being offered for information about the killings of five Hawaiian monk seals, including the February death of a 15-year old female known as R4DP on Kauai. Garden Island.

The Hawaii Department of Health will reconvene public hearings statewide to introduce amendments to Chapter 50 of the state’s Food Safety Code. Garden Island.

Hawaiian Airlines starts direct service from Lihue to Kona. Garden Island.