Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sunscreen ban advances, payday loan regulation passes Senate, Hawaii v. Trump in court today, new Honolulu agencies to cost $1M, Uber comes to Big Island, Haleakala records 1.3M visitors, UH grad programs drop in rating, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Swimming at Waikiki © 2017 All Hawaii News
State lawmakers have advanced a bill making it illegal to use or apply sunscreen containing any amount of oxybenzone while at the beach or in the ocean. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Senate voted last week to limit payday loan annual interest rates to 36 percent, down from the current allowable annual rate of 459 percent. Civil Beat.

More than 200 kupuna sporting orange T-shirts rallied at the state Capitol on Tuesday to protect senior programs in a “March for Meals,” as legislators weighed how to respond to a federal health care bill that could hike costs for the needy. Star-Advertiser.

Travel Ban Challenged In 3 Cities Wednesday — Including Honolulu. A local hearing is scheduled to begin six hours after one in Maryland and 90 minutes before another in Seattle. Civil Beat.

Hawaii versus Trump is expected be one of three lawsuits that will be heard in courts across the country Wednesday.  All this comes as President's Trump's travel ban is expected to kick in on Thursday. KITV.

Major federal budget cuts are going to hit Hawaii soon. Civil Beat.

Two high-profile state agencies are having difficulty attracting viable candidates to serve on their boards. Civil Beat.

Service members with Hawaii ties among group accused of trading military secrets for sex parties. KHON2.

Oahu

It will cost more than $1 million for the city to fully establish two new agencies that Oahu voters approved via City Charter amendments in November. Star-Advertiser.

The state Legislature is considering a bill to continue funding for Honolulu’s Rail Transit project. Hawaii Public Radio.

Just 3 inches below the asphalt on Factory Street in Kalihi lies a toxic dump that — until last summer — the government had forgotten about. Hawaii News Now.

Despite a growing call for a secondary access road through the Waianae Coast to relieve traffic congestion and address public safety concerns, the state Department of Transportation says it doesn’t have the money to build it and is instead focusing on improvements planned for Farrington Highway. Star-Advertiser.

While as many as a dozen residential high-rise condominiums are in some sort of development process along the Ala Moana-Kapiolani corridor, representing the next wave of towers in Honolulu’s urban core, a long-planned project roughly in the same area is now in limbo, Pacific Business News has learned.

A state judge says he intends to close his courtroom to the public when two Kamehameha Schools employees testify in May in a case involving a teacher accused of using a spy camera to record students in the shower at his home. Star-Advertiser.

Frustration mounts over 'slow' progress of Honolulu airport renovations. Hawaii News Now.

The city’s prosecutor and public defender agree that a pilot program to adjudicate low-level, nonviolent offenses for homeless defendants is working. Star-Advertiser.

Several of the graduate programs at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have taken a turn in the wrong direction based on the latest rankings of the country’s top graduate schools from U.S. News & World Report. Pacific Business News.

President Barack Obama heads to Kailua course during surprise visit to Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii

A bit of Silicon Valley is set to arrive on the Big Island this week with the launch of ride-hailing startup Uber. The phone app will go live Friday for the entire island. Tribune-Herald.

Controlling invasives and human activity in order to protect endangered species while honoring traditional practices and access rights are highlights of a management plan for county-owned lands along Kawa Bay that will be discussed at a public meeting this evening in Naalehu. West Hawaii Today.

The Office of Mauna Kea Management plans to nearly double the number of parking stalls at the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Parks and Recreation Director Charmaine Kamaka doesn’t yet have a concrete strategy to reclaim Old Kona Airport Park from the homeless population that has commandeered it through sheer numbers. But the outline of a plan is beginning to take shape. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Haleakalā National Park recorded 1,263,558 visitors in 2016, the National Park Service’s centennial year, up 4% (46,786 visitors) from 2015. Maui Now.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources released a statement today saying it has received numerous comments from concerned members of the public regarding the Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice for a water lease in East Maui filed by Alexander & Baldwin Inc. and East Maui Irrigation Company, Limited.  Maui Now.

Golf enthusiasts on Maui are pitching ideas ranging from higher prices to night golf in an attempt to keep Maui County's mayor from shutting down an 87-year-old municipal golf course. Associated Press.

Kauai

In its newest version, the General Plan Update spells out ways to enforce policies. Garden Island.

Eradication plan questioned. About 15 attend Waimea meeting on proposal to poison Lehua Island rats to protect native birds. Garden Island.

Kunoa Cattle Co., which manages about 2,000 cattle across several thousand acres of former sugarcane land on Kauai and operates the Oahu slaughterhouse facility, has received $300,000 from a Hawaii-based venture capital fund, the company said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.