Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Aquarium fish trade up for debate, police body cam bills die, Senate withholding public testimony, Oahu property taxes could spike to pay for rail, Ige meeting with bond rating agencies, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


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Lowfin chub and parrotfish © 2017 All Hawaii News
 During the next two weeks, Hawaii lawmakers will be negotiating the final details of a bill to limit fishing for the commercial aquarium trade — potentially capping a decades-old battle that has pitted fish collectors against conservationists and tour operators. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Department of the Attorney General says the state Senate improperly denied a person’s constitutional protected right to submit testimony for legislative hearings. An attorney general opinion says legislators cannot censor public testimony about proposed bills. But they did just that. Civil Beat.

Legislative measures to increase accountability and transparency at the Hawaii Tourism Authority are dead this session, but lawmakers have attempted an end run by asking the state auditor to deliver the agency’s 2018 management audit by the start of next session. Star-Advertiser.

There won’t be a law this year requiring Hawaii’s police departments to purchase and use vehicle and body-worn video cameras. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. David Ige and other state government officials began two days of meetings Monday in San Francisco with the three major credit agencies in a bid to obtain favorable bond ratings that will allow the state to borrow money at reduced interest rates. Star-Advertiser.

Tulsi Gabbard’s stance on Syria puts her back in the hot seat. Star-Advertiser.

Ten “town hall” events are scheduled to take place in Hawaii in the next two weeks, including seven scheduled by U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, two by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and one conducted by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines’ stock soared more than 5 percent Monday after the company raised its revenue expectations for the first quarter. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Oahu property taxes would need to jump 8 to 14 percent for the city to pay the remaining tab on an East Kapolei-to-Ala Moana rail line if state lawmakers don’t agree to a 10-year extension on the general excise tax surcharge, city officials told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The Division of State Parks has launched a high-tech campaign to prevent homeless campers from returning to the Diamond Head State Monument. Civil Beat.

A company that was declared in default and removed more than a year ago from a state project to build a new hangar at Hono­lulu Airport now says it was wrongfully terminated from the job by the state Department of Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

Hikers near the Kuliouou Ridge Trail are beginning to make some resident's homes their homes. Residents say they've been dealing with trash and even people trekking through front yards to borrow garden hoses. KITV.

One of two managers who was scheduled to go to trial next month on felony charges related to a fatal fireworks explosion in a former Navy munitions bunker in Waikele has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in U.S. District Court. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council members were briefed last week on plans to ease parking and delivery congestion in Waikiki. Hawaii Public Radio.

Transforming an empty Waikiki retail building that was once anchored by a NikeTown store into a seven-story hotel is projected to begin in 2018 and be complete in mid-2020. Star-Advertiser.

Michaels Development Co., one of the largest private sector affordable housing owners and developers in the United States, recently revealed details regarding its long-planned affordable housing project in Kapolei, including that the development could start construction by the end of this year. Pacific Business News.

Great Harvest Bread Co., a bakery and lunch restaurant in Downtown Honolulu, has closed for good. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

The state Land Board this week will consider approving a drone survey of forests affected by rapid ohia death and review proposed regulations that include restricting access to state forest reserves during emergencies. Tribune-Herald.

Alii bridge and culvert to be replaced at Kahului Bay. West Hawaii Today.

A $94,500 stewardship agreement for the county-acquired property by the Waipi’o Valley Lookout, Koaʻekea, will continue. Big Island Video News.

Debate rages in Waikoloa Village over homeowner subsidization of golf course. West Hawaii Today.

The agency charged with running Hawaii's small boat harbors blatantly mistreats and retaliates against residents who use the facilities, according to Hawaii County's prosecuting attorney. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Members of a group opposed to new laws allowing the retail sale of alcohol 24/7 are expected to appear at the Maui County Liquor Control Commission meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Trask Building in Wailuku. Maui News.

The closing of Hawaii’s last sugar mill on Maui was the end of an era. But there’s a new cadre of innovative food startups and entrepreneurs hoping to write a new chapter for the Valley Isle’s agricultural story. Star-Advertiser.

Maui’s Kepaniwai Park at ʻĪao reopened today to increased visitor and residential traffic, after seven month closure. Maui Now.

County reopens Kepaniwai Park. Maui News.

Researchers are calling it an epidemic: a big spike in the number of people infected with rat lungworm disease in Hawaii. KHON2.

California couple contract rat lungworm disease during Maui honeymoon. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

A local cattle company that operates with 1,500 mama cows on the island recently received a six-figure investment from a Hawaii-based venture capital fund. Garden Island.

If all goes as planned, Lehua Island, a 284-acre state-designated seabird sanctuary less than a mile north of Niihau, will be rat-free in the near future. Civil Beat.

The concepts for five interpretive signs explaining the history and landscape of the Puna District will be unveiled at this year’s Earth Day celebration at Lydgate Beach Park. Garden Island.

AutoZone is opening its first store on the island of Kauai in the 8,575-square-foot former Blockbuster Video space at the Foodland-anchored Waipouli Town Center in Kapaa, the brokerage firm handling leasing for the center said Monday. Pacific Business News.