Friday, April 21, 2017

Firefighters get 2 percent raise, Cayetano urges Trump to cut rail funds, new rules for Aloha Stadium, lava boat tours face fines, another 30 days for Thirty Meter Telescope case, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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An arbitrator has awarded raises of more than 2 percent for each of the next two years to Hawaii firefighters in a binding decision that may be the bellwether of ongoing contract negotiations with all of the state and county public worker unions this year. Star-Advertiser.

Health care lobbyists in Hawaii are pushing lawmakers to kill part of a bill that would expand access to fertility treatments to same-sex couples who want to have a child. Associated Press.

A bill to generate school funding through a surcharge on investment properties and visitor accommodations has died. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate resumed its descent in March, falling to 2.7 percent, its lowest level in nearly 10 years. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate has continued its downward trend and dropped to its lowest figure in 10 years last month. Pacific Business News.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions drew fire Thursday for comments about the federal judge from Hawaii who halted President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Democratic lawmakers on Thursday criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions after he expressed amazement on a radio show that a “judge sitting on an island in the Pacific” could stop the president’s travel ban. Associated Press.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono raised nearly $300,000 in the first three months of the year, bringing her cash-on-hand total to more than $1 million. Civil Beat.

A state Circuit Court judge ruled Wednesday that the Hawaii Department of the Attorney General can keep secret its year-long investigation of the state auditor’s office. Civil Beat.

The future of cannabis in Hawaii -- that was the controversial topic of a forum held Thursday night at the Hawaii Democratic Party headquarters. Hawaii News Now.

One of Hawaii’s newest agricultural initiatives, industrial hemp, slowly is gaining its footing as state agencies lay groundwork for a long-term commitment to the crop. Tribune-Herald.

Professor says state’s coral reefs have chance to bounce back from bleaching. West Hawaii Today.

Oahu

Hawaii Senate To Propose 10-Year Extension On Rail Tax. But Honolulu would receive a smaller share of the surcharge while some money goes to the state highway fund. Civil Beat.

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano is urging President Donald Trump to cut funding for Honolulu’s beleaguered rail project, arguing that cost estimates are the some of the highest in the world. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu’s rail agency has started the process to acquire a First Hawaiian Bank-owned facility next to Kalihi Stream via eminent domain. Star-Advertiser.

The deed restrictions on the 100 acres of land under Aloha Stadium in Honolulu has officially been lifted, paving the way for a planned major redevelopment project that includes building a mixed-use community using a rail transit station, as well as a brand new, smaller stadium that could accommodate more events. Pacific Business News.

It took city, state and federal government officials assisted by attorneys and others, but the paperwork to lift restrictions against using the 98-acre Aloha Stadium property for anything other than recreation is officially done. Star-Advertiser.

City Council considers rules that would add accessibility to new homes. KHON2.

More than 1000 people are expected to March for Science in Honolulu Saturday. KITV.

New signs promoting environmental and cultural care are being installed around Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Participants in the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case will have another month to submit their final arguments. Tribune-Herald.

Two men could face substantial fines for allegedly operating illegal lava boat tours. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is recommending fines of $60,000 against Henry Pomroy, $20,000 against William Fujimoto and $60,000 against Ho‘okupu Fish Company LLC, which they co-own. Tribune-Herald.

Miss Aloha Hula 2017 is hula sister of last year’s winner. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

More than 1,000 Maui residents attended a Town Hall meeting hosted by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Thursday night at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Maui Now.

HC&S shutdown adds urgency to wildfire training. Firefighters prepare for their busy season, the first without the help of sugar plantation crews. Maui News.

Flurry of Activity at Flower Farm Followed by Private Property Reminder. Maui Now.

Pono Life Sciences Maui, LLC is opening up an office in Downtown Honolulu to help further the company’s education mission. Pacific Business News.

Kauai

Some locals say marijuana should be legalized, regulated. Garden Island.

The Department of Public Works will hold a meeting Tuesday on the proposed alternatives for the repair work planned for ‘Aliomanu Road in Anahola. Garden Island.