Friday, April 28, 2017

More unions get pay boost, Senate may ditch Ways and Means chairwoman in rail battle, bills in the balance as Legislature reaches crucial deadline, Maui mayor wants Oahu sand shipments stopped, LUC gives nod to Ellison's Lanai golf course, lifeguards lose lawsuit immunity, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Road work in the rain © 2017 All Hawaii News
An arbitration panel has awarded 6 percent to 7 percent raises to about 27,500 public employees in six bargaining units of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, the union announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands of state employees to get 4.25% raise as part of arbitration settlement. Hawaii News Now.

A tentative agreement has been reached between the Hawaii Government Employees Association Unit 6 and the state, which includes a salary raise of 13.53 percent over the next four years. Hawaii News Now.

On Friday, HGEA’s Unit 6, which represents educational officers, will vote cast ratification votes for a four-year contract made with the employer, which includes a salary increase of 13.53%. KHON2.

Hawaii public school teachers overwhelmingly voted in favor Thursday of a contract that will boost their pay by 13.6 percent over the next four years. Star-Advertiser.

Teachers voted to ratify a new contract in overwhelming fashion Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Public school teachers voted to ratify contract that gives them a 14% raise in the next four years. KITV.

Public school teachers ratify new contract, will receive 13.6% raise over four years. KHON2.

Lawmakers are once again eyeing a possible reorganization of the state Senate to try to clear the way to provide more funding for the city’s embattled rail project. Star-Advertiser.

A new twist in the rail drama is unfolding as lawmakers prepare to meet to decide how much longer to extend the half percent excise tax. KITV.

State lawmakers scrambled to move dozens of bills ahead of a Thursday night deadline for gaining approval from key House and Senate negotiators on measures that don’t carry a price tag. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lifeguards will lose immunity from lawsuits this summer after the Senate announced Thursday night that they are going along with a House bill that allows the protection to expire. Hawaii News Now.

A committee of Hawaii lawmakers is moving forward with a bill that would allow the Honolulu Police Commission to hire a chief from out of state and permit Micronesian immigrants to serve on state boards and commissions. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers prepare to take final vote on bill that holds child care providers accountable. KITV.

Critics: Water Bill Could Hurt Customers And The Environment. The Sierra Club is mounting a last-minute push amid worries the measure will remove private water distribution companies from state regulation. Civil Beat.

Neither Linda Chen or Christina Kishimoto, the two finalists for state schools superintendent, have ever worked in Hawaii's public education system – or even lived here in the islands. Hawaii News Now.

Defenders and opponents of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are moving back into their familiar battle stations as Republican President Trump reopens the review process that led to the preserve’s expansion by President Obama last summer. Civil Beat.

A handful of police misconduct cases came to a close this week with a $30,000 legal settlement, a not guilty verdict and a 10-year prison sentence. Civil Beat.

First Hawaiian Bank’s loans rose to a record high but net income fell 13.4 percent in the first quarter because of $25.7 million in securities sales made in the year-earlier period. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

By a 5-4 margin, the Honolulu City Council gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill that lifts the ban on using property taxes to finish the city’s $10 billion rail project. Star-Advertiser.

A measure that is key to moving ahead on a replacement for Aloha Stadium goes down to the wire at the Legislature today. Star-Advertiser.

Elections are underway for members of the island’s 33 neighborhood boards. Civil Beat.

More than 1,000 people stood in line in Chinatown on Thursday to get on a waiting list for an affordable apartment. Hawaii News Now.

Native Hawaiian practitioners are vowing to try to stop what they've dubbed the 'Coca Cola fence.'  Hawaii News Now.

An ambitious plan will soon get underway to restore a long-lost native forest near Laie by replanting massive numbers of koa, milo and sandalwood trees. Civil Beat.

The International Market Place’s newest dining concept, The Street, A Michael Mina Social House, will bring 13 food and beverage vendors together in a 6,900-square-foot space that is slated to open next month. Pacific Business News.

Eddie Flores Jr., founder of L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, donated $1 million to the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii Manoa. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County could get a better view of its budget gap today as legislators meet one last time over how much of the hotel tax to share with the counties. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy wants the council to get a heads-up when the administration hires people on nonemergency 89-day contracts worth $5,000 or more monthly. West Hawaii Today.

Budget chairwomen for the House and Senate allocated $1 million earlier this week to the state Department of Health to combat rat lungworm disease, but in doing so they diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars in hoped-for funding away from researchers at the University of Hawaii at Hilo who have been leading research into the disease and spearheading public education efforts. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

Maui mayor demands halt after mountains of sand stripped, shipped for Oahu development. KHON2.

Maui Electric Co., a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Co., has been named one of the top utilities in the nation for connecting energy storage to the grid, according to the Smart Electric Power Alliance. Pacific Business News.

When the state Supreme Court convened in the Baldwin High School Auditorium on Thursday morning to hear arguments in a Molokai drunken-driving case, more than 500 high school students were in the audience. Maui News.

Kauai

The United States Postal Service is reconsidering a plan to relocate its operations of the Lihue post office from Rice Street to the annex facility near the airport. Garden Island.

The Department of Parks and Recreation will hold a meeting next week regarding the Anahola Village Park playground. Garden Island.

Lanai

The state Land Use Commission on Thursday adopted a hearings officer’s recommendation and found that Lanai Resort Partners did not violate a condition regarding golf course irrigation set by the commission in 1991. Maui News.