Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Statehouse politics: Joe Souki for lieutenant governor? Bills for vacation rentals, medical marijuana, child care advancing in Legislature; Honolulu tops in solar installs; 'Peter Boy' father set for plea deal, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Speaker Joe Souki in House chambers, from joesouki.com
Will Joe Souki Be Hawaii’s Next Lt Gov? There’s a lot of speculation about how the dominoes could fall if Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui resigns to run for Maui mayor. Civil Beat.

Affordable housing advocates fear the Legislature won’t allocate enough money this year to have a meaningful effect on Hawaii’s housing shortage. Civil Beat.

Two bills to allow online vacation rental sites like Airbnb to collect taxes from hosts and remit them to the state moved forward Tuesday, including one that emerged after a task force bill to study vacation rentals was gutted and replaced. Star-Advertiser.

A couple of bills seeking to amend laws regarding medical marijuana are passing through the Legislature. Garden Island.

Two bills that supporters say will make parents feel their kids are being properly taken care of in child care facilities are nearing the finish line at the Hawaii Legislature. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii bill that would have required beauticians to undergo training to spot signs of domestic violence has died. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu ranks first in the United States when it comes to solar energy installations per capita, according to a new report released Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

The private security company whose officer shot and killed a pet dog at Honolulu Airport last week said the pit bull was loose and tried to attack the officer, who was injured trying to avoid contact during the incident. Star-Advertiser.

Autopsy: Maui man who breached Honolulu airport security had used meth. Star-Advertiser.

State Attorney General Douglas Chin is asking lawmakers to earmark more than $10 million to settle claims by subcontractors who were never paid for materials or work they did on a Honolulu Airport cargo and maintenance hangar project that stalled in late 2015. Star-Advertiser.

One of five employees at the women’s prison named in a lawsuit filed last week by 10 inmates alleging varying degrees of sexual assault and harassment said he was exonerated of all charges by the state. Star-Advertiser.

A state judge said Tuesday the hearing of a former Kamehameha Schools teacher accused of videotaping students in his shower will be public. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has launched a pilot program that offers a $20 discount on monthly electrical bills to 2,000 customers who are dependent on life-support equipment. Star-Advertiser.

Two new cultural markers erected in February near the hula mound at Kapolei Regional Park are part of a growing effort by community groups that hope not only to educate residents about places of historic significance, but to help deter vandalism. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's second Holiday Inn Express hotel recently opened in the former Maile Sky Court in Waikiki following a $30 million rebranding and renovation. Pacific Business News.

The Holiday Inn Express Honolulu-Waikiki, the largest Holiday Inn Express in the U.S., held its grand opening Monday following the completion of a $30 million renovation and re-branding. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The Hawaii Community Correctional Center might be the cause of a sewer main clog that unleashed up to 41,000 gallons of untreated sewage into the Wailuku River and Hilo Bay on Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Beach advisories for Kahaluu and the Kamakahonu side of Kailua Pier have been dropped. West Hawaii Today.

After informally agreeing to lift some road requirements and have the developer meet with local union representatives, the County Council Planning Committee gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a planned shopping plaza at Mauna Lani resorts. West Hawaii Today.

As requested by the Administration, the Department of Parks and Recreation is postponing its planned clean-up operation at Old Airport Park in Kona, while the County seeks an alternative site for homeless people camping at the facility. Big Island Video News.

One week after establishing a “Safety Zone” keeping boats a distance away from the Kamokuna lava ocean entry, the U.S. Coast Guard says vessels can now request entrance into the area. Big Island Video News.

Peter Kema Sr. to change plea in ‘Peter Boy’ case. Tribune-Herald.

The father of Peter “Peter Boy” Kema Jr. is scheduled to appear today in Hilo Circuit Court and is expected to accept a plea deal in the murder of his young son two decades ago. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

The immigration policies of the Trump Administration played out today in Honolulu. It involves the deportation and removal of a Mexican immigrant. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui woman facing deportation to Mexico gets temporary reprieve. KITV.

Eight years of growing losses have prompted Wailuku Water Co. to ask the state Public Utilities Commission for permission to sell about 4,500 acres of its land in the West Maui Mountains. Maui News.

TEACH Development, which was planning to turn Old Maui High School into a center for agriculture, technology and education, has ended its pursuit of the project, citing “strong opposition to nonlocal for-profit companies receiving public land.” Maui News.

Six cases of rat lungworm have been reported on Maui over the past three months — tripling the amount of cases the island has seen in the past decade, Maui District Health Officer Dr. Lorrin Pang said Tuesday. Maui News.

A recent case of a Maui woman contracting rat lungworm has brought attention to a disease that can be caught by eating from your yard. Maui Now.

Kauai

Four people claiming ownership of land by right of royal patent were arrested Tuesday in Wainiha following a demonstration to protect a Hawaiian burial site. Garden Island.

Four men were arrested Tuesday after blocking access to private property in Wainiha. Hawaii News Now.

Group aims to perpetuate Hawaiian culture, restore historical sites. Malama Koloa aims to perpetuate Hawaiian culture, restore historical sites. Garden Island.