Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hawaii Democrats pan Trump budget, UH seeks to commercialize research, Board of Education OKs rail route impact fees, Caldwell to unveil affordable housing plan today, Kaui councilman fails to disclose marijuana business, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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For a second year in a row, lawmakers have blocked the DOT's request to increase taxes for Hawaii drivers, even though the tax hikes were backed by Gov. David Ige. The proposal would have increased the state fuel tax from 16 cents to 26 cents per gallon, bumped up annual registration fees from $45 to $50 and raised the motor vehicle weight tax by a quarter of a cent. Hawaii News Now.

In a move designed to strengthen the University of Hawaii’s position as a hub for economic development, the state is on the verge of adopting a program designed to help commercialize intellectual property created at UH. Civil Beat.

State confirms new timeline for medical marijuana as dispensaries harvest first crops. KHON2.

Members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation slammed President Donald Trump’s proposed budget Tuesday, saying it cuts critical programs for the poor and working class, such as Medicaid and food subsidies, to fund tax breaks for the rich, echoing a chorus of criticism from Democratic colleagues in Washington. Star-Advertiser.

The federal administration’s full budget proposal for 2018 drew strong criticism from Hawaii’s state representatives who called the plan "cruel" and "dangerous." Pacific Business News.

Hawaii legislators pan Trump budget. Garden Island.

The federal government’s full budget proposal for 2018, which it released on Tuesday, includes over $258 million in construction work a for various projects at Hawaii’s military bases. Pacific Business News.

A man acted strangely long before he caused a disturbance on a plane that prompted fighter jets to accompany it to Hawaii, but a lack of communication and an airline’s hesitancy to be caught on video booting a passenger could have played a role in allowing him to fly, experts say. Associated Press.

Oahu

After more than two years of analysis, number-crunching and talks with developers and housing advocates, the details of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s affordable-housing strategy package is expected to go public today. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council is urging the formation of a Task Force to clear illegal homeless camps. Hawaii Public Radio.

A City Council committee on Tuesday revived a bill that would make it illegal for O'ahu residents to look at their phones while crossing a street or highway. KITV.

To accommodate an estimated 10,000 students expected to enroll in urban Honolulu schools as development swells along the city’s rail route, the Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved establishing a so-called school impact fee district from Kalihi to Ala Moana. Star-Advertiser.

Despite opposition from developers and the city, the Hawaii Board of Education voted Tuesday to establish a new school impact fee district along the planned Honolulu rail line from Kalihi to Ala Moana to help cover the cost of school services for the area’s anticipated population increase. Civil Beat.

Businesses along Waikiki's famous shoreline are prepping for a big high tide and incoming south swell that could bring coastal flooding later this week. Workers at Hawaiian Oceans Waikiki expect the elevated water levels will force them to alter their operations Thursday and Friday. Hawaii News Now.

At Ala Moana Beach Park, boards and sandbags have been put up to protect against the tides. KHON2.

A circuit judge Tuesday sentenced a former Honolulu police officer to 60 days in jail on multiple drug charges including the promotion of cocaine, marijuana and powerful painkillers. Star-Advertiser.

The Kahala Hotel and Resort is asking permission to use more state land for more weddings. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has approved 420 residential rooftop solar systems attached to batteries on Oahu, but the city Department of Planning and Permitting has given building permits to only 33. Star-Advertiser.

Despite relatively low spending on parks, Honolulu scored in the top third in an annual ranking of urban park systems in the 100 largest U.S. cities. Star-Advertiser.

Urban Honolulu is among the worst places to live in the U.S. if you're trying to save money, according to GOBankingRates.com. KITV.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Island’s low-income, elderly population could be hit particularly hard under President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, which would deeply cut a federal food assistance program throughout the next decade as well as other “safety net” programs for low-income people. Tribune-Herald.

Shunichi “Shun” Kimura, the Big Island’s last county chairman, its first mayor and a retired Hilo Circuit judge, died Saturday in California after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 87. Tribune-Herald.

West Hawaii dedicates Purple Heart Memorial. West Hawaii Today.

Papaikou retirees seeking patent for little fire ant bait stations. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A Department of Land and Natural Resources enforcement officer is accusing his own agency of covering up the alleged misuse of a state-funded helicopter. Hawaii News Now.

More buses and routes could be ways to ease traffic along the congested Honoapiilani Highway between Maalaea and West Maui, community leaders told the Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization on Monday. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai County Council Chairman Derek Kawakami owns more than 14 percent of a company that’s hoping to grow medical marijuana in Hawaii. But you wouldn’t know that if you looked at the financial disclosure form he filed in January with Kauai County. Civil Beat.

A $5 million project to allow development of a substance abuse treatment and healing center for adolescents was unanimously approved by the Planning Commission Tuesday. Garden Island.

After Kauai’s only racetrack was repaved in 2013 thanks to capital improvement plan funds, the drag strip will now add electricity and a scoreboard for its 2018 season. Garden Island.

About 25 percent of Kauai’s keiki are not kindergarten-ready, according to the 2017 Kauai Early Childhood Care and Education Report under the Keiki to Career Kauai Initiative. Garden Island.

Kunoa Cattle Co. which manages a herd of 2,000 cattle on Kauai, has partnered with all Times Supermarkets locations on Oahu and Maui to sell its ground beef. Pacific Business News.

A decline in the price of scrap metal prompted Puhi Metals Recycling Center to start charging commercial haulers for dropping off their recyclables. Garden Island.