Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Hawaii projects spared in federal budget, Chipotle finally coming to state, Honolulu seeks homeless sanitary stations, local outcry against raising transient accommodations tax for Honolulu rail, Maui Brewing company named top small business in nation, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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East-West Center © 2017 All Hawaii News
‘Hawaii Got Almost Everything We Sought’ In Federal Budget. Despite dismal expectations, the plan preserves spending levels for the Coast Guard, East-West Center and Native Hawaiian services while boosting defense spending. Civil Beat.

The East-West Center — its federal funding on the chopping block — was spared over the weekend in a bipartisan spending deal that also included additional funding for Native Hawaiian health and housing programs. Star-Advertiser.

Life And Death Drama— For Bills — At The Hawaii Legislature. A look at some of the survivors and casualties in the unpredictable waning days of the session. Civil Beat.

State health officials have begun investigating an "increasing number" of mumps infections across the state, and have confirmed two new cases on Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii bankruptcy filings plunged to their lowest monthly total of the year as the state’s low unemployment rate appeared to be keeping consumers out of financial distress. Star-Advertiser.

Chipotle Mexican Grill could finally be coming to Hawaii, following the restaurant chain's registration of two business entities with the state Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs last month. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The city has imported an idea from San Francisco to convert two obsolete Honolulu city buses into Hawaii’s first “mobile hygiene centers” to give Oahu’s homeless a place to use the bathroom and clean themselves. Star-Advertiser.

Local rail officials released today their highly anticipated “recovery plan.” The 249-page report, which was due Sunday, leaves the main question of how to pay for the island’s cash-strapped transit project unresolved, but it looks to assure federal officials that the latest cost estimates and management are sound. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on Monday released its new plan, submitted to the Federal Transit Administration late last week, for completing the 20-mile, 21-station rail line, which has been plagued by cost overruns and delays. Civil Beat.

In a recovery plan submitted to the Federal Transit Administration last week, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation said it is committed to the project’s original route. Pacific Business News.

What’s happening to dozens of vacated properties purchased for rail? KHON2.

Honolulu city officials and business leaders Monday asked lawmakers to reject last-minute proposed legislation to increase Hawaii’s hotel room tax by 30 percent to fund the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s 20-mile long, 21-station rail line, which has been plagued by cost overruns and delays. Civil Beat.

The mayor has withdrawn his support for a deal that would increase hotel room taxes to help pay for rail. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council members have unanimously passed a resolution calling on Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration and the Honolulu Police Department to not spend city money assisting federal agencies tasked with enforcing President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Museum of Art is increasing its admission price for the first time in 10 years — but only for visitors. Pacific Business News.

The University of Hawaii Foundation has closed on its purchase of the YMCA of Honolulu Atherton property for $8 million and plans to spend another $5 million upgrading the property. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu ranks in bottom half among best U.S. cities to start a business. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Federal officials plan to apply two rodenticides at Pohakuloa Training Area as part of a study, prompting concerns from hunting groups. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Council is poised to authorize up to $50,000 plus expenses to defend former police officer Jody Buddemeyer, accused of fatally striking a bicyclist with his patrol car while on duty. West Hawaii Today.

Public comments on Alii Drive culvert project. West Hawaii Today.

A Hilo lawmaker wants the University of Hawaii at Hilo to beef up its new enrollment growth plan by adding more specifics and raising the targeted student goal. Tribune-Herald.

UH 2.2-meter Telescope Repairs Set To Begin. Big Island Video News.

Commentary: A House bill has morphed into a sweetheart deal to create perpetual leases for tenants on state land,  possibly including the Thirty Meter Telescope. Civil Beat.

Maui

On Monday morning, demonstrators rallied in front of Kahului Harbor, calling for an immediate halt to sand excavations and barge shipments. KHON2.

The owners of Maui Brewing Co. have been named the 2017 National Small Business Persons of the Year for transforming their small brewpub into the largest craft beer producer in Hawaii. Maui News.

The husband-and-wife team who started Maui Brewing Co. were recognized today as the most outstanding small business operators in the nation, and were congratulated in Washington, D.C., by Vice President Mike Pence. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Brewing Co.'s husband-and-wife duo Garrett and Melanie Marrero on Monday were named the 2017 National Small Business Person(s) of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Pacific Business News.

Kauai

Local officials react: Hawaii lawmakers are expected to make a decision today on a bill that seeks to reduce the counties’ cut of the Transient Accommodations Tax. Garden Island.

Gov. David Ige will be here for the Kauai Chamber of Commerce’s 19th annual Governor’s Luncheon on June 1. Garden Island.