Thursday, May 4, 2017

Intrigue at state Capitol: Souki, Tokuda expected to lose posts today, Ige rejects extended session, Bounty Hunter wife could help pick Honolulu police chief, senator accused of trying to influence police commissioner, Maui sand removal stopped, Banyan Drive revitalization bill killed, gun registration up, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Rep. Kaniela Ing
Gov. David Ige press conference, courtesy Rep. Kaniela Ing
Gov. David Ige rejected the notion Wednesday of extending the 2017 legislative session to try to salvage a rail-funding deal, calling it a “waste of time” if state legislators don’t already have an agreement in place. Star-Advertiser.

With the Hawaii House and Senate unable to resolve fundamental differences over how to help pay for Honolulu’s beleaguered rail project, Gov. David Ige said Wednesday he will not extend the legislative session unless legislators can reach an agreement. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige rejected calls Wednesday to extend the Legislative session to break the deadlock over funding Honolulu's embattled rail project. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige said Wednesday he will not extend the session, which adjourns Thursday, unless lawmakers can come together. KHON2.

The state’s top-elected official said Wednesday an extension of the legislative session to resolve issues involving Honolulu’s rail project would be a waste of time.” Garden Island.

Mayors of all four Hawaii counties are asking Gov. David Ige to extend the 2017 legislative session to find funding for the troubled Honolulu rail transit project, but Ige says he’s not inclined to do so. Associated Press.

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House Speaker Joe Souki and Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Jill Tokuda are expected to be ousted from their positions of power today in an end-of-session leadership shakeup. Star-Advertiser.

House Speaker Joe Souki Expected to Lose His Post, Members Say. The expected shakeup in House leadership comes as the Senate is undergoing its own significant reshuffling. Civil Beat.

State Sen. Jill Tokuda is being forced out of her position as head of the powerful money committee in the midst of 11th-hour debate over funding for the Honolulu rail project. Civil Beat.

Sen. Jill Tokuda will be removed as chair of the Ways and Means committee. KHON2.

Retaliation blamed: Some legislators say a Big Island rat lungworm funding bill died because of a political fight between Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Jill Tokuda and Sen. Kai Kahele, who played a central role in trying to reorganize the Senate, including plans to oust Tokuda from her powerful position overseeing the budget. Star-Advertiser.

First Term House of Representative Members Talk About Their First Session. Hawaii Public Radio.

Why The Stakes Are So High In Hawaii Police Union Negotiations. There are huge financial ramifications, especially for Honolulu. Meanwhile, a state senator wants to make it easier to fire bad cops. Civil Beat.

Consumer Reports, the respected consumer product testing organization, on Wednesday unveiled a new study on home-sharing services such as Airbnb that should make the Hawaii hotel industry and the tens of thousands of people who work in the business more than a little nervous. Pacific Business News.

The Department of the Attorney General released new numbers from 2016 that show an increase in registered firearms in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

First-quarter profit at Matson Inc. tumbled 61 percent as the largest ocean cargo transportation company serving the state absorbed higher fuel prices and small cargo volume declines in Hawaii, Alaska and Guam. Star-Advertiser.

Shipping company Matson Inc. reported a 61 percent decrease in net income for the quarter ending March 31. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Beth Chapman, reality TV star and wife of Dog the Bounty Hunter, could help select the next police chief of one of the largest departments in the country. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii state senator tried to influence a Honolulu Police Commission member to vote against a pricey severance package for a retiring chief under federal investigation, according to a letter from the commission chairman. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii State Senator is accused of trying to influence a controversial vote with the Honolulu Police Commission. KITV.

Former Police Chief Louis Kealoha is threatening to complain to the Honolulu Ethics Commission about Police Commissioner Loretta Sheehan if she doesn’t disqualify herself from an upcoming vote. Civil Beat.

Environmentalists pushing for a ban on all plastic checkout bags to reduce litter and protect marine life maintain that a Honolulu City Council bill that was advanced Wednesday does not go far enough. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would require stores to charge 10 cents for bags, while allowing businesses to continue offering thick plastic bags, passed out of a Honolulu City Council committee Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Oahu's residential real estate market has experienced the tightest supply conditions and shortest days on market in over 10 years in April, according to Locations. Pacific Business News.

A Waipahu cultural center troubled with overnight homeless campers. Hawaii News Now.

In a ceremony Wednesday, the city opened the South Street Protected Bike Lane to give bicyclists a mauka-makai route in the heart of Honolulu, improving access to downtown and Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

Oceanit has been awarded a $750,000 Phase II contract by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate to develop a prototype of a device for first responders. Pacific Business News.

The developer of Ward Village announced Wednesday that it sold an additional 34 condominium units among five towers in the emerging Kakaako community during the first quarter. Star-Advertiser.

Former Hawaii first lady Vicky Cayetano is in talks to expand her laundry business on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The state Senate rejected the last remaining Banyan Drive redevelopment bill Tuesday following the return of broad language intended to help extend land leases for Mauna Kea observatories. Tribune-Herald.

Of the eight bills introduced by East Hawaii legislators this year to address economic revitalization in Hilo, just one will make it to Gov. David Ige’s desk. Tribune-Herald.

It’s use it or lose it time for the County Council. Facing a possible cutback of contingency funds in next year’s budget, council members Wednesday polished off $73,060 for 19 projects as they rushed to meet the deadline to spend their 2017 largess. West Hawaii Today.

A parade of Bodacious Ladies and their supporters testified in favor of a Food Basket grant from the Hawaii County Council. Big Island Video News.

Still working to fill the gap left when its popular Senior Produce program ended this year, the Food Basket, Hawaii Island’s food bank, is starting a new kupuna initiative and expanding other efforts to offer fresh fruits and vegetables. Tribune-Herald.

Following concerns from community residents and an environmental legal group, Marine Corps Base Hawaii agreed to reduce operations at North Kohala’s Upolu Airport. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Environmental and cultural preservation groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to invalidate the Maui Planning Commission’s approval of the proposed $354.5 million, mixed-used Makena Resort project. Maui News.

The Honolulu-based concrete production company that has been moving sand from Central Maui to other places off-site, including Oahu, has stopped transporting sand, following a formal notice from Maui County regarding permit issues on Monday. Maui News.

Small businesses are a favorite target of cyber criminals, and owners need to prepare for attacks as they would a flood, fire or other risk, experts said Wednesday at the Hawaii Small Business Conference. Maui News.

A notice has been posted in Baldwin Beach Park informing the homeless community they have until May 23 to vacate the area. Associated Press.

Kauai

Hawaii shouldn’t be held for “nuclear ransom” by North Korea and needs to activate its Aegis Ashore missile testing facility on Kauai in times of emergency to provide a layered missile shield for the isles, a defense expert told Hawaii state lawmakers Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Developers may be facing a ticking clock on the North Shore if a policy on resort-designated land is approved by the Planning Commission. Garden Island.