Thursday, August 31, 2017

Honolulu rail $2.4B bailout passed by Senate, advances in House; Kauai missile test successful; Hawaii's last princess; Big Island judges appointed, Maui judge sought; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Attorney General
U.s. Sen. Mazie Hirono, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin at 'Dreamer' press conference, courtesy Chin
Hope For Legal Status In the US Turns To Uncertainty For This ‘Dreamer’. President Trump is considering ending a program that granted temporary legal status to young undocumented immigrants, including more than 500 in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

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A $2.4 billion Honolulu rail bailout bill clipped quickly down the fast track Wednesday, easily clearing the Senate and its only House committees midway through a week-long special session. West Hawaii Today.

A $2.4 billion bailout plan for the troubled Honolulu rail project cleared some big hurdles Wednesday, passing both the full Senate and two House committees despite opposition from lawmakers who say the project’s costs have spun out of control. Civil Beat.

Impassioned pleas to force the House to negotiate and come up with a better rail bill fell on deaf ears. After nearly two hours of debate the Senate closed its side of the deal. KITV.

The bill to bail out Honolulu Rail passed the House Transportation and Finance Committees Wednesday night. Senate Bill 4 would extend the General Excise Tax (GET) and raise the transient accommodations tax (TAT) by 1-percentage point to help pay for rail. KITV.

With all 25 state senators casting votes, legislation aimed at rescuing the city’s cash-strapped rail project by raising state taxes passed the full Senate today with a 16-9 vote and now heads over to the House of Representatives. Star-Advertiser.

The State Senate chamber was emotionally charged today as lawmakers voted on the bill to fund the Honolulu Rail Transit project. Hawaii Public Radio.

A bill to fund Honolulu’s rail project passed out of the Hawaii State Senate Wednesday. KHON2.

VIDEO: Senate Advances Rail Bill, Big Island Votes No. Big Island Video News.

A bill that would combine increasing the state’s transient accommodations tax and extend Oahu’s 0.5 percent surcharge of the general excise tax passed the Senate on its third reading on Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Mayor’s stress test claim ‘evaporated’ as FTA reaffirms half-billion pad not required. KHON2.

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The U.S. military shot down a medium-range ballistic missile during a test off Hawaii, officials said. Associated Press.

Tuesday’s ballistic missile intercept test off Kauai represents another success in the development of missile defense systems that are increasingly in demand, are often tested in Hawaii, and whose development is being ramped up to meet an otherwise vexing threat from North Korea. Star-Advertiser.

A Raytheon Co. missile system was a key part of a successful anti-ballistic test off the coast of Hawaii Tuesday, boosting the company's stock as the saber-rattling between the U.S. and North Korea continues. Pacific Business News.

The US military successfully shot down a medium range ballistic missile target during an interceptor test off of Kauaʻi on Tuesday night. Maui Now.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has approved a five-year Air Force plan for bombing practice at sea off the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. Associated Press.

Updated Hawaii Salary Database: Doctors And Judges Do Well, Thank You. We’ve added tens of thousands of additional workers, including those in the Department of Education, the Judiciary and general state employees. Civil Beat.

There’s an ongoing court battle involving the health and future of the woman some call Hawaii’s last princess. Apart from the legal case itself, it’s a story of royalty….and how that lineage continues to this day. Hawaii Public Radio.

State regulators and the solar industry are seeking more input on Hawaiian Electric Co.’s $205 million grid modernization plan. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Companies submitted on Tuesday the final draft of its Grid Modernization Strategy for review by the state Public Utilities Commission. West Hawaii Today.

A real estate firm is predicting that investors could spend around $1 billion less acquiring commercial property in Hawaii this year, which if accurate would be a third consecutive year of decline. Star-Advertiser.

New statewide safety rules for food establishments go into effect Saturday. Garden Island.

Oahu

A proposal to substantially increase Oahu liquor license fees is expected to come under heavy criticism during a public hearing today before the Honolulu Liquor Commission. Star-Advertiser.

For the past few months Honolulu police have been trying out a new method of interaction. It's designed to build a bridge with Honolulu's homeless population. Hawaii News Now.

The state Department of Health advised the public to stay out of the waters of part of Honolulu Harbor after a wastewater discharge Wednesday night. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Supporters of Hu Honua Bioenergy celebrated a new beginning Wednesday as construction continues to ramp up on the once troubled $250 million power plant near Pepeekeo. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. David Ige on Wednesday announced the appointments of two new judges to the 3rd Circuit Court on the Big Island. Pacific Business News.

Gov. David Ige Wednesday appointed Kealakekua-based Attorney Robert D.S. Kim as judge of the 3rd Circuit Court in Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono kicked off a special Facebook event geared towards small business owners in Hilo on Monday. Big Island Video News.

Maui

A settlement has been reached between the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission and the County of Maui over a complaint filed that alleged denial of reasonable accommodations for a disabled employee. Maui Now.

A disability discrimination case has been settled between Maui County and the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, according to an announcement Wednesday. Maui News.

Saying it didn’t appear that information not provided to the defense would have affected the outcome, a judge denied a former Maui Community Correctional Center guard’s request for a new trial on charges that he sexually assaulted an inmate three years ago. Maui News.

Former Maui Corrections Officer Convicted of sex assault, Sentencing Set. Maui Now.

The Department of Water Supply’s new water treatment plant on West Alu Road in Wailuku is about 40 percent complete. Maui News.

The Judicial Selection Commission is accepting applications and nominations to fill a vacancy for 2nd Circuit Family Court judge. Maui News.

When Judge Keith Tanaka retires today, he will end 10 “unexpected” and “invaluable” years on the 2nd Circuit Family Court bench. Maui News.

Kauai

The second drop of rodenticide on Lehua Island happened Wednesday. Garden Island.

The state has administered a second round of rodenticide bait drops to eradicate rats on Lehua Island. Star-Advertiser.