Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Rail bailout bill up for Senate vote today, grand jury probes Honolulu prosecutor, bombing OK'd off Kauai, Hawaiian homesteaders seek takeover of troubled telecom, prison sex shaming lawsuit revived in appeals court, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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A bill to fund Honolulu’s financially troubled rail project was advanced by the state Senate and is heading for a final vote by the legislative body. Associated Press.

A package of state tax hikes to bail out the city’s beleaguered rail project appears poised to clear its last major hurdle with a full Senate vote today before moving over to the House. Star-Advertiser.

State Lawmakers are advancing the Honolulu rail transit funding measure this week during a special legislative session. Hawaii Public Radio.

A bill that would generate almost $2.4 billion to bail out the city’s troubled rail project passed its second reading in the state Senate on Tuesday, and the measure appears to have enough support to make it through the third and final vote. Hawaii News Now.

A bill to bail out Honolulu’s rail project passed a second reading in the Senate Tuesday. KHON2.

A bill raising the statewide hotel tax to pay for the struggling Honolulu rail project cleared another hurdle Tuesday, when the Senate advanced it on a 17-7 procedural vote. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii lawmakers are back in for day two of the special legislative session to deal with a rail tax bill. KITV.

When Hawaii industry tourism executives decried a proposal to raise a hotel room tax to help bail out the struggling Honolulu rail project, lawmakers responded with more than a little skepticism Monday. Civil Beat.

Maui Groups Testify Against Honolulu Rail Funding. Maui Now.

Members in the Maui County legislative delegation were of different minds on the proposed measure to help Honolulu fund cost over-runs on its rail transit project, which is being considered in a special session that opened Monday. Maui News.

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The state House of Representatives today adopted a resolution formalizing new committee assignments, which includes more than 50 changes. Maui Now.

Gov. David Ige’s nominee to the state agency that regulates Hawaii’s utilities was unanimously approved by a Senate committee today. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige has nominated state Rep. Marcus Oshiro as the new chairman of the Hawaii Labor Relations Board. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has nominated state lawmaker Marcus Oshiro for the Hawaii Labor Relations Board as its chairperson and representative of the public. Pacific Business News.

Republican state Rep. Bob McDermott announced today he is withdrawing from the 2018 race for Hawaii governor after learning that another Republican plans to run. Star-Advertiser.

A coalition of Hawaiian homestead associations has declared its intent to purchase the beleaguered Sandwich Isles Communications, which in June lost its exclusive license to provide telephone and internet service to homestead communities statewide. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Co. submitted final plans to state regulators Tuesday seeking to make $205 million in upgrades to its energy systems on Oahu and Hawaii island and in Maui County over the next six years. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's largest utility company, Hawaiian Electric Cos., has filed its grid modernization plan with state regulators. Pacific Business News.

100-year-old Japanese bible returned to Sen. Inouye's family, archives now public. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

A U.S. Justice Department investigation into alleged corruption and abuse of power in Hawaii law enforcement has expanded to include a look at a property deal associated with a much-touted safe haven for victimized women created by Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro. Civil Beat.

A federal appeals court ruling Tuesday revived a woman’s lawsuit that alleges she was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by being forced to participate in a therapy program involving “public sexual shaming” while incarcerated at a Hawaii jail. Associated Press.

A project in the governor's push to build thousands of affordable homes has been scaled back dramatically because of push back from Kalihi residents. Hawaii News Now.

Some changes are coming to the property tax laws for the City and County of Honolulu. They’re going into effect this Friday. KHON2.

Electric vehicle owners heading to Costco in Iwilei will soon be able to shop and charge their cars car at the same time. Pacific Business News.

Retired Senior Family Court Judge Betty Vitousek, instrumental in establishing the Family Court here as well as the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, died of natural causes Monday in Honolulu. She was 98. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: No One Has Won The Fight Over Fixing This Waikiki Seawall. Both sides claim victory in the legal battle between landowners and the state over who should maintain the “Gold Coast” barrier. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

The second theft of a Hele-On bus within a month, allegedly by the same individual, has county officials scrambling to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Tribune-Herald.

Members of the HI-CoP group waved signs at the entrance of Hilo Airport as the mayor met with the tour helicopter industry. Big Island Video News.

Big Island residents fed up with noisy tour helicopters took their message to the streets Tuesday, waving signs calling for the end to noise. Hawaii News Now.

Some residents in North Kona are worried that the region's water crisis will worsen when thousands of visitors arrive soon for the world's largest long distance canoe race and the Ironman triathlon. Hawaii News Now.

Big Island physicians are starting a nonprofit designed to encourage doctors-in-training to pick the Big Island as a place to live and practice medicine. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Businesses and customers in and around the Kahului industrial area report an increase in vandalism and other criminal activity they say is related to the number of homeless people in the area. Maui News.

A bulldozer operator, whom earlier witnesses said was moving sand without an archaeological monitor, testified Monday that he did not need one in the sand mining lawsuit against a Maui Lani developer. Maui News.

Kauai

The National Marine Fisheries Service has given approval to a five-year Air Force plan for bombing practice at sea off Kauai that reduces munitions used and increases monitoring for impacts to whales and dolphins. Star-Advertiser.

People living near the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility might have heard sirens and other loud noises coming from the base Tuesday, and those noises will be continuing today. It’s because of a two-day training exercise. Garden Island.

A Kauai judge declared a mistrial in a case against a former law enforcement officer after jurors deadlocked on 19 counts of sexual assault of a minor and found him not guilty on four counts. Star-Advertiser.

Ulupono Initiative is conducting a telephone survey about Kauai’s economy, and some say the company should be more upfront about its involvement with Hawaii Dairy Farms. Garden Island.

Tuesday water quality tests from the Surfrider Blue Water Task Force show the bacteria level in Hanalei Bay has waned. Garden Island.