Wednesday, September 6, 2017

$2.4B rail bailout bill signed into law, Hawaii reacts to Trump DACA termination, bird, fish deaths in wake of Lehua rat poison drop, A&B says no GMO crops on Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Sept. 5, 2017 courtesy photo
Gov. David Ige signs rail bailout bill, governor's office photo
Gov. David Ige signed into law Tuesday Senate Bill 4, an estimated $2.4 billion bailout package that island leaders hope will finally complete the transit project to Ala Moana Center, following three years of steep cost increases that have left its outcome uncertain. Star-Advertiser.

Legislation to help pay for Honolulu's rail transit project became law Tuesday with Hawaii Gov. David Ige's signature. Pacific Business News.

Governor Signs Rail Funding Bill Into Law, Next: Transient Accommodations Tax. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. David Ige signed a bill into law Tuesday to bail out Honolulu’s rail project. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige today signed the rail funding bailout bill, SB 4, after completing legal and policy reviews of the measure over the weekend. Maui Now.

And with the stroke of the governor’s pen, Senate Bill 4 becomes law. The legislation was passed by the State House and the Senate during a divisive special session. Big Island Video News.

Gov. David Ige signed a bill Tuesday that provides additional funding for Honolulu’s financially troubled rail transit project. Maui News.

Newly appointed House Majority Leader Cindy Evans of Hawaii island could lose her leadership role in a bit of collateral damage from the Honolulu rail controversy. Star-Advertiser.

Within minutes of the Honolulu rail bailout bill being signed into law Tuesday, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued a statement crediting the state House and Senate for “hard work” on the legislation. Civil Beat.

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There used to be a time in Hawaii when an incumbent governor was a shoo-in for re-election. But in the 2014 primary election, now-Gov. David Ige unseated a fellow Democrat. Now U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is attempting to do the same to Ige. Associated Press.

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President Donald Trump’s decision to end a program that allowed young, unauthorized immigrants known as “Dreamers” to stay in the country has sparked fear in families who could be ripped apart and drawn condemnation from Hawaii leaders. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s representatives in the U.S. Congress strongly condemned the Trump administration’s decision Tuesday to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Civil Beat.

Demonstrators lined the sidewalk outside the Federal Building in Honolulu, holding signs to voice their opposition to the decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). KITV.

Dozens gathered in front of the Prince Kuhio Federal Building Tuesday evening to rally against President Donald Trump’s plan to phase out a program offering protections to young illegal immigrants. KHON2.

At least 100 protesters took to the streets of downtown Honolulu on Tuesday afternoon, part of nationwide rallies against President Donald Trump’s plan to rescind the Obama-era program that protects young undocumented immigrants who came to the country as minors. Civil Beat.

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Convincing Landlords That Housing The Homeless Is Good Business. By promising guaranteed rent and regular check-ins, shelters are creating networks of landlords willing to rent to homeless people. Civil Beat.

Retired Maj. Gen. Kelly McKeague, a 1977 Damien Memorial School graduate, was named director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency on Tuesday, returning to the program that was mired in controversy several years ago. Star-Advertiser.

The Pentagon announced retired Maj. Gen. Kelly McKeague, a 1977 Damien Memorial School graduate, is the new director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Associated Press.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will award $7.6 million in federal funding to Hawaii to prevent and respond to natural disasters, terrorism, and other emergencies. Garden Island.

Twenty-four companies have what it takes to be named to this year’s list of Hawaii’s Best Workplaces. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Blaisdell Park free of homeless for now. Star-Advertiser.

Cuts in funding leads to a halt in Kakaako park homeless sweeps. Hawaii News Now.

New rental housing and retail is coming to the Diamond Head side of Waikiki when Queen Emma Land Co. begins the long-anticipated redevelopment of a tired 2.5-acre tract of prime leasehold land. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Communities in Kailua-Kona and Puako are battling contamination from cesspools leaking into the nearby sea. But the solution won’t be easy — nor will it be cheap. West Hawaii Today.

Kahilihili Road, which will provide a means for motorists to make left turns in to and out of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority, opened Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

A Kona doctor arrested on suspicion of prescription fraud last year pleaded not guilty to charges Tuesday afternoon. West Hawaii Today.

Condominium sales have lost momentum on the Big Island, dropping 22.7 percent in August after a 60 percent increase in July, according to statistics from Hawaii Island Realtors provided by Hawaii Information Service. Pacific Business News.

‘Part of who we are’: Harvey relief volunteers with Hawaii ties exude aloha spirit. Tribune-Herald.

The Big Island Fair is returning to Kailua-Kona after the threat of storm last year forced the carnival to cancel, interrupting 30 years of consecutive entertainment to the Big Island each September. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

The head of Alexander &Baldwin’s diversified agriculture operations told a Maui County Council committee Tuesday that the company is not farming any genetically modified crops for food or for animal feed. Maui News.

Several key school bus routes on Maui have been restored after a driver shortage had disrupted the start of the school for hundreds of students, Hawaii education officials said Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Dimino Named Complex Area Superintendent for Baldwin-Kekaulike-Maui. Maui Now.

A Kihei man says he found suspected ordnance along a South Maui road last week and turned it into the Maui Police Department for disposal. Maui News.

Mālama Maui Nui will host a cleanup at the Kahului Harbor small boats ramp from 9 a.m. until noon on Sept. 16, 2017. The cleanup will kickoff the annual Get the Drift and Bag It! campaign. Maui Now.

Kauai

The monitoring team on Lehua Island has collected 45 dead fish and two dead birds from the near-shore waters, after two applications of rodenticide were dropped from a helicopter over the island. Garden Island.

After numerous social media posts, photos, and videos showing dead fish or birds that posters claim were killed by a rodenticide currently being used to eradicate non-native, damaging (invasive) rats from Lehua Island, the DLNR, Island Conservation, and other Lehua Island Restoration Project partners have deployed on-island monitoring teams to investigate. Maui Now.

Photos and video of dead fish and birds washing up on Lehua Island have been spreading on social media days after rat poison pellets were dropped from a helicopter on the steep cliff side of the island to eradicate invasive rodents. Star-Advertiser.

Single-family home and condominium sales experienced double-digit decreases on Kauai in August, dropping 27 percent and 11.5 percent, respectively, according to statistics from the Kauai Board of Realtors provided by Hawaii Information Service. Pacific Business News.