Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Beer tax could be slashed, commercial fishing fees double, tourism could benefit from others' troubles, audit slams Honolulu homeless program management, Maui condo war, Princeville founder dies, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hops to it! Beer making in Hawaii © 2017 All Hawaii News
A new bill could slash beer taxes in half, bolster Hawaii's hops industry. Hawaii Rep. Kaniela Ing will introduce the bill, which would slash taxes that Hawaii residents pay for beer by more than half, from 93 cents per gallon to 42 cents per gallon. Pacific Business News.

Maui Rep. Kaniela Ing plans to introduce a bill during the next legislative session that would cut taxes Hawaii residents pay for beer by more than half, from 93 cents a gallon to 42 cents a gallon. Maui Now.

Democratic South Maui state Rep. Kaniela Ing wants to introduce legislation next year to cut state beer taxes by more than half, from 93 to 42 cents per gallon. Maui News.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources wants to triple license fees for commercial fishermen and charter captains while requiring more paperwork for dealers in fish and other marine life. West Hawaii Today.

A devastating Atlantic hurricane season, along with concerns about safety in Mexico and Europe, could propel Hawaii’s visitor industry to an even stronger finish in 2018, which was already anticipated to be tourism’s best year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Tuesday announced the appointment of Catherine Betts as deputy director of the state Department of Human Services, effective Oct. 3. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii schools not prepared to shelter children in event of nuclear strike. As tensions continue to rise between the United States and North Korea, Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency has instructed residents to prepare for a nuclear strike by stockpiling 14 days worth of food, water and supplies – a standard the Department of Education says Hawaii's public schools cannot fulfill. Hawaii News Now.

The number of public school students taking and passing Advanced Placement exams jumped by double-digit percentages over last year, a step forward in college readiness in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Punahou teens all earn top AP calculus score. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

A report by city Auditor Edwin Young gives the city’s initiatives to fight homelessness a lukewarm grade and slams Mayor Kirk Caldwell and his administration for lacking benchmarks and mismanaging programs aimed at sheltering people. Star-Advertiser.

A Circuit Court judge will hear arguments on Wednesday in the Sierra Club’s lawsuit over the underground fuel tanks at Red Hill. The Sierra Club is suing the state Department of Health, saying it did not enact underground storage rules to protect Hawaii’s groundwater. Hawaii News Now.

Some Honolulu High Rises Don’t Need Sprinklers, Fire Safety Panel Says. Residential buildings could each be evaluated to determine if a sprinkler retrofitting is necessary, a City Council committee is told. Civil Beat.

Following summer’s deadly Marco Polo fire, city leaders continue to grapple with how to make hundreds of Honolulu high-rises safer without overburdening owners and tenants. Star-Advertiser.

The secrecy and confusion continue over how Honolulu is choosing its next police chief. Tuesday, a group of local residents -- whose names are being kept confidential -- began the process of ranking the top nine candidates at a Waikiki hotel. Hawaii News Now.

The departure of Luella Costales from the Honolulu Police Commission means the oversight agency will need to collaborate more on future decisions, including the selection of a new chief. Civil Beat.

The battle over beach access in the Portlock community may soon come to an end after the city took its first step in resolving the conflict Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Gentrification for Chinatown?  Honolulu's Chinatown has been a center of revitalization, but there are concerns too many improvements could change the character of the district. KITV.

A startup is using former sugar cane land on the North Shore to “grow oil” — pongamia trees whose seeds can be turned into biofuel. Can pongamia, an obscure plant agriculture startup TerViva is growing on 50 acres of former sugar cane land near Haleiwa, really be Hawaii’s next big cash crop? Civil Beat.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing the owners of Pacific Fun Enterprises LLC, dba Snappers Sports Bar and Grill and Snap-ette Beach and Liquor Store for sexual harassment of female employees. Star-Advertiser.

Federal lawsuit claims owner of Waikiki bar sexually harassed female workers over the course of 7 years. Hawaii News Now.

A 58-year-old Pearl City man is in custody at the Federal Detention Center on charges that he accepted and hid more than $2.8 million in bribes that he solicited to steer more than $400 million worth of engineering and construction work to a particular South Korean-based multinational company when he worked as a contracting officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Star-Advertiser.

Residents in Makakilo say they've been cited for having plants and objects other than grass in the planting strips fronting their homes. The citations are causing confusion as many say they had no idea they were breaking the city's building code. Hawaii News Now.

Private concert draws dozens of noise complaints in Kakaako. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

The only solar program available that credits residents for the excess energy their solar systems send into the grid on Hawaii Island has hit its limit. Star-Advertiser.

In unanimous floor votes, members of the Hawaii State Senate Tuesday confirmed the appointments of 3rd Circuit District Family Court Judge Henry T. Nakamoto to the Circuit Court of the 3rd Circuit (Hilo) and attorney Robert D.S. Kim to the Circuit Court of the 3rd Circuit (Kona). West Hawaii Today.

Ocean View resident Raina Whiting announced over the weekend that she’ll run for the District 5 House seat being vacated by Rep. Richard Creagan. West Hawaii Today.

Real estate development company Meridian Pacific Ltd. says about two-thirds of storefront spaces at its planned Puna Kai shopping center are spoken for. Tribune-Herald.

Outside the aisle: Local grocery store launches online shopping, delivery service. West Hawaii Today.

Nine months after its last attempt ended in failure, the state and its conservation partners Tuesday released another six captive-born Hawaiian crows into the East Hawaii wilderness, hoping to re-establish a species that hadn’t been seen in the wild since 2002. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

Condo War Breaks Out On Maui When Homes Become Hotels. When people were required to wait in line at the front desk to check into their own units, they started complaining. Civil Beat.

Panel moves to allow north shore vacation rentals. County Council will need to amend current Paia-Haiku Community Plan, which prohibits short-term rentals. Maui News.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded more than $1.9 million to Hawaii for improvements at veterans cemeteries on Maui and Lanai, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced Friday. Maui News.

St. Anthony School has a new statue of the Blessed Father William Joseph Chaminade in the same location as one damaged in late March 2016, the school announced. Maui News.

Women Helping Women’s new executive director has firsthand knowledge of how the domestic crisis agency can help victims. Maui News.

Kauai

Harry Trueblood, the pioneer developer of Princeville, died in Denver on Sept. 14 at the age of 92. Garden Island.

Wildland fire on Kauai's Na Pali Coast highlights drought conditions statewide. Hawaii News Now.

A wildland fire burning adjacent to Haena State Park on Kauai’s North Shore closed the park and the popular Kalalau Trail in Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park Tuesday. Garden Island.