Thursday, December 21, 2017

Hawaii reacts to Trump tax package, Otake nominated federal district judge for Hawaii, medical marijuana approved for ALS, Marines honored for combat drones, Kauai council seeks GET change for housing, social media vigilantism in Honolulu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Trump receives lei at Joint Base Hickam AFB, Nov. 3, 2017, (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
Most Hawaii taxpayers will pay less in 2019 under new federal law. The nonprofit, nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy has compiled data for Hawaii that show a wide variety of possible effects of the bill on Hawaii taxpayers depending on their personal circumstances. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Delegates Speak Out Against GOP Tax Bill ‘Scam’. But President Trump calls passage of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act “a big, beautiful tax cut for Christmas.” Civil Beat.

Congressional representatives for Hawaii reacted with dismay to the $1.5 trillion tax package that the Senate and House passed Wednesday morning that is being billed as the first major overhaul of the nation’s tax laws since 1986. Tribune News Service.

Experts differ on new federal tax law’s impact in Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii affordable housing developers dodge tax bullet, sort of. The final tax bill headed for President Donald Trump’s signature preserves the private activity bonds and low-income housing tax credits used by affordable housing developers in Hawaii and across the U.S. to build affordable rentals, but the slashing of the corporate tax rate could mean $1.7 billion in lost equity each year, according to a new estimate. Pacific Business News.

=====

The Trump administration has nominated Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Otake as the new federal district judge for Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Trump Nominates Honolulu Attorney Jill Otake For Federal Judgeship. The announcement was praised by by Hawaii’s two Democratic senators, Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono. Civil Beat.

Hawaii study: Impacts of sea level rise already being felt — and it will only get worse. A new report is providing the first statewide assessment of the potential hazards and costly impacts to Hawaii's economy and shorelines with rising sea levels. Hawaii News Now.

2 Marines honored for use of drones in combat. Two Marines with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3 at Kaneohe Bay received a first-of-its-kind recognition for the use of drones in a combat zone. Star-Advertiser.

DOH Approves Medical Cannabis Use for ALS Patients. The Hawai‘i Department of Health announced it has added Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly referred to as ALS, to the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis use. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Airlines announced today that it will no longer accept “smart” bags containing non-removable lithium-ion batteries as either checked or carry-on luggage, starting Jan. 15. Star-Advertiser.

Sun Country Airlines is planning to offer seasonal service from its home base in Minneapolis to Honolulu next year with a brief stopover in Los Angeles. Star-Advertiser.

United Airlines this week is expanding its portfolio of nonstop flights from Denver to Hawaii and to Mexico. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The Honolulu Police Department, under its first female police chief, has named Lisa Mann to head its Investigative Bureau, becoming one of three women among HPD’s top brass. Star-Advertiser.

An estimated 50 chronically homeless people who were swept out of Kakaako Waterfront Park and its sister parks have erected dozens of tents and shelters in nearby Mother Waldron Park and along Pohukaina Street this week as city officials figure out what to do next with a homeless population they inherited from state officials. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council: Rail Beyond Ala Moana? The 9.5 billion dollar Honolulu Rail Transit Project is awaiting award of a contract to complete the line to Ala Moana Center. Hawaii Public Radio.

Councilman wants 19 more affordable units in Keeaumoku tower. Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson is endorsing a city administration suggestion that the developer of a planned residential tower on Keeaumoku Street make more homes in the building affordable to moderate- income residents. Star-Advertiser.

City Repaves Aggressively But Falls Behind On Other Roadwork. None of the nearly 1,800 lane-miles repaved in the last five years has been treated with materials routinely used to extend street life. Civil Beat.

Oceanic Institute makes major breakthroughs in raising Yellow Tangs. KITV.

Crime and Social Media Vigilantism. An emotional appeal to find suspects in the recent murder case of a North Shore woman led to two arrests thanks to social media posts. But can online calls to action go too far? Hawaii Public Radio.

A mumps outbreak has forced a Waianae charter school to schedule a longer winter break than originally planned. In a letter to parents, Kamaile Academy says five people are confirmed to have mumps with two more possible cases. KHON2.

Chef Mavro Restaurant is once again the only restaurant in Hawaii to be recognized in the Gayot 2017 Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Health Officials ID Priorities For Cesspool Upgrades. In a report to the legiuslature, 14 priority areas of the state where cesspool upgrades are critically needed are identified, with many on Hawaii Island. Big Island Video News.

The Hawaii County Council will chip in $16,500 from members’ contingency funds to support rat lungworm disease research. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County officials say the long-awaited Mauna Kea Recreation Area’s Bunkhouses will be available for public use starting on January 3. Big Island Video News.

Members of East Hawaii’s Jewish community have launched an effort to build Hawaii Island’s first synagogue. Tribune-Herald.


Maui

A Maui Publisher Notches A First Amendment Win. The Hawaii Supreme Court tosses out a case against MauiTime’s Tommy Russo, who filmed cops on the job. Civil Beat.

Mokuhinia Draft Archaeological Survey Completed. The public is invited to review the Draft Archaeological Inventory Survey for the Mokuhinia Ecosystem Restoration Project, which was recently completed by Cultural Surveys Hawaii. Maui Now.

UH Board of Regents Announces Finalists to Fill Maui County Seat. Maui Now.

Erosion on Maui threatens temple, washes away gravestones. Associated Press.

Erosion devouring mission property. Members of the 111-year-old Mantokuji Soto Zen Mission of Paia are hoping to save their temple building and cemetery from rapidly increasing erosion that has swept out into the shore break close to a hundred gravestones and claimed several acres of land over the years. Maui News.

Kauai

State ends cesspool program. One day after the state identified Hanalei as one of 14 priority areas where cesspool upgrades are critically needed to protect public health, the Department of Health has withdrawn a program to help residents in the area. Garden Island.

Councilmembers debate use of surplus GET funds for housing. A bill proposed by Councilman Derek Kawakami to use some of the projected surplus from the recently passed General Excise Tax increase towards affordable housing was withdrawn following a heated, 20-minute argument during the county council meeting Wednesday. Garden Island.

Unidentified Kealia object not bomb. It was a metal buoy, not an unexploded bomb, that has been rolling around at Kealia Beach over the last three days. Garden Island