Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hawaii still tops in homelessness, new tax chief named, Honolulu police chief admits error in gun confiscation, Kauai council passes GET surcharge, attack siren failures reported, Pearl Harbor remembered, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Homeless sleep on Honolulu sidewalk © 2017 All Hawaii News
Hawaii still leads nation in homeless count per capita. The 7,220 homeless people counted across the islands in January as part of an annual, nationwide homeless census put Hawaii’s rate at 51 homeless people for every 10,000 individuals, the worst of all 50 states, according to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report released Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Despite broad concerns, governor says tax system upgrades are on track. The governor says a $60 million project to modernize the tax department's outdated computer systems is moving forward with the right team in place. Hawaii News Now.

Ige appoints new director for troubled state tax department. Gov. David Ige today named Linda Chu Takayama as the new director of the state Department of Taxation in an effort to quickly replace outgoing director Maria Zielinski in what has emerged as a pivotal position in Ige’s administration. Star-Advertiser.

Linda Chu Takayama
Ige appoints new interim director of taxation. Hawaii Gov. David Ige has named Linda Chu Takayama as the new interim director of the state Department of Taxation following Maria Zielinski's sudden resignation on Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Governor Appoints Linda Chu Takayama as Interim Tax Director. Hawaii Public Radio.

Trump advised to alter Pacific Remote Islands monument. Commercial fishing has been banned for nearly a decade in 490,534 square miles of water around several western Pacific islands and atolls. But that could change based on a recommendation issued Tuesday to President Donald Trump. Star-Advertiser.

Can Voluntourism Offset the Environmental Impacts of Hawaii's Growing Visitor Industry? Most tourists come to Hawaii on vacation for rest and relaxation, but there’s a popular trend in visitors coming to Hawaii to volunteer their time and labor. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Lawmakers Are Used To Hearing About Potential Conflicts Of Interest. Legislators argue there are good reasons to vote even on issues where they may have potential conflicts. Associated Press

Why Hawaii Residents Can’t Build Their Own Private Power Grids. As solar systems and battery storage gain popularity, some say Hawaii’s law needs to catch up with the technology. Civil Beat.

Survivors, families to mark 76th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack. The crowds will be smaller this year. There will be fewer headlines and cameras and big names. Hawaii News Now.

76th Anniversary of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Maui Now.

WWII veterans accomplish final mission. Seventy-six years have passed since the “day of infamy.” The call to “Remember Pearl Harbor” has faded, Hotel Street has faded, and the men like Lauren Bruner and Lou Conter, who were there and fought back, are fading, too. Star-Advertiser.

USS Arizona Survivors take special flight to mark 76th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack. KITV.

USS Arizona survivors take aerial tour ahead of Pearl Harbor’s 76th commemoration. KHON2.

How Hawaii airports stack up against the competition for international passengers. Pacific Business News.

Island Air workers unable to access 401(k) funds. The company’s 423 workers, already without their final November paycheck and health insurance, now are being shut out from accessing their 401(k) retirement funds — some of which have been deposited in the wrong account. Star-Advertiser.

Following report, judge in Kamehameha Schools sex abuse case recuses herself. Hawaii News Now.

Commentary: Preparing For Hawaii’s Next Constitutional Convention Vote. A referendum is set for Nov. 6, 2018, but now is the time to begin the discussion. Civil Beat.

Oahu


Emergency Leader Concerned Siren Was Hard To Hear In Waikiki. Beachgoers hardly noticed the alarm, which also was hard to hear in some other areas. Associated Press.

HPD in error over cannabis patients with guns, chief says. Honolulu police Chief Susan Ballard said her department’s controversial policy requiring medical marijuana patients to relinquish their guns was wrong. Star-Advertiser.

Council Gives Preliminary OK To Changing How Police Panel Selected. The resolution would allow the City Council to select three members of the seven-member commission. Civil Beat.

Council OKs measures trying to rein in ‘monster’ homes. The Honolulu City Council approved legislation Wednesday that directs the Department of Planning and Permitting to come up with stiffer regulations on large-scale houses and renewed an effort to impose a moratorium on building permits for such structures until new rules are in place. Star-Advertiser.

Council gives OK to Keeaumoku condo tower project. The developers of the Hawaii City Plaza condominium tower in the Keeaumoku area have been given the go-ahead by the Honolulu City Council, despite lingering ill feelings toward the developers by some Council members and concerns by community members that the approval was rushed. Star-Advertiser.

Proposed High Rise With ‘Poor Door’ Stalls At City Council. Councilwoman Kymberly Pine said the developer needs to address concerns about a planned separate entrance to the lower-cost rental units. Civil Beat.

Hawaii health officials have issued an advisory telling people not to eat fish or shellfish caught in the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii fuel pier and marina area due to unsafe levels of contaminants. Associated Press.

Crews Are Close to Finally Ridding Waikiki Of The Pacific Paradise. The Coast Guard says the cost of salvaging the wrecked vessel has already exceeded $1 million. Civil Beat.

The state attorney general says no criminal charges will be filed for now in the case of a toddler who was assaulted in a babysitter's care. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu home prices continued their mostly slow and steady rise this year, notching 3 percent gains in November. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu home sales post double-digit increases as prices rise. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

State adding more sirens to alert Big Island about emergencies. The state is adding 17 new Big Island sirens to its system of emergency alerts as it works to fill gaps in a program designed to bolster public preparedness in natural and man-made emergencies. West Hawaii Today.

People in Hilo thought they were hearing sirens. It was actually a leaf blower. Hawaii News Now.

The owner of Cloverleaf Dairy is looking to hand his family business over to another company after a deal reached in 2016 fell through. Tribune-Herald.

VIDEO: Hungarian Automated Telescope On Mauna Kea Made Permanent. A request for permanent continuation of the Hungarian Automated Telescope, or HAT, was approved by the Maunakea Management Board on November 28. Big Island Video News.

Maui

LUC members hear testimony backing ‘agrihood’ project. Land Use Commission members heard several hours of testimony Wednesday as part of hearings on proposed state district boundary amendments for the nearly 500-acre Waikapu Country Town project. Maui News.

Letter: County Liquor officials did not prohibit children at event. The county Department of Liquor Control defended its “limited role” in an October fundraiser by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui, writing in a letter last week to the club that no liquor laws or rules prevented youths from receiving awards at the event that served alcohol. Maui News.

Infographic: Sewage Spills on Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

Council OKs tax hike. On Wednesday, the county council approved Bill 2670 to establish a general excise and use tax surcharge. Garden Island.

Officers seize illegal plants from Kalalau Valley. The Kauai Police Department participated in a two-day multi-agency operation this week that led to the removal of 15 coca plants from Kalalau Valley. Garden Island.

Molokai

New emergency sirens will be tested at five Molokai sites between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. today and Friday, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said. Maui News.