Wednesday, December 6, 2017

State tax director resigns after trying to alter report, medical marijuana registrants allowed to keep their guns, sunken ship that fired first Pearl Harbor shots found, new hotel for Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy of Hawaii Gov. David Ige
State Tax Director Maria Zielinski, courtesy Governor's Office
State Tax Director Maria Zielinski has resigned in the wake of reports that state tax officials instructed a consultant on which subjects “should and should not” be addressed in its supposedly independent monitoring reports on the progress of a new $60 million tax computer system. Star-Advertiser.

Tax director resigns as $60M computer upgrade project falters. The head of the state Tax Department has resigned amid ongoing concerns over a beleaguered $60 million project to modernize the state's outdated tax collection and filing computer systems. Hawaii News Now.

Temporary OK for travel ban puts focus on Wednesday hearing. While courts in Hawaii and Maryland had partially blocked the third ban, the Supreme Court on Monday stepped in and lifted those orders pending the outcome of legal challenges in the 9th as well as the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th Circuit, which is scheduled to hear arguments Friday. Associated Press.

Expedition finds sunken USS Ward, which fired first shots in Pearl attack. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s expedition team on Tuesday released the first underwater footage of the sunken destroyer USS Ward, whose captain famously radioed in on Dec. 7, 1941, “We have attacked, fired upon and dropped depth charges” on a submarine operating in Pearl Harbor’s defensive sea area. Star-Advertiser.

Extradition hearing set for state hospital escapee. A California Superior Court judge on Tuesday confirmed the identity of Hawaii State Hospital escapee Randall Saito, allowing prosecutors to move forward with extradition proceedings. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council Committee Advances Hawaii State Hospital Use Permit. Hawaii Public Radio.

City wants to add safeguards to state hospital to tighten security. After last month's escape at the Hawaii State Hospital by a patient with a violent past, some Honolulu City Council members want the Windward Oahu facility to become a secure one. KITV.

Board Of Education Seeks Public Money For Charter School Facilities. Despite “mixed” reviews of their performance last year, the charters deserve more taxpayer money, the board says. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines posted a 6.3 percent increase in revenue passenger miles, or traffic, to 1.3 billion in November, according to statistics released Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Job fair attracts dozens of ex-Island Air workers. Star-Advertiser.

Former Island Air employees attend another job fair, no health coverage. KITV.

Island Air employees lost their jobs. Then they lost their health insurance. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

HPD won’t take guns from medical marijuana users. The Honolulu Police Department will not enforce a controversial policy requiring legal marijuana patients to turn in their guns. Star-Advertiser.

HPD Won’t Force Marijuana Patients To Give Up Their Guns Right Away. But the department will continue to deny new gun permits to medical cannabis patients. Civil Beat.

Police to pot card holders: You can hold on to your gun (for now). Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Police Officer’s Road Rage Results In Lawsuit Against City. The complaint states the incident resulted from a pattern of the HPD not addressing excessive use of force by officers. Civil Beat.

Commentary: New chief’s straight talk a remarkable change for HPD. Star-Advertiser.

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Council panel holds up tower over ‘poor door’. A proposed 41-story condominium tower in the Keeaumoku area is being held up because plans call for those living in the building’s affordable rental units to use a separate entrance from residents in market-priced units. Star-Advertiser.

Why Are Fewer People Riding TheBus? Passenger counts nosedived in recent years, but Honolulu’s mass transit system still enjoys some of the highest demand in the country. Civil Beat.

'A mess': Beachgoers, businesses seek solutions to Waikiki's disappearing shoreline. On Tuesday evening, beachgoers and business owners gathered to develop an action plan to combat erosion along Hawaii's most famous beach. Hawaii News Now.

Big wave surfer Clyde Aikau, brother of legendary waterman Eddie Aikau, sounded an alarm Tuesday about Waikiki Beach erosion during a community workshop to discuss efforts to restore and protect the famous strand. Star-Advertiser.

Security company awarded lucrative contract to keep Kakaako parks secure. KHON2.

New high rise project gets green light from zoning committee. The Hawaii City Plaza condominium got the green light from the City Council's zoning committee Tuesday afternoon. KITV.

Contractor battling developer seeks lien on ultraluxury Kakaako units. Nordic PCL Construction, the general contractor for the ultraluxury Waiea tower, filed an application for a mechanic’s lien in state Circuit Court on Friday, claiming a security interest in 18 units that include two unsold grand penthouses on the market for $35 million and $36 million. Star-Advertiser.

After serving nearly two terms in the state House of Representatives, Rep. Matthew LoPresti has his sights set on the Senate seat representing Ewa and Ewa Beach. Star-Advertiser.

Hotel promises action, but questions remain over growing trash heap in Waikiki. KHON2.

City’s tow contract to expire with hundreds of abandoned vehicles on the line. KHON2.

Environmentalists fight to save monkeypods at Manoa shopping center. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

A $12.5 million bond issue for a new county prosecutor building in Kona met with quick approval Tuesday by the County Council, the first of what could be millions more in new county borrowing. West Hawaii Today.

VIDEO: Council, Attorney Disagree On Use Of Funds. The corporation counsel Joseph Kamelamela defended his position on the need for his staff to review the legality of council contingency relief grants, even after they have already been appropriated by a vote. Big Island Video News.

Coral is still suffering in West Hawaii, though considerably less following three straight years of bleaching that decimated the entire coastline, claiming 50 percent of the area’s coral reefs. West Hawaii Today.

Petition asks to halt plan to reorganize UH-Hilo’s largest academic college. The reorganization plan, approved earlier this year, would divide the College of Arts and Sciences into two separate colleges: the College of Natural and Health Sciences and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Tribune-Herald.

Condominium sales on Hawaii’s Big Island jumped 20 percent in November as prices of both condos and single-family homes rose, according to statistics from Hawaii Information Service on behalf of Hawaii Island Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Maui

Developer unveils Wailea Ike hotel proposal to panel. The California developer behind the Courtyard by Marriott in Kahului and the Residence Inn by Marriott in Wailea is proposing a new 110-unit hotel in Wailea. Maui News.

Council Seeks to Strengthen Sunscreen Ban Bill Before Final Vote. A measure prohibiting the sale and use of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate surfaced for first reading in the Maui County Council. Maui Now.

The National Park Service will host a public meeting from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss proposed plans to rehabilitate the 9,324-foot-elevation Kalahaku Overlook at Haleakala National Park. Maui News.

County mulling having free WiFi in its facilities. Maui News.

With unanimous backing from the Maui County Council, a resolution in support of victims’ rights is headed to the state Legislature. Maui Now.

Kauai


Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall is scheduled to be closed six months starting Jan. 1 for removal of asbestos-laced floor tiles as well as for new flooring and ceramic tile installation, according to a county press release on Tuesday. Garden Island.

Home prices rose on Kauai last month, despite a drop in sales of both single-family homes and condominiums for November, compared to the same month last year, according to statistics from Hawaii Information Service on behalf of the Kauai Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.