Monday, January 8, 2018

AG Chin to step down to seek congressional seat, foster parents lawsuit seeks higher pay, Hawaiian overthrow commemoration set for Legislature's opening day, Honolulu loses almost $5M federal grants due to inertia, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Doug Chin
Doug Chin, Mazie Hirono at Aug. 30, 2017 DACA press conference file photo
Attorney General Chin will step down to run for Congress. The decision by state Attorney General Douglas Chin to resign March 15 and begin full-time campaigning for the 1st Congressional District seat is probably a “politically smart move,” according to a University of Hawaii political scientist. Star-Advertiser.

Chin To Step Down As Hawaii AG In Run For Congress. The attorney general was pressured to resign by the person he hopes to succeed, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin on Sunday announced he will step down to focus on his congressional campaign. Associated Press.

Seeking a seat in U.S. Congress, Hawaii's Attorney General Doug Chin announced Sunday he will step down. Hawaii News Now.

Doug Chin announced Sunday that he is leaving his Attorney General post to concentrate on his campaign for the First Congressional district seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. KITV.

Attorney General Doug Chin will step down to run for Congressional seat. KHON2.

=====

Overthrow observance to shadow Legislature’s opening day. 125 years after the overthrow of Hawaii’s last monarch, a new group of organizers is planning a march and observance ceremony expected to draw thousands to Iolani Palace and to the Capitol courtyard next door. Star-Advertiser.

Ige seeks pay raises for foster parents amid legal battle. A drawn-out legal battle over how much families are paid to care for foster children is headed to court, where attorneys say the dispute could end up costing the state significantly more than a multimillion-dollar settlement that was rejected last year by the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

A legal battle over how much families are paid to care for foster children could cost Hawaii millions of dollars, state officials said. Associated Press.

More than 800 cases of child sex abuse reported in 2017, likely only a fraction of victims. KHON2.

Navy likely to keep long-standing grip on Pacific Command. here’s been some extra drama attendant to the Pentagon’s selection of the next head of U.S. Pacific Command on Oahu — and not only because that person will have to counter a runaway North Korean nuclear program and a militarily assertive China. Star-Advertiser.

Judge clears way for sale of Island Air operating certificate. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris, declaring that something is better than nothing, gave the green light Friday for Island Air’s trustee to take the necessary steps to proceed in the sale of the company’s operating certificate to a subsidiary of Hawaiian Airlines’ corporate parent. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines is likely to exceed $100 million for a second consecutive year in baggage, reservation and change fees. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

How Mismanagement Cost Honolulu Nearly $5 Million In Federal Aid. The unspent money was intended to help ease the city’s critical problems with homelessness and affordable housing. Civil Beat.

The Oahu Real Property Tax Advisory Commission on Thursday passed its final report to the Honolulu City Council, recommending a host of changes aimed at making the tax burden more equitable among the island’s property owners. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Liquor Commission has delayed a decision over a license application for a new Denny’s restaurant in Waikiki due to community opposition. Star-Advertiser.

Court ends first year of decriminalized homelessness. As Oahu’s so-called “homeless court” moves into its second year, the chief justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court wants legislators to know that “it has brought life-changing experiences” to some of its homeless defendants. Star-Advertiser.

Prosecutors say Ransen Taito was a victim of Katherine Kealoha’s financial crimes, but he helped her cover them up anyway. When Ransen Taito walked into the U.S. District Court of Hawaii on Friday to plead guilty to felony conspiracy, he was about to roll over in a big way on his “aunty,” someone he trusted since childhood: Honolulu deputy prosecuting attorney Katherine Kealoha. Civil Beat.

Frustration grows over delay in state takeover of Hawaii's only volunteer-run public library. Hawaii News Now.

Kapiolani Community College has opened its search for a new chancellor and expects to have a hire in place by July. Star-Advertiser.

Diamond Head Theatre redevelopment plan moves forward. Plans are to upgrade the building to a 500-seat venue with improved stage mechanics and enhanced theatre experience. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu’s 2017 housing market finished strong with gains in both condominium and single-family home sales and median prices, and experts from the real estate industry expect the momentum to continue this year, but possibly at a slower pace. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu home prices may reach just under $800K in 2018, Locations says. The median price of a single-family home rose by 3 percent to $760,000, from $735,000 in 2016, while the median price of a condo rose 5 percent to $410,000, from $390,000 in 2016, according to the sales data analyzed by Locations. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

DLNR shuts down aquarium fishing in West Hawaii pending environmental review.  For the first time in decades, West Hawaii waters are off-limits to aquarium fishermen. West Hawaii Today.

2017 a deadly year on Big Island roads. Speed kills. Obvious as it sounds, that’s the lesson to be learned from the majority of the 32 official traffic fatalities that occurred on Hawaii Island in 2017 — the same official total of traffic deaths that took place in 2016. The deaths occurred in 30 collisions. Tribune-Herald.

Criteria To Determine Pre-Existing Lots Discussed. The Hawaii County Council Planning Committee sat down with planning department administrators recently to discuss a new bill to amend the Subdivision Code. Big Island Video News.

Wendell Kaehuaea is hoping the 23rd time will be the charm. After 22 unsuccessful campaigns for local political office, Kaehuaea is shooting for his first statewide race, and this time he’s aiming high. All the way to governor. West Hawaii Today.

Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden nonprofit lands $750K. West Hawaii Today.

A climate for coffee: Researchers work to get ahead of potential threats to Hawaii’s signature crop. West Hawaii Today.

Condo sales on Hawaii's Big Island jump 20% in 2017, single-family sees single-digit gains. The 853 condo units sold on the Big Island in 2017 was 19.97 percent more than the 711 units that sold in 2016. The median price of a Big Island condo in 2017 was $310,000, which was an increase of 1.64 percent from $305,000 in 2016. Pacific Business News.

Maui

LPN shortage leads to higher patient care costs. Hale Makua is working with UH-Maui College on an educational program just for LPNs. Maui News.

Catholic charities planning a senior housing development. Proposed affordable project would have 164 apartments. Maui News.

Three mumps cases reported on Maui. Out of 770 confirmed cases of mumps statewide as of Jan. 4, three cases were on Maui. Maui News.

Kauai

Defendants continue Coco Palms claim. The heated civil trial over 17 acres of land in Wailua where the famed Coco Palms Resort once stood before it was damaged by Hurricane Iniki continued Friday with testimony from Noa Mau-Espirito, one of the two defendants in the matter.  Garden Island.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative Nominating Committee has confirmed six candidates for its Board of Directors election on March 10. Garden Island.

Home sales on Kauai dip in 2017 as condo sales take off. There were a total of 450 condo units sold on the Garden Island last year, an increase of 19.05 percent from 378 units sold in 2016. The median price of a condo on Kauai in 2017 rose 9.23 percent to $435,000 from $398,250 in 2016. Pacific Business News.