Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Airbnb tax back before the Legislature as session opens today, 125th overthrow anniversary brings Native Hawaiians together, false nuke alarm fallout continues, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Charles Freedman
Hawaii Capitol courtyard PC: Charles Freedman
Ige won’t sign proposed Airbnb tax agreement. Gov. David Ige has rejected a proposed agreement with Airbnb that would have authorized the company to collect vacation rental taxes on behalf of the state, a decision that effectively punts the issue back to the state Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Politics could jeopardize Ige’s agenda. Election-year politics often drive events at the state Capitol, but devotees of U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa could cause the 2018 session of the state Legislature that opens today to devolve into a particularly partisan affair. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers welcome in the 2018 legislative session Wednesday morning at Hawaii State Capitol. KHON2.

The 2018 legislative session officially kicks off Wednesday. That means lawmakers will begin reviewing thousands of measures and soliciting public input on bills. Civil Beat.

County Councils, Through HSAC, Present Legislative Agenda. Big Island Video News.

The Hawaii State Attorney General is asking for an extra $2.5 million in the department’s budget to cover the cost of security operations during large incidents. AG Doug Chin – who is stepping aside to run for Congress – presented the request to the Senate Ways and Means and Judiciary Committees during a January 9 informational briefing. Big Island Video News.

35 Hawaii Legislators have a Second Job. Nearly half of our state legislators hold second jobs, from pilot, doctor and lawyer to business owner, real estate agent and more. Hawaii Business.

Thousands will commemorate the 125th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom Wednesday. KITV.

Thousands are expected to join today’s march and Iolani Palace rally marking the 125th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. Star-Advertiser.

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North Korea mocks Trump, calls Hawaii’s false alarm a ‘tragicomedy’. Associated Press.

Experts say North Korean missile strike on Hawaii still highly unlikely. Hawaii News Now.

Saturday’s ballistic missile false alarm glaringly pointed out one thing: The state’s North Korea nuclear preparedness plan, unfortunately, is still very much a work in progress. Star-Advertiser.

False missile alert had potential to be ‘totally catastrophic,’ Hirono says. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says the agency will be working with states to follow proper protocols when issuing safety alerts and can quickly retract incorrect alerts like Hawaii’s warning of a ballistic missile over the weekend. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Colleen Hanabusa are asking the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services to look into giving U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) access to Hawaii Emergency Management Agency’s alert system. KHON2.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard have requested a formal Congressional investigation into the policies, practices and procedures governing the issuance of a ballistic missile alert, following Saturday’s false ballistic missile alarm. Big Island Now.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency officials have yet to contact Honolulu police about “dozens of death threats by fax, telephone, social media” that its executive officer said were directed at the warning officer who triggered a bogus missile alert on Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency says it is taking formal action against death threats made to its employees after Saturday's false missile warning. Associated Press.

Hawaii businesses are evaluating policies in the case of a statewide emergency in the aftermath of Saturday’s false missile alert. The review comes after widespread reports of people being kicked out or not allowed entry into stores such as Walmart, Starbucks, 24-Hour Fitness, Costco and City Mill in the midst of a supposed ballistic missile attack. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Tourism Authority: Travel Demand Unaffected By Alert Scare. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Distributed Phony Image Of Missile Warning Screen. Gov. David Ige’s office mistakenly sent out a screenshot of menu options for emergency warnings that it thought was real. Civil Beat.

State issues different image of screen leading to employee’s false missile alert. Star-Advertiser.

The state can't agree on what the missile alert interface actually looks like. Hawaii News Now.

Agency releases emergency alert list, says worker not doing well after mistake. KHON2.

Techies and the general public are weighing in on the design, logic and layout of the drop-down menu the state employee saw before clicking on the wrong link, leading to the false missile alert sent by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency on Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

What should students do in the event of a missile threat? DOE explains. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii public schools are offering additional crisis counseling services for students experiencing emotional trauma after Saturday’s false ballistic missile alert. Tribune-Herald.

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A national group with a new chapter here is activating to advance right wing views. Proud Boys is an international men's organization whose credo is, The West is the Best. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii has joined 22 other U.S. states in filing a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission to block what the suit calls an illegal rollback of net neutrality. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin joined 18 other attorneys general Tuesday in signing a letter to Congress requesting legislation that would allow states with legalized marijuana to bring that commerce into the banking system. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii attorney general wants banks, pot industry to work together. Hawaii News Now.

Randall Saito, the man who escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital last November and was caught in California, entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday morning in Circuit Court, according to Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin. KITV.

$500,000 Cash Only Bail Set for Randall Saito. An initial court appearance was held today for escaped mental health patient Randall Saito.  Counsel Michael J. Green made a special appearance on Saito’s behalf, and entered a not guilty plea. Maui Now.

Oahu

Activists: Hawaii Can Get By With A Much Smaller Jail. As the state looks to build a new Oahu Community Correctional Center, legislators are urged to think small. Civil Beat.

Despite federal charges, body clears former police chief's attorney wife of ethical violations. Hawaii News Now.

Purported witness in Kealoha case disputes court documents. A man whose name appears on a state court document that city Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kea­loha is accused of falsifying says he never met Kealoha and has no idea how his signature wound up on the document. Star-Advertiser.

UH revisits missile response plans after students went running for shelter. The sign that hung at the foot of a stairway at UH Manoa's Bilger Hall read "Fallout Shelter" — but there is no shelter space in the building. Hawaii News Now.

Volunteers made another disturbing discovery at a neglected graveyard in Pearl City. Over the weekend, the clean-up crew at Sunset Memorial Park found 35 urns — majority sitting in the bushes surrounding homeless campers squatting on the property. Hawaii News Now.

Largest Honolulu Harbor Expansion Project in State History Starts. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Department of Planning and Permitting said Tuesday the public should be aware of several incidents in which men impersonating DPP inspectors asked for money in exchange for canceling building violations. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Banyan Drive redevelopment, rat lungworm research among East Hawaii lawmakers’ top priorities. Tribune-Herald.

Support for college among Chamber of Commerce priorities for session. West Hawaii Today.

Mountain vacation beckons: Maunakea Rec Area bunkhouses now open. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A Maui County Council member warned the state that a lawsuit could be a possibility if work is not temporarily suspended on the current phase of the Lahaina bypass and its controversial merging with Honoapiilani Highway through Keawe Street in town. Maui News.

Haleakala National Park is putting its sunrise reservation program, implemented nearly a year ago to deal with overcrowding at the summit, through the environmental assessment process and will be holding a public meeting on it from 5 to 6:30 p.m. today at the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani. Maui News.

Maui County is accepting bids for the purchase for 55 residential lots at The Fairways at Maui Lani in Kahului that the county acquired in a legal settlement. Maui News.

Rick Volner, who was general manager of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. until the Maui operations’ closure a little more than a year ago, is leaving Alexander & Baldwin Inc. to take a job as general manager of Maui operations for concrete producer HC&D. Pacific Business News.

Rick Volner, vice president of diversified agriculture at Alexander & Baldwin is resigning his post as he prepares for a new opportunity as general manager of Maui operations for HC&D (formerly Ameron). Maui Now.

Maintenance Projects to Begin at Haleakala, Oheo and Pipiwai. Maui Now.

Kauai

Many Kauai residents are struggling to make ends meet. Garden Island.