Monday, January 22, 2018

Ige to give State of the State address this morning as lawmakers criticize missile alert snafu, mayors seek taxing power, grim budgets as employee costs rise, Honolulu councilman seeks false missile alarm working group, federal employees face furloughs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Rep. Della Au Bellati
Gov. Ige addresses legislative committee PC: Rep. Della Au Bellati
Amid sharp critiques, Ige to deliver fourth State of the State. After a difficult week for his administration and amid mounting questions over his leadership, Gov. David Ige will address lawmakers and constituents on Monday in his fourth State of the State address. Hawaii News Now.

State public funds’ shortfall hits $25B. The two public funds designed to meet the future pension and health care needs of government employees and retirees are a combined $25 billion in the hole with a growing shortfall. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s transient accommodations tax collections jumped 14 percent in 2017. Hawaii’s transient accommodations tax collections increased 13.8 percent to $508.4 million in fiscal year 2017, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s annual report to the state Legislature. Pacific Business News.

County Mayors: We Want More Power To Tax. They also want a larger share of the state hotel tax revenues and immunity for lifeguards at state beaches. Civil Beat.

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Governor took 15 minutes to announce missile alert was false. The Hawaii National Guard’s top commander said Friday he told Gov. David Ige that a missile alert was a false alarm two minutes after it went out statewide. But the governor didn’t tell the public until 15 minutes later. Associated Press.

Gov. David Ige was told last week’s missile alert was a false alarm just two minutes after the warning message was sent to cellphones across the state, the director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency told lawmakers Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Knew 2 Minutes After Missile Alert That It Was False. But it took his office 15 minutes to announce the news in a Twitter post, legislators were told Friday. Civil Beat.

Legislature Conducts Hearing on False Missile Alert. Governor David Ige told lawmakers Friday that safeguards are in place and there will be consequences for the 38 minute delay to end the false alarm. Hawaii Public Radio.

State lawmakers put Hawaii emergency officials, including Governor David Ige, under the spotlight during an informational briefing Friday, held to review the circumstances surrounding the erroneous release of a statewide emergency alert on Saturday, January 13. Big Island Video News.

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Republicans Want Lower Taxes And Better Public Access To Legislature. Bills to expand public record laws and exempt food items from taxes are endorsed by the minority caucus. Civil Beat.

State Representative Andria Tupola confirms run for governor. KITV.

There’s an increasingly urgent need for more state-funded ambulance units across the state to deal with a surge in emergency calls, primarily by seniors and the homeless, emergency services chiefs told state lawmakers last week. Star-Advertiser.

State tracks bacteria at busy beaches but often cannot identify the source. Star-Advertiser.

The state of Hawaii’s plan for improving public education under the Every Student Succeeds Act was approved Friday by the federal government. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Education said it’s received federal approval of its plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal education law which replaces No Child Left Behind. Tribune-Herald.

Here’s What We Pay County Workers — Except For Cops. Our salary database has thousands of new entries, but a legal challenge is holding back Honolulu police officer information. Civil Beat.

Several thousand federal civilian employees in Hawaii will be furloughed today because of the government shutdown. Star-Advertiser.

What happens now? How Hawaii is affected by a federal government shutdown. KHON2.

2 Hawaii congresswomen decline pay for duration of government shutdown. Hawaii News Now.

Feds make more than $2M available to reduce fishing bycatch. Associated Press.

Dozens Of Hawaii’s Mentally Ill May Lose Their Homes. The state looks to stop subsidies to people who already have received them for much longer than the intended two years. Civil Beat.

A state-sponsored ferry service for Hawaii would be financially and commercially impractical, according to a new study conducted last year by the state Department of Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

"Our job is to be ready": USS Carl Vinson en route to Western Pacific. KITV.

Across the state, thousands turn out for women's marches, rallies. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

City Councilman Ernie Martin wants Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell to convene “a false missile alert working group” to assess how the city Department of Emergency Management and other city agencies responded to the Jan. 13 alert issued by mistake by state emergency officials. Star-Advertiser.

Mismanagement Could Cost Honolulu Another $10 Million. The city is scrambling to figure out how to make use of empty buildings in Waipahu and Chinatown. Civil Beat.

Private sponsors sought for programs at city zoo. Star-Advertiser.

Auction begins for Ryan’s Grill Honolulu as it closes after 34 years in business. Oahu Auctions will sell kitchen equipment and restaurant decorations from Ryan’s Grill Honolulu, which will serve dinner for the last time on Saturday, after more than 34 years in business. Pacific Business News.

Porn law’s loophole helped Oahu man avoid charges, critics say. Star-Advertiser.

Kapolei parcel sails back on the market, but this time not for sale. An affiliate of the James Campbell Co. has listed 14 acres of commercial land in Kapolei, but the parcel sandwiched between Farrington Highway and the H-1 freeway is being offered under long-term ground leases rather, as well as for sale.  Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

General excise tax hike mulled as county drains fund balance. Mayor Harry Kim on Friday sent the County Council a bill to raise the general excise tax by one-half percent to balance next year’s budget, while telling a state legislative panel the county exhausted its fund balance to pay for this year. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim traveled to the State Capitol Friday, joining the state’s other county mayors for an informational briefing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee and House Finance Committee. Big Island Video News.

Crawford returns as Finance Department deputy. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has closed portions of the park to the public as a result of the federal government shutdown. Tribune-Herald.

EnVision Maunakea’s process coming to a close; about 100 people participate. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Three Lawsuits Filed on Maui Over Shoreline Access. Maui Now.

Mayor looking into perks given to affordable housing owner. An apartment building owner who received millions of dollars in benefits to create an affordable housing project in Lahaina is coming under county scrutiny in light of the owner’s plans to raise affordable rents to market rates in 2019. Maui News.

Low inventory, higher housing prices persist in Maui County. Year-end real estate sales remain hot. Maui News.

Federal Government Shutdown Results in Haleakala Sunrise Summit Closure. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Airlines reinstated daily nonstop service Friday between Portland, Ore., and Maui. Star-Advertiser.

East Maui drivers brace for closures due to highway repairs. Hawaii News Now.

A public presentation on a proposed renewable energy conversion and sludge processing project at the Wailuku-Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility will be held Wednesday. Maui News.

Kauai

County leaders reflect on 2017 accomplishments. Garden Island.

Feral pig population holding steady. Garden Island.

One month without plastic. The average resident on Kauai produces around 1,300 pounds of waste per year, and county officials said that points to the potential impact of every individual’s choices. Garden Island.