Monday, February 19, 2018

Legislature mulls Airbnb tax bill, less panic than anticipated after false missile alert, Tsutsui moves to Hanabusa campaign, illegal marijuana sales alleged at expo, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Vacation rental under construction at Onekahakaha beach park ©2018 All Hawaii News
Bill would let Airbnb brokers act as tax agents. A proposal that would allow Airbnb to collect tens of millions of dollars in state taxes generated by short-term rentals using the online home-sharing platform would also make it illegal for Airbnb to do business with any rental operators breaking county zoning laws. Star-Advertiser.

Researchers studying the reaction of Hawaii’s residents after the false missile alert say there was far less panic than they anticipated. Associated Press.

Missile alarm snafu spurs interest in backyard fallout shelters. An Oregon bomb shelter company has received about 65 inquiries, and counting, from Hawaii residents since the Jan. 13 false alarm. Star-Advertiser.

Not long after his abrupt resignation as Hawaii’s lieutenant governor, Shan Tsutsui is said to be gearing up to run the Maui operations for the gubernatorial campaign of U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa as she mounts a challenge to Tsutsui’s old boss, Gov. David Ige. Star-Advertiser.

A joint State House committee recently advanced a bill that would ban the import, use, manufacture, sale, and storage of chlorpyrifos in Hawaii. Big Island Video News.

HECO gets OK for initiative to control customer use. An operation referred to as “demand response” will let residential and commercial customers volunteer to have certain power-consuming devices occasionally controlled by HECO so the utility can manage the alignment between electricity supply and demand as more sources of renewable — and variable — energy generation are added to electricity grids throughout the state. Star-Advertiser.

Donn Takahashi will retire next month from his post as president of Prince Resorts Hawaii after a 25-year career with the company. Pacific Business News.


Illegal marijuana sales alleged at expo. The state Narcotics Enforcement Division is investigating allegations of illegal activity at last weekend’s Hawaii Cannabis Expo, where some vendors openly distributed cannabis seeds and other products. Star-Advertiser.

A Kamehameha Schools high school teacher has been placed on indefinite administrative leave after being accused of sexually assaulting a student, according to police records and the school. Star-Advertiser.

A Kamehameha Schools faculty member has been arrested and charged for allegedly having an "inappropriate relationship" with a student. Hawaii News Now.

Waimanalo land lease offers possible solution for Waianae homeless camp. Dennis “Bumpy” Kanahele believes his state lease on more than 55 acres of Waimanalo land provides a Hawaiian-based road map for ending escalating tensions over the homeless encampment next to the Waianae Small Boat Harbor known as Pu‘uhonua o Waianae. Star-Advertiser.

Some residents are rejecting plans to build dozens of new homes on a historic North Shore ranch. KITV.

Texas-based developer Hunt Companies is set to expand its local influence. The company is accelerating the redevelopment of Kalaeloa—while working on high-profile projects on three islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

A loophole in city rules has Waikiki businesses and residents up in arms about a number of Kalakaua Avenue street-closure permits. Star-Advertiser.

After the deadly Florida school shooting and several threats towards Oahu schools, one teacher hopes the DOE will do more to prevent a tragedy in the islands. Hawaii News Now.

The World Surf League said Thursday that one of the most prestigious surfing events will not take place on Oahu's North Shore in 2019 following a permitting dispute with the City and County of Honolulu. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

The county Salary Commission stands by the big raises it doled out to county officials, and this week voted to oppose a charter amendment opening its process to greater public scrutiny. West Hawaii Today.

A California company is looking at Hawaii Island as a potential site for launching small satellites into orbit. And its CEO claims it can do it without rockets. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Council members were given an update on the organic waste program during a recent committee meeting. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Island’s ‘Oasis’ Of Affordable Homes. It’s a whole different real estate market on the east side of the Big Island, where residences cost about half as much as they do on Oahu. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Island Albizia Task Force announced it will carry out a series of albizia control projects costing $1 million within the next several weeks on the east side of the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii a destination for adventure — safety be darned — yet officials continue to push for precaution in a daunting fight. West Hawaii Today.

Crash settlement to cost state $1.3M. Lawyers for the state have agreed to pay $1.3 million in connection with a car crash on Hawaii island almost four years ago that left a 23-year-old man paralyzed. Star-Advertiser.

The arrival of a new player in the Kona coffee game has stirred more than milk and sugar into the region’s proverbial drink. West Hawaii Today.


Budget panel moves toward buying building. The property, once acquired, would be torn down to make way for the Wailuku civic complex development. Maui News.

The county parks permit office at the War Memorial Gym will be opening 2 1/2 hours later Tuesday for early-morning training. Maui News.

A group of Native Hawaiians and students seized the flags on the campus of the University of Hawaii Maui College to protest the American flag flying above the Hawaiian flag. Associated Press.

TV producer buys Maui home for $23M, highest-priced sale in Hawaii so far this year. A five-bedroom, seven-bath new beachfront home in Kihei has sold for $22.8 million, the highest-priced residential transaction in Hawaii so far this year, and the fourth-highest sale ever on Maui. Pacific Business News.

Diane Moss, Founding Director of the Renewables 100 Policy Institute, will be the keynote speaker for the Fifth Annual Maui Energy Conference held at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center on March 14-15. Maui Now.


Cable television on Kauai will be changing to digital broadcasting this summer. The planned conversion is expected to increase Spectrum’s bandwidth but may affect local programming across the state, especially on Kauai. Garden Island.