Friday, March 2, 2018

Coral reefs dying, Honolulu and Big Island mayors release proposed budgets, SHOPO head retires, Kealoha home foreclosed, Ala Moana replaces deadly railings, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Coral scientists off Hilo ©2018 All Hawaii News
Hawaii's coral reefs are dying, and researchers are a few steps closer to figuring out just how much environmental changes and human interaction affect the ocean's coral reefs. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii taxpayers can expect to save around $1.3 billion this year from recently enacted federal tax cuts, but the near-term benefit to the state economy will be “very small,” according to a new report. Star-Advertiser.

A bill to allow terminally ill patients to receive medical assistance to end their lives was approved by a wide margin Thursday in a preliminary vote in the state House, suggesting the measure is gaining momentum in the heavily Democratic state Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

If bill passes, law enforcement officers who've been fired for misconduct won't be able to get a similar job. KITV.

The state’s largest health insurers saw their financial results worsen in the fourth quarter. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii lost $88 million while Hawaii Medical Service Association’s net income fell to $12.2 million. Star-Advertiser.

Oliveira: Feds don’t need to be involved in missile alerts. He doesn’t believe Hawaii is a target. The lead internal investigator of Hawaii’s false missile alert in January dismissed talk of transferring responsibility of notifying the public of a missile attack to the federal government. Maui News.

Report: Lack of shelters means you'll likely be on your own in a disaster. Hawaii News Now.

The public comment period regarding a proposed fee increase to the tri-park annual pass will close this Friday, March 2. Maui Now.

Oahu

Marking a major but not unexpected shift in city policy, Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s 2019 budget package proposes using city funds for the first time for construction of the financially strapped East Kapolei-to-Ala Moana rail project. The proposed $2.61 billion city operating budget for fiscal 2019 is roughly 6.4 percent, or about $157 million, more than the current year’s budget. Star-Advertiser.

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Longtime police union leader Tenari Maafala is retiring in April from the Honolulu Police Department after a controversial reassignment by the police chief, who the union alleges targeted him. Star-Advertiser.

SHOPO President Maafala retiring next month. Sgt. Tenari Maafala told The Associated Press today he’s retiring next month from the Honolulu Police Department. He’ll also step down as president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers. Associated Press.

The head of the police union says he's retiring effective April 1. SHOPO's president, Sgt. Tenari Maafala, also said he plans to leave the union. Hawaii News Now.

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Ex-HPD Chief Kealoha and wife default on $1M mortgage, lawsuit says. A former Honolulu police chief and his wife — a deputy city prosecutor — who are both facing charges in a corruption case, are being sued for failure to pay their home mortgage. Associated Press.

The financial institution that holds a mortgage on the Hawaii Kai home of former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his deputy prosecutor wife, Katherine Kealoha, has filed for foreclosure. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii credit union is foreclosing on the Hawaii Kai home owned by the former Honolulu police chief and his wife, a deputy city prosecutor. Hawaii News Now.

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After 'floatilla' chaos, lawmakers seek to ban drinking in the water. Hawaii News Now.

UH Takeover Of Innovation Center Is Raising Tech Community Eyebrows. In July, UH will oust the state High Technology Development Corp. as the Manoa tech incubator’s landlord. Civil Beat.

A 23-year-old Kamehameha Schools faculty member pleaded not guilty in Circuit Court today to multiple counts of sexual assault involving a high school student. Star-Advertiser.

New program aimed to help domestic violence victims. KITV.

Railings that led to severe injury, death fully replaced at Ala Moana Center. KHON2.

Renew-Rebuild Hawaii hosted a panel discussion today on energy resilience and development. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County’s budget will break a half-billion dollars for the first time, but what’s not in the preliminary spending plan released Thursday is almost as significant as what’s in it. West Hawaii Today.

With the state Land Board designating 40 acres off the Daniel K. Inouye Highway as a shooting range, Hawaii Island gun owners now have a place to legally practice their marksmanship. Tribune-Herald.

A critical equipment failure took down Hawaii County’s fiber network Thursday. The network could be down through today. Tribune-Herald.

A bill committing $2 million to Hilo Medical Center so stents can be offered to patients with heart blockages passed a key Senate committee. Tribune-Herald.

Man-Made Disasters Are What Really Worry The Big Island. When it comes to hazardous materials, officials are often unsure where the sites are or what they’d do in an emergency. Civil Beat.

State apologizes after attempt to enforce rule that threatened aquaponics industry. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii Island Humane Society’s Animal Community Center, which will bring increased capacity to hold stray animals and increase spay-and-neuter services, continues to move forward. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Committee OKs 250 affordable units in S. Kihei. Honuaula Partners request moves to full council for final vote. Maui News.

Water rate hikes not being sought for fiscal year 2019. Proposed purchase of Wailuku Water Co. not yet budgeted. Maui News.

Upcountry skate park is becoming a reality. Ground broken on vision of youths at Kekaulike High School. Maui News.

Island Bowling Officially Open in Lahaina. After a half-century, a new bowling alley has opened its doors on Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

The state wants to expand the Lihue-Koloa Forest Reserve to create better access, and the public has until March 14 to give their take on the plan. Garden Island.

Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts said Thursday that one of its properties, Kauai Shores Hotel, will now accept Bitcoin payments, becoming the first on the island to do so. Pacific Business News.