Thursday, March 29, 2018

Experts study snorkel safety, Honolulu council strikes 'in lieu' fees for affordable housing, Fukumoto announces congressional bid, tourists average $600 nightly for luxury hotels, $100M highway money for Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii snorkel ©2018 All Hawaii News
In the last five years, 90 people have died in snorkeling related activities, according to the state Department of Health. And a rise in that number has prompted experts to try to figure out why. Hawaii News Now.

Several dozen stakeholders — including lifeguards, tour boat operators, doctors and members of the tourism industry — convened at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort on Wednesday to discuss the prevention of snorkel-related drownings among visitors in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii visitors were willing to pay, on average, nearly $600 a night to stay in a luxury property last month, which hotel executives say was one of the most remarkable months for Hawaii hotel performance in nearly three decades. Star-Advertiser.

New tax benefits likely overstated for Hawaii’s poorest. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which issued a report with the estimate March 12, now says it probably overestimated the average savings for 92,030 Hawaii taxpayers earning up to $10,000 under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Star-Advertiser.

State Rep. Beth Fukumoto, who garnered national attention for leaving the GOP, announced Thursday she’s running for Congress. Hawaii News Now.

She Was An ‘R,’ Now She’s A ‘D’ — And Running For Congress. State Rep. Beth Fukumoto hopes to ride anti-Trump sentiment to Capitol Hill. Civil Beat.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has a big idea. He wants to eliminate student debt for any one who needs a loan to attend a public college or university. Civil Beat.

Medical Aid In Dying: A Long Journey From No To Yes For These Lawmakers. More than a decade of life experiences and listening changed the minds of Hawaii legislators on an emotional issue that often divides people by faith and values. Civil Beat.

State lawmakers will hear a bill today that would cap the number of standardized tests students take at four per school year. House Bill 2117 says limiting the assessments would help “promote real-world learning experiences for Hawaii’s children.” Tribune-Herald.

A bill nearing a final vote in the state Legislature would require counties to dispose of abandoned vehicles on public roads within 10 business days of abandonment. Tribune-Herald.

The Cable Television Division of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs issued a decision and order keeping ‘Olelo’s community-access channels in their current locations until 2036, it was announced Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Caldwell likely to sign affordable housing bill. A new citywide affordable housing policy won final approval Wednesday from the Honolulu City Council. Star-Advertiser.

The City Council unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday that urges the mayor to address concerns about a plan to eliminate beachfront parking at Ala Moana Regional Park. Hawaii News Now.

A bill creating a monthly $5 charge for curbside trash pickup cleared its first hurdle at the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday but still has a long way to go. Star-Advertiser.

US prosecutors want one corruption trial against former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, his deputy prosecutor wife Katherine, three current officers, and one former police major. KITV.

Board of Water Supply seeks public feedback on proposed rate increases. KHON2.

The water is rising. Is Hawaii's largest public works project ready? Hawaii News Now.

Formerly homeless vets get a fresh start at West Oahu complex. Hawaii News Now.

Complete Streets community events slated for Kaneohe, Kailua, Pearl City. KHON2.

Firefighters have determined a Makiki fire in which a 49-year-old man was found dead last week was intentionally set, a Honolulu Fire Department spokesman said. Star-Advertiser.

FBI investigates Waipahu church for alleged human trafficking. Hawaii News Now.

Kapiolani Community College narrows search for chancellor to 3 finalists. Hawaii News Now.

More than 150 employers were on hand today for this year’s Star-Advertiser Career Expo. Hawaii Public Radio.

Employers search for rare ‘diamonds’ in rough job market. With the state sporting a February unemployment rate of 2.1 percent, the lowest in the country, more than 160 companies and organizations on Wednesday hoped to attract workers who are already employed to the Career Expo 2018 held at the Neal Blaisdell Center. Star-Advertiser.

Target is voluntarily recalling nearly 250 frozen food items sold at its Ala Moana location. The company says the products affected may be spoiled and can cause serious illness, if consumed. KITV.

Hawaii Island

Council eyes using portion of geothermal royalties to get internet access at Pahoa Community Center. Tribune-Herald.

Local TV Is Getting Bigger and Bolder. Na Leo TV has greatly expanded its staff, facilities and its presence on the island. Civil Beat.

A Hawaii Island doctor accused of prescription fraud changed his plea to guilty to some of the various charges he was indicted on last year. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui Expected to Get $100M in Federal Highway Funds. The public is invited to learn about proposed federal transportation projects for Maui at four community workshops in April. Maui Now.

United States District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright sentenced 32-year-old Cody Joslin to 18 months in prison today, March 28, 2018, for theft of funds from the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Maui Now.

Kauai

A bill proposing the $5.6 million purchase of land in Hanalei by the County of Kauai was moved forward at Wednesday’s County Council meeting. Garden Island.

People should think twice about jumping into the water at Koloa Landing right now, according to the Kauai chapter of Surfrider and the state Department of Health, as a brown plume was seen there Tuesday afternoon. Garden Island.

Anyone interested in being an extra in one of Hollywood’s upcoming action/adventure movies being filmed on Kauai can audition to be part of the cast or crew on Saturday. Garden Island.