Monday, March 26, 2018

Hanabusa has 20-point lead over Ige in poll, Green leading Lt. Gov. race, Kim and Chin tied in #HI01, public strongly favors Thirty Meter Telescope, Maui mayor pushes $900M budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

2018 gubernatorial election Democratic primary
David Ige, Colleen Hanabusa
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa has a 20-percentage-point lead over incumbent Gov. David Ige less than five months away from the Democratic primary, with 47 percent of likely Democratic voters saying they would vote for Hanabusa if the election were held today, according to a new Hawaii Poll by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Star-Advertiser.

According to a new poll by the Star-Advertiser, Hawaii voters may be leaning towards electing a new governor. Hawaii News Now.

Many Hawaii voters are still undecided on who should be the state’s next lieutenant governor, but state Sen. Josh Green of Hawaii island has an early edge in the crowded race, according to the latest Hawaii Poll. Star-Advertiser.

Kim, Chin tie in race for U.S. House. Veteran lawmaker Donna Mercado Kim and Lt. Gov. Doug Chin are in a near tie in the race to represent urban Honolulu in the U.S. House, according to the latest Hawaii Poll, which shows the two front-runners each attracting roughly 30 percent of likely Democratic primary votes. Star-Advertiser.

Most see homeless problem getting worse. Registered island voters, in general, do not believe Hawaii’s homeless problem has improved over the last year, and 62 percent support the idea of so-called “safe zones” for homeless people to live without fear of getting swept. Star-Advertiser.

Nearly 20 years after Hawaii legalized medical marijuana, a slim majority of local residents support full legalization for recreational use of the federally illegal drug. Star-Advertiser.

A proposal to legalize medically assisted death for terminally ill patients cleared its last major hurdle at the state Legislature on Friday, paving the way for a full vote by the Senate, where the bill is expected to pass comfortably. Star-Advertiser.

The Last Committee: Medical Aid In Dying Bill Now Goes To Full Senate. The measure has been fast-tracked through the Hawaii Senate after coming over from the House earlier this month with additional safeguards. Civil Beat.

DOH Food Safety Branch says placard program working but hand-washing still an issue. It appears the state Dept. of Health's color-coded placard program is working, but even after three years since its launch, the number one problem is getting employees to wash their hands. KHON2.

Paying the Price of Technology Failures. High-profile failures of local government technology often make headlines in Hawaii. But there’s an everyday cost to those failures that are paid by businesses and citizens around the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

About 1 in 24 homes in Hawaii is a vacation rental, which is contributing to the state’s shortage of affordable housing, according to a report by an advocacy group. Associated Press.

State begins training Hawaiian language interpreters for courtrooms. Over the weekend, the state became one step closer to ensuring Hawaiian language interpreters are available for all courtrooms. Hawaii News Now.

Coast Guard crews located eight people in a life raft in waters hundreds of miles away from Hawaii Island Sunday. The Coast Guard says the eight people were part of the crew from a commercial fishing vessel named The Princess Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

A bill that would allow for a limited number of new bed-and-breakfast permits to be issued on Oahu while establishing stiffer fines for unlawful vacation rentals soon will go before the City Council. Star-Advertiser.

A hotel and condominium tower on Kapiolani Boulevard and mostly modest-priced homes on farmland in Waialua are a step closer to being developed after a Honolulu City Council committee vote Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Biki has increased the size of four existing Biki stops and installed two brand new ones. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu students lend voices as marches across country publicly decry gun violence. Star-Advertiser.

Students, teachers, parents march through downtown Honolulu to end gun violence. An estimated 5,000 people converged on the state Department of Education and then back to the state capitol. KHON2.

City and County of Honolulu offices will be closed Monday, March 26, 2018, in observance of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana‘ole Day, a state holiday. KITV.

Hawaii Island

On the eve of a court ruling that could determine the fate of the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaii, public support for the stalled $1.4 billion project has never been stronger. Star-Advertiser.

Kim says balanced budget isn’t enough. West Hawaii Today.

Creation of Hilo homeless facility in ‘very preliminary’ stages. Roy Takemoto, an executive assistant to Mayor Harry Kim, told the Tribune-Herald last week that the county is in the initial stages of acquiring access to two adjoining land parcels at the old airport in Hilo — located about 850 feet from Access Road — where it is looking to possibly erect tents and domes. Tribune-Herald.

There are opposite takeaways from this week’s sudden closure of Hawaii’s only homeless, government-sanctioned “ohana zone,” Camp Kikaha in Kailua-Kona. Star-Advertiser.

The County of Hawaii has ordered Hilo Farmers Market to remove the tarps and the tents that have been its primary structures for over 33 years or face $4,000 in fines for each day they remain in place. Big Island Now.

Pace of Kolekole Beach Park lead testing frustrates residents. State officials are going out to bid for more soil sampling at Kolekole Beach Park, which closed almost a year ago due to lead contamination. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island’s natural beauty and seemingly endless opportunities for adventure have earned it a spot among TripAdvisor’s top destinations in the United States. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa is asking the Valley Isle's council members to approve a $900 million budget for fiscal year 2019. The mayor is also proposing a new three-tiered progressive property tax structure, which he said would allow rate adjustments to generate the revenue required to maintain services and infrastructure. Pacific Business News.

Mayor’s final budget proposal calls for $820 million for fiscal year 2018-19. Spending would increase by $114.8 million, or 16.3%, over current period. Maui News.

Mayor Alan Arakawa’s budget proposes a tiered scheme for property taxes designed to increase income from second homes and investment properties, a growing trend that many say aggravates Maui County’s housing crisis. Maui News.

Maui County fiscal 2018-19 budget highlights. Maui News.

The Budget and Finance Committee received Mayor Arakawa’s proposed fiscal year 2019 budget today and will begin its review with committee meetings commencing on March 29. Maui Now.

Five Wailuku residents have checked out nomination papers to seek the Central Maui 8th House District held by two-time speaker and longtime Rep. Joe Souki. Maui News.

Kauai

Prince Kuhio Park expands. Tom Shigemoto of A&B Properties announced that the deed for 16 additional acres to the existing five-acre Prince Kuhio Park is nearly done, and turnover of the land to the Royal Order should be complete by year’s end. Garden Island.

You can now get a digital camera to help out with whale and dolphin research on Kauai, but there are only five available so the waiting list could be long. Garden Island.

The county will begin relocating the Poipu lifeguard tower on Tuesday morning. The tower will be moved 75 yards east of its current location. Garden Island.